Ski Review: Shaggy's Brockway 95 180cm 2017-2018
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We began sampling Shaggy's skis back in 2011 when the Thompson family first started making skis for public sale. Over the years, they have refined their designs, production techniques, production quality, material selection, sales strategies and loyal following to the point of building a new workshop to handle the ever-expanding demand for their skis made in Michigan. We received a pair of their all-mountain "Brockway 95s" last Spring and put them through the ringer for a season. This test pair had the first iteration of Shaggy's nanoMAG dampening material and was pressed as a stiff flex example for us to evaluate. Jeff, John, Shari, Stephanie and the rest of the crew love running a family business making skis, and their enthusiasm shows in the constant refinement, experimenation and happy customers. We like it when people can buy their skis from a family-run business.
The Brockway 95s we tested were stiff, stout and strong crud-cutting tools for athletic, strong skiers who want a unwaivering, solid platform underfoot. We previously tested the last generation of Brockways in a "civiilian flex" and the difference is profound. This test pair reminded us of the old "race-stock" skis top academy and national team racers could get if their points were impressive to the ski companies. Most people would find them a bit stiff and unforgiving unless you really drive them hard with athletic prowess, at which point they dig in with authority and track through pretty much any conditions without a twitch. The normal flex Brockway is super fun, exciting and really effective as an all mountain ski, and the Thompson family has shown they can produce a ski to satisfy the most power-hungry pilot by customizing their standard design with more muscle underfoot.
The Brockway is one of Shaggy's staple models because it can etch solid carves into hard surfaces and packed powder snow, remain quiet and confident at speed and handle cruddy, cut-up conditions with uncompromising confidence. We found the stiffened version of the Brockway was a bit balky and burly at slow speeds, but came into its sweet spots at higher speeds and pressure levels, and could take nearly unlimited power and pressure without flinching. The regular-flex version we've tested is super friendly, more elegant in its behaviors, more "fun" and less "business-like", and probably best suited for the majority of skiers out there. That being said, the Thompsons build some super durable, super effecitve skis with distinctive personalities which should be on your radar when looking for established, proven, small-brand ski crafters who have honed their products over years of experience and grown a loyal customer base that expands each year. Stay tuned for a review of the latest Ahmeek 105 skis from Shaggy's next !
Shaggy's Brockway 95 (left) and Ahmeek 105 (right)
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