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Shaggy's Brockway 95 180cm 2017-2018

133-95-117 r=17.5-19.5m @ 180cm

Shaggys Brockway 95 (left) and Ahmeek 105 (right)

 

Manufacturer Info:

Shaggys Copper Country Skis
419 E Main St.
Boyne City, MI  49712 USA
Phone: 231.459.4323
http://www.SkiShaggys.com

Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):

$699  usd - free shipping inside USA

Usage Class:

All-mountain (Eastern & Midwest bias)

Rating (with comments):

(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

8-9 frontside groomers for strong or heavier skiers (stiff flex option)
8+ for crud and crust busting

7 for powdery conditions (very directional + this version was stiff flex)

Background:

Shaggys Copper Country Skis is a family-run company from the heart of Michigan's ski country, building skis since 2005.  Jeff and John Thompson create the skis, Shari does the books and Stephanie takes care of social media tasks.  They have a rabid local following and take a lot of pride in their products.  We began testing samples of their handiwork in 2001 and have been watching their development ever since.

Manufacturer's Description:

"The new 2018 Brockway 95 is here to rail your hardest turns on groomers and ice, blast through variable snow, and take on the whole mountain.The Brockway 95 is the ski made to charge through any condition. The real hero-feature of this ski is its ability to dig trenches in anything from ice to groomers and crud. The subtle camber pockets within the overall camber triple the turn initiation contact points for maximum edge grip. Utilizing a stiff tail and mid-body, the Brockway can blow through any crud and power out of turns with the agility of a slalom ski.

The early rise rocker tip profile helps the ski float through soft snow and ease into any turn shape. Once the edge is initiated, the fully cambered mid-body engages your edge and maximizes stability. For the 17/18 season, we've slightly reduced the turning radius to make quicker turns and added more Carbon Fiber throughout the layup for increased pop.

We've integrated a 1.5 mm rounded top edge to protect your topsheets, and now exclusively offer a nanoMAG® Damping System for the most stable ride. Learn more below.

We've also moved to a 6 cm length spacing (vs. 8 cm) to make sure we have the perfect length for you."

Technical Ski Data:

  • Vertical laminate wood ash core
  • nanoMAG dampening system
  • Triaxial fiberglass
  • Unidirectional carbon fiber
  • Camber plus "camber pockets"
  • 1.4 mm CNC Knife Cut 4001 Race Grade Durasurf Sintered UHMW
  • 2.2 mm Hardened Edge
  • Semi transparent clearview matte, sublimated chip-resistant PBT topsheet

 

Bindings and Boots Used:

Marker Griffon adjustable bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
GreenIce Wax.

Pre-Skiing Impression:

Very nice construction, fit and finish.  The pairs we got for testing were at the end of the season of demo usage, so the bases needed a regrind, but otherwise they were in superb condition and took a whole season of demo abuse and looked super-durable.  This pair of Brockways were definitely stout, somewhat stiff to flex and gave the impression they were for stronger or heavier skiers in this particular layup.

Test Conditions:

Eastern corduroy, packed powder and hardpack groomers, Spring corn snow & mid-winter boilerplate.

Summary:

We tested the previous incarnations of the Brockway model in 2011 and 2016, so this is a familiar ski with a new set of tweaks to the design and construction, which is always interesting.  This version was longer and built with a stiffer flex, making it more of a hard-charger than the previous Brockway which was a fun-filled ride in all kinds of resort frontside conditions.  This version of the Brockway (the Thompsons can customize the layup for you, which is nice) was a hard-charging, definitely stout ride which took some speed to get into its active mode, feeling a bit balky at slower speeds.  The more power you applied, the better this ski liked it.  It felt like a "Pro" model of the previous Brockway we tested, with new, more serious traits. The harder you drive it, the more you get out of it, and you cannot overpower it...even if you try.  Impressive power handling without being harsh.  If feels as long as it measures..maybe a bit longer.

This Brockway was unfazed by any crud or uneven material in its path, and if you kept the pedal-to-the-metal, it powered through anything wth zero deviations or deflections, making it a solid, secure tool for arcing through junk.  On groomers, the Brockway can lay trenches under power, asking the pilot to keep the pressure on for best results.  This is not a lightweight, elegant turning instrument, but a hard-charging tool to power through snow surfaces of all kinds without a wimper.  Stronger and heavier skiers are best suited to this layup of the Brockway shape. Crud and corn conditions are irrelevant to this ski as it charges through pretty much everything with authority. This ski likes wide-open terrain better than tight tree conditions.

Shaggy's Brockways in a stiff build are super-durable, strong and stable chargers for athletic skiers looking for something solid, quiet and powerful with no pressure limit. This is a ski built to last many seasons of hard abuse and keep on ticking.

Builder's Mount Position:

The boot mounting position can have an immense effect upon a ski's handling traits and personality.  We typically test the effect of moving the boot slightly forward and backward of the suggested mounting point to see how it affects the ski.  We tried the Brockways on-the-mark, and found we had better response and less balky behavior by moving the boot position up 1-2 cm.  Some testers liked it 3cm forward of the factory mark.

Hardpack and Boilerplate:

The Brockways use the "camber pocket" design where there are actually 3 cambered areas instead of one large one spanning the length of the skis. There is one in the forebody, one underfoot and one in the tail section of the ski.  This is designed to provide more contact points with higher pressure per-point when the ski is weighted when rolled-up on edge.  The effect does create a grabbier zone up front, and a more tenacious tail bite when you pressure the ski hard on firm surfaces.  Some testers felt the design made the ski less smooth along a turn, others couldn't really detect any effect unless they were told about the feature.  In any case, Shaggy's Brockways are born and raised in Michigan, where skiers know about the benefits of serious edge grip and security, and these skis have grip along their entire length with no weak spots. 

