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S47<j81-1188 www:v ikings~jshop .1455 www.com Portsmouth J:utnam's SRi & Snowboard Shop 2998 I.Bth 8t 480-962-6910 www.cpm Hunter The HUriter Mountain Ski Bowl iRoule..532-7499' www. Ski Shop 4850 StBte Hwy 30 13. 70 MISSOURI Chesterfield A1pioo S~iShop 1616 Clarkson Rd. South 603-88s.206B www. Chandler Blild.Jeriaho Tumpike 631-549--5087 WWI'/.oom levittoWll SundoWn Ski & Snowboard 2726 Hempstead Tpke.. 914-244-8-960 www.clealersnowb.o. 85&.oom Hempstead Sno-Hau$ Ski Shop 244 N.O"aros.outpostsunspOO.rom Chic. Bedford Rd.com e North Creek Cunningham's Ski Bam Gore Mourltain 1 Main Street 518·251-3215 www.EWY'ORK Amsterdam 2tl3-324-2200 www.com Kirkwood Alpi rle' Ski Snap 440 N.hunlermtn.pedi[lreeskisilop.com Hllritingtoo SlaMn Silo-HaUl! Ski Shop 2 W. Main St Z03-488-!l516 www.oom NewYorllCity Emilio's Ski Shop 112·28 Queens Blvd" N.snoha us .louis Pa rk Hoigaard's 5425 Excelsior Blvd. Broadway 516·79&-1565 wwwJSundownski.1'222 www.424-5969 www.2211 www. 516-621-6658 www_suridoWIIski.oom 636-.ki & Snowboard 47 Norillem Blvci.oom CoIumb.431·1764 www.alpineshop.GreenwoodsSklHaus.alpinhaus.actionsportsGt.com www_clealersnow.piches.boards..com 631-420-3796 631-737-8600 WWN.oom 30.theskibum.skiprQ.cunningharnsskibam.ERSEY Che.9829 www. Q52"929.lQ.com Nashua Zin1ne~enrl'~Skis. CONN. Kirkwood Rd.skipro.ago Viki rlg Ski Shop 3422 W.CUT ACti~ollSports 324 W. 516-481-3305 WWN.com MICHIG.oom ILUNDIS Barringtorl Viki Ill) Ski Shop Phoenix SkiPrQ' 2110 E_ Gamelback 602-955-3939 www.2155 www. Branford www.ECTI. 111A 60~524-.1351 www~hoigaards.com D.t}'. @ Olympic Drive 518-523-3706 W'IlW. llndownski. Fullerton Ave.com WwwJSkiprc.23A 518-263-4223 ~233 WWtI.v~ingskishQP.GOm MINNESOTA 81.clealersl1owboard·s:ctlm 131 W.843-4400 www. miliosskishop.sundownsk.a fayette Rd. 480-13&5-<5686 IDAHO Boise Greel'lwood's Ski Haus 24!]O Bogus Basin Rd_ 208-J42-6808 .oom NEW J. 603.oom Bedford Hills Pedigree Ski Soop 532 N.pedigreeskishoP·com Alpin' HailS 718-544-0404 www .com www .oom .2-454-.a(pineshop. 110 lake' Grove Sundown Sid & Soowboard 3060 Middle CoUl'lty Rd. NorthWest Hwy. COLORADO Ft. Sports Shop 318 Silfl>l'd.cunninghamsskJbam. Rle.Rte. Franklin SI.zim~ort.alpinhalls.ARIZONA Qhar:lcller Ski Pr(l 2000 W.ie Alpjoo Ski Shop 11Q2 E.com W'MV.pumamsports.com NEW iHAMPSHIRE Gilford PIche's Ski &.oom Mesa Ski Pro· 1924 W.oom www.ny Hin Darzelsenand QuIgley 1720 E.alpineshop.oom s lake Placid Cunningham's Ski Bam WhrtefaceMt Main SI..b~landpauls.WWW.AN CliftOn Park Alpin Haus Ski Shop 22 Clifton COUlltry Road 518-371 .i_ccm Greenvale Sundown S. Contns OU ipaS\ S u nsport 931' E RarmOoy#1 970-225.ccrn 314-!162-ms www.ELAWARE Newark nie!SkiBum 218 EaS'! Main Street 5nS17-2955 s www.com Farmmgdale Sundawn Ski & Snowboard 1296Rt.Dem. 773-276-. Beards & More 316 Daniel WebsterH.com Old Saybrook Action Sports 1385 Bostfln Post Rd 20J-488-lJ516 wwwJldionsprutsd:rom Stamford Pedigree Ski Shop 350 Bedfo rd Sf.snohaLls.

