A Personal Ode to The Heavy Metal Charger

Mike Lavery | | Gear ReviewGear Review
The Soul 7 Changed it all. Photo: Rossignol

Skis have changed a lot in the last 15 years. I remember the day my dad demoed some K2 Fours with sidecut, thinking they’d be the last pair of skis he ever bought. Since then, sidecut has been refined, rocker has exploded, and now skis are getting crazy light. The engineering and technology going into snow sports is pretty cool.

It’s up for debate who started the lightweight trend, but the Rossignol Soul 7 was the ski that brought it to the spotlight. Now every brand out there is making featherweights, and my dad, in his late 60’s, is on the widest, longest pair of skis he’s owned in 30 years. Skis right now are more versatile and maneuverable than they’ve ever been. It’s great.

I really hate lightweight skis. I do own a pair of 4 pound skimo sticks, but that’s all together a different story. I’m not talking backcountry right now. For skiing fast, inbounds, on variable snow, weight is your best friend. All the carbon fiber and engineering in the world isn’t going to bring back the stability from weight that ski companies are working so hard to remove. Sacrificing ski performance for the sake of a marketing trend doesn’t make much sense.

No luck. Photo: Google/Snowbrains

It comes down to simple high school physics. Remember Newton’s Second Law: F=MA? If you hit a bump skiing and it produces a force, the more mass your skis have, the less they will accelerate. Less acceleration means a smoother, more stable ride. A heavy ski has been a damp ski since the days of Isaac Newton, and there’s a reason a race ski will make your shoulder hurt on the walk from the parking lot.

Does anyone make a true heavy metal charger ski anymore? I bought a pair a few seasons back that were touted as such. Every review I read said they were a big, burly ski with no speed limit. I was actually worried they were going to be too much ski. A few days later those skis were on eBay and a disappointed me was back aboard my heavyweights from 4 seasons prior. They’ll kick your butt if you don’t bring your A game to the hill, but when you do, they’re unstoppable.

My arm is sore just from getting these out of the rafters. Photo: M. Lavery

Please ski companies, resurrect the heavy metal charger! I know they’re hard to turn, a pain to carry, and make your legs burn, but not every ski is meant to be uber-light. Just one model is all I ask! My quiver is aging and I’m not sure what I’m going to buy next. I’ll start building my own skis in the garage if I really have to.

Are you a fan of heavy skis? What are you on? What’s out there these days? Leave us some comments.

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14 thoughts on “A Personal Ode to The Heavy Metal Charger

  1. Old school Atomic powder plus Fat Boys…powder 2×8’s, heavy AF, stable like an armoured truck…

    No social media, no turns…sit back and destroy

  2. I have a quiver of aging bombers; Rossi Axiom DP 110 still my go to ski for all conditions out East. When we do get a covering of snow, my Dynastar Big Dumps will straight line the gnarliest line but make me wish I hadn’t skipped leg day. New Schuster Pro’s add a little more rocker than the blown out DP’s, I’ll see if I can get 15 plus years out of them….

  3. Blizzard makes some pretty burly skis, i have the Peacemakers and can blast through all types of snow, and it turns on a dime, really fun ski!

  4. Rocking OG first edition Sir Francis Bacons from 2007. 115 under foot and thick and heavy as hard charging ski should be. Eric Pollards best work!

    Would kill for another pair.

    The best bikes, skis and trucks are in the 10 years old range in my opinion.

    1. I bet someone has a pair out there. I found a pair of my choice ski in the UK on eBay, brand new, 4 years after they’d been discontinued. Now I’m babying those for as long as I can.

  5. Volkl mantra, before rocker , two sheets of Titanel , power through crud , spring conditions, and rip groomers like a race ski , but lean back too far or don’t put them on edge and they will buck you off like a bull . Fast and charge downhill and they are the most stable and fun ski ever. But they are not light. Carry them on your shoulder and tips down like a real skier.

  6. Mike,

    Could not agree with you more. Made the switch a couple of years ago… was totally marketed to go light on the resort because light = better. Did not give the heavy beefy guys any thought until I started straight-lining conditions lighter set-ups made you turn in. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite trick is the hop turn, but becoming a bigger fan of the straight-line.

    Great article!

      1. Def. not at all! Lots of my friends are making the switch now as well. Light skis get deflected too much, esp. when skiing chop. Hard charging through chewed powder is the new powder skiing!

        1. Yep. I do have a metal-free pair of 125mm waisted powder skis that are a lighter build than most of my others boards. I probably only ski them 2-3 days a year on magical storm days when things never get too tracked up. In those conditions, they’re amazing, but they just don’t have enough horsepower for chewed up snow. My 196cm Bodacious though…steamrolls just about anything.

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