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Praxis Backcountry Ski Review (updated)

February 14, 2011
Four ski trips on, a few decent tours, all sorts of conditions and I think its time to stick up some thoughts on my summer purchase…. my 2010/11 Praxis Backcountry skis.
What struck me when I first got them was not only how light they are (damn light) but how nice the grey with red sidewalls looked. What I failed to realise (until Trev pointed it out) was that the graphic is some sort of tribute to tacky old England. The country where litter roams the streets, youths stab each other for fun and they give national holidays because some inbred couple are getting married. Why? why? why?
Aside from that sour note I must say….. the skis themselves are absolutely blower. LOVE THEM.
Praxis Backcountry planks…
So far I would say they do most things exceptionally well. They have a softish tip making for easy turn initiation in soft snow, they are snappy directly underfoot and the slight rise in the rear makes them nice and nimble.  They float extremely well and they are soooo light. A paltry 1770g per ski in my 180cm edition. You will struggle to find a lighter ski (perhaps the all carbon DPS skis) in similar dimensions. Great for touring.  On a less positive note they aren’t tanks so when dealing with extremely stiff windpacked snow/crust you won’t have the easiest time plowing through. Not really an issue I wouldn’t expect any ski to do everything well and I wouldn’t trade the lightweight for more tank like attributes. If anyone were to ask me if I recommended this ski for soft snow and backcountry skiing the answer would have to be a resounding yes.
Ski Profile…
All that being said I have my quibbles…. First the tail rise, albeit less pronounced than a standard twin tip is still little too much for the ski to be used as a standard tail plunged anchor. Perhaps you could rig something with both skis plunged separately in order to split the load. Secondly I’m not sure how the durability is going to play out. I’ve already noticed some delamination of the base from the core in the tail area (see photos below) which started from my skin clips and got worse as I was banging snow off the skis. I suppose because they are so light I shouldn’t expect bomber durability but it’s not like I’m the incredible hulk either.
Tail Issues…..

Dimensions:
Praxis Listed – 180cm 130/105/121
Measured – 179cm 132/105/122
Tip Roocker – 31cm from tip (when tip against a wall)
Tip Height – 6.5cm
Tail Rocker – 18cm (when tail against a wall)
Tail Height – 3.5cm
Camber – about 2 or 3mm
Me – 70kg and 183cm.
 

UPDATE (Feb 16th)
Keith from Praxis sent me a message today offering to repair or warranty the skis due to the tail issues. Definitely a good indication that Praxis is happy to stand behind their product. A serious benefit to dealing with small producers. He also mentioned there is a new construction method they’ve started using that increases edge durability etc which is good to hear. Anyway I won’t be sending them back as then I would be stuck skiing my old Gotamas (2009/10) which were heavy and felt dead, I also don’t think the tail issue is that big of a deal. Finally he also mentioned the logo was a tribute to the family name and crest so I really stuck my foot in it there. Typical. Oh well… the stuff mentioned above about England still stands!
Check out Keith’s stuff at http://www.praxisskis.com and email him if you have any questions.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Will permalink
    May 11, 2011 6:04 pm

    Any further updates on these skis? What bindings did you mount on them?

    • May 11, 2011 6:22 pm

      Hi Will, I had them mounted with a pair of Dynafit FT12’s which kept the set up nice and light for touring. I really only have good things to say about this ski. They float well, are very nimble and are nice and light. The de-lamination problem from earlier in the season wasn’t an issue either. I simply put some epoxy on the tails and continued skiing. They will easily last another season. Compared to the Volkl Gotamas I trashed last year (top sheets were falling apart) I would say overall durability for the Praxis is far superior. My only wish is for a less pronounced tail upturn.

      • Will permalink
        May 11, 2011 8:58 pm

        Thanks for the quick response! I haven’t found anyone with this seasons model in stock so it looks like I’ll be waiting for next seasons to come out…

  2. May 12, 2011 8:10 am

    From what I remember Praxis was offering a decent discount in the summer on new models, at least they were when I bought them last August. Hopefully you’ll get lucky and the new model will have a tail with a notch specific for attaching skins.

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