La Sportiva Hi5 Ski – Let the Horses Run

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

For me, riding a 105 mm waisted ski is like sitting on a Budweiser Clydsdale. Big (for me), but those horses do run.

La Sportiva Hi5 -- in my case, I'd call them wide.

La Sportiva Hi5 (yes, Virginia, 105 is really not THAT wide -- but all is relative.)

Years ago, when I owned a snowmobile that would now be considered for the hall of famous sled antiques, a high end commercial photographer hired me and my old Yamaha Enticer to help him image the Clydesdales. The sport plan was they had a couple dozen of those equine monsters in a field full of snow, and we’d scoot around on the sled making images while the horses were prancing in the meadow. Big slow horses, right? Piece of cake, right? Snowmobile with no more power than the average lawn mower not a problem, right?

The wranglers gathered the horses up beside a fence and we positioned the snowmobile on the other side of the herd with the photographer riding backwards behind me, anchored by nothing more than his legs hooked around my ski rack. Photog waved his arm, the wranglers snapped whips the length of Exum Ridge, and I gunned (wrong word) the Yamaha with the film crafter riding backwards. And, um, those monsters are GAINING ON ME! Fear mashed my thumb down on the throttle, and I slowly pulled away from certain trample death like I was crawling with my feet bungied to rocks. Ah, I thought, I’ll live and I’ll get paid… Yet safety was not to be. The artist wanted the tight shot, so he yelled “slow down” and I had to back off the thumb paddle till those thundering dinosaurs were about 8 feet from my bumper. You could hear the Clydesdales breathing and snorting as they ran — louder than that screaming 2 cycle. If either of us had fallen off, hello Peter.

In other words, never never let size fool you.

Consider the La Sportiva Hi5 ski. With tip splay and rocker reminiscent of duck feet, bountiful width underfoot, and a tail that looks like the barbeque spatula I was using up at Inde last week to fry cow flesh, I figured a ride on these guys would be kludgy in all but the best conditions (read: perfect powder I can ski anything in.) Wrong.

The mark of any good modern ski mountaineering plank is that the gnomes of wherever (in this case the respected Nani Tua ski factory in Italy) who design it can make it more than a one trick pony. In that respect I was impressed by the Hi5. Some of the best testing I did was skiing mank at my workout hill as the resort season came to a close. I found the Hi5 to be super forgiving in such conditions — a relaxing ride.

Hi5 tip rise and rocker. Plenty.

Hi5 tip rise and rocker. Plenty.

In the case of mank riding, my only gripe with Hi5 is an effect I’ve noticed with most rockered skis, something I’m calling “rocker jerk.” What happens is you get on snow that’s “grabby” (either dirty, or your wax is off). Every time a terrain variation causes the rockered ski base to engage, you decelerate, then you speed up again as the Ptex disengages. The feel is reminiscent of lugging a manual transmission truck.

Well, perhaps I should not have been skiing conditions that even a horse would avoid. Better wax would have helped as well. (Come to think of it, I was wondering why I was the only person up there that day.)

So, moving along in our take; maneuverability? No question. When you’re riding 178 cm and around a third of that is lifted off the snow by rocker geometry, yes ma’am you can swivel.

But carving a ski like the Hi5 requires getting some energy into the plank and tilting to engage the full edge in a turn. That’s easy when you’re skiing with velocity in good conditions, yet when moving slow on hardpack any heavily rockered ski can feel like you’re riding a 10 cm butter knife. At times the effect can be like stuffing a sporty car into a turn with the wrong gear, no torque to play with, at the mercy of physics and prayer. Thus, feeling the confident edge of the Hi5 when I was working my way down icy suncups the other morning gave me a new appreciation of just how much good engineering can eke out of a ski these days. I wouldn’t call the Hi5 cougar claws, but they grab as you’d expect from an ABS sidewall constructed plank.

Thus, overall verdict on the Hi5 is it gave enough in the all-rounder category to be useful for ski mountaineering.

Best for last. Lightweight and wide skis are popping up across the industry like marmot heads in a springtime Rockies snowfield. Considering just a few years ago you could count the availability of such planks by calculating on the toes of one foot, this new cornucopia is nearly supernatural. At 62 ounces per ski in a 178, Hi5 is definitely a Weight Watchers grad — we’re thus confident this ski would make a fine human-powered nieve harvesting machine.

Let those horses run, and stay out front.

Comments

186 Responses to “La Sportiva Hi5 Ski – Let the Horses Run”

  1. Joe June 15th, 2011 6:48 am

    Lou, hands down I completely agree! Skiied them at Winterpark and i could hear those Clydesdales as well. Although the diamond front tips do give a little alligator slithering through the snow imagery for me. Lasportiva certainly didn’t skimp on their first ski line offering.

  2. jwolter7 June 15th, 2011 7:40 am

    I don’t know why they did not keep the name Movement for the US skis? That name has quite a following in Euro land.

  3. brian h June 15th, 2011 8:12 am

    I”ve noticed rocker jerk on my Hardsides…

  4. canwilf June 15th, 2011 8:43 am

    “”In the case of mank riding, my only gripe with Hi5 is an effect I’ve noticed with most rockered skis, something I’m calling “rocker jerk.” What happens is you get on snow that’s “grabby” (either dirty, or your wax is off). Every time a terrain variation causes the rockered ski base to engage, you decelerate, then you speed up again as the Ptex disengages. The feel is reminiscent of lugging a manual transmission truck.””

    My Prophet 100 planks do the same thing, with fresh wax and without rocker in the same conditions.

    I was hoping an aggressive wet-grind might help.

  5. Lou June 15th, 2011 9:59 am

    Wolter, if you’re accusing these of being a re-badge, I was assured they were not, though they’re made in the same factory as Movement. If I’m wrong and misinformed, apologies. Are you saying these are a re-badge?

  6. Lou June 15th, 2011 10:00 am

    Can, yeah, all skis can do the herky jerk, all I’m saying is I’ve noticed that rocker exacerbates the effect in certain situations.

  7. Greg Louie June 15th, 2011 10:06 am

    Looks like a plausible contender for the “Stoke” spot in the quiver. MSRP still projected to be ~$1,000 ? Are those inserts in tip and tail supposed to work like the K2 skin system?

  8. Jonathan Shefftz June 15th, 2011 11:26 am

    “Wolter, if you’re accusing these of being a re-badge, I was assured they were not, though they’re made in the same factory as Movement.”
    – That Tunisian factory manufacturers skis for multiple companies. Perhaps some its models are rebadged for multipled companies, but the Hi5 is definitely unique.
    – Moreover, Movement is a Swiss company. La Sportiva is an entirely separate Italian company. The truly confusing part is that La Sportiva North America is the new distributor for Movement (to be targeted more toward alpine downhill ski shops as opposed to outdoors/backcountry/climbing shops for the La Sportiva skis), but that’s just a North American arrangement.

    BTW, that setup has to be some sort of record high ratio for ski width to binding weight!

  9. Joe Kennedy June 15th, 2011 12:11 pm

    That ski looks hot, looking forward to skiing more of the rocker style skis. They seem so natural when skiing in deep fresh snow and at the same time they handle the trail traffic pretty good. :D :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  10. Steeplechase June 15th, 2011 12:59 pm

    62 ounces or 1760g is definitely nice and light for a wide ski mountaineering plank but out of curiosity is that a manufacturer published weight or a wildsnow confirmed weight?

  11. Tom Gos June 15th, 2011 1:38 pm

    Dimensions?

  12. Lou June 15th, 2011 2:45 pm

    WildSnow confirmed weight of course !!!! 135/105/125, funny how I get caught up in writing and forget to mention little things like dimensions and the topskin design (grin).

    Greg, yeah, k2 skin system. But almost any other system would work as well.

  13. scree June 15th, 2011 4:56 pm

    How do you like the bindings? Will that be a separate review?

  14. Scott June 15th, 2011 5:41 pm

    Regarding the bindings, when I was out with Lou the other day, I noticed how adjustable the heel piece was fore and aft, four screws, and make sure they are tight before heading out…..

  15. Lou June 15th, 2011 6:40 pm

    Scree, use our search function (grin)!

  16. Jason Gregg June 15th, 2011 6:57 pm

    I like the outlines of this ski a lot better than the Stoke. Does Sportiva make a skin for it pre-cut like a Dynafit?

  17. Greg Louie June 15th, 2011 7:35 pm

    Scott, you have to buy this piece separately for them to have any fore-aft adjustment:

    http://www.verticalworld.it/magento/index.php/atk-piastra-di-regolazione.html

  18. Lou June 15th, 2011 7:40 pm

    Jason, yeah, the skins are available pre-cut.

  19. Scott June 15th, 2011 8:01 pm
  20. Eric Steig June 15th, 2011 9:55 pm

    Lou, I doubt I’ll get any skis like these, but this is one of the best bits of writing you’ve done for some time. Great stuff!

  21. Lou June 16th, 2011 6:20 am

    Thanks Eric, interesting what happens when one isn’t using all their energy for climbing mountains (grin).

  22. Dane June 16th, 2011 11:23 am

    Hi Lou, Good review. I noticed you have been skiing them when no one else was out there as well. Been on my 188cm for two months now and on snow I wouldn’t normally bother skiing. First heavy rockered ski I have been on and super suprized just how well/quick they do turn in nasty conditions.

    But these skis made even crap snow way, way fun. Can’t wait to get them into some proper fluff. Big Dynafit fan but these blew by my Stokes and haven’t had them oout after the first week in the Hi5. I’ll do a full review myself up once it stops snowing here. But tough when you are having to make decsions between a Broad Peak and Hi5s for the local volcanos…seems like a nutty thought when you look at them against the wall. La Sportiva’s skins are good as well.

    The 188s are 9.5 # with the RT bindings. :mrgreen:

  23. brian h June 16th, 2011 1:27 pm

    So Dane, uh, where are you? STILL snowing?

  24. Dane June 16th, 2011 1:44 pm

    The NW…

  25. brian h June 16th, 2011 3:28 pm

    On another note, Forest Service approved Brecks (Vail corp) expansion on Peak 6. Biff America where are you?