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sec llbean_oom Ior details. Super 200 Cresta Fleece jackel. to a Sherpa-like It's also brushed texture to trap body heat without the extra bulk.Bean offer.divery service withiJl the.-ee shipping and handling applies to LL.:(lo!:s ~. to ensure you can stay outdoors 200 as Its water-resistant Polartec® Wind Pro® Reece is knit tighter to block four times more wind without sacrificing breathability. US aruj Ceuade.BI. And since we sel] directly to you. Limitations apply. So not only can you stay out longer. $59 FREE SHIPPING no minimum order for a limited lime" L. Limiteo-tene . but you can feel 100% satisfied with your purchase while you're doing it. Visit our stores I lIbean. It's also the reason we design jackets like our Super Cresta Fleece long as you'd like.L.com I 800-554-9621 *F.Are the days getting shorter? Or are you just staying out longer? Losing track of time is the sign of a day well spent. you'll find it's more reasonably priced than similar performance jackets.

Atomic Smoke Ti. Buynew gear-the right gear-and you willbe able to ski longer. Kastle FX 94-some of our gear test's No.1.what trends you need to watch and. Inthe pages ahead. Buvers Guide 34 COVER STORY Photograph by Christopher D. That's what we're promising. stronger and better. Guaranteed. UTAH' Morerun. Blizzard Viva 8. of course.Thompson and Jordan Uoyd OCTOBER 2010 SKI 7 . what gear is gold-medal worthy. MARl( EU. 1 skis.TESTER. ON THE COVER Rossignol 57 Freeride.ING SNOWBIRD. we let you inon all the industry secrets on how to buy.

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cy The hinged slalom pole changed the course of ski history. A view from Termas de ChiUan. a dropping.. 32 Siopestyle What to be seen in this season and . 16liftlines 112 Warren 10 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .. 20 News and Views It's always winter somewhere. 28 Where Is It? Identifythis resort. Why it's rightforyou.22 fall line What Now Rocke r is the biggest innovation in ski design since sidecut. 30 Lega.. 24 Stuff We Like Kid gloves. win Rossi skis. a kicking . a mini car and a power bar 26 Toolbox Digi cams that take a licking..

beautiful things happen. Escape to Deer Valley. de ervalley com 3@ nr SClII.When every part of your vacation works together. 800-580-3337 .

