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2016-2017 Praxis Protest

Ski: 2016-2017 Praxis Protest, 187 cm

Praxis Protest

Praxis Protest

Available Lengths: 163, 177, 187, 192, 196 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 186 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 139-128-132

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.5-128.5-132

Stated Weight per Ski: 2140 grams / 4.72 lbs.

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2176 & 2178 g

Sidecut Radius: 30 meters

Core Construction: Maple/Ash/Paulownia + Fiberglass Laminate (custom options available)

Tip & Tail Splay: 71 / 34 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2 mm

Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Marker Jester / (DIN) 10

Mount Location: +1 centimeter of recommended line

Test Locations: Niseko, Japan; Silverton, Colorado; Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 9

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Protest, which is unchanged except for the graphics]

 

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:

Untracked Powder

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.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Praxis Protest, Niseko Japan.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Mizuno no Sawa, Niseko Village.

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.

Chopped Pow

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 combination of the Protest’s playful shape with a solid flex is what makes the Protest so much fun. There are, of course, skis that can blow through such conditions with ease (e.g., 191 ON3P Billy Goat or 191 Volkl Katana), but the Protest feels more playful than these skis while preserving much of their stability.

(By the way, it just occurred to me that I just compared a 128mm underfoot ski to a 118- and a 111-mm ski, and I think it’s a little telling: the Praxis Protest is a rather playful pow ski that can still charge.)

Jumping off pillows and landing in soft chop in Niseko Village’s Mizuno no Sawa, the Protest felt stable, and I wasn’t getting bucked around. Land too far in the backseat and you will wheelie out, but given that the width of the Protest is concentrated in the middle of the ski, I tend to worry less about getting too far forward, burying the shovels, and going over the handlebars.

In deep pow and soft chop, the Protest is a relatively forgiving ski that won’t noodle out at speed, and doesn’t deflect all over the place in cut up snow. It’s a ski that will allow you to arc huge turns, but it also pivots easily.

Basically, if you are looking for a dedicated pow ski, the Protest ought to be on your radar. And if you are looking for a dedicated pow ski for big lines, then the Protest ought to be smack dab in the center of your radar.

Because this ski is 128mm underfoot, this review could end right here, at tracked and untracked pow performance. But the Protest is so capable that it’s the sort of ski you think you’ll pull out only when there’s at least 6″ of fresh. But then you start pulling it out when there is only 2″ of fresh. And then you start taking it out 3 days after a storm….

Jonathan Ellsworth, Praxis Protest, Niseko.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Strawberry Fields, Niseko Hanazono.

So if you’re certain that you’ll get on other boards when there’s less than six inches, stop reading. But for the rest of you…

Firm / Variable Conditions

The Protest is a ski that you can hop on and immediately appreciate the ride, but it’s a ski that feels better and inspires more confidence as you spend more time on it. That’s what makes this section of the review so difficult: the question of how well the Protest handles firm conditions seems even more subjective than it is with other skis, and the line of what it can and cannot handle tends to shift as you learn how to ski it.

Plus, Protest owners love their skis kind of like Republicans love Ronald Reagan, Bears fans love Coach Ditka, and BLISTER reviewer Joe Augusten loves Justin Bieber: They see no shortcomings, and to suggest otherwise is to find yourself in the middle of a fight.

I first got on the Protests last season at Silverton and was blown away by just how capable they were on big lines in deep pow. Then the pillows of Niseko showed me just how playful this ski is, and also that, with a bit of speed, the Protests can ski trees really well, too. But I wanted to get the Protest up on the ridge at Taos to get a better sense of the Protests strengths and weaknesses.

56 Comments

  1. jonathan March 17, 2012 Reply

    You have me really stoked on this ski! Can you compare it’s powder performance to the Powderboards at all? Those two skis are top of my list for next season as a big slidey pow surfer for trees and such in whistler. I was leaning towards the powboards but the protests sound great! My current skis are 186 EHPs. Thanks! -Jonathan

    • Author

      I’m afraid that I have very limited time on the Powderboards, so I don’t want to say too much. What I can say is that nothing about the Protests powder performance feels lacking to me. And as their name rightfully suggests, the Powderboards are more of a pure powder ski. In variable conditions, the nod goes to the Protest. But if you are looking for a dedicated pow ski and care less about how it performs on groomers and tracked up, then sure, go bigger.

  2. Jonathan March 20, 2012 Reply

    How does the Protest compare to the Megawatt? Both seem fat, versatile, and (reading your stoked reviews) a righteous ski.

