Ski Test 2011: On-Piste Cruisers

Reading Time: 13 minutes


“Skis of racing pedigree” loosely describes Ski Canada’s On-Piste Cruiser category tested at Silver Star. At home on most ski hills east of B.C. where no-speed-limit laps on hardpacked groomers consume a typical day of skiing, these user-friendly and versatile de-tuned GS skis aren’t really intended for the gates but that mentality isn’t too deep below the surface. Many, indeed most, of Ski Canada’s testers have some racing background and all were happy to push the limits of these cruisers. Characteristics like Edge Grip, Power and Agility are attributes that hold a lot of sway on the On-Piste Cruisers’ test cards. Silver Star’s snow conditions, temperatures and excellent grooming provided a perfect and consistent test day.

length marked with † is length tested; prices marked with * include bindings

Average score based on average of all tester scores for the 8 categories of characteristics – initiation, edge grip, stability, agility, versatility, short radius, long radius and overall. Point system is 1 to 10.



.. men & women $835 sidecut: 126 80 113 radius: 17@185
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 171*,178,185*
The Triumph is a fun, versatile ski that excels in softer conditions. Several testers referred to it as a competent all-mountain ski, suggesting it would do well in bumps, powder and trees as well. It has an easy, smooth, cruisey feel, but with some snap for short as well as long turns. Best suited for an adventurous skier who likes to ski the whole mountain more than play frontside racer. “Silky smooth in and out of turns, this ski requires a soft touch. Just stand on it and it will guide you down the mountain. It loves all turn shapes.” » HANK SHANNON“Floating, flying down the slope. It’s easy to initiate, carve and tip on edge. Loved this forgiving, very smooth ski.” » LAURALEEBOWIE“What a lively and smooth ski with a rounded tail. All turn shapes were easy to initiate. Best for someone wanting to experiment with a few jumps and tricks.”» NICOLA WIDSSON

average score: 6.8 men; 6.9 women


.. men $1,299 sidecut: 114 70 99 radius: 18.4@179
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 164,179,174,179 †,184
A powerful carving machine, the VF 70 impressed testers with its strong edge grip, stability and fun factor. While versatile and capable in short turns, long arcs at mach schnell is where this ski truly shines. It felt stronger and more responsive the harder it was pushed. This top-three pick for the men is best suited to an athletic or aggressive skier. “This ski allows you to feel some serous G-force. It taunts you to find its limit with the ski winning every time. Tighten your chin strap. Yee-haw.” » MARK STEIN“Amazing grip and edge hold, with consistent flex. It wants a strong, powerful rider to make it perform. Strong power skiers will enjoy this ski’s potential. The Ferrari of skis.” » D’ARCY SEGO” A ski that wants to be pushed. It has fantastic grip and is confidence-inspiring. Its longer radius can still ski a tight arc.” » KRISTIAN ARMSTRONG

average score: 8.5


.. women $1,199* sidecut:114 72 101 radius: 15@164
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 156,164*,172,180
The VF 72 turned in an impressive performance. Its strong edge grip and stability made for a fun, exciting ride at speed at Silver Star. Testers found it dynamic and confidence-inspiring in long-radius turns, while its quickness edge-to-edge allowed it to perform well in short turns as well. Well-suited to a stronger skier. “Absolutely brilliant and surprisingly light underfoot. It has aggressive edge hold and lightning response arc-to-arc in short turns. I loved every second of the ride on this light and lively crowd-pleaser. Once this ski gets on edge it loves to rip. It’s great for long-radius turns down the groomers. It felt very stable underfoot and loves speed.” » NINA GRETZMACHER“What an interesting ski! Tips are soft enough you can easily do short turns, and underfoot feels so stable at high speeds. This is a extremely versatile ski for its category.” » ROBYN BEAUDRY

