|Axon on snow, yesterday.|
For the subset of Dynafit compatible backcountry skiing boots we’re most interested in, we’re doing a sort of running reveiw series. Our main focus is on the Dynafit Green Machine, Garmont Axon, Scarpa F3 & Spirit (soon to come). For today’s installment, we got web designer and lifelong skier Dave Downing out on the Axons to do some fitness uphilling (essential for web designers) and a bit of downhill. His take:
I need new boots. That was my first thought after finishing skiing my first run with the new Garmot Axon. Now I need to replace my one season old Lowa Struktura Pros. And my two year old Salomon XWave 9s. Yes, I think I like the Axon better than BOTH my alpine and AT boots.
These are AT boots, and therefore went uphill just fine (though Lou did point out the Axon is a bit heavy, as he strolled on ahead in his eye burning featherweight green Dynafits). They have a rockered sole and the requisite walk/ski switch, and thus hiked better than any alpine boot with a flat sole. Givens. The real performance is in the downhill.
At speed, the Axon easily held an edge and gave me plenty of control to quick maneuver through rough or inconsistent terrain. The boot’s flex is solid and progressive, not bouncy and harsh as some AT boots can end up being after you buckle them up and lock the walk/ski switch.
As many other AT boots do, the Axon has the option of a second, more extreme forward flex position. This reduces your ability to stand upright and can be fatiguing if you’re doing a descent that requires things like stopping and waiting (a guy can hope). But as soon as I was skiing, I was sold. For me, this was a more natural position for aggressive skiing. It made skiing the funky lower angled snow at the bottom of the mountain nicer by eliminating the feeling of “falling back” on less stiff boots.
Best of all, the beef of this boot along with my choosing the more extreme forward angle gave me the ability to get more leverage on the ski for the best tail ollies I’ve done all year. And with better tail ollies comes smoother transitions to switch skiing. WHAT!?! I know, I know, mountaineers don’t ski switch. But we aren’t all mountaineers. Some of us want to ski the mountain the same whether we are in the resort, in the BC and anywhere in-between. And with this boot, for the first time, I didn’t feel compromise on any level. What’s more, with this boot I could even try out some of those funny looking bindings many people seem to be using.
Pray for Snow.
(Afternoon update and full disclosure from der blogmeister: While I was able to show Dave the efficacy of the Green Machine on the uphill, he did put some ground on me skiing back down, backwards.)
For more info about Axon please step back through the posts in our Boot Review Category.