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Best NASTAR Ski


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#1 Allen

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:18 AM

So Gary mentioned that his favorite NASTAR ski is his R11 Mutix in 175 length.  Do you use the Long arms for NASTAR?  Would the short arms be good for Slalom?  I saw a guy at Nationals running the short arms on the inside rear and the long arms on the other 3 positions.  What about length for, oh just to throw out an example, someone who is 37 YO, 6'3", 220lbs, mid-high teens HC and looking to maybe run the MCCA races at Boyne next year.

OK, I had to ask Gary for his input first (it is his forum after all), but what else is out there?
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#2 Gary Dranow

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 11:09 AM

QUOTE(Alpine @ Apr 6 2007, 09:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So Gary mentioned that his favorite NASTAR ski is his R11 Mutix in 175 length.  Do you use the Long arms for NASTAR?  Would the short arms be good for Slalom?  I saw a guy at Nationals running the short arms on the inside rear and the long arms on the other 3 positions.  What about length for, oh just to throw out an example, someone who is 37 YO, 6'3", 220lbs, mid-high teens HC and looking to maybe run the MCCA races at Boyne next year.

OK, I had to ask Gary for his input first (it is his forum after all), but what else is out there?


Funny you should bring this up.  I'm getting ready to write up and then post a full review on the R11



I've got a bit of hectic day so I will be back and answer your questions specifically.  I will also get my review of the R11 up shortly.  I do ski the R11 exclusively with the short arm, I didn't like the ski with the long arm, just didn't fit the skis natural flex pattern.  But know that I finally understand the ski I do want to give it another test with the LRA's to be fair.

A quick answer though, and I will get much more in detail upon my return, You and I are sorta of in the same class, BIG GUYS, though you are a bit taller and a bit heavier (though I was much heavier than you last year, YIKES!).  We'd ski the same ski based on similar skill levels.  So far this year, with the exception of one course, my 184 CM 21M FIS Legal GS skis simply are better than the R11 or any other hybrid ski such as the ELAN 777 (heck of a ski).  I would absolutely look at whatever brand of real racing ski you prefer in a 184 - 186.  These will work for you down to 18 Meters, with a little Pivot here and there, but in the long run, you'll be way faster.  I would also have a ski like the Mutix or the Elan 777 available for those weird 14 - 16 Meter (or your full blown Slalom boards but I'll get into where the R11 and the E777 fit into a nice niche between real GS or Slalom Race skis) sets you see from time to time, and especially when you are at a race the counts and don't know what the setter is going to do.  

One quick example.  At Targhee on Sunday's race we had an open screamer on rock hard snow.  I was on my 193 25 Meter 9X's.  Had the best single GS run compared to the field all year.  I had my Mutix with me as my transport skis and had left my 190's at the room.  I wasn't ready to try the Mutix in something as important as a Master's point race.  Second run was right after the first so after inspection when I saw how radically tighter and offset the course was (I mean 4 - 5 seconds difference for most of the field on a 45 second GS) I didn't have time to go back and grab my 190's (the 190's are a bit more turny than my 193's, not much but it would have made a significant difference for me).

I would have done best on my 184s and that was what all the guys ran the got around me (fortunately I put down a good enough run on the first run only one of the four eeked by me on the race standings).  I didn't even think to bring to the race and hadn't needed them all season.  Was this course overcooked?  You bet!  But that's racing.  I was, however, just within the USSA/FIS standards for the hill so it was a legal course (number of gates, number of turns, minimum radius, the off sets were a killer).  Again, I would more than likely have held my placing if I just had my 190's over the 193's, I believe I would have killed it on my 184's.

So my parting answer is, if you are as good Daron or Ted or Bode, you can find away to make any ski fast in a recreational course.  For the rest of us, we'd better have the right tool for the job if we want to be competitive day in and day out.  Don't buy that crap that one ski does it all.  That is a bunch of hogwash.  If someone can't afford more than one pair of skis then they have a tough choice to make and will be making huge compromises at more than one race a year.

I know, I know, not such a short answer after all but I didn't answer your questions specifically, I will when I get back from my bike ride (Dr. Liz is standing her tapping her toe with her hands on her hips, you know the deal).

