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2nd Look: 2016-2017 SCOTT Punisher

Garett Almann reviews the Scott Punisher 110 for Blister Gear Review

2015-2016 Scott Punisher 110

Ski: 2016-2017 Scott Punisher, 189cm and 183cm

Available Lengths: 157, 163, 173, 183, 189 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull):

* 189cm model = 187.5cm

* 183cm model = 181.5cm

Dimensions (mm):

* 189cm = 144-110-132

* 183cm = 142-108-130

Measured Weight Per Ski:

* 189cm = 2,190 & 2,194 grams

* 183cm = ~2,075 grams each

Sidecut Radius: “3D”

 

Core Construction: Poplar/Beech/Paulownia + Fiberglass Laminate

 

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Quest 120 (27.5) with molded Shell and foamed liner from Austrian Ski Boot Manufacturer Strolz / Marker Baron 13 (189) and Marker Baron EPF (183) / (DIN at 10)

Mount Location:

* 189cm = Factory recommended

* 183cm = -1cm of the line

Test Locations: Hintertux, Austria; Stubai Valley, Austria; Eggalm, Austria

Skier: 5’9″ (176cm), 190 lbs. (87kg)

Days Skied: 7 (189) and 4 (183)

[Editor’s Note: BLISTER reader Johannes Simon wrote this review of the Scott Punisher (for more information about our Reader Reviews, click here). This review was conducted on the 12/13 Punisher, which was not changed for 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, or 16/17, except for the graphics.]

 

The first tip and tail rockered ski in my quiver was the 2010-2011 Scott Mega Dozer in 185cm, and I am still a fan. But technology has evolved, and in 2014 the Mega Dozer will be replaced with the “Scrapper” as Scott’s widest powder ski.

What I noticed with the Mega Dozer was its very good edge grip on hard pack for a ski this wide (119mm in the 185 length) due to the straight line under foot.

But in my opinion, the Mega Dozer had too much camber between the quite moderate tip and tail rocker. I also found the rocker to be a little too subtle, particularly in the tail, in order for the ski to release easily in soft snow. In other words, I thought there was some room for improvement.

So when Scott released its second generation tip and tail rockered powder ski—the Punisher—I was keen to get on a pair.

Groomers

I first tried the 189 Punisher on the “Hintertux Glacier” in Tirol, Austria, the only resort in Austria open year round. It had snowed quite a lot in the first half of November, and when I arrived, it was the first warm and sunny days after a storm cycle.

During the first warm-up runs on groomers, the Punisher exhibited very good edge grip. Even with the reduced camber, the Punisher locked in better than the Mega Dozer.

The Punisher’s tip and tail rocker was noticeable only on hard pack and only at higher speeds, but even then, it was minimal with very little tip flap. Since the contact points are moved up toward the tip and tail, almost the whole length of the ski is engaged when putting the ski on edge, increasing hardpack stability.

So while the Mega Dozer provides a similar level of stability under foot, its tips and tails feel more “floppy” than the Punisher, and less stable than the Punisher through the whole turn.

Off-Piste Hardpack

There was enough snow on the upper part of the glacier between the “Gefrorene Wand” and the “Tuxer Ferner Haus” to get into the upper sidecountry. The first turns off trail were on the Gefrorene Wand Tram Face, which is a pretty wide face that starts quite mellow and then in the middle gets quite steep, somewhere in the 35–40-degree range.

Johannes_Simon_Hinertux_Gefrorene_Wand_Photo_Peter_Bacher

Johannes Simon on the Scott Punisher, Hinertux Gefrorene Wand. (Photo by Peter Bacher)

The snow was wind and sun affected, but very predictable (the snow was consistent and not crusty on top), and I soon realized that I was going much faster than I should on the first runs of the season. The Punisher was so confidence inspiring that it felt natural and comfortable to let it run, and it was easy to make all kinds of turn shapes as long as I was skiing pretty aggressively.