  26. Lou June 16th, 2011 3:42 pm

    Dang!

  27. brian h June 16th, 2011 5:48 pm

    Yeah, I don’t know really what to think. I’m not a stakeholder in the “front line” sense. I get a little agitated when I think of the busiest ski area backed by the largest ski corp make a grab for more. More More More. I risk being grampa’d when I say I remember Breck for things other than what it’s become. Same ol story. Maybe my kid can get a job liftin on the new ground and complete the circle…

  28. Mark June 16th, 2011 11:00 pm

    Hilarious horse anecdote for sure Lou. You get some pretty cool work don’t you? This ski does sound pretty light for its surface area. They’re a shade lighter than my 174 K2 Mount Bakers, which are considerably thinner overall. Thanks for a thorough review of a notable brand coming into the North American market. By the way, G3 and Movement skis have been/are manufactured in a Tunisian factory. There are notable similarities to the G3 and Movement skis, but I’ll venture a guess the La Sportivas are quite different being made in the Tua factory.

  29. Verbier61 June 17th, 2011 5:05 am

    AFAIK, G3 are now made in china

  30. Lou June 17th, 2011 5:36 am

    If it wasn’t for the Wilderness advocates squeezing from the other side of the equation, I’d feel like there was plenty of land for whatever willy nilly resort expansion the USFS and resorts thought they wanted. But what we need is multi-use public land that’s not covered by ski lifts, and not under the heavy restrictions of legal Wilderness. Thus, at this time I’m usually pretty uncomfortable with resort expansions here in Colorado. Bear in mind I’m generally a business advocate, and especially nowadays I like to see development that creates jobs that perhaps all my friends without work could get in on to support their families, but these endless expansions on to public lands are hard to take. Shoot, gas wells play out, ski lifts once installed and ski land once taken are “forever.” Weird to think that, but it’s true. I’m not that big a fan of Hal Clifford’s book “Downhill Slide” but he does have a point…

  31. brian h June 17th, 2011 9:21 am

    The way I understand it, peak six has become an easy access zone from the lift served side and (for a longer time) a townie zone for a quickie. That arrangement would seem to be perfect as it is. If Breck has to move in why not go simple with one basic lift and not all this day lodge b.s. Skier dispersal is achieved and some resemblance of off piste exists. On the other hand, I’m starting to think that complaining about projects like this is akin to cake having and eating. If I choose to ride lifts (and I often do) then am I not accepting the business model? I read that Clifford book a few years back. His model (as I remember it) of a more “organic” ski hill seemingly has come to fruition in Silverton. Of course, comparing the two is like apples and pink alien elephants.

  32. Lou June 17th, 2011 9:56 am

    Brian, if one rides existing lifts, I don’t see why that’s having cake and eating, and accepting business model. I buy gasoline, that doesn’t mean I accept they way Exon behaves, for example. It’s way more nuanced than that.

  33. brian h June 17th, 2011 10:31 am

    Sometimes its the shades of gray that allow us to be non committal. If I were to take my earlier espoused opinion further: If Breck is the “busiest” ski area (as they claim) and the expansion is aimed at alleviating skier crowding (although what type of skiers will use peak 6 is a debatable element) then by skiing Breck and being part of that crowd I become a part (however small) of their reason to expand. My concern over personal hypocrisy, unfortunately, won’t likely stop me from skiing there with Denver friends. I’ve met very few people (although they are there) who really change their attitudes and lifestyles when they come across something that they truly object to. The list of things that I participate in and yet my conscience nags me about is very long.

  34. rod georgiu June 17th, 2011 11:39 am

    Lou, thanks for the informative report.

    I ski in the Sierra Nevada, (California one).

    I am on the K2 Hardside which is 131/98/119. For better grip on ice, would you recommend more or less sidecut? I like to ski couloirs, sometime narrow ones, and I found that moving from Mantras (with more sidecut) to the hardsides (less sidecut), made it easier to keep my turns in a narrow (3 meter or so) corridor, because I can slip the end of my turns easier than on the Mantras.
    But the Hardsides have less grip on ice.
    So not sure what to do, less sidecut or more?

  35. Lou June 17th, 2011 3:49 pm

    Brian, that’s more clear. Yeah, if was part of the crowd and they said they needed to take backcountry to relieve crowding, I’d perhaps feel differently. I don’t ski Breck lifts so I can be intellectually honest…. Aspen areas are not what you’d call crowded, so no reason for our areas to take nay more land at this point… Lou

  36. Lou June 17th, 2011 3:57 pm

    Rod, my take is that sidecut is only part of the edgehold equation…. and for couloirs, there is such a thing as too much sidecut. If you want more edgehold, just look for a ski that’s rated as having more, and for couloirs just don’t get too crazy with the sidecut. That’s my take, anyhow. There are probably some folks here who are more up to speed on skis for steep/narrow than I am these days. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been kind of a meadow skipper (grin). Lou

  37. Sb June 19th, 2011 6:58 pm

    How do the flat tails affect tight maneuvering? I like to slip backwards on occasion in tight spots. Otherwise, these look sweet.

  38. Lou June 19th, 2011 9:24 pm

    The tails still have some “turn up” and around 5 cm of rocker. But yeah, you’re not going to be wanting to slip backwards the way you do with something that has more of a turned up tail.

  39. Zeb June 20th, 2011 10:05 am

    Lou — this is off topic, but I couldn’t find an on-topic post. I hope you’ll forgive the diversion. I wonder if you have an opinion on how best to spend 10-14 days or so improving my backcountry skills. I’m 46 years old and a life-long skier. (I was a town counselman in Telluride, where I lived for a couple of winters. Now I sit at a desk in Manhattan.) Other than jumping off cliffs (“hucking”?), I’m pretty comfortable skiing almost any terrain. but fairly new to AT. I’ve probably logged 10 days skinning and skiing, mostly with friends and a guide. I’m already thinking of next winter. There’s a NOLS backcountry session in Wyoming. Or I could try to go with a group and a guide. Do you have any general advice on how to spend a focused period of time improving my skills? Thanks so much.

  40. Dane June 20th, 2011 10:33 am

    Zeb, obviously i am not Lou but if I were in your boots, I get rigged in the best current gear, Hi5s and a pair of TLTs maybe, find a good guide and go do the Haute route from Cham to Zermatt.

    If you are a good skier in bounds the current gear will make you a good skier out of bounds as well. By the end of the week you finish as a much better BC skier and have a life long memory as well.

  41. Lou June 20th, 2011 10:48 am

    I’m not Dave (grin) but what he said is good advice. I’d add that you want a guide who’s of the newer more personable tradition, and willing to do some mentoring instead of getting the day over with as quickly as possible so he can drink a beer at the hut (that you’ve paid for). If you look at the websites of English speaking guides, and get some recommendations, that’s a start. Comm with the guide and be clear that you expect some instruction. If everyone is on the same page, they’ll simply expect a good tip at the end for their extra effort of instructing. That said, it’s tough to make a guided ski traverse into a ski mountaineering course. Time for teaching is limited, and by the end of the day it’s time for rest, not pushing into another couple of hours of teaching time. As for NOLS these days, I’m in some ways an eternal fan, but I tend to recommend their courses less and less as it seems they have such a heavy environmental agenda they tend to substitute relevant skills teaching with enviro indoctrination., More, some of the instructors seem to be on a mission to put their version of the state of the world over on their supposedly impressionable students. In other words, do you want to pay for lectures on how fast the glaciers are melting, when you can just read about it in National Geographic?

  42. Zeb June 20th, 2011 12:29 pm

    Thanks Lou and Dane. Lou, I appreciate what you say about NOLS — though, truthfully, I wonder how new this issue is. I did a NOLS course in 1987 in the Wind River Range; your comments reminded me of some of the things I didn’t like about it, even back then. Dane, thanks for your suggestion and equipment advice. I’ve already geared up though: BD Havocs, Dynafit bindings, and Garmont Mega-Rides, which I happily use inbounds as well.

  43. Sb June 20th, 2011 12:39 pm

    Zeb,

    Lots of local guides can get you out too. Eli (climbinglife.com) is one that I know and like. He does ski mountaineering sessions in rmnp and is very interested in teaching as opposed to lou’s description of an old school euro guide.

    I’m sure the San Juan guides will do similar things.

  44. Colin Lantz June 20th, 2011 1:01 pm

    Wolter – Lou and Jonathan: Colin Lantz here from La Sportiva. I’m the worldwide product manager for the winter sports products. Just wanted to jump in and help clarify the whole Movement & La Sportiva relationship. Jonathan, everything you wrote in your comment is on the money concerning the factory and La Sportiva’s relationship to Movement. The Hi5 is not a rebadge and is a shape we designed, with the help of Nanni Tua’s 40+ years of ski manufacturing expertise, specifically for the North American ski mountaineer. We saw a niche in the market and built the Hi5 to fill it. Well, actually we built it for us and thought some other people would like it too. That’s the Sportiva way! We’ve never seen a niche that is too small to fill. If there are 100 people asking for it we’ll do it. Always having the right tool for the job at hand is that important to us.

