When we did our One-Ski Quiver selections a couple of months ago, I noted that of all the new skis coming out this season, “the ski I’m most curious about (okay, obsessed with) right now: the new Praxis MVP, 187cm length, with customizable flex (I’d go with ‘medium/stiff’) and the carbon fiber layup option.”
Well, we’re taking that ski with us—only it gets better.
I’ll explain in a minute, but first, here’s how Praxis describes the MVP:
“New for 2013 is the MVP, the Most Valuable Praxis. This is the Cal Ripkin Jr. of skis, ready to play every day. The MVP improves on the design of the former MTN Jib, but with a shorter sidecut running length and more tip and tail taper. The improved shape sets this all-mountain ski up for a powder run and makes this ski the everyday driver you’ve always wished was on your team. The MVP is your one ski quiver ski, fully capable of being on the podium at any of the World’s Freeskiing events, but versatile enough to be used anywhere from the backcountry to the resort.”
Anyone who follows the Freeskiing World Tour knows the name Kevin O’Meara, because Kevin skis really, really, really hard. Kevin also builds skis—for Praxis. And the MVP is the end result of Kevin tweaking the former Praxis Mountain Jib ski over the past five years.
So when Kevin isn’t stepping onto podiums at freeride comps, he’s building skis, and he built this one. In short, the MVP is Kevin’s pro model—the “O’Pro,” if you will.
(Is there anyone who would be against renaming the MVP the O’Pro?)
But as I said, it gets better.
The O’Pro that we’re taking with us to Las Leñas is literally the pair that Kevin built for himself to compete on this season. He handpicked the wood, selected the grain, chose the stiffness, the layup, the topsheet, and the tune. Then he put it all together and pressed them himself. “Pro model” is sort of an understatement.
As Kevin’s cousin (and Praxis founder) Keith O’Meara put it, “This is what Kevin was going to take down the faces of Freeride comps. I don’t know, maybe it’s not the best ski; the kid is a damn good skier, and I’m not sure it really matters what’s on his feet. We want you guys to try them out. Try out a real pro model, not some company’s marketing BS, but what a world class skier who makes skis and competes would make for himself.”
Keith is right: you could probably rub some butter on the bottom of a couple of 2x4s, duct tape them to his cousin’s feet, and Kevin might still podium.
But this looks like a ski that could offer an exceptional combination of playfulness, stability, and versatility.
The O’Pro (sorry, MVP) has rocker lines that run deep into the body of the ski from both the tip and the tail. There isn’t an enormous amount of splay, but it’s definitely not as subtle as, say, the Blizzard Cochise.
And “medium/stiff” certainly seems like the right initial description. These don’t hand flex like beasts, but they do feel stiffer through the shovels and tails than the somewhat similar LINE Sir Francis Bacon.
Speaking of that Bacon, the MVP seems like a SFB that’s longer (nearly 5 centimeters, straight tape pull), a little stiffer, a bigger sidecut radius, and a touch wider. This is sounding really, really good.
And a ski that can charge in Freeskiing World Tour events, but can also have fun running around the resort? This is actually sounding really, really ideal—especially for a place like Las Leñas.
(See our review of the Praxis MVP.)
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If you're surprised to see that we're taking Fischer to Las Leñas, then you need to read this. (And if you're not surprised, then you probably already know what we are just beginning to figure out.)
So why are we taking the K2 Pettitor to Las Leñas? Because it's Sean Pettit's first pro model, that's why. Plus, six months ago in Japan, Sean very politely asked us to review the Pettitor, and we've kept him waiting. Read on for the full story.