The Rocky Mountain Underground P802 was a fun ski for me, but didn’t blow me away in any one area. It’s built as a “quiver of one” ski for the east coasters, and I think that it has the versatility to be so. It’s not quite the hard-charger as the SCRM, and caters a bit more to less aggressive intermediate or advanced skiers than it does to the hard charging expert skier. Still, it was fun and energetic on the groomers, easy to vary turn shape, and capable in rough variable terrain.
Rocky Mountain Underground P802 On Snow Ski Review
Video Outerwear: Trew Cosmic Jacket – North Face Freedom Pant
Ski Size: 178cm
Days On Snow: 1
Conditions: Groomers, Soft Chop, Hard Pack
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Marker Griffon
On the Snow Feel: The Rocky Mountain Underground P802 feels relatively stable, but has the ability to break free for a looser more playful feel when you need it to. Still, I wouldn’t call the ski playful, since a full camber underfoot will keep you a bit more locked in than skis with more rocker in tip and tail.
Powder: I didn’t have a chance to ski the Rocky Mountain Underground P802 in deep snow, but at 96mm underfoot I wouldn’t expect it to excel. The P802 has a full camber profile, with a small amount of rise in tip in tail. However, the rise isn’t very gradual and will push snow more so than float on top. Skis with a more gradual rise tend to plane much smoother and more easily. The tail will sink a bit to help keep the tip up, but with a 96mm waist, you can’t expect a ton of float. Still, the rise in tip and tail will help to keep the ski maneuverable and loose in the deeper snow, allowing you to have a bit of fun. The P802 is capable in deeper snow, but definitely better suited to shallow snow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: It took me a little while to find the sweet spot on the Rocky Mountain Underground P802. It has a relatively forgiving flex, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was easy to get on edge. It feels moderately light-weight, but the traditional shape lacks the taper, rise, and low swing weight of many skis on the market today. The plus side is that the P802 has a longer effective edge, and will be better on hard snow (more on that below). Most tapered skis respond as soon as you begin to tip them on edge, while traditional shapes tend to take a bit higher edge angle. The P802 didn’t break this mold, and I found that it did take a decent amount of input to get the ski to respond. At slower speeds the ski was somewhat hesitant. The forgiving flex did help, and at lower edge angles the ski was easy to skid and steer into turns, but it just wasn’t all that exciting. The ski wanted to be on a higher edge angle, but it took some speed to get it there. I found that once I began to drive the ski and push my shins into my boots, the ski would respond really well. The moderate flex would bend into the turn and respond with a decent amount of energy. Heavy aggressive skiers will probably find it a bit underpowered, but I thought it was fun and energetic. At 96mm underfoot it was also pretty quick and nimble. It preferred moderate to long radius turns (22m @ 178cm), but was easy enough to vary turn shape in technical terrain. As long as I stayed balanced I found the tail would hold pretty well, but if I got a bit too far forward I did notice it wash out a couple of times. It’s a capable and fun ski on groomers, but I can see it being overpowered by heavier aggressive skiers. It is forgiving enough for intermediate skiers, but probably best suited to those who can get it up on a high edge angle to get more life and energy out of the ski.
Speed: The Rocky Mountain Underground P802 has a solid maple wood core that does decent at speed, but doesn’t feel as powerful or damp as the Super CRM. The P802 has a softer flex, and lacks the two sheets of titanal that are found in the SCRM, so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t handle the speed quite as well. The Maple core does help to dampen the ski a bit, and as long things weren’t too chopped up, I felt like I could go pretty fast and still have the stability I like.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: This is another area the Rocky Mountain Underground P802 does well in, but didn’t necessarily blow me away. The rise in tip and tail helped to keep the ski maneuverable in variable conditions, and the maple core is damp enough to smooth out variable terrain. However, I found that if I carried too much speed, the moderate flex would allow the ski to be overpowered and deflected. I could combat this by taking a more fluid approach, allowing my legs to absorb some of the shock. I found I could maneuver pretty well, and it was actually quite fun to bounce through the terrain. As long as you don’t expect the ski to blast through everything in your way, you’ll find it perfectly capable in rough terrain.
Edge Hold: The Rocky Mountain Underground P802 has a full camber profile, and a relatively traditional shape (no taper) which gives it a longer effective edge. Edge hold was good, and I felt confident speeding down hard packed groomers. However, I did notice the tail was a bit washy at times. The twin tip design is great for releasing the tail and having some fun, but it’s not nearly as locked in as a stiff flat tail. I felt it did fine on hard packed groomers, but probably not as great on ice.
Switch: The P802 has a twin tip tail that allows you to ski switch moderately well. I still felt like it prefers a more directional approach, but it’s always nice knowing you can turn it around when you want to.
Jumps and Jibs: The medium flex and traditional camber give the Rocky Mountain Underground P802 a decent amount of pop, and it was quite fun popping off of rollers. The P802 probably wouldn’t be my go to for the park, I could see the P802 being plenty capable for jibbers and jumpers. If you’re the type of skier that spends most of the time skiing frontside groomers, and may occasionally venture into the park, the P802 should hold up just fine.
Bottom Line: I think the Rocky Mountain Underground P802 could be a really fun ski for the intermediate to advanced skier that spends the majority of their time on the groomers, but wants to venture off piste from time to time. I think it will be a bit underpowered for heavy aggressive skiers, especially experts that really want to drive the ski. However, I found that it can actually be quite fun and energetic for lighter skiers. It still wants to be on a high edge angle, and responds much better at speed than it does while going slow. Lighter skiers that are willing to drive the ski a bit will be rewarded with a lively rebound. It’s fun at speed, and holds up pretty well thanks to a damp maple core. It’s doesn’t inspire quite as much confidence as the Super CRM, but holds up pretty well for a ski without metal. It does well in the chop, but won’t blast through like a burlier ski can. The P802 could be a fun and versatile ski for the right person, but it’s not necessarily a ski that is going to blow you away in any one category.