  3. 1stjonathan March 20, 2012 Reply

    wow too many jonathans

  4. MB March 21, 2012 Reply

    @Jonathan (aka1stJonathan) :) I have 15 days+ on the Powderboards and 8 on the Protests and they are different enough skis (where they differ) that I feel very confidant in giving you the details. First of all, I agree with everything in this review top to bottom. 100%. So no need to re-hash what is already here. The only thing I will add to this: I was at Squaw this weekend and N. Lake Tahoe had rec’d about 90″ of snow over the previous week. Saturday was heavier, Sunday was a blower storm day, and Monday was bluebird 8% (something not often seen in Tahoe). So I caught nearly all of the conditions listed in the review. The Protest was INCREDIBLE in the soft chop. Monday went blue and the AM was blower untracked. The afternoon was ripped up and the Protests more than rose to the occasion. I also had this ski up in BC earlier in the season in deep conditions and it performed as reviewed. But what I had not experienced yet was the mid to end of day soft chop and it was far more stable than I could have ever wished. To add to that (and to the review)…getting back to the lift was FUN! Straight up fun on the soft groomer. You let `em run and can carve where you need to. It was literally a blast. That leads me to…

    …the difference between the skis.

    The Powderboards are the most fun ski I have ever been on. But, they are very limited to storm days and deep pow. The Protest is a far more versatile ski for multiple reasons, but there is one primary: getting back to the lift. If you are skiing steep, deep resort terrain where you are needing some amount of groomer (however small or short) to get back to the lift…you don’t want to be on the Powderboards. With less than 0 sidecut, you are standing straight and centered and “riding” them back to lift with a lot of effort. That said, in the pow, there is no better ski IMO. Float: check. Pivot on a dime: check. Dump speed in the trees: check. SUPER fun ski to play with in the pow. So if you are riding back to a cat or sled…you’re in great shape. If you have to get back to the lift, the Protest is your ski.

    To conclude this longer-than-intended response: the Protest is more versatile and what you give up from the Powderboard to the Protest is minimal in terms of what you gain. The Powderboards are toys and the Protests are tools. And both are super fun.

    • jonathan March 26, 2012 Reply

      thanks, that helps. Since i have versatile I think the toy is for me. I’ll always wonder what the powderboards are like until i try them!

  5. susan tabke March 21, 2012 Reply

    I say ask Drew Tabke (or Keith) how the name came to be. It’s my favorite ski ever, but maybe I’m biased. It’s been fun to ski this year; now just hoping for more snow next season.
    Susan Tabke

  6. Blister Member
    Tom April 6, 2012 Reply

    Convincing review, which seems pretty standard for your site. I’m looking to replace a pair of 1st generation 190 bibby pros with a ski that is more pow specific. Been skiing the bibbys exclusively and love their versatility annd they obviously are a phenomenal pow ski, but am stoked on the new new deathwish and deciding between the protest and 4frnt renegades for deep days. Do you have any comparisons between those two?

    • Author

      Thanks, Tom. If you are looking for a “more pow specific” ski, then personally, I would choose the Protest in a heartbeat over the Renegade. The Renegade is a very cool ski, but it is a rocket and perfectly suited to how Eric Hjorleifson skis: super fast with slash turns with very little forgiveness (you don’t need a forgiving ski when you apparently never make a mistake on skis….). In other words, I personally feel like the Renegade is a very good tool for pretty specific purposes, and excelling in deep snow isn’t at the top of the list. It IS at the top of the list for the Protest, yet the Protest is still very good when the snow is no longer bottomless. I think if you read (or reread) our reviews of the Renegade and the Protest, you’ll get a decent idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses.

      And be sure to let us know what you decide to do.

  7. Howard Smith April 19, 2012 Reply

    How would you compare their performance in deep very heavy PNW snow to the Squad 7 or the Moment Comi if you have skied the Comi?

    • Author

      Howard – I’m afraid that I haven’t skied the Comi, but I have skied the Squad 7 and the Protest in some RELATIVELY wet snow in Japan, but not SUPER wet snow. But I can tell you that if we were going to go ski “very heavy” snow, I would likely be fine on the Squads, but I would choose the Protests, and I would probably choose the Protests over anything on the market.

      Ultimately, I don’t think this question is the defining issue when choosing between the two skis, but the Protests width and flex profile make them pretty ideal for exactly this type of snow.

      (But I’d rather ski the Squad 7 the more firm things get.)

  8. Alex P May 3, 2012 Reply

    I may be moving to AK this coming winter and am looking for a ski that I can tour with (probably around Hatcher Pass) that will let me enjoy what skiing in Alaska is all about (lots of snow, but variable stuff). I know that the WooTest will probably come to mind, but I dont care too much about touring with huge skis (I toured for 10 days around teton pass this winter with dukes mounted on bibbys). I love skiing the bibby pro and am potentially looking to add a more-pow ski that I can tour on. Aside from the Protest, do any other playful but somewhat-charging boards come to mind?