We then got on the south side of the glacier into the “Schlegeis Sidecountry,” where the snow was softer from sun exposure. The terrain here is playful and, whereas the upper part after the entry into the run is pretty wide, it splits into numerous chutes and couloirs after about hundred-and-fifty metres.

Johannes_Simon_Hintertux_Schlegeis_Photo_Peter_Bacher

Johannes Simon, Hintertux Schlegeis. (Photo by Peter Bacher)

The very steep and narrow chutes did not have a lot of snow, so we took the mellower runs with rollers and wind lips in it, and here I found that the Punisher does have a nimble and playful side—I could release the tails every once in awhile for some slides and spray turns. There are better skis for playing around, but given what a potent big-mountain ski the Punisher can be, it is quite nimble.

We then skied the sidecountry of the “Sonnenhang” run from the Kaserer Peak, which has some of the steepest lift-accessed terrain on the glacier that I’ve skied. I pointed the Punishers down the fall line, then felt comfortable making all types of turn shapes.

Over the next few days with our mountain guide, we continued to explore some shorter side country runs with the same conditions and my initial impressions were confirmed.

Back when I’d first held the Punisher in my hands, I worried that its bulky tip and tail would feel hooky in soft snow or on steeps, but I have not experienced any hookiness on the Punisher.

 

22 Comments

  1. jan March 17, 2013 Reply

    Johannes, how tall/heavy are you ?

  2. Blister Member
    Hannes March 17, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jan, 176cm / 5’9″ and currently 87kg / 190lbs. (We’ve now added that info above.)

  3. Andrew June 21, 2013 Reply

    I am looking for a stiff but light powder/all mountain ski to use as my main touring ski next year in Colorado. How does the 183 Punisher compare to the 186 Bibby Pro? Both seem to be hard charging but fairly maneuverable skis, with the Bibby Pros being slightly more substantial. Are there any significant differences between the two? Which would you recommend for a touring setup?

  4. Blister Member
    Hannes June 26, 2013 Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    When talking about the 186 Bibby do you refer to the Governor or the 2014 Bibby, which in my understanding will have a 120mm waist and become more of a pow dedicated ski?If you refer to the current regular 184 Bibby, on which I have spent little time so far and have not done any touring or hiking, I would say that both are good side country skis as regards size and weight. The Bibby is obviously wider (8mm compared to the 183 Punisher, which only has a 108 waist) and about 80 to 100 grams heavier per ski, nevertheless light for its size, and will offer better deep snow performance. The Punisher is a little quicker from edge to edge and may be a little easier in tight terrain. If you do a lot of skinning and hiking the I would tend a little towards the Punisher. As regards the “charging” I would say that both skis have enough backbone.

    Some more thoughts:

    1. New Moment Exit World – I would not be surprised to read about it here soon.

    2. 181 ON3P Wrenegade.

    3. 186 ON3P Vicik Tour Layup.

    4. 181 Surface Live Life / Drifter or Live Free. The Live Life and the Drifter are the same skis with different graphics whereas the Live Free shares the dimensions and shape, yet has a slightly thinner core and is a little lighter although the whole range is really light, yet stiff and they are quite capable “chargers”. You can read Kate Hourihan’s review of the 181 live life on this site:

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2012-2013-surface-live-free

    As for myself I have skied the 181 Surface Drifter a bit this spring and really liked it. It has gradual tail rocker and no twin tip, which I like for sidecountry skiing, is light, stable and easy to throw around. You may find it a little short, but is has a good portion of rocker and at least in spring snow I did not have any tip dive issues…

    Just a few thoughts. Happy skiing!

  5. Jason October 29, 2013 Reply

    Jason said:

    October 28, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I am 6’4″ and 240. I ski bumps and tight trees at Vail and Keystone, and also spend time at A basin.
    Would you go Scott Punisher 189, Cochise 185 or 193, or MOMENT Belafonte, 187cm or the new Sir Francis Bacon in 190. I am an expert skier and love to ski Pallavicini at A Basin but at 43 I now ski it with less reckless abandonment that I did in years past.
    Look forward to your thoughts and suggestion.

