Twin Tips and Change

I’ve never been one to readily accept change. I seem to find comfort repeating things over and over. I do the same drive to ski the same mountain 20+ days a year.

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.

11 comments on “Twin Tips and Change

  1. I don’t trust putting my skis in the snowboard slot. Just bring them in the gondola with you. I either have them between my legs or I’ll be the last one in, put the tails in first, then open the window and stick the tips out once the doors are shut.

  2. The first time with my brand new Line Prophet 100s I put them in the snowboard slot of the gondi at Gore. They toppled to the side nearly giving me a heart attack. So now I bring them into the cabin with me.

  3. I have been thinking about getting a new pair of skis. I would like a pair of fatties , but the reality is, I ski more on groomers than in the woods or pow.I just don’t have the powder day luck.. I am leaning more towards a pair of full blown GS skis. Rocking the groomers at light speed is a blast too..

  4. You can have a blast rockin the groomed with fat skis now…many are stiff like GS skis…they are truly the do-all-all-mountain ski. At least my prophets are.

  5. Tried a pair of K2 Backlash at Gore’s tele demo day yesterday and loved them. They’re fatter and heavier than my Work Stinx, plus they’re rockered. I loved what the rocker did for my turns – it was the first time I’d skied a rockered ski. The Backlash was smooth and stable at speed, carved great on edge, and the rocker made turn initiaition smooth and EZ. I would have gladly gone home with a pair. As PDQ states above, fat skis can do a great job as an all-mountain ski.

  6. If you put them in the snowboard slot, put them in so the base faces AWAY from the gondi car. at the bottom of the slots there is a little bar and if you angle them in a little the tails will slightly hook around them. then just lean them to one side or the other. also helps a lot if other skis are in the ski slot, then you can just use there bindings to keep the skis propped upwards.

  7. It’s funny I didn’t really intend this entry to be a gear review. In my own head, it was more about the glacial speed at which I adopt, or accept change. Somehow I have to take incremental steps towards new technology, which is why I’ll always be a bit behind the curve. I’m just now accepting twins, and it will probably be a while before I get a rockered ski. Matt’s comments especially will slow me down. Connor – thanks for the tip on the gondi, that’s valuable and I’ll start using it this weekend.

  8. Hey harvey… more wood for the gear review fire:< I've been on K2 obsethed skis (105mm) for 3 seasons now in upstate NY. i bought them for out west, but they've turned into my everyday ny ski unless it's a boiler plate day. yep they're rockered too. twin tips and rocker make the NY backcountry a dream. rocker makes you more nimble in the tight trees and compensates for the larger size of the skis. --twin tips keep you from gettting stuck when you hit the brakes and then slide backwards a bit- handy at the top of a small cliff or in a trough. i don't jib anything, or ski backwards (well i guess i ski backwards when teaching my kids, but i did that fine with flat skis) but i do really like the smooth arc of the twin tip. it's a beautiful thing. until i got these, i hadn't skied anything different than an old pair of 4x4's for 10 yrs. enjoy your new boards, and don't let the rockers scare you!

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