Scranton, PA. Elk Mountain, PA.
Coming from the east and being light (150lb), this is a midfat ski for me that is saved for good snow conditions (the presence of regular natural snow). Having skied it out West, it does well in mixed conditions. It has a nice medium flex for the spring bumps, but is rigid enough for narrow steeps of varying quality up to hardpack. Very good on crud and chunky snow. Works well for its waist in powder with my weight at 175cm, but one thing that does disappoint me is the very low rise in the tip of this ski compared to other skis. Using it for touring is great if you're second in line. Granted anyone who is touring and breaking trail is going to have a tougher go at it than those in the back of the line, the Havoc could still afford to go about 1cm higher. Similar skis go a little higher and have a tip shape that is more efficient at breaking ground. The ability to crest above shallow windblown snow segments or a few inches of heavy powder, going up or downhill, would only help this ski.
22 Designs realizes that tele skiers have completely different styles and preferences, and the Hammerhead does the best job of satisfying everyone. On any day skiing at a big mountain, one can go from skiing open bowls of powder to doing a 30 minute traverse leading to steep, tight and crusty chutes. With the hammerhead, you can use setting 2 for that free neutral feeling in the powder to optimize the joy of exploring your stance, switch to 1 for low resistance on the traverse, and then switch to 4 or 5 for the terrain where you need active response from the edges. Switching positions takes no longer than one minute (less with a pointy tool and practice), and it can be done with your skis on. Another reviewer described the hammerhead positions relative to other bindings. It's like skiing with a quiver of bindings.
They're pricier, a bit heavier, a little harder to mount than many other bindings, but their versatility is a huge payoff. You can also experiment with different styles of tele, a nice plus for anyone looking to improve their skiing. My only gripe is that the toe-piece digs in and makes a mark on the top of the duckbill. It's only superficial though, not enough to impact your performance.
I don't wear these for running, but for hiking, cross training and every day use, they are great.
pros- fit narrow feet well. Great waterproofing. The lacing system gives a fast and tight fit (important in the rain and snow where your hands might slip while lacing conventional laces, or the laces themselves might freeze and slide out of a knot.)
cons- the laces, when they break, aren't very fun to replace. You could try to use conventional laces, which I'm sure would work just fine, but if you want the same convenience and order a pair of replacement kevlar laces, make sure you read instructions online and set aside a good 30 minutes. I've broken three laces (2 on this pair, and one on a previous Salomon model). Because the laces are so thin and wire like, they've ripped through two of the loops that hold the laces in place. Once that happens, you can wear them around, but you can't run or hike in them.
I like the length for touring, and shorten them up for the downhill. The carbon bottom swings nicely and has enough flex to with. I'm 5'7", they have all of the range of length I need. I use them as a resort pole as well, shortening them on mogul runs where the carbon bottom really pays off. My only gripe is that I did have the bottoms release on me a few times before I tightened the screw where the lock is located. Once I fine tuned the screw, I haven't had that problem again.
The two skis were different graphics last year. The Graphics were supposed to be inspired by images of the Filmore shows back in the 60's or 70's. One of the skis had an image of a man whom many believed looked like Jimi Hendrix, thus, because his image is copyrighted, K2 was forced to replace that ski. Now they are both the same graphics.
I'm thinking of getting a pair of these and mounting with tele bindings. How well do these hold an edge on early morning hardpack? Not that I'll get them for that purpose, just wondering since it's such a soft flex. Also, where can I find weights on these skis?
These skis will work well for the kind of skiing you described. They are stable and you won't get tossed. They are heavy (the weight listed is per ski) so keep that in mind. Also, as we've all learned, the topsheets will get chewed up. Some other stable skis with waist closer to what you used to ski are the G3 Tickets and Volkl T-Roll, those skis might also be better at biting the ice we ski here. At this price ($263) the Piste Pipes are a great deal, though 159cm will be too short for you.
These clasps spin out of your grip very easily when you're trying to open them with gloves on. I inevitably have to remove my gloves every time I want to buckle in. Not worth the hassle.
I don't think any tele skier enjoys having to hook into a leash, it's just a manual task we've all become accustomed to that seems to take more energy than 200 lunges downhill. I'm in and out of my bindings 10 times a day doing patrol chores, so I've become picky about the leashes I use. I switch between two pairs of skis, one with the G3 leash and one with the BD leash. I can consistently get in and out of the BD leashes with my gloves on and without hassle. I spend about half the time with them as I do with the G3 leashes. They are easy and reliable. I'm replacing the G3 leashes with the BD leashes.
I have these mounted with G3 Targas and using Garmont EnerG boots. I've used em on soft corn snow, a few inches of powder and lots of hardpack here in PA. They turn quickly for their length and are great at short radius turns. They are very stable at high GS speeds on hardpack, much more so than K2 skis I've used in the past. No chatter whatsoever. Because of the asymmetrical sidecut, you get the most out of the technology by driving the uphill ski. It takes a few days to get used to this, you need strong pressure, but not for as long as you might be used to. I've caught a few edges at first by driving the uphill ski for too long into the turn. Once you get the feel for it, it's a great carver. The topsheet is also very durable, No nicks or scratches after banging them into toboggans and into each other. Would love to have the powder to test them on, but great ski for 90% of PA skiing conditions.
I bought this jacket for my girlfriend before the winter started. She is perpetually cold, and layering underneath a shell just wasn't cutting it. We get frequent mixed conditions (Sleet, Snow, Ice, Rain, and brutal cold) in the winter, and so always carrying a waterproof coat to replace a non-waterproof puffy coat would be annoying. I'm happy to report that she wears this coat every day, in barely freezing downpours and frigid snowy days, and absolutely loves it. She wears it skiing and has no issues with arm mobility or lower back becoming exposed, and the cut is trim enough to flatter without appearing overly puffy. The hood is very protective and eliminates the need for a neckwarmer. I wish my own puffy coat was as durable and waterproof as hers.
I first learned to ski on Rottafellas and K2 Super Stinx, and bought these G3 bindings to put on the K2 Piste Pipes. At first the G3 binding felt sloppy, but after time, I realized that I was sloppy. As I've gained experience, I've realized there is a lot of feel and touch in this binding, you can micro-adjust your stance and immediately feel the difference. My Rottafellas don't have that same feel. I think the G3 is a great binding for anyone who wants to experiment with their stance and improve. I ski it hard on the ice, bumps and in powder and it does everything I ask of it. I have snapped a cable at the hinge in the toe piece, due to the metal hoop getting banged and becoming sharp. The replacement cable is about $15.
Im a 5'7" 150lb skier in PA, WV and New England. I bought 170cm last year with the Targa T9 bindings and used in some epic snow at Alta over Easter. These things floated nicely in a foot or two of pow, and I was so glad I had them. They are stable at fast speeds on the groomers and can edge well on the steeps, and landing jumps is so easy. My other ski is the Super Stinx. Piste Pipes aren't quite as snappy in the moguls, which is why I rate a 4, but the bumps out west are so consistent, that they work great as an all mountain ski out there if you travel but don't live there. I would personally prefer a hardwire instead of T9 binding on this ski just for added stability and power.
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