I'll be back and thanks for making this post, we need more members like you  biggrin.gif

NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT

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#3 Allen

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 11:58 AM

Thanks, Gary, and BTW, I do have the 189 9X's that I will probably rely on for MACC GS next year, but I was also looking for a ski to fill in the Slalom and NASTAR tight GS courses.  Also, I checked online and it appears as though the longest length is 175.  I can't imagine that I would need anything shorter than the 175, but maybe I'm wrong.  Thanks and have a great bike ride.
- Allen

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#4 Gary Dranow

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE(Alpine @ Apr 6 2007, 12:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks, Gary, and BTW, I do have the 189 9X's that I will probably rely on for MACC GS next year, but I was also looking for a ski to fill in the Slalom and NASTAR tight GS courses.  Also, I checked online and it appears as though the longest length is 175.  I can't imagine that I would need anything shorter than the 175, but maybe I'm wrong.  Thanks and have a great bike ride.


You're welcome. 35 Miles in the hills then Sushi with the Slabinskis, I'm bushed.  Will be back in tomorrow to complete my answer.  189's PERFECT!  Nope, I don't think the Mutix will work in a real slalom (competitively), btw.

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#5 BitterSweetRacer

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 11:19 AM

Okay I want to get in on this one Volkl's rock. Okay now I'll go back and read the entire post.  ph34r.gif  biggrin.gif

I have yet to put them through a course but the Volkl Race Carver is nice.
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#6 Allen

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 03:11 AM

Do you think that a 2005 pair of Salomon SL 3V Lab skis in good condition is worth $270?  I am looking to get started racing Slalom next year, so I am looking for something to learn on and be competitive among the rookies.  Thanks as always guys.
- Allen

If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your thing. - Warren Miller

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#7 Gary Dranow

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:43 AM

QUOTE(Alpine @ Apr 12 2007, 04:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you think that a 2005 pair of Salomon SL 3V Lab skis in good condition is worth $270?  I am looking to get started racing Slalom next year, so I am looking for something to learn on and be competitive among the rookies.  Thanks as always guys.


Depends. That's a lot of money to spend for that old a ski.  If they were never skied with new bindings I'd say good deal.  Good conditions, eh!   Is there a Junior program where you ski?  Most of the better J1's and J2's sell their last season race stuff for pennies on the dollar each fall as they get their new gear for the upcoming season.  These typically are screaming skis in great shape (should always have your local tuner check 'em out for edge life and trueness).

For the skis you described I wouldn't pay more than $150 and especially this time of year.  

The last part to this is how much you like the ski.  If you have experience with that ski/year/model and is your favorite all time Slalom (or whatever) board, then that's a different story.  But with most brands each new year's model for each discipline usually gets better.  The skis are usually the result of the testing done by their WC athlete's, blah, blah.  That is, of course, if you are getting the real deal race ski.  Another reason picking up a Junior's last year quiver is a great idea.  

I get my stuff directly from Rossi (I know, good for you) but I still pick up AJ Arvin's entire quiver, each year (we've got a standing arrangement).  I pay $200 flat for all his skis with plates.  I have my own rotation of bindings.  I know the pedigree of the ski and that Butz does the main work on them.  I get some really fast skied in boards this way, especially speed stuff.  Oh, and its usually the next year's stuff anyway as he's sponsored, regardless of the top sheet.

Just something to think about.  On that note, Jeff's always coming across great skis at ridiculous prices from his hoards of junior racers and their parents.  Its worth and e-mail.  He deals with all the brands   wink.gif

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#8 Alaska Mike

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 07:34 AM

As Gary mentioned, it's all about how the course is set on that particular venue and the ability level of the skier. I know a lot of Masters racers who prefer 15-16M skicross skis when the course is particularly soft and offset. These guys usually place in the top 10 on a given race, so they aren't hacks by any means. They just understand their own physical and skill limitations and find the best tool for the job. The guys that win are usually on >21M GS skis, but it isn't the ski that's winning the race.

I didn't like the R11 at all, in any configuration. But that's just me. I prefer recreational GS race carvers like the consumer Atomic LT12 or Fischer WC RC, or non-FIS legal consumer GS skis that have less than a 21M radius- when I'm not in the mood to work the ski. Most of the time I race on >21M GS boards because for me, they are the right tool for the job.

Race stock is not faster for everyone. FIS legal is not faster for everyone.

#9 Brent Amsbury

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:09 PM

QUOTE(Gary Dranow @ Apr 6 2007, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Funny you should bring this up.  I'm getting ready to write up and then post a full review on the R11



I've got a bit of hectic day so I will be back and answer your questions specifically.  I will also get my review of the R11 up shortly.  I do ski the R11 exclusively with the short arm, I didn't like the ski with the long arm, just didn't fit the skis natural flex pattern.  But know that I finally understand the ski I do want to give it another test with the LRA's to be fair.

