Whether on storm days when I was spinning quick tram laps through the JHMR sidecountry areas like Ship’s Prow, or bluebird days after storms on steep open faces like Cody Peak’s Pucker Face, the BMX108 provides an extremely stable and confidence-inspiring platform for making big, fast, powerful turns. These skis do not seem to have a speed limit, and instead become livelier the faster I go. They are not, however, a new-school powder ski that will allow you to playfully alter your turn shapes. Instead, the BMX108 is built for going fast and to ski with power, not finesse.
Additionally, the early rise in the tip allows The BMX108 to float much more effectively than the non-rockered FX104, despite being only 4mm wider. I’ve found the small amount of early rise to make a huge difference in both flotation and increased confidence when straight-lining out of runs.
Unsurprisingly, when compared to both the Black Diamond Megawatt, which is significantly wider underfoot at 125mm and has a lot more tip rocker (like many new-school powder skis), the BMX108 does not float nearly as well. This hasn’t proven to be a problem for me when skiing light, low-density powder or even more settled cream cheese-like snow, since the BMX108’s rockered profile allows them to float more effectively than their 108mm waist might suggest.
However, in wind-affected powder, I find that the BMX108 can get grabbed at the bottom of a turn, making it much more difficult to smoothly link turn after turn. This is especially true at slower speeds when skiing couloirs like the Shady Lady in the Jackson Hole side country, where the confines of the chute prevented me from opening it up and making higher-speed, longer-radius turns.
Technical Lines and Steep Couloirs
For skiing technical lines and steep couloirs, the BMX108 has some major upsides. Its cambered profile with a small amount of early rise leads to very predictable skiing—it will make the same turn no matter what snow condition they are presented with. Additionally, I have found that other than in very wind-affected powder, the BMX108 is not at all hooky, and is capable of powering through variable snow. This predictability is a huge asset whenever venturing into no-fall terrain.
In these situations, however, The BMX108’s one drawback is its swing weight. When making tight hop turns, they can feel cumbersome to whip around compared to the FX104. I have found this to be an issue only in really tight situations like narrow couloirs, and in those situations, I am often forced to do a little extra sideslipping instead of making more technical hop turns.
Airs and Pillows
The BMX108 is at home in the air and provides a super stable platform for stomping landings, regardless of the snow conditions. During a recent big-mountain telemark competition at Grand Targhee Resort, I chose to ski the BMX108 on both days, and was impressed by its ability to handle a wide variety of landings.
Whether the landings were sloughed-out powder; punchy, rotten snow; already had several bomb holes in them; or had a chundery runout; these skis stomped as long as I stayed centered and landed on the balls of my feet. If I was slightly in the backseat, the stiff, non-rockered tails allowed me to recover quickly and continue skiing without the skis rocketing out from under me. In fact, this wheelie effect only occurred if I landed completely in the backseat and had no chance of skiing out without backslapping.
However, in lining up airs and in the air itself, the BMX108 is not a forgiving ski and often does not allow for last-second adjustments. I find this comes into play mostly when skiing pillows. While the BMX108 has plenty of flotation, its inability to quickly pivot and slarve like less cambered, more rockered skis such as the Megawatt or Salomon Rocker2 115 makes it much harder to quickly steer through pillow fields.
If you are looking for a hard-charging, powerful ski capable of shredding a backcountry line, stomping the exit air, and straight-lining out, the BMX108 is a great choice. The cambered design with a subtle amount of early rise allows these skis to handle everything from powder to variable conditions with ease.
However, it is important to reiterate that the BMX108 is not a new-school, playful ski, but is an old-school, big-mountain charger that demands to be driven at all times.
Ultimately, advanced or expert skiers who are looking for a traditional-style ski and spend a lot of time skiing in the backcountry will be happy with the BMX108 as part of their quiver, or even as their everyday go-to. On the other hand, skiers who have a more playful ski style or spend more time in bounds in moguls or on groomers may still enjoy breaking out the BMX108 on powder days, but should consider something else for their everyday ski or one-ski quiver.
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