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Guest GalaxyToad

D3 X5

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Guest GalaxyToad

Ok folks, I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seats for this one so here it is.

I am an HO skier. In a very short time I have worked through the Charger, CDX, and more recently the Phantom Truth. All of these skies will measure up to the highest standard for quality, finish and performance. Given that, I never turn down the chance to ride and "evaluate" skis from other manufacturers. Earlier this spring I rode a Carbonworx Outlaw so I might make some references to that experience.

The short answer: I really like the X5...a lot.

Alibis:

No course access.

It was damn cold.

I took a season ending crash 2 weeks ago so I'm doing mostly 2 handed drills.

Paul and Kari Crawford found me a 68.5" demo return with HO bolt pattern, for what I considered the deal of a life time so I jumped on it. The ski came from the factory and is beautiful right out of the box. Very high end fit and finish. The same scale that puts my CDX at 5.8lbs, Phantom at 5.0 lbs, and CW at 3.1 lbs places the X5 at 4.2 lbs. The hardware (inserts, fin clamp, wing) is outstanding. I really like the graduated markings on the fin, and the clamp is very easy to adjust. Fortunately D3 has now posted measuring practices on their site because I did it the way I was taught (The way Andy Mapple, Wade Cox, April Coble, Chris Eller, does it) and it wasn't even close to the factory set. Then I did it their way and it was almost right on. I have it set to 0.750" off the tail, 2.525" deep, 6.920" long and because the water is cold, 9 degrees on the wing inverted. The front boot ended up 1 hole forward of center to get the recommended 30.4375" from the tail, and then I just placed the back boot the same distance from the front as it was on my Phantom. (18.something" can't remember).

The water was 50 degrees and the air was 48. I started out at 34mph and was comfortable right from the start. The ski is light but stable, very fast, and the best part was its ability to conserve energy through the turn even when I tried to push on the back of it. I really like being able to carry that much speed through the turn. It makes it easier for me to time my pick up off the ball (that wasn't really there) as opposed to my Phantom that really snaps around but at the expense of losing most of that speed. Schnitz's 1 and only complaint with the X5 was that it hunted on the glide. Our water was good but not perfect, we had a short time where 10-15mph wind put some chop out there to go through and I braced myself because the Phantom really transfers that to you but the X5 really didn't. I specifically did some "long pull" drills that end in a fast edge change and glide but never got that hunting thing except when I pushed the nose down in the glide and even then it wasn't a distraction.

For anyone considering a D3 my advice is go for it. Any fleeting thoughts I may have had about sending it back, not liking it, thinking it might be too short or too wild are gone. I'm keeping it. Now my biggest problem will be keeping Hoover from running off with it.

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Hoover

Well, I’ll have to say the X5 is a very impressive ski and I might steal it from GT. Innocent.gif

I started course skiing many years ago on a Kidder Redline (like many of us did), then went on to HO VTI, VTX, CDX, and Phantom. I have had the chance to demo a few as well. But, always came back to the HO. This time, I don’t think so, but I need some more time on it. Dontknow.gif

The X-5s performance in the cool conditions and cold water were spectacular. The wind kicked up a little to 10-15 while we were out, the chop didn’t bother the X5 a bit. My phantom in chop is all over the place. I ran at 34-36 MPH then dropped down to 32 and the performance of the ski did not seem to drop off as I got deeper in the water. The turns were super smooth and held on all the way around to the pick up carrying a lot of speed, then instant acceleration across the wakes. It definitely made me want more, yet my cold hands and frozen forehead wouldn’t let me continue much longer. Tomorrow, GT and I are going to ring it out some more, in the same conditions (I’m wearing a wool hat though). I’m sure GT or I will have more thoughts.

I’m very anxious to demo a few others before I make my next buy though. Among my interests for this year are the Goode 9500 and 9700, D3 Nomad, HO Monza, and the new Jobe MPD (Andy’s new ski). There is an awful lot of talk about the Outlaw on this forum. I tried the Outlaw, and have absolutely nothing good to say about it other than it is light and had really cool airplane graphics. GT’s report on it said enough. Maybe we had a bad ski, but that makes me wonder a lot about the quality of craftsmanship. Fin and boot set up do not cause the things that ski wanted to do, But, if it works for your skiing style, have at it, we are all different one way or another.

