S-bound98 and me

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jalp

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S-bound98 and me

Postby jalp » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:20 am

I'm hoping to draw a few opinions on the S-bound98 with regard to myself and the niche I'd like to fill.

I was cruising through my FLUGS (friendly local used gear shop) and spotted a pair of these a week ago. I remembered that they seem to be well regarded here on TT. Mounted with NNN BC Mags, they include a set of new Easy Skins. The skis look like they have never been used. They are probably a few years old but still basically new. The asking price is $325, not a total steal but pretty reasonable I'm thinking. 179cm.

I'm eyeing these for short tours looking for turns on easy 15-20 degree terrain. Thinking that they would pair very well with my Alaska nnn's. Snow conditions where I would choose to bring these would range from a few inches to no more than 1' of powder over consolidated base. I'm thinking that a ski like this could be what I'm looking for to help further my technique.

I'm 5'6" 190lbs. As far as ability, let's just say I can get a reasonable t-turn or 2 on XCD gear if the conditions are very good and the stars all align just so.

I think my major concern is with the length being 179cm. I've been looking for a size/weight chart and not having much luck finding one. Would anyone consider this a reasonable length for my weight? I understand that this is less of a concern than it would be for a ski designed primarily for K&G but I'd still like to make a reasonable match.

I'd very much appreciate the opinions of those with more experience, particularly regarding the length as well as my reasons for considering them. Oh yeah, and most importantly, how do they feel? Do you love them?

I'll have another look at them tomorrow on my way up to the hills. Maybe they'll follow me home...

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fisheater

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Re: S-bound98 and me

Postby fisheater » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:33 am

I have a pair of S-112 at 189 cm. I weigh 195 lbs and would not want them shorter for kick and glide down the trail. Mine were mounted Three pin Hardwire however that binding is now on another ski, and the S-112 are waiting for a Three pin cable mount. In soft snow trail skiing performance was adequate (not great, not bad). With an Alico Ski March boot, downhill performance is very good in soft snow. The tips come right up to the top and the ski is cambered enough to offer a little pop out of a turn. However this ski is not torsional rigid, and while I made turns at the lift served hill with my son for a couple of seasons it was very apparent the ski was not designed for that use.
I am not a real fan of the S-112 performance on hardpack trails. The 112 walks around quite a bit on hardpack, the scales vibrate considerably. I also get better climbing performance with my waxable skis. Since I do not have a spring corn season where scales would be an advantage, the S-112 is my loaner ski. I wouldn't sell it, I could trade it, possibly pass it to somebody in need, but I have not used it.
In writing this there is a part of me that does not wish to "pee in your Wheaties", but being honest my S-112 is best as a niche ski. The niche is soft snow tour for turns. Since my trails get packed out before my downhills do, it doesn't offer much. I also prefer waxable in soft snow. For $325 it sounds like you are paying full price, but you get a binding and an easy-skin. That is probably just under a $150 value. However the ski may seem short on the trail. The other "however" is that since you are learning to turn, the 179 cm will be easier for you to handle. My S-112 was sweet downhill in powder. It is entirely possible this S-98 could be just what you want. BTW I am in southern Michigan if that helps you assess my weather in comparison to yours.
Good luck,
Bob

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Re: S-bound98 and me

Postby martin2007 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:31 pm

Hello there! Good questions. I was out today on 1st generation S-Bound 98's in Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park. The temps were minus 2 to minus 6 C in the woods climbing up in deep snowpack on a trail well tracked by snowshoers. I was skiing in my new Alico Ski Marches, a boot somewhat sturdier and heavier than the Alaskas. These skis perform best on corn snow (as Fisheater mentioned), and on warm snow hovering around 0 C. I bought mine shortish, and that probably tends to make my glide sluggish. They climb very well, though, without skins. They climb better than my oldish skinny Karhu XCD waxables. The S-Bounds are good for descending narrow rough trails, in part because they're not fast and slow down considerably when I step off the hard-packed trail. I've used them on steeper ascents with tip-to-tail skinny skins which provided added grip, but I avoid at all costs the hassle of putting those skins on and taking them off.

