Comparison Review Doug Briggs' 2019 Thumbnail Reviews: 75-95mm Frontside Skis

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Doug Briggs, May 28, 2018.

  1. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Atomic Vantage 86 C
    Dimensions: *123-86-106.5
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 157, 165, 173, 181
    Size tested: 181
    Design: All New
    *scaled sizing

    The Vantage 86 C has great grip and is a fun ski to rip on. It does have a tendency to want to finish turns sooner than I intend, so stay on top of these to keep them under your control.
    • Who is it for? Advanced skiers will enjoy the race-inspired performance.
    • Who is it not for? Lazy skiers need not apply
    • Insider tip: The 86 has tenacious grip for a midfat; it wants to run.

    Head Supershape iTitan

    Dimensions: 138-81-118
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 156, 163, 170, 177
    Size tested: 177
    Design: Carryover

    I was able to make all sorts of turn shapes with this performer; it is not a one-trick pony. Moving forward or aft on the ski doesn’t cause problems due to its huge sweet spot.
    • Who is it for? The skier who likes to take the reins or relax and enjoy the ride.
    • Who is it not for? Dunno. It seems like a real winner for intermediates and up.
    • Insider tip: Very forgiving for the amount of performance the ski provides.

    Head V-Shape V8
    Dimensions: 130-75-112
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177
    Size tested: 170
    Design: All New

    This 75mm-waisted ski is a solid performer. It has good grip and is pretty turny. The V8 is very playful but it does have its limits.
    • Who is it for? Folks who like to make a lot of small turns.
    • Who is it not for? People who like to rip big turns on the groomers.
    • Insider tip: This is an iRally for the intermediate to advanced skier.

    Head V-Shape V10

    Dimensions: 139-85-121
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 163, 170, 177, 184
    Size tested: 170
    Design: All New

    I hadn’t skied Heads lately, and after skiing this one I kind of regret it. I really enjoyed these skis. They are turny and stable at speed. You can ride them fast and furious, and they will just say, "That’s all you got?" I didn’t get to ski them in softer snow, but I suspect that with their 85mm waist, they do quite nicely in crud and off piste, too.
    • Who is it for? Hard-charging skiers who want a high-performance ski.
    • Who is it not for? Wimps. These skis want to go!
    • Insider tip: Fun, stable, and boy do they want to turn.

    K2 Super Charger
    Dimensions: 127-76-107
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 168, 175, 181
    Size tested: 175
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    The Super Chargers have a race-like quality to them. They are fairly stiff and demand your attention. If you slack off and get in the back seat, they will run straight away from you. Stand over them and they perform with energy and snap.
    • Who is it for? Someone who likes a hard-driving carving ski.
    • Who is it not for? Skiers who want an easy and forgiving ski.
    • Insider tip: They are rather stiff; if you get in the back seat, they want to straighten out and go.

    Liberty VMT V76
    Dimensions: 126-76-106
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: to come
    Size tested: 179
    Construction: All New

    Liberty showed me that my conception of them as a freeride company was all wrong. The VMT 76 is an outstanding ski. Easy to ski, ready to go, it handles the piste like a thoroughbred. I would consider this ski for my quiver if I had a vacancy.
    • Who is it for? Skiers looking for performance and forgiveness in a ski.
    • Who is it not for? Conformists.
    • Insider tip: Remember, you heard it hear first: Liberty VMTs are damn good.

    Liberty VMT V82
    Dimensions: 129-82-110
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186
    Size tested:
    Design: All New

    I always thought Liberty was just a park and freeride ski company, but this ski changed my mind, big time. The 82 is stable and right at home making turns of all sizes. A real eye-opener.
    • Who is it for? Someone looking for a nice all-around performer.
    • Who is it not for? The biggest of chargers.
    • Insider tip: Yes, the accolades are true.

    Rossignol Experience 84 Ai

    Dimensions: 126-84-116
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 152, 160, 168, 176, 184
    Size tested: 176
    Design: All New

    I have an older pair of Experience 83s, and these are quite similar. They are stable, easy to turn, and grip well. You can easily get them to bend into a tighter turn shape, but they are most comfortable making GS-style turns.
    • Who is it for? Laid-back skiers will love these.
    • Who is it not for? Skiers looking for an aggressive ski with lots of pop.
    • Insider tip: Short and long turns are in this ski's bag of tricks.

