One advantage (among many) to working at a ski shop is being around all the new gear every year. Another perk is actually testing some of the product. Every season around February manufactures of skis and snowboards get together for an on snow demo and allow shop employees to test the next season gear. For the past few years this has happened in our back door at Snowbasin, Utah. (It doesn't get much better than The Basin but please don't believe us and stay out of our lines)
Last year with a few inches of new snow on top of more new snow we had a couple great days riding some of the fatter ski models. The Dynastar Legend Pro XXL 187cm (132 - 109 - 122) was under my boots for a couple runs. What a ski! Up front I have been a bit old school on the width of my skis. I have skied all my life and have never been afraid of size until width came into the game. I love ripping down a groomer but thrill at speed floating in powder too. Big turns, big speed and a big smile. Even during the high school and junior high days I was on the longest skis of my friends and in most cases I still am (I tower at 5'6 3/4"). Back in the 90's while ski patrolling at the local mountain I loved to straight line 213cm Super G Skis with my favorite neon one piece suit. I never have skied with my legs together like some of the old duffers so please give me some credit. Anyway, I digress....
Back to the story: Now with more side cut and better materials, wider skis seem to have a carving sensation even in the softer snow which pleases me and the Dynastar Legend Pro XXL is no exception. Rolling a ski on an edge is not common with the youth of today but I just can't stop it. The day was sunny with a few high mountain clouds rolling off Ogden Peak. It had already been a fantastic day with a great lunch. After lunch two epic runs on the XXL down John Paul, with a couple new friends of the industry, found myself in paradise. Never before had a ski with a width of more than 87mm come to life for me. The XXL's 109mm waist gave me more float in and out of the 16" fresh snow and packed down crud. The race room built ski still performed like a race ski, the faster the better, but it was quick in and out of the trees and sent me flying down the hill. At one point I was caught in the back seat as I came around a few trees and a skier was down hill resting in my line. Because of the XXL energy I was able to toss the normally large heavy skis around like a pair of park skis to avoid hitting the wide mouth skier. This was when I fell in love with the ski and said, "I will have a pair of these in my quiver next year."
The other surprise was how the ski handled on the groomers going to the powder and then to the life line. Most wider skis just don't have enough radius or energy in the skis to make them tolerable when you are not in the deep snow. Face it, at a typical resort much of the run is going to and getting from the powder on a groomed trail or traverse, another reason I have not liked many fatter skis. The XXL never left me skidding a turn or wanting a 213 Super G. This ski is not for the timid or skid-turning short ski skier. I road the 187cm and it was more than enough ski for my 165 lb. frame but the ski also comes in the mammoth 194cm edition. The faster you go the XXL will come alive and give you more in return. tomE