Crystal Mountain Washington
I owned these boots and sold them.
The plus is that they are stiff and have a lot of Range of Motion in the walk mode. They ski pretty well.
The Bad...for me
The liners are a piece of junk, just figure that those will be sold right away and replaced.
The foot buckles go right over and press down over the nerve in your foot that will make them numb and colder.
They need to redo the liner and pull the plastic over the top of the foot more with a bulge so your feet don't fall asleep.
Avoid the BD Quadrant IMO.
The liners are lame and the buckles over the lower foot press into the nerve on my foot making them numb. Out of all my boots, never had an issue with buckle related numb foot.
Keep looking, I know the Scarpas are for wide feet and the Technica Cochise, but are more weighty.
This is the ski that Arnie Backstrom helped develop. As a matter of fact the whole lineup of Blizzards "Flipcore" skis kick ass on the hill.
I skied several days on these in varied conditions.
The Bonafide is a go to ski for between storm skis. It really holds an edge on the hard stuff and does not have the dramatic useless flopping material of a reverse camber ski. It carves as good as any ski I have been on and is so quick under foot I can do the Ali Shuffle at nearly any moment. They hold their own on high speeds and cut up the chop real well. Buy longer than what you would get normally, they ski short. I skied a 180 and normally I ski on skis nearly 200cm long. They skied surprisingly stable, but I would get on the 187 for my own gear.
If you need more underfoot for the pow I highly recommend trying the other skis that Blizzard has that I tested like the Cochise or Bodacious. Both of those are also kick ass big mountain boards.
I bought a pair of 191 skins from here. The service is always great.
The skins perform well compared to the BD Ascensions that I used. The Ascensions had zero glide, but I did not expect much for such a wide ski. I Bought Dynafit's Speedskin and the skin was half the foldable size of BD, 4oz lighter, covered more of the ski, and had reasonable glide for their width. Maybe BD's Mohair skins or combo's may be more cost effective and the glue will be better than Dynafit's which I would rate as moderate.
The Speedskin plush gets dented and scraped when crossing branches and rock on the usual backcountry terrain. I question the long term durability. Also I live in the PNW and I'm not sure how effective the glue will be when it gets soaked. I have toured in colder snow and sun warmed snow and the grip on the uphill seems effective to me. The tip attachment is pretty simple to remove the ski once I figured out the best technique to do that. I'm holding on these and cutting down my BD Ascensions for a narrower board.
Title says it all. The boot shell is great, light and sturdy. The walk mode is really excellent. The buckles can be a PIA at times with the hooks, but patience prevails. I don't like the way the buckles pressure the top of my foot, it kind of cuts off circulation to the foot. The stock liners have all the potential to be great, but only if you like super cushy liners. I can't get the tension where the boot feels solid to ski without always over tightening to compensate for the super cushy feel. BD needs to just put an Intuition liner, like a Luxury Liner in the boot and call it good. Also, the heel hold feels good in the boot with the stock liners, but my heel/liner tends to slide up when skiing the stock liner.I just use my liner for my Scarpa TX-pro NTN in the boot, and it seems to work without having to buy a whole new liner :) The wrap liners reduce the range of motion walking compared to the tongue liner, but not too significantly.Overall the ski mode is just solid, better than expected and it drives the fatter skis like my Stokes. If I had to buy again I would certainly weigh the fact that the liners suck so add the cost of a new liner to the retail cost of the boot and as others said the sizing is a little mystifying. I have a narrow heel and low volume ankle with a D size foot. It seems to favor low volume ankles and wider feet, but not too wide a foot IMO. Also, skinning is great on these with another liner, the shin pressure is not an issue even in steeper tracks.
Best to get a review on here other than Greg Hill's. :)
I am one of the last Mohican's to get away from the narrow touring ski. I did not like the idea of using up 1/3rd of my pack space with touring skins.
Let me tell you it is well worth the lost space. This Stoke ski is by far the best powder ski I have ever skied on, in 35 years of BC touring, that is forever for some of the kids out there.
I got the 182's late last spring and skied Mt Adams, skied great, but they were to short for me (6'4"-210# aggressive skier). I waited and waited and got the 191cm. Sold the 182's. The rocker reduces the running length for me by at least 5cm.
That is the best move I ever made the 191's shine for a guy my size. Even touring the kick turns are easy, easy, easy.
The turn radius is very subjective to the conditions. These can place the tightest of turns on a powder face and dash through the tight trees with ease. Or for the new schoolers they can open them up and not have a problem at all.
I have found them to be pretty solid on the carve-able groom, the tips shake a bit, but don't effect the ski experience. They really load up in a turn and pop for a wide board! They hold an edge on the ice too, but become more squirrelly in the tips when real firm snow is being tamed.
I have them matched with FT's and BD Quadrant boots. I have used the Scarpa TX-Pros (NTN Tele) even on this rig and they tour great and ski fine in powder.
The weight of the setup is 2# lighter than my 88 waist skis. I put Ascension skins on these and they climb like a goat, but lack the glide on the flats and small downhill shots. I would love to compare mohair to these and see the difference.
The insert system is a little fickle. Even hand/finger tightening with a Pozi-3 I had issues with one of the front screws turning into a spinner. Errr...
Don't hesitate if you are on the fence between the Manaslu or the Stoke. The Stoke will not let you down.
Don't waste your time with other stuff. Just crush the piggy bank, suck it up and make the purchase. For those weighing this to the FT 12-I am 6'4" and easily 210#'s with the gear on and I have not had a problem at all with a 10 DIN. I ski pretty darn aggressive and in some pretty non-compromising situations. Not sure why one would need a 12 DIN? So if your hucking hospital air on these I think there will be a whole set of new problems with just the toe pincers.
I love this pack.
I have a pile of packs that go unused as day trippers.
But this one is real efficient.
Fits shovel with handy handle clip on the side of the pack, loops for ice ax if needed. Will hold a down sweater, sweater, winter gloves, spring gloves, skins, goggles, vest, lightweight gore pant and jacket and still has room for snacks, lunch and water.
The hydration sleeve is on your back and the insulated sleeve works effectively. As the other reviewer said, it can be an inconvenience, if I don't plan on getting the hydration mouth piece in the right location, but a minor inconvenience at worst. It is the right size for me. It's a little hassle getting the skis on the pack with a shovel, but the system works. I like the pack straps have a webbing attachment to the pack so they flip over easily to access the water reservoir.
It is a well thought out pack and worth every penny you pay for this daytripper.
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