    Here’s the skinny on how La Sportiva came to be the North American (“NA”) distributor for Movement. Nanni Tua is Italian and this is how La Sportiva (an Italian company) came to make their skis in his new factory in Tunisia. I was going to the factory and working on the new ski line with Nanni and came to know the Movement guys as they are making their skis in the same place. The Movement guys (all core skiers and not a bunch of suits) let us know that they were looking for a new distributor for NA. Well, one thing led to another and in the end La Sportiva NA decided it made a lot of sense to start selling Movement in the U.S. and Canada. One of the main reasons for doing this (besides the fact that it’s just damn good product and a really cool company with heaps of old school soul) is that we wanted to make sure that we were able to maintain our position in the factory and keep working closely with Nanni. Having a tighter association with Nanni’s best customer (Movement) was a way to do this. There is a lot of competition right now to be in the ski industry for production space in the good factories. The Chinese economy is heating up so fast that labor costs are going through the roof and a lot of companies that decided to move their production to China in the past few years are now looking to pull out and move elsewhere. In the end, there are really only a few “A” list ski manufacturers in the world and if you want to be in one of those factories you need to have one of two things: massive quantities or a tight relationship with the owners. This is especially true for a newbie brand in the world of skis like Sportiva. As La Sportiva Italy was planning to launch a new ski, ski boot and binding line at the same time La Sportiva NA was taking on distribution for Movement, the decision was made to setup Movement as a separate entity to avoid any confusion between the two lines. So, in the end, yes, Movement is being distributed by La Sportiva, but their skis lines have nothing to do with each other. Movement is “The Freeski Company”. They are Swiss based and THE first ski company to really focus on Freeskiing or what is usually referred to as Freeride skiing over here. We’d like La Sportiva to be known as “The Ski Mountaineering Company”. Mountaineering is La Sportiva’s heritage business and so the jump to Ski Mountaineering is not as far as it would first appear. The truth is that La Sportiva’s original heritage business was leather ski boots and when it all went to plastic in the 70′s La Sportiva abandoned the category because they couldn’t afford the plastic injection mold investment costs and that is when they really started focusing on climbing and mountaineering. So, La Sportiva’s entry into ski mountaineering products is really a re-entry. Kind of a Back to the Future thing.

    Well, I hope this helps. It’s been a little long winded but I thought it was important to set the record straight for all the Wild Snow followers. Where all big fans so keep up the good work Lou. We’ll see you in the mountains.

  45. Jonathan Shefftz June 20th, 2011 1:32 pm

    Helpful, yes . . . but even more so if that means better availability of the Movement Random-X for next season! (Although the La Sportiva RST also looks tempting.)

  46. Colin Lantz June 20th, 2011 3:05 pm

    BTW in response to some earlier questions:

    MSRP: $799
    Skins: Holes in the tip and tail are compatible with the K2 system. La Sportiva is selling it’s own precut skins using the K2 attachment pieces (licensed from K2). La Sportiva skins are made by Pomoca and are 70% Mohair / 30% Nylon with 100% waterproof membrane (lowest water absorption on the market), HiGlide treatment, Anti-glopping treatment. Our plush is different than what K2 is using.

  47. Lou June 20th, 2011 3:58 pm

    Nice Colin, thanks!

  48. Jason June 30th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Those are some sweet looking boards! Looks crazy with the bc binders. lol

  49. steve sellers July 3rd, 2011 12:38 pm

    I saw some US skimo guys on LaPortiva race skis, which I believe were Goode skis rebranded.

  50. steve sellers July 3rd, 2011 12:38 pm

    Sorrry for the typo….”LaSportiva”

  51. Jonathan Shefftz July 3rd, 2011 12:42 pm

    Why would you believe that? The Goode spec is almost 26% heavier than the RSR spec, plus the Good model still doesn’t have a tip notch for skins.

  52. Colin Lantz July 3rd, 2011 7:04 pm

    Hey Steve – No way, it’s not a rebrand or what they call an open mold ski in the industry. I designed the RSR (and all the other models in the Sportiva line including the Hi5) and it is ground up a new design and our own new mold (la stampa in Italian) with our own carbon fiber technology.

  53. Lou July 4th, 2011 7:47 am

    Colin, thanks for the info. The re-badging that some skis are subject to is a constant annoyance in the industry that I wish would go away, glad you are NOT doing that!

    All, any time we can verify a re-badge we will call it out. If we don’t catch one, feel free to set us straight, as we’re only human and can’t stay on top of everything.

    Nice that Colin is commenting here.

  54. Andy July 9th, 2011 2:55 am

    What range of lengths will these be offered in? I’m currently running Mustagh Ata SL 178s with Dynafit Vert-ST and TLT-5P boots as a quiver of one, 5’10″ ~165lbs. I’ve never skied a big rocker mid-fat ski, just wished I had them on a few deep/heavy powder days last season. I get the sense that because of the shorter effective running length on firm stuff, going longer than one would on a non-rocker ski is desirable. For my size/weight and compared to what I’m using now, would the right fit be ~182ish? I like the idea of lots of float, but don’t want to go way overboard on the length. Ideas appreciated. Also, for Colin, are new production skis available now? Thinking I need to head over to Marmot Mtn Works and place an order…

    Cheers,

    Andy

  55. Colin Lantz July 9th, 2011 4:08 am

    Andy: Lengths available are 168, 178, 188 cm. You got it right, shorter effective edge usually dictates going up in size with rocker. A good rule of thumb for rockered skis is to add 5 to 10 cm in length. I’m pretty close to your size and weight and I’ve skied both the 178 and the 188. I normally ski a mid 170 something type ski in traditional type skis. With the Hi5, at first I kept going back to the 178 but after getting used to the rocker performance I started gravitating to the 188. It’s a bit of a personal preference type decision. Also depends on where you’ll be using them. Ski tight trees all the time? Then go 178. Bombing the wide open above treeline stuff mostly? Go 188.

    No, W11/12 production is not in the stores yet in USA. Probably be end of August. I think there may be a limited number of pairs available from The Sportiva warehouse in Boulder. Ask Marmot to inquire about this.

  56. Colin Lantz July 9th, 2011 4:12 am

    Correction: I think there may be a limited number of pre-production pairs available now from the Sportiva warehouse in Boulder. These are from the same pre-production that Lou skied on in this review.

  57. Lou July 9th, 2011 7:24 am

    Rocker is how they finally got old schoolers like me to ski on something longer than 165 cm. Having a longer, rockered ski can indeed be pretty nice, but man, I hate the way they carry on my pack when I’m peak scrambling…

  58. Dane July 12th, 2011 12:26 pm

    Hey Andy, no matter which size you go for they ski and turn like a much, much shorter ski than what they actually measure. I was hestitant about getting on a pair of 188s and found them very easy to ski in some deep wet snow conditions here in the NW. Once I spent some time on the Hi5 I now think that a 198 might also be a good ski on open terrain. I ski 178 Aspect for example.

    Your TLTps will be a great match with the Hi5 imo for any kind of soft snow. Also been using the TLT Mtn TF on mine and they do a good jib as well.

    Colin? Local shop tells me there will be a 80/90 mm under foot version of the Hi5? Any truth to that rumor? I ‘d buy that ski,

  59. Jonathan Shefftz July 13th, 2011 8:04 am

    Idle thought while trying to take my mind off something else: if the 169cm length in the Manaslu feels absolutely perfect to me, then would my ideal length in the Hi5 be 168cm?

  60. Lou July 13th, 2011 8:30 am

    Johathan, if you’re skiing powder and softer mank yeah I’d go one step longer than the 168… tough call, as the shorter length would be nice as well…

  61. Jonathan Shefftz July 13th, 2011 8:33 am

    The 169cm Manaslu length is just so perfect for me in soft snow for the tight trees we have back east. When I’ve used it out west, I’ve thought I could go longer, but my western trips are mainly in the spring & summer (with other skis). So if the 169cm Manaslu is right for me, do I stick with the 168cm Hi5?

  62. Colin Lantz July 13th, 2011 10:29 am

    Jonathan – The Hi5 178 is going to ski like a 168 traditional ski. Hi5 168 is going to feel like a 158. Now, when it comes to the Manaslu, I know they are saying it has rocker bit IMO it is somewhere between minimal and nil, so I say the 169 Manaslu skis like a traditional 169 — this from personal experience… I have a pair of Manaslu in 178. I would go up to the 178 in Hi5 saying it will feel like a 168 and similar to the Manaslu in 169.

  63. Colin Lantz July 13th, 2011 10:35 am

    Dane – re: our new skis for next year… well you know how it works. This is a public forum and you can’t spill the beans too early. I can tell you that the Hi5 killed it with dealer orders and there is definitely a few models in the works to kind of fill out the range. A 90 something model based on the Hi5 concept could possibly be in the works, as well as the big brother to the Hi5. Stay tuned.

  64. Dane July 13th, 2011 11:00 am

    Thanks Colin. Skinny and ex-wide versions would be cool tools ;). The hi5 is a unique design that does a lot of things well. Much better than I expected for sure.

    Jonathon, my take from skiing the Hi5 much of this spring is the big rocker and additional side cut of this ski makes a 188 actually ski more like a 173 Stoke. If you really like your Manaslu you’ll want something longer than your core board in a Hi5.

  65. SB July 14th, 2011 4:43 pm

    95mm waisted hi5 would be cool. I’ll probably get one either way.

  66. Jonathan Shefftz July 14th, 2011 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. And nice to ponder such pursuits to take my mind off other matters now (sigh).

  67. Frame July 15th, 2011 5:20 am

    I have some issues with the mind wandering on a Friday. Here’s some photo’s of what looks like a line of LaSportiva ski’s. In the page header and then in some of the photos

    http://www.lasportiva.com/magazine/?p=1192&lang=en

  68. Dimitri October 13th, 2011 6:10 am

    nice! looks pretty similar to the Jackel from movement (i know, no connection)

    http://movementskis.ch/products/skis/adventure/jackal/

    cannot seem to find any of these skis over here (EU)

  69. Dimitri October 15th, 2011 12:52 pm

    does anyone know if these will be sold over here is Europe? so luck in the search so far :-(

  70. Dimitri October 27th, 2011 6:30 am

    @Colin Lantz

    I have been tiring in my efforts to get some information from LA Sportiva dealers in the EU about your range of skis, they either don’t know anything about them or simply state they will not be sold over here!

    how can this be true? an Italian designed ski from a European based alpine company not selling their skis in the EU. Colin, i would love it if you could clarify this for me if possible, are you only going to be selling these in the USA?

  71. Colin Lantz October 27th, 2011 6:44 am

    Dimitri, in which country are you located?

