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Posted on February 11th, 2011 by Kyle

Icelantic’s The Keeper was the first ski I got on at the NW On Snow Demo. I had been super excited to ride some Icelantic’s since seeing them at the SIA show a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I’m not so sure the conditions did the skis justice. The Keeper is branded as a pow ski by Icelantic and still comes with the traditional camber under foot and the early rise rocker in the tip and tail and is available in Lengths of – 167, 178, 189 and dimensions 150/119/136. However, I was not skiing pow so remember that as you read through. Also keep in mind I only skied them briefly and it was first thing in the morning. So maybe I didn’t do them justice either. But either way here’s how they rode.

These skis loved to be on edge however don’t plan on gettin’ crazy with the turns while you’re on them because the turning radius was gigantic. I actually had a hard time getting them to slide out or come off of their edges also. It was kinda crazy feeling actually; I didn’t have to do hardly anything before I started to feel the edges digging in. And When they dug in they held on tight. It was just an odd feeling though because for as easy as it was to get them there, I just felt that the turning radius was limiting me. Now if you want to get on the rails and bomb down the hill then you’re in luck. But I was in the mood for something that was ready to go play as well, and theses skis were all business and no play. Definitely a stiff ski and I’m pretty sure they don’t know the meaning of the word “butter”. For their shape, and width they’re a pretty light ski. But they really weren’t as agile as I would have hoped. Now I’m assuming if I was to rock them every day I could get used to them no problem. But I didn’t have that luxury, so I’m just saying I wasn’t about to go ski tight trees with them on my feet after my time on them. As a demo, or a ski that you’re just getting on, I think if there was say 4-6” on the ground they would be great. I see The Keeper as an advanced ski, or something you’d ride to get better. The bigger turn radius and the way they just wanted to charge is almost certainly going to make you ski faster. Part of me felt bad for having to return them so soon, I don’t think I really unlocked their potential. But when I compare them to the rest of the skis I was on that day, there really isn’t much I can say. The way The Keeper skied, I really couldn’t say it’s an all mountain ski or for the person who’s looking to build a one ski quiver. But that’s how Icelantic created it, it’s a pow ski that you can take on the groomers. I’ll give them that, but I personally wouldn’t bring it up unless I know there’s going to be new snow. Obviously your best bet is to get out and demo a pair yourself. I would just recommend that it’s during a storm cycle where you can put them to work in a few different types of snow. Not just groomers.

9 Responses to “2012 Icelantic The Keeper: Official Review”

  1. Charlie says:

    I don’t know what length you skied, but the 167 has a 13 meter turn radius, which I find to be rather tight. They are one of the turniest skies I have ever ridden. They definitely inspire me to charge tight trees. Mind you I have them mounted with tele bindings, but I’m sure I could make some tight alpine turns on them.

  2. Kyle says:

    Thanks for the input Charlie, the only thing I can think of is the guy at the booth said they were literally right out of the box and that they can be a bit edgy when they’re that new. It def hasn’t turned me off of the brand, you really never get a full feel for a ski until you’ve ridden it several times anyway I say.

  3. Martin Ottosson says:

    “the turning radius was gigantic”???

    The radiuses on the Keeper lenghts are all really short. Even the 189 has a 18 meter radius, which is more or less the shortest radius you can find on the market for a ski of that size. The 178, and especially the 167 has a sidecut radius that most big mountain skiers find way to short. To me it sounds like the edge bevels on the pair you had was dead flat on the base side. Then any ski is more or less unskiable, if you aren´t a racer with specific wishes. Otherwise I cant understand your review.

  4. Kyle says:

    I don’t know what to tell ya, I know they were brand new never used and I know how they skied. I also know how the other 3 or 4 pairs of skis I demo’d skied that day and while The Keeper’s do have a comparable turning radius they def. didn’t feel like it. Maybe there was something up with the edges, I don’t know. This is only one skiers review, and the best advice is always going to be to ski them for yourself.

  5. Martin Ottosson says:

    Solid work with the review anyway. The net is full of reviews of the type “I just bought a pair of skis for hundreds of dollars, and now I (have to) think that they are the best skis ever made”. Hearing about weaknesses and odd behaviour is a lot more interesting and you are very good at describing you impressions of riding the ski. The reason for that you felt like that is another thing, and there I would say that it´s rather an advice to the Icelantic crew to provide test events with skis that are trimmed to a neutral feeling. To hand out skis with a to aggressive trim is a disaster, marketwise. So is pairs with dull edges. With the wrong trim, any ski can ski like shit, and if it´s done right, you can really maximize the performance of a model.

    Keep up the work, and hope to see more reviews from you in the future.

  6. Kyle says:

    Thanks! Yea I think it’s important to present the truth with how a ski performs even if it was less than perfect. It’s always going to be different for everyone but the more honest the info the better decisions everyone else can make. Especially if they can’t actually demo a pair first. But hearing you rave about the Keeper’s def. make me want to ride them again to see if maybe it was just that pair I demo’d.

  7. John says:

    I rode some brand new Icelantic Nomads last year and had the same “edge” issue. Like you mentioned, the skis didn’t really want to come off edge, they just wanted to keep turning…. Turns out all I had to do was de-tune the tips and about 6″ in the tails and that changed everything. The ride great now.

    I’m pretty sure Icelantics are pressed by Never Summer here in Denver and they are notorious for having super sharp edges right out of the factory.

  8. Jason says:

    Thanks for the tip John, you would think the rep would have known to de-tune them, but I’ll remember to keep a gummy in my pocket at the next demo.

  9. Bob Gorin says:

    Another thing about icelantics fatter skis is that the bases can be a bit concave. I’m not sure whether this is something that happens when they cure a bit. When i took my 2012s in for a tune prior to using them, the shop guy was surprised at how railed they were. Had the same issue with the Shamans.

    I know that the 2013 Keepers now come with a factory base grind. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Keepers, along with the Shamans definitely need their tips and tails detained.

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