FROM THE TAIL TO THE TIP
The tip profile of the Patron and Helldorado is also worth discussing.
As you can see on the left side of the picture, the tip of the Helldorado / Patron / La Niña doesn’t curve up much. The rocker line—the point at which the traditional camber underfoot ends and the rockered tip begins—is pretty normal for today’s tip- and tail-rockered skis, but the very end of the tip itself remains quite straight; it doesn’t curl up.
Plus, as I’ve mentioned, the tip is very soft. So soft, in fact, that when you are clicked into these skis, you can take a ski pole and push the tip of the Patron or Helldorado all the way to the ground, so that the entire tip is flush to the snow, flat as a pancake. We’ve got a lot of skis around BLISTER HQ, and I haven’t found another ski with a tip that will pancake like that.
Like most skis with soft, rockered tips, the Patron and Helldorado exhibit a good bit of chatter at speed—quite a lot, actually. But that isn’t a big deal, and many great skis do the same. But unlike other skis, when that tip gets vibrating and undulating up and down, there are moments where this ski will pancake and dive rather than plane in variable snow, and stab bumps rather than rise up over them.
On the High Traverse at Alta, Jason speared a bump more than once and went over the handlebars, and he and I both ended up with a number of instances of tip dive in variable snow and tip spearing in bumped-up terrain.
Again, skiing the 185 Helldorado a few weeks ago during a 35-inch storm at Alta, I really hadn’t felt any of this. But now, coming down Lone Pine and Stone Crusher in 10” of chopped snow, those low-profile tips made it difficult to turn. The tips didn’t get up over the snow and plane, they needed to slice across and through the dense chop, which made the action a bit jerky, and I had to fight to stay out of the backseat.
The day after Alta closed, Joe Augusten and I headed over to Snowbird to see how the 193 Helldorado handled high-speed Cirque laps. On that day, conditions were best on Great Scott and Silver Fox (some beautiful spring light slush), so we basically lapped those lines for the better part of a day.