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Review: Bluehouse District

Me: 49 yrs, 190lbs. 6'3"
Longtime skier, but not super aggressive. Like to go kind of fast when conditions are appropriate. I don't jib, air anything big or ride in the park.
I skied 43 days last season.

Conditions at Mt. Baker, WA: Cold (upper teens prolly) temps, packed powder on-piste, hacked powder inbounds off-piste. The Districts saw a dozen powder turns after a short hike and some groomer cruising.

Bluehouse District 187 mounted with Marker Dukes with boot center on 'powder' line.

I was very pleasantly surprised. So many have talked about how soft they were, but for my ability and style they were dandy. They do feel soft with hand flexing, but after skiing on them I agree with the company's description that they are quite torsionally stiff and ski stiffer than they feel. These were much easier to get on edge than I had anticipated, and once there held it nicely for a ski of these dimensions. I had a pair of Rossi B3's which I could never get to carve very well, and thought I might have the same problem with the District, but this was not the case. Again very nimble and responsive on the groomer cruising. In the few powder turns we had (slightly wind-affected maybe 12" over a harder base) they were terrific. The word 'buttery' kept coming to mind. I think the mounting point was perfect, the tips floated nicely without having to force them to do so, and the light wind-slab offered no challenge to the skis at all.

I didn't see any topsheet chipping that others have reported. The Districts did have some deflection in the choppier stuff, but I expected this and considering my intended use for this ski it will not pose a problem for me.

The Dukes felt bomber and snug. No wobble or play. I like that they have a short footprint relative to other AT clamps, and I suspect this would allow any ski to perform more as it might have been intended to ski.

There you go. If I missed anything let me know. Bottom line, I'm psyched about them and they will fit in my quiver exactly as I'd hoped they would. Having not demoed them prior to purchase it's  good to know I didn't make any terribly boneheaded purchases.

By: oft-piste  Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2007 2:56:33 PM

Me: 31 yrs, 200lbs. 5'8"
Been skiing for 27 years. Learned in the Green Mountains of VT, now mostly ski in the Wasatch. 60-40% alpine-tele. Raced for awhile, skied bumps for awhile, now I just ski.
I skied 100+ days last season.

Bluehouse District 187 mounted with Fritschi Freerides with boot center between 'powder' and 'freeride' line. I intend these to be a an all mountain two-days-after-the-storm ski as well as my primary AT setup.

Sorry to take so long in getting a review together. I've been itching to ski these for weeks but finals and family business kept interfering. I've now had them out 3 times: one day on groomers and chopped pow at Park City Mt Resort and two in calf-deep at Alta. All three days were fairly chilly. PCMR was bluebird, Alta has been pretty stormy.

The Districts are a versatile and very enjoyable ski in the mixed snow and chopped pow. They blast through clumps and hold an edge well on the groomers. They float pretty well in the deeper snow but I am not going to sell my Sanouks just yet (I didn't expect the Districts to replace them as a Powder ski). This is a damp ski with good edge grip and high torsional rigity. It is slightly softer than the Gotama, on which it's dimensions seemed to be based, but still holds a good edge. In general they seem to be a bit softer and a bit damper than the Gotama withour sacrificing edge grip. I enjoyed carving turns on the groomed pow with these, given their lack of metal they don't hold quite as well as a Mantra but their softer flex and extra width make them much better in the powder. The ski is reasonably responsive for it's size and while not snappy certainly comes around quickly when pushed hard. The light weight makes this a fairly easy ski to turn quickly and the dampness smooths out bumps from snow clumps.

I haven't yet had an opportunity to climb with these skis but they are light for their size so I expect them to work well in that capacity.

It's way too early for me to say anything substantial about build quality but so far the finish and workmanship on the Districts seems to be first rate; no gaps, straight joints, etc. the graphics; fairly benign as far as things go these days, I'll probably paint them black if we get a warm spell.

It's probably just the weather or the snow but the bases seem quite slow. I haven't tuned them yet (tuning seems a lot less important away from the East Coast) so I didn't expect them to be race ready or anything but the Bluehouse guys explicitely mentioned that they tuned the skis just before I picked them up so I expected them to at least keep up. I had the only new skis in my group at PCMR and am significantly heavier and more experienced than the rest of the group but kept getting left behind on the flats. Hopefully a coat of wax will solve this problem.

So far, so good. I have enjoyed running the District in chopped up powder, and on groomers and it has done well in fresh powder. This ski is filling it's role well and seems to be well made. I'll make an effort To do a follow up review once I get some more days on them.

By: S1AM  Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2008 2:16:51 PM
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