Individual Review J Skis The Metal

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Quinn Trumbower, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Quinn Trumbower

    Quinn Trumbower I Ski & Know Stuff Skier

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    J Skis The Metal
    Dimensions: 135-106-124
    Radius: [email protected]
    Size tested: 186

    First off, a little background: I am a student at Michigan Tech, so most of my skiing is done up here in the UP, which means Mont Ripley, Mount Bohemia, the Porcupines, and the Bessemer area. I take an occasional trip out West, if I’m lucky. I was a ski instructor for about six years, from high school into early college. I am about 5'10" and just under 200 lb with an aggressively playful skiing style.

    Enough about me; on to the ski!

    [​IMG]


    I started riding the Metal at the end of last year and then opened up this season with it. This ski is turning into my all-mountain ski. At first its heavier weight turned me off (and I formed a weird stigma about it and didn’t ride it often), but you really only notice the weight on the chairlift, and the ski makes up for it when going down the run. Once I started riding it more, I realized there isn’t anywhere it can't go. The tip and tail rocker is great, letting you float more in powder and making short, quick turns easily. I have never had an issue with them not releasing.

    Next, going from powder to the groomers through all the crud is where the Metal shines. This ski can bash through crap and feel stable the whole time, even at high speeds. I have taken it through some of the worst crud I can find (almost every day in the Midwest) and have never felt unstable. I was also surprised that it has little to no chatter, even with rocker.

    Finally, once you make it to the groomers and lay this baby on edge, it will rip. You can put all your weight into a carve and these will hold it, whether you are making nice long railroad tracks or laying them over hard. For a 106cm ski, it goes edge to edge fairly quickly if your knees can handle it. It has enough shape to keep up on trail, and the more you push it, the more it gives back.

    Just the other day I experienced all conditions in one run and the Metal didn’t skip a beat, starting with first tracks in sidecountry powder, then blasting through crud and catching air off bumps, and finally laying it over edge to edge before hitting the lift line. All in all, this is a great ski that can be playful or stable, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants just that.

    • Who is it for? Anyone looking for an all-mountain ski that is playful anywhere and still keeps up on the groomers.
    • Who is not for? Someone looking for either a light backcountry ski or a pure carver. This is a do-it-all ski that lets you go all over the hill without having to change skis.
    • Insider tip: Mount with a pair of demo bindings. Moving your boot a little bit forward or backward can change the ride; I like just above center if I’m sticking to powder, and a bit back if I’m sticking to carving.
     
    Dave Petersen, Plai and Kyle like this.
  2. Dakine

    Dakine Out on the slopes Skier

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    Sounds like a great ski.
    So many skis, so little time.
     
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  3. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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  4. Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers Getting off the lift Skier

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    Do you have any comments on durability? I ski on a lot of rocks...
     
  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    Quinn Trumbower

    Quinn Trumbower I Ski & Know Stuff Skier

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    I would suggest it. If for some reason you are ever in the UP i have demos on them

    I have not pushed their durability yet, but that may change soon when I head up to Mount Bohemia. However from what I have seen with what I see bases are always going to be on the softer side and when I hit a rock ; I really hit a rock.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2019


  6. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Who actually makes the J skis?
     
  7. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    As in mfg company or Jason Levinthal? @JLev
     
  8. Jasmap

    Jasmap At the base lodge Skier

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    Unless I've misunderstood, J Skis are made in house. JLEV owns J Skis and 4FRNT.
     
  9. Ecimmortal

    Ecimmortal Getting on the lift Skier

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    You've misunderstood. Despite Jason Levinathal's attempts to make everyone think that they are made in his own factory. They are not. J Ski's are built in the Utopie factory in Quebec.
     
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  10. Jasmap

    Jasmap At the base lodge Skier

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    I stand corrected. I did misunderstand.
     
  11. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    I don't own them, but J Skis is one of only 2 brands I am aware of using 1.8mm thick bases -- the other being ON3P. @JLev has said it elsewhere but i can't remember: I believe they are DuraSurf. Which again is used by brands notorious for durable skis (Moment, On3p etc.)

    They also use a 2.2 x 2.5mm edge which is the thickest edge you can get (unless you're a massive massive manufacturer like Amer that could convince them to make a special run.)

    So from a materials perspective, its all there. And Utopie has historically been a solid factory.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    That makes sense with the use of metal. As I understand it small makers have avoided metal due to bonding difficulties. I think the guys at Sego even said that when we toured the place they make them a few years ago. But I can't remember.
    The 4frnt Msp makes great use of metal also. Reading the description it's the first time I've seen a maker say Titanal is not titanium.
     
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  13. Bruuuce

    Bruuuce My advice is worth what you paid for it. Skier

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    I've skied them for two years in all conditions and I'd rate them as better than average in rock resistance. More than once I've been surprised by the lack of damage when I thought repairs would be needed.
     
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  14. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I got a couple hours on a new pair, as well, the other day. Really fun! Definitely have some flop in the tip, but they are quick and smeary if you want, and turn easily on groomers too. The mount point is definitely a little bit ahead of where I would normally put my bindings, but I got them for tree skiing so I went ahead with it. Easy to pivot in moguls, and the extra tail length wasn't an issue. Skied in a few inches of fresh but nothing deep or cruddy, so I can't remark on that yet.

    I picked up the Lone Pine edition in a 180. Great-looking ski!
    [​IMG]
     
    James likes this.
  15. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    This I have never understood (and maybe this should be its own thread). Why the floppy tips? What's the idea here? In my view, if a tip (or tail) is already rockered, then why do I need the tip to bend even more and be "floppy". I'd rather the flex be designed/adjusted at the mid-body of the ski. Make the tip and tail stiff and let the ski flex in the middle. #StopTheFlop ;)
     
  16. Bruuuce

    Bruuuce My advice is worth what you paid for it. Skier

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    I do think this is affected by the overall feel of the ski and the expectations of a ski. To give an example, Blister reviews skis pretty thoroughly and I saw that they rated the Metal's tip flex at 6-7 and the Enforcer 100 at 6-6.5. Would the tip on the enforcer likely be described as floppy? I like the Metal simply because it has a softer overall flex and that is what I was looking for in this ski. I can also understand why someone who prefers a stiffer overall flex would find it floppy.

    Interesting idea in having the tip and tail stiffer than the mid-body. I don't see much if anything out there like that. I'd love to ski something with that pattern to see how it feels.
     
  17. JasonT

    JasonT Booting up Skier

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    I’ll attest to the aggressively playful style. I watched Quinn rip these a few weekends ago. Definitely a fun looking ski (didn’t strap them on myself). Nice review!
     
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  18. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    The tip and tail do not necessarily have to be stiffer than the mid-body; just stiff enough to not flop. My point being that the overall flex of the ski be adjusted via the thickness/materials/design of the mid-body. This is more about if you're going to rocker a part of the ski, does it need to be soft enough to flex even further?
     
  19. Bruuuce

    Bruuuce My advice is worth what you paid for it. Skier

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    Yeah, makes sense. I think the default right now is a really "easy" tip which rocker and softness definitely provides.
     
  20. Bruuuce

    Bruuuce My advice is worth what you paid for it. Skier

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