Once you set the Brockways on-edge into a hard surface, you hold your pressure and ride it securely as far as you need to go.  Unlike many skis, the Brockways can sustain race-like pressure on hard, noisy surfaces and beg for more without yielding.  The more you pressure it, the more grip you get.  If you get lazy, these stiffer Brockways can want to straighten out from your turn.  The more athletic you are, the more these skis will take.  Vibration control was excellent, with very little high frequency buzz delivered underfoot on boilerplate surfaces.  Rebound was strong, but not explosive, bordering on unexciting if you we expecting a high-energy pop instead of solid forward propulsion unless you had really loaded the flex of the ski deep into its arc and let it rebound.

Shaggy's "Camber Pocket" design (2016 model shown here because the pcture is better than the other photos we took) There is one in the forebody and one in the tail section of the skis.

Mixed And/Or Powder Conditions:

We found these stiffer Brockways were a bit balky at slower speeds in cruddy, mixed or heavy condtions until you got moving into attack mode and could plane a bit and get their flex profile working.  Once up to speed and powered under deliberate and dedicated power by the skier, the Brockways were crud-cutting tools with zero deflection or deviation.  If you keep the power on, the Brockways will not deviate from their selected trajectory, no matter what junky snow they rail through.  These are not surfy-fluffy noodles to skim and play on top of the crud, but instead are powerful, steadfast crud-cutters.  Storms are ideal to let the Brockways do their thing since you can expect no surprises from the ski in low visibility, uncertain surface conditions such as windpack, blower, chowder, crust or buffed materials.  They go where you point them. Every time.  Since these are on the stiff side of the flex spectrum, the better shape you're in, the better you enjoy these skis.  Confidence-inspiring is a good word to describe the Brockways in mixed snow conditions.  People looking for a surfy experience need to look for a different ski. This is a purely directional, cambered tool with a stout flex.

Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:

This version of the Brockway was a bit sluggsh and felt a bit "planky" at low speeds, not really pulling itself into a turn when tipped up on-edge and pressured.  Once you got the speed up into the moderate to higher-levels, the ski came alive and would show its shaping much more eagerly.  While the softer version we tested last season would enthusiastically set itself into an arc with a little bit of encouragement, this version wanted to be driven into a turn and held there.  Once you initiate the turn, the Brockways require the pilot to apply constant pressure (not just inertia) to keep it on its arc.  The apex of the turn finishes with a rock-solid feel and will hold as long as you need.  There is no feeling of the ski wanting to rush to completion as in some other skis do.  Once you are finished with your turn you can roll the Brockways over easliy, but need to deliberately set them into their next pressure sequence to complete the maneuver you started by releasing the turn initiation power at the apex.  The Brockways have a nice turn shape going into the turn, holding throughout, and finishing with tail pressure to apex into the next turn.  All you need to do is drive it, don't ride it to get this ski to do what it was designed to do.

Analogies: ("This ski is like...")

An American muscle car.  Strong, with plenty of power and chassis integrity to handle it.  Not an elegant, silky-to-the-touch type of machine, but something you drive with both hands and love to push hard.

Notable Tester Comments:

"Very challenging to ski mounted on the line. Needed to move the binding up 3 to 4 notches. Ski retained a very planky, garage feel. Once up to speed it came more alive. Reminded me of a Parlor Cardinal or Iggy FFL. The 95 width was respectable edge to edge & was able to rail as long as the skis were not too laid over. Handles chop with ease. Really too much for a powder ski.

I think the downside to the ski is that so many other makers are building more sophisticated skis and smoother ride.

Ideal user: you ski at a smaller mountain that has night skiing and will not be doing a lot of traversing for traveling around the hill. You will be beating the daylights out of your equipment & that’s OK because these can handle it!! Heavier skiers need apply."

- Brian Finch

Quick Comments:

  • Feels a bit heavy and planky until it gets up to speed
  • Strong, and can take race-level pressure without breaking a sweat.
  • Cuts through crud with confidence and authority
  • A bit strong and stiff for powder conditions
  • Excellent grip on hard surfaces, can hold a high-pressured edge for long periods of tme quietly and confidently.
  • Powerful, but not explosive.
  • Built to last.

Things I Would Change About This Ski:

I would soften this layup a bit to get more flex into the way the shaping geometry works. This could be done by just a milling down of the thickness of the wood core a bit along the entire length. Maybe go a bit more shapely on the sidecut for Eastern skiing. 

Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":

The Shaggy Brockway is one of the strongest 95mm-class all mountain skis out there with plenty of power handling and excellent grip.  In stiff flex format, it's for strong or heavy skiers who like to power their way through turns.  Quiet and super confident in cruddy conditions.  Built to last many seasons without breaking down.  Reminds me of a muscle car.

Advice To People Considering This Ski:

Consider ordering a softer-flex version if you are not a big, brusing skier or you have a bias toward a finess-like technique instead of forceful driving.  Consider a slightly shorter length if you will frequent tighter conditions instead of faster, more open cruising terrain.

Pics:

Shaggy's Brockway 95 (left) and Ahmeek 105 (right)

Tip profile - Brockway 95

Tail profile - Brockway 95

Midbody camber - Brockway 95

Sidewall construction detail

Shaggy's Brockway 95 (L) and Ahmeek 105(R)

 

Shaggy's Brockway 95 (bottom) and Ahmeek 105 (top)

 

Shaggy's Brockway 95 (top) and Ahmeek 105 (bottom)

By: e.edelstein  Posted: Sunday, March 4, 2018 2:14:03 PM

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