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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on December 24, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So the first generation Guardians had durability issues, and I think they've been resolved, since I've had no problems with my 2nd gens. Granted, they don't ski like a true alpine binding, and the stack height is still higher than I'd like. In comparison to the dukes I used for years, they're definitely an upgrade. I broke 2 pairs of dukes, and have sworn off marker forever.

They're marginally lighter than the dukes, and easier to push uphill. You also don't have to take them off to flip into hike mode, which is nice. Sometimes I encounter an ice buildup problem in the heelpiece when engaging hike mode, but a few whacks with a pole does the trick. They keep you locked in with their high din rating, and I haven't pre-released yet.

Sure they're heavy, but they're perfect for quick tours or sled accessed stuff. It's the downhill performance that matters though, right? So until something better comes along, these will do fine.

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on December 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Change is scary for me, so when Rossi took these off the market a few years back, I freaked. Due to the collective panic among freeskiers, they brought em back, and they're as bomb-proof as ever. Sure they're heavy, but I'd rather have a binding that lasts forever than a piece of plastic junk that could fail unexpectedly. Bang them up all you want, it won't alter their performance. Think of it as an investment. You can keep swapping these out, long after you've destroyed they skis you mount them on.

I mount these on all my skis, besides my touring setup. I'm anxiously awaiting the day when Look/Rossi designs a touring capable binding with a pivot heel...Are you listening Rossi?! They won't release unless you absolutely need to, no matter what you set your din. Get them and put them on everything.

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on December 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

4frnt hit this one out of the park. This is my 2nd pair, and I ain't looking back as long as they don't change them. As a former park rat who got curious and started venturing out of bounds, these suit my purposes perfectly. FYI: I ride the 187, mounted at 2 behind center, and am 6' and 175 lbs.

Swing weight is balanced, though the ski is far from lightweight. The profile is fully symmetrical, and the low/long rocker is better suited for the technically sound skier. The flex is definitely on the stiffer side, so you can charge and stomp with some real authority. That being said, you'd better be a strong skier, or you'll get taken for a wild ride.

I do the bulk of my skiing in the Vail backcountry with these, and it's where they really shine...deep and blower. Big multi-stage cliffs and pillow lines aren't that scary when I'm clicked into the YLE. Inbounds, they hold up exceptionally well, and hold an edge in all but the most boilerplate conditions. You can slam them into soft bumps and power through chop at high speeds, and they won't flinch.

Spinning and buttering is quite straightforward, as you'd expect from essentially an oversized park ski. The switch performance is unmatched, compared to anything else in this size range I've been on.

So, yeah...if you're a jibby skier who ventures out the gates, look no further. I also give my ringing endorsement to 4frnt as a company. In a landscape where most brands cater their designs to mediocre skiers with poor technique, 4frnt builds their skis with the top 1% in mind.

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on December 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Disclaimer; I don't own these...yet. Fortunately, however, I have the same boot in the same size as my buddy who does. He was kind enough to let me use these on a handful of days, and as you may have guessed, they were a blast. I hated on K2 for years as poorly built and soft. These are indeed quite soft and smeary, but that's what makes them so fun! Due to the soft flex and high rocker, be sure to size up...I rode the 184, and am 6' and 175.

On hardpack, they initiate an edge and hold it well, and the taper allows for quick and smooth release into the next arc. In bumps and trees, they swing around with staggering ease. Now, they really shine in softer crud and tracked out pow...they can charge! There's ample rocker, so a strong skier won't have to worry about tip dive. I'm not sure if you'd want to pick these on truly deep days, but they were exceptional in shin to knee deep stuff.

Somehow, K2 managed to nail the flex pattern, as these are soft, yet not squirrely when you point em. The swing weight is low for their size, and were actually more fun in the park than my old recoils. Spinning off catwalks is a breeze, and you can smear right out of sloppy landings.
I typically use the Faction Prodigy as my non-pow setup, and I love them. These just fit my looser style of skiing better, and I will be grabbing a pair ASAP. Don't hesitate to pull the trigger on these. You'll be buttering so much, they'll call ya Paula Deen!

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on November 18, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked up a pair in 184 as a daily driver, and evidently they do it well... really well. You'll have to get on a GS ski to find a faster ride. As far as I can tell, they don't have a speed limit, at least in firmer snow conditions I've seen in the early season. I mounted them at +3, just ahead of the recommended line, with FKS 180s.

It actually took a couple runs to figure out how to make them respond, but man do they rip. They WILL take you for a ride if you don't work them though, as they want to go fast and carve long fall-line turns, but still respond very well at shorter speed, making shorter radius turns.

The tails are quite stiff for an all mountain ride, and I could see these not being for a less than advanced skier. On the upside, you can more or less point them straight through bumps, and they'll carry you out smoothly. Still, they can be turny, and are easy to pivot/slash for a stronger skier.