    Rossignol Hero Elite MT Ti
    Dimensions: 123-74-109
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 159, 167, 175, 183
    Size tested: 175
    Design: All New

    The Hero Elite MT Ti reminds me a lot of my Rossi Experience 83. It is easy to ski, but if you want to kick in the afterburner, it will fly right along with stability and easy-to-control turn shape.
    • Who is it for? Like the Supershape iTitan, it suits anyone who likes to make race-like turns as well as kick back and take it easy.
    • Who is it not for? Lightweights; this ski expects some input.
    • Insider tip: Don’t be afraid; it is as docile as my Experience 83.

    Stöckli Laser AX
    Dimensions: 123-78-110
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 159, 167, 175, 183
    Size tested: 175
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    I visited Stöckli’s tent with antici… …pation as I had only been on its race skis. Well, Stöckli's recreational skis are equal in quality and comparable in level of performance to the race products. Despite being a high-end rocket ship, the AX skis quite easily when not pushed to the limit. This one had me grinning from ear to ear with its strong turns of any size and high stability. These skis rock.
    • Who is it for? Strong skiers who want race-inspired performance in a recreational ski.
    • Who is it not for? Beginners.
    • Insider tip: Do you really need that first born?

    Stöckli Laser SX
    Dimensions: 120-72-99
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177, 184
    Size tested: 170
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Here we have another solid-performing Stöckli product. Turns on the Laser SX are smooth and easy, and you can vary their size to anything you want. There is a level of precision here that mortal skis just do not have.
    • Who is it for? Skiers that demand performance from their skis.
    • Who is it not for? The meek, but then again, thats why there is the AX
    • Insider tip: Do you really need that second born either?

    Stöckli Stormrider 95
    Dimensions: 131-95-120
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 157, 166, 175, 184
    Size tested: 184
    Design: New Construction

    I really liked this ski as it is quite similar in style to my own 2018 K2 Pinnacle 88s. The width makes them a strong off-piste ski that can work the groomers with ease. In typical Stöckli fashion, they are sturdy, strong, and responsive.
    • Who is it for? Me. Seriously, though, the SR 95 could easily be a one-ski quiver for someone who needs to deal with natural conditions and groomers.
    • Who is it not for? Those with deep pockets and short arms.
    • Insider tip: It is Stöckli on 95mm skis, need I say more?

    Völkl Deacon 76
    Dimensions: 122-76-103
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 176, 181
    Size tested: 176
    Design: All New

    The Völkl Deacon 76 is a fun ski for those who like to charge on the slopes. It has an easy-to-find sweet spot, but does require more input than skis like the Rossi Hero Elite MT Ti. Grip is good, and the ride is exciting.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who like a performance ski with plenty of snap.
    • Who is it not for? Anyone who won't take charge.
    • Insider tip: The ski requires input; you need to stay centered.
     
    Hawk45, Big J, VickiK and 20 others like this.
  2. Catskill carver

    Catskill carver Out on the slopes Skier

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    Thank you @Doug Briggs for taking the time for these reviews as one or two of these on my radar.
    Can you offer up your size and skier type for those of us whom haven’t had the pleasure of skiing with you. Much appreciated.
     
  3. Thread Starter
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Sure thing @Catskill carver .

    I'm 190#, 5' 11". I tested using a Fischer Vacuum RC4 Pro 130.

    My history: I grew up skiing in NH, started racing at 13 or so and raced until I was 19. Skiing then became purely recreational and social until I tore an ACL and my recovery efforts got back into better shape than I'd been in a few years. At that point I started skiing more with my brother, a dedicated and experienced slack- and back- country skier. I followed him around and learned by watching the subtleties of recreational skiing on ungroomed. Until then I was basically a piste and powder skier. I returned to racing when I moved west in 2000 and have been racing since. My heart is off piste now, though. Which isn't to say I don't love a good groomer with a sweet turning ski. My quiver contains race skis, frontside favorites like the MX 88 and E83, a large variety of skis in the 80s and 90s as well as a veritable fleet of powder skis.

