Movement Race Pro 77 Review
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Movement Race Pro 77
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|Pros||Wicked light, serviceable firm snow performance||Stable, damp, versatile, floaty, balanced||Light for the uphill, balanced downhill performance for all conditions||All-around performance, damp, inexpensive, available, sweet-spot weight||Fast float, incredible weight (for the size), acceptable poor snow performance|
|Cons||Must ski slow and very deliberately in most conditions||Moderately heavy, not optimal firm snow performance||Expensive, generalized downhill performance||Soft and damp||Abysmal, scary firm snow performance, specialized application|
|Bottom Line||Specialized light touring skis for fast uphilling and careful downhilling||This is our favorite ski for modern, all-around backcountry skiing, bringing traditional reliability, modern dimensions, and performance balance||Choose this ski for all-year, all-purpose human-powered skiing in any region of the world||Inexpensive, proven all-around performance that's suitable for a wide variety of backcountry skiers and ski conditions||Among the most specialized skis in our test, it's optimized for the deepest of days in the deepest of regions|
|Rating Categories||Movement Race Pro 77||Blizzard Zero G 105||Movement Alp Tracks...||K2 Wayback 106||Voile HyperDrifter|
|Firm Snow (20%)|
|Crud and Poor Snow (20%)|
|Stability at Speed (15%)|
|Specs||Movement Race Pro 77||Blizzard Zero G 105||Movement Alp Tracks...||K2 Wayback 106||Voile HyperDrifter|
|Weight Per Pair||3.8 lbs||6.7 lbs||5.6 lbs||6.9 lbs||7.0 lbs|
|Weight Per Ski||856g, 866g
|Weight Per Pair||1722g||3025g||2542g||3075g||3130g|
|Weight Per Surface Area Ratio, g/cm^2||0.54||0.72||0.62||0.71||0.64|
|Available Lengths (cm)||152, 160, 168, 174||164, 172, 180, 188||170, 177, 185||172, 179, 186||171, 178, 186|
|Claimed Dimensions (mm)||115/77/96||133/105/118||132/100/120||136/106/124||155/121/138|
|Measured Dimensions (mm)||114/76/94||133/104/118||131/100/118||135/107/123||154/121/138|
|Construction Type||Sandwich||Sandwich||Cap||Sandwich Cap Hybrid||Cap|
|Rocker/Camber||Tip rocker, camber underfoot||Tip and tail rocker||Tip rocker, camber underfoot||Tip rocker, slight camber underfoot||Tip rocker, camber underfoot|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Movement Race Pro 77 is the most specialized ski in our test. You pick these for inbounds exercising, long-distance expeditions, or for very specific, high-speed sorts of high-and-light ski descents. Our lead tester has used these skis, and other skis like them, for a dozen major and significant ski expeditions. His commentary informs this review. Using skis like this in high-consequence settings is not a common strategy, but it will become more so with time. "Little" skis like the Movement Race Pro 77 are a great tool for specific and serious endeavors, provided you make the necessary adjustments and understand the limitations.
The Movement Race Pro 77 is the lightest ski in our test. This pair of skis, in tested 168cm length, weighs 1722 grams — around half the weight of the heaviest skis in our test. Two of these skis weigh less than one ski of other models. That is a huge difference. Weight is the most important rating metric for backcountry skis. Low weight is very efficient on the uphill and requires major adaptation and realignment of expectations for the downhill. Relative to using average to heavy backcountry skis, you will fly uphill with the Movement Race Pro.
Skiing downhill, as we will enumerate over and over below, on such lightweight skis is very different than with more typical skis. Basically, every type of downhill skiing is adversely affected by reducing weight. Weight is the primary determinant of uphill performance and a major part of downhill skiing physics. Light skis go uphill better, and greater mass improves all aspects of downhill performance. Some aspects of downhill performance are more affected by low weight than others. We will dive into those nuances in greater detail below. But, here, while we are talking specifically about weight, let us rank the impact of weight on downhill performance. From least impact to greatest, we have observed that weight impacts these downhill performance criteria: powder snow, firm snow, stability, poor snow. You'll notice low weight the most in tough snow and the least in powder snow conditions.
Especially where the skiing is serious, and you must proceed slowly and methodically, the firm snow performance of the Movement Race Pro 77 is good to adequate. If you have the technique, balance, and strength to ride slowly and balanced in firm snow, you will likely enjoy the Race Pro on firm snow more than you might otherwise expect. Many people choose a ski like this for their "inbounds" fitness uphilling ski. In that context, you are often skinning up a quiet resort early in the morning and skiing back down on virgin or little-traveled corduroy surfaces. You can carve and rail with the Movement Race Pro on that sort of firm snow surface. Step it up and out to smooth, hard surfaces in the backcountry and the performance follows you. The consequences of "blowing it" increase, but the ski experience remains unchanged. For corn-snow traverses or spring volcano missions, the Race Pro 77 is amazing.