    • Author

      Hi, Alex – I don’t know whether you’re on the 184 or 190 Bibbys, but I’ll rule out anything less than 120 underfoot, and assume you’re looking for something in the 125+ range. The 11/12 & 12/13 BD Megawatt is a ski I really like, and it has a slightly more traditional shape and feel than the Protest. The Gigawatt is also a fun ski – as is the DPS Lotus 138. Both have pretty heavily rockered platforms, so you’ll have to decide if you’re okay touring on that platform.

      I’m sure there are other good options out there, but nothing that I’ve spent time on springs to mind. Honestly, I think the Protest would be a nice compliment to the Bibbys.

  9. Jeff July 26, 2012 Reply

    Loved the write up. I REALLY hope to get the chance to get on a pair of the 187’s. They sound like a very versatile game changer. I love that you can choose your own topsheet/flex/layup. This very well may be my next ski…

  10. Alex P August 1, 2012 Reply

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for the advice, perhaps you can provide some more? I am pretty dang sure that I will be in Anchorage for the winter, and am taking stock of my quiver, as well as looking at throwing down some cash for an higher-level avy course and perhaps even an airbag backpack. I am considering the idea of liquidating the quiver to help cover costs(as well as freeing up car space), and taking only one pair of skis to AK. I would guess that I will be touring 90% of the time, and spending some time at Aleyeska, probably early in the season until I become somewhat familiar with the BC situation. I’ll be in AK early-midwinter (Dec.-early March).

    Taking the above into consideration, and that I spent last season skiing and touring pretty happily on 184 Bibby’s, would you recommend the 187 Protest as an AK quiver of one? Is there anything else that you would choose over it? Would you consider the 196cm? I’m 165 w/o gear (that would probably add another 15lbs.), a pretty aggressive skier that likes pressuring the tongues of my boots, I don’t jib a ton and am a fairly directional skier. Also, not too upset by touring with heavier skis, just looking for the right tool for the job. I’ll be using my Dyanfit Titans and Radical FT 12s from last year.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Author

      Hey, Alex. If you haven’t read my “One Ski Quiver: Reviewer’s Choices” series, you should.

      As I wrote in my review, there are better options than the Protest when things get really firm. There are few better options than the Protest when conditions are soft.

      I don’t know how much hard snow performance you’ll expect or need when in AK. If you’re only going to be skiing when it snows or on days following storms, then sure, you could go Protests. But I would choose the Bibby Pro over the Protest if I planned to be skiing firm conditions a bunch.

      And personally, I don’t need a 196 Protest. The 187 has never left me feeling like I needed more ski. I’d take the 190 Bibby over the 184 Bibby, but I’m good with the 187 Protest, and don’t really imagine that you’d need the 196. These things don’t tip dive.

  11. Land August 24, 2012 Reply

    great review

    What flex preference were the reviewed pair of skis? Any idea how a stiff vs. med/stiff flex changes the ski?

    • Author

      Thanks, Land. Our Protests are the 12/13 shape and the flex pattern was chosen by Praxis. I would call it a “medium-to-medium/stiff” flex, and at 185 lbs., I wouldn’t care to go stiffer. But I think the best thing would be to contact Keith O’Meara at Praxis and discuss exactly what you’re looking for.

  12. Matt T September 7, 2012 Reply

    This (along with all Blister) review is great. I basically got a pair of protests because of it.

    Did you experiment with mounting points at all? I know you settled on +1, but I’m trying to decide where to mount my up. Let it snow!

    Thanks

    • Author

      Thanks, Matt – normally with Praxis skis, I start on the recommended line and stay, or go back; their recommended lines are pretty progressive / forward. On the Protest, I started on the line but pushed to +1 just to see if I could quicken the ski up for the VERY tight trees of Niseko. I didn’t notice some revelatory difference at +1, but more importantly, I didn’t feel like I increased tip dive at all. So I stayed, and I’ve never felt inclined to move further forward or back.

    • Vegas Todd January 19, 2013 Reply

      Hey Matt T…
      Were did you settle on your mounting point?? I’ve got a pair awaiting the drill.

