Variable Conditions / Ice
My second day on the Mordecai was at the Craigieburn Valley club field. Previously on the trip we had some great skiing at Craigieburn, but on this particular day, we were met with some icy, refrozen crud, a little bit of dust on crust (icy crust, actually), and a healthy serving of fog—in other words, perfect conditions to see what the Mordecai could really handle.
Similar to the slush day I described above, I was very happy with how the Mordecai performed in these less-than-ideal conditions. The stable platform was again much appreciated on icy patches of snow combined with very poor visibility.
I mostly skied with a centered, more neutral stance, but my body position was constantly changing to balance and cope with the variable snow. The stiffness in front of and behind the bindings provided great support to accommodate these quick changes in body position. I never felt like I was going to wash out or wheelie over backwards unintentionally.
For the sake of seeing how hard I could comfortably push these skis in tough conditions, I skied a couple runs faster and with a more aggressive, forward stance Just like the Mordecai’s tail, the nose of the ski is very supportive and was not folding up under my 180lbs. Whether skiing faster and more forward or slower and more neutral, the Mordecai is both very intuitive and very stable. (Caveat: if you’re used to skiing nearly center-mounted skis. Directional skiers used to skis mounted – 6 to 12 cms behind center shouldn’t be reading this thinking they’ll drive the Mordecai the same way they do their more set-back skis.)
Finally, I was very impressed with the edgehold from the Mordecai, especially in these icy conditions.
While I didn’t spend too much time on groomers, it was clear the Mordecai can easily handle corduroy. The 5mm of traditional camber underfoot helps keep good edge-hold, and the stable platform discussed above allow the ski to feel comfortable at high speeds.
Jumping / In the Air
I rode the Mordecai mounted at the “Eric’s Choice” line, which is about -2 cm from true center. At this mount location, spinning through the air felt very balanced. Swing weight was a little on the heavier side—more comparable to the ON3P Jeffrey 114 than the quicker (and shorter) Rossignol Sickle.
This means that slower, smoother spins are where the Mordecai shines. Sure, if you have the skill you’ll be able to toss them around and do some bigger tricks, but floating around slower rotations puts the Mordecai in its comfort zone.
As I’ve said above, the Mordecai handles really well in less than ideal conditions. So translating this to jumping, the Mordecai can stomp and ride away in nasty landing conditions with ease. It has plenty of stiffness both in front of and behind the bindings, so you will have sufficient support if you land off balance.
I was immediately curious to see how well the Mordecai could butter off cat-tracks and rollers. The old Line Opus was renowned for its buttering prowess, and the old Bacon was no slouch on this front. Now, with the Mordecai placed roughly in between these two skis width-wise, but with a stiffer flex profile … can it butter?
To nose butter 360 the Mordecai, you have to work a bit to shift your weight past the ski’s stiffer shovels and get all the way out to the tip of the ski. Once you do get your weight over the nose, however, the Mordecai flexes smoothly and predictably.
Compared to the ON3P Jeffrey 114, the middle part and exit of the butter feel much different. The soft tips of the Jeffrey 114 really let you control a butter and hold it for a split second before popping out of the spin. On the other hand, the Mordecai wants to just continue the rotation and efficiently release from the butter.
The primary thing that struck me about the Mordecai was how easily it finished a butter. It’s not that it has a lot of pop, but it just snaps around and finishes the move with very minimal work. I haven’t skied the Mordecai in deep pow yet, but it seems like it will just slice right through snow on the exit of a butter (in a good way). Often when buttering in pow, it’s easy to get hung up by the added resistance of the snow, but I expect the Mordecai to minimize this problem.
NEXT: Overall Playfulness, Line Mordecai vs. Rossignol Sickle vs. ON3P Jeffrey 114, Etc.