Women’s Skis: Ski Reviews by Skimums 2015

By an Amazing Group of Skimums

IMG_2453The magazine featuring reviews of the hot new skis drops on our doorsteps, and we immediately flip the pages to results. Skim, skim, skim through the “men’s skis,” still not sure why they’re always gender-specific and why it’s not ladies first. Aha! There they are — reviewed by professional skiers that ski every day in multiple hemispheres, have different skis for every mountain and every condition, and probably don’t have to purchase retail skis or ride half the morning along side a whiny [fill in appropriate family member].  Yes, just like us!

We still read those pages first. The pictures are cool, the skis are hot and, honestly, we want those big fat skis that make us look and feel like the woman in the photo dashing through the powder with her wind-blown hair flying and her non-chapped lips smiling. She looks like a super hero (no, not Wonder Woman, she’d freeze in that outfit) charging down the mountain. Fearless. Graceful. She can do anything. Yes, now that sounds more like us.

When local retailer, Ski ‘n See, asked Skimums to demo some skis and give our thoughts, we eagerly agreed. No, we are not professionals, but most ski buyers aren’t. So, we thought that might fill in a gap we saw in most reviews. However, we are not spring break skiers either. All of us ski regularly, about 1-3 times per week in winter (Don’t hate us! We don’t ski all day. We all have paid and unpaid jobs around here. It’s just one of the perks of living in Salt Lake.) All of us own our skis, and many own more than one pair or borrow from our kids and spouses. Skimums are intermediate to advanced skiers at Snowbird, which has some of the most varied, challenging and fun terrain in Utah. When reviewing the skis, Skimums tried to steer clear of the technical stuff and consider what we would tell their friends about them.

snsI like my skis except when I fall. Then, they stink.
–Skimum Bettina

What did we discover? Because of conditions, there was a lot of talk about groomers in the reviews. Snowbird’s groomers on test day were long, hard, fast and sometimes icy. If they say the skis “held,” then they really held. The Mums know powder and some gave their predictions about how the skis would respond in “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” A big surprise, almost all of the skis tested seemed to perform well in crud. Skimums crushed Death Cookies!

Why do Skimums get excited about skis the way some women get excited about shoes? One answer may be because they both make you look and feel good when you step out on the mountain or on the town. You see, on the slopes, Skimums (or any woman who gets the ski bug, a precursor to powder flu) stand on the summit and become SuperMums, each possessing special powers and some version of Kryptonite (ok, it’s usually moguls).

There were some weaknesses that certain skis ameliorated making us feel strong and confident and, frankly, just kickin’ skiers, but some skis worked better with different types of skiers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but when reading any review, no one should be discouraged if a popular ski just doesn’t “work” for her any more than Reece Witherspoon’s cute Oscars® dress would. Try lots! Try different sizes! Several Skimums noted that they thought the skis would have ridden better in a larger or smaller size. Rocker and camber, among other things, have greatly altered the chin-to-forehead ski-sizing chart.

Ironically (if you’re ever on the lift with us, you’ll understand why), Skimums hate, hate, hate “chatter,” that unnerving rattling you can get when cruising on groomers, and were quick to note the skis that kept quiet. Contrary to popular opinion of the guys renting in some ski shops, Skimums seemed to prefer heavier skis. If anyone wants to know, we will tell you that they usually feel more stable. It is the same reason most of us regularly ride wider all-mountain skis. Like most super heroes, we like to fly, and it doesn’t help or look good if we’re constantly hitting turbulence.

The Design…Ok, listen up manufacturers. We’re girls, we like bright shiny things, we love great art, and we will sometimes buy great skis in spite of the designs, but do you really think a scantily-clad woman, a geisha or a bloody-fanged whatever is going to entice us to drop a grand for your skis? Just a thought… Other than that, please note, we still like pink.

You’ll notice we did not declare a winner, because that did not make sense to us. We all ski differently and are looking for different arrows to fill our SuperGirl quiver or something to kick that Kryptonite to the curb with. We also have different priorities and budgets. That is why we included the “Value” section (“KSL” is a better version of Craigslist in Utah). Whatever you do, make sure to demo before you buy. Most places will credit the demo cost towards purchase. Ski ‘n See has a huge selection of skis and sizes, great service and terrific sales. We can often wait for the ski we want to come down to the price we can afford. In the meantime, most Skimums concluded that there are some great skis out there, and we plan to demo more in coming months.

Let us know what you like. What makes you feel like you can fly?

