Comparison Review Philpug's 2020 Reviews, 100-109mm Skis

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, May 13, 2019.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    DPS Alchemist Wailer 100 RP
    Dimensions: 134-100-119
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 179, 184, 189
    Size tested: 184
    Design: All New

    I am coming around to DPS's lighter Alchemist construction, first the Cassiar 79 Trainer and now the Wailer 100 RP. I really like the all-new Wailer design in the 100mm width. Usually when a manufacturer goes back to the well and makes a shape or design either narrower or wider, it is met with limited success, say 50% or so; the Wailer 100 and its lemon yellow coloring has DPS coming up roses.

    When comparing the Alchemist with the value-priced Foundation, you will find a noticeable difference in feel on the snow. The 15m radius works well with the lighter and more playful Alchemist carbon buid; where some light skis get bounced around, the Wailer 100 remains solid on the snow. I have more than a few days on these in various conditions and they have yet to disappoint.
    • Who is it for? Yes, you still need to have deep pockets if you want to step up to the Alchemist construction, but it is well worth the price of admission.
    • Who is it not for? The frugal, but don't worry, the Foundation construction is a less expensive option.
    • Insider tip: Don't forget to have Phantom applied when you order yours.

    DPS Foundation Wailer 100 RP
    Dimensions: 134-100-119
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 179, 184, 189
    Size tested: 184
    Design: All New

    It is true that RP in DPS’s model name means Resort Powder, but in the case of the all-new Wailer F100 RP, it should mean Really Playful. DPS abandoned the more traditionally shaped Wailer 99 to adapt the proven five-point sidecut from its cornerstone model, the Wailer 112 RP, and brought it down to the broader appeal of 100 width.
    • Who is it for? Those who like to grin when they are skiing; the 100 RP is more fun than a basketful of puppies.
    • Who is it not for? Figure 11 skiers; the 15m radius means the 100 RP wants to turn, and turn a lot.
    • Insider tip: If you want a bit more uphill performance, step up to the Alchemist construction.

    Faction Dictator 3.0
    Dimensions: 132-105-121
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 174, 178, 182, 186, 192
    Size tested: 182cm
    Design: NGT

    I found the Dictator 105 to be on the traditional side of the spectrum of the One Ohs. The Dictator could be 5 years old or brand new, I couldn’t tell. To me, that shows that it is perfectly predictable, a timeless design. The Dictator charged in Mammoth’s wind buff and nothing bothered it. It is a very stable ski that doesn’t demand your attention all the time.
    • Who is it for? This is a damn good ski for someone who does not jump from hot ski to hot ski. They are like an old pair of jeans.
    • Who is it not for? People who actually ski in jeans.
    • Insider tip: Sizing is just right, no need to think about it.

    K2 Mindbender 108Ti
    Dimensions: 136-108-125
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 172, 179, 186, 193
    Size tested: 186
    Design: All New

    K2 hit it out of the park with the Mindbenders, and the 108Ti is a good example of that success. The 108Ti, like its narrower brother the 99Ti, has one of the best turn-ins of the class: just think that you want to go left, the Mindbender goes left; think right, and you are going that way. The balance is just remarkable with this ski.
    • Who is it for? Dare I say ... me. I don’t usually want a One Oh Something, but this could be the “One.”
    • Who is it not for? Straightliners. As a rep from another brand said when he got on these, the tip is “active” and wants to be doing something.
    • Insider tip: The school bus yellow stands out.

    Kästle FX106
    Dimensions: 137-106-125
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 168, 176, 184, 192
    Size tested: 184
    Design: All New

    Let’s get the unwarranted prerelease concerns out of the way: the 106 HP is metal-less, and it doesn’t matter. Kästle’s all-new triple wood core Tri-Tech with carbon (What differentiates the HP) construction does the trick. The all-new 106 HP is damp, smooth, rounded, and every other positive accolade I can throw at it. In the cut-up three-dimensional snow at Mammoth, the tip shape was rock solid and the tail held on throughout the whole turn. There are things I want to do to this ski that I cannot post on a family-friendly forum; time to take a cold shower now.
    • Who is it for? If you are looking for a premium One Oh Something, this needs to be not only on your short list, but at the top of it.
    • Who is it not for? It you are frugal, do NOT even tempt yourself.
    • Insider tip: This is the best of the BMX105, BMX105 HP, and a touch of the FX104.