average score: 8.0



.. men $1,549* sidecut: 123 72 105 radius: 15.5@174
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 160,167,174 †,181
Advanced cruisers/piste blasters take note: the G-Power FS likes to rip—welcome back to the Ski Canada Test, Blizzard! Testers had fun risking their ski passes on this ski. It shines in GS turns at speed, where its race heritage shows through. Despite its power it’s also agile, encouraging the skier to mix up the turn shapes. Best suited to strong experts. “It has the heart of a GS race ski. Sidecut makes turn initiation easy. I love the stability, power and edge grip this ski possesses, especially in long turns. A great ski in the fall line.”» MIKEMANARA“It’s rock solid. A tech skier’s delight. Good luck finding a better ski to rip a mountain. It’s easy to initiate edge-to-edge and super-stable. Launch from rollers with confidence; holds an edge on landing.” » D’ARCY SEGO“Fun, snappy, responsive. Nothing but good comes from this ski. Can you tell I liked it? Go fast.” » KRISTIAN ARMSTRONG

average score: 8.2



.. men & women $855 sidecut: 120 72 104 radius: 15 @172
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 158,165 †,172 †,178,184
Do you like GS turns at speed? The Speed Course Ti might be the ski for you. Beefy and powerful, it needs some speed to come into its own, but once there it offers strong edge grip and the confidence to push the envelope. The consensus among testers was that this ski is best suited for the advanced skier who likes long arcs at speed. “This ski loves to take the hill long and fast. Its stability encourages speed. Solid edge grip from carve-to-carve makes this a favourite for those who want to push it and open ’er up.” » NIKI COCHREN“A true carver! It hooked up really nicely in the tip, with a smooth flex throughout. It has a very stable platform; tons of speed preferred. This ski hugged the snow like a train on tracks.” » JARED HETHERINGTON“This is a power ski. The more pressure I applied the better it performed.” » ANNE TERWIEL

average score: 7.4 men; 7.0 women



.. men $1,375* sidecut:121 73 102 radius: 13/16 @170
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 160,165,170,175 †,180
The Progressor 10+ is a versatile carver that will please a broad audience. While our lighter testers praised its ease, our heavy power testers felt it was stable and smooth. It carves a lovely round arc. Fisher’s race heritage shows in the powerful edge grip, and a damp, smooth, racy feel gives one the confi dence to push. Well suited for the advanced skier right up to the ex-racer. “This ski is smooth flexing and holds at speed. It’s a stable feeling ski even though it has a progressive and softer flex. Well done.” » GUY PAULSEN“Unreal energy exiting the turn. This ski loves medium- to long-radius turns at faster speeds. Your face will be hurting from smiling so much. Superb edge hold and stability.” » HANK SHANNON“Responsive, easy to operate and solid edge grip make this ski a joy to operate. A large sweet spot and easy to release edges make this suited to a wide range of skiers.”» GEORGE TERWIEL

average score: 7.9


.. women $999* sidecut: 118 68 98 radius: 14 @165
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 150,155,160,165 †
The Zephyr has a lovely combination of ease with power, giving the skier a take-charge, do-no-wrong feeling. It was sweetest in longer turns, and testers praised its energy and quickness, describing it as a great all-round carving ski. It carved a round arc with inherent stability and response. This ski’s competence and versatility garnered the Fischer a top-three spot. “This is a beautiful longer-turn carver that can still perform an energetic short turn when desired. It’s a fluid, redictable ski that won’t toss you around, even at speed.” » ANNE TERWIEL“Incredible and outstanding. What a fun ride! It’s fun at high speed and edge-to-edge. It’s stable yet quick. This ski rocks.” » LAURALEE BOWIEIt’s light and nimble. The sweet spot is slightly behind the bindings. This is where you find energy in skis.” » WENDY ANDERSON

average score: 7.7



.. men & women $1,195 sidecut: 114 68 101 radius: 13 @165
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 155,165 †,175 †,185
BEST IN: INITIATION, EDGE GRIP Testers praised the Carbon’s ease of initiation and fun factor in short turns. It has a light touch and easy feel, which was enhanced in soft snow where testers felt it performed best. Our more powerful testers felt its speed limit was not too high. Both the men and women thought this ski was best suited to a lighter, more finesse skier. “A lighter ski with a stiffer tip allows it to grip easily and quickly. It feels great in short and long turns. This is a great ski for cruising down the blues.” » NINA GRETZMACHER“This ski is at home on the corduroy. It’s quick to initiate and requires an attentive pilot.” » JOSH FOSTER“It likes to be handled gently. This ski enjoys easy cruising down groomed pistes.” » MARTINA OSMAN