  72. Dimitri October 27th, 2011 7:29 am

    Hi Colin, Norway. But I order all my gear from either France, UK or Germany..

    thanks for getting back to me so fast :)

  73. Colin Lantz October 27th, 2011 9:08 am

    Hi Dimitri,

    Thanks for your interest and thanks for asking dealers about the skis. This always helps them to decide to carry the line. Here’s a few options for now…

    France –
    http://www.auvieuxcampeur.fr/nos-produits/ski-materiel-chaussure-et-entretien/ski/mixte/rando-freeride?p=2
    Our distributor tells us a few more are coming online in the next few weeks.
    http://www.espacemontagne.com
    http://www.montaz.com
    http://www.montania-sport.com
    but none of them is going to deal the Hi5…
    Perhaps this one, later in the season:
    http://www.mountainshop.com

    Waiting to hear back from German agent and the UK distributor. I’ll post links for dealers there once I get them.

    You can also buy them direct from the La Sportiva factory shop but there is no web site. You can contact luca@lasportiva.com to arrange this. They for sure carry all models there.

    The US web site is the most up to date as far as product specs go:
    http://www.sportiva.com/products/ski/skis

    Europe web site will be updated sometime next week.
    http://www.lasportiva.com

  74. Dimitri October 27th, 2011 12:19 pm

    Hi Colin, thanks for your efforts regarding this, much appreciated :D

    I’ve already fired off an email to Luca

  75. David Aldous October 31st, 2011 9:47 pm

    I’ve been looking at both these skis and the Coombacks. I’m curious if anyone thinks that the more pronounced rocker on the Hi5′s makes the rocker jerk more obvious. It seems like the rocker in the tips of many other skis is much more gradual than on the hi5.

  76. Dane October 31st, 2011 10:41 pm

    The Hi5 skiis like a short fat ski to me. Never really noticed the rocker, other than how easily the ski turns. More a “trad” ski than my DPS 112s for example and I like the edge hold and virtually non rockered tail.

    Seems the Coomback has similar numbers. But I have not skied them. Colin?

  77. Biggsie November 1st, 2011 8:34 pm

    Good looking ski. I fondled it @ Marmot Mountainworks in Berkeley over the weekend. Hoping to check it out on Shasta in late winter.

  78. Dane November 1st, 2011 9:12 pm

    Not a lot of them have been on the snow is my take on it. But there will be a bunch of them soon if the shops that do carry them are any example.

    DPS picture here but looks like the Hi5s are in good company:

    http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/10/here-is-squared-away-customer-base.html

    Did I already say I really like my Hi5s :wink:

  79. Colin Lantz November 2nd, 2011 2:17 am

    Hi David – about rocker jerk – never had this experience with the Hi5, nor can I say that I totally understand this concept. Back on June 15, canwiff wrote, “What happens is you get on snow that’s “grabby” (either dirty, or your wax is off). Every time a terrain variation causes the rockered ski base to engage, you decelerate, then you speed up again as the Ptex disengages.” Assuming that we are talking about rocker with camber (which seems to be were most rocker designs are going now, including the Hi5), it seems to me that this engaging of the ski base would be caused by camber and not rocker, and that if this is the case then every traditionally cambered ski would be subject to this “herky jerky” effect (as Lou called it) when the P-Tex engages the dirty snow, or the P-Tex with wax that is off engages… some sort of snow. Maybe I’m missing something here, but wouldn’t rocker, which tends to decrease effective edge and subsequently the effective length of the running base, decrease this effect? Like I said, not sure I understand correctly, so maybe someone can point out the flaws in my thinking on this.

    In any case, the feedback we’ve gotten from dealers at the on snow demo last year at the Outdoor Retailer show, an the SIA demo days and in Europe is that for such a light ski it does not deflect easily, and that it is extremely versatile and works well in all conditions. I will tell you that the Hi5 likes to turn and with the pronounced rocker it is effortless to initiate your turns which make them particularly appealing when skiing in tight spaces, e.g. trees, couloirs, etc. What it does not excel at is straightlining. It just doesn’t have that big mountain sidecut and no-camber profile. Maybe the easy turn initiation is one of the reasons that tele skiers seems to gravitate towards the Hi5.

    Interesting that you’re considering the Coombacks also. It’s a great ski that I’ve spent a fair amount of time touring on. To be sure, it was one of the reference products for the Hi5 design process and I used it (among others) as inspiration for the the tail of the Hi5 design. I love everything about that ski, except for the tip profile. For the Hi5 the Rossi S7 was my inspiration for the front part of the ski. So in some ways you could say what I was trying to do with the Hi5 was a mash-up of the S7 and the Coomback, two of my all-time favorite skis. I wanted that floaty-surfy feeling you get in powder with the S7 but combined with the versatility and practicality of a flat tail which lets you finish your turns.

    Hope this helps… happy skiing.

  80. Dimitri November 2nd, 2011 6:54 am

    Hi Colin,
    Nice speech ;)
    I still cannot find the ski in the EU :(
    I guess i am kind of stuck because Luca is not responding to me either…

    What a fix this is, I’ve never had this problem before.

  81. Colin Lantz November 2nd, 2011 7:12 am

    Hi Dimitri – Sorry for the problems. I think Luca is out this week. Email me directly and I’ll take care of you. My email address is clantz@sportiva.com. Tell me the size and style you want and I’ll get it moving for you.

  82. Lou November 2nd, 2011 7:16 am

    Rocker jerk is real. I’ve experienced it numerous times. All skis “jerk” when the base and/or snow tend to be grabby, but skis without rocker sometimes are “smoother.” What happens with skis with lots of rocker or a long rise tip, is this:

    You’re cruising down a run that’s low angled, not making edgy turns, sometimes just running straight down the fall line. Generally, not at high speed.

    Most of the time, your ski’s rocker is causing quite a bit of running surface at tip and/or tail to not contact or lightly contact the snow.

    All that time, you’re hitting patches of more grabby snow, due to tree shadows, dirt contamination, whatever.

    As the ski running surface encounters irregularities in the shape of the snowpack surface, more or less of it contacts. When more running surface contacts the snow surface, and you happen to hit a grabby part of the snowpack at the same time, you experience a “jerk” in the otherwise smoother resistance and friction of the running ski.

    Hence, rocker jerk.

    You won’t get rocker jerk on steeper terrain where you’re using the ski in a more edgy style, and with more energy. It happens in low angled terrain, when you’re skiing mostly on top of the snowpack. The wider and more rockered the ski, the more it happens.

    I’ve also had the effect in slushy conditions, again low angled. In that case it was obviously caused by suction resistance of the type we’re all familiar with and that “structuring” a base helps with. In the case of rocker, when you’re on the slushy surface of the snowpack, as the rocker increases and decreases your Ptex contact patch, the amount of suction resistance varies, and feels “jerky.”

    I’m not imagining all this stuff. Have experienced “rocker jerk” different models of heavily rockered skis.

    A dialed wax job helps. As does keeping the skis in a turn. Remember, it’s only a phenomenon in flatter terrain at lower speeds, such as when exiting a valley after a descent, or gliding into a trailhead.

    Not a big deal, but I find it quite interesting.

    Rocker is cool, and works. But this stuff comes along in the ski industry and you sometimes get the feeling you’re supposed to believe it is up there on the level of the Rapture or something. That’s what cap skis were like for a while. And “shaped” skis. Heck, I even remember when “metal” skis were supposed to be the solution to world peace and hunger. In all these cases, the law of unintended consequences reared its head. Nothing is perfect.

  83. Colin Lantz November 2nd, 2011 7:51 am

    Thanks for the explanation Lou. I knew I was probably just missing something. Makes sense. More rocker, more rocker jerk. But I’d posit then that there could be a second measurement that would affect this effect, that of rocker height. Rocker profiles are 3D, i.e., length of the rocker measured by how far back the ski contact point is pushed from the tip and rocker height, how high the rocker pushes the tip off the ground. Would it then not stand to reason that in the low angle conditions you are citing that a higher rocker profile would stand to experience less rocker jerk given two skis with the exact same rocker length and under the exact same conditions?

  84. Lou November 2nd, 2011 8:51 am

    Colin, yeah, I’d say that ski geometry greatly changes the “rocker jerk” effect. It is really not a big deal. I mostly brought it up because it seemed like the rocker worship was getting out of hand, and we needed some balance. However, in some situations the effect is pretty annoying, such as a big long valley cruise-out when you’re tired and just ready for the car.

  85. Phil November 2nd, 2011 10:56 am

    I think you are all off your rocker.

  86. Dane November 2nd, 2011 11:04 am

    Hilarious reading this morning. Rocker jerk or rockered skis? I can live with the jerk. Since in the conditions Lou describes it, has been happening on every ski I have ever been on back to my old white K2 Holidays.

  87. David Aldous November 2nd, 2011 1:30 pm

    Thanks Lou, Colin and Dane for responding.
    Part of my question was wondering if the angle of the ptex hitting the irregularities in the snow would also have a significant effect. A higher rocker profile would have less surface area in contact with the irregularity but the angle of the base patch contacting the snow would be higher. I would think that would change the resistance of the ski going through the snow.
    Partly I’m just trying to find if there is a clear choice of skis. I’m afraid there isn’t.
    I’m likely to be buying skis without having ridden them. The Hi5, Coomback, and SideStash are the three I’m considering the most. The Hi5 is the lightest, middle width, and highest priced of the three. The Coomback is the cheapest, smallest width, and middle weight. The SideStash is the widest, heaviest, and middle in price. I’ve heard good things about the performance of each. I’ve been slightly concerned by reports of older Coombacks having Dynafit toes pull out but don’t know how much those reports apply to current model year skis. I haven’t really skied on sis with metal in them so I’m not entirely sure how that will change how the SideStashes ski compared to the others.
    I’m 6′ and about 205lb before pack so I’m on the big side. These would be replacing 185cm first gen Kilowatts. Probably mounted with FT or ST radical bindings and either Maestrale or Quadrant boots.
    If anyone has recommendations I would appreciate them.
    Also if anyone would like to explain how the pricing in the ski world works that would be nice. If you go by MSRP the K2′s are actually more expensive than the Hi5 but even on the K2 website they are sold for a significantly lower price. Do they just have a MSRP and then a minimum advertised price that most people use anyway?

