Zag Heli Gold 2011 Ski Review

Zag Heli Gold 2011 ski image

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Ski Statistics - Length (cm) / Sidecut (mm) / Radius (m)

181 / 141-95-119 / 15.2
189 / 144-98-121 / 17.5

Manufacturer's Description

With a slightly stiffer flex to further improve its performance on really hard snow, the ZAG HE LI GOLD is THE reference for big powder days. Its snowboard-like design gives it unequalled flotation combined with ease of skiing. What’s more, this ski simply embarrasses other fat skis with its astonishing on-piste ability. An off-piste ski than can really carve up the piste !

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Reader Ski Reviews of the Zag Heli Gold 2011
Zag Heli Gold 2011
Written by Zagboy SCGB on 12/10

I’ve been skiing Zags since around 2002 and I retired my Zag Golds in favour of a pair of Zag Heli Golds last year.  (I’ve also got some Free Ride 75s and have spent quite a bit of time on the Bigs…but the Heli Gold is still my weapon of choice.)

What can I say, they do all the things that Zag is famous for.  Effortlesss floating through powder, ripping through crud, fantastic piste carving.  The only place you get into a little trouble is hard ice…though this ski is a marked improvement over the Gold.  Moguls are no problem, but no freeride ski is ever going to beat a short, straight, narrow, mogul ski.  And the lightness of the Heli Gold means it acquits itself better than most.  Overall, I’ve yet to meet a pair of mainline skis that are anything like as light, responsive, and fun to ski in any conditions.  That’s after extensive in-resort demoing.

And, very durable.  My 7 year old golds were still very springy and spritely despite some pretty hard recreational use.  But time moves on.

Any gripes?  Well, I’m not a big fan of the increasing width of the new skis.  I’m 6’2” and over 100kg and NEVER had any trouble floating through the deepest powder with the smaller waist on the old Gold.  And in return, you had a 192cm ski with a 15m turn radius!  I ended up getting the 181in the new model to try and keep the shorter radius and now don’t have the same stability at speed I enjoyed in the 192s.  Also, not a fan of the new flat cambers.  Zag practically invented rocker with their early rise tips, and I would have preferred to keep that profile.  But I think that view is firmly against “trend” at the minute.

And, Zag still haven’t fixed the durability of the top cap.  Still easily scratched and peeled.  (small plastic tip cover anyone?)

But hey, these are gripes born of love.  Little wishes for a better marriage…and marriage it is, as despite the temptations of many sexy pretenders, I keep coming back to the understated elegance and performance of Zag.

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