Ski: 2020-2021 Parlor Skis Mountain Jay, 185 cm
Available Lengths: 154, 164, 171, 178, 185, 192 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.4 cm
Measured Weight per Ski: ~2150 g (we weighed multiple pairs)
Stated Dimensions: 144-112-138 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 146-112-137
Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.8 meters (same across all sizes)
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 47 mm / 9 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm
Core: Maple / Aspen
Base Materials: DuraSurf 4001
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.2 cm from center; 81.0 cm from tail
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley
Boots / Bindings: HEAD Raptor 140 RS / Tyrolia AAAttack² 13
Days Skied: 6
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Mountain Jay, which was not changed for 18/19, 19/20, or 20/21, apart from graphics.]
Parlor Skis is a custom ski manufacturer located in Boston, Massachusetts. We’ve previously reviewed their Cardinal 100, a ski that compared very favorably to some of the best ~100mm-wide all-mountain skis on the market.
The Mountain Jay is a wider all-mountain ski that combines elements of four other Parlor skis, the Cardinal 90 and 100, the Kingfisher, and the 120mm-waisted Heron.
Parlor has this to say about the Mountain Jay:
“The Mountain Jay combines elements from its narrower-waisted brethren, namely the Cardinal’s groomer and carving performance and the Kingfisher’s playfulness, with the Heron’s surf through deep snow. The Jay carries a wide platform and perfect rocker profile for greater stability and superior float for soft snow skiing. Rarely does a wider ski blur the lines between all mountain and big mountain like the Jay. For many this bird will become a single choice for everyday skiing, or a perfect wider ski addition to the quiver.”
Ok, makes sense. But let’s take a closer look:
Parlor let’s you dial in your Mountain Jay to your liking. You can pick your own topsheet, choose a Soft, Medium, or Stiff flex pattern, go with a solid maple core, a solid aspen core, or a combination of both woods.
Learn more about the Parlor Skis process https://parlorskis.com/pages/about-the-skis
Our review skis have a combination aspen / maple core, and has Parlor’s “Medium” flex pattern.
I’d categorize that flex pattern like this:
Behind the Heel piece: 9/8
To be sure, this is a strong “Medium” flex pattern. And given the takeaways from the next two sections, this flex pattern has me excited about the Mountain Jay’s potential in pretty firm / less-than-ideal conditions…
One of the things that stands out most is just how subtle the tip and tail splay are on the Mountain Jay. On a reverse-camber ski, I don’t think we’ve ever seen such shallow tip & tail rocker lines. Compare the splay numbers and rocker profiles of the Mountain Jay to skis like the Moment Meridian, Faction Candide 3.0, etc., and you’ll see what I mean.
That subtlety makes me very, very intrigued to see how well this 112mm-waisted ski handles groomers and firm-snow conditions. I’ve just been skiing the Meridian and Candide 3.0, and I will be surprised if the wider Mountain Jay doesn’t outshine these other two skis in terms of firm-snow performance. (Looks like I’ll be in some pretty firm conditions this weekend, so we’ll find out about that very soon.)
Anyway, for those of you who feel like there is an overabundance of tip and tail rocker in the ski world, stay tuned.
(And later on, we’ll see whether this subtle rocker profile makes the Mountain Jay far less floaty than other ~112mm-wide skis on the market.)
At ~2150 g per ski, the Mountain Jay feels like it strikes a very nice weight for use across a range of conditions, from firm to soft. And we’re extremely interested to see how well the Jay performs in tracked-out resort conditions, where your first lap or two of the day might be in untracked snow, but then your pow day becomes a “chop” day.
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Mountain Jay looks like a solid ski, with a rather uncommon rocker profile of zero traditional camber underfoot plus minimal tip and tail splay. There should be plenty of effective edge for firm groomers and bumped-up steeps, and we are curious to see how pivot-y the ski feels.
We are also very interested to see how wide the range of conditions is in which the Mountain Jay still feels at home.
NEXT: Our Review of the Parlor Mountain Jay