Long and heavy charger skis

AngryAnalyst

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Probably posted this up thread a few years ago. But bears repeating. I think there alot more stout am skis that can be charged on, than there are purpose built as chargers - well suited for charging in "all" conditions. Sometimes a good am ski is all you really need.

Another point is that to me charging is really an open terrain thing. If the lines get smaller the skis I want for charging changes - a lot. Want a much slarvier ski for the chutes than in the bowls.
I do like that way of differentiating chargers. Out of curiosity, what would you put into the purpose built charger category? To me the "obvious" recent includes are the M-Pro 105 and Sender Squad. I'm not sure about stuff like a Mantra 102, Katana 108 or Cochise.

It's also true the real big guns kind of suck in tight terrain. It sounds kind of dumb and/or insultingly obvious to say it out loud but I do think there's at least as much variance in optimal skis for terrain as there is in optimal skis for snow pack, despite the snowpack stuff getting most of the attention. I would choose different skis for Highlands and Crested Butte, I suspect the same is true for almost everyone.
 

tromano

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I do like that way of differentiating chargers. Out of curiosity, what would you put into the purpose built charger category? To me the "obvious" recent includes are the M-Pro 105 and Sender Squad. I'm not sure about stuff like a Mantra 102, Katana 108 or Cochise.

It's also true the real big guns kind of suck in tight terrain. It sounds kind of dumb and/or insultingly obvious to say it out loud but I do think there's at least as much variance in optimal skis for terrain as there is in optimal skis for snow pack, despite the snowpack stuff getting most of the attention. I would choose different skis for Highlands and Crested Butte, I suspect the same is true for almost everyone.
I think you're on the right track. I have been on Head monsters im103 ~2007 vintage and then monster 98s 2015 vintage as my purpose built chargers. I added an M6 Mantra last year as a successor to the Monster 98s. But I think the M6 is more of a stout AM ski that can charge. Don't have much direct experience on 102 Mantra or Katana for how they may differ.

I have always thought of the Blizzard Bones and Cochise as being pretty focused as charger skis but I don't have much recent demo experience with them.

I ski Snowbasin regularly which is about as much open windblown terrain as a resort gets in UT and also has a lot of groomer skiing back to the lift. I have chose more 9X charger skis for that reason. If I skied altabird more, I would probably be looking at adding a wider charger, for sure.
 
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chris_the_wrench

chris_the_wrench

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Don't have much direct experience on 102 Mantra or Katana for how they may differ.

I have always thought of the Blizzard Bones and Cochise as being pretty focused as charger skis but I don't have much recent demo experience with them.

I skied the mantra 102 as my everyday ski last year. I was surprised by how easy it turned in tight trees and bumps, but it had abit more crud deflection than I was expecting though. Overall a real fun ski.

This years daily will be the cochise, Im really curious how those two skis will compare.
 

ski otter 2

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For lighter weight skiers, there are other skis that work for charging that might not work for bigger guys, dunno.
Last season I found that the 194 Salomon Blank 112 is such a ski, for me:
very stable charging, just tears up uneven variable and busts crud; and yet is able to be thrown sideways to scrub speed,
and do similar more playful things, that make it a real option for a lot of good skiers. Fun and versatile.
Anybody out there tried these things also?
* * * * *

I agree about the two charger skis @AngryAnalyst mentioned as being in a whole different class from the other skis being mentioned.

But I'd like to add that the Sender Squad may well be mostly an exception to his rule that a true charger is mostly less versatile and maneuverable
in narrow spaces (as is the K2 Pettitor, mostly).

I do really wish someone here had taken me up on finding out what the Sender Squad can do. I'd like to hear about it.
(I demoed it but did not think to shift it forward.)

The Black Ops Sender Squad 112 was meant to also be more versatile than one might guess,
by way of shifting its mount point forward for different uses.
As I've posted before, on a Blistergear podcast, when the Sender Squad first came out,
the top Rossi hard goods designer/manager (a big guy) talked about how
if you move that ski forward, even as a bigger guy, it becomes "turny."
It transforms.

There are other skis that do this, but not many, in my experience.
The only two others I know of, as I've also posted before, are the Rossi Black Ops 118 (for smaller skiers),
and the old K2 Pettitor, whose longer length 190 version was designed to fit the big mountain skiing of Seth Morrison,
a mid-weight elite skier.
Taking advantage of moving the dang things forward, however (as I'd been told to try by K2 reps),
I found this ski becomes easy for a lot of folks to handle, very playful and forgiving. But still bombproof, any speed.