GT, Don’t read the last line!!!!! Tongue.gif

Everyone else, If GTs new X5 shows up missing, don’t tell him I took it.Cheers.gif

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There are all different kinds of styles and techniques so it's fitting to try all different kinds of skis to see what works best. The goal is to conquer as many bouys as possible. That's the one thing we all have in common.

Thanks for the review and I'll look forward to more details.

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Based on Skisix's comments on a previous post, I am considering a new stick. I still have a brand new 68" CDX with double animals in the plastic as a back-up to my 3 year old CDX. The CFO isn't going to like to hear about me considering another new ski.

I started on KD and will have to try the Outlaw and the D3. I tried an HO Truth and was not impressed even after several set-up changes.

Thanks for the review!

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Chef23

Congrats on the new stick. I have put mine away for the winter but I was starting to get the feel for it in the course. I ran the equal of my best for the year on the new ski before we wrapped up. I am looking forward to the spring and being a few pounds lighter when I get back on it.

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UWSkier

That was one ski I'd hoped to try this season and didn't get a chance to. Just kinda ran out of summer to wait for one. It's on the list for next year...

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LakeOneSkier

GT,

Thanks for the info. A few questions though...

What do you weigh?

What is the length of your current Phantom Truth?

As Hoover stated above most of us started on the KD Redline Graphite. I've now had mine for 25 years and it still gets use every summer, only now by the Wally's who think they can ski the course. ROFL.gif

I'm currently on a 2001 Phantom and will be looking for a new ride this spring. Haven't skied a whole lot the last few years so I haven't worried about it but I expect this coming year to be different. Planning on trying out the X5, Goode 9700 and Sixam.

Edited by Clay

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Hoover
GT,

Thanks for the info.  A few questions though...

What do you weigh?

What is the length of your current Phantom Truth?

As Hoover stated above most of us started on the KD Redline Graphite.  I've now had mine for 25 years and it still gets use every summer, only now by the Wally's who think they can ski the course.  ROFL.gif

I'm currently on a 2001 Phantom and will be looking for a new ride this spring.  Haven't skied a whole lot the last few years so I haven't worried about it but I expect this coming year to be different.  Planning on trying out the X5, Goode 9700 and Sixam.

Clay,

GT and I are both around 210-215. I also have been skiing on an 01 Phantom 68. Gt's 04 Phantom Truth was a 70. I think I liked the 04 better, but it may have been a factor of length. Don't know? What I do know is that we ran the X5 again today in the cold (48 Air 52 Water), and I am really enjoying it. I highly recommend giving it a try, as well as the others you and I have listed. There is a lot of cool stuff out there to try next year. GT and I are not ready to give up on this year yet though. Cheers.gif

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edwin

Thanks for the report, couple questions:

1) do you find yourself with the same weight back attitude on the X5?

2) do you really think it would be that hard to take the X5 from GT given that he's on the somewhat disabled list?

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Hoover
Thanks for the report, couple questions:

1)  do you find yourself with the same weight back attitude on the X5?

2)  do you really think it would be that hard to take the X5 from GT given that he's on the somewhat disabled list?

Edwin,

Q1. No, But I have done a lot of work this year with exaggerating my hips up, and that has helped me get off the back alot on my CDX and Phantom. This, I think is why I am ransitioning to the X5 very well.

Q2. I have about 6-8 inches of reach on him and about a foot of height, I should be able to take him. I probably shouldn't pick on the handicapped though!

Cheers.gif

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This just isn't fair. You guys are getting me all pumped up and I can't do a thing about it. I just pulled the course and boat this past weekend. Cry.gif

BTW I have a brand new CDX 68 with double Animals still in the plastic in my Ski closet. Great minds think alike... Thumbup.gif

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So, have either of you ran the ski through a course? The course itself isn't really necessary I'm just interested in how you think the ski approaches the turn and then finishes the turn? Do you like that aspect about the ski or is it foreign to you? Typically, with this design of ski if you ride it on the back, it won't turn at all.

"The X5's strength for me is when I start pushing on the tail it keeps the turn circle more continuous and does not slow down as much"

GT, referring to your above comment, at that same point in time try pressing down on the front of the ski, driving the tip of the ski and notice how it comes around.