average score: 6.4 men; 5.5 women



.. men & women $1,325* sidecut:121 71 107 radius: 13.5 @170
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 149,156,163,170 †,177 †
A top-three pick for the men, the iSupershape Magnum has the goods for the rock-and-roll expert. It’s precise with a powerful edge grip and smooth ride. While its forte is carving, the slightly soft tip adds an all-round element. The ski also ranked highly with our women testers – they felt it was more of a strong, solid, power ski. “This is a superhero ski without a doubt. It makes you look and feel good. Amazing edge grip, easy to pivot—it’s solid, strong and fun. “ » MATHIEU LETOURNEAU“It’s a stable, gripping, advanced-level ski to bring out the racer in you. It preferred medium to long turns, but short turns were no problem.” » NICOLA WIDSSON“This ski is like a velvet sledgehammer—silky smooth but with power to spare. It’s a good go-anywhere all-rounder. Try it out—I dare you.” » JOSH FOSTER

average score: 8.4 men; 7.6 women



.. men $1050 sidecut: 122 74 106 radius: 16 @174
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 160,167,174 †,181
This is a versatile cruiser that will please intermediates and experts alike. Fun and responsive, the A.M.P. Charger is easy to initiate, and has good energy and rebound. Testers felt it performed best in short and medium turns, and offered a nice combination of ease with stability. Several testers suggested this ski would be fun off-piste as well—a nice crossover for the more adventurous skier. “All types of carves possible were done with ease. This is a very versatile and confidence-inspiring ski. Think of turning and it’s done.” » MARK STEIN“This ski was fantastic. It’s great in long and short turns, and has great rebound—which makes transitions fun and effortless. The sidecut makes initiation easy and allows for progressive edging throughout the turn.” » MIKE MANARA“This fall-line, short-radius machine rolls over easily and quickly turn after turn. It’s great for crowded groomers.” » ROSS COUTTS

average score: 7.7


.. women $900* sidecut:117 70 101 radius: 13@160
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 146,153 †,160
While the name is hot indeed, Burnin Luv could have been named Miss Congeniality. The Ski Canada women testers loved its fun, friendly, playful personality. It has a large sweet spot and an effortless feel to inspire confi dence. When you want to ramp it up, the Burnin Luv lives up to its name, offering response, snap and energy. “This was effortless underfoot with a beautifully blended flex tip-to-tail, which allows this ski to deliver lively short-radius arcs as well as fast fluid carving. I loved it.”JANET KUJIT“Light, lively and grippy—this ski was such a pleasure. You can relax and it makes you confi dent, but then you turn it on and the ski comes alive, full of energy.”» ROBYN BEAUDRY“The epitome of a carving ski, with smooth, solid edge hold without being catchy or grabby. It’s versatile in turn shape, size and speed, and forgiving with its large sweet spot. This ski will make you feel like a hero on the groomers.” » ANNE TERWIEL

average score: 7.2



.. men $1,199 sidecut: 121 78 105 radius: 18 @176
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 152,160,168,176 †,184
The MX78 is a versatile, solid carver. It performed well in a variety of conditions and pleased a broad range of testers. Lighter skiers praised its ease, while the heavier men found it carved with confidence at speed. While its forte was leaving arcs on groomed snow, also noted was its ability when venturing off-piste. “It’s kind of like a freeride ski for this cruising category—playful and easy to turn. Tip it over and stand on its centre and it holds well and carves easily.” » MIKE WEISS“This ski allows you to swoop across the run with a stable, smooth platform. It’s quick to adapt to speed and turn size with ease. A no-surprise, solid carver.” » MARK STEIN “It bends into a carve easily and has a good responsive grip. I felt a solid lock on grip and it was easy to operate.” » GEORGE TERWIEL