  88. Lou November 2nd, 2011 1:49 pm

    David, most shoppers I know don’t pay MSRP for skis, it’s just a guideline and topset set by the maker when the ski is released, and retailers are sometimes held to it by their contract/terms, but it seems that usually doesn’t last or never happens in the first place. So shop shop shop and ask ask ask.

    As for the binding pulling out of millions of pairs of Coombacks, more like a handful, and probably no more than any other ski it’s just that they happened to get reported in a highly visible way, due to the almost mad-dog appearing rush to get gear failure posts up onto the web. If the bindings are correctly mounted, using epoxy and not over tightening the screws, you’ll be fun. That is unless you abuse, such as in a kneeling ‘knee fall’ while locked in touring mode, which can place immense upward stress on the screws in any tech binding toe.

    As for which ski, any of the three would work fine in my opinion.

  89. Michael November 4th, 2011 11:19 pm

    SKIS: Hi5 vs Wailer112

    I have been planning on shifting from my Mantras to DPS Wailer112 Pure. I am a strong intermediate / early advanced skier learning powder (and starting to explore backcountry). Seems to me I may as well master powder with rocker helping me along the way.

    I am wondering how you would compare the Hi5 vs the Wailer112? I ski northwest powder, mostly in, around and behind Schweitzer resort here in Sandpoint Idaho. Look forward to backcountry trips up in BC as well. Seems like the Wailers would do everything I want in the resort and also backcountry as well. Would there be any advantage to the Hi5 instead?

    LIGHTER AT BOOTS FOR THE WIDE FOOT

    Right now I have Garmont Endorphine boots (which don’t fit Dynafit type bindings) with Fritschi Eagles on my Mantras. I can use the Eagles and Endorphines on my new skis and then switch in another year or two to Dynafit types with new boots. Is that a big deal to re-drill different holes? …or I could get the lighter bindings now and upgrade boots.

    What what I read and hear the well regarded lighter boots such as the Dynafit TLT or Scarpa Maestrale will not fit my wider feet. Even the new La Sportiva Sideral is likely narrow based. I could go with the heavier BD Quadrants. It seems like Garmont and BD are probably on the cusp of following the lighter boot direction and they fit wider feet. But being a 220# strong intermediate skier perhaps I should be on something as heavy as the Quadrants for now. Perhaps I could supplement them with some lighter boots like a wider TLT weight boot in a few years for pure backcountry.

    Thanks for any advice.

  90. Dane November 4th, 2011 11:50 pm

    I use to ski a lot Schweitzer, Silver, Lookout and Mt Spokane.

    Easy answer for me. I use the Hi5 for big vertical days on good snow in the back country. Skins are much easier. Skis are very close in wieght. But I think 105 is good enough in the back country and I really like a trad tail there. The 112s I use for the good snow days at the resorts or for big vet down days in the Alps. The 138 if for the day the Midi gets buried. Or hiking Warner at Silver after a 3 foot dump..

  91. Dimi November 5th, 2011 4:07 am

    the Hi5 will be a better plank for general ski mountaineering in my view, so if you plan on getting in exposed terrain and steep hard pack I would opt for the HI5 (as I and doing if I ever find a pair in the EU). Mind you, i have never skis the DPS 112 so have no idea how they edge/kick turn.

  92. Dimi November 5th, 2011 4:55 am

    Michael, as for the boot, I used the BD Quadrant boots last season with a pair of Volkl Katanas in 197cm, they are powerful boots and drove those skis in all conditions mounted with F12, which is no mean feat (double titanium laminate, yes titanium, not titinal).

    Be prepared to get a new liner as the stock Boa liner moves within the shell (even when not in tour mode buckled down) and finely tune the 2 lower buckles as I found they cut off my foot’s blood supply on my first few outings.

  93. Michael November 5th, 2011 11:37 am

    Thanks for your perspectives on the skis. I hear there are advantages for the Hi5 with easier skinning and in maneuvering in some varied conditions with the traditional tail. Wish I could try them both out on some varied terrain. Is there any downside to the Hi5 compared to the Wailer112, sounds like the Wailers might be funner in a snowy resort.

    And thank for the tip on the Boa. Perhaps its earlier to keep my Eagle bindings and switch out in a few years.

  94. Dane November 5th, 2011 12:06 pm

    From personal experience agreed on the Boa liners as well. One of the best boot fitters in Cham seems to well and if forced into replacing almost evey BD sell with a Palau liner becasue the Boa is such a bad fit. Almost a joke when I cnme in to get my liners remolded. They were willing but I had to suggest the a new liner…then I was told the “joke” about the boa. Ca..ching..add $150 to the price of your new BD boots.

    Both good skis. 112s have less of a speed limit on groomed but both a huge fun in good snow. No desire to ski the 112s with skins or in the back country though unless it is lift served …like tram, a snow cat or Helo..

  95. Dimitri November 5th, 2011 12:54 pm

    Michael i thnk someone who has skied these may be able to help better, but i imagine the 112 Pure will be more stable at speed, that is the only downside to the hi5 i can see.

    Personaly, I think ill be looking at buying the ZAG Ubac this season, mainly because i cannot source the HI5 and the ZAG is 250g lighter per ski for the 184 (as compared to the 188 hi5). they are very similar skis, rocker, carbon fiber layers, etc.

  96. Dane November 5th, 2011 1:43 pm

    From personal experience I agree on the Boa liners as well. One of the best boot fitters in Cham seems to as well and is forced into replacing almost evey BD sell with a Palau liner. Almost a joke when I came in to get my new liners remolded again. They were willing but I had to suggest the new liner…then I was told the “joke” about the Boa. Ca..ching..add $150 to the price of your new BD boots.

    Both are great skis imo. 112s have a higher speed limit on groomed than the Hi5 which shouldn’t be a surprise. But I have no desire to out pace either in good snow. The 105/112 mid ski you would notice as well. No desire to ski the 112s with skins or in the back country though unless it is lift served …like tram, a snow cat or Helo..

  97. Michael November 6th, 2011 8:02 am

    Several of you have mentioned the width and skinning. So I gather there is a big difference between skinning with 105 and 112s? That 105′s are already wide to skin and the 112 is too much? I know using the holes in the Hi5s would also make skinning easier. Thanks for your insights.

  98. Andy November 8th, 2011 1:09 am

    Just picked up a pair of 178cm Hi5s mounted with RT bindings from Marmot in Bellevue, WA… will be using them with TLT-5Ps. Looks like the forecast models are calling for a pretty good dump this coming weekend, can’t wait to get out on them.

  99. Michael November 8th, 2011 2:06 pm

    Andy, let us know how it goes! I had talked to Marmot about them yesterday and they had said someone has just bought a pair. I am curious who they would be for the inbound resort time compared to something like the DPS Wailer 112.

  100. Dane November 8th, 2011 4:49 pm

    I skiied CHRISTAL a lot last spring in my 188s and the did have a distinst speed limit. But super easy to turn with any technique, on any kind of snow we easy.

  101. Andy November 9th, 2011 3:29 am

    Michael, will do. I wanted a plank a little fatter than my Mustagh Ata SLs that would still be good for reasonable ski mountaineering, tight trees, etc. I’m hoping I end up being happy with 178 cm as “long enough”, as I like the Mustagh Ata SLs in 178cm… I’m 5’9″ 165lbs. On the other hand, I don’t tend to straightline stuff, and having something with more float than the MASLs, better crud busting, and quicker turning sounds like a blast for steep trees and powder packed couloirs, which is generally what I want them for anyway. Was thinking of waiting to demo in a few lengths, but my gf is maid of honor for our friends’ wedding in Park City in Dec, and wanted to do my quiver expansion before then. Eric at Marmot let me know the mount is done and they’re ready to go; just waiting on the Sportiva skins to come in, hopefully by end of the week.

  102. Mike November 9th, 2011 7:55 am

    Lou – have you guys looked at the new lightweight Volkls? Nanuq, Nunataq, Amaruq which I believe are same dimensions as their heavier versions (Mantra, Gotama). They have a nice flex in the store and good price point. I loved the Mantra and these seem like a good wki to replace my Mt Bakers. Any feedback or plans to test a pair????

  103. Mike November 9th, 2011 2:03 pm

    Sorry – saw Anton report on the Nunataq. I guess I’m more interested in the Nanuq for mtneering…

  104. Lou November 9th, 2011 2:13 pm

    And, we’ll be testing the Nunataq again, more of a comparo, with my “Ultimate Quiver” project.

  105. Andy November 16th, 2011 6:53 pm

    Still haven’t gotten out on my Hi5′s yet, but wow are they sweet. Sportiva skins, RT bindings seem really nice… will have to find out whether the Sportiva skins are less finnicky than my Dynafit ones in damp conditions (need to reglue the Dynafit skins with gold label, I think). K2 attachment system looks good. With the snow pushing through the Cascades tonight, planning to go out for a dawn patrol tomorrow.

  106. Andy November 17th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Got out on my Hi5s for the first time this morning at Snoqualmie pass… freezing rain crust didn’t allow for much of an evaluation in their design conditions, but they handled the crusty mank admirably and felt just fine on the groomed laps. Very nimble, and TLT5Ps drive them just fine. Hopefully will get out up around Baker on Saturday to try them in pow. Great on the up, too– I like the RT bindings. Reaching down to switch heel lift is a little annoying, but I won’t argue with the weight.

  107. Dimitri November 17th, 2011 1:44 pm

    Awsome stuff! mine are on the way from Italy finally (only thanks to Colin Lantz). cannot wait to get them mounted (plum Guide)!

    keep us posted on your experiences Andy! Hopefully get some feedback to LaSportiva so the ski can be improved even further next time around!