    Liberty Evolv 100
    Dimensions: 139-100-122
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 172, 179, 186
    Size tested: 179
    Design: All New

    Yes, this is the love child of Liberty’s V-Series and Origin. The Evolv takes the Origin’s shape philosophy and infuses it with the V-Series' fantastic VMT construction. Surprisingly, I found it to be one of the damper skis in the category. The Evolv 100 wanted to run; it was one of the few skis that had a minimum speed limit, as it took a few mph to wake up.
    • Who is it for? Bigger chargers will get a lot out of it.
    • Who is it not for? Lighter finesse skiers -- but that's where I found the Evolv 90 to excel. Go figure.
    • Insider tip: Liberty’s out-of-the-box tune has been fantastic.

    Liberty Origin 106
    Dimensions: 138-106-128
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 176, 182, 187
    Size tested: 182
    Design: New Construction

    While we started getting on Liberty with the V-Series, we are now circling back to some of their more familiar models like the Origins and specifically the redesigned 106. Where the other One-Oh skis I tested at Mammoth, I tested in heavier Mammoth wind buff, the first day of the Origin 106 was tested at Mt Rose in 30 in. of some of the lightest powder we have experienced in years. True that these condition being soooo good could mask a ski's attributes, the Origin 106 actually felt really nice and very easy to make whatever turn shape I asked of it in the deep powder. Where the 106 started showing its true strengths was in the heavy cut-up sluff in Mt Rose's Chutes and on the runs back the lift. This is where the Origin was stable without being dull, and quick without being nervous.
    • Who is it for? In the 182, I had a good balance of stability without needing more length.
    • Who is it not for? Bigger chargers, but they just need to go a little longer-- or to the 112.
    • Insider tip: Stay tuned for a Long-Term Review.

    Line Sakana
    Dimensions: 150-105-138
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 166, 174, 181
    Size tested: 174
    Design: All New

    Yes, this design has been around for a few seasons, but it is the first chance I have had to get on it. Shame on me. Say what you want about Eric Pollard, he is one hell of a skier. He is an artist, he has an accent that can impregnate a women if he so chooses, and he is a great ski designer. We can talk about the Bacons, but there are a dozen good skis that are similar in design; there is nothing out there like the Sakana (other than its brother Pescado). It is a fun ski with a unique personality that was just as good in 12 in. of powder as it was in a wooded bump run.
    • Who is it for? Nothing against Cindy Lauper, but these are for guys who also want to have fun.
    • Who is it not for? The close-minded. The tail could turn some off, which is their loss.
    • Insider tip: These ski their full length and then some. I had a ton of fun on the 174, it never felt lacking.

    Nordica Enforcer 104 Free
    Dimensions: 135-104-124
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 172, 179, 186, 191
    Size tested: 186
    Design: All New

    Playful. That's the first word that came to mind when I got on the all-new Enforcer 104 Free. The forebody of the ski reminds me of the Enforcer 100 when entering the turn in 3D snow, but as the turn progresses, the 104 Free comes into its own. The back half of the all-new ski is mostly that: all new (it has been out for a year or so on the Enforcer 110 Free) tail allows the back half to be worked more than the narrower 100s.
    • Who is it for? The skier looking for a One Oh biased toward off piste and soft snow.
    • Who is it not for? The skier looking for a hard-charging One Oh.
    • Insider tip: This could coexist with an Enforcer 88, 93, or even 100 in the same quiver.

