Alexzn

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So, overt the break I finally got to ski the famed Z90 for a couple of days in a length that was appropriate. The snow ranged from baked glop to icy "when is the next snow coming" grommers and scratched-up off piste. I am not Usually a carving ski fan, I tend to rely more on the all-mountain variety (Bonafide, Kästle FX95HP), if I ski groomers, I bring my GS race skis. The Renoun was an experiment, which turned out to be rather successful.
First of all, let's get one thing straight: this ski can carve, it loves to carve, and it can carve at any speed or any angle you can throw at it. The shape and the flex are really well balanced, so the turn enter and exit feel very natural, the edge hold is pretty good, I was never lacking purchase, and the ski only chattered when I held onto a turn for too long (and that's a technical mistake, not a ski's fault).
HDT works, plain and simple, at high speed the ski remains quiet, and I had a few of those "aha" moments when you get from the groomer onto a refrozen choppy off-piste surface and the ski just shrugs and quietly keeps plowing ahead. I was able to ski Tower 16 in pretty nasty conditions, top to bottom, with the ski banging out nice round turns. Very impressive for a wide carver.

Is it all positive? Not quite. First of all, it is a bit of a one-trick pony, the ski is designed to make carved turns on any terrain, and that's what it wants to do. If you are a fan of a "Tahoe turn", find a different set of boards. The significant sidecut extracts it toll on steeps where tips and tails tend to hand a bit, but that's a common issue with all wide carvers. Bumps are surprisingly good (to the best of my limited technique:). A big price to pay for the magic of HDT is that the ski is not as energetic out of the turn as some stiffer wide carvers are, the base flex is fairly mellow, and HDT does not magically create rebound. The upside (huge) is that it's a really easy to ski at low to moderate speeds. I also noticed a tendency to lock into a carve at some point in a higher speed turn and hang on to it, sometimes even a tad longer than it felt comfortable.

I gave the ski for a run to a friend who just succumbed to the charms of a Kästle MX89. His feedback was that "Those are super fun to lay over, they are not as stable as my new Kästle, but not too far behind". Given the stellar reputation of the MX89, it is a ringing endorsement.

So, who is this ski for? It's not the holy grail or a "one ski to rule them all", even though the hype in the past reached those proportion. It is a slam dunk East Coast ski. In fact I cannot point to another ski that I would rather ski in the East. It is perfect for trail snow, it can handle off-piste with enough aplomb and it is not hard to ski. So, east coast skiers, stop wasting your money on the dreadful Völkl RTM (the official ski of New York City:) and its many clones and get a Z90. It will make you a better skiers, you will have much more fun, and your legs will thank you many times before the day is over. And you will feel like a better skier. If you ski the West Coast, and spend your days on the groomers, again, here are very few skis that provide as much fun (the aforementioned MX89 comes to mind, but it is not nearly as playful and/or easy to ski as the Z90). The all-mountain use is a harder recommendation, primarily because of the limitation of a carver-ski shape. As a historical reference Atomic Metron was at some point in vogue as a do-all all-mountain ski that was supplanted in due course by more versatile shapes. But as a versatile fun capable carver ski the Renoun Z90 does reign supreme.
 

Wendy

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í mínum huga er ég í vestri
So, overt the break I finally got to ski the famed Z90 for a couple of days in a length that was appropriate. The snow ranged from baked glop to icy "when is the next snow coming" grommers and scratched-up off piste. I am not Usually a carving ski fan, I tend to rely more on the all-mountain variety (Bonafide, Kästle FX95HP), if I ski groomers, I bring my GS race skis. The Renoun was an experiment, which turned out to be rather successful.
First of all, let's get one thing straight: this ski can carve, it loves to carve, and it can carve at any speed or any angle you can throw at it. The shape and the flex are really well balanced, so the turn enter and exit feel very natural, the edge hold is pretty good, I was never lacking purchase, and the ski only chattered when I held onto a turn for too long (and that's a technical mistake, not a ski's fault).
HDT works, plain and simple, at high speed the ski remains quiet, and I had a few of those "aha" moments when you get from the groomer onto a refrozen choppy off-piste surface and the ski just shrugs and quietly keeps plowing ahead. I was able to ski Tower 16 in pretty nasty conditions, top to bottom, with the ski banging out nice round turns. Very impressive for a wide carver.

