East Coast S Bound advice

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lilcliffy
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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:10 pm

The S-88 to me is at least a bit redundant (or the S-78- depending on which one you happen to have). The difference in the dimensions are so slight- and I have not noticed a significant difference in the flex between the two skis either. I cannot imagine 7mm underfoot making a significant performance difference to climbing or flotation for any skier. Neither the S-78 or the S-88 are wide and/or long enough to offer any serious flotation- except for the lightest of skiers. The S-78 is narrower, and has less sidecut- it should offer at least slightly better xcountry K&G performance. The slightly more parabolic profile of the S-88 might make them a bit easier to turn...

I don't personally think that the S-78 and the S-88 are different enough to offer a wide enough range of performance- if you were only to have two S-Bounds.

So- I would advise keeping the S-78 (or I guess swapping them for the S-88 if you were convinced that they would offer better performance for your specific context).

So- I would keep the S-78/S-88 and get either the S-98, or the S-112.

The S-98 and S-112 are wide enough to offer significant flotation in deep, fresh snow. And both equally kinda suck on dense/hard snow. (they are both stiffer than the Madshus Epoch/Annum- therefore offering better downhill performance on dense/hard snow- but, carving/edging machines they are not (IMO))

In choosing between the S-98 and the S-122; I think that it at least partially, if not entirely, depends on skier weight. I am heavy enough (185lbs) that I find the S-112 offers better performance in deep, soft snow than the S-98. I know many skiers suggest that the S-98 offers better glide than the S-112. But, if you are heavy enough, the S-112 is going to offer much better flotation, and therefore, better performance than the S-98- in deep fresh snow (if you are light enough, the S-98 is clearly going to outperform the S-112).

I have the same experience with the Epoch vs. Annum. I am heavy enough, that I find the Epoch obsolete.

The flex pattern of the S-Bounds versus the Madshus XCDs is very interesting. A number of reviews have suggested that the flex and camber in the S-Bounds is to offer xcountry K&G performance- I respectfully disagree. These are all essentially single-cambered skis (the S-78, like the Eon may be "camber-and-a-half"). IMHO, the camber and the flex in the S-Bounds is primarily designed for downhill performance on a dense base. Personally I find that the flex pattern of the S-Bounds offer "pop" in turn transitions- "pop" that simply isn't in the flex pattern of the Madshus XCDs. In a xcountry context, on dense snow, I find that the flex pattern of the wider S-Bounds, coupled with the parabolic sidecut, make them "squirrelly" (i.e. I don't find they track straight on dense snow). So despite the softer flex of the Madshus XCDs- I still stand by my opinion that they perform better as xcountry skis (i.e. they track straighter).

So- I personally think that whether you should get the S-112 or S-98 depends on your weight- not the kind of skiing you are doing. I think that they are both xcD skis designed for relatively deep, soft snow.

As far as boots/bindings- I get the 75mm-3-pin- I really do. It is just so versatile. Everywhere from light leather/composite xcountry, to plastic downhill power.

My experience is that I can turn a ski as wide as the S-112 with a soft leather/composite boot, no problem- in deep soft snow. On dense/hard snow- I find I need more power/leverage to hold a ski as wide as the S-112 on edge, to carve. This is the inherent advantage of the 75mm-3-pin- you can use your soft boots when it suits you, and then switch to a more powerful boot, when you need the extra leverage.

BTW- I have many miles on the Alpina Alaska, the Fischer BCX6, and the Rossi BCX6 (I own all of them). IME, The Alpina and the Fischer are both a significant step up in stability- compared to the Rossi. IME, not even the Rossi BCX10 is as stable as the Alaska, or the Fischer BCX6. The Rossi BCX10 does offer a similar, and stiffer sole flex though. I have not tried the Rossi BCX12- I would at least expect it to be on par with the Fischer BCX8 and the Svartisen.

I can't remember what conditions you actually use the S-78 for? Was it for XCD or primarily backcountry-xcountry, K&G? If you are using it more for a xcountry ski- then I would consider the E-109 instead of the S-88 as a possible replacement for it. But- I do remember that you have a sweet wooden xcountry ski that would probably make the E-109 redundant (I still miss my wooden backcountry Karhus!).

I do remember that you are a "Fischer" man- therefore I won't even try recommending the Eon and the Epoch/Annum; vs. the S-78 and the S-98/S-112!

