I had a chance to demo the Meier Heritage Tour recently and wanted to take the time to write up some initial thoughts. This was my first experience with Meier and when I asked the rep what ski I just had to try, the Heritage Tour was the one he pointed me to. I probably wouldn’t have picked that one given the option, but I thought this guy is more familiar with the line than I. So I grabbed the Heritage Tour and took several laps around the mountain. This is definitely an interesting ski, and I’m glad I had the chance to see what it’s all about. It’s 115mm underfoot, but is as quick as a ski that is 80mm underfoot. At the same time, the ski is as surfy and playful as you might expect from softer powder ski. This isn’t a combination that you often see, and I have to say that I was very intrigued by it. Bottom line, this ski was quite fun, but I didn’t love everything about it. Still, I think it could be a really fun ski for the right skier.
Meier Heritage Tour On-Mountain Video Ski Review
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Bolle Emperor
Conditions: Fresh Pow (6-10″), Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack, Bumps, Trees, Steeps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAATTACK 13
Ski Personality: The Meier Heritage Tour is a surfy and playful powder ski that is quick from edge to edge and appreciates tight short radius turns as much as it does slashing deep snow.
On the Snow Feel: I would say the Heritage Tour is semi-stable. It can have a loose surfy feel in deeper snow, but at the same time I felt like it was fairly stable on edge. Its not an overly stiff or powerful ski, and I didn’t feel like i could every really get it locked in. I think it could be a good fit for that playful or finesse skier that wants to carve turns from time to time, but really enjoys slashing turns in deep snow more.
Powder: The Meier Heritage Tour has a 5-point design that includes a 115mm waist and huge shovel. The nose is quite soft and has a pretty long and moderately steep rocker line. All of this adds up to a ski that planes quickly, and floats quite well. Even with the tight turn radius, this ski is a powder ski first. The tail has quite a bit of tail rocker and I found this ski quite maneuverable and easy to pivot in deeper snow. At speed, I found it easy to slash and slide turns of any shape, and it was really quite fun. The tail is also relatively narrow (compared to the tip), and I found that it seemed to sink just enough to keep those tips pointed up. I also really enjoyed the softer flex profile in tip and tail. I wouldn’t say that this is the powder ski for the hard charger, but really quite fun for the finesse skier that wants to lay a bit more in deep snow than ski at speed.
Turn Initiation and Carving: This is where the ski gets really interesting. I love the quick 17m turn radius. I also love the 5-point design and soft forgiving tip. I found the ski quite easy to to pivot at slower speeds. The ski is light and forgiving, and tipping it one edge really wasn’t all that difficult, even with the 115mm waist. The soft flex was easy to bend into the turn, but it still had some surprising life and rebound energy. While I’m not totally sold on the core, the carbon fiber stringers really help to add life. The ski is also lightning quick for 115mm underfoot. It honestly feels more like a narrow on-piste ski than it does a powder ski. However, I didn’t love the soft flex when trying to drive the skis hard, especially at speed. The 5 point design made it easy to vary turn shape, but I found that at the longer radius I really wanted to slash turns rather than carve. It wasn’t that the edge wouldn’t hold, but the ski is a bit soft to handle the speed. It also seemed a bit loose given the amount of rocker in tip and tail and I felt more comfortable scrubbing speed rather than carving harder. I feel like this could be a really fun ski for the person who wants to carve a lot of short radius turns at slower speeds. The rebound energy really is fun and exciting, I just felt like I couldn’t really open things up as much as I wanted to. This was especially true on hard snow As fun as these where carving short radius turns in softer snow, they were less fun and capable on hard pack. I just found myself wishing for a bit more stiffness in tip and tail, while alo hoping for a bit more bite from the back end of the ski. The tail rocker is what makes this ski so much fun in deeper snow, but I don’t feel like it’s powerful enough to really be fun on hard packed snow. If this was the only ski in you’re quiver, it could handle hard snow fine, just don’t expect it to rail like it does in soft snow.
