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H2o Ride Before you Buy, Ski test


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So this winter I worked for the infamous Eric Lee. My payment was snow skiing at Squaw Valley everyday and a new slalom ski. (Eric, I’m the best skier on the Ball of spray website! Look up GNAR, great movie) First when I made this agreement I was a little scared that Eric would make me a Slalom Ski. But thank god, we listened to Horton and went to H2o Proshop and got on the RIDE BEFORE YOU BUY program. So far I have been loving this program, the guys at H2o have been so nice and helpful. Thanks Tadd.


Next, since I know one of you slalom guys are going to ask. I’m 5'10/9" and 170ish. I ski 36mph and my PB is 2 at 35 off. But skiing without time I’ve gotten 4 at 38off thanks Bob-O for the pull. My theory in slalom is; measuring your fin is stupid. If you want to move your fin just know where it has been so you can always go back. A tenth of an inch doesn’t matter just ski and shut up.


First, I’m coming off a 66.5 D3 Custom X, I loved that ski. Who wouldn’t it got me from 28 mph to 35 off in 5 or so years. I would highly recommend D3 to any beginner because it is super stable and so predictable. I even use to kid around and tell people I could save gas and just call in my score. I never had a bad ride on the CX. I feel that anyone can ride a D3 at a very high level.


So First, I tried one of my buddies D3 X7, thanks Harley. It was a 67" with the fin stock but move a little back. (don’t ask me for numbers because I don’t have them) The ski was amazing on my offside and great at getting angle both ways. The ski felt like my CX but the Z7 was faster but still Super stable and predictable. The biggest thing I didn’t like about X7 is that is shut down before the ball and you cant get wide. The ski is all about hand control and the edge change. The best description I can give is; pivot turn, pull, pivot turn, pull.


Next H2o sent me a 67" Radar Strada. H2o said the numbers are Length: 6.850, Depth: 2.499 DFT: 0.760 Wing: 9 Degrees But don’t ask if it was because I never checked. I really like that ski. First off Black and red graphics just speaks fast to me, and it was. Way faster than the CX and a little faster than X7 and surprisingly stable for how fast the ski was. I love the width I could get on the ski. Skiing a wide and early 32off pass is so much easier. I had the ski for a week or so and ran 32 , 3 times and I PB on it getting 3 at 35. Well with that said you probably like Wow, just keep it but in the same week time I messed up my opener 2 times. Both times I have to say I was burning the candle from both ends and tying one back the night before. But isn’t that what skiing is all about!!! Biggest things I noticed were it had a smaller sweet spot than the CX and you really had to be slow and smooth in your turns. If you are patient the ski just continues to get angle. Some time I felt like the ski slide out a little in my offside turn. I believe this is just a fin problem because I tried the sliver Strada last year and felt it even more than. (No I don’t have the number) I also got to try a 66" Radar Strada. I don’t have the number but the fins looked identical. Lucky when I was out helping to coach UC Davis, KUZ or Mike Kusiak had a 66" for me to try. I highly recommend getting coaching from him at Bell Aqua near Sacramento, CA he helped me so much on my gates and my edge change, Thanks KUZ. There was no difference on speed than the 67" during the pull but is shut down more during the turn. I also notice that I didn’t have to push it as hard in the turns. This makes me believe that it will be a better 35/38 off ski for me.


Next I going to be trying the new HO A2 its in the mail :)

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