Is it all positive? Not quite. First of all, it is a bit of a one-trick pony, the ski is designed to make carved turns on any terrain, and that's what it wants to do. If you are a fan of a "Tahoe turn", find a different set of boards. The significant sidecut extracts it toll on steeps where tips and tails tend to hand a bit, but that's a common issue with all wide carvers. Bumps are surprisingly good (to the best of my limited technique:). A big price to pay for the magic of HDT is that the ski is not as energetic out of the turn as some stiffer wide carvers are, the base flex is fairly mellow, and HDT does not magically create rebound. The upside (huge) is that it's a really easy to ski at low to moderate speeds. I also noticed a tendency to lock into a carve at some point in a higher speed turn and hang on to it, sometimes even a tad longer than it felt comfortable.

I gave the ski for a run to a friend who just succumbed to the charms of a Kästle MX89. His feedback was that "Those are super fun to lay over, they are not as stable as my new Kästle, but not too far behind". Given the stellar reputation of the MX89, it is a ringing endorsement.

So, who is this ski for? It's not the holy grail or a "one ski to rule them all", even though the hype in the past reached those proportion. It is a slam dunk East Coast ski. In fact I cannot point to another ski that I would rather ski in the East. It is perfect for trail snow, it can handle off-piste with enough aplomb and it is not hard to ski. So, east coast skiers, stop wasting your money on the dreadful Völkl RTM (the official ski of New York City:) and its many clones and get a Z90. It will make you a better skiers, you will have much more fun, and your legs will thank you many times before the day is over. And you will feel like a better skier. If you ski the West Coast, and spend your days on the groomers, again, here are very few skis that provide as much fun (the aforementioned MX89 comes to mind, but it is not nearly as playful and/or easy to ski as the Z90). The all-mountain use is a harder recommendation, primarily because of the limitation of a carver-ski shape. As a historical reference Atomic Metron was at some point in vogue as a do-all all-mountain ski that was supplanted in due course by more versatile shapes. But as a versatile fun capable carver ski the Renoun Z90 does reign supreme.
I agree that this is the perfect East Coast ski. I was on mine yesterday in soft groomers, choppy piles, some sugar, a few bumps in the trees, and a few ice patches. I never had so much fun or felt that skiing was so easy. I have a wonky left knee that usually talks back after carving on a 90mm wide ski.....but not on these skis. The fun part was, since I was skiing alone, how many people struck up conversations about Renoun on the chairlift.
 

Philpug

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It is no secret that the Z90 has been a darling of Pugski.com and there are probably more sold because of our suggests and reviews as there were anywhere else. When I started skiing the Z90, I started with the 174cm and was perfectly happy with it until I started skiing the 180cm that @Alexzn tested above. For the past two years or so, I have been skiing the 180cm exclusively and the 174cm was relegated to the corner and for other skiers to ski. Just recently I got back on some 174cm's and OMG I forgot how much fun that ski is. Such as I would normally ski other carvers in that 174-176 length, for some reason I thought because I skied most of my other 90mm skis in a 180ish length, I should ski the Z90 there too. My mistake. The 174cm has a brightness that (for me and my size) the 180 lacked every so slightly. The Z should be skied for the shape, not the width.
 
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Alexzn

Alexzn

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That's a particular combination of slight drifting at the top of the turn with the rest of the turn purely carved that is particularly effective in Tahoe spring snow. Versatile shapes such as modern all mountain skis respond to that type of a turn particularly well.
 

Dwight

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I have been on Z90s this season, Midwest. My go to ski right now. Had a few other try it and they are loving it. One friend purchased a used pair too.

Last night, cold groomers, they about whipped my butt. Hooked up so well that they were shooting me out of the turn. Wasn't quite ready but balance was kept. :)

Now for some fresh snow to use the Endurance 98s.
 

PisteOff

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@ChunderBlunder and I have been skiing the Z’s more than all of our other skis combined. I’ve been on them for 3 seasons now. When it dumps more than boot deep we have Endurance 98’s and Vantage 95’s. When it really dumps we have Citadels, Souls, Wailers, and JJ’s to choose from. Of all of them, the Z’s get the most miles. Groomers, trees, bumps, chop, chunder, boot deep pow, crust, ice, they really do it all very well. The Z-90 has helped me improve my skiing more than any other piece of gear I’ve ever owned. They inspire confidence. They are predictable. I only wish they had a little more upsweep in the tails. Sadly, RENOUN no longer offers them. They’ve been replaced by the Endurance 88.
 