average score: 7.7


.. women $999 sidecut: 127 82 109 radius:16.5 @172
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 156,164,172 †,180
Our testers loved the power and stability of the LX82. This is a ski where you get out what you put in, and it rewarded effort with dynamic, progressive, confident turns that inspire a skier to push it. At speed there’s a solid, stable feel with great edge hold. Shorter turns came with some effort and steering. Best suited to the more aggressive. “It was solid underfoot, which instilled confidence at higher speeds, and had a nice arc from edge-to-edge. You barely notice acceleration.” » NIKI COCHREN “What an awesome run! This ski feels so stable. I felt like I could do anything with it. The flex and turn-to- turn transition are really good. It’s great in long turns and short radius.” » NINA GRETZMACHER “This ski is solid, stable and powerful. Effort is rewarded with dynamic short turns. It’s power inspires you to ski more aggressively.” » WENDY ANDERSON

average score: 6.9



.. men $625 sidecut:118 85 111.5 radius: 18.3 @176
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 166,176 †,182
Moment’s El Dorado has an easygoing way about it. Its soft flex makes it easy to initiate, and its comfort level on-piste is better suited to a more relaxed pace. It also possesses some snap and energy. Testers felt it was best suited to soft snow fun, and commented that it was more of an all-mountain western ski than a carver for eastern hardpack. “It’s surprisingly agile for a ski with this shape, and easy to stay on top of throughout the whole turn. This ski is not much of a carver, so better suited to soft snow.” » JOSH FOSTER“This is an easy to turn ski that wants to be on soft snow or stay at home. It’s surprisingly stable on big turns. A soft tip and tail allow easy turn initiation.” » D’ARCY SEGO“It’s light and fun in short turns and stable at slow speeds, but not as stable at higher speeds.” » ROBIN BAYCROFT

average score: 5.3


.. women $550 sidecut: 118 85 111.5 radius: 13.7 @156
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 146,156 †,166
Our testers felt the Spade’s easygoing feel was better suited to the all-mountain category. While it did have good edge grip, crud and cut-up snow was where this ski performed best. The Spade’s highest scores came in ease of initiation and short turns, where there was good response and fun. Testers felt intermediate, finesse-oriented skiers would get the most pleasure out of this ski. “Take this one to cruise early morning groomed slopes or some soft grade all-day powder. An incredibly lively ski that likes to take it easy.” » MARTINA OSMAN“A supple easy flex pattern offers lighter skiers an easy ride. Not a good match for those who want powerful speed. Better suited to the all-mountain category.”» JANET KUIJT“A very light ski suitable for intermediates skiing at lower speeds who are working on their finesse technique. I found it less stable at high speeds.” » NINA GRETZMACHER

average score: 5.1



.. men &women $1,199 sidecut: 122 70 105 radius: 14@170
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 154, 162,,170 †, 178†
When the word “Yahoo!” comes up in testers’ comments, it’s quite evident this ski scores well in the fun factor. scored highest in edge grip and long radius, it’s also a versatile all-round It’s responsive, powerful, stable and confidence-inspiring, with fabulous edge grip. An advanced carver who likes to leave arcs in the snow will certainly have fun playing on this ski. “Fantastic ski! It’s great for short turns, is agile and nimble, and easy to pivot underfoot. It holds well in longer turns, and is stable at speed. Great all-round ski.” » GLEN HYLAND “I loved this ski. It’s really fast and solid; easy to manoeuvre at slower speeds, and smooth and predictable This ski sticks to the mountain with magnetic attraction. It has an uncanny ability to hold the arc, then release the turn quickly and easily. Huge yahoo factor peeling your eyelids back turn after turn.” » MARK STEIN

average score: 8.2 men; 7.6 women


.. men & women $1,125* sidecut: 124 80 112 radius: 16.5 @170
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 160,165 †,170,175 †,180
Using the classic Strato name carries a hefty weight of responsibility, and this ski does not fall short, offering many classic GS characteristics. Edge grip, stability and its ability in long turns won the highest praise. The women agreed, suggesting this ski’s stiff tail provided a strong finish and good acceleration in long turns on-piste. “Great fun at speed. Beautiful ski, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You need to be on this ski to feel the magic, yet it doesn’t knock you for backing off. Do I have to give it back? “» ALLYSON BOWER “Tear up the groomers and jack up the speed! A long-turn piste addict will love the stability and edge grip.” » ROSS COUTTS “It holds well in larger-radius turns with speed and does a shorter-radius turn with some work, but is predictable. It’s solid underfoot, and builds confidence to get inside the arc.” » GLEN HYLAND