    I love to feel the g-forces of carved turn as well as the softness and challenge of off-piste. As racing is still a big part of my skiing, I really appreciate the wide range of capabilities of modern front side skis. It is all about turning them left and right and experiencing the dance with the mountain. I like to lay my skis over for carved, slarved and brushed turns. I like big turns, I like little turns and tend to really mix it up on the groomer, imagining a course where there is none so that my runs are mixed bag of turn shapes, fall lines and terrain.

    1102 Breck Powder.jpg
    I like to charge the slopes. Photo courtesy @Philpug
     
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  4. Thread Starter
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    @Catskill carver , which skis are you interested in? What kind of performance are you looking for?
     
  5. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    @Doug Briggs could you elaborate (in detail) about exactly what you mean by "It does have a tendency to want to finish turns sooner than I intend". Thanks.
     


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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    It would want to go straight if not tended to. So if you slacked off giving the ski input with the ski pointing down the falline, it would continue to track down the falline.
     
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  7. Catskill carver

    Catskill carver Out on the slopes Skier

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    Thanks Doug for the in-depth bio. We seem to have similar size, weight and skiing.
    Growing up in NH as well, skiing out Proctor Academy, Waterville and L Placid. Recent... last 10 years spending more to off piste and now soon to making the move out west.
    All that being said I’m searching out a front side Ginsu knife so I’m curious about the SX or AX. Nice to see your favorite front side have waists in the 80s as well.
     
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  8. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

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    Do not overlook the Titan, it is 81 underfoot even though it is marked 76 on the ski. I skied it twice this season, very nice to ski and does not have the AX or SX price tag. Also reading what Doug said about the V-10 sounds like something you would like that ski as well.
     
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  9. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    @Doug Briggs - did you see or get a chance to try the CA version? I'm currently on the Hero Elite ST Carbon. The MT .CA has been recommended to me. I'm sure the Ti would be too stiff.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    I'm sorry, no. These skis were all from the two days of on-snow at SIA. What you see is what I rode; no more, no less.
     
  11. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Thanks. I've been a version of that show they used to do in conjunction with the Canadian show. Lots of toys and not enough time. Thanks for doing what you could!
     
  12. ccsasuke

    ccsasuke Booting up Skier

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    You are on the 2018/2019 version of these? The official website said the lengths for 2018/2019 are: 154, 161, 168, 175 and 182cm.
     
  13. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Doug Briggs Did you happen to get on any of the Blizzard Firebirds, or the Nordica Doberman RB?
     
  14. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    laser AX
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    20180130_101841_Ski Area Access.jpg
    This is what I had on my feet.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Negatory.
     
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  17. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    The AX is hardly a Ginsu knife and is not meant to be. Much more Swiss Army knifeish. You'd want the SC or the new WRT perhaps.

    The new WRT sounds pretty good. Only two sizes, 162,172.
    https://www.pugski.com/threads/stockli-laser-wrt.9579/
     
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  18. ski otter 2

    ski otter 2 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Or maybe the Laser GS at around 180/r18. Very versatile turns, radius between SL and GS, but both short turns and long turns as desired. A scalpel, and accessible.
     
  19. Catskill carver

    Catskill carver Out on the slopes Skier

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    @Doug Briggs can you offer up comparisons and contrasts on your mx88 vs the Stocklis

    As far as as characteristics I would love to find in a sub 90 waist is a >16r high energy carver that won’t beat me up when I take a wrong turn and find myself in a endless field of bumps.
     
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    Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    My MX88s are a bit short (168cm) as they were bought for a friend, not me. They are quite versatile on hard pack and in slush and bumps (mostly due to their short size for me). I would not characterize them as a high energy carver, but rather a sedate one. Quite competent, but not with the energy I like. I use them when it is mixed conditions such as spring skiing when I start out on hard pack which softens to slush.

    I really liked the Stockli Stormriders but the size I rode were wider than what you are looking for. I suspect the next width down would meet your requirements for size and performance. Stockli's have lots of fire in them which gets my attention. Anyone with experience on them care to share?

    The Pinnacle 88s (184cm) are a pretty dynamic ski. I used them a lot this winter. I enjoyed them in the early season on the WROD and very much so on the softer snow of Breck's off-piste. Certainly one to consider.
     
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