) I had a boot intervention from a peeved deputy editor a few seasons ago. Ifinally did buy new boots-with a 100-110 flex rating. We found two such candidates in Telluride. The middle buckle pulls my heel back. I'm still skiing two to three times a week. With my knobby feet.I1. but at 50.past or present? Greg Ditrinco. Anyone who's spent a lot of time on snow shouldn't be surprised.l've had two surgeries on a busted ankle. ROGER BARTLETT the From Bottom Up (~ San Diego. Now for the sexier stuff: your skis.~~ WJ!I''WHi:J1'\. rockered skis have been refined so they ease your ride across just about all terrain.> LETTERS Cover Girl Congratulations on trumping Sports Illmff'atedwitb your great and tasteful February 2010 cover of Lindsey Vonn. Editor • MyoId Raichle Flexons. so Ishouldn't complain when Ican't do it as well as Ionce did. Ienioyed the Olympic update ("Swifter. I haven't looked back. Higher. So check out the reviews. 12 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .r • My Nordica foam liners. Calif New season? First things first: Look down. They bond with them.-" ~P£TENOW EUCII:OBS ~lUM JiMElI'O::A'5 season's Buyers Guide: What's your favorite piece of gear? (See our answers below. sol can drive my shin forward for a few extra degrees of flex. put diem into new boots and then had a fitter do his magic..C'iIEfr.. Kim Beekman. Foam is expensive and a complicated process. chances are you've been bonding far too long. SKI staffe.com Poughkeepsie. so Ilack dorsitlexlon. Editor gditrinco@skimag. Skiers don't just ski in their boots..I:l{1 CIl. but I've never been so locked-i n and so comfortable (no more heel spurs). When buying boots. Then there was the Turning Points article ("Turning: Irs All In Your Legs").ite piece of ski gear. a snug boot fit is difficult. NY • FROM THE EDS What's yourfavor. Deputy Edito. Managing Editor. If you're like most good skiers. At least I'm still making turns. Let me save you some time and yelling. Joe Cutts. and for all skill levels. Now I have something to work on this season. MIKEWAWRYK Greg Ditrinco. being from the East. Ifound the interface made the poles feel more responsive. Conceived as powder tools. ignore your ego and pay attention to two key words: flex rating. Colo. I enjoyed the articles about Mt. It was unwieldy at first-especially when buckling boots-but once . Ilove my Leki Trigger glove-and-pole setup. Senior Editor t My Dalbello Kryptons-custom fit. g Deborah Williams. They even feel warmer. Snow (Where Now) and Stratton ("Stratton Style"). Guess what happened? (Or see page 46. Stronger") and. After a decade of love. Matter of Perspective I waspsyched to get my February issue. Remember the shaped-ski revolution in the mid-'90s? Welcome to the next game-changer: rocker.E5 _mlJ".I ot used to it.) The majority named their ski boots.YMP:I.rs were asked a question as we were putting together this =Mm !. ~What a Pain" (Warren Miller Classics) reminded me not to be so critical: Maybe I don't ski as hard or as long as I once did. learn about the latest technologies and maybe bond with some new gear. Then go see a good bootfitter. We like that in equipment.

Silver Baron Lodge.com 3~ . ki lessons and rentals as well as a Full line of travel services at preferred rare _ Book now and save ~5% on lodging and lift package at a variety of pr pertles and rime. The Lodges at Deer Valley. Featured oruluminiums managed by the resort include: Black Diamond Lodge. Flagstaff.odge and Trail's End Lodge.3337 decrvalley. We contirme to provide the largest selection of accommodnnons in [be Deer Valley area as well as other select propertie in Park City and we offer xclu ivc non-holiday discounts on lif ticke . The rand Lodge. right this way. 800-580.Your vacation is waiting. Shooting Sur. Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservarions allows OUT local Vacation Planners [he ability to be hand -on throughout every step of your vacation experience. ~r~g l.

indeed.~e§. For the full test results.liftlines 0: For Olympics OK. GARY CHANDLER Whiskey Business Iloved seeing stranahan's Colorado Whiskey featured on February's Stuff We Like page. Editors note: We didn't mean to sensationalize. I thought I'd share yet another reason why those of us who live in Colorado are the luckiest folks on Earth: Stranahan's is made in Denver. not just duck at their dangers. It was four hours of hard work bottling that month's shipment Denver. Colo. Iget it:Youthink anyone who participates in downhill.o"" !g~leg70 skied by testers per tester/per day 800-580-3337 dee:rvalley"com . Here's a look at what our ski testers had to endure to bring you this year's Buyer's Guide. super G or ski cross has a death wish. It is. a fine product. By the Numbers Olt's a tough job." I guess I expected SKI to do a better job evoking the awesome physical and mental demands of speed events. I was lucky enough to take part in one last summer." Even spectators ought to worry about "an outof-control racer rag-dolling through the crowd. and every so often they put out the call to their fans for a bottling session. Maybe it was phrases like "absurdly dangerous. check out this year's Buyers Guide on page 36. But we're continual!) a:wed fry ski meers' COllrage and athleticism-and don't thi:f1kmart Americans appreciate the risks these athletes take." "patently unsafe" and "blood sport. Gary. but someone has to do it. Number of ski testers 16120 Numberof skistested Average number of test runs per tester !.

