REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Palmer P01 Freestyle (Austria) 2008-2009
[Copied from 2007-2008 thread]
Review by S1AM
2008-2009 Palmer P01 Freestyle 179
I had the opportunity to ski these this past weekend at Alta. We had a foot of fresh and I skied them both in the powder (where they pleasantly suprised me) and on the groomed (where they seemed to be truly at home). The ski says "P01 Freestyle". I am not sure what about this is meant to be a freestyle ski, aside from the graphics, but it does rip on the groomed and skis suprisingly well in the powder.
The fit and finish seemed excellant. This ski was pressed clean and tight with great color bleed on the graphics and a very durable topsheet. The graphics are a matter of taste and instead of offering you my opinion, I'll simply post some shots and let you decide if you like what you see. Click on any of the small pictures below for a higher resolution version of the same image.
First, topsheet and base shots:
Detailed views of the topsheet:
This is what Palmer are calling a tip (and tail). I, for one, don't miss the oversize "twin" tip on the tail and I think the people following me appreciated the low profile tails as well. The tip works suprisingly well and I didn't miss the extra material one bit:
The 179 may be just a bit short for me (~200lbs) but if it has a speed limit I didn't find it. This is a very competent, wide-waisted GS ski with new school graphics. Previous reviewers mention the tip; I was worried it would submarine, even on the groomed! Instead it just skimmed along viciously egging me on to turn up the speed dial. The P01 is very damp (especially for a ski with metal), holding a solid edge at suprisingly high speeds. I found myself dragging my hips on the steep groomers and leaving trenches everywhere I went.
It probably wasn't fair to take this easy-turning speed machine into the powder but I just couldn't resist, and the P01 didn't dissapoint. Boot deep snow; no pronblem. Kneee deep drifts; no problem. Just adjust your race stance back a bit when you pop off the groomers and hang on tight, this ski wants to make GS turns even in the deep stuff! I kept worrying that the tip would dive but it just kept slicing through the snow, just below the surface.
In summary this is a high performing, damp, all mountain ski with great edge grip which can be turned quickly. It is also versatile enough to take into the powder if needed and will still handle very easily. The version I skied appeared to be manufactured to a very high standard of quality. The bold design speaks for itself.
Based on S1AM's first experience on the '08-'09 Palmer P01...it looks like they have changed the ski for 2008-2009 from last year's model with good results...and definitely more lively graphics.
2007-2008 P01 = 127-87-118 @ 179cm
2008-2009 P01 = 125-89-117 @ 179cm
It also sounds like they beefed up the P01 a bit since people thought last year's version was a little soft. Turn shapes on the previous model were excellent...and it sounds like this one keeps that heritage alive. Can't wait to try a pair here on the East coast!
those Palmers are Austrian skies? Have not heard about them.......
The Palmer skis are believed to be manufactured by the Head factory in Austria using Palmer-based design specifications. Head USA is leading the marketing and distribution effort for the Palmer brand skis in the USA for 2008-2009. If anyone has more information...let us know ! I find the geometry very interesting and it seems to work very well.
Palmer "P01" Freestyle
125-89-117 19.4m radius@179cm
[click image for LARGER version]
Palmer Snowboards Ltd.
Denver, CO. 80202
Manufactured in Austria
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
All mountain freeride/freestyle
Your Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9-10 for any soft surfaces and terrain
"Buttah" for mid to large radius turns in any surface deeper than a centimeter. Easy turning, surprisingly quick maneuvering 89mm-waisted ski. Remarkably solid in ripping GS turns when laid on its edge. It loves speed and has no real upper speed limit...it just stays quiet and precise. I fell in love with this ski and it would be one of my top choices for the fatter part of a 2-ski quiver. Very precise and lightweight, easy to direct and yet has a fantastic grip at speed under pressure. Never nervous, never insecure...just a quiet, elegant ride. You could ski this in the powder, trees and junk and yet feel totally comfortable on the groomers to get back to the lifts. Bears no performance resemblance whatsoever to the previous season's "P01". Not for people who want a stiff uber-hucking landing platform. This ski seems flawless for its purposes. Can I keep it?
Ski Designer :
Palmer and Hansjürg Kessler (multi-time snowboard worldcup winner and design guru).
Technical Ski Data :
Prepeg beech/poplar wood core sandwich construction with ZICRAL® (aluminum-zinc-magnesium alloy made by Cegedur-Pechiney) layers. Kessler "Feels Like Flying" (FLF) "pre-cambered tip and tail shortens the contact points" (according to Palmer). Full 360 degree wrapped edges.
This ski is nearly identical in dimensions to the Head Mad-Trix Mojo and 4frnt Madonna.