 

Skimum: Kathryn
Regular Ski: Solomon Bamboo
Test Ski: Rossignol Soul 7

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xxx Excellent, so stable. If you want to go fast, this is the ski to have. I flew down the black diamonds without even a hick up (if you don’t count the cat track that I wasn’t prepared to hit at such incredible speeds…nothing a little more experience couldn’t remedy).
On Crud x Great. Again the stability really made all the difference.
On Powder x I am sure they would be incredible in powder had I had any powder to try them on.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x I love the honeycomb in the tip. Neon yellow is not my color, but that is really not a deterrent for me.
Recommendation to a Skimum? x If you like to go fast this is definitely the ski to have. Great all mountain ski. Easy to maneuver considering the width. Easy to get on the edge.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL I would actual pay retail for these if I had to (and that is saying a lot coming from me). [Retail $800]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — I have never skied with a ski this wide and it only took the tiny hill from the Gadzoom lift to Little Cloud for me to know I was in love. The Black diamonds were a breeze. WARNING: These skis are fast. Give yourself ample time to prepare for turns etc. because the ride is so smooth, you may be going faster than you think.

 

Skimum: Liz
Regular Ski: Blizzard Samba
Test Ski: LINE Supernatural 100

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.46.38 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Didn’t get to try them on powder
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $649]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes – These skis were ok, but I definitely prefer my Sambas! The LINE skis had a lot of lightness near the tips, so if I didn’t have my weight forward, the front of the ski flattened quite a bit, especially on hard straightaways.

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Kastle 88 size 168
Test Ski: LINE Supernatural 170Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.46.38 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Couldn’t really sink my edges
On Crud x Fit in moguls well
On Powder Didn’t have a powder day L
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Nice color, doesn’t matter so much
Recommendation to a Skimum? Super mellow ski, definitely not a carver
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Probably KSL if at all [Retail $649]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—Skimum Liz and I switched mid-morning (the LINEs were her demos). We both felt they couldn’t find an edge or hold it. But I got separated from the group and booked two runs to the other side of the mountain to find the ladies & they held! Fine, not good, for high-speed groomers, but I’d prefer more gripping for ripping!

 

Skimum: Casey
Regular Ski: K2 Super Bright
Test Ski: Volkl RTM 81Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.51.56 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x On steep groomers I could easily get super low and lay into a deep carving turn. This ski ran fast and felt somewhat stable with speed, but it shined in the bumps and other places where tight turns were necessary.
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Doesn’t float on top but doesn’t entirely sink either.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) With neon sides they look as fast as they go!
Recommendation to a Skimum? Save them for the firm, fast, playful days. Use an all-mountain ski to really get around.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Buy them cheap unless you are sure you love them.  [Retail $1065]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — Given the firmer conditions this year, I feel I picked the perfect ski to try for the day. I noticed the tail said “sensor wood core”. I really have no idea what that means but what I do know, is that this ski felt like it really could “sense” my weight shifting into a turn. At a certain point it literally popped me into the next turn with almost no effort! I found myself popping little jumps and feeling super playful on these things! Being 5’6 I thought that skiing a 171 would be way to long but with the full rocker, it felt more like a 161 with all the stability of a longer ski. I felt confidant leaning forward but still had a ton of control.   While this ski would be challenging in deeper snow or crud, it’s great on piste. I loved it!!!

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Rossignol S7, Kastle MX98
Test Ski: Volkl Mantra 170Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.24.24 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Nice edges
On Crud x Didn’t feel like I was in control
On Powder N/A No powder the day we skied L
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Not pretty, really don’t care though
Recommendation to a Skimum? Liz & I switched. She liked these!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Maybe KSL, I wouldn’t buy them retail.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— To be fair, we didn’t have great snow. I had hoped to take these off-trail but conditions were abysmal. Skis turned out to be great on groomers, really letting you sink your edges in. Would be trustworthy on ice. Worried the front rockers would turn on me on high-speed flats but were just fine.

 

Skimum: Liz
Regular Ski: Blizzard Samba
Test Ski: Volkl MantraScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.24.24 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A No powder that day!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Pretty good-looking!
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Would recommend to a Skimum looking for an all-mountain ski.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—I really liked these skis on the hard-packed snow! They handled well in moguls, too, and felt stable on fast straightaways! It would be fun to try them in the powder as they seem like a great all-mountain ski.

 

Skimum: Denice
Regular Ski: Rossignol Soul 7
Test Ski: Volkl AuraScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.10.00 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Didn’t really get to use it in powder but imagine it is good
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Just because I don’t like ever paying full price[Retail $825]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— It is a great ski. I felt more comfortable on Regulator Johnson at Snowbird than I ever have. No chattering because it is heavier. If I didn’t already love my Soul 7s, I would definitely get these.