) 445·9070 Pequannock Plymouth Sun and Snow.) 742-2400 Park City ParkCily Ski 'Bo01 (43S) 513-0672 WEST (651) 209· 7800 Onio Cnagrin Falls Gelge.ide (518) 263-5303 New Yorl< City U.kl (BOO) 675-4261 Eng. S&W Siports NORTHEAST Cllnneetielil Stratton Mounfain Green Min. OrlhoHcCenler (212) 832-1648 Ve. Bachelor Bachelor Ski & Spons (541) 3112-2442 Editors note: Yournumbm are aauraie. Orthotics @ EQuille Sports (802) 875-1122 WarreniSugarbu511 Alpine Options (802) 583-1763 MID-ATLArmC New Jersey Frisco Ski FriscoSlIllrts One Stop Ski Shop (97. However. that you cited the three local ski resorts as receiving 300 inches of snow.209) 25B-7240 San Jose MelCottlln's Ludlow/Okemo Mt.Count on tbe pros at these shops fOT the Onest in: Pel'. The Bool Pro (80.lewood The Custom Fool (303) 761-4002 Texas (214) 357-9700 lJallas SI. MATTHEW RZOMP NewYork.er's Clothing & Sports (216) 521-1771 Colorado Aspen & Snowmass Company (510) 527-6411 Kirkwood Kirkwllod MlluntainSports Killington Northern Ski Works (80.700 sheep as they make their way from their northern summer pastures to the resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley.rthotics Clr. It received a AAA three-diamond rating.2) 377·2200 MIDWEST illinois Chicago Viking SklShllp (773} 276·1222 Massachusetts TheD1l1l1 . plus beer and pizza. tralilingofthesheep_org WetnerSfield The Arpino Haus (860) 563·2244 Westwood Ski Slop (781) 329-3616 New Hampshire Profile O. Heino's New York MudSwea. January 2010).porls (51 B) 427·2406 Ellicottville Ski & Cycle (973) 696-3044 (734) 927-0007 Wayne Ski Bam (973)256-8500 Jlle 'sSki Minnesota 81. Paul Alia (Three 'locations) Deep PllwderHouse (801. Tag along with 1.6954 Skibootllllln{l.NY Hunter Th. a tour of the facility. CHASE SQUIRES Denver. newer and usually cheaper than its neighbor.s (B02) 464-4052 SoulhernS. Sports. (Oct. fluffier version ofthe running of the bulls. Enjoy the other fes tivities. too. 8~10. Also. the town Ogden regularly receives a more-than-resped: 0/ .2) 422·9675 C11tl otte svi lie a Freestyl~e (434) 978-409'1 ROCKIES (. 31.rmonl Heading Rich Reber's Pro Snow Spans (610) 921-1011 Ski & Spurt Haus (440) . 2010) Sun VaUeY.oo1.e ProSkl III R.com > EVENT SPOTLIGHT Trailing of the Sheep Festival.29 Ski N. the Hampton Inn in Ogden (right behind the Marriott you cited) is nicer. as we stated UI the artide. but the payoff was a free bottle of Stranahan's.sonalized boot fitting Performance enhancements comfon modifications CUStom-crafted insoles Steamboat Springs {970} 879~4916 Tellurida Vai'l (970) 728.S. Utah (Weekends. Carolina ThoUe Shops at Aspe n Sp 0 rts (970)618·2530 Breckenridge Norway Haus (970) 453-2375 Sporling Goods (408) 287-5994 Studio Grly Ludlow/Okemo Mt. Colo (800) 371-3447 Plymouth Rfchelson's Feel First (201.ldaho tit's America's friend lier.247·4900 California Berkeley California Ski Whitehall Neslor's (610) 433-6051 Virginia Lakewood Gei'!I.r's Shllp Snow Totals As an avid SKI magazine reader. Ogden's three resorts' annual snowfall totals range from over 300 inches at vVolfCreek to 400 inches at Snowbasin and over 500 inches at Powder Mountam. :NortnernSkl Works (802) 228·3344 Wintergreen FreeslYi!! (434) 325·1183 SOUTH Soulh.lo'r5 Concord Eatonlown Crestwood Ski Barn (732) 578-9460 Snowcrest Ski Cenl'er Mlehl~an at VaU snorts (802) 379·1014 Winter Park Le Feel Lab (603) 491-4917 Bllb Skinner's (603) 763·2303 ~lewbu I)fIS unall ee Lawrenceville Ski Bam (609) 530·1666 Paramus Ski iBarn (70S) 389·4963 Ann Arbor (970) 726·9841 New Mexico Taos Ski Valley ThllBllllt ~Dotto rs (575) 776-2489 UIah Sun & SnoVf Sports (734) 663-9515 of whiskey. Thanks for the continued great reading. including sheep shearing. I was Pennsylvania disappointed to read in your January story about Ogden.einer's S. Bernard Sports Pagosa Springs Ski & Bow Rack Oregon (970) 264·2370 Mt.1 n'Gears (716) 699-8300 GlenmonWaIatle SI. not bad for a Hampton.el sports {818) 505-1294 Truckee The Start Haus (530) 582-5781 Columbia Mt Snow Baal Worl(. herding demons trations and lamb tastings.2) 228·2776 Mt Snow Stowe Inner Boolworks (602) 253-69.

