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Okemo 3.10.12 - Demo Day

gmcunni

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Date(s) Skied: 3.10.12

Resort or Ski Area: Okemo

Conditions: 2" pow, pack pow, few bumps. wintery and a little wind (colder than i'd expected)

Trip Report: Today was the 11th annual Mary Davis Demo Day @ Okemo. I'd never been before but wanted to check it out this year as i'm in the market for new sticks.

My goal today was to pick or at least narrow down my choices for a new ski. I'm looking to replace my 1 ski quiver everyday driver Nordica AfterBurner (84mm / 170 cm /18m). i don't have any significant problems with the Nordica, i just want something a little better suited for the occasional pow / glades but still more than capable on the groomers and adequate in the bumps. so i'm thinking wider ~92+ and a little longer with a slight rocker.

Today was more like work than skiing (tho i had fun). i tested 7 skis and basically skied the same 2 runs with each ski. Vortex steepish (by Okemo standards) groomer under the JG main lift and then Upper limelight (had some bumps on it) to lower limelight.

Pulled into Okemo Jackson Gore lot just about 8 AM. they had the tents setup and ready to go as i entered the courtyard. i'd never attended a large organized demo day like this but found it run well, other than location (more later). I signed up for demos @ the registration booth where they get your boot sole size, din and credit card security info. they give you a "passport" which you then take to the tents of the manufacturers and trade your passport for a pair of skis. when done with a demo you give back the skis and receive your passport for its next use. very efficient, everyone was pleasant and professional to deal with.

Ludlow-20120310-00407.jpg


I believe all the skis being demoed were all 2013 models.

worth noting - I am probably one of the least ski gear technical people on AZ, all the reps explained the inner workings of their ski and how it set them apart from the competition but it all went right over my head so all i have are basic opinions for each ski and perhaps a fact or two i can recall.

First stop - Atomic booth- reading and a previous demo had me very psyched for Atomic. i was ready to buy 2012 theorys on sale even before a demo was done.

First ski out was the 2013 Theory. 95mm, slight rocker, don't recall the other specs. New for 013 some kind of cable built into the ski to add stiffness compared to 012 + new graphics. i was sure i was going to love this ski so i wanted it first to compare all other against. I only ended up liking it. It OK, i had hoped for quick response from the ski, wanted it to be a little more snappy than it ended up being. It was a nice ski but didn't WOW me. The demo was on a 186 which was a bit long for me, could have contributed to my perceived sluggishness.
IMG-20120310-00408.jpg


2nd ski was the Atomic Alibi a new model for 013. i'd demo'd a pair of alibis once before @ sundown but only a couple of runs. 98mm underfoot, slight rocker, but built differently than Theory and i was told it would be more responsive. It sure was. skied very nice on the groomers and my version of quick turns worked fine. @ 98mm i thought it would be tough in the bumps, it wasn't great but not bad either.
IMG-20120310-00409.jpg


The 4FRNT booth was next to atomic so i was chatting with that rep while they setup the Alibi. He convinced me to stop back and try his version of an all mountain rocker named CODY. 129-100-124. a very nice LOOKING ski but just a few turns on it I knew it wasn't for me. sluggish and had a mind of its own. i think bindings were slightly forward and i just felt awkward skiing it. only took 1 run and gave them back.
IMG-20120310-00410.jpg


4th ski was from LINE. Chatted with the rep explaining what I was looking for and he was about to set me up on the Prophet 90 (a ski I’d been reading up on). I mentioned my son had the Flight 90 and I’d tried it a few times and found it “blah”. He changed his mind and had me try out the Blend (132 - 100 - 122 mm ) but he said it was a much more energetic ski than the Prophet. A guy had just returned them as I was there and he concurred that the ski was lively. Like the Alibi I was really impressed with the way the Blend handled the groomers, good edge hold and turns were pretty crisp. Ok in the few bumps I tried.
IMG-20120310-00411.jpg


Next stop was the Nordica booth. Seeing as I was replacing Nordicas I wanted to see what they had to offer. The rep put me out on a pair of Steadfast (132-90-118). It felt a lot like my Afterbuners but a bit more hearty. I felt very comfortable on the ski.
IMG-20120310-00412.jpg


Moving down the row I stopped at Volkl. Having previously owned a pair of Volkls I had a preconceived notion of stiffness. I tried Glenn’s new skis, the Kendo 127-88-109. It is one bad ass looking ski, mother fucking dragon baby! No surprise, being skinnier it handled great on the grooms and was quick enough for me in the bumps. It did seem stiff to me, almost in an unforgiving way. It also chattered bit when I sped up .
IMG-20120310-00413.jpg


Last ski of the day was the Blizzard Bushwacker 125-88-110. new graphics for 013 but construction remains the same, said the rep. I really liked this ski. Again on the thinner side of the ones I demo’d it skied great on hard pack and in the bumps. I tried to find some soft snow to test but it was scarce. Made 3-4 turns in 2 inch pow but it was hard to tell how different it was compared to my Nordicas. I wish I could have tried the Bonafide (same family but 98mm) but they didn’t have it today. This ski has really caught my eye and is high on my list to replace my ABs
IMG-20120310-00414.jpg



All in all a fun day of demo but I didn’t get much “fun” skiing in. I never even put on my own skis today.

