This is the Mono-skis review. Please add to it by submiting your review Here.
This review is to help mono-skiers decide what mono will suite them best. There are some key elements to determining how well a mono-ski will perform for you. First and for most is the fit. You need to be fitted properly in your mono. If you are too loose in the seat (bucket) your body movement will not transfer down to the ski and the mono will not perform as desired.
My 2000-2001 Equipment Synopsis and Review
|MOGUL MASTER||SHADOW||YETTI HPB|
|GROVE||HALL, MT||Strange R+D F1|
|REVOLUTION PRO COMP||YETTI All MOUNTAIN RACE||PRASCHBEREGER|
Mogul Master-Lightweight not complicated ski. Doesn't have all the bells and
whistles and adjustments that some other skis have but sometimes you don't
really need them. Could possible be made a little stronger and reinforced on
the frame in some areas. The support from the the manufacturers ,Lynn and Andy
can not be matched. These people care. You can't go wrong selecting this ski if
your a recreation skier. Rating-A Review by James C.
Freedom Factory Web Site
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Originally I learned and skied my heart out on the old tried and true Shadow monoski. I’ve been skiing a little over 11 yrs and I try to do it all. And with that many seasons skied on that Shadow it was time to upgrade. After shopping around and talking to individuals, I decided that the F1 would fit my needs. I’ve skied the F1 for about 20 days this season, so far. When I first took delivery of it, this thing was beeeeefy!! I noticed it a little too heavy and predicted that I would have some missed loads onto the lift. Upon inspection it looks like the majority of the weight is coming from the boot area coupled with the shock. Actually that entire “swing-arm” is where the majority of the weight is, all the way down to the machined block of cro-moly, which is the boot plate (which is 294mm boot) . I have to say, it’s a very nice piece of equipment. It reminded me of the Canondale bikes with the oversized tubing. The welds are beaded nice and clean with no clumps. There were some areas on the F1 that were crooked though. I’m meaning visually noticeable. One example was where the shock’s remote reservoir was connected to, a type of cross member and another was the boot-plate alignment to the down tube. It was hard to detect until you put the ski on or put the swing-arm on a true/flat table. I’m hopping everything else was ‘jigged up’. Anyhow, the type of hardware used on the F1 is stainless steel and grade 8 bolts with nylock nuts. The bucket/seat that was used is the Vortex seat. Finally, last but not least is the Penske Race Shock, 8100 Series with remove reservoir. It’s a big car shock that should withstand the abuse ‘us’ monoskiers put them through. This is what makes this monoski the ‘BOMB’!! It has multiple adjustments to mess with. If you want to ski bumps, set the dial accordingly and dial away!! A good shock is what makes or breaks a monoskis performance. I believe that the Penske shock was a good mating. I’ve used a Fox motorcycle shock before on the Shadow and it’s a good shock also. It just depends what type of skiing you are capable of dishing out and what your pocket book can handle. I believe the Penske shock is around a $1000 US option. It’s heavy, but its worth it. I also noticed that no safety straps are included. I would strongly recommend adding a EVAC strap to the shock tower just incase you need to be extracted. The F1 came with 2 buckles. One for your hip and one for your lower back(which is totally useless for a lower injury para) It was one of the first things I added and a few other straps for the lift operators (2 on the sides and 1 in the rear). I also recommend adding a leg strap. Remember you want to be snug in the bucket and not have your legs slosh around. Also I would recommend adding a longer foot strap to accommodate bigger feet on the foot plate. The original strap uses a snowboard boot strap.