      Thanks
      Todd

      • Matt T January 21, 2013 Reply

        Todd,
        I ended up just going on the line (dimple). I only have been able to take them out on 2 occasions thus far so my analysis is far from complete, especially this is my first ski of this type and I’m getting used to them.
        At first I was frustrated as I was actually getting a small bit of tip dive. My other fat-ish ski is the 186 lhasa pow, which likes/loves/demands to be driven up front in the shovels. I ski those things hard and they reward me back.
        At first I tried to ski the protest like I ski the lhasa and I don’t think that’s the ticket. As I started using a more centered stance things seem improve. I’m definitely reserving judgement until I get more time on them. Sorry I can’t help more…

  13. Cal September 10, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, and thanks for your great reviews and insights on so many solid skis. I’m in the market to bolster my pow specific ski setup. I have been entirely in love with my 190 Bibby Pro’s for the last 3 years, and intend to keep loving them until I must inevitably replace them (likely with the latest ones at that time). Last season I also tried out the 2010-11 Hellbents after picking them up on incredible clearance. They’re ok, but I found that in the thicker, heavier PNW snow I ride 99% of the time, they get deflected tonnes and really didn’t offer anything more in terms of float or fun than what my Bibby’s provide, and far less in terms of versatility and charging (I’ll be offloading these in short order). Reading your review on the Praxis Protests, however, have me incredibly intrigued with the benefits of reverse camber & reverse sidecut attributes in a ski with a lot of versatility (or at least tolerance) of conditions other than deep pow. At 6′ & 210lbs, I’m considering pulling the trigger on a pair of 196cm Protests right away and mounting them up with AT bindings for sidecountry action (likely the MFD Alltime bindings with some STH16’s I have). I’m hoping to use these for an even more playful experience in deep stuff including some tight trees and backcountry jibbing (maybe some bigger lines, but I do have my Bibby’s for those too). My questions are, have you any thoughts on the Protests vs. the Praxis BPS, and, given my size and intended use, do you have any recommendations on stiffness (I’m thinking medium/stiff) and the carbon triaxial layup option? Thanks for your help and keep the awesome reviews coming!

    – Cal

    • Author

      Hey, Cal – Unfortunately, I haven’t skied the BPS, so I have little to offer. But I will offer my totally uninformed opinion to say that I have difficulty believing that the BPS will match – or exceed – the Protest’s versatility. I may be wrong, and I hope to find out for sure this winter.

      At your size, I think the medium-stiff option is a very good call, and I would recommend the carbon layup. You’re going to be getting a fairly heavy set up here for a bc jib ski (196 length + MFD = not the lightest thing going), so I’d save weight where you can.

      And be sure to let us know what you decide to do and what you think.

      • Cal September 10, 2012 Reply

        Hi Jonathan,

        Thanks for your uber speedy reply! Yeah, this is definitely going to be a sidecountry setup more than any real touring (looking at a pair of Rossi Scimitars or Sickles for light touring, on-piste, bit of park and early/late season conditions – though I wish they came in bit more length – any thoughts on Scimitar vs Sickle?). I’m touching base with Keith O’meara to hear from the man himself in terms of suggested stiffness and on his thoughts on the BPS (much like the Moment Deathwish & Praxis Concept, I’m sure it offers some incredible versatility, but I can’t imagine it’s going to offer the same r&r attributes and insane fun & flexibility as the Protest). I’ll keep ya apprised on what Keith has to say and what I pull the trigger on. Thanks again and look forward to hearing of many more tales and trials of skis in incredible locations.

        – Cal

        • Blister Member
          Will November 24, 2013 Reply

          Thanks Blister for all the terrific reviews. I just wanted to respond to Cal’s post on contacting Keith O’Mera, the owner of Praxis, about the difference between the BPS and the Protest. I found myself asking the same question as Cal, and also emailed Keith. Thought it would be useful to others who may have the same question to follow up with what Keith’s said:

          There are some pretty big differences from the Protest to the BPS. The Protest has a shorter sidecut run length, more tip taper, longer tip rocker. So the Protest is meant to be surfy in powder via the combinations of those factors. This gives the ski a centered stance and pivoty feel.

          The BPS goes after the same claim of being a surfy powder ski that can pivot but how it achieves that is different. The BPS has a pretty fat tip and a longer sidecut run length. Of the 2 skis the BPS is more stable and able to carve on a groomer and you can drive the tip more on the BPS. The BPS has the 3 point sidecut and compound molding. So the BPS has rocker underfoot and the sidecut gets fatter underfoot. This makes the ski edge in well on harder snow and fun to carve.