  6. Jason November 5, 2013 Reply

    I have narrowed it down to either getting the 190 Sir Francis Bacon or the 189 Punisher. Your thoughts? I am 6’4″ and 240. I ski bumps and tight trees at Vail and Keystone, and also spend time at A basin.
    I am an expert skier and love to ski Pallavicini at A Basin but at 43 I now ski it with less reckless abandonment that I did in years past. Look forward to your thoughts and suggestion.

  7. Blister Member
    Hannes November 6, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jason! I have not skied the 190 SFB, but my experience from skiing the 183 punisher back to back with the 184 SFB should be transferable to your question.

    1. The SFB has a progressive medium to soft flex while the Punisher is quite a stiff ski. Both carve well on hardpack due to their shape, which gives you quite a long effective edge despite the fact both skis are tip and tail rockered. Yet, the SFB has a speed limit, the Punisher does not…

    2. The SFB is a “swollen park ski” with a snowboard inspired shape. Although the Punisher is marketed as a backcountry freestyle ski I found it to ski more directional. The SFB skis incredibly well switch. It is the only ski that I have ever skied so far where switch skiing felt effortless and natural (i.e. I am not a very good switch skier, but the SFB definitely “lifts” performance).

    3. Although both skis are light – the Punisher even being a little lighter – the SFB has a lower swing weight. The SFB is quicker edge to edge, but the Punisher is still quite a nimble ski. The SFB is better in bumps and trees (in fact, it is probably the best tree ski I have ever skied). The Punisher floats better – wider tip, more splay in the rocker and the mount is less centered than with the SFB – and is better in variable snow conditions. Read Garrett’s review – he as a comp skier calls it one of the best crud and chop skis he has ever skied. It is indeed incredibly confidence inspiring in variable snow without feeling planky and will still do quite well in bumps, trees and narrower spots.

    4. If you are not very much into the freestyle aspect, I would say with your size and weight and the description of your skiing style, the 189 punisher is the better pick. If you are looking at the fun aspect, making snowboard inspired slash turns and pop off features, the SFB would be better. Although it is relatively soft, it is not chattery or unstable – it can still handle a heavy skier, but as said – if playing around on the mountain is not your major aspect, but you still want a nimble ski, go Punisher.

    5. In order to make your choice a little more difficult, one more thought… I skied the 184 moment deathwish this spring and found it easier than the Punisher, but more stable than the SFB. I would have to spend more time on it, but I found the deathwish a very good mix of being sufficiently substantial and still playful. So maybe 190 moment deathwish? Yet, with your size, weight and background I would still tend towards the Punisher for the days where you want to open it up…

    Hope this helps! Happy skiing!

  8. Jason November 7, 2013 Reply

    Well boys I ordered some 189 Scott Punishers today! I will give you my two cents on how they perform once I get some time on them. Thank you for your help.

  9. Nik January 4, 2014 Reply

    Any thoughts on mounting the 189 -1 back?
    6′ 240

    On groomers I sometimes have to pick up my heel to get a ski to turn without catching the edge.
    Shop recommended this.

  10. Martin January 9, 2014 Reply

    Hey Johannes,

    first of all: This is an excellent review! Stands out of all the short summaries on the web.
    The comparison to other skies is always a great help for me.
    I own the older Punisher (90mm waist) – and like them a lot – but i would like to try a wider all-mountain-ski. I love to ski trees and backcountry, but there is not always an opportunity so i have to ski groomers quite often. Because of this a ski for me has to be fun on groomers, too! ;)
    I’ve considered the Armada TST, but your comparison makes me think if it’s the right choice.
    Did you ever ski the old 90mm-waist punisher? I wonder how it compares to the new one. I could not find anything on the net.