    I’ve also posted the link below on another post so apologies for repeating myself, but just wanted to get the word out they Never Wet hydrophobic spray is going to be available next year. looks like it will be a great top sheet cover and you could probably use it on every piece of gear your own! imagine water proof liners, fleeces. im going crazy, i need more info! anyone?

    http://www.neverwet.com/index.php

  108. Andy November 20th, 2011 12:20 am

    Finally got the Hi5′s out in powder today up at Steven’s Pass. Skiing powder compared to with 178cm Mustagh Ata SLs is a revelation… so floaty, so effortless, so awesome! As advertised, also provided a smooth ride through chopped up, tracked out mank. Cruised a couple groomers at speed for good measure, and while not as stable as the 178 MASLs with the longer effective running length of a traditional camber ski, they were still plenty fun; definitely like short, tight turns better, too, as would be expected. Stepping into the RT bindings has initially been a hair more finnicky than TLT Verts, but I suspect I’ll get used to it. At any rate, as this is the only rockered, mid-fat ski I’ve played with, perhaps I’m over hyping, and two days is not exactly a long baseline for analysis. But as of this moment, I’m very much in love with these planks. I’ll be heading up to Snoqualmie Pass BC with them tomorrow for another day of blissful November powder. Viva La Nina, Viva La Sportiva!

  109. Michael November 20th, 2011 12:08 pm

    Thats great Andy. I ordered the last Wailer 112s before they sold out of them, and Plum bindings. Have struck out getting light boots to fit my wide feet. TLT too narrow, Scarpa M not high enough on top. Zzeros were closer still off. Back to try Quadrants after Thanksgiving in Florida where I am flying today. I doubt there are ski boot shops in Naples.

  110. Mikey November 24th, 2011 3:29 pm

    I’m agonizing over sizing for these. I’m 5’11″ and 145ish without gear. 178 sounds a little short and possibly squirrelly for something with this much rocker but 188 with a flat tail sounds intimidatingly long, once the whole ski sinks into the snow and I’m using the entire edge. Thoughts?

  111. Dane November 24th, 2011 3:42 pm

    Go the 188s, they are that easy to ski….honest!

    I’d like a pair of 200s now.

  112. Colin Lantz November 25th, 2011 6:19 pm

    Mikey – get the 188.

  113. Jason Gregg November 29th, 2011 6:48 pm

    I went with the 188′s myself. This ski will replace some Coomba’s I sold a year ago. Last season I did everything on the 178 Manaslu which means I didn’t ski a ton of powder unless there was a lift of some sort involved.

  114. Jason Gregg November 29th, 2011 6:49 pm

    Forgot to put in that I’m 5′ 10.5″ and 163 lbs. The Coomba’s were also 188′s.

  115. Dimi November 30th, 2011 3:43 am

    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for all your help and emails, I received the skis on Monday and they are at my shop getting mounted to some plum guide bindings.

    Jeez they feel light for their size, the guys in the shop in Oslo had a lot to say about them, being as they wont be sold here the seemed pretty impressed. First impressions by everyone was very good. now if only Norway had some snow..

  116. Gentle Sasquatch November 30th, 2011 6:14 am

    With the RT binding the combined weight is a bit over 4kg. That is awesome. It is lighter than my Trab Stelvios with ST+brakes.

  117. Colin Lantz November 30th, 2011 10:10 am

    Awesome Dimi. Glad to help. Post some powder pics when you get them out in the deep. Let those horses run.

  118. caffrey December 14th, 2011 2:00 pm

    Colin
    do you have dealers on the East Coast US where someone can demo the ski?

  119. Colin Lantz December 14th, 2011 4:17 pm

    Where are you located?

  120. hmgerardi December 16th, 2011 9:36 am

    I appreciate reviews of these new fat La Sportiva skis, but am wondering if anyone has anything to say about their GT or women’s GTS skis????

  121. caffrey December 16th, 2011 10:01 am

    FYI: colin got back to me via email. For those east coasters, Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington carries the skis.

  122. Paul December 23rd, 2011 9:55 am

    Hi
    Been reading about these skis a bunch and thanks for the review, made me want them more?

    I am trying to figure out sizing before buying, like everyone else.

    I am 6.2, 165-170 # after holiday time, with no gear.
    Not super aggressive.
    Have a pair of bd aspect 186 feel alright sometimes a little long in crud for my liking.

    Trying to add a ski with a little more rocker for those fluffy days while staying light, this would solely be a bc ski, I have a resort rig already.

    Talked to bc.com and they were saying 178 for sure, but there everyone is saying 188 to similar weight/height etc.

    I know without skiing them and knowing me it is all just a guess but any help would be appreciated.

    Also was wondering if anyone had done the buy the k2 skin mount kit and trimmed their own skis, I have a pair of regular bd skins which I would not mind using the holes in the shovel with.

    One final thing i do like turning so I am not looking to lay down rr tracks.

    Thanks

  123. Dane December 23rd, 2011 10:05 am

    Paul, I have 178 Aspects as well. Nice skis. But the 188 Hi5 will seem to ski a lot shorter than your 178 Aspects and be way more fun in most things. You’ll want the 188s for sure imo. Which surprised me as well as I thought the 178s Aspects were going to be my “everything” ski. Now the H5% gets tasked for that more often than not. I’m 6’1″ and 185 and not an aggressive skier.

  124. Paul December 23rd, 2011 3:48 pm

    Thanks Dane

    That’s good to hear, I am pretty new to the whole rocker thing.

    I too was planning on the aspect to quote bd be my ” quiver of one” I think they are a great ski, super light probably should have gone 178 instead of 186 but was replacing a pair of havocs 174 which felt way to small for anything but hard pack and corn.
    They will be my long more touring bc day skis and I am hoping the hi5 s will be the ” ohhhh look at all that new snow ” bc day skis.

    Just am kind of intimidated by going back to those longer lengths and was looking for some reassurance.

    It is all a moot point now to since I just got word the skis arrived this morning, can’t wait to get home

    Thanks again

  125. Dane December 23rd, 2011 3:59 pm

    “I am hoping the hi5 s will be the ” ohhhh look at all that new snow ” bc day skis.”

    Get back to us that will you :)

    What I wanted from the Aspect I actually got from a longer (surprise) Hi5. :) Happy now though!

  126. Dan January 6th, 2012 12:09 am

    Six days now with Hi5s in deep cold Chugach powder, and maybe the best quick deep snow ski ever. So light, so predictable, very quick initiation and can definitely feel the S7/slalom ski heritage Colin mentioned. What had me real happy is the stability on edge when tracking hard neve, very secure. RT bindings awesome and light. Thanks for the great info, big help in making this decision.

  127. Tom February 9th, 2012 10:34 pm

    Hi
    Just bought a pair of these & they look like they’re mounted a long way back (haven’t skied em yet). They are mounted with the tiny arrow as boot centre. I just wondered if the line across the whole centre of the topsheet wasn’t supposed to be boot centre?, or is it just because of the big rocker that they look so far back?

  128. Dimi February 10th, 2012 2:13 am

    i mounted mine using the big line across the topsheet..

    a little review :D
    ski fine, never felt like i was backseated while skiing at all. i feel you have to ski these more like trad camber skis with not too much weight/stance forward, then again im used to katanas and pontoons.

    The tail design on these really add stability on steeps, i dont know how it works but it does. Although the edge hold on these are not class leading, i always feel safe on sketchy and steep terrain :) ski/float great in pow even with my 110kg weight (with gear and pack) and i never hesitate riding pillow lines or drops with this setup, even the bigger ones (although landing is a little more technical and you have to be more precise/centered with the hi5 as opposed to ‘free-ride’ sticks).

    Above everything, these tour and hike great and have a super tough hard wearing construction (so far). a touring setup that i would take on a lift served powder trip or a steep icy mountain climb. Great effort and progress in this ski.

    i wondering what is in store for us for next season from LaSportiva, ski wise?

  129. Tom February 11th, 2012 11:48 am

    Just for everybody’s info- got a reply from sportiva cs

    “It is the small arrow in the serial number, NOT the line on the top sheet.
     
    Sam Higby
    Customer Service Representative
    La Sportiva N.A., Inc.
    3850 Frontier Ave – Suite 100
    Boulder CO  80301
    Tel: 303-443-8710 x:13″

    Dimi- I wonder if this why you feel you are a little forward on them?
    I had a day playing around the resort on them yesterday- great in slush, sucked on icy moguls (but then icy moguls suck generally). I found you definitely had to stay forward on them on hardpack
    I have mine mounted +1 bs
    Touring tomorrow, will hopefully get a better ideaof how they are then

  130. Dimi February 14th, 2012 6:56 am

    Tom,

    hanks for this, ill have to check the exact difference in length between the 2 lines, but what are the tolerances concerning choices for re-mounting (if above Xcm i should re-mount, etc)?

  131. Colin Lantz February 14th, 2012 8:33 am

    Tom – Dimi, Yes, the boot center mounting point is indicated by the arrow next to the serial numbers, not by the line on the top sheet. The line was a graphical element created by the designer that did the top sheet designs. It is part of the ski specifications printed on the ski, i.e. ski length, geometry, tip rocker, radius. I checked the difference between the line and the arrow and on the 188 cm length Hi5 the arrow in 0.5 cm forward of the line. I believe Dimi got the 188′s (is that right Dimi?). Assuming 188′s it means that if they are mounted on the line then they are mounted -0.5 cm from the boot center (the arrow). This is not a bad place to be. During our testing last spring to find the correct boot center (we use a schizo binding and take runs moving the binding forward and backwards between runs) some of the testers liked the boot center at -1 cm from the indicated position. All agreed that the final position as indicated by the arrow was the most versatile boot center position and would work best for both soft and hard snow conditions. The -1 cm position was preferred if using the ski only in soft snow conditions. FYI – moving forward, we’ll get rid of the line across the top sheets as this is obviously a source of confusion.

  132. Lou February 14th, 2012 9:41 am

    Colin, thanks for the clarification. RE mountain position indication on skis, this is definitely an area where many ski companies seem to not serve their customers very well. It perplexes me why that is so, but it seems to continue throughout the industry. My suggestion would be for you to make the recommended boot position very clear on your skis, so you can ace out some of the competition — and help instead of confuse your customers. Sounds like you’re on the case with that, so good!

  133. Jamie Struck March 8th, 2012 1:18 pm

    Has anyone tried putting a Tele set-up on these? I just spent a week in the Chic-Chocs and am looking for a new set-up in the 100 / 105 waist range. Initial reports on these skies point to good, but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone bend a knee with them online, yet. Thoughts?

