The Pescado is short (180 cm), light (~1800 grams), and turny (19 meter sidecut radius) and Blister reviewer Brian Lindahl and I both tend to like skis that are long, heavy, and relatively straight. And the Pescado is a pretty weird ski in the first place … so it seemed kind of likely that Brian and I would both simply hate this new ski.
Well, when Brian and I skied the Pescado last spring, we didn’t hate it. In fact, both of us thought the Pescado was a ton of fun. Brian said about the Pescado, “This is a very playful ski, and it’s the shortest turning ski I’ve been on in a while. In soft slush it was pretty well composed, despite feeling like a lighter ski. Lots of pop. I skied it differently than how I normally prefer to ski (like I’m mad at the mountain), but with that switch-up of style, the ski was simply a lot of fun.”
Jonathan’s Quick Answers to “Good Questions #4 – 14”
#4: What skiing style (and stance) feels most natural for the Pescado?
Neutral, but Brian and I both felt like we could get on the shovels of this ski. It was obviously not designed to be some charger, but given its fairly solid flex pattern and mount point of almost -10 cm behind true center, Brian and I both stayed fairly light on our feet, but weren’t afraid of getting on the shovel and skiing pretty hard and fast.
#5: How specialized is this ski?
Far less specialized than one might expect. Brian and I skied the Pescado over the course of a couple of weeks in June at Arapahoe Basin, so the conditions ranged from bottomless slush to a mashup of firm crud to slush moguls. But at no point did either of us feel like we needed to get on something narrower or stiffer to deal with the conditions.
And I think this answered one of my biggest questions: is the Pescado some weird toy that should only be broken out once or twice a year, and only be purchased by those who already own a quiver of 4-5 skis? Answer: No. If you are intrigued by this ski and like the sound of what it has to offer, you could easily pair it with 1 other ski to handle very firm conditions, then break the Pescado out whenever conditions were soft — not even deep, just soft.
#6-7: What does it feel like on groomers? Do you notice the swallowtail?
Perhaps a lot of credit should go to its traditional mount point, but all in all, the Pescado is a lot of fun on soft, spring groomers. As I noted in the Intro, this ski has a traditional mount point, a lot of camber underfoot, a lot of sidecut, and soft shovels that are easy to bend. And all of those things added up to making this ski — at least in soft snow — feel very carveable and fun; neither Brian nor I felt like the ski’s width or its swallow tail made the ski unpredictable in a carve. Again, fun.
#8: Does the Pescado suck in everything that isn’t deep pow?
Definitely not. Again, it is important to reiterate that we initially were skiing soft snow to deep slush, but we were skiing the Pescado pretty hard and fast, popping off moguls, playing. It handled like a good all-mountain ski, not some super niche ski that required perfect pow conditions in order to not feel terrifying. I can honestly report that Brian and I never experienced a sketchy / scary moment on the ski. We just kept saying to each other how fun and predictable the ski is.
In difficult, deep chop, we did not have high expectations for this ski, and figured that those who prefer more traditional chargers would hate it. This ski is for those who want to play and pop, not those who primarily want to billy goat around down sketchy, steep, technical lines.
But in pockets of deep, soft chop around Mt Bachelor today, the Pescado felt far more composed than I expected it to. No, this isn’t a chop destroyer. But I expected the Pescado to feel far twitchier than it did today.
#9: Exactly how different does the Pescado actually feel from other ~125 mm-wide skis in perfect pow?
I want to think more about this question, because I ultimately think I’ll just have to compare it to other specific ~125mm-wide pow skis. So we’ll save that for the Deep Dive. But a few notes after today’s pow day:
(a) I never once experienced tip dive on this relatively short ski. Not once, even in very deep stashes of pow. The Pescado’s big shovels and traditional mount point kept the ski planing well. And presumably, the swallow tail helped the cause here, too, though I can’t say how much or little the swallow tail cut out assisted the ski’s flotation. All I know is that this is the shortest pow ski I’ve ever been on, and I never felt like it lacked flotation.
#10: Is it a good slush / deep-slush ski?
Extremely #@!%-ing good. If we proved anything definitively last June, we proved this.
#11: What happens if you get too backseat?
The interesting thing to say here is that I honestly don’t know, because the tails always felt quite supportive and forgiving. Neither Brian nor I felt like we had to be super careful not to get into the backseat. The ski has a big sweet spot — and that proved again to be true today at Mount Bachelor. There were times when I was definitely riding the tails of the ski when jumping off of blind rollers, and the tails were always supportive. Far more supportive and forgiving than it seems like they should be.
#12: How easy is it to snap / break that tail?
I don’t know, and we didn’t subject the skis to any 15+ foot drops to firm landings. But we certainly jumped off cornices a bunch and over some ever-widening sections of rock and dirt, and the Pescado held up just fine. I mean, I think it would be stupid to assume that a swallow tail will hold up just as well to abuse as a ski with a traditional tail, but neither of us were babying this ski.
#13: What size skier will appreciate a 180 cm ski with minimal taper?
Well, Brian and I both weigh between 170 – 180 lbs., and neither of us were complaining about the short length. Again, I think given the -10 cm mount point, we always felt like we could get on the shovels of this ski, and yet we never felt like we were working with too little tail. So I feel confident in saying that if you don’t tend to ski the mountain as fast as possible, but instead like to make lots of turns and keep a mellower pace, I suspect that skiers in the 200-210 range will still really enjoy this ski. Bigger skiers than that, however, and I’d feel less confident about my speculation here.
Only thing I want to add here after my day at Bachelor: in soft snow, at least, you can skip the part about skiing at a mellower pace. You can ski the Pescado very fast, I only suggest that in chop, you adopt a more neutral, poppy style. Get this ski in there air off moguls. Jump and pop and ski as fast as you want.
#14: What happens if I try to go skin on these?
We didn’t do any touring, but if you really are set on throwing skins on the Pescado, I think you could just shorten your skins and clip the tails to the center of the swallow-tail cutout, and I suspect you’d be just fine.
Tight Trees & Pow
Today at Bachelor, this is where the Pescado really shined. The ski offers a lot of float in a relatively short, lightweight package, and it all added up to a whole lot of fun. And I should also add that the combination makes for a very non-fatiguing ride (for anyone who feels like they tend to get worked over and exhausted in deep snow).
Both in spring slush and in deep pow, the Pescado has proven to be a remarkably fun ski. It has a big sweet spot, it handles all-mountain duties more predictably than we suspected, and it has proven to be more versatile than we ever imagined. For a place like Bachelor, I’m not sure that I can imagine a more perfect pow ski: it feels light and quick in tight trees; it feels super poppy on all of Bachelor’s side hits and pushed-around piles of snow, and on clean groomers, you can carve this fat fish with a lot of authority.
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