After a few seasons of only a few AT excursions PSU students had to go and vote for Waterville Valley to receive the Student Senate Ski Package this year and dramatically heighten my need for a slightly more legit AT setup. My old G3's served me well and were a great setup at a great price for my introduction to touring.
Now they are again the first setup for a freshman at Bowdoin and I met the guy to sell them at the exact same location I met the guy I bought them from. Nice and poetic.
I was very fortunate to get a Salomon hookup through a coworkers wife who works at a nordic center. Proform is a very niiiiiiiiiice. I ended up going with the Q Series Q-98 in a 180. I needed some convincing from Dustin that 180 was the length to go. Felt long, but I've been a bit out of the ski tech game for a bit and these early rise tip/tail skis ride quite a bit shorter and Salomon even has a honeycomb tip structure that is super light and makes for low swing weight.
Also ended up finding a deal on some Tyrolia Adrenaline AT bindings through Promotive.com as well as the BCA skins making the whole setup downright affordable.
This past Thursday I got a great opportunity to get my first test run on the new boards in 4-6in of fresh powder that eventually turned into some heavier junk bumps mid day. First few runs were magnificent. Such a good ski for me. Super well rounded. Confidence inspiring at speed, great edge hold. Floats well and is surprisingly quick. Once the terrain turned a bit more variable is when they really shined, particularly compared to the K2s I've been on to date. Super stable, weren't bothered by crud at all. Held lines like a champ.
And can I just say hook free taper is GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE.
Such a simple concept but I doubt I'll ever want to ride a ski without it ever again. Basically the widest part of the sidecut is quite a bit farther from the tip than is traditionally the case. Keeps the tips from hooking in rough snow as well as the tips of the skis from getting hung up on each other when getting knocked together.
I've always had a huge problem with that with my K2s because of those damn decorative rivets they insist on putting on skis. NEVER AGAIN.
The only thing I didn't get to test is how they do in the really tight trees. My guess is there will be a slight learning curve. Because I have been on softer park-esque boards for so long I think my style in the trees has adopted a bit of a 'smear' vibe that will probably be harder to do on these skis. But with them primarily being my AT setup that scenario probably won't be too common anyhow.
Skins arrived a few days ago and I trimmed them up today. Kinda wanted to just get G3 skins again but was able to get a much better deal on the BCA's and the reviews were pretty good. They do seem like a solid skin although I definitely like the tail clip from my old G3s better and I also really appreciated the trim tool with built in offset.
I actually ended up just running the skins right to the edge and skipped doing the offset all together because it was just that annoying. I also found enough articles of people who actually don't do the offset either for various reasons so I figured what the hell. I can always trim the offset in later if I have problems.
Very much looking forward to my first tour on these bad boys.