Individual Review Two Augment Reviews, AM98, SL


Putting on skis
Jun 15, 2020
Okay, it got a bit late yesterday so new day, new thoughts.

As mentioned in part one I've been skiing a couple of days in Italy end of november. Didn't have the Augment AM98 then but brought another contender in the replacement race with me: the Enforcer104Free, could this be my 'new' Enforcer 100? In the trunk of my car for testing purposes as well, an Augment SLpro, but first:

Nordica Enforcer 104Free (104/179)
In another thread I wrote about my search to replace my much praised Enforcer 100 (MY 2019/2020). My thoughts steered me towards the new Enforcer 100 but reading reviews about them I was in doubt. Stiffer tail? Touch heavier and longer, especially in running lenghts. Do I want more Enforcer since I liked the old version so much? @GregK pointed out I was "way overthinking this" and he was right.
When I got on the Enforcer 104 it was if I got into a pair of comfortable old shoes with new soles which feel always a bit stiffer, but overall a very familiar feeling. The tail was notably stiffer en accelerating out of a turn with a bit more pressure on that tail I could feel at once these were more powerful. Not world shocking though, but the extra power was certainly there. Everything else: same fun, same smile on my face. Only thing I noticed as a downside was the twintail. With high edge angles I could feel the tail get 'hooky'/grabby. I mean it felt as if it was holding back with small tugs if you get what I mean by that. Overall: really fun ski and although I prefer this ski in the 186, this one was a keeper. Or so I thought before I bought and skied the Augment AM98.

Conclusion: if you liked the (feeling of) old Enforcer you will like the new versions. I honestly don't think the differences are that big. I haven't skied the new E100 but I can't imagine that it will ski so different that you won't like it anymore. A bit of adjusting regarding the stiffer tail that's all it takes. So yes, I was way overthinking :) .

Augment SLpro 165
This one is more difficult for me since I have no - well, very limited - experience with a SL ski. Not even with short turn carvers which are called SL. My only short turn ski is a very old Dobermann SC (MY2006). This ski is used for years for indoor skiing on bad, sandy, man made icesnow. Sometimes I took it out to the mountains if I tried a new sharpening techniques or bevel angles. So to say, my mobile lab.
On my last skiing trip before the C-misery, I skied them for a day when there was little snow and hard pistes. I sharpened them tip to tail (just for fun). To have such an agile, short turn, fast edge action ski under my feet was very funny since I hadn't ski like that for a while. That made me think that a new SL would be a welcome part of my quiver. After reading some - especially here - I got interested in an Augment. Not especially but it was on my radar by then. Luckily I stumbled on a pair of flex 5 Augment SLpro with a nice discount. So I pulled the trigger and bought myself a pair of SL's.

Well, after more than a year there was finally time for a try-out. In Italy I skied them for the first time in less than ideal condition. Low light bordering on real foggy and soft(isch) snow. Although not ideal for testing SL ski's, I could feel that these things had ample power and provided a lot of confidence. After a couple of runs I dared to let it run more freely but it scared me quick enough. They generated so much speed in so little time that I pulled the emergency brake even faster. After some drills and short high(er) speed runs, I came to the conclusion that I needed to learn and learn fast. The SLpro's were stable enough, very stable. Soft piles of snow and uneven underground are no problem for the ski. The weakest link was me, especially in the low light conditions. I did not dare to go fast enough and they do need some speed.
What can I say more about these ski's? They are smooth and quick. On a moderate steep slope, I could achieve high edge angles and turn very quickly. But as soon as thing went from moderate to fairly steep I couldn't bend them in a tight enough radius. Very quick edge to edge action resulted in a route which was too much in the fall line in stead of crossing the fall line. If I wanted to cross the fall line I couldn't carve anymore. They pick up speed so quickly that I was too slow in my actions. Perhaps I am not quick enough, perhaps I am not strong enough or I am lacking the proper slalom technique. Definitively need some practice. By the way: in discovered this on my next trip in France where the light was splendid. Sunshine all over the place so perfect sight.

Conclusion: I may have mixed feelings over these Augments, the ski's are certainly not to blame. They are good, they feel good, they are a bit too much for me for right now. The coming months will tell if I can be good enough to earn the right to ski these turn tools. I have high hopes because at the end of the day it was better than at the beginning of the day

Augment uitzicht.jpg

For the record: You can - perhaps 'need to'- read these observations with a grain of salt because - as stated before - I have very limited experience with SL ski's.

Have a nice day.
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