Matthew Tirrellís Comprehensive Twin Tip Testing Results
I decided to make this test somewhat legit I had to try and control some variables. The lap consisted of a ride up the gondola, followed by a run through the park, which may have been followed by another lap if I was really feeling the skis. After I was satisfied with that I would hop on the olí Lowell Thomas and boogie back to the top of the mountain. I then proceeded down the mountain switch for roughly 80 percent of the run.
Each ski was evaluated on four main areas, the look and vibe of the ski(LV), all mountain ski-ability(AS), park performance(PP) and switch skiing performance(SSP).
1. Salomon The Dumont
LV- Off the sicktor! The graphic is really well done I like the contrast between the hot bright sunrise/sunset and the dark cool stalagmite/stalactite. Just from picking the ski up and flexing it a few times you can instantly tell that this ski mean business, with a lot of pop and light weight construction.
AS- I was Particularly impressed with this skis ability to absolutely rip. There is so much pop in the ski that even going from edge to edge it was hard to stay on the ground.. With super good edge hold and amazing stability this ski was just a tonne of fun .
PP- The same attributes that make this an amazing all mountain ski are amplified ten fold in the park. Even small ollies resulted in big air, thanks to the ultra poppy core. And coming in for landings The Dumont inspired confidence because you knew there was no chance of a harsh landing even if you over shot, came down back seat or tip heavy.
SSP- All I can say is that with this ski it does not matter what direction your going in it just feels amazing. Overall I was suuuuuper impressed with The Dumont from tip to tail it was defiantly my top ski of the day only to be closely rivalled by the Movement Joystick.
2. Salomon SPK
LV- The affiliation with Target was pretty obvious in the graphic of this ski. It defiantly looks good and I really liked the text used for the Salomon logo on the base of the skis.
AS- The ski that I was test was mounted true centre, so for all mountain performance this ski wasnít that great. The forward mounting point is defiantly a plus for rail and spinning balance but outside of the park is pretty unnecessary.
PP- This ski is primarily built as a pipe ski, and unfortunately I didnít get a chance to venture in to the half ice tunnel. It was a pretty decent ski in the park I found with the forward mounting the tips were a bit soft and I noticed it landing switch on jumps.
SSP- Another thing that the forward mounting position is good for is switch skiing. The forward mounting puts your weight in a more neutral position over the skiing making switch skiing a breeze.
3. Salomon Thruster
LV- Pretty much no matter where you are or who your skiing with if you have this ski people are going to notice you. The graphic is ridiculously eye caching and entices you to come in for a closer look. Once you finally check out all the stuff thatís happening in the graphic you can take a step back and look at it from a distance and wonder how so much chaos can look so good.
AS- Since this ski shares geometry with The Dumont, I found for all around skiing they both performed extremely well. The ski carved well and handle ice with ease.
PP- I really liked the Thrusters in the park it was one of the few skis that I took for an extra lap. They were very smooth on take off and landings with a super light feel in the air. The core didnít have quite as much pop as The Dumontís but it defiantly had enough to boost some decent airs. Being slightly softer than the Dumont the Thrusters were great for spreading butters and margarine all the way down the hill
SSP- The light weight made these skis super easy to just toss I round I found myself doing tonnes of 180ís all the way down the mountain. And every time I was confident the ski was going to be stable switch and predictable on landings. The shape made carving switch a real treat.
LV- This ski would be one of my top picks for graphic design. The colour scheme and layout worked extremely well. Using a combination of almost pastel blue , a candy red and sand beige to make up a 3D cubed pattern with other characters incorporated into the skis graphic.
AS- In the all-around ski category this ski seemed to fall a little bit short. The tails were extremely soft and would easily be pushed out and let the ski feel like it was washing out in the tail.. Also in edge to edge transition the ski just didnĎt seem to have a lot of life. Iím pretty sure that this ski was actually designed to be a pipe ski and that might explain the poor all mountain skiing.
PP- In the park I could defiantly notice the lack of pop un the ski. It just felt like I wasnít getting any help and the super soft tails made them feel kind of awkward on takeoffs and back seat landings usually resulted in washing out. Although the tails were pretty fun just for messing around on and trying some butters.
SSP- This is pretty much the only area I found the ski truly excelled. Riding switch this ski was super stable and it was really easy to manoeuvre.
LV- With a pretty simple black white and red colour scheme, the graphic was well done not too loud but still different. They used newsprint style text and placed segments of sentences all over the top sheets, which were always good for trying to decipher on the chairlift. You could tell that this was a pretty small company the ski did have a bit of a cheap finish and feel. This brand is a division of Sapient which IĎm pretty sure has something to do with Option snowboards. The rep said they are looking to produce price point twins for the masses.
AS- These skis definantly werenít race stock carvers, but surprisingly for a company with not a huge reputation these skis handle most of what I threw at them. You could tell the skis werenít up to par with some of the skis being produced by the top brands in the market. For the market they are after these skis are perfect, a stable wood core twin tip that is going to be up against brands like Firefly and other lower end gear.
PP- This was one of the few skis that the rep. didnít mind if I did rails and actually wanted me to do them. The skis had reinforced edges (a technology derived from Option) and they were really stable. The skis were pretty wide under waist so again adding to the stability which is always welcome on landings and takeoffs. This ski did feel a bit cheap and had a tendency to chatter and vibrate on landings. Other than that in the park this ski got the job done, not with surgical precision or anything, but I donĎt think they are making tools for triple bypass surgery.
