While I completely trusted the Sheeva to hold an edge through the completion of a turn, the ski never felt particularly lively or poppy transitioning from carve to carve. That is not to say the Sheeva didn’t feel responsive or capable of getting up on edge, I just never felt the fun rebound out of the turn that the Savory 7 and Pandora seem to generate.
Even though I usually prefer a ski closer to 180cm in length, the Sheeva worked well for me in a 172. I was able to make fast, long radius turns on the Sheeva comfortably, but still enjoyed a good amount of maneuverability when the terrain demanded tighter, quick turns. Though it might not have quite the top-end speed limit of a longer ski with more effective edge, the Sheeva can easily execute small, medium, and large radius turns at a range of speeds. And for those who think a 172cm length might be too short, Blizzard will be offering a 179cm Sheeva, too.
Some Additional Comparisons
Since I initially reviewed the Sheeva last spring, I’ve spent time on some other all-mountain skis with similar waist widths. Volkl redesigned the Aura for the 2014-2015 season, giving it a fully rockered profile and a slightly wider, 100mm waist. I put some days on the Aura in New Zealand, as well as the new light and playful Scott Vanisher, which is 106mm underfoot.
The Aura is designed as a more directional, slightly less playful ski than the Sheeva. The Aura’s fully rockered profile is quite subtle, and the ski is actually flat underfoot. The Aura’s tails are much flatter than the Sheeva’s twinned, more heavily rockered tails, and the Aura is reinforced with two sheets of titanium, while the Sheeva has a only a full wood core.
However, despite these differences, the two skis still reminded me a bit of each other. In particular, I found both to handle chop pretty similarly; both provide just enough float to stay on top and power through deep, chopped-up snow without the tips folding or chattering too much. And at the same time, without feeling too heavy or damp, both skis can be driven quite hard through softer variable snow.
In firmer, hardpack conditions, I found I could ski the Aura a little more aggressively than the Sheeva. Occasionally the Sheeva felt unstable when driving it over firm crud, but I was always pretty impressed by how hard I could push the Aura in firmer, more demanding conditions. This isn’t too surprising, considering the Aura is reinforced with two sheets of metal.
I still need to spend some time on the Aura in fresh powder to see how they compare, but I predict the Sheeva’s more heavily rockered tip and tail will allow it to float a little more easily. I think the Aura’s flatter tail will make it a better option on groomers, however, as the Aura seems to provide more rebound through a carve than the Sheeva.
Overall, the Sheeva has a slightly surfier feel, while the Aura feels a bit more stable on hardpack, but I think both do quite well in variable conditions.
The Sheeva feels quite a bit different than the Scott Vanisher, even though they both have a similar camber/rocker profile. The Vanisher is very light and playful, which makes it an excellent, predictable ski in consistent snow. The Sheeva also has a bit of a playful quality to it, but it’s stiffer and a little heavier, so it can be skied much harder than the Vanisher on the whole, especially in variable conditions. If playfulness and a light swing weight is what you’re most interested in, then the Vanisher would be a better choice than the Sheeva.
The Sheeva isn’t difficult to ski, but it requires a bit more input to maneuver than a light, decidedly forgiving ski like the Savory 7. For those reasons I think the Sheeva would be manageable for intermediate skiers, though advanced and expert ladies are more likely to really enjoy it.
Though it’s more forgiving than the burly, directional Dakota, the Sheeva would be a very good choice for those interested in a more playful, tail-rockered, all-mountain ski that can still be skied hard.