Fresh, Light Powder (4-5”)
I’ve spent very little time on previous renditions of the Cochise in clean, fresh snow, but here’s my take on the new Cochise’s powder performance.
Skiing 4-5” of fresh powder on Niños Heroes and Billy Sol (the latter is shown in the second clip of the video above), it was clear that the Cochise needed a bit of speed before I could initiate quick turns dependably, though I don’t find that too surprising given that it’s a fairly heavy, very directional ski.
With some speed, the skis tracked through the fresh snow cleanly and felt very confidence inspiring, encouraging of a forward, aggressive approach to the terrain. Was their new tapered tip shape game-changing in this regard? I can’t really say it was, but, as with previous versions of the Cochise, when it comes to skiing 1-6” of powder in open terrain, the new Cochise should be a great ride for a strong skier who likes taking aggressive, fall-line routes.
As I got into tighter terrain and trees in powder and soft chop, the new Cochise may have felt a tad quicker than older versions, but it still begins to feel like a bit of work at slow speeds. The ski will pivot and slarve sideways quickly in fresh snow when you ask it to, but its weighty feel and long sidecut mean your legs will be doing a decent amount of work. The Line Supernatural 108 does more work for you in this respect, and a ski like the Rossignol Soul 7 is in an entirely different class of quickness and ease of use at low speed, in powder or elsewhere. (But of course, the Soul 7 can’t hold a candle to the Cochise when it comes to high-speed stability.)
In the past, we haven’t been too thrilled with the Cochise in deeper powder (10” +), and I can’t say that I think the new Cochise should be too different in that way. Despite the tweaks to the new design, the ski still has a pretty conservative rocker profile, without much splay in the shovel, and is pretty heavy for its size and width. But I can’t say for sure until I get the new skis in deeper snow.
Bottom Line (For Now)
While we’re still putting more time in on the new Cochise, it is still a very capable all-mountain charger, well suited to skiing hard and fast in steep terrain. And I have found that it still provides a nice mix of predictability, intuitiveness, and high-speed stability in soft, chopped, and variable conditions.
Furthermore, there are indications that the redesigned Cochise has gained a bit of all-mountain versatility, too, with slightly easier, more energetic low-speed handling. We have some more skiing (and tuning / detuning) to do before I’m ready to say that definitively, but if that really is the case, then I believe Blizzard’s latest changes to the ski will have yielded only improvements to its performance, with no real downsides.
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