So, in conclusion- if you weigh as much, or more than me- I would go for the S-112.
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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by Teleman » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:36 am

What LC said....but....Most of the "Boys" weigh more than you....Last year the year of Powder made everybody scramble for longer or wider skis....When we have a "regular" winter there is always a base down there somewhere....or....the powder has more density....The 98's and 112's were not needed unless you just needed a fatter ski for whatever reason.....The 98's gave plenty of floatation last year at 179 for the boys....But.....the ski would have run better as a 189....Since we mostly are slicers, riding in the snow....our circumstances are a bit different....hanging at TK2 (telecamp 2) yesterday was looking up at the Vortex....Our AT friends had hand clipped a bit up there....Thinking I'm gonna retire to some easier less steep stuff....unless....I AM FIRST AND GET THE GOODS....Ha! TM

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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by MikeK » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:24 am

lilcliffy wrote: The flex pattern of the S-Bounds versus the Madshus XCDs is very interesting. A number of reviews have suggested that the flex and camber in the S-Bounds is to offer xcountry K&G performance- I respectfully disagree. These are all essentially single-cambered skis (the S-78, like the Eon may be "camber-and-a-half").
I don't want to make a big thing of this, but I plan on doing some kind of real world test between these two skis, with the same bindings and boots, once I get some decent snow. I'll do my usual xc tour loop and test them on the slope I test all my skis on.

Right off the bat, without even putting the skis on my feet I can tell you the S78 and Eon I have are RADICALLY different. The Eon, I'll contest is really a single camber ski, as far as my eyes can see and feet can tell when it's in the snow. The S78 definitely has what I could call a double camber. It's unlike the S98.

I agree with you that the S Bound isn't meant to be a performance XC ski. The name kinda gives that away if you believe the marketing. S bound makes me thing you are bound to make some esses in the snow. That said, I truly do believe the S 78 and 88 were designed as primarily XCd touring skis, and the 98 and 112 as primarily xcD touring/yo-yo/dh focused skis.

I don't think an of these skis do well in hard snow. In fact, I have yet to try and XCD ski that I like on that. In smooth, groomed conditions like at the nordic center dare you take them there, you can ski them traditional xc or alpine style down hills relatively easily - I speak for all the skis I've tried in this respect. I think the 78/88 is probably better suited to soft corn snow and the 98/112 to powder, but in reality, here in the east, we rarely get those ideal conditions. I've skied both the Eon (closest comp I have to the 78) and the S98 on breakable crusts, and both did just as well as the other. I've skied them both on rock hard, bumpy crap... and neither were good. Seems to me once you get these skis out of their element, it doesn't much matter, you are going to do what you can with them.

The Madshus line just has a little different philosophy I think, neither is wrong... they just seem to be a bit softer and less cambered with a waxless pattern optimized for glide and a sidecut profile for easy tracking (although a novice skier will still struggle with them).

I think the Fischers track awesome - IF you keep your foot absolutely flat (that's like the model T you can have in any color as long as it's black :ugeek: ). What makes them squirrels makes them super easy to edge, and once they catch that edge, it's not hard to give them more. Once you get used to it though, you can use it to your advantage and steer the skis actively (rather than stepping) while K+G on flats and up hills. It's nice for whacking through tight trees. The high, stiff camber and very nicely laid out waxless pattern makes them excellent gliders and climbers. Far exceeding the Madshus skis IMO.

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lilcliffy
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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:46 pm

I am certainly interested in your comparison of the Eon and the S-78. Please do make a big deal about it! :D :ugeek:

I have many, many miles on the Eon- and have tested the S-78. I certainly agree that the S-78 has a stiffer flex pattern than the Eon. I personally found that the Eon performed better on soft, fresh snow- the S-78 performed better on dense/hard snow. Does the S-78 have a true double-camber? Didn't see that myself.

I guess that my perspective hasn't really changed much...Both the S-Bounds and the Karhu/Madshus are xcountry-telemark hybrid skis. But, IME/IMO, the S-Bounds have a balance of performance skewed a bit more towards climbing/turning; the K/M XCDs are skewed a bit strongly towards xcountry touring. BUT- that being said, the soft flex pattern of the K/M XCDs is definitely designed almost exclusively for soft, fresh snow.

The current "offtrack crown" waxless traction on the S-Bounds and "Backcountry" line offer exceptional traction for a waxless ski- IMO, especially when climbing. Not convinced yet that it is better than the "omnitrack" for xcountry K&G- but the "offtrack crown" is certainly every bit as good on the flats as the "omnitrack".

I use all of these skis in fresh soft snow. The deeper the pow- the wider I want (especially seeing there is a limit to how long you can get them for XCd skiing). This is why if Woodserson wants another S-Bound for deeper snow, I would advise the S-112- unless he weighs significantly less than me...then the S-98.

Similar to my experience with the Epoch/Annum- my experience with the S-98/S-112, suggests, at least to me, that the S-112 is simply a wider version of the S-98. All of them designed for XCD skiing on deep, soft snow. To me the choice between widths is an issue of skier weight.
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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by MikeK » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:40 pm

Well we get back into the misnomer of camber and a half. As an engineer I simply try to discern if the ski has two cambers or one, whether they are stiff or soft. It does appear to me that the S78 I have has a second camber, albeit small and not particularly stiff. I don't see or feel the same camber on my Eons, but those skis have changed so much over the years, I really wonder if they had at one time been more like the S78. I'm not sure how I could measure this as it's such a small subjective flex and sighting thing. For me, the way the ski acts underfoot will confirm what I see. I actually was a little hesitant to think the Eon had a single until I skied it a bit. If there is a small, second curvature, it's so slight that it doesn't do much of anything.