Recap :

Loved –
Atomic Alibi
Line Blend
Blizzard Bushwacker

Liked –
Atomic Theory
Nordica Steadfast
Volkl Kendo

Not for me –
4Frnt Cody

Fisher and Scott were also present today but I didn’t get to them. Rossi too but they weren't on my radar.

my only negative today was where they hosted the demo. while i had not partaken in the past i know they used to run them out of the solitude base and think from a skier's perspective that is a better spot. JG was very convenient and in a high traffic area but the layout of Okemo not having a main lift from the base made swapping skis a pain. i'd much rather have been at solitude and jumped right on a lift that took you to decent terrain and multiple options. over in JG you take a lift to take a lift to the top of the pod and to demo you really don't get to go very far if you plan to try multiple skis.
 

Bene288

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Do they center the bindings on those all mountain skis for demos? A few of those pictures the bindings look just a little too far forward for standard setting.
 

gmcunni

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other than the 4frt i don't think they mounted any of the binding forward. they do have demo binding so the plate is large and the toe piece gets moved forward or backward depending on the user of the ski. i think the plate gives it a look of a large piece protruding forward.
 

wa-loaf

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I wonder if whatever they did to the Theory took some of the life out of it?

Too bad they didn't have the Bonified, I would have loved to hear a report on it. There weren't any Blizzards at my demo on Friday.

You should have tried some Scott's I think they are making some really good stuff as well.
 

Edd

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Nice report! Always nice to catch a good demo day. My timing is almost never right.
 

Bene288

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I wonder if whatever they did to the Theory took some of the life out of it?

Wondering about the Theory as well. My 2012's are incredibly responsive and poppy. Everyone is different though.

Did the Lines have the Ti in them for stability?

On a side note, Nordica has been making the most god awful looking skis lately. IMO
 

deadheadskier

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my only negative today was where they hosted the demo. while i had not partaken in the past i know they used to run them out of the solitude base and think from a skier's perspective that is a better spot. JG was very convenient and in a high traffic area but the layout of Okemo not having a main lift from the base made swapping skis a pain. i'd much rather have been at solitude and jumped right on a lift that took you to decent terrain and multiple options. over in JG you take a lift to take a lift to the top of the pod and to demo you really don't get to go very far if you plan to try multiple skis.

I agree that it somewhat sucks to have to take a lift to get to a lift that accesses decent terrain at JG. That same set up makes sense on the main mountain. The base area over there is a freaking zoo as is; I can't imagine what it would be like if you added in the extra traffic by having the Northstar run out of that base area as well. The added run out would also suck. People do complain about the lift set up at Okemo, but the one thing it does do is eliminate run outs.

I know the plan for Jackson Gore is to eventually have a gondola from there to the summit of Okemo. If that comes to fruition, then the current lift set up is pretty logical. You'd have the gondola to get you to "real" skiing, the short lift for beginners and the upper Jackson lift that reduces the run out for that trail pod.
 

gmcunni

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i think a gondola from JG to the top would be a great addition. i don't really mind the current layout, i've been there enough that i'm used to it. get away from the base and don't go back until end of day works just fine for me. my only complaint was running the demo tents there meant the extra lift ride and forced bunny slope skiing, both of which cut into the demo time.
 

Glenn

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Moving down the row I stopped at Volkl. Having previously owned a pair of Volkls I had a preconceived notion of stiffness. I tried Glenn’s new skis, the Kendo 127-88-109. It is one bad ass looking ski, mother fucking dragon baby! No surprise, being skinnier it handled great on the grooms and was quick enough for me in the bumps. It did seem stiff to me, almost in an unforgiving way. It also chattered bit when I sped up .

LMAO! Love the Dragon comment! What length did you have those in?

I've heard Bushwacker come up a lot in other threads around the interweb as a bit more forgiving than the Kendos. I think the Titanium in the Kendos stiffen them up a bit. If people find the Kendo stiff, the Bushwacker is a great ski to look into.

Those look like the 2013 Kendo's...they have a slight slight bit of tip rocker. I went with the 2012...which are rockerless

Great TR BTW!.
 

gmcunni

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LMAO! Love the Dragon comment! What length did you have those in?

I've heard Bushwacker come up a lot in other threads around the interweb as a bit more forgiving than the Kendos. I think the Titanium in the Kendos stiffen them up a bit. If people find the Kendo stiff, the Bushwacker is a great ski to look into.

Those look like the 2013 Kendo's...they have a slight slight bit of tip rocker. I went with the 2012...which are rockerless

Great TR BTW!.

i skied the kendo in 177 and the bushwacker in 180. both were 2013 mods,
 

twinplanx

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We were at Okemo on Saturday as well. The best snow IMO was in the Solitude trail pod with would have been an added bonus of having the demo tents over there. There was quite a crowd there in the AM but by lunch time Solitude was living up to its name. Sad to see Epic closed for the season, but the lack of a lift line made up for that. When I got back home my AZ stickers had arrived(a day late I guess) I will be putting one on my helmet and on the lookout for other AZers next time I'm out. Cheers!!
 

mikestaple

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I skied the Prophet 90s all season and they rocked. Easy to turn. Handled the bumps, crud, and trees well. Even did a nice job floating in the powder at Big Sky. The 2012 model (they have the mountain design on them, the 2011 have the Japanese theme) are slightly rockered too. A great ski.
 
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