What are your observatiosn about turn radius? When you mention cross course speed, are you saying that you get across the wakes faster and would be to the next bouy with more time to spare? or are you saying that the feeling of acceleration is more predominent on the HO?

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Hoover
So, have either of you ran the ski through a course?  The course itself isn't really necessary I'm just interested in how you think the ski approaches the turn and then finishes the turn?  Do you like that aspect about the ski or is it foreign to you?  Typically, with this design of ski if you ride it on the back, it won't turn at all. 

No, No course. I played imaginary course today though. (Strong wake crossings, glide, then decide when to turn) I was very impressed with it's ability to maintain the speed and give me a tight turn without letting go(stalling then slipping) then continuing with the pickup and quick acceleration cross course. The CDX and Phantoms would usually let go about 3/4 way through the turn then I would slide the tail around until the pick up. It was kind of a cool feeling, but on the verge of out of control. Different fin adjustment didn't help. I could get rid of the slide, but loose the radius, or I could go the other way, but the ski stalled out earlier.

Cheers.gif

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Was that you in the pics from the "nooner" thread?

If so I would start by moving the boots, both of them forward one more hole, and see how it initiates the turn and finishes, should quicken the wake crossing too. Then move the fin to suit the sharpness of turn you desire.

Have fun!

So, have either of you ran the ski through a course?  The course itself isn't really necessary I'm just interested in how you think the ski approaches the turn and then finishes the turn?  Do you like that aspect about the ski or is it foreign to you?  Typically, with this design of ski if you ride it on the back, it won't turn at all.  

No, No course. I played imaginary course today though. (Strong wake crossings, glide, then decide when to turn) I was very impressed with it's ability to maintain the speed and give me a tight turn without letting go(stalling then slipping) then continuing with the pickup and quick acceleration cross course. The CDX and Phantoms would usually let go about 3/4 way through the turn then I would slide the tail around until the pick up. It was kind of a cool feeling, but on the verge of out of control. Different fin adjustment didn't help. I could get rid of the slide, but loose the radius, or I could go the other way, but the ski stalled out earlier.

Cheers.gif

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Hoover

Was that you in the pics from the "nooner" thread?

If so I would start by moving the boots, both of them forward one more hole, and see how it initiates the turn and finishes, should quicken the wake crossing too. Then move the fin to suit the sharpness of turn you desire.

Have fun!

Nope,That was GT. I must have been moving way too fast for today's photagrapher. All he got was me at the dock and on the back of the boat. I'm going to have to fire him!!

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" I think the set-up on the ski is near perfectly neutral"

That's may be the case but you are coming from a ski that has taught you to ride back, not centered. Moving your mass forward now will help you to stay centered, and then when you get adjusted you can start to move back again.

"one is a split second before laying into a gate shot "

That's the shot that makes me think that your weight needs to be more forward. There is a lot of ski out of the water there. Think of standing on a steep slope facing down. You have to flex you knees and ankles to keep from falling down. Now, translate that picture to your stance on the ski.

"I feel as if the Phantom gathers up speed quicker and easier"

I think that what you are feeling is true, I think that the physics of it are that the HO slows down more at the finish of the turn and thus has to accelerate more to get to the other side in the same amount of time. While the X5 maintains more speed and thus doesn't have to accelerate as much to do the same thing. The speed is not something I want or don't want. I think of it more as I want to create a lot of time to make my edge change and pick my spot to start my release. This is what Terry Winter is good at. To have that kind of time after the second wake, I have to get through the first wake quickly.

"Both skis are going to require a substantial investment on my part to develop my skill set."

But that's the fun of it! You know what I think. Thanks for posting, you fired me up and I actually went out yesterday. 65 air and I think it was low 50's water and I had fun! That was my first set since skiing at Bell Aqua and it didn't suck as bad as I thought it would. I wasn't running 38 but was focusing on that controlled timing to pick my spot to release.

Was that you in the pics from the "nooner" thread?

If so I would start by moving the boots, both of them forward one more hole, and see how it initiates the turn and finishes, should quicken the wake crossing too.  Then move the fin to suit the sharpness of turn you desire. 

Have fun!

