fisheater wrote:Great reviews Lilcliffy, ski season is over here. Waiting for a chance for the first paddle on Lake Huron, but still missing skiing, just not enough turns or kicks this season. I my corner of MI, we are not blessed with snow like yours. Most winter we may have one to two feet in the woods, but it does not get refreshed frequently enough. We also seem to always get those days that climb into the mid 30's F, that are not powder friendly. How are the Hoks for the less than powder? My local skiing is sand and gravel glacial deposits, but I get maybe 150-350 vertical feet instead of meters. The most interesting public land I share with snowmobiles. I just push into some terrain they do not care for. A tight woods ski that can handle "compacted pow" would really be worth it.
I believe your 13 year old to be a pretty skilled skier. My thirteen year old is more of a easy blue skier. With a careful dad, would the 145 Hok be too much? I was thinking it could be a dual purpose ski. A tight woods ski for dad, and a backcountry powder ski for the boy.
Hey man- sorry for not getting back to you- I have been buried in work of late.
I have tried these on consolidated snow and they are somewhat brutally inefficient in a xcountry context- they essentially have no "kick" or "wax" pocket. The flex pattern of this ski is designed for soft snow.
However, on wet spring snow, the Hok performs quite well, and with decent grip- and is certainly more efficient than a snowshoe.
Where the Hok performs poorly is on icy, re-frozen snow...
But here's the thing- what Nordic backcountry ski does perform well on icy re-frozen snow?
Both waxless traction and kick wax doesn't work on icy re-frozen snow...Klister is amazing in this snow context, but miserably sticky off of a clean groomed track...Kicker skins are probably the best option- and the Hok has one permanently attached!
My perspective is this- it is what it is. It's probably important not to try and compare apples to oranges too much. A short fat ski like the Hok is never going to offer the glide efficiency of a long, skinny Nordic touring ski. But a long skinny touring ski is never going to offer the maneuverability of a ski like the Hok.
The term "skishoe" kind of bugs me a bit- the Hok truly is a ski. But the a ski like the Hok really does allow you to replace the snowshoe, and ski in a context that would otherwise require a snowshoe.
Everyone in my family has fallen in love with the Hok, including my 13 year-old son. He loves the maneuverability and particularly the grip.
It's hard for me to rate the skill level of my son. My children are still simply intuitive skiers- none of them are performance-orientated yet (my oldest daughter is on Alpine tech though). Up until this point, they have been primarily driven to play on skis- they are constantly charging up and down slopes, building jumps, and hunting for a new chute to scream down. They have yet to develop a real love for a long-distance tour (which is really my passion). However, my oldest son this winter really is beginning to develop an interest in backcountry touring- he is ranging further and further- both with me and by himself. I increasingly come home from work to find that he has already been out for a tour by himself! In general, he tends to choose a shorter, fatter ski than I would- he likes to charge off into the woods whenever, and wherever he feels like it. A 165cm Madshus Epoch has been his favourite ski for a number of years. In general, maneuverability is more important to him than speed. Up until this point, he has not been interested in developing the skills to maneuver long skis. Although with his increasing interest in touring, that may change.