A quick answer though, and I will get much more in detail upon my return, You and I are sorta of in the same class, BIG GUYS, though you are a bit taller and a bit heavier (though I was much heavier than you last year, YIKES!).  We'd ski the same ski based on similar skill levels.  So far this year, with the exception of one course, my 184 CM 21M FIS Legal GS skis simply are better than the R11 or any other hybrid ski such as the ELAN 777 (heck of a ski).  I would absolutely look at whatever brand of real racing ski you prefer in a 184 - 186.  These will work for you down to 18 Meters, with a little Pivot here and there, but in the long run, you'll be way faster.  I would also have a ski like the Mutix or the Elan 777 available for those weird 14 - 16 Meter (or your full blown Slalom boards but I'll get into where the R11 and the E777 fit into a nice niche between real GS or Slalom Race skis) sets you see from time to time, and especially when you are at a race the counts and don't know what the setter is going to do.  

One quick example.  At Targhee on Sunday's race we had an open screamer on rock hard snow.  I was on my 193 25 Meter 9X's.  Had the best single GS run compared to the field all year.  I had my Mutix with me as my transport skis and had left my 190's at the room.  I wasn't ready to try the Mutix in something as important as a Master's point race.  Second run was right after the first so after inspection when I saw how radically tighter and offset the course was (I mean 4 - 5 seconds difference for most of the field on a 45 second GS) I didn't have time to go back and grab my 190's (the 190's are a bit more turny than my 193's, not much but it would have made a significant difference for me).

I would have done best on my 184s and that was what all the guys ran the got around me (fortunately I put down a good enough run on the first run only one of the four eeked by me on the race standings).  I didn't even think to bring to the race and hadn't needed them all season.  Was this course overcooked?  You bet!  But that's racing.  I was, however, just within the USSA/FIS standards for the hill so it was a legal course (number of gates, number of turns, minimum radius, the off sets were a killer).  Again, I would more than likely have held my placing if I just had my 190's over the 193's, I believe I would have killed it on my 184's.

So my parting answer is, if you are as good Daron or Ted or Bode, you can find away to make any ski fast in a recreational course.  For the rest of us, we'd better have the right tool for the job if we want to be competitive day in and day out.  Don't buy that crap that one ski does it all.  That is a bunch of hogwash.  If someone can't afford more than one pair of skis then they have a tough choice to make and will be making huge compromises at more than one race a year.

I know, I know, not such a short answer after all but I didn't answer your questions specifically, I will when I get back from my bike ride (Dr. Liz is standing her tapping her toe with her hands on her hips, you know the deal).

I'll be back and thanks for making this post, we need more members like you  biggrin.gif

NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT


Gary,

I'm going to chime in on this one regarding the best ski for Nastar.
The quick a dirty answer to this question is to race and train on a ski you can FLEX!

I agree that having a quiver of skis is great ( I have my own, and still adding ) but not everyone is in a position to do this.

Most skiers who want to get involved in ski racing get steered into buying a ski that is too much ski for their ability. Just because you want to be a ski racer does not mean you need to go out and get a full blown race ski thinking that you will train and improve into the level of performance that a race ski requires.

I believe if a skier wants to purchase a ski for recreational racing, that skier would benefit from getting into a demonstrator program and getting some qualified feedback from a coach before making a purchase.
Every ski manufacturer makes a wide selection of performance skis, so picking a ski just because it says World Cup on it can and will probably add precious seconds to your time.

In 2004 I did a test on a Nastar course at Park City, UT where I took a pair of 183cm ELAN HCX (16m rad.) and put them up against a 160cm Fischer Race SC (14m rad.) The ELAN was firmer, heavier, and had a wood metal race construction that had been my favorite for quite a while, they were well prepared with a fast structure and many wax coats. The Fischers on the other hand were a little lighter, had a tighter radius, and flexed softer. The skis were demos so they had sharp edges but not a lot base preparation other than a single coat of wax.
Run after run, the Fischers were 1 to 1.5 seconds faster than my favorite ELAN's.  The only strong explanation for the difference in times was that the Fischer's matched me better in they way they flexed. The radius of ELAN should have better matched the course and conditions, but the smaller and softer Fischers allowed me get on and off of the edge faster, therefore giving me faster times.

