To quote Brooks Wilson, “The only thing that stayed the same is the name”. The 2018 Vapor is an entirely new ski design from Radar and the third major redesign of the Vapor.
The first generation of Vapor (2014-2015) was appropriately compared to Italian sports cars. It was fast and provided extreme performance to the skier who could handle it. The second generation of Vapor (2016-2017) had all of the performance of the previous version but with much more sophistication and polish. The new 2018 version has at least as much performance of the previous versions with an additional level of refinement.
The ski turns effortlessly and makes as much speed as any ski on the market but perhaps the most important attribute of the new Vapor is balance. This ski makes it easy for the skier to keep flowing in the right direction.
Ball to the wakes:
From the ball to the wakes, the 2018 Vapor holds angle and creates speed with surprising little skier effort. Part of this is the result of the ski carrying substantial speed through the turn. Skiers may find that they can take more passes per ride with less fatigue on the new Vapor. The lack of strength required is one of many factors that translates into more overall control and calm skiing.
Wakes to the ball:
Gaining width on the course is practically automatic. The ski flows out from the center of the course quickly and rolls up on edge at a rate that will surprise you the first time you feel it. This contributes to a tip down attitude approaching the ball. These same attributes also come into play after apex and result in more speed after the ball.
The inherent balance of the ski makes it easy for the skier to stay centered on both feet and flow through the turn. When the skier starts to initiate the turn, the ski quickly carves a tight arc and heads toward the wakes with surprising speed.
During the review period, ski adjustments were focused on getting the Off Side turn right. My personal technique flaws required me to tune the ski so it would not overturn Off Side. Once the fin and bindings were set for Off Side, I put the tools away and just skied.
On Side turns on the Vapor are basically fool proof and automatic. Provided that the skier does not do anything frightfully stupid, the ski is going to turn when it is asked and create plenty of angle. Previous generations of the Vapor required more front foot pressure to turn On Side. Skiers should always strive to be forward at On Side, but this ski will forgive you more then most if you do not.
One of my personal skiing flaws is that I rotate my shoulders more than I should, and I push into the exit of Off Side. The stock “long shallow” settings are perhaps superior to “short deep” for some skiers, but the ski worked much better for me with “short deep” settings.
The 2018 Radar Vapor is a ski that just works. The 2016-2017 Vapor was a classic, and the 2018 Vapor is even better.
Official Radar settings https://www.radarskis.com/finsettings/
Final Review Settings 29 15/16th /.776 / 2.507 / 6.863 / 9