'We have skied all over Europe and North America and do not usually return to the same area twice. Thanks for all the useful i. Ga. TUCK WILSON Thornbury. Ontario Olympic Valley. Or. or emailedtoliftlines@skimag. . In my opinion Sun Valley is arguably one of the best ski resorts in the world when it comes to quality and variety of terrain. address and daytime phone num ber. HELMUT G. with its excellent ski facilities. but we all agreed that we will be rerurning to Sun Valley again in the near future. At Squaw. One thing I might suggest would be to have some pictures of the trail maps to the ski areas. Allow six to eight weeks for changes to process. its staff.P. FEND Atlanta.'Return of Sun. rrtailingit a flame basefor ([. Liftlines.liftlines able 300 annual inches qf snow. Letters may be edited for length a nd clarity. Lesson learned: Everyone needs a break from work. BRADY RINEHART Underrated and Overdue I reaUyenjoyed reading Allen St." My family and I spent three weeks there inJanuary and had the time of our lives. skiing is a spectator sport.lnclude your full name. New or renewa I subsc riptions or c hangs-of-address requests (please send new and old addresses) ca n be sent to SKI. Spain. But I've also worked as a ski pro in Austria. Calif. DENNIS MARSELL I enjoyed your spread on Tahoe in the December issue. from the Gold Coast chair. snow grooming. and a ski break is even better. Squaw skiers enjoy terrain that would be closed at any other American resort for being too dangerous.Box 420235. John assisted us making that decision. even intermediates get to watch Mike Wilson's insane back flips off the Palisades. Lebanon and Australia. so my observation is not without basis. the oldest ski resort in North America.nformation about the resorts and the entire Lake Tahoe area. since I taught there for 10years during the '60s and early '70s as a member of the "Austrian Boys" under Sigi Engl.O. Day after day." My wife. The article by Allen St. two other couples and I had that opportunity for 10 days this past Easter. "Squallywood" puts on the greatest snow show on Earth. One week after losing my Job. amenities and consistent fall line. Maybe I'm a bit biased.Jo/OIW seeking turns-and deeper snow-at the three nearby resorts. and we did discover the "new" Sun Valley. Ode to Tahoe "The Ultimate Guide to Tahoe" article (December 2009) was perfect for a newbie to that area. CaUf Redondo Beach. Boulder. visit skimag.com.com/c s or call 800-6 78-0817. John's feature on Sun Valley (. 5720 Flatiron Parkway. and the lifts provide front-row seats to incredible action. Calif Skiing Sun Valley. FL32142-0235. Palm Coast. was always on my "bucket list. I received the December issue with your "Ultimate Guide to Tahoe. but you never quite got to what sets Squaw Valley apart. the Ketchum restaurants and the Roundhouse for lunches.CORRESPONDENCE Letters to the editor may be mailed to SKI. DARIN RECCHI San Francisco. Thanks for your magazine and for making my trip a ton easier. . You might catchJT Holmes or Tim Dutton ripping pow and launching off the fingers below KT-22."January 2010). co 80301 For subscription inquiries.

