No secret that RAMP is located in Park City, Utah. So it should come as no surprise to you this is where I make my home as well. Here is Utah we pride ourselves in offering "the greatest snow on earth." So because 90% of the time we are skiing on soft snow, the Groundhog makes a great ski for this area.
I'm going to be talking specifically about the 179cm Groundhog in this review. The ski specs out at 137-100-123, and the radius is 19.39m. It employes the 50%-50% camber and of course a vertical bamboo core. With this ski being 100mm underfoot, and having early rise, I felt this ski would obviously perform well in soft, off-piste snow. I assumed it would get me from point A to point B on groomed or hard terrain, but not with any precision turning.
So I've skied the Groundhog approximately six times now, at Alta Ski Area, Canyons Resort, and Deer Valley. The conditions have wavered between 10" of fresh, to no new snow at all—totally skied out. When I ski, I typically look for off-piste terrain; I like terrain that is more open so I can ski a bit faster. Like most skiers in the world, I love pow—so that's typically what I'm in search of. As you would imagine, especially if you've seen this ski in person—killer tip design and early rise—it shreds fresh and broken powder. What you wouldn't expect is how well this ski does on the groomed terrain. It honestly feels like you are skiing a GS type ski, especially with the nearly 20m turn radius. As the video shows, you can rip big GS turns all the way to your favorite powder stash.
This ski is for the person that gets most of their days in soft snow (so let's call that the Western side of the U.S.), but don't hesitate to pack this ski to take along on your next trip out East. It is certainly strong enough to ski hard pack, and certainly has the horsepower to rip through heavy crud. I'm 6' 1" and weigh about 175 pounds. In this test, I skied the 179 and I like that a lot (it is easy to maneuver and cuts down on fatigue, I am an aging skier at 45 years old!). Here is the deal though, between you and me, I'd ski the 189 if I had a choice—I think it will allow for a little more speed off-piste. The choice is yours though, and I'd encourage you to demo both sizes if you have the opportunity.
Female skiers will want to look to the Beaver, which sports the same dimensions (and female oriented graphics) and rips equally the same as the Groundhog.