And so it goes…

A second look at first glance

Gear Gal April 12, 2012

Salomon Geisha – less all-terrain than the Mai Tai

Putting Salmon’s Geisha to work outside of their natural powder environment – on the corn snow at Steamboat in March – made me wonder if I’d like them, but as always, a ski of this caliber is full of surprises.

A bit bulky and heavy for the T-shirt-worthy conditions, the Geishas still engaged on edge, allowing sweeping turns down the groomed terrain. In steep trees, the part-bamboo reinforcement and full wood core snapped into play and floated nicely over somewhat-shaded soft snow in Christmas Tree Bowl. And in the moguls, I had a blast whipping them through the bumps. When I lost it, they didn’t lose me – they stayed stable as I willed my muscles back into cooperation to pick up another line. I agree with Salomon – though this ski has a rocker design and a wider waist, it’s still meant to be nimble on the entire mountain.

Still, I can see the Geishas abiding happily in Steamboat’s legendary deep champagne powder, particularly when I hopped on the Mai Tais, the Geisha’s little sister.

This is an all-mountain freeride ski. With a slimmer waist at 86 mm versus the Geisha’s 97 mm heft, the Mai Tai was lighter and more flexible with its skier-to-ski compatibility. I meshed with this ski from the first minute I clipped in, dancing down the mogul fields, whipping through the steep trees and cruising happily along groomers. Though I didn’t get to give it a shot, I’d imagine this ski still has ample flotation in powder, but I’d recommend looking to big-sister Geisha if you’re expecting a season like 2011-12.

Both skis offer optimum stability with powerful rebound, and I’m happy to say that they have heavy edge reinforcement to protect against ripping one out in conditions like this year. You know, where the rocks pop out like teeth in the snow – even in February.


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