Testing skis so you don't have to.
- Mar 5, 2017
Size Tester: 177cm
Location: Palisades Tahoe/Mammoth
Conditions: Spring refrozen to corn
Philpug: Talk about a “tail” of two skis. I had high hopes for the PC 77. I loved the dimensions at 130/77/112, nearly identical to one of my favorite skis, the Blossom AM77/SkiTalk Sideral at 131/77/111, but with a beefier construction and mounted with a Vist Speedlock. What’s not to like? Well, at first, a LOT. @ScotsSkier, PrinceGrump, @DocGKR and I all got on the PC 77 at Palisades Tahoe for the first day of testing and quite frankly, none of us liked nor could mesh with this 77 mm All Mountain ski. We moved the binding up, we moved it back; none of us could figure the PC 77 out. Terms like truck-like, disconnected and unbalanced rang through the testers under a cloud of disappointment. Honestly, this group of testers should have been able to figure the ski out, but we couldn't.
I had a couple of options left with the ski; send it to @Drahtguy Kevin, a tester who can pound any ski into submission ... or break it trying, or remove the beefy Speedlock plate and mount the ski up flat with a Look Pivot, a binding that has worked well on other skis in this class. @Andy Mink looked at the ski and commented that not only was the ski overly sharp, but it was razor sharp from the tip of the tip to the tail of the tail. This allowed a third option to arise: retune the ski. I measured the ski with my SVST bevel meter and sure enough the ski was flat, but the side bevel was all over the place. At that point I put on a .5° base bevel, and with my TOKO World Cup electric bevel, I did a 2° side bevel two passes with a medium disc then two passes with the ultra fine). After cleaning the ski back up and rewaxing it, I held my breath and took it out again.
Holy &^%*. This is the ski we expected. Like the other Lusti skis we have been testing, smooth and powerful and none of the truck-like feel that we experienced a day prior, unless you consider a BMW X4 M a truck. That’s what the PC 77 felt like after some love, a BMW SUV that was M-assaged. The turn-in and how the ski held through every turn is extremely confidence inspiring.
- Insider tip: Check the tune. I jest, IMHO this was a one-off issue.
- One thing I would change: A warning label. "Lighter/finesse skiers need not click in.”
Andy Mink: After riding the MP77 a day or so ago and the Blossom AM77 yesterday, I hopped on the PC77 today in similar conditions. This ski is no joke on the groomers. It feels slightly slower to engage than the MP77 or Blossom AM77 but, once laid over, it is tenacious. There is no tip wobble as it trenches through the softer groomers that we've been blessed with at Mt. Rose. On steeper terrain it bites hard and holds on the wind scoured hard chalk. It can still be slid around but much prefers to be on edge. At first I felt it was about the same as the MP77 until I realized I was on the same run making similar turns in similar conditions but at a noticeably faster clip. The Performance Carver is so smooth that speed can be a bit deceptive.
While it is not necessarily a hard ski to ski, it is not as forgiving as the MP77. It has a powerful tail that, when used correctly, stores a lot of energy for the next turn. If you're not ready for that energy release it could cause problems. The nice thing is you don't need to drive it; it will make easy, longer radius turns but then you'd be missing the best part. A skilled pilot will not be disappointed with the PC77s capabilities on groomers. I didn't get a chance to try it elsewhere on the mountain but then, why? I was grinning ear to ear, turn to turn.
@Angus Grizzly: Hey Andy, I just spent 4 days on the PC77 (in a 177 length) on snow that was mainly scraped off hard pack with icy patches and occasionally some softer nicer stuff at the highest elevations. I also own a pair of Blossom AM77s in 170. I totally agree with your analysis. The PC77s are an amazing ski for the price, very strong and well damped. Vs the AM77s they are stronger and need more input to carve at their stated radius. For me (5'10" & 160lbs) I need to be moving pretty fast for them to flex into their 15m radius. Definitely more rapidly than on the Blossoms. You can release the tails pretty easily on both these skis so you don't HAVE to be going fast but the PC77, for me, needs some beans for it to be in its "happy place". The AM77s also feel a bit livelier under my feet. Some of this is probably down to 170 vs 177 length but I suspect it is also in part the Blossom build. At my size and weight the AM77 might be the better bet but there is something addictive about the stability of PC77 when travelling at speed.
- Who is it for?
- Stronger skiers that feel most of the skis in this class are a little too warm and fuzzy.
- Who is it not for?
- Lighter, more finesse skiers; no worries, there is the MP 77 or the Blossom AM77
- Skier ability
- Ski category
- All Mountain
- Ski attributes