The thought crossed my mind, but I think the set-up on the ski is near perfectly neutral. The order of the day was pull outs, long pull drill, short pull drill, finding the balance point on the ski, that kind of "don't get yourself killed right away" stuff. All 2-handed because of the stabbing pain factor (the starts are bad enough). On the nooner thread there are only 3 pics and none of them tell much of a story. One is just starting the pull out, one is a split second before laying into a gate shot and the 3rd is well into the unload for the edge change. Nothing worth looking at. Our photographer isn't a skier so he wouldn't know. I believe there needs to be more effort on my part to stay over the middle of the ski before I ever change the set-up.

As far as my cross course comment goes, I feel as if the Phantom gathers up speed quicker and easier. No radar gun results , just a feeling. That being said, the X5 seems to be faster through the turn. It arrives just in front of me exiting the turn without any real effort to 'gather it up' the way I do with the Phantom. Eventually I see that translating into an ability to let the ski ski out farther because I'm more certain that it will be back:) I've said it before, I like them both a lot for different reasons. It's just time for me to decide how I'm going to proceed. Both skis are going to require a substantial investment on my part to develop my skill set.

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Chef23
So, have either of you ran the ski through a course?  The course itself isn't really necessary I'm just interested in how you think the ski approaches the turn and then finishes the turn?  Do you like that aspect about the ski or is it foreign to you?  Typically, with this design of ski if you ride it on the back, it won't turn at all. 

"The X5's strength for me is when I start pushing on the tail it keeps the turn circle more continuous and does not slow down as much"

GT, referring to your above comment, at that same point in time try pressing down on the front of the ski, driving the tip of the ski and notice how it comes around. 

What are your observatiosn about turn radius?  When you mention cross course speed, are you saying that you get across the wakes faster and would be to the next bouy with more time to spare?  or are you saying that the feeling of acceleration is more predominent on the HO?

I have had my X5 in the course a few times. On my good side (LFF) it turns like a banshee. On my off side I have been having a little trouble finding the sweetspot for the ski. When I am in the right spot it comes around quickly. At times I feel like it is slow coming around (I think I am too much on the tail) and occassionally it comes around too quickly when I try to get on the nose.

I am not sure if the fin is set up perfectly because I don't have calipers and angle gauges. These are something I need for next year to try and perfect the setup.

I was running (before we took the course out) 15 and 22 regularly at 34 mph and gettiing 3-4 at 28. This matches what I was running on my Burner before I got the new ski. I think the X5 has a lot more potential because it turns better where at 28 off on the Burner it felt a little slow in the turns.

I also wonder if I am a little heavy for the 68.5" X5 right now at 230 lbs. I am planning to lose 20 pounds before the spring so hopefully that won't be an issue.

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This just isn't fair.  You guys are getting me all pumped up and I can't do a thing about it.  I just pulled the course and boat this past weekend.    Cry.gif 

BTW I have a brand new CDX 68 with double Animals still in the plastic in my Ski closet.  Great minds think alike...  Thumbup.gif

Hey Rip, come on down Sunday, we're skiing rain or shine....or should I say snow or shine Biggrin.gif

Sorry I missed your post on Friday GT. It was 61 degrees Saturday and Sunday up here and the boats are out-bummer. The lake was glass. Maybe we can get together down your way in the Spring. You will no doubt be ahead of our Spring thaw by a few weeks. Thanks!

Edited by [email protected]

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Chef23
Mark that is exactly what that short pull drill is all about. It helps you find the balance point of the ski. It's also a really good workout. It's like skiing a short compressed course. I love it and it helps get your leverage positions on both side to be the same.

My opinion is that if the fin in showing the "zero" line and measures ~.750" from the tail just leave it alone for now. As far as your body weight, we could all be lighter, but virtually every person I could find that was riding the 69.5" X4 (due to height or weight) went to the 68.5" X5 because it rode higher in the water. Keep pluggin' man. Your description of where the problem lies sounds right on.

I have to admit I didn't spend a lot of time on the ski before I jumped in the course with it. I just started out at 32mph instead of 34. I did move the binding forward after the first set.

I will try the drill in the spring before we get the course in. I have a hard time not jumping in the course when it is installed and the water is calm.

What are you running your wing at right now?

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