It sounds as if doing tele turns on tours is not a priority for you at the moment. If kick and glide and controlled descents on forested trails are what you want, I doubt that the used S-Bounds you've pinpointed are your best choice. I suspect the k+g will be particularly sluggish for you at the 179cm length. Also, for used skis, albeit with fresh-looking Easy-Skins, the seller isn't giving them away.

Hope this helps.

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Re: S-bound98 and me

Postby jalp » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:05 pm

Hi Bob!

Thanks very much for taking the time to help me with this and in such detail. You and that little voice in my head have convinced me to pass on the 98s. Not too long ago my concern was that I'd wind up with skis that were too long for me. I'm far past that now and am reluctant to go short on anything.

I had a bit of good luck today and now have more 2 more pairs of skis to play on. One pair are Salomon X-ADV 88's. Couldn't pass them up for $20.00. Still short at 179cm but I'd rather live with a cheap disappointment than an expensive one. If they help me to get my turns dialed in I'll be plenty satisfied. Just finished up mounting pins on them.

The other are a pair of wooden Bonna 1800. Really good condition. Also $20.00. Guess I'll be learning to care for wooden skis now too. Never ends does it?

Thanks again,
John

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jalp

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Re: S-bound98 and me

Postby jalp » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:02 am

Martin,

Nice! Sounds like you had a great day.

Thanks for giving your opinion on these. I don't actually have my heart set on the S98, just happened to run across a pair and started to think...and that's when the trouble always starts! I'm not fond of sluggish glide so that's reason enough for me to pass on them at 179cm. I'd definitely still consider them had they been 189 though. I'm fine with picking up cheap skis just to try them out but that used 98 doesn't quite qualify as cheap. Where I'm living there isn't a large pool of used XCD skis. Lots of Alpine, heavy Tele, and AT. Nordic is mostly either recreational grade classic, or skate. When I spotted the 98's they stood out like a unicorn or something.

Yeah, I'm also not too fond of fiddling with skins if I don't have to. I'll usually carry kickers but won't bother with them unless I miss-estimate what I need to climb or run into ice. Early this season I actually put them on to descend a very narrow steep iced over trail. I still managed to screw that up somehow. I gave the snowshoers something to laugh at and their dogs a face to lick.

I also have a pair of Ski March boots. How's the break in going for you? Any trouble spots? My pair breaks just right on one boot but pinches my toes on the other. It's not too bad, I think I can get it worked out. I'm also in the process of stretching them. I have feet so wide that even ducks are like " Whoa..check out that dude's feet". :lol:

martin2007 wrote:It sounds as if doing tele turns on tours is not a priority for you at the moment.


Actually, that's the eventual goal but at the moment I'm pretty motivated to just get my turns dialed in. I think I'll give those X-ADV88 I found today a chance. I'll settle on a new ski after I get myself sorted out a little better. Yes, the X-ADV are still short but they should be nice and easy to turn. At least I didn't spend much on them either. I have found a nice little practice hill that no one seems to use. I can go there and thrash about with no witnesses.

I'm doing just fine in the K&G department with a pair of old e99 Crown and the Alaska NNN BC. I find them to be fast and also pretty controllable on descents. I can even get a gentle Tele arc out of them on occasion but of course they mostly want to run straight.


John

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martin2007

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Re: S-bound98 and me

Postby martin2007 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:16 am

Hey, John! It sounds like you've got the right approach to this backcountry ski business, i.e. have fun and don't take it or ourselves too seriously. You asked me about how the breaking-in is going with the Ski Marches. I've given an update on the "Alico Ski March" thread under "Community Ski Reviews" if you're interested. Glad to hear you're enjoying shopping around for used stuff and experimenting with gear. That can be half the fun!

Martin


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