    Salomon QST 106
    Dimensions: 137-106-123
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 167, 174, 181, 188
    Size tested: 181
    Design: New Construction

    Salomon took its very light Koroyd tip and put some cork in it; that change made a huge difference in how the ski reacts on snow. For those who felt the outgoing 106 was too nervous, the new one removes all those concerns. This ski now rocks. I found the QST skied way tighter than its 22m turn radius suggests; it feels more like an upper-teens radius. It is amazing what a little cork can do.
    • Who is it for? In-betweeners. This is one of the few in the category to come in a 181.
    • Who is it not for? Chargers who think they need a heavy ski. But even at 1800g, these ski like a heavy ski. Don’t worry about the numbers.
    • Insider tip: If you mesh with the old 106, get on this one.

    Völkl Mantra 102
    Dimensions: 140-102-123
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 170, 177, 184, 191
    Size tested: 184
    Design: All New

    Every year I flex a ski and immediately know, This is going to be a killer ski. The new Mantra 102 is one such ski. Where most brands zigged and produced a soft-snow playful 102, Völkl zagged and made a charger. This is the ski that 96-98 Mantra and Katana lovers have been waiting for.

    I took these out at Mammoth during complete whiteout conditions; usually a ski with this type of power will say, "Hang on!" but the new Mantra 102 said (complete with heavy accent), “Come vith me if you vant to live.” And the 102 took me into the white abyss and made sure everything was ok.
    • Who is it for? Not only those who bleed Völkl.
    • Who is it not for? Billy Crystal, this ski’s $hit is bigger than you.
    • Insider tip: It is great to see camber back in Völkl’s designs.
     
  2. textrovert

    textrovert Reelin' in the years Skier

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  3. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    Which one would you recommend for a someone weighing 230ish and new to off Piste skiing? I consider myself an advanced intermediate that likes to rail on groomers most of the time and now looking to see more of the mountain.This would be for out west trips and hopefully a day or two here in the east.
    My plan was to buy the Nordica 104 but the deal fell through, so now I'm weighing my options.
    Current skis are Stockli AX 175, Kore 93 180 and Volkl Code Red Evo.
    Love the AX's but not the Kores, I think I'm too heavy for them? the Codes are my rock skis now, but they have served me very well.
    I would consider going wider as well.
     
  4. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I would think the evolv100 but i have yet to demo it. The evolv90 felt fantastic. the Enforcer 110 185cm is really sturdy and can handle powder very well I found.
     
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  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Ken_R is correct, the Evolv 100 would be a great option and would go well with what you have. The Enforcer 104 still wouldn't be a bad option either.
     
    asnowmobiler likes this.


  6. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    If that's the case, I think I'll just stick with the Enforcers. I'm not a charger off Piste and just learning to ski it, I think the flatter tail on the Lib would hinder me.
    I found a killer deal on the Enforcer 110's and wonder if they will be too much for me as well?
     
  7. Scotty I.

    Scotty I. Getting off the lift Skier

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    Should Tricia be worried?
     
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  8. Thread Starter
    TS
    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Skis come in pairs...and can be shared. Don't judge. ;)
     
  9. Scotty I.

    Scotty I. Getting off the lift Skier

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    Hmmm... Let me think about that.
     
  10. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    If your are a beginner yes, it might be too much ski. The Enforcer 110 is still a pretty heavy and strong ski. Its easy to ski but not as easy as others. The tips are soft enough for powder (easy) but the tails are still pretty stout. I find that wider skis in general (110mm+) are too much for intermediates and lower. They are harder to control and drive since you have a lot more ski under your feet.
     
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  11. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    Off piste beginner-ish , on piste advanced intermediate.
    One of my concerns is how much my weight affects the skis, I think it's why my Kores didn't work as well as I had hoped.
    Thanks for the advice.
     
    Philpug likes this.
  12. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    The Kores are really light and just about the lightest skis available short of touring specific skis. They are stiff but can feel less planted on the snow due to how light they are.
     
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  13. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I skied the Kore 93s a couple of years ago and didn't care for them...on that day. I skied the Kore 105s earlier this year in some pretty yucky "powder" and thought they were a blast. They were very easy to toss around. Another very fun ski in the 100ish category is the Armada Tracer 108. Very easy to ski, good edge hold on groomers, very damp but not dead. I'm about your weight.
     
  14. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    I just did a quick look into that Armada, it does sound like one I need to put on my short list.
    Thanks!
     