SSP- The ski had no problem going switch it was smooth on transitions and had a snowboardy feel when riding switch. The same low points that were pointed out earlier were evident while riding switch as well, but the ski did handle switch pretty good and it was just a wicked ski for beating around.
Head MOJO Spawn I
LV- The Head Mojo Spawn may not of had two smoking hot Swedish babes on them, but they did have a big boneÖ Anyways the graphic was an X-rayed bone, Iím guessing femur or something, With cool blue at the tip and tail that faded through pixilation into white under foot. A pretty cool graphic not quite as eye catching as a blonde bombshell but still looked good.
AS- This was another one of the skis that really surprised me. Twins are becoming more and more popular and they need to be able to ski and perform in the park. This ski accomplished that with great edge hold and a quick edge to edge response. You could really lean into your corners with the Mojo and not have to worry about it sketching out on ice or hard packed conditions.
PP- Again I was very impressed and surprised with the performance in the park. I did have one issue though with the bindings, even with the DIN set to nine the toe had a tendency to release at inappropriate times. The Mojos had really solid feel coming of jumps and was light in the air. This was my first time skiing on a Head twin and all I can say is it was actually really impressive I did have my doubts but this ski is a serious competitor, the combination of great stability, pop and the fact that you can actually ski on it make this a good choice for all skiers.
SSP- Switch or regular the ski just feels really solid and inspires confidence in the rider, other than having to worry about your bindings ejecting you but Iím sure that could have been corrected with a higher DIN and a non demo binding.
Movement - The Joysticks
LV- I love the look of the skis and the entire movement line. They are really doing there own thing. Movement is a Swiss company and they use a certain kind of wood for their cores that can only be found on one island in Zimbabwe(or somewhere exotic like that). They use a lot of airbrush style art and tribal designs. Also some skis have different textures like one ski had a fish scale patterned top sheet.
AS- This ski was probably one of the best if not the best ski I tried for all mountain riding. It really held on in the corners and had a super fast base. Transferring from edge to edge was pretty much effortless since the ski would just send you to your other edge after releasing. The ski also had amazing dampening qualities that made them super smooth and able to plow through just about anything. If you couldnít go through then floating over it wasnít an issue either, the skis are super light and very poppy.
PP- The joystick were a joy to rip through the park and they definantly earned their second lap. The ski was soft enough to manoeuvre and butter but had a progressive flex getting stiffer under foot which made it super stable for stomping landings. The light weight made them effortless to throw around in the air and really lock your grabs in, a super poppy core also gave you extra hang time for tweaking those grabs. Performance wise the Joy Sticks were directly on par with The Dumont but just had a different feel.
SSP- I decided to take the entire run switch on the Joy Stick. They were super predictable and made dodging through fleets of out of control tourists pretty damn easy, considering I could only see half of them while riding switch.
K2 Public Enemy
LV- The Public Enemy continued this year with the cops and robbers theme, and the p-tex top sheet. The ski looked good it was a pretty simple graphic and didnít really do a whole lot for me visually. I like the idea of being able to repair your top sheet, especially with the beating skis go through these days in the park.
AS- Since this was the last ski tested of the day the park was close and I only managed to sneak in a run from top to bottom on them. As a carving/all mountain ski the PE was stellar. The ski has a lot of shape and is wide under foot so it makes tight turns and is stable on the flats. The ski was very stiff which made it great for just ripping lines and carving big turns, but I think it might be a bit stiff for a true jibbing ski.
SSP- I only had a short while to ski the PE switch and it did well but I found it had a bit to much shape and tended to kind of wander and I could see there being potential for edges catching and putting you off balance
4FRNT- The TNK
LV- Their really isnít much to this ski 4frnt kind of went the opposite way that most brands are going for next season. The ski is black with a small god crest at the tip and a barcode on the tail. It has a simplistic elegant appeal to it with a super shiny top sheet.
AS- I tried this ski up at Calabogie and pretty much skied noting but park on it, it was also centre mounted so as an all mountain ski this wouldnít be my top choice. I didnít get a tonne of time to really try just carving and regular skiing.
PP- The park is where this ski really excelled. The ski has an interesting flex that is soft in the tip and tail and progressively gets stiffer underfoot. Which is pretty common in most park sis, but the 4frntís had this subtle feel to it so that you could lean back on the tails or forward on the tips and the ski would flex a tonne, making it great for butters, and the ski could still pop you into and ollie or nollie. Which is something I find a lot of skis have a hard time accomplishing. They make the skis super stiff to give it a lot of pop but then your pretty much on two planks or they make it so soft you canít eve ollie and the ski is a complete wet noodle. With that great flex pattern the ski was great at correcting itself on landings and still had the pop to send you high and far. Plus the ability to butter and pop made them one of the best skis for just screwing around on runs with doing 180s and trying new tricks.
SSP- The 4frnt is another one of those skis that it doesnít matter what direction your going in it feels good. The ski is also quite wide which helped keep you stable going switch, and the geometry was really mellow so there was no worry about catching edges or just leaning to far and the ski shooting you across the run. Another plus for this ski was a very snowboardy like feel to it, riding switch or regular.