The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

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The Mountain Journal: 2012-2013 ski collection

Part 2: Dynastar, Rossignal, Volkl

Editor's note: After testing skis for days covering over 100,000 vertical feet on the same intermediate slope, Tony Crespi gives his analysis of the 2012-2013 ski collection. In perviously edition of the Gift Guide, he wrote in-depth analyses on Atomic, Blizzard, as well as tip on testing, and personal reflections and advice from the test track.

"Fortunately, the new 2012-2013 ski collection illustrates new advances in ski designs which truly are tangible," he says, urging all skiers to test ride to experience the variations themselves.

Here is Crespi's analysis on the final group of 2012-2013 skis.

The 2012-2013 ski collection

Dynastars remain a popular choice, especially for racers and elite experts. Afterall, linked with Lange Ski Boots and Look Bindings, these are powerful. Hand crafted in Chamonix, this line of 33 offerings are consistently on the feet of many of the fastest skiers in the world. Here are standouts.

CHAM Adventure Series
Cham HM 127: This year Dynastar introduces the Cham Series. Featuring the new Levitation Profile, with an evolution of five-point sidecuts, featuring a long rocker tip with classic camber under foot, this series is intended to change our understanding of freeride. That in hand, the 127 is the widest of seven Cham models with a long 22m radius. This ski is designed for big mountain enthusiasts, and would excel off-piste.

Waist 127, Lengths 189 cm

Cham 97: Boasting a 16m radius, this ski still likes a big turn. With a 97mm waist? It can accomondate both on and off trail. It's for powerful skiers.  It's an expert ski. It's built to ski off-trail.  (I liked the 172 and 178 best. )

Cham 87 With a 16m radius, but 87 waist, this ski nicely accommodates eastern skiing. It would seem nicely built for intermediates and easy riding advanced skiers, with a nice ability to accommodate beginning forays to the back country and trees.

Waist 97mm, Lengths 166, 172, 178, 184

The Outland All-Mountain Series
Outland 80 Pro: The second to the top of this 5 ski line, this series . These skis use all-mountain rocker, which has moderate tip and tail rise as well as a solid wood core, for carving on the groomer with moderate off-trail versatility. The 80 Pro boasts an 80mm waist and 15m radius. Expert? Check? Advanced Intermediate? Check. Oh? Classic good looks? Check.
Waist: 80mm, Lengths: 158,165,172, 178,184.

Outland 80XT & 80: The middle of the line, the Outland 80XT and 80 boast an 80mm waist and 15m radius, but in a more forgiving package that the Pro. But, these are still a lot of ski for intermediates through experts seeking a powerful but forgiving ride. Yes, the XT seemed to pack more punch!

Waist 80mm, Lengths 158,165,172,178,184

Outland 75: The 75 boasts a 15m radius and 75 mm waist, for easier edge hold. It's a great ski for a range of beginners and intermediates. It's easy to ski. Fun too. On the groomed.

Waist 75mm, Lengths 146,156,166, 176.

The Speed Series
Speed Omeglass TI: The Sped Series combine race ski designs with all-mountain versatility. Designed for expert and elite skiers, these are designed for great edge grip. The Omeglass TI boasts a tight 12m radius, with a 67mm waist. This ride is fast. Very fast. And with that a 12 m radius and narrow waist it's an ideal Eastern, front side, on trail, slalom type, expert's ski. Looking for race-like performance? You are on course. Looking for edge grip? On course.

Waist 67mm, Lengths 155, 165

Speed course TI: The 72mm waist and 15 m radius is classic for an all-mountain front side carver. It holds well. Likes to ski fast. And it arcs fast turns. It rips on the groomers. For me the versatility of a 165 length swas perfect but that can reflect taste. Test it in different lengths but test it.

Waist 72mm, Lengths 159,165,177,183

Personal Pick: Speed Course Ti. It was one of my top three test favorites.

As the largest ski manufacturer in the world Rossignol has boasted a number of skis, over the years, which have been trend setting. What can you expect this year? New innovations! Thirty eight models! New versatility! Honestly, these were the best Rossis I have skied in a decade. Rossi? On Course!

