Advanced all-mountain skier
Craig's rating of this ski:
Considering his skiers profile:
"All-mountain skis will be my choice when conditions vary from firm to 6" of fresh snow. Better edge hold and carving capabilities should be expected compared to my powder skis. They should be competent in crud and soft bumps."
Weight:82 kg180 lbs
My favourite all-mountain skis:
1. Renoun Endurance 98
2. Liberty Variant 113
2. Rossignol Experience 88 HD
To all my reviews
When I pulled the Renoun Z-90 out of the box, my wife quickly commented "nice graphics". The glossy graphics are very attractive. The ski has a very traditional shape, with its widest point at the tip of the ski, indicating you will be able to utilize most of this skis edge. Nearly full camber profile (very mild and very short rocker in tip) and a flat rounded off tail, for easy release. There are so many skis on the market, I admit, I try to pre-qualify and limit the skis I review to those that I believe will match my profile. In my earlier review, I was impressed with the overall performance of the Renoun Endurance 98, and it's weight to damping ratio. The Z-90 adds a layer of titanal to the laminate for a bit more damping, and its weight is comparable to some of the top rated high performance skis in this width category.
I am reviewing the 2017-18 version of this ski, with its revised recommended boot mount point, by my quick measure is: 31.25 inches, straight pull from the tail to recommended scribe mark on ski. The skis are mounted with Marker Griffon demo bindings, which add some damping, and stiffness, with only a very slight increase in weight, and similar boot ride height to fixed bindings. I would rate the flex as medium for this width underfoot, perhaps 6-7 tail and tip. The laminate consists of a maple core, triaxial glass, carbon, full sheet of titanal, and 8 channels (13-15% of core) of the unique HDT (Hyper Damping Technology) material. I am reviewing the 180cm length, which is currently their longest available length in this width. I occasionally ski the longest length available (as I did with the Renoun Endurance 98), but usually it is the next size down from the longest length, for most manufacturers. This 180 length is ideal for my 6'1", 185 lb profile, but may not be enough for some larger aggressive skiers.
Stated radius, is a short 15.5m for the 180cm length. Radius feels a bit longer on my feet, but it is a excellent carver at all turn radius, and loves high edge angles. I did get into the 50+ mph range on this ski, on uncrowded and consistent groomed snow, with long radius high edge angle turns, and my nerves were going to fail before the ski was (must be the HDT). Edge engagement was also excellent, and it was difficult to make this ski chatter. Very stable at speed, with very good damping, for a ski in this width category. Competent, and smooth, over firm crud. This ski prefers a weight forward (and driving the turn from the tip, with higher edge angles) to neutral position, but is forgiving if you get caught leaning on the back of your boots. I felt well balanced on the ski, at the revised factory recommended boot mount point, and did not see a need to try alternative positions. "Pugski" has a thread, on this skis early discussion on suggested mount point. Factory edge angles are a forgiving 1 degree bottom, and 1 degree side. Skilled skiers who demand high edge grip, may want to try alternative edge angles. E.g. 1 bottom 2 degree side, or machine tune down to a flatter .5 bottom and 1 degree side, which my demo had.
I grant skis a 5 star rating in this width, if they demonstrate excellent performance all over the mountain, and impressive bump and off-piste qualities. The Z-90 meets all this criteria, and earns it a 5 star status. It's moderate weight, medium-even flex, very good damping, and generous sweet spot, all contribute to this skis bump capabilities. Carve wider spaced bumps, or run the zipper line, it's all...good! I was able to ski multiple bump runs, with 5 inches of fresh. This Renoun was excellent in these conditions. It is apparent, that technology, like we see in the Renoun Z-90, have brought skis to a new level of versatility, and performance, even if it comes at a price!
Vail did get a wind blown 2-8 inches (official report 5 inches) during my tenure with this Renoun. The medium flex, and short rockered wide tip, had surprisingly, excellent and stable float for this width, and was superb in the wind blown untracked 8 inch deep areas. Below the fresh was firm and crusty from the warm 44f degree sunny previous day, and conditions became inconsistent later in the day. This 90mm underfoot was very good in these conditions, and transitioned in and out of the piles and skied off areas confidently.
Who is this ski for?
- excellent one ski quiver
- perfect narrow ski in your two ski quiver
- if you like to ski the whole mountain, groomers, bumps, off-piste, and powder
Renoun about the z90
"Distinctive for its innovative design, the Z-Line is your performance carving ski in every condition. A stunning meld of classic architecture and modern technology brings you unparalleled stability and control. In the past, the design of an on-piste ski left it landlocked on groomers. But with HDT™ in the core, we freed it up for any slope: early morning corduroy, trees, bumps and late day crud.", says Renoun.