Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tecnica Cochise Light/Cochise Pro 130

2012/13 Tecnica Cochise Light/Cochise Pro 130 

For years, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect balance of downhill performance and back country mobility in a touring set up.  I like to ski dynamic lines with speed, to point it, and land good size airs when the conditions warrant. I also want a set up that can lay down carves on wind buff, inspire confidence in steep/technical/firm terrain, and is still playful enough to wiggle though the trees on a storm day. Enter the Tecnica/Blizzard Cochise line.

Tecnica and Blizzard have made a beautiful match and are leading the charge in the Dynafit compatible performance category.  Two boot models are offered, the Cochise Light and Cochise Pro 130. Both answer the call for a high performance tour-able ski boot. In my Cochise Lights, I can rally BC laps in the morning and head straight to KT without changing my footwear (I’ve waited years for this). After 6 weeks in the boot, I can confidently say they are my favorite ski boots …ever, period.  

  Testing grounds:
From Squaw Valley’s Chimney to Chute 75 I’ve rallied these suckers hard in bounds. BC testing ranged from laps on Tahoe’s West shore, to big vert days in the High Sierra on Matterhorn Peak and Red Slate.

The skiing support these boots offer is not only far better than any BC I’ve skied, they rival my fixed flex, race oriented Tecnica Diablos for performance yet walk as well as my previous Dynafit compatible boot, the Dynafit Titans Ultra Light.  Forward flex is smooth and progressive and does not feel like it ‘bottoms out’ at the end of the boots flex range. Ski control is responsive and precise. 
The Cochise Light shells measured 3.3 lbs. on the digital scale at home. For comparison, the Titan UL came in at 3.4 lbs. (Note: Weighing/comparing shells offers a more apples to apples comparison for me because my liner of choice is a Intuition wrap.)
For me, the fit was not perfect out of the box. I chose to drop 1 full size have the boot stretched by a boot fitter. At first I was skeptical that we could get the boot to fit and wondered if I’d made a sizing mistake, but alas, the boots now fit perfectly.  The Cochise Light is a 120 flex, 100mm last boot, the Pro 130 a true 130 flex, 98mm last. Both are a touch big for me in the vertical volume department, hence the downsize/stretch. The stance in the boot follows the current trend in race boots and is somewhat upright. I shimmed my heels and put spoilers behind the cuffs to put me in my preferred position for skiing aggressively. 

Wondering which boot is right for you? I’d say skiers that spend 50%+ of their time in bounds go for the Pro 130.  Spend most of your time in the BC, go Cochise Light. Either way, you’ll be a happy camper in these boots.  Looking for a second opinion? Read what Clem Smith from Stormy Day Sales has to say.