  15. GregK

    GregK Getting off the lift Skier

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    Think with your size and ability, you shouldn’t have any issues with the 185 Enforcer 110 especially if you stick to non demo/lighter weight bindings.

    Is the deal from Corbetts.com as the Enforcer 110 is the only model they still have selection of sizes on? $500 US with Griffon bindings is a great deal and those bindings are nice and light. They will be getting more of the Enforcer 104 Sept again and I’m sure they will be discounted a bit but not as great of a deal as the 2018/19 Enforcer 110 currently is.

    Both the Enforcer 110 and 104 are great skis and you’d probably like either one. The 104 will sacrifice a bit of float for more versatility on days where there’s not a big snowfall. I used my 104 lots this year even in the East.

    I had 5 pairs of Head skis in my quiver a year ago with many Flight series(series before Kore) skis and I’m not a fan of the Kore skis at all. Too light for crud and lifeless with no pop/energy compared to the old series. Kore 99 is the most dead/boring ski I’ve ever skied and couldn’t wait to get off of it.
    Much prefer the Enforcer line to the Kore line. If you want a lighter ski, lots of other great options out there that are more fun to ski than the Kore line.
     
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  16. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    No, it is a place in Utah, they were just over $400 without bindings, so Corbetts is an awesome deal.
    The price you got your 104's for was a lot lower than I could find listed on their site, and that was after converting $'s
    The 100's were a lot of fun when I rented them at the Bird last year, but I know they are a very different ski.
    I agree about the Kores not being good in the crud and unfortunately that's what I bought them for.
    I'll likely be using demo bindings or have to wait till I get new boots to see what the BSL is.
     
  17. GregK

    GregK Getting off the lift Skier

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    Enforcer 104 retail for $799.99 Can and I’m sure with Griffons or Attacks next Sept they will be about $800 Can/$600 US with bindings. Spring 2020 they will be under $500 I’m sure with bindings.

    What size did you rent of the Enforcer 100? That ski skis longer than the 104 or 110 plus those were demo bindings which makes them heavier. If you skied 185cm on the 100 demo, you’d be fine on 191 with a regular binding.

    Unless your boots change more than 2 sizes, any binding will have no issue going up or down one size. Your mount might be SLIGHTLY back or forward of the line but it wouldn’t be too severe I’m sure. Or as you said, get new boots first, then new skis and non demo bindings. I HATE demo bindings so I avoid them like the plague. Lol
     
  18. asnowmobiler

    asnowmobiler Advanced Beginner Skier

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    I rented 185's
    Sometime this summer I'm going to get down to see Billy Kaplan to see what boots he recommends, then I can proceed with the boot purchase and then ski/bindings purchase.
    Thanks for all the help.
     
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  19. GregK

    GregK Getting off the lift Skier

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    Sounds like a plan! Think if you didn’t find the 185 with demo bindings too long, you’d be fine with the 191cm with lighter bindings with the skis having a bit more forgiving flex and with more rocker.

    Good luck on the boot purchase.
     
  20. Ryan Perham

    Ryan Perham At the base lodge Skier

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    Any recommendations if I really liked the shape of the enforcer 104, but wanted something a little less stiff? I loved that it would plow through crud when on edge but pivot really easily when called for. That being said, it was a bit more demanding than I'd like.

    The Rossignol Soul 7 HD was more in my wheelhouse in terms of stiffness I'd like, but its tip wanted so much to ride up and over rather than through. I think that's more a function of the shape than the stiffness. I'm not looking for a crudbuster, but want to have some ability to keep the ski on edge through crud. I thought the Atomic Backland 107 was up to the task, but found it's tail a bit too locked in for skiing powder. I definitely want something with a loose tail for pivoting through trees.

    I'm looking a ski for soft snow days that's good at handling PNW snow, mostly skiing in the trees. I rarely do wide open faces these days. I currently use a Surface Live Free. I like the shape and stiffness, but I went a bit too long. So, either an Enforcer 104 that's not quite as stiff or a hybrid with the Backland 107 tip and Soul 7 tail.
     

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