Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by Johnny » Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:10 pm

Stephen wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:40 pm
For practical reasons, leaning toward the T78, but your P80 love is causing me doubt.
Are you feeling much difference between the T78 and P80?
I never skied the T78 so I can't comment...
But I did put my newest Nansens up for sale, which is saying a lot about my love for the Pioneer!... 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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jyw5
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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by jyw5 » Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:25 pm

Johnny wrote:
Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:10 pm
Stephen wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:40 pm
For practical reasons, leaning toward the T78, but your P80 love is causing me doubt.
Are you feeling much difference between the T78 and P80?
I never skied the T78 so I can't comment... But I did put my newest Nansens up for sale, which is saying a lot... 8-)

I'm hoping this setup is a complete failure...like the bindings ripping out of all that high quality wood and your boots blows a hole in the sole.

I can't read these threads any more. The GAS meter just got shut off after I received my new Sverdrups...and then this happens.



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Johnny
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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by Johnny » Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:38 pm

Ahahahaahahahha!
@jyw5 I will let you know if I am ever able to break them. I will put some extra effort into this just for you...
In the meantime, if I may add, the XPlore bindings that were on my Nansens are back into the Pioneers... 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by randoskier » Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:15 am

Johnny wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 7:24 am
Alpina Pioneer 80 Ski Rottefella XPlore review.jpg


The Pioneer 80 is Alpina's next year's all-terrain backcountry ski. But I was lucky enough to receive a pair of 196cm in the mail! Woaaah! Of course I had already seen the picture on the web a few weeks before, and I remember my very first impression was "Wow, at last, a ski with nice cosmetics!!!" And no, it's not fake wood, it's real wood! Just like the Discovery 80's clear top sheets, but without the red paint... So cool!

I was really delighted when I received the skis, they are really beautiful. Natural and simple. No useless graphics. But I was not super excited, thinking they were just yet-another-ski with fishscales. Nothing ultra-special, nothing extraordinary, nothing groundbreaking. Just beautiful, very nice Alpina planks. Well, to be honest, I was more excited about the XPlore bindings that came on it! So they stayed in the kitchen for a few days... (all the other rooms being overloaded with skis already.) I would touch and flex them several times a day, a real pleasure for the eyes, and a real pleasure for any skier's right hemisphere. But then I took them for a ride. Woo! It only took a few kicks and I was totally in love!

According to Alpina, the upcoming Pioneer 80 ski is "The perfect choice for skiers that demand stability, control and edge grip in the ungroomed terrain. Full metal edges provide grip when you need to head downhill or control when you need to traverse across steeper terrain. The camber design aides in flotation and issues easier maneuvering when you need to change course. The skis will be equipped with a new Rottefella Xplore™ mountain ski binding system that provides better mobility when walking and more stability."


Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore.jpg


On snow, the ski is flying. It's really fast for a backcountry ski of that class. I find it faster than the Ingstad. In fact, with a nice sidecut of 80-58-69, it's quite similar to the Ingstad (84-64-74). The sidecut is also similar to the Madshus Eon ( 83-62-70 ) the Rossignol BC 80 (80-60-70) and the Fischer Traverse 78 ( 78-61-69 ). I would be curious to see the difference between the Pioneer and the Discovery 80, which seems identical... (Reinforced mounting area for XPlore bindings perhaps?) Unfortunately, there isn't much information about Alpina products on their website, as it always been the case...

They are a bit straighter, having a longer radius that the Ingstad. Tracking in powder in very fast, and these beasts are going straight ahead, never wiggling a bit. I'm not 100% sure if this is due to the ski or the XPlore bindings, but the feeling is amazing! I have never seen a ski going that straight with such a sidecut profile. Very impressive! And yes, they also have REAL tips for real powder skiing...!

The flex is actually similar to the Ingstad too but with a few differences. First, the camber strength and height is similar, but the Pioneer seems to have a slightly stronger "wax pocket". (It's quite small, I wouldn't call it a second camber). With the same about of force, there is like a 1mm pocket on the Pioneer that I can't crush completely. They do have a bit of nordic rocker, but not as much as the Ingstad. Imagine an Ingstad ski but with the camber of the Nansen, or the original non-NR'ed Combat NATO. Quite similar to the Rossignol BC 80 in terms of flex, but with a bit of that famous FT68-style "Marked Chamber"... ; )

The simple waxless pattern is very efficient. The pattern length is much longer than on the Asnes WL line, offering better grip, especially for my 130lbs at 6'. Maybe that is also why I feel they go so fast! The Ingstad is obviously optimized for glide, while the Pioneer is optimized for grip. See picture below... Yes, you're right, it's grip wax that you have noticed on the Ingstad... 8-) )

Asnes Ingstad vs Alpina Pioneer 80 waxless pattern.jpg
The 196cm Alpina Pioneer on top, and the 205cm Asnes Ingstad at the bottom, both aligned at balance point.


