Ski companies are constantly trying to be innovative. As a result they bring to market new skis that incorporate technologies designed to make skis ski better and thus make skiing easier and more enjoyable. Whether it is the crazy shapes as found in DPS Skis or the crazy rocker of the K2 HellBent’s ski companies are always pushing the envelope.
On the wall they look like nothing I have seen before. Carbon Fiber inserts in the tip, drastic side cut, and tip (aka Scoop Rocker) all combined with an exposed wood and mythical creature top sheet. KUNG POW that’s a lot going on.
What really got be excited was picking them up.
The CHO OYU weighs in at 1080g thanks to mirco sidewall construction, a 100% Paulownia Core and Carbon Fiber Stringers to add torsional stiffness and dampening.
While all of this sounds great the true test is….HOW DO THEY SKI?
With an 87mm waist and 12m turn radius these babies are quick. I was able to test them both at a resort and in the Backcountry. While skiing on the groomed runs, the short turn radius and sidewalls held well for SL turns and had a surprising amount of pop for how light they are.
While skiing them in the back-country, the weight was evident on the uphill and when setting the skin track. When it came time for a kick turn I barely had to lift my foot to swing the ski around. On the downhill, the Scoop Rocker kept my tips up and quick radius make navigating the tight trees a breeze. Due to their limited weight I am not sure how they would handle cut up snow or a crust but if you have soft snow or groomers the CHO OYU won’t disappoint.
I was able to take the NANGA PARBAT on my spring trip to ski Mt Adams, WA. With them weighing only 1000g having them on my back for the long approach was not an issue. I remember commenting that when we transitioned to skinning from hiking we also filled up our water bottles and I said that it felt like my pack got heavier without my skis on and the added water then it did with the skis on.
At 80mm underfoot and the same quick turn radius as the CHO OYU the NANGA PARBAT skied the soft corn with ease. I was able to make short turns in the top technical sections and then open it up towards the bottom. While making larger turns I felt that the 171 was a little short for me (I am 5’9”) but I was still comfortable. I never felt like they were wobbling out of control and I probably got them up near 40mph.
I would like to try them again in soft snow but if they ski similar to the CHO OYU I am sure that I won’t be disappointed.
In all, I was very impressed with both the CHO OYU and NANGA PARBAT and I can;t wait to get my own pair to really see what they can do!