Wasatchman

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Sadly, RENOUN no longer offers them. They’ve been replaced by the Endurance 88.
I wonder why they discontinued the z90. I've never been on them, but they have a cult following on here. Renoun is offering $799 early bird pricing on their skis right now for those interested
 

Philpug

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I wonder why they discontinued the z90. I've never been on them, but they have a cult following on here. Renoun is offering $799 early bird pricing on their skis right now for those interested
Part was the ski is going on 5 years old. I will add that I consulted with Cyrus to keep the ski, the Z90 is the cornerstone of the line and the ski that people recognize Renoun for. There is nothing like it on the market. The Endurance 88 is better off piste and in mixed conditions but not quite as good on the groomers, where the Z90 excelled. Is the Endurance 88 a better and more versatile ski, yes, but the Z90 is better at what it did and thats what made it special. I suggested a limited supply kept in stock and maybe even calling it the" Z90 Classic" or such.
 

Dwight

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The Z90 works great in the Midwest. Haven't tried the Atlas, so that might work well too. The Endurance 98 is a fun ski, guessing 88 is similar.
 

Wasatchman

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Part was the ski is going on 5 years old. I will add that I consulted with Cyrus to keep the ski, the Z90 is the cornerstone of the line and the ski that people recognize Renoun for. There is nothing like it on the market. The Endurance 88 is better off piste and in mixed conditions but not quite as good on the groomers, where the Z90 excelled. Is the Endurance 88 a better and more versatile ski, yes, but the Z90 is better at what it did and thats what made it special. I suggested a limited supply kept in stock and maybe even calling it the" Z90 Classic" or such.
Thanks for the follow-up and glad to hear you personally campaigned to keep the Z90 in the lineup.

Perhaps Renoun decided there is a limited market for a premium groomer oriented ski? And more people buying a ski in that price range are looking for more versatility that the Endurance offers?

That said, while I have never been on Renoun, I associate the brand with the Z90 (due to Pugski more than anything else). Not the endurance line. As such, I agree with you that I think they should have kept some supply on hand. We will see but I think it is a mistake that they discontinued the Z90. I would think it is a bad move to discontinue the ski that put them on the map. However, I do think Renoun should have advertised the Z90 as more groomer oriented than they had. Because as you say, the Z90 was their cornerstone. A lot of people may have bought into the Z90 because it was Renoun's cornerstone and then thought but wait, I want a ski that is more off piste oriented. Then the brand risks losing that customer next time. edit: and misses out on as much positive word of mouth that is critical for a boutique. So in summary, I think your suggestion of the Z90 classic makes sense, with the caveat they advertise it as more piste oriented.

Where i do think Renoun has made a good move is there early bird $799 pricing. That is a much more competitive price and a price point where I'd be much more likely to give them a try.
 
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RobSN

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premium groomer oriented ski
I haven't been on the Z90's, but I have both Atlas' and Citadels (although unfortunately I had to buy those, as the Earharts and Atlas' failed to mate appropriately, see https://www.pugski.com/threads/press-release-renoun-introduces-the-earhart-88.18889/page-2#post-445614). The Atlas' are clearly a "premium groomer oriented ski", and go like a <nsfw>ing rocket on steroids ... but they are likely more groomer oriented than the Z90's.
 

David Chaus

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I’ve had 2 seasons with my Z90 and will echo pretty much everything already stated in this thread. That said, my guess is the Atlas (80) does what the Z90 does, as well or better, for the intended purposed of the ski. For a 90-ish ski, I actually would want a tail that releases and pivots more easily. I have to be more precise and mindful of skiing bumps and crud with the Z90 (which is not a bad thing).

If I was doing it over and I got to choose between the Atlas and Z90 for a carver/frontside-biased daily driver, I’m betting I would choose the Atlas, though I haven’t demoed it yet. I’d have a tough time deciding between the Endurance 88 and 98 for a mid-quiver ski.
 

Wasatchman

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I’ve had 2 seasons with my Z90 and will echo pretty much everything already stated in this thread. That said, my guess is the Atlas (80) does what the Z90 does, as well or better, for the intended purposed of the ski. For a 90-ish ski, I actually would want a tail that releases and pivots more easily. I have to be more precise and mindful of skiing bumps and crud with the Z90 (which is not a bad thing).