Seth told a friend of mine, going up on the lift, that he shifted that and another K2 ski from the rec. mount point, +4.5 cm. forward.
(I found +3 cm to +4 cm good for me.)

(Man, he was incredible to watch at Loveland Basin, here in Colorado.
He took incredible lines on narrow steeps and steep, narrow mogul fields, every run down that mountain - on that and similar skis. )

Thinking of the BO Sender Squad for myself, as an older guy, it's probably not a good idea for me, to go for an almost SG ski
that at its rec. mount point skis in its easy comfort zone some 20 mph faster
than the comfortable zone of any other recreational ski around (except the M Pro 105, maybe).
I'd do this in the hope that as it gets "turny" moved more forward, it may - probably - become also more versatile
in terms of speed and maneuverability.
But I really am trying to keep it down to GS speeds, at this point. That's fast enough for an old guy. :)
 
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GregK

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Also find the “true chargers” pretty limited in their versatility although the current ones are definitely improved. Even the new M-Pro 108 with it’s increased tail splay, decreased weight and lower turn radius should make it much better off piste and more fun below 50mph than the M-Pro 105.

I prefer “playful chargers” that mix the heavier weight, long effective edge and higher turn radius of a true charger with a more progressive mount point, more forgiving flex pattern and twin tail for ease off piste. It’s shocking how little you give up sometimes in top end/groomer performance on these skis yet the off piste and fun factor is much better.

Would rather a 192cm Black Ops 110mm(when it comes out!) or 190cm 21 CT 3.0 over most of the true chargers near that width as I can ski the entire mountain in any conditions and still have fun. Same with the narrower 21 CT versions that hang with the Bonafide 97 or Brahma 88 yet I have a much bigger grin skiing them!

Haven’t been on the Blank but have flexed it at the shop and was surprised by how soft the tips/tails were, how tapered it is, how much rocker it has and how low the turning radius is. Bet it would be an absolute blast in tight trees in powder! Solid 2300gr plus weight in the 194cm so I would bet it’s suspension is quite good too.
The 191cm Faction Prodigy 4.0 would have a similar weight, flex pattern and taper but with less rocker and a longer(24m) turning radius. Wouldn’t be quite as surfy as the Blank but more willing to go straight in open bowls I bet.
 

AngryAnalyst

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Last season I found that the 194 Salomon Blank 112 is such a ski, for me:
very stable charging, just tears up uneven variable and busts crud; and yet is able to be thrown sideways to scrub speed,
and do similar more playful things, that make it a real option for a lot of good skiers. Fun and versatile.
Anybody out there tried these things also?

I spent a few hours on the Blanks in the 194 length. I was pretty beat up by that part of the day and week, so I’m not sure I can give you a fair assessment. That said, I would echo most of what you wrote. The Blanks are definitely more playful, maneuverable and floatier in powder than most skis with comparably good stability and suspension. I had some trouble figuring out the mount with the fairly substantial flex and firming up bumps at end of day, but I’m not sure if that was me or the skis.

Overall, to me the standout attribute of the Blank is that it's much more versatile than most skis with the top end it has. I have also heard people like it as a powder ski for higher density coast snow which makes sense - I am sure the Blank is much better than an M-Pro 105 as a powder ski and I bet it would float better than a Squad.

Haven’t been on the Blank but have flexed it at the shop and was surprised by how soft the tips/tails were, how tapered it is, how much rocker it has and how low the turning radius is. Bet it would be an absolute blast in tight trees in powder! Solid 2300gr plus weight in the 194cm so I would bet it’s suspension is quite good too.

The weirdest part of the Blank to me on paper is the radius but I didn't notice it on my feet much. My suspicion is part of the maneuverability the ski has comes from it's generous taper and this (through reduced running length) constrains the radius of the ski. Abstractly, I would think a longer radius Blank would be an interesting experiment if you did it by widening the waist a bit or shrinking the widest points of tip/tail down, even though I don't generally love taper I sort of wonder if moving the contact points out instead would kill the maneuverability.

I do really wish someone here had taken me up on finding out what the Sender Squad can do. I'd like to hear about it.
(I demoed it but did not think to shift it forward.)

