I posted these on TGR, but I will do so here as well.
Me: 5'9", 175lbs, 27, skiing for 20 years, 40+ days a year, blah blah blah. I like to ski fast and straight, fly through the trees and hit airs. Nothing big though, probably in the 15-25 footer range. Anyways...onto the skis....
I have been lucky to be involved with the design of this ski since the beginning and for a while definitely fell into the camp of "Don't change a fucking thing!" After two years on my first pair and through skiing other skis (original C&D had a big influence) I was definitely supportive of changing the tip shape, adding a little more rocker and lessening the rise on the tail. I originally thought it would be a true half-twin, something in between the 2011 Wrenegade and the 2011 Vicik. I was a little surprised when it came out of the box with a tail just like the Vicik. I personally don't consider that a half-twin, mini-twin at best or a slightly turned up tail is what I'd call it. After mounting them (w/Quiver Killers at P18s) I was a little hesitant to see how far back (comparatively) they were to my original Wrens, and I had those at -10 instead of -9. I was worried they might destroy me.
The first day on them unbelievable. Scott can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think my pair is any stiffer than what we be production pairs (my originals were stiffer) but the combination of the mini-twin and more tip length was amazing. They ski stiffer, carve better, and give you more confidence to charge harder. Although the running length is identical to the old ones at 162cm, the elliptical profile on the rocker allows that section of the ski to engage as if it weren't rockered at all. There is no catch or hook to speak of. I don't know what the sidecut length of the 2012 is but it is definitely longer and more noticeable. They can lay down train tracks on groomers, small moguls, crud, small children, you name it they will charge. At speed they perform no differently that Viciks on groomers, despite the extra width and better in the crud because of it. I haven't found a speed limit on them yet. The old Wrenegade was good, but the small changes to the tip shape, rocker profile and mini-twin are hugely significant. The tail will hold and lock turns extremely well and the little extra rocker in the tip will still let you scrub speed if you need to. I actually thought the Vicik would lock you in too well sometimes, but that might be my opinion.
Kip mentioned that going back onto the old Wrenegade makes it feel like a park ski by comparison. I would have to agree. My old Wrens are all but retired (having developed some significant tail rocker) but I've spent enough time on them to know how big a difference there is between the two. Before I got on them I was a bit worried that they would be too straight with a bit too much tip and I told Scott this. He told me that Kip had nailed the final design and to just go ski them. He was right.
Obviously not everything is amazing on these skis. Ice sucks, but ice sucks on everything, and they are a handful in the trees. No more difficult to turn than the old ones, but no easier either. One slightly worrying thing is they do seem to like to go faster everywhere, trees included (I hit one last weekend going way way too fast) The changes to the 2012 may not look like much on the surface but they have made the ski significantly better. It will be my everyday go-to ski after putting a significant number on my Billy Goats this year in that capacity. The Billy Goats may not see much more time on the snow actually because.......
The 2012 Cease & Desist is life-changingly good. Seriously.
Scott, Jay and I worked hard on this design tweaking the dimensions a bit to separate it from the new 191 Billy Goat, but not making it too big. No bigger than 150 in the tip and 130 underfoot, for heavy PNW pow you don't usually need anything much bigger (I got my wish). It's also a touch longer at 193 to separate itself again. Much more rocker to help float and pivotability.
I've skied the past 2 iterations of the C&D and while very good, they haven't been able to pivot as I would like. Still way too good on groomers as opposed to having the short running length for the trees. More rocker was added to the 2011s, but still not enough. The 2012s have a ton (obviously, as you can see), but the rise is not nearly as much as the Caylor or even the Billy Goat. My pair actually has less, something around 65-70mm I think, so less tip height than the Wrenegade. For heavier guys this was deemed to be too little and they ski might suffer a bit in the crud, but I have had absolutely no complaints.
First off, in the pow these are downright spectacular. They pivot like no tomorrow in the trees but are stiff and straight enough to haul anywhere in pretty much any soft snow type condition. I put a couple days on some Big Dumps this year and while they can haul, they have too much camber/not enough rocker to ski the trees or the deep (in my opinion). The C&Ds float like crazy. Having close to double the tip rocker and a little extra girth it very very noticeable here. The biggest difference is in the crud and cut-up pow though. The longer low-rise tip absolutely slices though it and the ski is nice and stiff to let you take as much speed in as you want. The tail hasn't really been changed (apart from the rocker profile) and still provides plenty of support for landings and keeping you locked in on big turns. The biggest surprise of this ski might actually be how well (comparatively speaking) these ski groomers and the resort. The running length is tiny, but the elliptical rocker makes the sidecut length longer than the 2011 (and maybe even the original protos). They can carve pretty damn well and come alive even with only a little fresh snow. This brings me back to why I don't see myself using the Billy Goats much more, these are that good. Honestly I would consider it a whole new ski, it skis better than the old one in every single way. I haven't been on a Pillow Fight (yet) but the new C&D is the best soft snow ski I have ever been on. I'm so stoked on this ski.