On Trail Pursuit  Series

Pursuit HP TI
The Pursuit HP TI is the top of a 3 ski line designed for the hardpack. Intended to deliver great carving, superb edge grip, and tip rocker for turn initiation, these are rock stable. With an 81 mm waist this is the widest of the series, uses 10% rocker and a traditional high camber under foot, and uses a wood core with titanium for added power.  With a 16.8 m radius it likes to arc long, and fast.

Waist 81mm, Lengths 163,170, 177

Pursuit 18
The Pursuit 18 is the middle ski in the line. With a 18 m radius it also likes to arc long, and fast, but with a 76mm waist it rolls onto edge easily and seems ideal for eastern snow. With white graphics it standards apart from it's family, boasting a wood core and Ti.

Waist  76mm, Lengths 156,163, 170, 177

Pursuit 16
The Pursuit 16 is the narrowest ski in the line. With a 16 m radius it seems versatile, and with a 74 mm waist it rolls easily onto edge. It seems ideal for "old school" skiers while offering new technology. It's built like its brethren, but with that narrower profile.

Waist  74mm, Lengths 149, 156,163, 170, 177

All Snow Experience Series:

Experience 98/88
The six ski Experience series is led off by the 98, and 88. With progressively narrower waists, and progressively smaller radius turns, these models are designed to rip groomers or float in powder depending on your choice. They use 30% rocker with high camber and targeting the one-ski quiver skier. The 98has a long 19.9m radius while the 88 has a 16.4m radius.

Waists: 98, 88 ;  Lengths 98:  172,180,188

Lengths 162,170,178, 186

Experience 83,78,76,74
The Experience 83, 78, 76, and 74 very in versatility with a 15.5m radius in the 83, 17m radius in the 78, 17.2m radius for the 76 and a 15.2 m radius in the 74. All have wood cores, with Ti in the 98 and carbon in the 78 and 74.  If you love a Rossi, take test ride. These are amazingly versatile, fun, forgiving, but with this line they vary from ski to ski. A test ride is required. Fun.
Waists  83,78,76,74mm, Lengths 136 is the shortest in the 74 and 184 longest in the 83.
Personal Pick: Pursuit 18. It personifies the new energy at Rossignol. Rossi? On Course!

For many years Volkl was a veritable cult ski with a strong and loyal following. But, as Volkl grew many skiers found the edge grip and performance enticing. In fact, they also established a reputation as a ski which came impeccably tuned from the factory. In the pas the 5 Star was one ski which redefined all mountain skiing. This year they are introducing two new skis, V Werks, part of a 41 ski collection.

The Frontside Collection
V Werks Leading the Frontside Series of 10 models is the new V Werks. series, consisting of the V Werks RTM 84 and V Werks Code. With a metal hybrid construction, using titanal, aramid, and carbon, with an integrated binding and lightweight wood core. Both feel like classic Volkl's, and the 84 boasts exceptional grip with that 84 waist.

Waist 84mm in the 84 and 76 in the Code,
84: Lengths 171(16.9 radius), 176 (18 m radius), 181(19.1m radius)
Code : 171 (16.9 radius), 178 (18.6 radius), 185 (12.3m radius)
RTM 84, 80, 77,75iS, RTM75, RTM 73 With a more modest waists, these skis boasts waists which match each number. Each is narrower, and each ski has varying radius turns according to the lengths. What this means is a tremendous range of choices for skiers, and almost the ability to select a ski almost customized to your desires. RTM? Well worth a test ride! Or two!

The Code Speedwall and Code PSI These skis uniquely marry race technology with freeskiing technology. The Code is intended for frontside groomers with moderate rocker with camber underfoot. Volkl claims they de-coded the formula!  The PSI brings back the power switch to adjust flex by offering the ability to compress or relax a carbon rod in the ski. Waists are 75mm and radius varies by length.
Waists 75mm, but overall dimensions vary by model.
Lengths Speedwall 164,171,178,185
Lengths Psi lengths are 161,168,175,182.

Personal Pick: The V Werks 84.

Contributing Columnist Tony Crespi has served as both a Ski School Supervisor and Development Team Coach. A frequent contributor to publications throughout snow country, his column is published throughout the season.