  134. Jonathan Lantz March 9th, 2012 8:04 am

    Hi Jamie

    The Hi5 is an excellent tele ski. I have been skiing the 178 and the 188 for over a year now with a tele set up and I have several friends that have as well. The progressive sidecut radius make these skis extremely agile in tight situations. Especially for a 105 mm waist. The massive shovel rocker is exceptional when skiing powder or crud because it helps to avoid the traditional tip dive you get when you telemark in powder. You can be really aggressive in your deep powder turns and in crud because of this. The lightweight construction is also an added bonus for telemarking. I am pretty skinny and swinging around 100mm+ skis all day tends to make me pretty tired. For being 105mm underfoot the Hi5 is noticeably lighter on long tours.

  135. Jamie Struck March 9th, 2012 8:26 am

    Thanks Jonathan,

    I’m a pretty big guy – 5’11″ 200lbs – and put a lot of power in boots and skis so swinging them around shouldn’t kill me. I’m currently touring with a Killowatt set-up and those felt real heavy to swing throughout the day and then run laps up the mountains on. These sound like a thinker, for sure.

  136. Jon October 19th, 2012 7:22 pm

    La Sportiva Hi5 – had my eye on these since last year and am kicking my self for not pulling the trigger on the EOY deals. Definitely getting them before the end of November so if anyone is selling let me know :) – I am pretty sure I need a 188 but how would a 178 work? I can get a 178 for less money right now. I’ll be mounting Radicals on them.

    6’2″ 182lbs
    Ski season: Nov – June
    Ski style: conservative, many turns,
    Area: primarily NW cascades
    Aspects: Above alpine, Summits (33%) Tight trees (66% of the time)

    Welcome any input.

  137. Dane October 19th, 2012 7:32 pm

    We are very close in size. Sac up,.and.get the long boards :) You’ll be happier in the end.

  138. ham October 20th, 2012 12:26 pm

    Jon- I bought a set of 188′s last year and love them but for me they feel a bit long. I used them for 5 days on big terrain in Canada and they were light and skied great but a little big for me in the trees around Tahoe. I’m 5’11 and 170 lbs. I’d love to sell/trade for a set of 178′s. They only have 7 ski days on them (bad season last year) and are mounted with Radicals and inserts. Either way, I recommend the ski, if you’re interested email:nematode2000atyahoodotcom.

  139. TC November 6th, 2012 9:28 am

    I hate to repeat a question that has been asked numerous times above. But… I guess I am. It seems that ski sizing is a worry for many when first moving to a very rockered or at least big early-rise ski. I’m debating between the 178/188 and find it hard to pull the trigger on a ski that is 12-17mm wider and 15cm longer than anything I’ve been skiing for a number of years!

    I’m not sure if Jonathan or Colin Lantz are still monitoring this thread – Jonathan talked about telemarking on 178 & 188s….
    I’m an expert tele skier, 5’9″, 160 no pack. PacNW. Lots of long tours involving a mix of bushwhacking and tree skiing when not in the alpine. Love speed, trees, but I am more of a smooth like butter skier and never intend to ever throw a cork1080 off a big drop. Or do any big drops at all. So I’m looking for a light, crud-busting, powder surfing fun ski.

    As long as the 178 is stable enough, I’m tempted to go with that. Am I being a weight and length weeny? I’m debating between the Hi5 and the Nunataq…
    [A tele question, but the same answer likely applies to AT].

  140. Colin Lantz November 6th, 2012 9:47 am

    TC: @ your weight, height, location and with tele setup I’d recommend the 178.

  141. TC November 6th, 2012 9:54 am

    whew!
    Thanks very much for the quick response, Colin.

  142. David Paly November 12th, 2012 6:51 pm

    TC where did you find the 178 cheaper. Also a PNW tele skier. Live in GH and ski Crystal for lifts or BC wherever

  143. TC November 30th, 2012 3:39 pm

    Dave – up here north of the border in Vancouver, MEC carries them (see online). Escape Route carries them in Whistler…

  144. TC November 30th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Another question for Colin or Jonathan about the Hi5.

    I realize there are many opinions about binding mount points. It isn’t something I was too concerned about with skis in the past – but the big early-rise skis are different animals. I expect that Colin and Jonathan have tried many variations on their skis….

    AT: I expect you’ll say to mount boot center at the line on the ski. Any specific comments on when you would suggest otherwise?

    Tele: Would you suggest a different mount point for telemarkers?

    Thanks for any advice you have!

  145. Colin December 6th, 2012 8:20 am

    TC: for tele it seems the consensus is half way between the marked boot center and the true ski center.

  146. TC December 6th, 2012 10:37 pm

    Thanks, Colin.
    After I sent the last message, I realized you had already commented on alpine mounting position… Sorry for that repeat question. However, thanks for the tele baseline. Ya, I guess it would change a bit depending on the ski length…
    Now I’ll have to sort out what ‘true ski center’ is on my 178s!
    And ask a few friends that have them as well.

    Looking forward to mounting them up and getting them on the snow!

  147. Jon December 12th, 2012 12:11 am

    WOW – Took the 188′s out on Sunday and all I can say is WOW! The day presented all types of weather and snow conditions and the ski ripped it all. The forecast was cold morning with warming by 1pm. We started out with 5 new and mid 20′s temps. Then over the next 5 hours we skied through all types of weather (snow, mist, sleet, rain, and gusts) and all the snow conditions that come with such weather. We hit all aspects of the zone and made turns in fresh, slab, consolidated, crust, muck, ice, and mush. I have never been so impressed with a ski. Not once did I have to adjust my ski technique for the ski. Not once did I have to decide on a line based on what the ski could not do well. You just stand on the skis and rip. Doesn’t matter… you want to ski it then ski it because the full rake will eat it and the camber and side cut will turn it. I have been researching these skis for a year and could not be happier with the versatility and performance of this ski. I can tell you every positive thing anyone has ever said about this ski is true. I did not experience one negative trait. Even the skins are amazing. Easy to apply, easy to rip, and no snow loading or sticking. I mounted them with new Radical FT’s and those power towers rock.

  148. Dane December 12th, 2012 12:24 am

    “You just stand on the skis and rip.”..thanks for the update! I have the same set up and loved them last couple of winters. Haven’t been out yet this year. Times coming!! And I appreciate the stoke!

  149. Colin Lantz December 12th, 2012 8:50 am

    Jon – great review, thanks for the stoke. Just curious – where are you located? Would love to put your review on our site. Can I have your permission to do so?

  150. Jon December 12th, 2012 10:02 am

    Hi Colin, Portland, OR

    Sportiva is more than welcome to use my review.

    Ski season: Nov – June
    Ski style: conservative, many turns,
    Area: primarily NW cascades
    Aspects: Upper ulpine, Above alpine, Summits (33%) Tight trees (66% of the time)

  151. matt February 28th, 2013 8:57 pm

    Jon: just snagged the hi5′s and the radical ft’s. Curious as to your size, ability, typical conditions, and most importantly mounting position!

    cheers.

  152. Jon March 8th, 2013 12:03 pm

    Sorry for the late response Matt ~ I have the 188′s and mounted them to the boot center mounting point indicated by the arrow next to the serial numbers ( not the line on the top sheet )

    I am 6’2″ – 185lbs – 50 years – advanced skier skiing volcano’s of PNW and capable in all terrain and conditions. I prefer many turns but I have had these skis up to speed and they are rock solid at speed. The skis light construction and width means they don’t have the torsional strength of beefier heavier skis so if you turn them to far out of the fall line on hard snow at speed they will chatter. It is not a problem, just a characteristic of a wide lite ski. The ski performs without thought otherwise. Just stand on them and go.

  153. Matt May 1st, 2013 10:12 am

    Hey Lou, or anyone else…
    What drill bit size did you use to mount these? I know there is a plate under the binding but unsure if that’s a metal plate, or some other type of re-enforcement.
    Which I guess means a 4.1mm bit…

  154. Lou Dawson May 1st, 2013 12:00 pm

    We don’t worry too much about bit size here, but I’d have probably used a 4.1. We didn’t mount those skis so I can’t tell you for sure. Lou

  155. Colin Lantz May 1st, 2013 4:48 pm

    Manufacturer recommends 3.5 x 9.

  156. Besniwod May 19th, 2013 7:46 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the great info. I have been reading this blog for a while and it has been an excellent source of information.

    I realise this is probably a bit of a jong question but I haven’t been able to find an answer. What do the three numbers mean for the turn radius that La Sportiva publishes on their website: 17/23/17 (for 178 length)? Does it mean the sidecut becomes deeper towards the tip and an tail but is shallower underfoot?

  157. Lou Dawson May 20th, 2013 6:19 am

    I always assume that means a variable radius, yes.

  158. Besniwod May 21st, 2013 6:47 pm

    Okay, thanks very much.

  159. Daniel May 25th, 2013 6:53 am

    At 6’2 180lbs, shortish legs and feel-wise on a long enough ski with the 181 k2 backlash, what size hi5 should I look at?

  160. XXX_er May 25th, 2013 10:20 am

    ” I always assume that means a variable radius, yes.”

    I also wondered what VR meant on my stokes which are advertised as having a VR turn, Dynafit quote 2 turn radius figures according to their site the long radius turns come from the front of the ski( (bigger #) and short radius (smaller #)turns from the rear of the ski which actualy makes sense from my experiance with where I pressure the stoke

    does La sportiva’s 3 numbers also mean you get a different turn radius depending on if you pressure the ski front/center/rear or what ?

  161. Daniel June 4th, 2013 3:10 pm

    allright, so my search for a fattish fun ski led me to this thread.

    how would you guys compare the hi5 to voile chargers and dps wailer 112s? other that width, of course. whats the main difference in ski feel not having tail rocker like the other two?

    main objective i to get something playful, easy to ski for pow and many other types of BC snow, including breakable. thus looking for drastically rockered skis. should be drivable wth zzero4px boots.

    does the hi5 fit the bill? 188 length for me at 6’2, 180?

    i have some backlashes and short vectors for either hard inbounds or long/hard spring tours.