Step it up even further to rowdy ski mountaineering, and the Movement Race Pro 77 still has a place. The most serious of ski mountaineering feats often involve voluminous and/or technical ascents, firm snow, and serious exposure. The lightweight stature of the Race Pro mitigates the impacts of ascent matters and inspires just enough confidence on firm surfaces. Regardless of your equipment, maximum attention is required when serious fall exposure is involved in your ski mountaineering. Train with your light skis in lower consequence terrain, and you can readily take them into more serious places. Our test team was unable to get them way high and rowdy in their first test season, but our direct experience with the Race Pro 77 inspired enough confidence that we will gladly take them into situations like skiing the Grand Teton or other serious ski mountaineering lines.
You don't choose these skis for tons of powder skiing. The Movement Race Pro 77 is a "quiver" ski; you get this to complement your first, all-around, day-to-day skis. You might even acquire dedicated powder touring skis before you get specialized "little skis" like these. However, you might find yourself in soft snow with your skinny skis. Picture the legendary "Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Traverse" in British Columbia. This endeavor, involving a great deal of distance and effort on relatively mellow terrain with hopefully small multi-day backpacks, is a great situation in which to choose the Race Pro 77. This endeavor, though, can also be endowed with a great deal of spring snowfall. If you are so blessed as to have powder snow conditions on your traverse after committing to using this skinny ski, how will it perform?
It will do quite well, considering. It will likely do better than you might first think. Our testers have skied hundreds of thousands of vertical feet on such skinny skis and scored a deep day in 2022 on the tested Movement Race Pro 77. This sleeper powder run deep in a legendary drought was remarkably enjoyable, even on such little skis. Slow your roll, stay just slightly forward of center, ski in all three dimensions and build in some rest breaks. It is a strenuous type of skiing, but not any sort of misery.
Here is where you suffer the most on skinny skis. Cruelly long and rowdy expedition ski missions involve lots of tough snow. The Movement Race Pro 77 requires diligence, patience, strength, and realignment of expectations to navigate the prodigious and unappealing tough snow conditions that blanket lots of the most picturesque and engaging of giant ski endeavors. Snow plow turns, christie turns, even "traverse-kick-turn" tactics will get you through the toughest of snow conditions on tiny skis. The best, strongest skiers can maintain linked, parallel turns on the Race Pro 77 in mild breakable crust and corn snow that is just past its prime and verging on bottomless mashed potatoes.
Your best strategy for managing poor snow conditions is avoidance. Timing and terrain selection are more important than any sort of gear strategy. The judgment required to avoid the toughest of snow conditions is acquired right alongside the confidence and skills required to tackle big missions with small skis. By the time you are ready to add the Movement Race Pro 77 to your quiver for actual backcountry use, you will also be ready to choose suitable days to use them. In the meantime, consider adding them to your quiver for resort skinning. You'll get more mileage in those precious training sessions, and you'll acquire the balance and confidence required to take them into the backcountry.
Stability at Speed
You don't choose the Movement Race Pro 77 for downhill speed stability; you choose them for uphill speed. That said, compared to other skis in this general category that we have tested, the Race Pro is more stable. The centered flex pattern seems to deserve credit. When you throw them sideways or rail hard on the edge, fore and aft portions of the ski engage equally. Your balance, in conjunction with the tension in the ski, serves to create a sort of moving structure that is greater than the sum of its parts. Other lightweight skis in this size class wobble fore and aft as you search for the center, balanced point. Not so much with the Movement Race Pro.
It is stability at speed that edges the Movement Race Pro 77 ahead of competitors in this weight class. Sure, virtually anything heavier is going to be more stable. But, for the mass, these are quite predictable and confidence-inspiring underfoot, even when you let momentum, planing, edging, and subtle movements drive the ship. You don't need to rely on just jump turns and snow plows to rule the show on the Movement 77. You can "actually" ski them in most good snow conditions.
Should You Buy the Movement Race Pro 77?
Yes, but… Make an informed choice when purchasing these. Buy them after you've accumulated more than 100 days of varied backcountry skiing. Buy them as a complement to your primary, all-around backcountry skis. You might even buy them as your third set of backcountry skis, after another type of specialized backcountry ski. Buy them when you know exactly how and when you will use them — for inbounds fitness uphilling, or for long, mellow traverses. Only then might you use them in serious terrain. Buy them in conjunction with matched bindings, boots, skins, and all the other lightweight accessories. Lighten your belly, backpack, clothing, and accessories well before you lighten your bindings and boots. Only then do you lighten your skis to the Movement Race Pro 77 level.
What Other Backcountry Skis Should You Consider?
The Dynafit Blacklight Pro is heavier than the Movement Race Pro 77 and offers a meaningful step up in downhill performance. Another step up from that is the K2 Wayback 80. Jump all the way up to the Editors' Choice Movement Alp Tracks 100, and you get into the lightest of skis that we would call truly "all-around" performers. If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket for a second set of backcountry skis, but our tone here tempered your enthusiasm for the little-and-light, consider going the entirely opposite direction. Go huge and light for soft snow as with the Top Pick Voile Hyperdrifter, or go heavy and charging with the Elan Ripstick 106.
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