kayakercon2306685

kayakercon2306685

kayakercon2306685

kayakercon2306685 wrote a review of on February 21, 2012

Crazy Versatile for such a big gun!
5 5

For reference, I'm an advanced skier who skis backcountry 95% of the time. I'm driving the 190 cm Highballs with G3 Onyx mounted dead centre. I also regularly ski Dynafit Manaslus for ski-mountaining and long tours, and I just came off the G3 Fever. I've skied many other similar skis to the Highball, such as the Rossi Super 7s, BD Zealot and Volkl Katana.

But to the point: The Highballs are just mind-blowing! I have been out on them 6 times in the backcountry in many different conditions, and once at the resort on the groomers, and they just continue to amaze every time. On wide open powder slopes they just destroy. And they are somehow just like racing skis on the groomers.

Yesterday we were skiing 45-50 degree pitches where the snow had sloughed and then consolidated, and you didn't really want to mess up. The titinal underfoot made sure the Highballs just ate that crud for lunch. Then we hit some trees with deep powder and pillows galore. The Highballs are awesome in tight trees due to the full-rocker shape that allows you to make tight smear turns and scrub off speed really quickly-- my 190s feel more like a 180 in the trees and I never feel out of control. In deep powder they are just amazing--The tails don't hook like S7s and you never get tip dive. You can just open it up and rail.

And when jumping pillows and small cliffs they just provide the best landing platform-- they just suck up impacts and let you ski out the landing with confidence. The Highballs are just super playful- you can pop up so easily, and landing and skiing switch is fairly easy. I also want to jib everything in sight now!

I like them better then the Rossi Super 7s for sure just because the tail doesn't hook and the tails don't wash out on you when you get in the back seat. The only thing to be aware of is that this is a full-rocker ski: these monsters are born to just open it up. So if you are skiing steep spines or slopes, they will get sideways on you if you let them and you will slide a bit (think like jibbing). But that is how they are designed, so this is not a knock on these skis. Really it gives you good control if you want to ease up and carefully negotiate steep terrain. But really these skis are designed to turn down the fall-line full throttle.

The engineers really nailed it with this ski-- full credit to them! If you want a big mountain gun, that somehow makes tight trees seem easy, then this is the ski! This ski really deserves to get more attention. I honestly feel it is better than the Rossi Super 7s and that is supposed to be the "best" big mountain gun out there. It is not as stiff as the Katanas, but the Katanas have a full metal top sheet that make them not nearly as nice as the Highball to lug up the mountain. But I never really felt the Highballs were lacking in stiffness- they just inspire confidence for me. They are fine for the backcountry- I just did 4 days averaging 2000m a day and they weren't bad at all. Bottom line-- get on these skis and you will not be disappointed!

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kayakercon2306685

kayakercon2306685 wrote a review of on January 11, 2012

4 5

This jacket makes me look like a city slicker stallion and keeps me plenty warm waiting for the train on my commute or hitting the pub. Overall, great jacket. Only note is that while it fits well in the shoulders, the lower portion of the jacket is a bit more baggy than I anticipated. I think this is to accommodate the oversized pockets. Anyways, my lady-friend says it looks totally normal for this style of jacket-- I'm just used to the athletic fit of my Patagucci ski jackets I guess...

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