Now getting the F1 to an area on the mountain to ‘mount-up’ is a bit difficult due to the weight of it. You are going to need a ‘helper’ at first. The type of skis I used is the Solomons SCREAMs that came packaged with the 912 bindings. As I mentioned before, I was missing my loads and wasn’t quite adapted yet to the ski and my timing was way off. The first load of the day is always the hardest. First run out, it was simply flawless. It was like being on a Cadillac. The way it skied gave you complete confidence. I couldn’t tell if it was the skis or the handling of the F1. You feel in control right away. It was just too many ‘new’ things to deal with. So I decided to get off the corduroy runs and head for the crud and bumps. This thing handled effortlessly. I pointed it at everything that was on the mountain. It tracked nice and nothing broke. The only problem I was incurring on the mountain was the boot/binding seating. Even though I was pinned, it kept releasing at the inopportune time, i.e. like going off the lip of a jump, going into a rut on the downside of a mogul and coming off the lift. I think the boot-plate needs some work. I didn’t like how the plate seated into the binding. After a full day of hard skiing, the following day I took off the down-tube/swingarm and headed to a fabricator. The first words out of my mouth was I told him to make it lighter but still strong. We weighed the cro-mo down tube to be ~18lbs!!! No wonder! I also made some adjustments to the boot plate. The fabricator used T6 aluminum (aircraft grade) and machined the boot plate out of solid aluminum. It went from 18lbs to ~6lbs. What a difference. He also used the same diameter tubing as the original. This is the first improvement that should be made to the F1 if you want to stay independent. Now I can pick up my monoski by myself and haul it out of my vehicle to where I can ‘mount-up’. Another area for improvement is the pivot. The pivot uses copper bushings which bind up in the cold and no way to lubricate it. I believe if a grease fitting/zerk fitting would be placed at the clamp nut of the pivot, this would alleviate the binding issues. Either that or use a pressed in sealed bearing for zero maintenance. Now my ski looks straight, the way it should’ve been originally.
With my new brushed aluminum swingarm/down tube, I’m back to ‘self-loading’ now. YES!!! I’ve put the swing arm to the test. I jumped it, bumped it, dumped it and slammed it. And even collided it with a careless skier (The skier actually T-boned me coming off a cross trail). It’s still holding up. And I’m a bulky guy. (5-11” @ 190lbs). Now was the $4400 worth it? Well I could have done without the ‘crooked’ spots I mentioned. I hope he uses a ‘tighter’ jig next time out. It depends how you look at it. If you’re an avid skier looking for the endless powder run and getting air doing it but getting you back down the mountain in one piece, then yes by all means. But If you’re a corduroy seeker and a weekend warrior, then no this monoski would be ‘cost prohibitive’ to the typical monoskier. “To each his own” I say.
Review by Pres
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The Freedom Factory's Revolution Pro Comp. I took a trip up to Ski Windham with my new ski buddy Steve. The guys Frank and Dick at Windham helped me get set up in the mono and came along for the review. I even got some skiing pointers from them. Ski Windham has a great adaptive skiing program with all the best equipment available. Well, I can't say anything negative about this mono-ski. Getting in the mono was easy, the foot rest is adjustable and low, a cinch to put your feet on. The seat belts are great. There is one strap that wraps around your legs just below the knee, and pulls you back into the seat as well as pushing your feet down into the foot rest. It also keeps your hips from rotating. I felt so secure, I probably could have skied with just this one belt. Then you have a thigh strap a hip belt, a chest belt, and a foot strap. The belts are easy to adjust and I was in and out of the mono quickly. Loading onto the chair lift was okay. I did ask the attendant to spot me. I pushed up with my outriggers and got right up into the lift. The attendant gave a little tug to ensure I was all the way back in the seat. My suggestion is to not slow the lift, but let the lift scoop you up. As long as you have the height when lifting up, the chair lift will do the rest. The off load was smooth as silk; it does not get any easier than this folks. No lunging, jumping or throwing your self; just reach forward and off you go. Here is the best part. I am trying a new mono, the Revolution with a new ski, the Volkl P30 SL. I figure I will need a run or two to just get the feel of things, right. Well, from the first turn I was hooked, not in the snow, but on the Rev Pro. Our first run was a long blue wraparound cruiser. I think I might have linked about a dozen turns on the run. I just let it rip, total confidence, total control. Plus, I wanted to get to some thing steeper. The next run was steep and slick. I carved through it like butter, Actually, on this particular run I will normally stop at the head wall and look over the edge. In the Revolution, I just hit it. My confidence was through the roof. I skied steep double blacks, bumps, jumps, fast and slow with no problem at all. I could do no wrong in the Revolution Pro Comp. The suspension is so forgiving in the bumps, yet right there at speed. I can't explain it; with every turn I was in position to stop if I wanted to. This is something I work on all the time to improve my skiing. The balance was great, I lifted my riggers over my head and just cruised down the hill. I skied better and with more confidence than ever. I normally wear a torso belt because of my level, (c6-c7 incomplete). In the Revolution, I did not use a torso belt and I do not need one. It is safe to say that my skiing jumped to another level while in the Revolution Pro Comp.