I agree completely about the wax pattern. Fischer = climbing, Madshus = gliding. But the extra camber height/stiffness on the Fischers help them to glide well too. The sidecut of course hampers them, but if you can control it, they are quite fast skis. Surely at the extreme I can vouch for this in how much faster my E89 is than the Voss. The waxless pattern is different on the DC Madshus ski, but I think this is mainly an a result of camber and stiffness.

I like both ski companies quite a bit, and I like all their models, but for my personal ski preference, I prefer the Fischers, particularly the S Bounds (so far). The Eon is my favorite overall ski I've tried, but if the S Bound can add more climbing and glide while keeping similar dh performance, I'm sold. I'll likely clock most of my miles on that one, like TM said, unless I'm in really deep snow or wanting really quick turning performance, which is what I'd suggest for Woodserson.

IIRC he is a tall guy (tall, even if thin = more mass), so I don't think the 112 would be a bad choice for him... really depends on how he will feel with the boots. As I've determined from much activity on this forum, everyone has a different idea of how much boot/ski one needs.

Possibly the BCX875 would be a good boot choice if it's still available?

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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by Woodserson » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:02 pm

WOAH dudes, I just got back from the wilderness, give me some time to peruse your thoughts with thought. Thank you for the great replies, I can't wait to sit back and think about this! Then I'll post something less haberdash.

FWIW-- I have a pair of E-99 and a Wood Madshus 99-Feel-Alike, and a pair of 109's at some point in the future... those are for longer-distance rolling terrain like a Pemi traverse where K&G is important on a stable platform. The S-Bounds are for more vertically minded pursuits... more later!

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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by Woodserson » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:55 pm

Alright duderinos,

I've decided to keep the 98's and the 112's are going back to the store.

The 88's are mounted. I've always wanted a pair-- for years, now I have them, and I'm going to compare with the 78's and whichever one gets less use this winter will get sold. I'm spoiling myself here a little bit, but what the hell. I got the 78s a few years ago on super discount, there is little sacrifice at this point.

I decided to go with the 98's because the 112's are just big honking big ol' skis and while I am tall-- Good memory there MIkeK-- I am also quite skinny (30lbs lighter than lilcliffy). Back in college I used to focus all my pent up raging brownchickenbrowncow energy into turning big wide fat stiff 4x4s and crushing the mountain. Now, I am mellowed and light on my feet and don't want to work at it, I want to go dancing instead of wrestling and enjoy the down as well as the up. They came out of the box and almost right away I was doubting if they were what I was looking for. I do know I would have to up the boot set up to something stiffer laterally than the Rossi BCX6... it wasn't going to cut it for me and my paltry abilities.

So the 98 will be easier to work, will be fine with the same boot, and the 112's just didn't feel right in my hand for what I wanted to do. I'm happy with this decision.

Everything's getting Voile 3 pins with cables.

Thanks for the great discussion guys, I really appreciate it.

MikeK

Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by MikeK » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:32 pm

Wow - great! Everyone is getting 98s now! Someone else on this forum just got a pair, but hasn't come clean yet... :!:

Have fun with them! And the 88s...

I have a feeling you'll keep the 78 and the 98... but I don't know. Maybe you'll want just the 88? Maybe if you were a west coaster you'd get the 88 and the 112?

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Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by Woodserson » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:15 am

Back in my AT days, my go-to ski was 127-97-117.... the 112 is really a midfat for me, something I was skiing back in the early 2000's-- and this was all in New England. My TeleFriend that I ski with the most rides these monster sticks that make the 112 look like pussycats.... I don't think it's a west/east thing, it's more oriented around the lines of my own ability as a nordic-skier/tele and the terrain and kind of skiing I'm doing now. After a few pretty terrible injuries I'm not dropping deep down into Smugglers Notch or climbing the RockPile and hucking my meat down Dodge's Drop anymore... I'm in my local woods and exploring places in wintertime that I wouldn't normally or touring closed forest roads. Sometimes, I'm skiing down a short section that's highly visible, leaving ski graffiti behind for those driving by...

Basically, I went from hardcore AT guy to nordic skinny guy in tracks, now I'm rehabing my way back up the ski chain but going off in a direction I never really anticipated a few years ago. The 98's are a nice normal progression. I'm excited Mike! Maybe we can make some turns and you can try the 88s. Or the WOODIES! Sppoooooooky

MikeK

Re: East Coast S Bound advice

Post by MikeK » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:35 am

Hey - that would be cool. I'm always up for skiing with other Tipsters... in fact, Johnny and I talked about a meetup... might be in VT, maybe the Adirondacks, or maybe not at all?

But I'm always up for skiing if there is snow! My wife is usually with me, and she doesn't like anything too scary... but I've been known to trick her ;)

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