I was actually really pleasantly surprised by the Icelantic Sabre 99. Almost every Icelantic I have skied has been playful, and smeary, and not necessarily designed for the front-side groomers. To see them come out with an all-mountain front-side lineup with the Sabre 89 and 99 was surprising, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the end, I was impressed, and really enjoyed my time on the Sabre 99. I found it to be a very fun, and capable carver. It was responsive, lively, energetic, and surprisingly quick from edge to edge. At the same time it felt torsionally stiff, and could handle variable speed, and terrain relatively well. Although I found myself comparing it to the Rossignol 100 HD, and RMU Super CRM, I wouldn’t put it on the same level as those skis. Instead, the Icelantic Sabre 99 feels like an energetic carver that is capable off piste. It will probably better suit those who don’t ski super fast or aggressive all the time, and want a bit more energy and liveliness on groomed terrain.
Icelantic Sabre 99 On-Mountain Video Ski Review
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Bolle Emperor
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Marker Griffon
Conditions: 5″ Fresh, Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack
Ski Personality: The Icelantic Sabre 99 feels like an energetic all-mountain carver that is capable at speed and of piste.
On the Snow Feel: Not surprisingly the ski has a semi-stable feel. Like most Icelantic’s there is a playful side to this ski, but for the most part it feels locked in and willing to carve on edge.
Powder: I haven;t had a chance to ski the Icelantic Sabre 99 in any deep powder, but in the 5 or so inches I did get the ski in, it was quite fun. It felt maneuverable enough to feel smeary and playful, and had enough rise in tip and tail to keep the ski loose. The tip is also quite large and does a decent job of keeping the ski on top. The 99mm waist isn’t fantastic for really deep days, but provides a bit of float when you need it.
Turn Initiation and Carving: It did take me several runs to figure out the sweet spot on the Sabre 99, but once I did I found it relatively easy to ski. The large shovel does make initiation a bit more challenging, and I really had to drive the ski to get it on edge. Still, the ski seemed extra responsive. Tipping it on, the ski is eager to turn. As long as I was willing to work a bit, it was relatively easy to bend the ski. Rebound energy was really good, and it has a fun and lively feel. Edge to edge transitions were also quite quick. The skis does want to be on edge, but I did find that I could vary turn shape moderately well. It does have a semi-playful feel, but I did find it was happier on edge than smearing turns with a flatter base.
Speed: I would say the Icelantic Sabre 99 was solid at speed, but it didn’t really blow me away. It’s a moderately stiff ski, both longitudinally and torsionally so there is some power underfoot. However, it doesn’t feel nearly as substantial as the RMU Super CRM or Rossi 100 HD. Still, although those skis are powerful, they don’t feel nearly as energetic as the Sabre 99. So if you’re looking for a higher top end with less energy, go 100 HD, but if you’re looking for a slower top end speed, but more energy and liveliness, maybe the Sabre 99 is the way to go.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: Again, I would say that the Icelantic Sabre 99 did well in variable snow, but didn’t blow me away. The large shovel does seem to do a really nice job absorbing terrain, but it doesn’t feel quite as solid underfoot to really smooth things out. I found the ski to be perfectly capable off piste, just not overly exciting or amazing.
Bottom Line: I feel like this was a really good attempt by Icelantic to make an all-mountain carver. The Sabre 99 is really quite fun and energetic, making me want to slow down and make more turns down the mountain. At the same time, it holds up moderately well at speed, and in variable snow. I think this could be a daily driver for a lot of people. It’s performance didn’t blow me away all over the mountain, but was still pleasantly surprising in a lot of ways. Bottom line, if you want a fun and energetic carver that can ski all over the mountain, the Sabre 99 might be a solid Choice. If you’re looking for a hard charging powerful and aggressive ski, then look else-where.
This review reflects the OPINION of our testers based on their personal experience with a particular product. We do not guarantee that you will have the same experience with, or opinion of, a product as our testers did. This review
should only be used as a general guide.