Review by Tom C
My 2001review Click Here
Review by Tim
Conclusion: Very good suspension, but it takes some time to get used to the long compression. Good and relaxed seatpossition, very natural angle in the hips. The short seat is to recommend for low injuries and int./exp. skiers.(I`m L1).With a carvingski underneath it`s curving perfect. Easy to ride and gives a lot back to the ones that has a lot of guts to really challenge the suspension. (BUT: a bit expensive.....smart to find out about monoskiing on a cheaper/easier construction...) best wishes for the new year.
Review by Geir Arne Skogstad
Freedom Factory Web Site
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A little background on me first before I get into the All Mountain Racer. When I began monoskiing almost four years ago, I had several instructors try talking me out of monoskiing and into bi-skiing as they said “I would have more fun” and most people my injury level (T-4 complete) don’t do as well. Bunk! I had been skiing on an older Yetti program ski and once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. I bought the All Mountain Racer at the beginning of last season, against the advice of many “experts” who said the ski was much to advanced for someone of my skill/injury level. Nothing could be farther from the truth though. This ski is as versatile as you want it to be.
This ski does not have any “load” mechanism or load assist but it doesn’t need it. Being a T-4 without the best balance, I never really felt comfortable waiting for the chair to come around while I was in a tall “load” position that most monoskis put you in so I never used it anyway. With this ski, it is easy to do a jump load onto the chair and since it doesn’t pivot or separate like a lot of skis do for loading, it is much more structurally sound, which translates to more responsiveness on the snow. With a good shape ski, all you have to do is think about turning and it does. I used to race a CBR900RR (explains why I am now a gimp) and the All Mountain Racer is the closest thing I have felt to the responsiveness to input since my last ride. With the new Penske shock, you can adjust preload and rebound dampening to squelch the “boing” you sometimes get from suddenly loading the shock.
After a couple of runs, I felt I could attack and carve through steeper runs than I ever could before. This basically is the same ski Chris Waddell used to capture all of his gold at Nagano so it is obvious it will excel in the hands of an expert, but don’t discount it either for a newer skier. This ski truly is an all mountain monoski capable of being handled by a beginner or winning gold medals for an expert.
On a last note, the Goodman’s (Mike, Genie, Jeff and Joel: owners of RadVentures) have gone out of their way to offer the best customer service of any company I have dealt with in a long time. They take the time to make sure the ski is set up just for you. If you try the All Mountain Racer, be prepared to buy it, I’m sure you will like it that much. Review by Aaron
When riding the Yeti All mountain Racer I found this machine to be very responsive,out of the turns where you actually increase your speed through the total use of the suspension to allow the whole ski to be accessed with the right amount of return. The development of this shock is defiantly a huge improvement over the previous shocks. This ski will make you assume proper body positions or or it will leave you in the back seat. Great for upper intermediate or advanced with good loading skills. Review by Name not given
I got a chance to ski the new All Mountain Race model. I like the mono, the only problem I had was the fit. The back was too low for me. I took a run down a blue to get a feel for the ski. I like the seating position, with your feet a little lower then your hips. Loading on the chair lift was no problem. Just lift as height as you can and let the chair lift do the rest. The unload was smooth, but do to my lack of torso support I over compensated and fell over. The mono-ski skied very nice, soft suspension with a nice return. The mono was very responsive, I only wish it was fitted better for me so I could really let loose. I skied one run and wanted out. I need a higher back to be comfortable. I would love to ski one with I higher back bucket. Review by Tom C.