    Kind regards
    Martin

  11. Jake January 13, 2014 Reply

    189 Punisher
    Age 40 6’4″ 250 pounds
    Expert skier, Days on skied on Punisher 4, average days skied each year 40 to 50
    Skied Punisher at Keystone and Breckenridge. So far very happy with the ski
    Skied on groomers that were soft to hard packed and the ski did not chatter and I could really rip downhill with confidence. Skied some midsized moguls that were rock hard with 3 inches of fresh on top. Ski performed well and did not have any issues with the wide shovel of the ski. The skis are light and I felt they performed as well in the bumps as you could expect a ski of this size. Epic day at Breckenridge 8 inches of new snow to start the day and dumping hard all day with plenty of wind. Skied Peaks 7 and 8 which means you get everything from very hard windblown snow, light chop to 16 inches of pow because of the wind. Ski performed well and provided plenty of float. I skied some very tight trees at both Keystone and Breck and could make tight turns without a problem. The only thing I have not skied is heavy chop but after being on the ski I think it will handle this without a problem. I think the ski is plenty big for skiing Summit County and Vail as we rarely get more than a foot of snow at a time. I may get a smaller pair skis 90 mm range for when the snow is not great and I have to keep up with my smaller friends and kids in the bumps all day. Over all I really like the ski and they were significantly better than my old skis for the one big snow day at Breckenridge.
    Old skis 2004 Gotomas 184 with 103 underfoot This model was twin tip and no rocker great all mountain ski. Background raced growing up until high school. Ex D1 football player. Side note I skied old skinny skis just fine until a buddy gave me the Gotamas in 2009 and I saw the light of new equipment also I have not skied on any other skies to compare to the punisher. I originally wanted to buy the Sir Francis Bacons but felt after reading reviews and talking to some folks that I was just too heavy for the Bacon.

  12. Jake February 7, 2014 Reply

    Follow up.
    Days on skies now 10 +. Skied the epic storm we had in Colorado last week with 29 inches of new heavy powder.
    Skies performed well I did sink a bit but at 250 pounds and 29 inches of snow this is to be expected. Skied well in the tight trees and open bowls. The ski is very stable. Once the powder was cut into crud this ski really shined. The ski has no speed limit in crud or chopped up snow. The ski also performs very well on groomed runs for making GS style turns and has no speed limit on groomers or I did not find it.
    If you are a bigger guy and want a stable ski that can handle a variety of things I think this is a good choice.

  13. Blister Member
    Hannes March 3, 2014 Reply

    Hey Martin, I realize I am a little late at responding to this. Yet nevertheless I hope, my response is still of interest.

    Yes, I have skied the old punisher from scott. The “old” punisher is/was a completely different ski. It was an easy going twin tipped allmountain ski raniging from a mid 80 to 90 waist – depending on the length -, with a medium to medium soft flex and no tip and tail rocker (though the tails and shovels were a bit “extended”, i.e. a couple of cm’s earlier rise than average cambered skis – maybe comparable to the old scott p4’s – and it had some taper in the tips and tails).

    The new punisher is about 2cm wider in the waist, has a Long tip rocker, some tail rocker, a sidecut that goes wide into the shovel and it is quite a stiff ski. What the two skis do have in common is that they are both lighter skis within their category, but I would not call the new punisher a very easy ski, especially not in the 189 length. It is also not a very demanding ski, but it is enough ski for expert skiers (see Garrett’s review) and a very confidence inspiring ski for advanced skiers on which you can ski very fast. It is also still playful, but requires more input that let’s say the Armada TST or Line SFB. If you are seeking for something that has the old punisher’s playfulness in a wider Profile, look at the two aforementioned skis. If you want a more serious ski that still has a playful side, the new punisher might be your ticket. I do not know what size you are, but if you are in my size range and not very heavy or an expert with racing background the 183 punisher is still enough ski, but more playful than the 189. As described above, it is not that the two are completely different skis, it is just that you will notice the difference in particular situations (bumps, trees, tight spots).

    If you have any further questions, let me know.