Speed: I think I was a bit surprised at how fast I could ski the Meier Heritage Tour given the soft flex pattern and significant rocker. I wouldn’t call this ski extra damp, but it was more stable than expected. Still, the ski is a bit soft for my liking to be bombing down steeps at high speed, and I was able to find a speed limit in open terrain. The tips also seemed to chatter a touch when really trying to push fast on rough terrain. So if bombing straight and fast is your thing, the tours may not be the best option. However, if you’re more of a finesse skier that occasionally wants or needs to ski fast, the Tours will be perfectly fine.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: Again this is an area where the Heritage didn’t necessarily shine, but was still certainly capable. I think it’s important to remember that this is a soft flexing powder ski first, and it’s not necessarily designed to blast through chop and variable terrain at speed. Still, I think for the finesse skier that can maneuver variable terrain the Heritage Tour will be quite fun. Yes, the tip is quite soft, but because of the large shovel it does a really nice job of skiing over variable and roughed up terrain. I found just enough stiffness underfoot to absorb the terrain and smooth things out. At the same time, the ski is playful and maneuverable enough to really pick your way through variable terrain easily. I would say that as long as you don’t expect the Heritage Tour to just blast through variable terrain, and you understand that it wants to take a bit more relaxed approach, you’ll really enjoy this ski in variable conditions. It really reminds me a lot of the Soul 7 here. It’s a ski that’s going to roll over variable terrain well, but not blast through.
Edge Hold: The Meier Heritage Tour was really fun in soft snow, whether I was carving at a high edge angle or surfing in the deep. However, I wouldn’t necessarily want this to be my go to ski on hard packed days. Edge hold was okay, but the significant amount of rocker in tip and tail don’t necessarily do wonders for the ski on hard pack. I also found it to be a bit under-powered, and the tail just didn’t lock into a turn as well when the snow was hard.
Bumps: I actually really loved the Meier Heritage Tour for the bumps. The ski was easy to pivot and maneuver at slow speeds. It has a forgiving flex in tip and tail, and is quite quick from edge to edge. It’s not the ski for zipperlining the bumps at speed, but for those who like to take their time and maneuver over and around bumps, this ski was actually a lot of fun.
Bottom Line: I’m very happy I had the chance to ski the Meier Heritage Tour. It’s a very interesting ski. On one hand it’s a really fun and playful powder ski that has solid float and fun maneuverability. It’s easy to slash turns of any shape, and the ski always wanted to keep me above the snow. On the other hand the ski is a finesse carver with quick edge to edge transitions and an exciting and lively rebound. The downside is that the soft flex that makes it so much fun in powder can hinder the overall performance everywhere else. The ski is fun to carve, but it doesn’t have a lot of power. The 5 point design makes it easy to vary turn shape, but the ski isn’t great at speed and doesn’t really want to be bombing straighter longer radius turns. This isn’t for the big powerful charger that just wants to blast through everything. Still, I think this ski could be a really great fit for the playful and artsy soft snow skier that wants to slash turns in deep snow, and yet wants a ski that can carve really fun and energetic short radius turns at slower speeds. I think this is also a really great ski for those who like to maneuver in bumps and are looking for a really fun and capable tree ski for powder days. There isn’t really another ski that feels overly similar. Both the Icelantic Shaman, and Whitedot preacher are powder carvers, but both of those are quite stout. The Meier Heritage Tour is much softer and lighter, making it more forgiving, and more fun in soft snow. I also feel like it makes the Heritage Tour better in bumps and trees. However, the other two skis cater more to aggressive skiers that like speed. They are not quite as good in powder, but are more powerful and better able to handle speed and variable terrain. Bottom line, this ski is a playful and surfy powder ski that can carve quick, energetic, and lively short radius turns, but doesn’t want to be pushed overly fast or hard on variable terrain. Still, it’s surprisingly capable in a lot of different conditions, and I think plenty of people will be able to push this ski hard enough.