Dimensions (mm): 139-128-132
Turn Radius: 30 meters
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 186cm
Weight Per Ski: 2140 grams / 4.72 lbs.
Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Marker Jester / (DIN) 10
Mount Location: +1 centimeter of recommended line
Days Skied: 9
The main trick in writing a review of the Praxis Protest is to make clear just how good this ski is, while also conveying a relatively accurate sense of the ‘feel’ of the ski, its limitations, and what sort of skier is most likely to dig it.
So let’s start with the business of making clear just how good this ski is:
The Praxis Protest is a phenomenal deep-snow ski. There are a number of truly outstanding pow skis, but I have skied none that is clearly better than the Protest. Different, yes. Better, no.
The Protests performed exceptionally well in Niseko. In fact, of the 14 skis we took to Japan, if I had to get rid of all but one for the full 17 days, it would be a close call between the Protest and the Rossignol Squad 7. But that is a comment about the versatility of the Protest, and we’re talking about pure powder performance here, so I digress….
On the many bottomless runs we skied at Niseko, and on a practically bottomless day at Rusutsu, being guided around by Black Diamond Lodge and Tours owner Clayton Kernaghan, I never experienced any tip dive on the Protest, ever. To me, tip dive is the single greatest sin of a pow ski. If I have to get back on my heels to keep the tips planing, what’s the point of having 120+ millimeters underfoot?
Mounted at +1 of the recommended line, the Protest feels very balanced, and while it works best when skied from a more centered stance, the Protest doesn’t get weird or dive on you if driven through the shovels. It also has a large sweet spot, and doesn’t begin to wheelie out if you get in the backseat a little.
The Protests love going fast down the fall line, but they aren’t beasts to turn at slower speeds. (The DPS Lotus 138 Pure is probably even better at executing quick turns at slow speeds in very tight trees, but the Protest isn’t far behind.)
From heavy, wet untracked to light blower, the Protest feels at home. Keep the bases flat, pivot, and enjoy a surfy ride; or put it on edge, and the ski is solid enough to carve through the untracked. I don’t feel like the Protest has a preference.
If the Protest wasn’t such a good pure pow ski, I would say that its strength is soft, cut-up pow. These skis encourage you to fly in both soft chop and snow with deep trenches. The stiffness of the shovels feels perfectly in sync with the minimal sidecut of the forebody and the narrow tips, resulting in little to no tip deflection or hooking, and little fear of diving a too-soft tip in a deep trench, which was an issue I had with the otherwise excellent Armada AK JJ.
Speaking of the AK JJ, I mention in my review that I felt that its nice stiffness underfoot moves too soft too soon through the shovel, and if it didn’t, that ski would be getting really close to perfect. The Armada AK JJ and the Praxis Protest have a pretty similar feel in deep snow, but to me, the flex of the Protest is spot on, helping it to excel exactly where the AK JJ struggles.
The backcountry-ready Praxis WooTest is about to become a reality. Find out how you, too, can get your very own WooTest (and what's up with this dog).
The Blizzard Cochise is a very good, unusual ski that is difficult to describe. But it's been performing very well everywhere at Taos, and if you know Taos, you know that's saying a whole lot.
Since it STILL hasn't stopped snowing here in Niseko, we're glad we've had the Gigawatt with us. It's exceptional in deep, open spaces; very good in deep, tight trees; outstanding in soft chop; and excellent (for its size) on groomers. But the biggest question might be: Gigawatt, or Megawatt?