- XCD KNIGHT
- Posts: 1788
- Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
- Location: Quebec / Vermont
- Ski style: Dancing with God
- Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, Objectives and all Asnes skis.
- Favorite boots: ALFA Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Comp
- Occupation: Full-time ski bum
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.
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."
- Nitram Tocrut
- XCD Enthusiast
- Posts: 56
- Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:50 pm
- Favorite Skis: Europa 99 210 cm (ski old enough to still be named Europa 99 and not only E-99
- Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska 75 mm
- Occupation: Organic vegetable grower and many other things!
My first post on this Forum was to get an answer to this question : Are those skis too short for me? Well they are still as short (178) as they were when I first used them... At first I was not too happy with them but they really grew on me.
As previously said by Johnny, those are made to turn and are "downhill skis with scales". I have a limited experience in Telemark but I can confirm that they are easy to turn although they gain speed rapidly (I don't know if "less turner" skis gain speed as rapidly as my experience is very limited) and the next turn frequently become a challenge for me. But the fact that they are almost downhill skis allows me to easily switch to alpine turn that I can perform even with my leather boots (3 pins Alpina Alaska). I still have to bring them to a ski station but I would sure take them in the easier run
Where they really shine is in steep mountainous terrain as they do climb really well. The info I got from other post is that the Alpina's scales are really good and I can confirm that from my experience. This weekend I was skiing with friends that had Rossignol BC 110 (189) and it was easier for me to climb... or maybe I am just better at it . They are also really maneuverable in narrow trails both on the up and the down. I could manage to stay on my feet in some sections of the trail where I would have most certainly fall with my longer and narrower E99 (I know they are completely different ski... but they are the only one I have so far). I also happen to ski a lot in not so cleared forest and their short size is again a big advantage.
As mentionned by Johnny they are really stiff and I think, I might be wrong, that is an advantage to break trails in many conditions. Last week we had a devastating rain followed by about 6-8" of fresh snow. Although the tips won't easily rise because of the stiffness, they break the crust without problem and they are surprisingly fast on the fresh snow as the scales don't slow the skis as compared when I ski on harder snow. Just for fun I tried the E99 in the same conditions and as expected they performed quite poorly as they tended to sink at the first occasion and the soft tips would easily rise on the crust instead of breaking it.
Of course, if I can manage to maintain a good trail I will switch to my E99 or my skinny Salomon but the Alpina won't be too far if I need to repair the trail.
I must admit though that it would be a really good idea to make those skis longer as they are pretty slow, especially if you ski with a large group of friends and the trail is pretty groomed. But in my case, I almost always ski alone and that is not too much of an issue.
Oh well, that was my hands on report of the Alpina 102, they are far from perfect but they are surely not bad