 

Skimum: Katie
Regular Ski: Rossignol Temptation 88 163mm
Test Skis: Volkl Kenja 157cm (Volkl Aura*, Rossignol Saffron 7**)Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.07.58 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.10.00 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x It was difficult to fin/hold the edge on groomers; felt unstable at high speeds.
On Crud x Decent in the crud and bumps. Easy to turn.
On Powder N/A Unable to test in powder, but hoping they perform well.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Not overly feminine, but I love the black w/fuchsia accents
Recommendation to a Skimum? x Perhaps these would be better in a longer length, but I would not recommend them in 157cm
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL They better be cheap![Retail $775]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green I think in a longer length these could be great skis, but they are stiff and unstable in a short length.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I also tried a few other skis on demo day. Here are a few quick notes:
*VOLKL AURA: heavy skis, feel solid underfoot, very stable at high speeds and difficult to turn quickly, beware! They feel like a Cadillac; stable, smooth but not nimble.
**ROSSIGNOL SAFFRON 7: This was a fun, easy nimble ski. Probably my favorite of the day. Easy to turn, fairly stable at high speeds, much better than I was expecting! Plus, the pink design is pretty cute.

 

Skimum: Emmy
Regular Ski: Dynastar Exclusive
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x
On Powder N/A Man, I wish I knew! My guess is amazingly Great.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx LOVE IT (pink, hello!)
Recommendation to a Skimum? x
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $700]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — This ski felt really stable. No chatter even at my top speeds. I would have bought it right on the spot if it wasn’t a little bit of work in the moguls.   Especially when I wanted to get through them fast, it felt a bit heavy/clunky and I found myself picking my foot up on turns. If I didn’t love bouncing around in the bumps so much, this would’ve been the ski for me.

 

Skimum: Valerie
Regular Ski: Rossignol BC Pro 110
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x
On Crud x They felt stable
On Powder Wish we had some!!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x
Recommendation to a Skimum? Great all-mountain ski. By far, my favorite of the day.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL You can probably get these for a great deal now.
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Perfect for the blue/black skier.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I really liked these skis, but to be fair they are really close to what I already ski. The honeycomb design makes the ski lighter than my ski, but I felt that they maneuvered pretty similarly. These are great all-mountain skis, but on big powder days, I would probably still use my fatties. They don’t turn as well as the Saffron 7, but they glide nicely through the powder.

 

Skimum: Julie
Regular Ski: K2 Superstitious
Test Ski: Rossignol Saffron 7Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.36.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xxx SO much fun!! Balance, speed, CONTROL
On Crud xx Excellent—handled choppy snow beautifully
On Powder x Not so much powder, but suspect they will float
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx Yep—who doesn’t love a little hot pink?!
Recommendation to a Skimum? x YES!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL I’m cheap, so probably on a demo sale
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Black/Double Black, Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—Loved these skis on the steeps and in the crud—They performed beautifully and no matter how fast I went, I always felt completely in control. The stability and balance was incredible – I could honestly feel the mountain directly under my feet. The one drawback was moguls—they suddenly felt bulky and unruly in the hard-packed bumps. I’m sure in softer snow with a little powder under foot they would perform better, but I really struggled in the bumps with these babies! Overall, a wonderful all-around ski that handles well and gives the skier more confidence on the hill.

 

Skimum: Paula
Regular Ski: Liberty Envy 157 (2013)
Test Ski: Head Total Joy 158Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.37.16 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers xx Like horses heading for the stables, I had to hold on tight and just let them go.   Very stable on straights. Not as much speed and distance on traverses making the ride to Bookends pretty tiring before I even got to the fun stuff.
On Crud xx On crud and moguls, I couldn’t get these skis to engage and turn as easily as expected making me hesitant in steep moguls. Excellently handled the crud otherwise.
On Powder N/A No powder, but I kept wondering whether snow would shoot up at me through those weird cutouts on the tips. J
Design (Is it purr-dy?) xx Teal and White—Seemed plain next to all the other skis with colorful artwork
Recommendation to a Skimum? xx If you want to fly down groomers at Deer Valley, these are your skis. If you want to take them down Tiger Tail at Snowbird, you better have a glass of wine waiting at the bottom of the run.
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL Because they come with bindings (which I liked), these would be worth surprising The Misses with on sale. [Retail $925 bindings incl]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Blue to Black Skimums would enjoy these; a SuperMum might be able to tame them on moguls better.
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes– These are billed as all-mountain skis, and with the shovels on the tips, I suspect they’ll keep most floating on top of powder.   They are surprisingly light with a stiff ride. They performed very well on groomers gripping the mountain on a VERY hard-packed day. When I let them go, I flew. The 85-under foot and camber meant that there was ZERO chatter flying down Road to Provo, and even when I hit the occasional death cookie, they smashed it flat. Yeah, that was fun! I fought like a mad dog with these things in moguls though.   Granted, I’m not a mogul mama, but I couldn’t get these things to turn as easily as I expected on big bumps.   Because my boots seemed to be smaller than everyone else out there, no one else could quickly swap with me. I would love to hear how others ride them.

