I had a chance to take my first turns on a new pair of Kylie 186s at Alpental, WA earlier today and wanted to write a review. If you’re in a rush, here’s a short review- these skis are beasts!
We had about a foot of dry powder for the first runs of the day. I’m used to the wetter snow found in the NW and it was nice to get some turns in dry powder before things got too tracked out. The skis floated well, as was expected with the design. What surprised me was how quickly the tips would pop to the surface if they got buried too deep. It’s still early in the season at Alpental and there were a number of dips that caught me off guard in the flat light. A quick shift to the backseat kept the Kylies from submarining almost instantly.
Once things got tracked-out, I tried pointing the skis through the chop to see how they would respond. I expected to be bounced around some, but found the Kylies absorbed everything well and were very stable at speed, as long as I stayed on top of them. They also have a fair amount of pop and I had some fun hopping the tips of uncovered trees over the course of the day.
I took a few tree runs inbounds and in the slackcountry and was happy with how the Kylies responded to quick turns. We got another 6” of the usual PNW wet snow as the day went on, which the Kylies handled well. Same with icy patches and dry to wet snow transitions.
By the end of the day, my legs were pretty rubbery and I started lazy-skiing. This is the only time I had problems with the Kylies. They got pretty squirrelly if I did not stay on top of them. That having been said, I don’t see as a problem with the ski. They seem designed to be pushed by the rider, rather than vise-versa.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Kylies. I wouldn’t recommend them for a casual skier and wouldn’t recommend them as a good ski to learn on. I would recommend them for a skier with a few seasons under his or her belt that wants a responsive ski for a wide range of conditions. Push these skis and you’ll be happy with the results.