Working on it! ;) My pair is tuned but unmounted, sort of debating whether to mount something with a track so I can fiddle with the mount point for "science."

Interestingly, I was out with a brand rep for a manufacturer (not Rossi) while I was on the Blank and he was on the Squad. My recollection is the brand rep felt the Squad was an unnecessarily large gun for the conditions we were skiing at the time and he was looking at the Blank a bit enviously after particularly bumpy sections.
 

ski otter 2

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I had some trouble figuring out the mount with the fairly substantial flex and firming up bumps at end of day, but I’m not sure if that was me or the skis.

Overall, to me the standout attribute of the Blank is that it's much more versatile than most skis with the top end it has. I have also heard people like it as a powder ski for higher density coast snow which makes sense - I am sure the Blank is much better than an M-Pro 105 as a powder ski and I bet it would float better than a Squad.
........

Working on it! ;) My pair is tuned but unmounted, sort of debating whether to mount something with a track so I can fiddle with the mount point for "science."

Interestingly, I was out with a brand rep for a manufacturer (not Rossi) while I was on the Blank and he was on the Squad. My recollection is the brand rep felt the Squad was an unnecessarily large gun for the conditions we were skiing at the time and he was looking at the Blank a bit enviously after particularly bumpy sections.
Can't wait to hear about it, IF you mount with a track for mount point experimentation.

I agree about the Blank 194 comparatively, as you described.

But on the Sender Squad, one thing about this is that such a ski has more than one dialed in mount point - for different uses:
two skis at least built into one, for the price of one.

That brand rep on the Squads - if he had known about that ski's at least two different options, in the situation you described, the problem would probably have been solved, big grins, if he had just "moved it forward." Or so I'm guessing, based on the Rossi boss comments.

Whether this is so is what I want to find out, you see. :D
And if it's so, one might want to have the option of going to both settings, at different times, not just for initial adjustment.

(I know that with the Pettitor 190s it would have been problem solved, in most situations other than long, uniform big bump fields or long sections of tight "roller-coaster" packed out trees, where the Pettitor would have been limited by its weight if one wanted that much uneven turniness for a prolonged time - too tiring and slightly awkward, for most. I say this also knowing that many elite skiers would not have this problem.)

(The Pettitor actually has three great built in skis in one:
- straight-forward SG charger, much more ski than the Blanks;
- playful, more maneuverable charger [SG to between GS & SL] with tip drive feel that can be precisely calibrated by mount point;
- and freestyle ski that does not have tip drive, is great for switch and flipping in deep powder especially, and thus is crazy playful, in a good, stable way still, just barely.

If I had to pick just one of these to stick with, it would be the middle one. For the Squads, I'm hoping it has at least the first two of these options.

If it does, I'd probably buy it myself.)
 

tromano

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I spent a few hours on the Blanks in the 194 length. I was pretty beat up by that part of the day and week, so I’m not sure I can give you a fair assessment. That said, I would echo most of what you wrote. The Blanks are definitely more playful, maneuverable and floatier in powder than most skis with comparably good stability and suspension. I had some trouble figuring out the mount with the fairly substantial flex and firming up bumps at end of day, but I’m not sure if that was me or the skis.

Overall, to me the standout attribute of the Blank is that it's much more versatile than most skis with the top end it has. I have also heard people like it as a powder ski for higher density coast snow which makes sense - I am sure the Blank is much better than an M-Pro 105 as a powder ski and I bet it would float better than a Squad.



The weirdest part of the Blank to me on paper is the radius but I didn't notice it on my feet much. My suspicion is part of the maneuverability the ski has comes from it's generous taper and this (through reduced running length) constrains the radius of the ski. Abstractly, I would think a longer radius Blank would be an interesting experiment if you did it by widening the waist a bit or shrinking the widest points of tip/tail down, even though I don't generally love taper I sort of wonder if moving the contact points out instead would kill the maneuverability.



Working on it! ;) My pair is tuned but unmounted, sort of debating whether to mount something with a track so I can fiddle with the mount point for "science."

Interestingly, I was out with a brand rep for a manufacturer (not Rossi) while I was on the Blank and he was on the Squad. My recollection is the brand rep felt the Squad was an unnecessarily large gun for the conditions we were skiing at the time and he was looking at the Blank a bit enviously after particularly bumpy sections.
The new qst 106 is a longer radius narrower blank. I just got a pair of 189s and its gonna be my powder day ski.
 
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