  14. Loren September 14, 2012 Reply

    Great review! really loving all of the fantastic and thoughtful information on your site, thanks for that and keep it up! Really really just about to pull the trigger on a pair of these bad boys but I just cant help but drooling a bit over the specs of the RX, wondering if you’ve had any time on em and what your opinions might be even if you haven’t based on specs. Also diggin that this year you can add tail rocker to the RX (which I would absolutely do!) Looking to use em primarily for my BC setup with some resort days just for fun, that being my intended use my real dilema is the versatility of the RX versus the fun charging of the Protest. Granted I wish every day in the BC was a Protest day but in SW Colorado the reality is we see a lot of different conditions out there and I just cannot seem to decide if I would be giving up too much versatility by goin Protest over RX. I am 5’9 and about 210, charge hard, (I break a lot of shit) enjoy a bit of jibbing and going backwards but mostly directional in the BC other than booters and such, have couple other good pair of sticks for other stuff, just looking to replace my old BC setup. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks again for all the great info (also very much enjoy the back and forth information on this section of the page, so thanks for that too!
    Loren

    • Author

      Hi, Loren – I was just going over the specs of the tweaked Rx. Most important thing to say is that I haven’t skied the Rx; but since you asked…on the hard/variable – soft snow/pow spectrum, the Rx clearly belongs on the left side, the Protest on the right. The Protest handles cut up soft snow extremely well, but the Rx is a ski that was originally MADE to handle firm, variable conditions. Praxis has now added tip rocker (and as you note, the option for tail rocker), so the Rx is less of a dedicated hardpack ski than it was, but not having skied it, I’d still choose to ski it in bad conditions over the Protest.

      Long and short: if you tend to hit up the backcountry when conditions are good, I think you’ll love the Protest. If you tend to tour when it hasn’t snowed in three weeks, and conditions can range from decent to variable to sketchy, my hunch is you’d prefer the Rx.

      Sorry this all sounds super obvious, but I think it’s best to think of the Protest as a great soft snow ski (even if that soft snow has a nice sun crust) rather than expect it to shine in firm, thin conditions.

      Let me know which way you decide to go. And I’m definitely hoping to get on the Rx this season.

  15. Loren September 15, 2012 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,
    Thanks so much for the speedy reply! I really appreciate just how professional you cats are, and as before I cannot express how awesome I think it is that you maintain this comment section so well!! I actually pulled the trigger on 187 Protest in the M/S carbon layup last night, and I am beyond excited to get on these sticks!! I agree 100% on the (as you stated) obvious reply you sent and I appreciate it! I also totally dug Kevin Bazar’s article “Protesting the Backcountry”, that and your well worded review were definitely driving points in my choice. It really came down to the fact that I really like to charge when I get the conditions to do so and in all honesty most of the BC conditions i encounter are much more favorable then less (cept for last year of course, barely went out at all due to the shit conditions down here) and I just absolutely believe in that design and what it can do for me when I am on top of those BBA lines!!!
    Thanks again, your website is one of my new favorites of all time!!!

    P.S. I may becoming a Praxis convert but I would love to see an Icey Gypsy review (and yes, I know i know, but I would still really love to see what you cats have to say about it)

    Loren

  16. fraser December 2, 2012 Reply

    Hi

    Well I went and picked up a pair of the 187 cm carbon layup Protest, mostly because of this review too. I wanted a ski for my trip to Hokkaido this winter and for some hut trips and Cat skiing when I return. Mounted with a Plum binding I’m hoping this ski will do it all for me on those deep mostly untracked days, and get me back to the lift safely when needed.

    /Users/fraserjudd/Pictures/My Pictures/Skiing/skis and for sale/Protest.jpg

    • Author

      Nice, Fraser – and I promise, they’ll get you back to the lift just fine. Sweet setup, looking forward to hearing what you think.

      • fraser January 14, 2013 Reply

        just got back from 2 weeks in and around Niseko with my Paxis Protests. Did some skiing on the hill, some side country and a little touring. I got to know the skis a little more, and feel like I’m just scratching the surface of discovering what they have to offer. They’re also forgiving on the occasions where I might get in the back seat and very easy to recover back to position. They did a great job of keeping me close to a friend of mine who’s a guide on his day off. Top to bottom runs in the Annipuri Bowls in untracked snow certainly shows the skis efficiency in powder.

        What I love most about the ski is how I can trust it in any soft snow conditions. They make me a better skier and let me enjoy a day out even more. Whatever the technical reasons of what is happening this ski is really just a tonne of fun! Thanks for a great recommendation.

  17. Land December 10, 2012 Reply

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned here, but was made clear in the review of the Wootest, is DETUNE!

    I detuned the edges on my 187 protests to about 63cm from the tip and about 55cm from the tail, meaning just past the point where the standard sidecut begins (i.e. “contact point”). Otherwise these are totally unpredictable and terrifyingly wobbly.