Very lightweight, very thin vertical profile, very soft and buttery feeling, but torsionally robust away from the tip and tail toward the center body of the ski. Excellent fit and finish with great factory tune right out of the wrapper. Richly vibrant graphics. Very "cool" looking ski. Fairly damp feel...no severe snap to its rebound.
First test day: Fresh 1-2 inch snow on top of very dense, very packed damp corn snow (barely leaves a footprint when stepped-on) with some hardpack in spots.
More test days to come later...
The first few turns felt like a fruit smoothie, even though the surface was pretty dense. The P01 hung into the smallest amount of fresh snow with a quiet authority and begged to go faster. The more speed it got, the more responsive it became, but retained a "quiet" character on the snow. It could cut across surface changes without so much as a wiggle...just tracking along begging to be pressed. I was able to whip off some short radius turns no problem (as much as an 89mm waist ski can) without any hint of slop or washout. "Elegant" is a word that crept into mind...more so than some other skis we've tried. It loved hunting down cruddy snow and went right into a comfortable cruise-mode no problem. It loved being laid over into big GS turns on the groomed surfaces and held a remarkably smooth, strong arc with little effort. It seemed to be easy going and simple to drift and smear in the fist 0-20% of its flex...then when pushed into 20%+, became a solid gripper and wanted to be held there for a ride, rewarding the rider with fun trenches dug into the surface. Edge transition was remarkably easy and fast for a ski without a radical sidecut of this size. Addicting feel. This ski left an impression on me. "Buttah" was another word that kept coming up in my mind. Less rowdy and demanding than some skis in this size category, but more refined and precise. Not a hard snow hyper-carver, and not a dedicated powder pig ski, but pretty much fits the bill for everything in-between. Great turn variety and handling. Palmer has a winner here for going just about anywhere on the mountain and getting a good ride. Eastern skiers will think it's a soft snow/powder ski, Western skiers will think its an all-mountain ski.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
Fruit smoothie pouring down the hill with some hard ice cream underneath when you want it.
After Skiing These, I Want To...
Sell something I already own and buy a pair, then move to big mountain country.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences :
5' 11", 190 lbs. Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
Second testing day:
Spring conditions...firm and nearly frozen granular in the very early AM, then turned to dense packed "damp sand" and sinkable corn later on with scraped sections showing some softened ice underneath.
The P01 quickly became my ski of choice after the early AM hour or two. The softening "damp sand" snow and pre-corn snow was really fun on these skis. The more I skied on these, the more I realized they are much more elegant turning than other skis with nearly the same dimensions we have tried this year. Really freindly and easy, but yet would hold a high-speed line through the choppy stuff just fine and without a flutter. This could be my new standard for Eastern spring skiing. Compliant in the soft corn bumps and easy to manuver, stable and quick at speed. While some stiffer skis might cut crud with more authority than the P01, the Palmers seem to do it with less fuss and fewer calories of input energy. Really freindly. The more I ski it, the more I like it as a fat twin choice. The shallow shovel might give the impression it will stab into the bumps, it really doesn't, it just easily lifts up and away when needed. Slightly floppity at mach schnell through ragged cut-up spring tracks and cross-ruts, but always holds its line. Some more aggressive skiers might not like that feeling, others might find it just great. Nice ski.
I just found out that Whistler/Blackcomb is staying open until the first week of June and then some. Well, the P01's would be the skis to take if I was going.
Descriptions: Incredible graphics! They look so cool.They jump off the ski rack at you. Skiing on a piece of art work is a great thing. It amps you up!
Skiability: In the soft spring snow I skied these on,they are the answer. Smooth and silky, they hummed across the cream cheese and slipped right through the piles! Perfect width and length. Charged the hill on them. We were at Sugarbush and the temp rose into the 70's very quickly. The snow was becoming very changeable. They had groomed some and the rest was nature groomed. It was chilly the night before, so the snow was going from firm to cream cheese to slush in about a half hour. The P01's just took what ever was thrown at them and just gave you the confidence to go faster and ride harder.
Palmer is really onto something with the FLF(Feels like flying) Technology..(and its easier to explain then clothoid technology) It works!
The P01 gives you so much confidence and trust that you just want to go harder and harder. I bet this model would be the answer in 3 feet of fresh!
After skiing on these:
I want be just hammering the pipe,or blasting the park or ripping 4 feet of fresh in the woods anywhere! Then I want it all to settle up and get warm and do all the above in the spring conditions. Then let it dump and start all over again.The P01's can do all of this!
If you can only have a one ski quiver, this would be the ski to spend your money on.
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