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One particular drawback to note is that whilst loading onto a chairlift
is easy (an over - centre mechanism allows you to push up really high
with the riggers and then keeps you there 'til the chair scoops you
away) unloading can be tricky. Unload problems are : 1) the bucket is
pretty sticky needing a good push off from the chair with the riggers
and 2) if the snow level on the off ramp is too low then the overcentre
mechanism can stay locked out meaning you can end up skiing off in the
load position - potentially embarrassing, but you can retrieve the
situation by whacking your rigger under the bucket to release the
mechanism or getting a buddy to do that for you.
All Praschbergers are designed to fit into normal ski boot bindings.
Older ones like mine have a couple of flanges at the front which can
interfere with some bindings (e.g. Salomon), but the new ones are
modelled on a ski boot and will fit all binding types.
Suspension is adjustable and spring rating can be specified to the
factory. There is a tendency for the suspension to be on the hard side
(which I like) as there is a relatively short travel. This means that
the Prasch is terrific on-piste and a good racing tool, but in the bumps
and off-piste you may be in for a rough ride.
Review by Dave C.
Review by Stéph Rochon Stéph Rochon
The ISO ski is great for manoeuvring, and has a great angulating system that responds very quickly and accurately according to the amount of "lean" I put into it. A simple movement of the hips is all it takes to make it start angulating. The Slalom skiing (racing) was incredible and 100 times easier on the ISO than in the Yetti, even though I had spent a full season learning to ski the mono. The number of times I fell (and had to be picked up) was *greatly* reduced. Instead of falling every couple of minutes (or metres) I could go for entire runs at a time and count the number of falls I took on one hand. While I was in Kimberley, I had the opportunity to ski some of the other ski trails at the back of the mountain, and was amazed that I could keep up with the group and perform so well. One of the major differences between the ISO and the Yetti was the fluidity of movement and how "smooth" the turns became. Without much effort, the skis "caught" their edge, and I finally felt the movement that my instructors had been trying to teach me since I started sit-skiing. On one occasion, the instructor that had taught me to mono-ski was able to follow me for a few runs, and he was impressed with the way I was turning and kept saying "Wow, what a difference". Many of the other skiiers as well as Paul-Emile Hamel and Julie Hamel said they noticed a difference right away. Where I had been struggling in the Yetti to stay upright and perform smooth turns, I was now begining to look like a more experienced skier rather than the "novice" skier I appeared to be in the Mono. When Paul-Emile, Julie, or other members of the race team gave me tips or advice to follow as to how to improve my skiing, I was able to understand what they had been talking about, and implement the changes within a matter of runs, whereas in the Mono, I would spend my energy (mental and physical) on staying upright and couldn't really think about "technique" as much. It enabled me to become a much better skier, and without the machine, there is no doubt in my mind I wouldn't have done as well as I did at The Nationals in Kimberley. The other skiers that attended were often intrigued by what I was skiing in, and were impressed that everything seemed to be done with such ease. NEGATIVES... One of the things that caused me a few problems was when the mechanism would get "stuck" (although only with me, and the problem could usually be fixed very quickly with little equipment). It seemed to "jam" in the upright position, and wouldn't go down to the skiing level until the lever had been pulled and squeezed a few times. There were also a few times when the mechanism didn't want to "lock" in the skiing position, and the mechanism had to be pulled and squeezed again. There were 2 times when one of the skis seemed to get "stuck" in the upright position, making it so that there was only one ski on the ground, and I lost my balance. (Paul would be able to explain this better to you since I don't really remember what the problem was, and he knows more about the technical side of the machine than I do). Sometimes it felt as though the shock didn't absorb as much as it should have, but that may be due to my weight, and the fact that the machine is meant to accomodate people of varying sizes. END OF NEGATIVES... I'd really like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to use the ISO this past season. I really appreciate it.
Review by Chantal