What I took away from this test was that my perception of what is fast on paper and statistics, may not be fast when put to the test under my feet in a race course.

So to all those out there looking for the right pair, demo, demo, demo.

#10 Gary Dranow

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:24 PM

Yup, there's two groups out here.  The Anal Andy's like me, that have a pair of skis (and multiple pairs of boots) for every conceivable situation (and since Brent's seen my quiver he knows of what I speak) and then there's the true RECREATIONAL RACER that may need a "Jack of All Trade" Race Ski.  Which, by the way may not be the Mutix R11 I'm riding above and thank you Brent for reminding me to do my way overdue review.  

Skis are not much different than boots in my opinion.  You can more easily over ski yourself than under ski yourself, especially with the flood of race stock or very near race stock skis available to Joe Public Racer today.

Skill level, Ability, experience, size, weight, and goal or intention of the athlete must all be considered before picking a pair of skis simply because they say ELAN or Atomic or World Cup or GS or 21M or whatever.  

Brent's best advice here is

QUOTE
I believe if a skier wants to purchase a ski for recreational racing, that skier would benefit from getting into a demonstrator program and getting some qualified feedback from a coach before making a purchase.


Because you can Demo, Demo, Demo and still pick the wrong ski if you don't have a pair educated and experience eyes on you  wink.gif

If you can't have yourself and equipment evaluated by a coach then the next best thing is to to what Brent did and that's Demo your target skis in a timed environment the replicates most closely the kind of racing you'll be doing.  The clock never lies  biggrin.gif

And then there's the old saying "Ah so you're buying speed, eh?"  We'll talk about Wax, Structure, and other go fast tricks in our other forums, he he he  biggrin.gif   Oh, and yes, you CAN buy a turn  yes.gif

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#11 sherman

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:45 AM

Just to add fuel to the fire, I ski on Dynastar 66, 184 with a 21 m turn, as per Brent, these skis bend well, not too stiff, I do not have the ability to bend a full blown WC ski in a Nastar course, they are just too stiff. I have done a lot of Sl-Gs comparisons in the same Nastar course and unless the course is really tight (less than Nastar set parameters) the Gs ski is always faster than the Sl ( dynastar 63, 165 with a 11m turn), even when I feel I am faster on the Sl skis, which is most of the time. Slower is faster, the clock does not lie. The longer ski with the higher m turn is much faster when the gates straighten out. The arc to arc is much smoother giving more speed. Now if I could just find someone with a source to demo skis, comparing the 21m turn to a 16-19m turn may show faster times. The waters are always muddy, you have to find out what will work for you. Just because it works for me or Gary or whoever, that does not mean it will work for you.

I like the pic of the Mini, did you flat spot the tires? Rob

#12 Gary Dranow

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:51 AM

Nice post Sherman!  Right on the money  thumbsup.gif

QUOTE
I like the pic of the Mini, did you flat spot the tires? Rob


That's dust from the track not rubber burning, fortunately.  I've got my first SCCA Points race of the season Sunday.  Will be covered, of course, in "Off Season Activities"  biggrin.gif

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#13 sherman

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:48 PM

Good Luck!!!!!!! Rob

#14 Brent Amsbury

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:28 PM

QUOTE(sherman @ May 4 2007, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good Luck!!!!!!! Rob


Getting back on the subject............... thumbsup.gif

Fischer is producing a specific citizen's racing ski next year called the Progressor.
Here is Fischer's description for the Progressor:
RC4 PROGRESSOR - FIRST EVER 70 MILLIMETRE WAIST IN THE RACING SEGMENT
A smaller radius in the shovel section and a wider radius at the ski tail make it possible to combine Slalom and Giant Slalom sidecuts in one ski. This is the basis for the extreme manoeuvrability and smooth ride of the RC4 Progressor, the first ski in the world with a 70 millimetre waist in the racing segment. The ski floats better as a result, is extremely versatile in use and is the biggest all-round talent on the piste. As the name says, this ski represents progress not only in ski construction but also for the skier. A universal ski for long and short arcs in the high-speed sector. The Progressor also comes with the unique Fischer Flowflex System - the world's first Skifahrwerk™ (ski suspension system).

I skied this ski at Snowbasin in February and thought it was the "cats meow" for an all-round race ski that was easy but robust.
This ski just might get me back into a race course next year, it was that inspiring!