I use the Ingstad for exploring the woods, when I want to take a walk in the forest with skis on, when performance is not involved. The new Pioneer will be even better for this, meaning I can explore a bit further and faster! And I think this is exactly what the Pioneer was designed for. (That said, I can't wait to compare them with other XPlore-equipped skis of that class!) The dimensions of the Pioneer are a perfect compromise for a perfect mix of speed, stability and flotation. They are Alpina's only skis that will come pre-mounted with XPlore bindings, meaning this is really the perfect combination. At only 1045g at 196cm, they are lighter than the Traverse 78 and the Eon. Same weight as the Rossignol BC 80 and just a few more grams than the Ingstad (1025g)

Really, it's a very nice surprise for me. (Or should I say a nice discovery?) I knew I was already in love with the Pioneer cosmetically, but I was not expecting to love it that much on snow! A fast 4x4 backcountry tool for any terrain. The Alpina Pioneer 80 + Rottefella XPlore combo is a total blast. Not really a downhill ski, but the perfect 4WD machinery for backcountry exploration and an explosive arsenal for traversing down your favorite 4,000 footer.


pioneer80.jpg
They look sweet. Any idea of the MSRP for this ski/binding combo?
Where are they made? Czech Republic? I wonder why Alpina does not make their skis at their Slovene neighbor's factory (Elan). I am often in the Slovenian mountains (2hr. drive), the Elan factory outlet we often visit has great deals on Alpine skis.



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randoskier
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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by randoskier » Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:28 am

jyw5 wrote:
Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:25 pm
Johnny wrote:
Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:10 pm
Stephen wrote:
Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:40 pm
For practical reasons, leaning toward the T78, but your P80 love is causing me doubt.
Are you feeling much difference between the T78 and P80?
I never skied the T78 so I can't comment... But I did put my newest Nansens up for sale, which is saying a lot... 8-)

I'm hoping this setup is a complete failure...like the bindings ripping out of all that high quality wood and your boots blows a hole in the sole.

I can't read these threads any more. The GAS meter just got shut off after I received my new Sverdrups...and then this happens.
If your gas got shut off and you had a pair of Pioneer 80s you could take a cross-cut saw and make some nice looking firewood for the wood-stove...



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Johnny
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Posts: 2256
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont
Ski style: Dancing with God with leathers / Racing against the machine with plastics
Favorite Skis: Redsters, Radicals, XCD Comps, Objectives and S98s
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Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by Johnny » Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:20 pm

Although I have 100+ pairs of skis, I find myself using the Alpina Pioneer 80 more than 50% of the time! (Another 25% is on the MR48S, the other 25% on other various tools) TOTALLY different stats compared to the previous years! So I thought perhaps this was worth yet another update on that ski!

Very surprising those little Pioneers. Faster than the rest for touring, and a perfect waxless pattern offering both perfect glide and perfect grip under all conditions. And as soon as there are a few inches of new snow, it makes a great downhill powder ski as well! A bit hard to turn because of its camber on hard snow (Who the hell is skiing on hard snow?!?), but soooo smooth, awesome and easy to turn in powder! First, tour a little to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors, then find your favorite spot for a quick meditation. Then head for your favorite hill: Climb, dance-and-turn, and repeat. My new favorite waxless ski for touring!

No bling bling, no new special features, no flashy top sheets, no exotic camber or sidecut, no trendy ambassador, just a great, solid, all-around backcountry ski. I really have no arguments or evidences to support my find. I am just sharing my joy here. The Pioneer has nothing futuristic or innovative. But somehow, no matter the conditions or where I go, I find myself picking up the Alpina 80's most of the time when I go out the door. Yep, I really really love that one!

Alpina Pioneer.jpg

randoskier wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:15 am
They look sweet. Any idea of the MSRP for this ski/binding combo?
Where are they made? Czech Republic?
No clues of origin on the skis... Perhaps because mine are last year's prototypes?

The Discovery 80 is available everywhere for around 249$... Which is more than honest for such an awesome ski. So my guess is that it should be around that price. My guess is that they will come as an XPLORE ski/binding combo at a great price. 8-)

But where are they? Where are they?
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by Tom M » Sat Feb 19, 2022 3:25 pm

randoskier wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:15 am
Where are they made? Czech Republic? I wonder why Alpina does not make their skis at their Slovene neighbor's factory (Elan). I am often in the Slovenian mountains (2hr. drive), the Elan factory outlet we often visit has great deals on Alpine skis.
The topsheet on my Discovery 80's say "Made in Czech". I agree with Johnny, these skis are lots of fun.



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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by JohnSKepler » Thu Oct 27, 2022 5:58 pm

@Johnny
Any thoughts on when Alpina might ship these skis or the Pioneer boots :?:
Where might they become first available?

Alpina? Hellooooo????? ;)
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by WendyLeah » Sun Jan 08, 2023 11:48 am

I am trying to find skis. I just ordered the xplore bindings and they say they need a 65 mm waist. I think you said the alpina pioneer 80 ski has a smaller waist so I am wondering how it is compatible to those bindings? I really would like to find a ski with good kick and glide that I can also teleturn with. My ancient track skis I can tele turn in but I am way overdue for something nice. I am about 115 lbs and am having a heck of a time finding anything right now. Only thing I see available is the madshus panorama 67, kind of thing they are wider than I need. I can't find Fischer excursions 88 available right now. Wondering if I should just wait and ski the ancient skis I am on now. Any suggestions? Also wondering what size I should get? 162 -169 ?



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Re: Alpina Pioneer 80 XPlore Ski Review

Post by fisheater » Sun Jan 08, 2023 1:41 pm

The Falketind 62 Xplore was supposed to be designed around the Xplore binding. Of course 3 mm is pretty insignificant in most aspects of a ski mount, with the exception of 3 mm out of plane alignment



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