    Once you do this, this ski absolutely shines. They are fantastic in powder, very fast and very responsive. You can make any turn you want, anytime you want. Protests are one of those skis that truly feel empowering, enabling you to ski faster, more fluidly and more confidently in soft snow. All this means you have a damn fun time on them.

    On hard snow, once you detune them, they are very predictable, even carvable, especially with the super sharp praxis factory tune underfoot. Groomers and crud are 100% skiable. I do still prefer a standard sidecut, stiff ski like xxls in harder crud however.

    I’ve skied on 185 praxis powders and the protest certainly feels different. To me, the protest feels more drivable and powerful as opposed to the surfy feel of the powders. Personally, I prefer the way the protest skis. You can keep pressure on the front of your boot and aggressively drive the ski. I would describe it as a more traditional way of skiing, and the protest translates this style into amazing powder performance. The Praxis powder, on the other hand, skis differently. It requires a more balanced stance and pivots and slarves more easily than the protest. The protest certainly does this well, but I think it rewards aggressive skiing more than the powders. Between these two skis (in powder at least), it’s really just personal preference and skiing style. Traditional and aggressive vs. surfy slarvy. Both fun for sure. On hard snow, it’s no contest. Powders are downright scary on hard groomers, protests are totally skiable. The protest is most certainly the much more versatile choice.

    DPS 138s felt much like the protest, very drivable, fast and powerful. I’d say it’s a tossup for me between these two skis, but I think the hard snow performance of the protest might be slightly better (I’ve only skied 1 day on 138s, so hard for me to say).

    All in all, I think the protest is the perfect soft snow ski. The way they ski powder feels totally natural to me and the versatility is amazing. Can’t recommend these skis highly enough.

  18. fraser December 22, 2012 Reply

    Had the Protest out for 4 days in the Esplanade range just eat of Rogers Pass. I got the medium flex with carbon and they came in about 2100g a ski. WIth Plum bindings it’s a reasonable set up for bc powder and hopefully works for some hard charging too.

    Conditions were near perfect powder with fresh snow on a nearly 2 m well consolidated base. We toured for 4 days getting lots of vert and turns each day. Alpine, tree skiing, drops, and jumps. The Protests are the first really fat ski I’ve owned. It took me a 1/2 a day to get used to them and trust them in them to turn in the trees, but once I did they were really a ton of fun. The skis feel very intuitive. You can really modulate the size of turns in powder really well with subtle inputs. Speed control is very easy and made skiing in tighter trees a blast as I could let them fly and then scrub speed or slash turns whenever needed. Really a great experience.

    One surprise was how well they toured. While no one buys a ski like this for kick turns I was really pleased to be able to keep pace with some very experienced backcountry dudes. The mounting point for bindings (Plum Guide) offered real control in lifting and placing the ski. I was able to navigate difficult terrain easily. I’ve toured with other large skis and bindings set-ups and had a terrible time.

    Thanks to Keith for his great service and skis.

  19. Markcjr January 15, 2013 Reply

    Anyone have a comparison for the wootest 2.0 or the protest as an inbounds pow ski?

  20. Dan Kash January 30, 2013 Reply

    Jonathan, if you had the option of making these skis stiffer, would you do it? Or would you leave everything as is as how the skis came in stock?

  21. William Moore January 30, 2013 Reply

    I am looking to get a new pair of skis for inbounds riding to replace my old Line EP pros. I picked them up before I really new much about big/rockered skis and have really enjoyed them, but I have found that my riding style is more big mountain with sizeable straightlines and airs. I am currently using a pair of Atomic Bentchetlers for backtountry and have absolutely loved them. They offer great powder performance, but have the beef to take straight lines and big landings in less than desireable conditions. How would the Protests compare with the Bentchetlers if you have ridden both, and would the protest be a good ski for aggressive inbounds skiing? I have been using my betchetlers almost exclusively this season but I would like to add a similar pair to the quiver for inbounds so I don’t beat up my backcountry setup so much. I want something that can handle both deep powder as well as chopped/firm conditions. I have a pair of traditional skis that I use for ice days, and I usually tour or catch up on work on these days anyway, so I am not worried about performance on bullet proof/icey conditions.

    Thanks!

    • Author

      Hey, William – I’ve only skied the 183 Bentchetler, but never thought of it as a good ski for firm / chopped conditions. I also don’t know your height / weight, though. To me, the 183 Bentchetler is a very soft, fun, playful, pow ski. Jason Hutchins is currently skiing the 192 Bentchetler, but I haven’t had time on it yet. So I’m afraid I’m not much help. But I am a little nervous recommending the Protest as a “firm conditions / chop ski.” Chop? For sure. But how firm and nasty hardpack are we talking here? If you’re expecting it to shine in quite firm conditions, you’re asking a lot.

