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2017-2018 Parlor Skis Mountain Jay

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Parlor Mountain Jay for Blister Gear Review.

Parlor Skis Mountain Jay

Ski: 2017-2018 Parlor Skis Mountain Jay, 185 cm

Available Lengths: 154, 164, 171, 178, 185, 192 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.4 cm

Measured Weight per Ski: ~2150 g (we weighed multiple pairs)

Stated Dimensions: 144-112-138 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 146-112-137

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.8 meters (same across all sizes)

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 47 mm / 9 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm

Core: Maple / Aspen

Base Materials: DuraSurf 4001

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.2 cm from center; 81.0 cm from tail

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Boots / Bindings: HEAD Raptor 140 RS / Tyrolia AAAttack² 13

Days Skied: 6

Intro

Parlor Skis is a custom ski manufacturer located in Boston, Massachusetts. We’ve previously reviewed their Cardinal 100, a ski that compared very favorably to some of the best ~100mm-wide all-mountain skis on the market.

The Mountain Jay is a wider all-mountain ski that combines elements of four other Parlor skis, the Cardinal 90 and 100, the Kingfisher, and the 120mm-waisted Heron.

Parlor has this to say about the Mountain Jay:

“The Mountain Jay combines elements from its narrower-waisted brethren, namely the Cardinal’s groomer and carving performance and the Kingfisher’s playfulness, with the Heron’s surf through deep snow. The Jay carries a wide platform and perfect rocker profile for greater stability and superior float for soft snow skiing. Rarely does a wider ski blur the lines between all mountain and big mountain like the Jay. For many this bird will become a single choice for everyday skiing, or a perfect wider ski addition to the quiver.”

Ok, makes sense. But let’s take a closer look:

Custom Options

Parlor let’s you dial in your Mountain Jay to your liking. You can pick your own topsheet, choose a Soft, Medium, or Stiff flex pattern, go with a solid maple core, a solid aspen core, or a combination of both woods.

Learn more about the Parlor Skis process https://parlorskis.com/pages/about-the-skis

Flex Pattern

Our review skis have a combination aspen / maple core, and has Parlor’s “Medium” flex pattern.

I’d categorize that flex pattern like this:

Tips: 6/7

Shovels: 8/9

Underfoot: 10

Behind the Heel piece: 9/8

Tails: 8

To be sure, this is a strong “Medium” flex pattern. And given the takeaways from the next two sections, this flex pattern has me excited about the Mountain Jay’s potential in pretty firm / less-than-ideal conditions…

Shape

One of the things that stands out most is just how subtle the tip and tail splay are on the Mountain Jay. On a reverse-camber ski, I don’t think we’ve ever seen such shallow tip & tail rocker lines. Compare the splay numbers and rocker profiles of the Mountain Jay to skis like the Moment Meridian, Faction Candide 3.0, etc., and you’ll see what I mean.

That subtlety makes me very, very intrigued to see how well this 112mm-waisted ski handles groomers and firm-snow conditions. I’ve just been skiing the Meridian and Candide 3.0, and I will be surprised if the wider Mountain Jay doesn’t outshine these other two skis in terms of firm-snow performance. (Looks like I’ll be in some pretty firm conditions this weekend, so we’ll find out about that very soon.)

Anyway, for those of you who feel like there is an overabundance of tip and tail rocker in the ski world, stay tuned.

(And later on, we’ll see whether this subtle rocker profile makes the Mountain Jay far less floaty than other ~112mm-wide skis on the market.)

Weight

At ~2150 g per ski, the Mountain Jay feels like it strikes a very nice weight for use across a range of conditions, from firm to soft. And we’re extremely interested to see how well the Jay performs in tracked-out resort conditions, where your first lap or two of the day might be in untracked snow, but then your pow day becomes a “chop” day.

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Mountain Jay looks like a solid ski, with a rather uncommon rocker profile of zero traditional camber underfoot plus minimal tip and tail splay. There should be plenty of effective edge for firm groomers and bumped-up steeps, and we are curious to see how pivot-y the ski feels.

We are also very interested to see how wide the range of conditions is in which the Mountain Jay still feels at home.

NEXT: Our Review of the Parlor Mountain Jay

10 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Hannes February 10, 2017 Reply

    Wider 1st generation cochise?

    • Author

      Hmmmm … hadn’t thought of that, but that’s an intriguing thought.

      Honestly, the thing I’m wildly curious about is that this ski is super flat. Really wishing Parlor had named it the Low Rider…

    • Author

      Ok, Hannes to attempt an answer to your question:

      This is a little tricky because I was getting re-acquainted with the current Cochise this past June, and the Mountain Jay doesn’t really remind me of the current Cochise at all. So to Hannes’ question above about the 1st gen Cochise? Still, I don’t really think so. And I think the reason why is that the Cochise — whether 1st gen or current gen — really feels like a ski with metal; the Mountain Jay doesn’t. So it’s a bit tough to quantify or explain, but while the shovels of the Mountain Jay are wide and feel big, I don’t think I could drive them quite as hard at high speeds in variable terrain as I could the heavier, metal-having Cochise. It’s not that the Cochise is massively more stable, but it felt like I could fold up / flex the shovels of the Mountain Jay (at least, in Parlor’s “medium” flex pattern) more than I notice with the Cochise. And given that the Cochise isn’t *that* stiff of a ski, it strikes me that the difference I’m feeling is more the (a) overall heavier weight of the Cochise and (b) the metal.

      I won’t continue to drone on about this any longer, so please let me know if I’m doing a bad job of explaining this.

  2. Blister Member
    Tom February 10, 2017 Reply

    Put a smidge of camber in that ski, and I might be in love!

    The mount point appears to be further back than the norm these days. Maybe just the photo.

    • Author

      -11.2 cm is definitely in “traditional” territory, but with my time on the ski so far, I did not immediately wish I was forward. But I also want to get the ski in some softer snow, conditions in northern New Mexico might finally be just about to cooperate. Stay tuned — this is a solid ski, not some dedicated pow ski that’s too light & too twitchy to handle less-than-perfect conditions.

  3. Dangler February 14, 2017 Reply

    Greasier reincarnation of liberty variant 113?

  4. Thuddddddd February 28, 2017 Reply

    I’ve got a couple pair of Parlor ski’s .. a set of 90 Cardinals… and a set of full on custom pow ski’s designed for tree’s .. super floaty and short radius turns….. I also have a couple sets of Line Influences and Stokli Storm riders….. after demoing the 186 Jay(east coast crap conditions, firm(ice) with a dusting) …. I decided I needed yet another set of Parlors … the Jay just rocks

  5. Smooth_operator August 11, 2017 Reply

    cochise comparison?

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