  14. Scott vd Giessen March 21, 2014 Reply

    Johannes,

    Where did you mount the ski’s recommended line or -1 +1 ?

  15. Blister Member
    Hannes March 24, 2014 Reply

    Scott, 189 as recommened, 183 -1cm of the recommended line.

  16. Vladski April 20, 2014 Reply

    Johannes, thumbs up for your balanced and comprehensive review.

    One question: do you have an idea with respect to how the 189/183 Punisher would perform vs. 186 Line Sick Day 110?

  17. Blister Member
    Hannes April 25, 2014 Reply

    Vladski, unfortunately I have not skied the line Sick Day 110 so far. Sorry that I cannot be more helpful in this regard.

  18. jan September 9, 2014 Reply

    what do you think about using it as a freeride touring setup with dynafits?
    i am 193cm/90kg.
    too wide or too heavy…(the shovels look wide, too) ??
    basically i am not used to small skis anymore ….

  19. Patrick October 16, 2014 Reply

    Hey Johannes, Great review.

    Between you and Garrett, You sold me on this ski. I realize that there are literally TONS of skis out there this day and age but I am rather surprised that this ski hasnt gotten more publicity????

    Every single review I read hit on the exact same points. The ski: DESTROYS CRUD and hardpack, is stable at speed yet playful, and is very confidence inspiring. What more can you want from a daily driver? Being a local at the Bird/Alta, I feel this is a great choice. Again….I dont really know why it hasnt gotten more publicity.

    Anyhoo, I wanted to ask about the mounting position of the 183. You say -1? Whats the reasoning behind that, compared to the recommended line? I am 5’8″ 150lbs and went with the 183, I stood next to the 189 but it looked quite large. I like charging as much as the next guy but honestly I wanted something for every day to NOT ONLY be able to charge on but also take her easy occasionally and play a bit. That being said, I didnt really read any thoughts on how “short” this ski skied. Do you have a comment on that? I guess specifically in regards to the 183. I realize that, obviously, you will loose some stability at max speed with the 183 compared to the 189, but is it really that big of a trade off? I have heard from all that this is a, although quite light and maneuverable, a fairly stiff ski.

    Thanks again,

    Patrick

  20. Stephan December 17, 2014 Reply

    Hi folks,

    I have to decide: Fischer Big Stix 110 (186) or Punisher 189?
    Could you please point out the differences between the two skis?

    The resorts I ski are in the Alps. My background is that I raced when I was young.
    My equipement consists of a K2 Wayback for touring, a K2 Sidshow, a Head Rev 85, and some racing skis. I am looking for a real freeride ski.

    Any hints?

    Thanks,

    Stephan

  21. Blister Member
    Hannes January 27, 2015 Reply

    @Patrick’s comment of 16 October 2014, 9.24 pm

    Hi Patrick,

    I am sorry I am that late in my response and I hope it is not too late for you. As for the mounting position of the 183 with -1 instead of recommended line. As staed in my review the 183 is a ski mate’s pair (he is about my size, but about 30lbs lighter) and he did that hoping for a little more stability and float when going with the shorter length. And as for the 189 / 183 comparison:
    – The ski is quite stiff and the 183 is still a stable ski (at least with the -1 mount I did not have any issues)
    – The difference between the two lengths is noticable, but they are not entirely different skies
    – You weigh about 40 lbs less than I do and your stated hieght is 5’8″ compared to my 5’9″. From what you describe the 183 may fit your bill a little better in most respects, except fro the “charging”.
    – The 183 skies shorter than the 189, but compared to other skis of it’s size and weight (e.g. Armada TST in a 183 or 184 line SFB) it does not ski short.

    Hope this helps!

    Johannes

  22. lothar September 29, 2016 Reply

    hi hannes,
    i am planning to buy the scott punisher, but i am not sure about the length – i am 1,85cm(6’1)/72kg (159lbs). from your description the 189 sounds better, but as i am 15kg lighter than you, but taller, i wonder what you would recommend?
    thanks!!
    lothar

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