If I was doing it over and I got to choose between the Atlas and Z90 for a carver/frontside-biased daily driver, I’m betting I would choose the Atlas, though I haven’t demoed it yet. I’d have a tough time deciding between the Endurance 88 and 98 for a mid-quiver ski.
But if the tail releases more easily you might lose a locked in feel, so there is a compromise. And the vibration technology i would think is most noticeable at speed, where a locked in carve is desirable. So I can kind of see why the tail of the Z90 would be designed that way for speed if my premise is correct. I mean, I don't know, but do you really notice a meaningful difference in the Z90 at slower speeds versus other skis?

Which also begs the question, does the Renoun technology provide a noticeable benefit in softer snow conditions? I might be wrong, but I was thinking that the biggest benefit of their technology would be at speed on firmer conditions.
 

David Chaus

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For PNW maritime snow, the HDT is great in mixed conditions, where you need a stable ski that dampens the constant changes in feedback and vibration from the snow, and more so with more speed.

If in super light snow, I might not notice it as much.
 

tch

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OK, we've probably plowed some of this ground before, but....
Why would anyone want a primarily carve-oriented 90mm ski? As I re-read this thread, it seems the Z90 excels on the groom,ice/hardpack, and shallow chunder/crud and falls into the wide-carver category. But why a wide carver, when you can get all that kind of performance -- and more quickness and liveliness -- from a 76-84 waist ski?

For my own purposes, I'm now on an eastern carver (78), and eastern soft-snow/all mountain (90) and a western all-mountain (90). I don't see a purpose for a 90-waist carver.
Responses?
 

Philpug

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OK, we've probably plowed some of this ground before, but....
Why would anyone want a primarily carve-oriented 90mm ski? As I re-read this thread, it seems the Z90 excels on the groom,ice/hardpack, and shallow chunder/crud and falls into the wide-carver category. But why a wide carver, when you can get all that kind of performance -- and more quickness and liveliness -- from a 76-84 waist ski?

For my own purposes, I'm now on an eastern carver (78), and eastern soft-snow/all mountain (90) and a western all-mountain (90). I don't see a purpose for a 90-waist carver.
Responses?
I think it has been addressed but it is worth revisiting. The Z90 is a bit of an anomaly, it is more than the sum of it's numbers. THere are few skis that if I had to go on a trip...anywhere and not know what the conditions will be, the Z90 is one of those skis that I would not hesitate to have to take. It does a lot of things very very well. Wide carvers have fallen out of favor quite frankly because none were as good as this ski.
 

Wasatchman

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OK, we've probably plowed some of this ground before, but....
Why would anyone want a primarily carve-oriented 90mm ski? As I re-read this thread, it seems the Z90 excels on the groom,ice/hardpack, and shallow chunder/crud and falls into the wide-carver category. But why a wide carver, when you can get all that kind of performance -- and more quickness and liveliness -- from a 76-84 waist ski?

For my own purposes, I'm now on an eastern carver (78), and eastern soft-snow/all mountain (90) and a western all-mountain (90). I don't see a purpose for a 90-waist carver.
Responses?
I could see the use of a 90-waist carver if it does really well on groomed but extra width helps off piste versus something narrower. But it does bring up a marketing dilemma. As @Philpug says, there are so few great carvers in a 90 width. So I suppose it makes it a harder marketing sell which is maybe why Renoun didn't emphasize the z90 as a carver.

I was in your skeptical camp on how good can a 90 width ski possibly rail groomers until I got on the Kästle MX89. And then I was like oh wow, this thing flat out rips.

Edit: also some prefer smooth, damp, and locked in even if it comes at the expense of a little less quick. I especially love my MX89s in spring when I am likely to encounter refrozen crud and I have so much confidence to still hit that with speed a lot of the time and get that smooth ride to go with feeling locked into the turns. But the MX89 is a heavy ski, so if Renoun gives me that feeling in a lighter ski thanks to their HDT that would be cool.
 
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Andy Mink

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The Z90 is, in part, what got me back into skiing. Between awful boots and meh skis, I wasn't really enjoying skiing much. @Philpug got me into some good boots and stuck me on a pair of Z90s. I haven't looked back. While 5 years is a long time for a ski to be returning in last season's form, when it's as good as the Z90 it doesn't matter. It will still be a top notch ski in another 5 years. BTW, the Citadel is awfully good too.
 
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