Me: 55 at 165lbs and 54yrs. Ski Atomic M:EX 165cm (84mm underfoot)
I had opportunity to demo the S3 in 177 length at Copper Mt in CO after a small storm leaving a few inches everywhere and up to 2 feet blown into patrol chute top of Spaulding.
From the 1st 5 turns I knew I would really enjoy these skis. Very quick edge to edge and smooth going from hardpack to soft to chop in and out of sideline trees on warm up run.
Took these everywhere I could think of to get an overall feel for the versatility of the S3.
Into 17 glades and ran the trees all the way down to the trail back to the lift.
These were amazingly quick but also very comfortable moving very quick through both open and tight tree lines, mostly untracked with a bit of crust under about 6 fresh. Passed the tree test easily.
Into the larger moguls on Hallelujah bowl which empties into a natural terrain park with many kickers/rocks to get air and bounce off of. Easily pivots through tight bumps, pushing the tips into and out of each trough and skimming the soft tops. Again, felt similar to my 165 length Atomics wrt swing weight and quickness. The jumps in the bottom area were confidence building. Pass the natural park/soft bump test.
Up to the top of Spaulding ridge and into Patrol chute. Snow was blowing into the chute so hard could hardly see the landing but looked very soft so jumped in and what a great feeling. Soft and easy, the skis tracked well and went into each turn so easily, especially in the deep and soft. I noticed that even though these are 98mm under foot, I could have easily had a little more girth in these conditions yet still felt comfortable. Pass the chute test with soft deep snow.
Into the Resolution bowl known for top to bottom bumps and tight trees on the side (south facing crust to boot) The top is labeled double diamond then turns to single black with bumps everywhere and trees to duck into if desired. Dust on crust for sure but the S3 really held a good edge and followed every lead I gave it all the way down. Again the length (for a short guy like me) was never an issue. Pass the icy steep bump test.
Back to the bottom via long relatively steep groomed runs. I put these guys on edge and made medium radius sweeping carves across the run. I could not believe how well these tracked and had a bit of pop in each turn. Felt really good. Pass the groom/hardpack grip/fun test.
I thought that the rocker design should be the best of both worlds, allowing for a longer ski for float/stability but maintaining in the bumps and trees a shorter ski feel and quickness. I was not disappointed.
The only thing I wanted extra from these skis was a little more width underfoot for extra float and stability in the deep and cut up but these really did perform in all conditions I encountered very well. I wonder what their big brothers feel like (S7)? Any input out there on the S7 at 168 or 176?