  162. Dane June 4th, 2013 9:32 pm

    I’ve skied the Hi5, the DPS 112 and RPC as well as s the Dynafit Huascaran and the LS Hang5. Hi5 is 105mm under foot. The others between 112 and 117. I can only compare the 112 and the Hi5 from your list. But for touring, a light weight ski is better imo. As long as it skis well. Much as I like all the skis listed I think the Huascaran is the standout skis for BC.

    Hi5 in a 188cm would be prefect imo for what you are intending. As they do ski short. My all time favorite is the 177cm Huascaran when I think I’ll need skins and am willing to pack the skis weight. Of all the LSs, again a bit heavy for my BC likes, but the Hang5 is the “real” ski in that line. Love that skis and also went down there to a 178cm ski. The Hang5 even seems short at 188 by comparison. Rocker makes a ski seem shorter in use and easier to turn. NIce to have a flat tail and be able to finish the turn with some ski under you, so I liek the LS straight tail designs. Pin tails and rocker make turns easier in pow and bad snow conditions. The Huascaran has a little of both on the tail. The Hi5 has more side cut and a straight, flat tail. I like both skis but find one simply much easier to ski than the other. I use both a 177 and a 196 Huascaran and a 188 Lo5 and a 192 RC/ RPC. Much prefer the RPC (and like a lot as a over all ski) over the RP.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pxlqsK9liI

  163. Daniel June 5th, 2013 2:24 am

    Dane, which one do you find easier to ski then?

    I can easily source LS skis from my “local” dealer. Not so much Voile or DPS. DPS seem like uber-Skis, which they are maybe not.

    Why do you prefer the RPC over the RP, what would you say is the main difference between a LS Hi5/Hang5 ski and a Wailer 112? other than weight. I mean ski feel, skiing style, hard snow performance and so on. cheers!

  164. Dane June 5th, 2013 9:42 am

    Sorry I obviously need more coffee and slower fingers. This is a typo. “Hi5 and 112RPC are not very versital or charger skis imo” Should have said Hi5 and 112RP there. Not the RPC. RPC it is a fun charger along with the Hang5.

  165. Daniel June 6th, 2013 12:52 am

    How would you compare Hi5 vs W112p in terms of float, maneuverabilty, hardpack performance, ease of use?

    Basically, I want a ski that has the features and characteristics of modern freeride skis, but is still very tourable. I do get Powder, although not as deep as a PNW skier maybe. Touring in the alps and Norway can mean encountering pretty variable snow, especially in the up.

  166. Dane June 6th, 2013 1:58 am

    Hi5 is a big mountain touring ski . The 112RP is a resort powder ski. There is obviously some cross over on both and people use them for both BC and resort skiing here in the PNW But easy definition is touring ski, resort ski. RP is a better groomed slope ski and resort ski. But not by much. Flat tail on the Hi5 has some advantages touring and with skins. Hi5 skis soft snow as well as the RP imo. 188 Hi5 and a 182 RP Pure weight the same. 188 Hi5 is lighter than a 190 RP Pure.

    Skiing in the Alps you already now what touring is. Touring ski…resort ski :) That should make it an easy choice!

  167. Daniel June 6th, 2013 2:20 am

    does either hi5 188 or W112 190 ski significantly shorter/longer than the other?

  168. Dane June 6th, 2013 2:44 am

    188s Hi5 ski really short. imo Flat tail and huge front rocker likely the reason.

    190s feel short but still enough ski under you to justify the number. 112 compared to a 105 under foot as well.

    Give it a few days. Good bet someone will show up and tell you the exact opposite of everything I have said :).

  169. Daniel June 6th, 2013 2:57 am

    Great input, thanks!

    Btw, how did you mount your hi5s? On the mark or forward?

  170. Dane June 6th, 2013 1:32 pm

    I was on the mark. Now I would likely go forward 2cm. Suspect they would do better on hard snow there and not likely to damage the performance in soft or chop.

  171. Dane June 6th, 2013 1:35 pm

    FWIW I’m also in a 29 Dynafit TLT shell…and big feet do make a difference on the mount point. Smaller feet less so I think.

  172. Besniwod June 6th, 2013 9:42 pm

    I have read some people describing the Hi5 as soft and hooky. What do you think?

  173. Dane June 6th, 2013 11:23 pm

    Soft but not hooky. My impression was soft but decent in een soft groomers. Soft or chopped up snow it is really good.

    Detune would like solve anything resembling hooky.

    It is a decent soft snow ski. Certainly in the same cat as the 112RP imo.

  174. Besniwod June 6th, 2013 11:33 pm

    Thanks for the reply.

    The WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2012/2013 post mentions that Lou found them “a bit floppy when in variable conditions.”

    How would you compare the two skis in variable conditions?

    Have you skied the Praxis BCs?

  175. David June 7th, 2013 12:06 pm

    I skied the Hi5 for one season (100% backcountry) in costal and interior BC. I found them hooky (even after detuning) and very soft and unpredictable in most snow conditions (except soft untracked) when coming from original coombas. They surfed well on powder though and were light.

    This past year I was on Praxis BCs…and could not be happier. It can handle variable conditions with ease and still a great soft snow ski. You can custom order the stiffness (mine were medium/stiff). The bases are bomber. I can’t say enough good things about these skis and Keith (the owner of Praxis). They are mounted on the recommended line, but I might move them back 1 or 2 cm this coming year.

    I haven’t skied DPS W112s

  176. Lou Dawson June 7th, 2013 12:39 pm

    To add to the confusion, I’d say that the bar has changed in terms of what defines a “lightweight” ski. In regards to our next Ultimate Quiver, Hi5 is actually on the heavier side in terms of weight. I’ve been told all La Sportiva skis will eventually catch up with the trend and drop weight. But for now, see our weight/surface chart. Myself, I liked the way the Hi5 skied on soft snow, but I wouldn’t consider it an all-around ski.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/9657/ski-weight-comparison-surface/

  177. Dane June 7th, 2013 4:59 pm

    Agreed on the LS weights. Love skiing them though even given the weight.. Not thrilled about the weights. Hi5 being one of the best of the bunch. GTR is good as well.

    Praxis rocks. But they aren’t light skis either. BC is a rockered tip and tail and double tipped. And 98 underfoot.

    Glad some one else chimed in here :) Felt like i was writing ad copy.

  178. David June 7th, 2013 5:35 pm

    Praxis BC is 106 mm…and the Yeti is 94 mm

  179. Dane June 7th, 2013 5:44 pm

    David is of course correct. I’m brain dead from am early morning start today and need a nap :)

    BC and Yetti Praxis skis have a lot of design shape in common with a DPS 112RP imo.

  180. Daniel June 7th, 2013 5:45 pm

    now that Praxis BC is being mentioned, how does that plank compare to either Hi5 or the Wailer 112?

    weight is similar enough I think. would I be on their 180 or 190? (6’2 180)

  181. Dane June 7th, 2013 10:44 pm

    DPS 112RP has a exceptional shape, Some amazing skis. Hi5 is a pretty traditional shape except for the rockered tip.

    I’ve not skied the BC. But have 3 pair of Praxis skis. They are simply stellar skis for what they were designed for. Build quality is 2nd to no one. At least for me having the ability to build a custom ski and no additional charge is amazing.

    Praxis is doing stuff no one else is and at some incredible prices.

    BC in a 190cm weghts 8.7#. pair And Keiths’ numbers are generally spot on for a hand matched pair of skis built from scratch as a “pair”. 131/106/121

    The Hi5 on my scales came in @ 8# even, for a 188. And are 135/105/125

  182. Besniwod June 7th, 2013 11:20 pm

    Thanks David, would you mind telling us your height and weight?

    Dane, would you agree with David’s comments on the Hi5s performance in variable conditions? How would it compare with the DPS 112RP’s performance in variable conditions?

  183. Dane June 8th, 2013 12:21 am

    My apologies to Lou..with anoither link. And I buy my own skis….fwiw.

    My thoughts on the Hi5 in detail a couple from 2 years ago.
    http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/06/la-sportiva-hi5-skis.html

    They are no doubt pretty soft and in general I like a stiffer ski. Same reason I really don’t liket the !112RP and love the 112 RPC. As a soft snow BC ski I think they are a good choice if you want wide and don’t mind the weight.

    Here was my take in part on less than vairable conditions:

    “sadly, my pair of Hi5s showed up in April’ ’11 and the closest I would come to a Cham pow day was a foot of nasty Cascade cement at Crystal that was doing point release slides under the lifts by the afternoon..

    But that turned out to not be a bad thing. I wanted to get some skinning in on my lwt stuff but the new snow and avi danger made that problematic. So I stuck with the Hi5s on the lifts all day. It seemed better than going home, as most did. The first steep I dropped into was 4 turns to the packed again. And I thought that was rather easy. Easier than expected for sure. Next drop I made 6 turns and was still not being pushed. Seemed too easy in the sloppy snow. Terrible snow to ski on but the kind of snow a good snow boarder loves So next time I dropped in the same place and did six turns before the first tree. Holy shit! Are these really 188cm and 105cm wide? These will take some imagination and relearning what is possible was my thought that day. “

  184. Daniel June 8th, 2013 9:48 am

    How would you compare Hi5 vs. Coomback?

  185. Lou Dawson June 8th, 2013 10:49 am

    We’ve tested both Hi5 and Coomback quite extensivly, I’d say the Coomback is a much more all-around ski that a person would be more happy with on piste than Hi5. As you can see from our chart, Coomback is now in the weight class of being a bit “heavy.” Even so, in our opinion it’s still one of the best ski mountaineering skis ever made. Speaking of later version Coombacks of course, the ones with some rocker.

  186. Edgesport March 3rd, 2014 9:01 pm

    My HiGlide Hi5 skins are leaving glue on the bottoms of my Hi5 skis. I scrapped the old wax, cleaned the bases, and gave the skis a new wax but am getting the same results. Anyone else having or had the same issue with the skins? What do I do to the skin glue to this?

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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