• Deathwish = 138-112-129
• Concept = 139-117-125
• Deathwish = 25 meters
• Concept = 27 meters (average)
Weight Per Ski:
• Deathwish = 4.73 lbs
• Concept = 4.55 lbs
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull):
• Deathwish = 182.5cm
• Concept = 187.3cm
Bindings: Deathwish: Marker Jester; Concept: Salomon STH 12
Boots: Full Tilt Konflict
• Deathwish = -1cm from factory recommended
• Concept = -0.5cm from factory recommended
• Deathwish = 10
• Concept = 30
Test location: Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana
The Moment Deathwish and the Praxis Concept both fall into the same category of “Skis With Weird Camber.” I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time on both, so a comparison is in order.
I reviewed the 187cm Praxis Concept first. To briefly recap, I found the Concept to be an extremely versatile ski with tenacious edge hold, but it could be susceptible to occasional tip dive in deeper snow.
Jonathan Ellsworth has already written a review of the Moment Deathwish, and Jason Hutchins followed up with a 2nd Look. I agree with about 99% of what those guys said, so I won’t rehash the same ground.
OK, on to it….
Deathwish vs. Concept: Camber Profiles
Both the Concept and the Deathwish utilize a camber profile that has “normal” camber in front of and behind the binding, but reverse camber underfoot and at the tip and tail. Moment calls this a “dirty mustache” profile, while Praxis calls it “compound camber.”
The general premise is the same for both: create a camber profile that allows for pivoting and slarving, but that still provides solid grip (or in the case of the Deathwish, enhanced grip) on hardpack when needed.
There are a few differences in their shape. First, as you can see, those cambered sections are more pronounced on the Deathwish.
The “pods” of camber in front of and behind the binding are fairly subtle on the Concept, but there’s no missing them on the Deathwish. Similarly, the Deathwish has more tip and tail rocker—the rocker lines are deeper and the splay is wider than on the Concept.
The Deathwish has “normal” sidecut, meaning that it has a relatively standard, 25-meter sidecut in the 184cm length.
The Concept, on the other hand, has a sidecut profile that matches the “pods” of camber. Most significantly, the Concept has a reverse sidecut section directly underfoot. It “averages” a 27-meter radius, but looking down the length of the ski, it’s clear that there’s no consistent curve.
The Concept I skied has a carbon layup, which saves about half a pound of weight. The Deathwish has a more traditional fiberglass layup (which is also available on the Concept). This leads to a distinctly different feel, which I’ll talk about in more detail below.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, on snow, the two skis share a lot of similarities. They both do an admirable job of achieving their intended goal of slarving when you want them to, while playing nicely on hardpack. That said, the two skis certainly aren’t identical…
To put the intended goal of these skis another way, it is: to make a ski that’s extremely versatile. Not many skis can achieve the range of these two—from high-speed McConkey turns to locked-in carves, all on the same boards.
The Deathwish does an excellent job of occupying the middle ground of this spectrum. It’s an easy ski to get used to, and it’s rewarding right off the bat; with my first run, it was apparent that the ski is versatile.
The Concept doesn’t hang out in the middle of the spectrum quite as much, but it goes farther to either end than the Deathwish. It pivots and slarves more easily, and it’s more rewarding when pushed hard, but it’s less inclined to poke around at a moderate pace.
The Concept is also significantly stiffer than the Deathwish, which means it requires a bit of speed before it comes alive. The beauty of the Concept is that speed can be shut down immediately thanks to its pivoty nature. The “stock” Concept is rated as medium/stiff by Praxis (which is what mine is), but Praxis will make a Concept with any flex (from soft to stiff).
Forward vs. Neutral Stance
I think a lot of the Concept’s personality comes from the reverse sidecut section underfoot. While this combination of reverse sidecut and reverse camber creates that incredibly easy pivoting characteristic, it also means that subtle weight shifts have pronounced effects. The Deathwish is much more subdued in this regard; it’s not nearly as sensitive to weight shifts.
Still, more so than many other skis that don’t have funky camber, the behavior of both the Concept and the Deathwish can be significantly altered by driving the tips, versus skiing with a more centered, neutral stance. Drive the tips, and the skis will track like a more “traditional” ski. Center your stance and throw them sideways, and they’ll slarve like a reverse / reverse ski.
But again, the differences that come with these weight shifts are much more dramatic on the Concept, and for this reason, the Concept takes a bit more getting used to.
This can be both good and bad. If you’re on top of your game and you’re shifting your weight intentionally, the Concept will reward you more than the Deathwish. It changes directions and smears turns more readily, but will also lock into a high-speed carve. On the other hand, if you’re slightly out of control and get tossed into the backseat, the Concept will also punish you more than the Deathwish. It will keep you in the backseat and take you for a high-speed ride that can be anywhere from locked in and terrifying, to loose and also terrifying, depending on where in the backseat you are.