In soft chop, this ski did pretty well at speed in places like Alta’s Ballroom, when I would keep the tips pointed down the fall line, popping off bumps.
When I had these on Taos’ Reforma, the snow was deep and perfect, so it didn’t present some of the challenges that run can offer. But straight-lining out of the bottom at high speeds (in soft, chopped pow), the Powderball did fine.
But this is definitely a turny ski, and when I’d initiate a turn in deep, soft chop, the Powderball would certainly want to keep turning. They weren’t washing out, but the Powderball likes to make short turns.
I’m definitely not recommending this ski to people who love metaled out, fall-line skis, but as someone who tends to like skis like that, I still went out and had a lot of fun on these. Plus, the Powderball is much easier in tight trees than these other skis, it just won’t rage like them.
Deep, Heavy Chop
In deep, heavy chop, the Powderball’s soft flex pattern isn’t ideal. If you’re skiing cut-up Sierra Cement, I’d steer you toward something with a more stout flex, unless you already know you like soft skis in these conditions (Armada JJ, DPS Wailer 112, Atomic Automatic, etc.).
In sunbaked crust, the soft shovels of the Powderball are definitely the wrong tool for the job, and I wished I had a heavier, more stout ski like a Katana, ON3P Billy Goat, the Moment Governor or Bibby Pro. But these are called the Powderball, not the Suncrustball….
In uniform moguls, the Powderball is a really fun ski—light, quick, soft, and I felt very comfortable at speed in good bumps.
In weird bumps, the quickness and forgiving flex of the Powderball is still an asset, but I think you’ll be slowing down here and skiing deliberately rather than just blasting through or around messy mogul lines (as you could on a stiffer, heavier ski).
Off-Piste, Firm Snow
On firm, bumped-up, off-piste terrain, you’ll like these skis more the slower you go. At slow speeds, you’ll appreciate the predictability of these skis and the forgiving flex. At higher speeds, the skis are just too soft to support demanding skiing.
By the end of the day a couple of weeks ago, as large bumps were forming down the center of Taos’ Stauffenburg—some soft, some firm—it was easy to overpower the Powderball.
That 14-meter sidecut radius and soft flex makes these fun to carve and get up on edge on soft groomers. But I didn’t feel like the edge hold was nearly as good as the 190 DPS Wailer 112RP Pure, which is a much more torsionally rigid ski than the Powderball and has far more snap than the Powderball.
On soft groomers, the Powderball is fine, but compared to softer pow skis like the Atomic Automatic and the Wailer 112RP, I felt like the Powderball lagged behind. And here, beginners and intermediates who are just looking to get back to the lift at moderate speeds, and don’t care about carving on high edge angles won’t mind at all. But advanced and expert skiers who are looking to have fun in pow and in trees, but want to have just as much fun carving up groomers, they will be better served by the Wailer 112RP.
But again, more points for Truth In Advertising: SkiLogik doesn’t claim that this is a pow ski that also rips up hardpack and groomers….
There are only so many tricks to make a ski really lightweight, and the Powderball seems to have achieved this in part by going with some fairly soft, thin bases. So if you’re frequently billygoating through rocky entrances to get to your pow stashes, I think you can find some harder, more durable bases out there. Otherwise, I don’t see it being much of an issue.
This is a super easy, soft, predictable, fun pow ski. And to give another point of comparison, given the choice of skiing it or the old Rossignol S7, I’d take the Powderball in a heart beat.
Again, this is not a one-ski quiver (P-o-w-d-e-r-b-a-l-l), but if you keep these in soft snow, you’ll enjoy them. Take them out of that environment (unless we’re talking about some good mogul lines) and there will be better tools for the job.
I think beginners and intermediates looking for an easy ski to introduce them to (or enhance their) pow skiing are going to have fun.
And lighterweight, advanced skiers who like quick, soft skis—and especially if they’re looking for a great tree ski for pow days—will also have a really good time.
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