 

Skimum: Charnee
Regular Ski: Dynastar Cham W 87 (2014) 5 pt sidecut (109-127-87-103-90) Radius 11m, Extra- long tip rocker, traditional camber under foot, narrower pin-tail.Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.02.58 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x They carve great on the groomers but I get some chatter and have to work harder for the edge on icy and hard pack surfaces, so I may be hard pressed to give up my carvers for those days.
On Crud x Can get bouncy in set up crud.
On Powder x Floats in powder as advertised, although with deep powder one may prefer the wider Cham W 97.
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Dynastar didn’t put a lot of graphics into the ski; it is rather plain but in a bold, bright pink, which I am getting used to.
Recommendation to a Skimum?
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL [Retail $600]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes— I demoed this ski on a deep powder day at Snowbird at the end of last year’s 2014 ski season. My current skis are the 2006 K2 One Luvs (115-68-99 radius 12m) and I was overdue for a newer, wider powder ski but wanted to still have quick turns when I ski the moguls and the trees. The Dynastar Cham 87 gave me that extra width and their radius was more to what I was used to for those quick turns.  They rocked in the deep powder and I loved them so much I took advantage of an end of year sale and bought them.This year was my 1st chance to actually ski with them, although we have not had a lot of deep powder days, I am pleased with their performance as a 60%-40% powder/groomer ski.  They did well on crud and easily turned in the moguls and trees. I could always ski well in the powder with my K2 One Luvs, but going wider with the 87 is a vast improvement when in powder and has changed my game that I don’t regret not getting the Cham 97.  It was suggested with its long rocker to go with a longer ski. My K2’s are a 153 so I went with a 159 in the Dynastar Cham. Bottom line, it is a great overall ski but I will keep my carvers around and have a 2 quiver arsenal.I want to add and give a shout out to the Snowbird Ski Mums.  Since I started skiing with this awesome and supportive group of women skiers last year, I now have the confidence to ski the entire mountain at Snowbird and have made some great friends.

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Kastle MX 88 size 168Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.00.04 AM

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x Carve, carve, carve!!!
On Crud x Good size to get through the bumps
On Powder x Can do but wish they were longer
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Ugly graphic but I don’t care
Recommendation to a Skimum? x These skis totally shred!
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL $$$ I bought mine half off in spring [Retail $1499]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Each and every Mum – soooo fun!
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes—These skis & bindings were half off in April.   I still felt naughty for buying them (giggle giggle). These Austrian skis were still a bit pricey, but they are tops on the slopes! They carve, hold edges, and bounce you off the bottom lip of your turns. Let ‘em rip on groomers or through Mineral Basin crud… They’re game! Wish they were slightly longer, but don’t blame them. They’re the perfect carver & double as all-mountains! LOVE!

 

Skimum: Margit
Regular Ski: Rossignol S7 178ss7

Test Great OK Yuck Notes
On Groomers x I still carve in my boats
On Crud x Slices through
On Powder xxx Yes, yes, yes!
Design (Is it purr-dy?) x Scantily clad female? Why?
Recommendation to a Skimum? x Hearty recommend
Value (for a Skimum) Retail On Sale KSL My husband surprised me. Retail. [Retail $800; outlet now]
What type of Skimum would like them? Black Blue Green Black and Blue
Other Comments and Amusing Anecdotes — When I got them, my first thought was, “These dogs wanna run!” Your quads will notice the extra length. Truly a fun ski, an all-mountain ski. They slice, dice, and yes, carve, on groomers.   FAST. They’re three years old now, might be hard to get your hands on a pair; but it’d be worth hunting them down.   These skis will make any skier grin from ear to ear and chortle down the mountain. WARNING: Way too much fun! Second WARNING: These skis want to ski tram to bottom with no stops.

Disclaimer: The statements about the skis are the opinions of the reviewers alone. A few Skimums provided reviews of their own skis, as well, because that’s just what girlfriends do. Ski ‘n See provided the demo skis to Skimums free of charge on February 25, 2015. Skimums would like to thank Jessica Osterloh at Ski ’n See for her wonderful vision and exceptional work in making this event happen.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s