I remember when Karhu announced they were changing the XCDGT from 57mm at the waist, up to 68, and making it shorter. I got online and bought a new replica of the old GTs I was skiing at the time. I have 2 pairs of Merrill Doubles and one pair is still in the original box. (If I could ski my way through my Asolo Snowfields, and BOTH pairs of Merrill Doubles – I’d die a happy man.)
I’ve been resisting the idea of twin tip skis since I first became aware of them. They’re for jibbers. I have no desire to ski backwards. It will be hard to herringbone. But this season, if you’re committed to “directional skis” your choices seem slim.
I’d asked for advice on moving to a fatter ski, and the advice that I got was pretty consistent: Line Prophet 90s, 100s, and Icelantic Pilgrims. Very similar skis that are all twin tips.
Early in the season, on groomers, the Pilgrims rocked. They have more torsional rigidity than any ski I’ve tried. They are good on hard surfaces. Later in the season, when I got into the trees, I couldn’t get them around. These boards are definitely much bigger (and heavier) than anything I’ve ever skied. I wasn’t being aggressive enough. I started to wonder, is this my new groomer ski? That wasn’t how I’d planned it.
Then I had a breakthrough at Hickory last weekend. Conditions were, for the most part, turny and soft. I started to ski more aggressively. More adrenaline, less fear.
I like skiing the Icelantics. The twins do seem to release turns more easily. Most important is the way they stand up to crud. And technically, what we skied at Hickory last Saturday was “crud” — a skied-in mixture of powder, sleet and some ice. During the crust busting, and after it was done, the Pilgrims ate up the bumped terrain.
Regarding “skiing backwards”… in the trees twin tips are convenient. Sometimes backing up is prudent, so why not make it easier? The only downside — I need a snowboard slot to ride the gondola.
It took me a while, but eventually, with a lot of help, I evolved.