K2 710 COMP – As a full time ski instructor at Mt. Tremblant on the hill 7 days a week, I had these skis given to me from my Dad as a gift. Unknown to the K2 ski brand along wth many of my associate ski buddies, this ski rocked. Why? Sking at Mt.Tremblant is a challenge to master some steep pitch grades, on hard-packed, wind-blown ice conditions. Setting your edge was a fantastic grip-enhancing experience, with a ski that wanted to hit the fall line and execute short-radius turns all day. Most of my buddies if not all of them were skiing on Rossignol ST 650s. I loved my K2’s.
ROSSIGNOL SM / GS – After years of teaching I was fortunate to be given a pair of National Ski Team Rossignols for my recreational skiing and I skied on them at Jackson Hole, Whistler, Backcomb and Sun Valley over 2 seasons. I never experienced such a smooth, quite forgiving GS ski that handled almost every ski condition on the front side. I believe they were 208’s. I really miss that ski. I was only able to get my hands on those because I supplied the Rossignol Ski Reps with some of my companies ski anoraks, which Ken Read wore in the 1980 World Cup Circuit.
Olin Mark VII GS 208’s – Sorry, this ski actually outdoes the Rossignol SM’s. I saw these skis (unmounted) leaning against the wall of my friend’s workshop at Whistler, not knowing anything about them, but I was very aware of the Olin ski line as friends back east lived and skied only Olin. I wanted these skis badly as they were hard to come by with very limited availability in Canada and they were GS skis. I never skied on a ski that could hold a long radius turn with speed and such dampening and edge grip. It was no problem with a short radius when you needed to make it happen. I skied a lot at Whistler, Backcomb, and Sun Valley on these guys. I also took them on a heli trip in the Whistler area. I was blown away by how they handled the deep. It took some work and technique to keep these ski tips up, but man oh man, what a ski.
Kneissel RS Formel 1 – A ski I selected to use for teaching at Mt.Tremblant along with my K2 710’s. It was probably one of the coldest days in December at Tremblant and I was on this ski for a few runs in the morning. Skiing fast and hard setting edges on hard-packed snow, this ski was exhilarating Unlike the K2’s, it had a bit more of a solid feel through and through. During my last run before lunch, I got a little air on a pitch and when I landed on the snow, something felt funny. When I stopped at the end of the run, I took off my ski and was shocked to see that the outer casing of the ski had cracked around the circumference of the ski. What a bummer. When I returned it back to the supplier, they replaced it with a GS model, as they were out of stock of the RS. I missed that ski that winter, but still enjoyed my GS Kneissels.
Fischer Ranger 99Ti – Yes, Fischer! Why? That racer DNA comes through when you drive this ski as the master. Wow. Tested these last winter at Nakiska and was so blown away after the first run, I yelled out loud…”I need to get a pair of these!”. I have never said that about a ski after 1 run. So now I just have to scrape up some bucks to get a pair for this winter. Looks like it will happen next month! As a 99 underfoot ski this ski just may end up in my car every outing this year going to Kicking Horse and Norquay.