Alpina Discovery 102 Review

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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Alpina Discovery 102 Review

Post by Johnny » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:48 am

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.
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Re: Alpina Discovery 102 Review

Post by MikeK » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:02 pm

I calc'd it out. That profile is roughly 16m radius in a 175cm length.

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Re: Alpina Discovery 102 Review

Post by connyro » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:48 am

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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Re: Alpina Discovery 102 Review

Post by Nitram Tocrut » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:06 am

Although the last post on this tread is 3 years ago I thought I would still add my experience of the last month with the Alpina Discovery. I do not have the retention to call it an extensive review, it's more like a resume of my hands on experience with them.

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 :o

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 :mrgreen: . 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 ;)

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