In 14″ of fresh Alta pow, the Governor was more fun than I expected. Tip dive wasn’t a remote possibility in the light, fresh snow, and the ski wasn’t nearly as cumbersome as I feared. Its tails were actually very easy to throw full sideways, and in deep snow, the Governor pivoted pretty well when running bases flat to negotiate firm bumps beneath the fresh. Not as easily as the tail rockered Bibby Pro, mind you, but I have had less trouble breaking the tails free than I anticipated. And if the Governor isn’t as easy to make quick, changes of direction, it’s because of its oversized shovels, not the unrockered tails.
Having skied a bit of heavier, wet pow (and chop), it’s clear that the Governor would be a great ski for any place that receives a lot of heavy, wet snow. Open lines in Sierra cement would be a blast.
Chop (Ballroom Area, Alta)
Basically what this ski was born for: either pow at very high speed, or blowing through chop while skiing primarily down the fall line, fast. The Governor is stiff and stable, and its ash-and-aspen core quiets the ride nicely.
Will Brown pointed out in his review of the Proto-Bibby-Special-Governor that the huge shovels overwhelmed the tiny, soft tails. I can’t say that I experienced this on the production model Governor. Perhaps a bit when skiing slower in steep trees off of Taos’ Winston, but at moderate to high speeds, I have yet to feel like I’m fighting against those big shovels. (I largely give credit here to the stiffer and wider tail of the production model.)
Interlude #2: Shape—Bibby Pro vs. Governor
Having said that, and in a revelation that will shock absolutely no one: I can’t say that I prefer the big shovel and narrower tail shape of the Governor to that of the Bibby Pro.
I haven’t yet identified a situation where I would clearly choose the shape of the Governor’s shovel over that of the Bibby Pro, but maybe I’ll find one.
If we’re talking about big, fast GS turns through moguls, however, I might view the non-rockered tail of the Governor as superior to the Bibby, given the amount of effective edge that the Bibby Pro’s rockered tail sacrifices. In bumped-up, variable conditions at speed, you could argue that it’ll be easier to track better on the non-rockered tail of the Governor when you’re constantly getting bounced and knocked off line.
7-10″ of fresh had dropped the day before, and, overnight, wind had buffed out most of the mountain, beautifully filling everything back in around Winston and Pollux, skier’s right of Chair 2.
On my first two runs around Winston, I was keeping my speed in check, getting a feel for what the snow and the coverage was like. At slow speeds in steep trees, while the Governors were manageable, those big shovels were pretty eager to hook up and take me across the fall line. The shovels weren’t completely overwhelming the ski as the Proto-Governor-Bibby-Special-whatevers had, but it’s just pretty natural that these shovels will want to hook up.
But point is, you can do slow turns on this ski. You will work—and you will work more than you would on the tail rockered Bibby that doesn’t have as big of a shovel—but these are not unruly. Stay on point, and these skis have a pretty big sweet spot.
Furthermore, I almost never felt like the Governor was throwing me in the back seat, which is something that I was experiencing on the DPS RPC. Yes, the Governor is pretty stiff and requires work. But I had a much easier time on the Governor than I did the day before on the RPC in the same conditions, on the same lines.
Probably the most fun I had on the Governor was skiing Reforma on fresh windbuff. The snow was great, the moguls were firm but covered well with new snow, and the Governors felt perfectly stable, quick enough when brought up to speed to negotiate any line choice, and confidence inspiring through the runout, even in relatively low visibility. (It was snowing; Taos is going off right now.)
Perhaps most noteworthy was just how smooth and predictable the tails felt when throwing any sort of power slide. In these conditions on Winston and Reforma, it was incredibly easy to either slash or feather the tails to line up a spot between trees or rocks.
Fun. The Governor does not bend as easily—or have as much rebound—as the DPS Wailer 112RPC (a seriously fun, larger-radius carving machine); but it feels quite solid and stable. No real surprise here, given the construction differences. (See Will Brown’s review of the DPS Wailer 112RPC for a further discussion of the Governor vs. the RPC.)
I have yet to spend a lot of time on groomers on the Governor, so it’s a section I’ll update when I can. So far, the Governor has been good, but it hasn’t stood out here, like the 11/12 Line Influence 115 or the DPS RPC.
While I liked the Governor on the line, I decided to move them to +1cm just to control the large shovels. I wasn’t experiencing problems with the skis on the line, but I haven’t found anything that I’ve disliked about +1, either, and I’ve had these skis in a pretty broad range of conditions and terrain. So I’m very content to stay put.
Hypothetical: 186 Governor vs. 196 Governor
I haven’t skied the 196cm Governor, and I can’t imagine that I would prefer it to the 186. I mean, if we’re just going to go ski big, open lines, then sure, I’ll ski the 196 Governor. But if we’re seriously just going to ski big, open lines, then I’ll ski it in a 210. But I haven’t felt that I needed to increase the stability of the 186, and I like how (relatively) easy the 186 is to negotiate tighter spots.
Personally, I would never need the 196 at Taos or Alta or Niseko, but I could happily ski the 196 in certain sections of Las Leñas. Still, there are enough tight entrances and exits there (and in Jackson) that I’ll stick with the 186.
Mostly, I think I’m finding a soft spot in my heart for ~186cm-ish stiff skis with a substantial, even flex pattern.
For me, the Governor definitely felt easier to maneuver in tight spaces and big bumps than the narrower 193 Cochise. (The 185 Cochise, however, is definitely an easier ski to manage than the Governor.) At 5’10”, 180 lbs., if a ski is built stiff, I don’t need it in a 196.
Having said all that…
Four Types Of People Who Should Strongly Consider The Governor
1) If you’ve ever skied the Bibby Pro and felt that it isn’t enough ski, consider the Governor.
2) If you’ve ever skied the Rossignol Squad 7 and wished that you had more ski (stiffer, no tail rocker, more effective edge), consider the Governor.
3) If you think the 187 Moment Belafonte is the greatest thing ever (we wouldn’t call you crazy), and you want to get something wider, with no tail rocker, but that isn’t softer than the Belafonte (like the Moment Jaguar Shark), consider the Governor.
4) If you wish the Bibby Pro were longer, and, more specifically, if you wish the Rossignol Squad 7 was longer, then the 196cm Governor is your ski.
While the Governor hasn’t supplanted my love of the 190cm Bibby Pro, the more I ski it, the more I really like it.
If you’re a very strong skier (physically strong, not necessarily technically precise—though that will help) looking for a ski to rip up variable conditions but that you can still actually turn, the Governor could be the ticket.
And if you wish that either the Bibby Pro or the Rossignol Squad 7 either (1) came in a longer length, or (2) didn’t have tail rocker, then I’ve found your ski, end of story.
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