  22. Loren January 31, 2013 Reply

    in response to Kash:
    Just my two cents, I ended up going with the M/S carbon fiber layup after some back and forth on this site and with Praxis. I also put some lrg MFD’s on em which im sure stiffened em up a bit more. I adore these skis and would not change one damn thing!!!! that being said, I am also a pretty big dude (220lbs) and I like to charge as hard as I can when I can and could easily see a smaller cat going with the med flex (stock) and the skis being every bit as amazing as my experience on them, these things are in no way shape or form any kind of noodle, they are absolutely rock solid! Thanks to Jonathan and the whole blister crew, these sticks are every bit as good as their review states ( I personally think better, best sticks I have ever skied by far!!! ) Just a side note; I de-tuned mine 24″ up front and 17 1/2″ in the tail and they are seriously on auto pilot, point em and go, these sticks will do the rest!

  23. Dan Kash January 31, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Loren,
    I’m also thinking about leaving everything as is except I’m gonna get the Carbon lay up. My question to you is, are these skis kinda pivoty in way that you can make quick and short turns even at lower speeds or do they just wanna go straight and charge hard. Reason why im asking is bc Jonathan mentioned in this review that the DPS Lotus 138 is another similar stoke to this which you can make turns with them on a dime but I dont know how the Lotus is going to be on other snow conditions than powder as supposed to the Protest which seems to be able to handle everything as long as there is soft snow

    • Author

      Hey, Dan. First, thanks to Loren for his thoughts. I have to say, I had hoped to A / B the Protest and the Lotus 138 some this season before weighing in. But it hasn’t happened, mostly because of conditions. The Protest and the Lotus are exceptionally good skis, but I’m not comfortable talking about their respective strengths and weaknesses in weird / variable snow. What I can say is that the Lotus 138 was far more capable than I expected, especially last spring in some serious, heavy mash potatoes at Alta. I’ll say more when I’m able, but I can’t say when that’ll be.

  24. Loren January 31, 2013 Reply

    Kash,
    full disclosure; I’v never skied a Lotus, Powderboard, or a Spatula (yes, I realize different ski designs but you get the reference im sure) that being said Im sure Jonathan or one of the other blisters would be much better suited to answer this than I. my take; as far as soft snow performance goes I have never been on sticks that give me the confidence to do anything I want, period. Any turn any size any speed they seriously make me feel like I am cheating, its just too easy. They also make me want to ski harder, I keep finding myself in steeper thicker tree lines just telling myself “I so could of done that bigger.” I read someone here saying “they just make skiing more fun” and that they do!! The big difference I see; I cant see how the sidecut and stiffness underfoot (because they’re made so well; i.e. Jonathan’s reference to the flex transition) take away from the powder performance of this ski in any way shape or form, and I have heard from many people that the Powderboards really dont ski in any way significantly better than the Protests in the deep, and I dont see how the Lotus performance in the deep could possibly justify the difference in the varying conditions performance of the Protest. In skiing the Protest I can absolutely feel how lose they could be with less sidecut length, in fact that was almost the only downside I could find was that on the groomers and harder stuff they wanted to slip out a bit, but it was a weird controllable slip out that was only on the inside edge of my outside ski? I quickly discovered how easily this was controlled in the way you ski em and did not slow me down at all after some back and forth’s in the am, some people have said it takes a couple days to get used to it, but that was not the case at all, after one morning I felt completely comfortable everywhere. So… I guess my take is that if you absolutely want a strictly dedicated heli/cat/24″÷resort day powder only ski, go with something like the lotus or mutant or powderboard or… you get the idea. If you want a ski that you can take out a lot more often and skis the deep just as well as any of those get the Protest. My biggest problem with the for mentioned is, if they are anywhere even close to being as fun as the Protest, your gonna want to ski em a hell of a lot more than a couple times a year.

  25. Kevin February 16, 2013 Reply

    jonathan, you mentioned that you didn’t move the mount after going to +1cm. Have any others reading this tried further forward? I have limited time on my Protests and so far I love them but find that I have to drive them to make them really shine and wonder what they’d be like with a slightly more forward stance and and neutral position. My other skis are MtnJibs and SFB’s both at -6 from centre and have a more freestyle feel. Maybe i need more time on my Protests (187’s) but coming from my other skis, I feel like the tails are riding low in deep snow, until i turn the speed and aggression up. I apologize for turning this into a Protest forum but there’s some good discussion up there.

  26. Christian March 2, 2013 Reply

    Hello……..

    I was wondering about binding recommendations and where to have them mounted? I live in SLC.