average score: 7.8 men; 7.4 women


.. men $1,124* sidecut: 119 72 103 radius: 15.1 @170
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 154,162,170 †,178
It’s light, lively and tons of fun. The 24 Hours is a truly versatile ski. The large sweet spot keeps things easy and responsive. Its slightly softer fl ex helps its ability in crud and cut-up snow, and it’s quick and snappy in short and medium turns. It’s best suited to lighter, finesse skiers, but even our bigger male testers were able to exceed its speed limit. “Fly around the groomers feeling like a fighter pilot. This ski arcs effortless, aggressive turns that leave you begging for more. It’s lightning quick.” » MARK STEIN“Absolutely amazing ski! It rolls onto edge with amazing ease. There’s a huge sweet spot, but you can still totally push the ski and it rewards with great performance. Best-in-class carver.” » HANK SHANNON“A light and lively dance cruiser that’s easy to steer and responds to all kinds of turn sizes and speeds; versatile in this category. It’s not for big boys and hardcore racers.”» MIKE WEISS

average score: 8.2


.. women $975* sidecut: 119 71 103 radius: 13.1 @162
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 148,155,162 †,169,176
Not surprising with a name like Daytona, this is a ski that likes its speed. You’ll like it too with its confi dence-inspiring stability and edge grip. Several testers commented on this ski’s smoothness making them really want to push the limits. It also had a gentler side, offering ease from turn to turn, and this ease made short turns a breeze. “Light and super-lively. Quick snappy short turns, you can lay this ski over as far as you dare in long fast turns with the utmost confi dence. The large sweet spot made it extremely playful. Fun.”» WENDY ANDERSON “Vivacious. Smooth and easy to speed on this ski. Fun and lively in short turns.” » JANET KUIJT “Strong. A super-powerful ski. Stable at high speeds and doesn’t get affected by anything—you can really crank it. My weight is a little light to really appreciate the tip.” » ROBYN BEAUDRY

average score: 7.5



.. men $1,135* sidecut: 121 73 102 radius: 14.8 @168
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 161,168 †,175
The superlatives flowed from the testers for this ski. As a category favourite, the TigerShark 10 Feet showed itself as an exceptional carver in both short and long turns. It was forgiving yet powerful, light yet solid, with an incredible edge grip. This ski seemed to do it all—and do it all well. Its ability to be skied in a finesse or power style suggests it’s well suited to a broad range of skiers. “Wicked awesome, dude! This ski was light, playful, snappy and easy to initiate. It has a very progressive flex with lots of stability. I loved playing on this one.” » JARED HETHERINGTON“An Olympic medal winner! It’s like a racehorse wanting to go faster. Cruise, smile, carve and take on any pitch with any size turn you want.” » MIKE WEISS“Wow! What an exciting ski! It has great edge grip and acceleration, and was very easy to turn at slower speeds and incredible when you crank it up.” » ROBIN BAYCROFT

average score: 8.7


.. women $1,050* sidecut: 124 72 93 radius: 14.6@158
LENGTHS AVAILABLE: 144,151,158 †,165
Scoring top marks overall for the women, the Attiva Fuego is one capable carving machine. It’s quick, responsive and agile, great in both short and long turns, and stable with vise-like edge grip. It has a unique combination of ease and smoothness from turn-to-turn, yet with energy, zest and power. There was surprise at this ski’s stability given its lightness and ease. “This is a well-rounded beautiful ski. Can I keep it please? A great ski for adventurous intermediates who want something that grows with them.” » ALLYSON BOWER “Lovely with attitude. A gold-medal podium finisher for effortless edge-to-edge speed and precision carving.” » JANET KUIJT “This ski made me feel like a queen. It did everything I wanted— such a confidence-builder. Easy breezy with a bit of grrrr.” ROBYN BEAUDRY

average score: 8.2

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