The slow speed on the cat tracks is definitely the most frustrating thing about them, but easily worth the inconvience in the pow. All in all I'm extremely happy with the skis, but would love to be able to try some 138s, spats and Pontoons, as well as EHPs, 120s to see how they compare.
First off, this is the first time I've ever skied a non-traditional shape, so my experience is limited to regular fatties (JP vs. Julien, ANT, Made'ns, and 1st gen Pistols). I lapped the Peak probably 6-7 times though the day and even as it got tracked out I was happy to be on them. They ski the deep stuff like nothing I've ever skied. The floatation is amazing and as a result you can absolutely rip. I'm used to soft skis and these were so much more stable going really fast and laying down huge turns on the open bowls. They wanted me to find stuff that was even steeper so I could go faster.
After waiting in line for about 40 minutes we only got one run in with the sun and with the fog and snow rolling in quickly were were off to find some lines in the trees. After reading many spatula reviews about their instant pivot point I was hoping to find something like it on these. They did not disappoint. Effortless transitition between turns, at least compared to regular sidecut skis, which allowed me to haul ass towards trees faster than I normally would because I knew I'd be able to turn on a dime once I needed too. It also helped going fast cause once I reached the bottom of the bowls I knew I'd need the speed.
On hardpack these things are slow. I heard about this problem on spatulas but did not expect it to be this bad. I'm usually the fastest one of all the guys I ski with and it was extremely frustrating getting passed by boarders on the flats as I was skating like mad. They are also really squirrelly on the groomers, but that was to be expected. You can feel the minimal sidecut in the middle of the ski, but you really have to be ripping to use it. With that 2mm of sidecut I have no idea what the turning radius would be, but its long. It took some getting used to, but by the end of the day I was more comfortable with it and wasn't almost bailing when gapers cut me off and forcing me to react quickly.
On the later runs in the day it was harder to find untouched lines but cutting through the semi-tracked out pow was a breeze. Definitely the most noticable difference compared to anything else I've skied. Going through some of this cut up stuff I noticed only a small difference between the untouched stuff. Virtually no tip flap made it so easy to charge through this stuff. This made me feel better about my purchase as I know I won't only be using them on the fresh, deep days but also 1 or even 2 days after the storm.
Towards the end of the day Whistler Bowl was completely tracked out with some pretty brutal moguls forming. Combined with the flat light this wasn't a enjoyable experience, but better than I thought it would be on the ARGs. It wasn't too difficult to manouver through them, and I seemed to be having an easier time than the guy I saw on Pontoons who crossed his massive tips a couple times and took a nose dive into a mogul once.
I can't comment on the spatula because I have no experience on it. However, from everything I've heard, the 2mm sidecut does improve performance on groomers, albiet only slightly. The tip and tail rocker is like nothing I've ever skied and is unbelievable in pow. The thinner tip and stiff flex makes you able to destroy the crud and cut-up pow.
They were fucking expensive, not gonna lie.
Don't kid yourself, this is a stiff ski. Hand flexed its stiffer than the ANT. But flex in this type of design is less important. Because of the rocker you don't need a soft flex to sink the the middle and keep the tips up.
No durability issues as of yet. Only one day on them. Cap construction, to keep the weight down, but appear to be very solid. I don't anticipate any problems.