Philpug

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CAGE MATCH ???.jpg
Artwork by @Dave Petersen
After reviewing skis for for a decade and a half, we have found many ways to pass along our interpretations. One of the most common questions we get is to compare one ski directly against another; usually they are two similar skis but sometimes they are completely different. This is where reviewing multiple skis in a comparison can fall short, and the same goes for individual reviews. So, how do we assess the two skis that the skier is looking at? Cage Match Comparisons!

Our Cage Matches are meant to be informative, educational, thought-provoking, fun, and (most important) helpful. We pit similar models against each other, looking at power vs power, finesse vs finesse, power vs finesse; we look at sibling rivalries where two similar skis come from the same brand or sister companies and even the occasional tag team matches.

We are not picking a winner in these comparisons; they are intended to help skiers choose which one is the best ski for them personally. If 10 people are considering these skis, five might choose one, four might choose another, and that last wouldn’t be able to decide if the ghost of Doug Coombs himself brought down the answer from the sacred peaks of the Tetons. We also add a few alternative skis, some other options in the same class. These threads are in the community, so we welcome any questions you might have.

This is an ongoing series, and we will be adding to it especially as new models are introduced.

2020 Comparisons
Carryover from 2020 to 2021 (possibly with a graphics change)
2020 Comparisons
Carryover from 2019 to 2020 (possibly with a graphics change)
2019 Comparisons
Carryover from 2018 to 2019 (possibly with a graphics change)
2018 Comparisons
Carryover from 2017 to 2018 (possibly with a graphics change)
2017 Comparisons
 
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TimF

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How about Head Monster 88 vs Stoeckli Stormrider 88?
 

Tony S

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What about a couple sets of true hard surface groomer siblings? Pair of SL type and pair of cheater GS type?

Völkl Speedwalls vs. Rossi Heros?
 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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I absolutely LOVE this feature. I've always thought the very best reviews gave a sense of the differences b/w skis (why this one vs that one). I've already looked at all of them and I like the guidance. Keep it up.
 

markojp

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I like the novelty of the cage matches, but for me they don't really seem to replace a more in depth review that will add more specific value to gear conversations. In the short format, I'll suggest an alternative that might work well... a three ski review. There's still easy to get your head around, not all too difficult for a reviewer, and might add some complexity of a third wheel relationship. You could go inter-brand (QST 99, Vantage 100, and a Völkl 90Eight) Intra- brand (Völkl Speedwall, RTM 84, RTM86), etc... Threes seem to foster more nuance. 4 gets too long to be short, and too short to be long, and then there's the full on catalogue which is OK as well, but takes some serious time and dedication to be relevant in a crowded review marketplace. Anyhow, that's my unsolicited 2 cents. Just say ¥€$.
 

markojp

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What about a couple sets of true hard surface groomer siblings? Pair of SL type and pair of cheater GS type?

Völkl Speedwalls vs. Rossi Heros?
Tony, I'm going to write a Blizzard WRC, Rossi Hero Master, Head Rebels iSpeed Pro review/comparison when I get some iSpeed time. I also wrote an Enforcer (100) vs. Monster 98 review awhile back and will try to add a similar amount of information with the cheater GS's.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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I like the novelty of the cage matches, but for me they don't really seem to replace a more in depth review that will add more specific value to gear conversations. In the short format, I'll suggest an alternative that might work well... a three ski review. There's still easy to get your head around, not all too difficult for a reviewer, and might add some complexity of a third wheel relationship. You could go inter-brand (QST 99, Vantage 100, and a Völkl 90Eight) Intra- brand (Völkl Speedwall, RTM 84, RTM86), etc... Threes seem to foster more nuance. 4 gets too long to be short, and too short to be long, and then there's the full on catalogue which is OK as well, but takes some serious time and dedication to be relevant in a crowded review marketplace. Anyhow, that's my unsolicited 2 cents. Just say ¥€$.
Actually I have done a few already. Bonafide vs. Enforcer and Renoun Z77 vs. Z90 and there will be more coming. I chose two skis because thats what history has shown, that people tend to compare two, more than three, When three are in the question, one usually immediately gets dropped once the conversation gets started. More than that you get into full range comparisions. I really don't like ranking skis 1-10 or like when skis get scores like 8.86 or 8.42, I do not understand how one ski can be .24 better than another. For one person, that ski might be better bit for another person, not. That .24 could also make or break how that ski sells..or doen't sell.

Tony, I'm going to write a Blizzard WRC, Rossi Hero Master, Head Rebels iSpeed Pro review/comparison when I get some iSpeed time. I also wrote an Enforcer (100) vs. Monster 98 review awhile back and will try to add a similar amount of information with the cheater GS's.
This is in the works @ScotsSkier has all the information including technical specs to to a full comparison which included you mentioned plus Atomic, Elan, Fisher and Völkl.

New Völkl Mantra (fully rockered) vs the previous one (with a camber) :)
With the old Mantra four years old and the current one in it's third and very well last season, I am not sure how relivent it is anymore. Trust me, with some of the skis that are coming next season, we will be seeing quite a few 2017 vs. 2018 comparisions.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Atomic Vantage X 83Cti vs Völkl RTM 84 evo :)
Can do, will do next.

Waiting for approval...

Rossi Elite vs. Völkl Speedwall
Monster 88 vs. SR 88
BMX 105 vs. SR107


On the agenda...
Vantage X 83 vs. RTM 84
DPS Cassiar F95 vs. Enforcer 93
Salomon QST 99 vs. Vantage 100
Mantra vs. 90Eight
:popcorn:

Keep em coming.
 

markojp

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@ScotsSkier has all the information including technical specs to to a full comparison which included you mentioned plus Atomic, Elan, Fisher and Völkl.
Good enough. I'll defer.
 

markojp

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Just re-read my post about 3 way matches.... probably sounded much more critical than intended. Didn't entertain the notion of a 'one is better than the other is better than the other', just interesting comparisons of skis that often get pulled off the ski wall in a particular narrative... an E-88, a Powertrack 89, and an Nrgy 90... that sort of thing. I also wasn't proposing an unsolicited formal review for the site, just a member review. Yes, I'm a mountain rep for one of the brands, but I don't really see things as a 'my brand' or the highway thing. As in all else, skis are uniquely suited to particular narratives and skiers (size, ability, venue, etc...) Personally, I think it'd be interesting to add a 200# non-race/occasional gates performance perspective to what Scotskier comes up with which I'm sure will be good! I'll just do it in the comments.
 
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