    Thanks

  27. Loren March 4, 2013 Reply

    I mounted mine right at factory suggested, love em, wouldn’t change it. That being said I’ve heard of several people mounting them farther forward and being very happy with the results and when I asked Praxis they told me they preferred to ski them a bit forward of suggested as well. My advise from them was something very close to this… “Lay em on the living room floor, put all your gear on, boots jacket pants goggles beanie and gloves, stand on em and move your hips side to side while making whooshing noises and imagining your somewhere deep and white and then mount them there”. After 20 – 30 minutes I came out at factory, worked pretty well for me

  28. Bogdan March 29, 2014 Reply

    Hi, great review! what flex does the tested ski had? When ordering, you can choose different flexes and I am a bit lost in that choice…
    thanks,
    Bogdan

  29. Eric April 4, 2014 Reply

    Reading this review makes my decision even tougher, Protest, Bibby Pro, or Ghost Train for in-bounds Mammoth dedicated pow ski?!

    • Author

      Hey, Eric – we haven’t skied the Ghost Train, so no help there. But it doesn’t seem like the Bibby vs. the Protest ought to be that tricky. They’re not close in width, and while both are very good in soft chop and deep chop, the Bibby is the more versatile firm-conditions ski – and it doesn’t sound like you’re looking for firm snow versatility but dedicated pow performance. The Protest shines there.

  30. Rob December 1, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    I’m considering the Protest for deep snow to compliment my new Blister Pros. I’d like your opinion about length. I’m 5’8″and 160, fairly strong, advanced skier with more a finesse style. I like to charge at times but enjoy varied speed and turn shapes. My daily ski will be the Line Supernatural 108 in a 179. I chose the Blister Pro in a 184 for resort pow days, tree stashes, chop/slop and varied soft terrain. The Protest will be for cat/heli/epic days. Would you suggest the Protest in a 177 or 187?
    Thanks, and keep these great reviews coming!

  31. Brian April 3, 2015 Reply

    Bought a pair of Protests (largely because of this review), and after some time on them now I can add a couple cents of opinion.

    First, great review. Really spot on. I agree with it entirely.
    Second, as said, these are NOT a 1 ski quiver. At least not if you want to enjoy firm groomers at all. Well-tuned they are manageable, but… Clearly not the tools for the job. If the day/mountain required too much piste-time you’ll probably be wishing you were on something else.
    Third, these skis are an absolute blast in anything the least bit soft, and this is not just about powder. Having spent a couple of spring days on the Protests, I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in slushy soup. They are brilliant in corn, slushy bumps, baked crud, and particularly full slush. Don’t know if I’ll take anything else our in spring conditions again!

  32. Pete August 26, 2015 Reply

    Great review and input on Protest. Need some powder boards and looking at the Protest. Me 73yrs, 202lbs wet, advanced skier of 50yrs. Ex-racer but don’t charge too hard off piste. My everday ski is a 2016 Blizzard Bonafide 180 and love them. Need powder ski usually in glades, trees and some open areas at Silver Mt. Idaho but cat ski and heli in BC too. I would use the Protests on days with 3 or more inches and a soft layer underneath or 6 ” plus with a hard base. From the review it sound like the Protests would more than meet my needs. What length? Any comments would be appreciated. Jonathan i have developed arthritis in R knee but it is ok, I went back to 178 S7’s and really don’t like feeling like I am in the back seat all the time. Really prefer feeling centered. Thanks Pete

  33. Fraser February 19, 2017 Reply

    Guys, it’s 2017!

    My well used pair of 2012/13 Protests is finally giving up the ghost. After 4 years of 30-50 days/year of mostly touring the ski is starting to show its age. A slight delamination of the top sheet, judging by a some edge deformation, was probably caused by contact with something hard like a tree or rock. After an epoxy intervention I’m still able to ride them in the backcountry. I have a pair of 2016 Volkl Katanas (with Kingpins) I still prefer the Protest (w. Plum fixation) in soft snow conditions. They’re very easy to turn but I can also let them run and they provide a great landing for my occasional airs. To me the real strength of this ski is its ability to handle a huge variety of back county conditions, terrain, speeds and styles. A very intuitive ski.

    I’m going to get a new set up for next year, is there an improvement anywhere out there over the Protest for soft snow skiing (and occasional hard snow, refrozen snow, skin track exit snow, or wind scoured ridge top snow that one encounters in the BC) or should I just stick with the tried and true? I’ve never enjoyed a ski so much for so long that I considered replacing it with the same ski!

    I was convinced to get the Protest from your 2012 review and have been a fan of your site ever since.

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