Brent

#15 patmoore

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 04:41 AM

QUOTE(Brent Amsbury @ May 18 2007, 02:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Getting back on the subject............... thumbsup.gif

Fischer is producing ..... A smaller radius in the shovel section and a wider radius at the ski tail make it possible to combine Slalom and Giant Slalom sidecuts in one ski.
That's an intriguing concept.  Not sure I can grasp how it works but it sure would be versatile.  A lot of good points have been made in this thread.  I'm guilty of going out and buying a race stock ski (Atomic GS11m) without testing it and despite winning my first race on it (of 17 in my age group) I haven't fared as well since.  Most of the courses I race on are turnier and my peers are all on slalom skis.  When I haul out my old Atomic 9:12s I can be competitive.  If I had more skill I could probably derive more benefit on the longer boards.  Certainly the top racers in our Monday Night series are on longer GS skis.  I have to face reality.  I'm a 60 year old with an arthritic knee.  The best night of the season last year was on a pair of Elan SLXs in a 165 length.

BTW, I demoed the Mutix at Stratton and loved the short radius arms.  I switched to the long arms and tried to execute a full carve back up the hill like I had done on the short arms and ran out of trail.  One of our younger racers bought the Mutix and knocked 1.5 seconds off his times for the balance of the season.  Here's a case where equipment made a definite difference.

#16 DRoss

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:50 AM

After 1 yr on Ropssi 09X 185 then 2 yrs on 181 I tried a K2 Moto Cross 174(16m) and was much faster in the course. This will be my race ski from now on. Will also get a 181(18m) for flat courses. Don't know why the K2 is faster for me because the Rossi is very fast, holds great and is very forgiving for a race stock ski. I guess I don't have what it takes for race stock ski anymore. I am 54 so that's OK. I think the shorter radius makes it easier for me.

#17 Gary Dranow

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(DRoss @ May 19 2007, 08:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
After 1 yr on Ropssi 09X 185 then 2 yrs on 181 I tried a K2 Moto Cross 174(16m) and was much faster in the course. This will be my race ski from now on. Will also get a 181(18m) for flat courses. Don't know why the K2 is faster for me because the Rossi is very fast, holds great and is very forgiving for a race stock ski. I guess I don't have what it takes for race stock ski anymore. I am 54 so that's OK. I think the shorter radius makes it easier for me.


My fastest run last year at Deer Valley on hard snow was on Elan 777's, I also had out my 184 WC, a bit much for the track.  I'm a big fan of these new hybrid semi-fat skis with world cup laminated construction.  I'm going with the Fischer RC4 Progressor this year as my NASTAR Bully ski.  Sounds like you made a good choice there D!

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#18 Gary Dranow

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

Fischer RC4 Progressor 175  banana.gif


RC4 PROGRESSOR  
For all-round talents. The first racing ski for slalom and giant slalom. With Dual Sidecut for stable tracking,
long and explosive short turns and the now legendary Flowflex.

Just ask Brent.  I've only demoed these beasts and my real dawgs are sitting over at Butzy's waiting for
Brent to get my Gawd Damn Fischer Boots ground and punched and cambered (and of course my
broken ankle to heal).  But my bet is this is the best beast for most skiers and many NASTAR course
configurations and conditions.

Hopefully I'll get a whack at proving this in the next 2 weeks (while these uncertified pacesetters are still
running amok in the Park City area  huh.gif )  biggrin.gif

Ps; My R11's (SRA only) are still my daily drivers, I've learned to really enjoy that ski as a very stable all around
carver.

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#19 Bear

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

QUOTE (Gary Dranow @ Dec 20 2007, 08:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fischer RC4 Progressor 175  banana.gif


RC4 PROGRESSOR  
For all-round talents. The first racing ski for slalom and giant slalom. With Dual Sidecut for stable tracking,
long and explosive short turns and the now legendary Flowflex.
...


I am looking forward to your review. Will be at Park City over Christmas Holiday and I was hoping to find a pair to demo, but I haven't a clue who might have a demo pair, 180 or longer.



#20 Gary Dranow

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 09:32 AM

QUOTE (Bear @ Dec 22 2007, 11:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am looking forward to your review. Will be at Park City over Christmas Holiday and I was hoping to find a pair to demo, but I haven't a clue who might have a demo pair, 180 or longer.


We've got 'em.  The longest Progressor is 180, however, we're all skiing the 175.  Actually I haven't seen a pair of the 180's around yet, its kinda of like the Lock Ness Monster.

Get in touch with me when you are here, I'll find you a pair of Progressors to ski and if my ankle will hold together, poke around with you a bit wink.gif

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