Praxis WooTest

Praxis WooTest, Blister Gear ReviewSki: Praxis WooTest, 187cm

Dimensions (mm): 124-113-116

Turn Radius: 30 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 185.8cm

Weight Per Ski: 1,954 grams / 4.49 lbs.

Mount Location: 99.5 cm from tip

Days Tested: 35+

The day of reckoning has come. Not many people get the chance to see the design of a ski from start to finish (see Protesting the Backcountry), and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to do so. I cannot thank enough the guys at Praxis Skis; Keith, the owner, who had faith in the project; and, most of all, the somewhat surprising number of people who got on board and stepped up to purchase a pair.

So what did we get?

First off, as expected, a wonderfully manufactured ski whose quality in craftsmanship is evident. The sidewalls are burly, shaped with functionality and durability in mind, and meld well into the both the edges and the top sheet. The bases match up flawlessly with the edges on the downside. The rocker profiles are completely symmetrical between members of a pair, and most importantly(!), the graphics look great. It doesn’t matter which topsheet you got. (I mean, my taxi graphics undoubtedly look better, but yours probably look pretty nice too….)

And they’re light. (No surprise to me, as I was familiar with the other Praxis skis around this size.) They’re not some featherweight, 50mm-waisted piece of crap that no one wants to descend on, but my pair, with the heaviest of the topsheet options, came in under nine pounds.

Praxis WooTest, Blister Gear Reivew
Kidwoo with the Praxis WooTest.

With the abbreviated winter we had in Tahoe, it’s probably easy to believe me when I say I literally skied the WooTest “all winter.” I touched two other pairs of my skis four times total, no exaggeration. It wasn’t a legendary season, but I got a solid 30-40 days on the WooTest. I’ve had them in corn, blower pow, wind-scoured boilerplate, rotten sunbaked pow that fell in feet the night before only to see 60-degree temps by 10 a.m., the typical Tahoe snow that falls in meters and skis like feet, and zipperline crusts varying in thickness from skiable to outright embarrassing as far as what it can do to an ego.

With the help of some adapter plates (more on that below), I’ve been able to skin on them, run tandem sled laps with them, and put them through the paces on a chairlift with some solid alpine binders. I really wanted to feel like I skied these things before I opened my trap, and I now feel comfortable doing so.

The entire impetus for this project was first and foremost a backcountry ski. The first few real days I had these out, mid-winter corn was the best bet going, so that’s where they went.

Rather than stay 100% true to the OG model for this beast (the Praxis Protest) as far as rocker profile, I thought taming down the tail rocker (tail “splay” as Keith would correct me) just a smidgen would help in skinning with a little more tail on the snow. It does. That’s all there is to say about it. This thing skins just fine, and I have no complaints on that front. It’s narrow enough to drive into “soon to be corn” on frozen sidehills, wide enough to grip and go up the right fall line direct routes, and light enough with my Dynafit bindings that my fatigue was based on miles and my lack of skiing through late January, but certainly not the skis.

On the first few descents in corn conditions, the heavily rockered tips and slightly tamed rocker on the tails felt a little weird, but not unmanageable. There wasn’t a lot of tip on the snow and certainly more proportionally in the tails, and that’s exactly what the ski felt like. But I felt like I could drive them well, ride the rails a little bit, and break loose the tails and throw them sideways when I needed to. The best thing about them is they didn’t feel like the 17m snowblades I’d used as my backcountry skis last year, the Armada JJ. On the WooTest, I could make big, nice arcs without feeling like I was on skis made for slalom gates.

Praxis WooTest, Blister Gear Review
Praxis WooTest

At first, I found the WooTests to be a little tough to break loose and slide, but once I realized I just had to stay forward on them and commit, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But this also ties into something that I think (and hope) everyone who bought the WooTest figured out: They need a detune like Seth Morrison needs outdated punk music.

Keith and a few of the guys at Praxis skis are from the “ice coast,” and these things came sharp as hell. Ginsu has nothing on these skis. I swear I could have shaved with them. Most of the other folks I know who bought a pair of these agreed: Detune them. Now.

14 thoughts on “Praxis WooTest

  1. In a world with mystical scenes from fairy tales and graphics of block symetrical patterns, I really dig the ski’s look.

  2. Gotta agree with Joel, dear lord those are ugly. Praxis makes bomber stuff though and it seems like an intriguing design. Good review.

  3. been following the developement of these. great concept and i’ll be interested to hear how the tweaks go. like you i’m in it for the down, but with a short inseam i’m finding 177- 180 provides a great deal of ease on the climbs particularly switchbacks. i’d seriously consider a light (carbon?) 178ish . any possibility of a lighter version?

  4. I’m pretty sure the lightweight topsheets from the Backcountry models are available. They were on this run even though that’s not what I got…..that’ll save you a few ounces for sure. There was some mumbling about additional carbon in the ski (meaning reduced fiberglass, and reduced weight) for the next run. Even the ones I have are certainly not heavy by any means……especially with dynafits on them.

  5. I really wish we had a better winter to get more days on them. I agree with every thing in the review. The plates add versatility for in and out of bounds. Detune the shit out of them and seek out the untracked. I detuned in 3 stages and wish I would have just hit them hard the first time. Multiple passes with the panzer at 45* from contact points is the way to go. The edges come way to sharp to start.
    I think part of the weirdness in the afternoon has to do with just how easy they are to ski. They are just so easy to pivot and turn that when the tip gets engaged on chunder it can toss you around faster than you can react to it. Big straight fast turns were the best at avoiding the weirdness. Slower, shorter turns were where I found myself lacking some confidence.
    I found committing to them 100% and staying forward decreased the weirdness as did keeping the speed up. The couple roundhouse days we skied showed me this. Once I got them up to speed they were much less reactive to the chunder. They can’t hook if you don’t turn!

  6. From the looks of it, you seem to be mounted too far forward in the sidecut. That’s probably why more tail on the snow was giving you such a hard time.

  7. Hey Kevin.
    Any news on the Woo 2.0? Which of the changes you hinted at in your review are likely to be implemented? I – and I suspect many others – am very interested to know.
    As someone who finally got on a pair of Protests (good lord, they’re good), the Woo would be the logical ski to replace my Praxis BCs once they give up the ghost.
    Thanks

    • The guys at praxis are planning to implement pretty much everything I mentioned in this review as far as changes to the ski. That would be a more rockered tail, a more tapered tip that’s not so squared off and round, and a slightly deeper sidecut (not much at all). I’m not sure if they’ve gotten any pressed yet. I’ve been gone for a lot of the summer and have been riding bikes whenever I’m home. I’ll swing by there in the near future and see what I can find out. I’m dying to see the 2.0 version too!

  8. Hello kb,
    Do you remember tip/tail splay numbers from the original wootest?

    wootest 2.0 shows 60/33 cm in the 187 version and a -10 cm mount position.

    I have the file on another computer and will post it up

  9. Hey Kevin, did you have any time on the BC or Yeti? I’d love to hear about those skis as well… thinking about one of these as my first touring ski!

    • Not much on the BC and none on the Yeti. The BC definitely seems like one of the better ‘quiver of one’ skis out there. I’d certainly rather have those than the Wootests come corn season. But with version 2.0, I’m still in love with the Wootests mid winter.

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