The noses have a moderate flex and a robust rocker profile, which led me to size up from prior 179 all mountain setups. Go longer, you'll be pleased. Due to the ample nose rocker, butters are pretty easy, and these can actually hold their own in the park. That being said, this is not a park ski, but they handled a few rails and boxes well. They're a bit heavy, and take a lot of muscle to throw around and slow down between features.

After a few initial days throwing them around in early season conditions, I'm in love, and will be using these for the bulk of my days on snow. Faction has been knocking ski design and construction out of the park for a few years now, and the Prodigy is no exception. Get a pair, and get them long!

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on December 24, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Damn, these skis are fun for pretty much anything. I was initially a bit leery of going down from 191s to a 187, but these things has a fairly stiff flex, with a very low, long rocker profile...essentially, they don't ski as short as many other pow sticks with dramatic rocker.

Coming from a park background, I mounted these at 2 back from dead center, and it's the money-spot. I can whip these things every which way, spin off rollers, and pound into landings with more confidence than I had on past skis. Their switch performance, needless to say, is superb. On groomers and harder snow, they hold an edge well and respond very cleanly at high speeds. It takes a lot to shake this ski up.

I mounted mine up with Salomon Guardians for quick tours out of the resort or up on Vail Pass, and they do the trick just fine. These guys shine the most in pow, obviously. 4frnt nailed the dimensions here...that low rocker profile and stiff flex allow me to drop the hammer and push as fast as I can. As far as I can tell, they have no speed limit in soft snow. I haven't hit any kickers with them yet, but they perform very well on cliffs and pillow drops in the backcountry.

Bottom line: if you're a freestyle-oriented skier who wants the ability to charge hard AND spin, look no further.

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a question about on July 7, 2013

OK, so I picked up a pair of these in 187, and want to figure out the right mounting point. Seeing as they're symmetrical, I was thinking about putting them at 3 back from true center. I ski switch quite a bit and like to throw 3s off cliffs, but I don't want too much tail when I get into bumps or harder crud. Any thoughts?

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on May 21, 2013

4 5

Well it's a solid jacket; good for layering under, fits to size and keeps me dry. Still, I had to treat it regularly to keep water from saturating the outer fabric...far more than I did with my last jacket (Arc'teryx). What bugged me most was the lack of pockets, particularly a sleeve pocket. I'd recommend it to most people, but I'm just tend to nitpick these things. I'll be upgrading to another fully waterproof jacket, but will keep the quantum for hiking/skinning, as it does breathe and vent exceptionally well.

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a question about on February 17, 2013

Hoping to get some thoughts....looking for a new pow ski to replace the liberty double helix I've had for 2 1/2 seasons that finally died. I'd like to have a fairly stiff, rockered twintip that I can mount around +4 or 5. I do most of my skiing in the sidecountry and backcountry in CO, as well as inbounds in Vail. I'm 6 foot, 175 and a very aggressive skier, so I'm leaning towards a 192. I've been skiing between 185 and 190 for years, but I'm concerned that 192 would be too much ski, even mounted far forward. Any thoughts???

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on February 6, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Picked these up for my all mountain/park setup, and I have no major complaints. Still, they don't do any one thing extremely well. A bit stiff for the park, but they ski fast and carve well. They have a bit much tail for hauling in the bumps, but that may just be my center-mount. They ski and land switch really well, but are definitely harder to spin and swing around than a dedicated park ski. In summation: good for most things, but not the greatest

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on November 26, 2012

5 5

I used to swear by Krypton Pros, but now I've drank the Full Tilt kool aid. After molding the liners and throwing my custom footbeds in, they've exceeded expectations. I got last year's, since my rep gave me a killer deal, but I believe they're the exact same specs. Finally got the chance to open it up on the top of Mammoth, and were unbelievably responsive and crisp. Somehow, they're very light too. In the park, it feels like I can boost bigger and transition/switch up more quickly. Dunno how else to put it...they're unlike any boot I've ever used. Crisp like a race boot but lighter and cushy

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a question about on November 26, 2012

I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm looking ahead to my next pow skis and what I ought to check out this season. I have last year's Double Helixes, which I love, but I'd like to check out something a bit more lively. I really like the long, gradual rocker, low weight and the moderately stiff flex. Last season, tried out Hellbents, Shiros and Benchetlers. The K2s were just too floppy/jibby for me, and the Volkls were a bit too heavy for spins and didn't feel great landing switch. Essentially, I'd like something in the 120 range underfoot, moderate rockered twin with decent stiffness, between 188-193cm.
Any ideas?

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csap84891

csap84891 wrote a review of on November 12, 2012

5 5

Great goggles that interface seamlessly with my receptor helmet, which my crowbars can't do. I think they tend to hug the face better when you wear them under the helmet, but it may just be me. Lenses are pretty quick to switch out...less than a minute. Simple, functional and elegant...what else can you ask for?

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