Scott Crusade Review
First introduced for the 2008/2009 season, the Crusade has established itself within Scott’s line-up of freeride skis. This season sporting an abstract metallic-style topsheet graphic, the Crusade is a touted as a go-anywhere, ski-anything ski – so how does it measure up on the snow?
The first thing you notice about the Crusade is its unusual shape. Both the tip and the tail are shaped to a shovel-like profile. Scott calls this a “Venturi Tip and Tail”, and its purpose is apparently to avoid too much pressure of snow building up during the initiation and completion of turns. It’s difficult to know how much difference this kind of feature has on the way a ski performs, but if nothing else it gets a few curious glances in the lift queue! The front of the ski remains broad for some distance before tapering in to the waist – Scott state that the ski has a “dual radius” design, where two radii have been combined to allow for both long and shorter turns. The ski is intended to be skied a little longer than other comparable all mountain skis, so the 179cm should be perfect for skiers who usually use around a 174cm ski.
Starting off in powder, the Crusade is excellent. The Venturi tips easily sit clear of the snow, turn initiation is easy and the ski provides excellent float. While that is all good, it’s not so surprising for a 179cm ski with 92mm underfoot. What is impressive, however, is his how the Crusade behaves on piste. Put on edge, the ski carves short and medium length turns like a real piste-focused ski, aided by the relatively short 15m turn radius. It’s a stiff ski and you have to control it in a positive manner – weight in the right place, driving into the turns – but when you do the rewards are immense. This is a ski that you can have great fun with even if you’re confined to the piste, but that will be equally at home in the soft stuff when you get the opportunity. It’s also excellent in mixed conditions, slicing through crud and providing reassuring stability and control.
Downsides? Well, the width underfoot means you can’t change from edge to edge as quickly as you could with a narrower ski, but that is no surprise, and its length and stiffness means it’s not ideal for mogul skiing. Also, while they might add to its powder abilities, the Venturi tips and tails would make fitting skins difficult, so it’s unlikely to be popular as a touring ski.
As a do-anything ski for all mountain performance though, the Crusade is right up there with the very best. Whatever conditions you find on the mountain, if you’re packing this ski you can be assured of having a blast.
- Good performance in powder
- Excellent on-piste ability
- Great in mixed conditions
- Still seemingly relatively rare, so you won’t see too many in the lift queue!
- Width and length means moguls are not its strength
- Difficult to fit skins for touring