Pete Vwrote a review of Surface New Life Ski on January 20, 2011
This is a pretty rad pair of skis. I thought I'd have a pair of Gotamas as my hard pack skis and these as my soft ski and every time I take both skis I end up on these. And I like my Gotamas.
The New Lifes are big and rockered but they handle speed well even on hard pack. They always stay up in the deep stuff and I can tele in some snow types that before I would sink in if I dropped a knee. The symmetrical side cut is a bit wierd at first but it seems to hook up nice in tele turns. The three stage rocker is fun. They float good everywhere and turn easily. Every (small and insignificant) attempt to do anything switch seems to work fine. They are very turnable in reverse though I am going forward 99.9% of the time. They perform much better at speed and I have yet to find a speed limit when the snow is good.
I had a hard time figuring out where to mount them tele. They skied wierd with a centered stance and on the lift the tails just dangled from my tip toes. Mounted way back at balance point,They skied the deep stuff really well but seemed to washout on harder stuff. At ball of foot at center running length, they skied everything well. This is about 3 inches behind the the centered alpine stance on the ski. This spot puts the binding on the middle of the sidecut which seems to feel more normal and the swing weight is better.
I ski BD O1s on them and like to kind of loosen them up a bit. With no camber there is not as much need for a super active tele binding in my opinion. They seem to put me kind of high off the ski which is weird with this wide of a ski, but I love the touring mode. I think these would be really fun with an old pair of light, flat cable bindings right on the ski with absolutely no riser. They are wider than my whole boot so I think they'd still get up on edge without a problem. . . but no tour mode.
Bottom line. They are a fun charging ski for free heeling. They turn really easy in the trees and beg to go faster when it opens up. They definitely take some getting used to but are rad once you have them dialed. They are 122 underfoot but they are very light for their size. Breaking trail is easier because the rocker but they are so big alot of snow can get carried on the top sheet if you are not careful.
The bases seem kind of soft and kind of slow if not waxed regularly but not terrible. . The tips and tails are very wide so they tend to knock and hang up on each other occasionally but in the deep, they really keep you up when you want them to.