Gear Review: Praxis MVP Skis

 

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Praxis MVP Skis Skill Level: for intermediate to free ski professionals. Currently the ski for Drew Tabke – freeride world tour champion.

Price when purchased: $689 for stock version. $879 for custom version with carbon layup.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: All mountain ski

Dimensions (mm): 133-110-126

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183cm

Sidecut Radius: 24 meters

Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,119 grams

Boots/Bindings: ie.. Lange RS 130/ Look pivot 18

Mount Location: -4 cm from Recommended Line

FLOTATION/SURFABILITY: EXCELLENT

STABILITY AT SPEED: EXCELLENT

QUICKNESS/BUMPS: GOOD

FORGIVENESS/FUN: GOOD

CRUD PERFORMANCE: EXCELLENT

HARD SNOW INTEGRITY: ACCEPTABLE

Test Location: Squaw Valley USA, North Lake Tahoe, CA

Days Skied: 6

Parting thoughts: Great all around ski. Can be a quiver of one ski.

What follows is a gear review of the Praxis MVP skis from your everyday working man who’s passionate about that sensation of floating on untracked powder: 

I just finished three days on my new MVP’s and thought I’d tell you about them since there doesn’t seem to be much out there about them. I’ll start by telling you a bit about me so that you can determine if you want to take what I say with a grain of salt or decide that maybe this may be helpful to you. then I’ll describe my observations with this ski and you can do what you want with the info. My hope is that you will gain some sort of insight (good or bad) about this ski if you are in the process of pulling the trigger or not.

So, I am a early 40’s guy, 6’0, 205 lbs (athletic, gold medal at SF tri last year, scratch golfer that wins amateur tournaments), that is now able to ski again because my kids are now old enough to enjoy time on the mountain. I used to ski lots in high school and college and was considered an expert. Zipper lining was my favorite past-time. the bigger the bumps the better. I would also huck cliffs and anything else that would impress my friends and girls because I was fearless. They tried to get me to race in Nastar stuff, but I just wanted to rip around with my buds.

So, fast forward many years, three kids later and a great career. I’m back to skiing again and its like riding a bike. You never forget how to although it seems like “carving” is all the rage these days. When I learned, I was taught to ski as fast as you can in as strait a line as you can, keep your upper body pointed downhill and only pivot your skis to control your speed. I skidded my turns to control speed.

With this “carving” thing all the rage, my trusty 195 K2 5500’s weren’t going to cut it anymore so I bought some used Atomic Slalom skis and skied them all last season. They are pretty awesome skis and you can turn so quick in them. They are stiff as boards too.

Then all I kept hearing about last season is “rocker” and wide skis. So this year I bought a pair on a leap of faith without trying any. I orignally ordered Praxis Pist Jibs. Keith then recommended that I go with MVP’s and that’s what I did. Praxis MVP, 184’s, Medium/Stiff with Carbon/glass layup. Bindings mounted on boot center on dot indented on left side of ski. They are not nearly as stiff as my Atomics.

I skied them for the first time on Friday at Squaw. Basically all on groomers, the steepest terain being Siberia Bowl, but mostly on the runs off Shirley Express. I love moguls so was happy to see little bumps form. Anyhow, on Friday the skis felt very “spinny” or pivoty. They wanted to pivot at the slightest movement. I’m guessing my first experience with rocker?

The tails kept washing out on me and the tail tips would cross a lot. I also felt very forward on this setup and noticed that the bindings looked too centered on the skis. When the speed increased the tails seemed to behave a lot better and so I started seeing how fast I could go until I felt unsafe on them. At higher speeds, they would start twisting around on me. Its like there is some sort of speed sweet spot on these. Not enough speed and the tails misbehaved and too much speed and they start being thrown all over the place. I was not happy on Friday. I hated these skis. I wanted my Atomics back.

So after Friday I needed to do something about these skis since I dropped a boatload on them. I took the skis to the Squaw shop and asked them to remount them for me. The centeredness of the bindings bothered me so I eyeballed the binding position that looked right to me and asked the guys in the shop to remount them there. That ended up mounting the bindings with the boot center mark 4 cm behind the mark on the left side of the skis.

What a difference that made!! It is like a totally difference ski. Not sure of the technicalities of moving the mount position but it looks right now. Better for my old style of skiing? Don’t know.

By today, I’ve got them so dialed in and I feel I have total control over them. Not one crossed tip or tail, zip through bumps, great skidded turning and sometimes I would even get on the edges and carve some nice turns that felt locked into the snow and solid. I had lots of fun Saturday and today. I don’t feel a speed limit anymore and they are now stable at high speeds. I did plenty of beginner slopes too, teaching my kids skiing and these skis are much better when going faster.

Anyways, that’s what I have to say about these so far. Again only three days on these and all on piste. I feel like I have the control like my Atomic slalom skis with solid edges that I can lock into the snow, but also with the rocker for deeper snow that hopefully I’ll be able to experience soon.

I totally love them now and have confidence to do anything on them now. I have the feel of my Atomics in a modern form factor that will add to the terrain I can ski with them. I want to try the 187 to see if I can control them as well as I can mine at 184.

Those are my thoughts on these. Hope this review helps someone in the purchasing decision process . Take care!

Gear review by Joe Woo who mainly ski Squaw and Alpine; he’s based out of the North Bay.

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