Several years ago, I bought a pair of Alpina Cross-Terrains. Back then, I didn't like them much. They were my first pair of waxless skis, I thought they were useless compared to skins so I sold them after only a few days. I was young and stupid back then. I had several pairs of waxless after this, and I learned how to really use them efficiently. I was ready to give Alpina skis a try once again. So I bought a pair of their 2015 Discovery 102...
From what I recall, it's pretty much the same ski as the Cross-Terrain, with updated graphics. First of all, the most important thing about this ski is the sidecut: 102-64-87. Although Alpina don't mention the turning radius anywhere, it's without a doubt the XCD ski with the shortest radius on the market. I would say around 15-16m. Much more than any of the S-Bounds skis. The 102s were made to turn. If turning is your priority, this should be your #1 ski...!
With a Polyurethane core, the ski is still just a tad too heavy for my personal taste. About 250g more than the Epochs. The other main characteristic of the Discovery 102 is the ski stiffness. Boy, this is what I call a stiff ski! It's the stiffest ski I have. Even compared to my Rossignol 9S WC racing skis, the D-102 is still stiffer! It makes the 102 a ski made to dissect technical backcountry terrain more than a pure powder ski. Add a single camber to this and it's really almost a downhill ski... With fish scales.
They turn very quickly and they climb very well. Not my favorite ski for leather boots but for someone looking for a downhill-oriented BC ski with light plastic boots, they would be a wise choice. Yeah, it's basically what the Discovery 102 (and it's big sister the Discovery 110) is, a downhill ski with fish scales.
Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
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I've skied on my buddy's Alpina X-Terrains (old version of the Discovery 102's) and feel the same way as you do about these skis LJ. My buddy skis them with the Alico double leather boots. These skis are VERY curvy (sidecut), are on the heavy side, and are very stiff. They feel like DH skis with scales, just as LJ said. The scales allow the skier to climb like a goat (for scales): nearly as well as the Vector BCs, IME. I did not find them to be very good for deep powder due their scrawny 64mm underfoot and stiff flex. They turn great on dense or hardpack snow, like a DH ski. They come in lengths up to 179 cm. I think these are a good ski for beginner telemark (XCD) skiers who occasionally venture to the local ski hill for practicing hardpack turns.
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