THOSE WHO SKI IN ~NVTH NG WON'T SKI IN JUST ANYTHING. .

tlf. Linda Hayes.·· _. Enterprise Systems Shawn la~n Vice President. Microfilm editions are available from UMI. Ra. call Palm Coast Data at 800.com Editor Greg Ditrinco Deputy Editor Joe Cutts Managin~ Editor Kimberly Beekman Senior Editors Samal'ltha Berman.skimag. Media Development Michael Slarobin Brand Director John Miller Director. Keri Mahe.ip:.. Consumer Marketing Bruce Miller Vice President. Licensing & Merchandising Stanley Weil Publishing Consultant Martin S. 18 SKI OCTOBER 2010 I@·. Palm Coast. iflj :.Box 420235.com/cs.sA.!:i..l1].? E F C ~ PEFcm-~'. \ "... Edie Thys. i ~! =i i i:l{'WM411 a Consumer Marketing Director Diane G. ma. Warren Mille~. ..s ~ j.fj ill IllI6'''!· Id . Hansman Group Production Director Rina Viray Murray Senior Production Manager Kristin Dann I :hj: i i :filt!. Corporate Communications Dean Turcol Vice President. or write to SKI at P. Paul Toime Senior Contr. call Wrighfs Reprints at 877-652-5295. CaU 386-597-4326. Chrlstophe. FL 32164 BACK ISSUES/REPRINTS To request back issues. ied foreststhatare . i.s8 .Q817 or email wpcUent@palmcoastd.. 300 North Zeeb Rood.678.nagedinasustainableway to meet the social. Heather 14. Morgan MacKay.l'!:.. man uscri pts and assumes no resp ons ibility for th eir return. E-Media BiD Allman Vice President.oebe l.lil..egg Business Manager Jim Lundberg Associate Business Manager Kristi Armijo NEW YORK 212-779-5091 Group Markebing Director Amy ManEPno Creative Services Director Gina Schramm Group Advertising Art Director .O. Potter Business Development Manager Melissa Nelson Grima Corporate Research Director Heather M..Tllio . Ann Arbor.r D. Everett Potter.i:'.ial Director Tom James rll] Art Director Eleanor WilUamson Photo Editor Keri Bascetta Actinj5 Art Director Shennon Murray Interns Jordan loyd.. or call customer service at 800-521-0600. Production Lisa Earlywine Vice President.. Human Resources Cathy Hertz Vice President...~"..}i. Group Publisher Meni Lee Kingsly Associate Publisher Ben Rifkin PRINT AND DIGITAL ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES BOULDER 303-253"6300 Account Managers Delia Deocampo. Kristen Magnani..com.Israel Sales Directors Deanna Forgione. Deborah Willfams Interns Michael DiFerdinando. o. Philip Higgs. Thompson Stephen Beneski. Idema Research Analyst Charlotte Chairman Jonas Bonnier Chief Executive Officer Te~ Snow Chief Operating Officer Dan Altman Chief Financial Officer Randall Koubek SVP. ii:':. ~ PRINTEDINTHEU. Jay Cowan. Susan Reifer. Digital Sales & Marketing John Haskin Vice President. Ph."1ij~t19. Walker Corporate Counsel Jeremy Thompson BONNIER l. !. For article reprints.Libby VanderPloeg Group Online Marketing Director Knsten Goode Special Projects Director Matt Chamberlain Senior Marketing Manager Ann Brown Senior Online Marketing Manager Paige Lester Senior Integrated Marketing Manager Jessica Eassa Integrated Marketmg Managers Casey McCarthy. i~[t) BOULDER 303-253-6300 Director of Marketing Stef Luciano Senior Marketing Manager Liz Ludwig Marketing Managers Amy Chamberlain.ibutor-at-Large Jolm Fry Instruction Director Micha..' I~iH :hiil a i: VP..j:'1 For 24/7 service. iii'i3ijU3ii·jUj'Mi43:~1i:i!fj:i·tjj:i·j[ltii[·j:N'l!LtIl£I For inquiries regarding international licensing or syndication. economic and environmental needs of present and future generations.:f.i!fjJ:~:. Kim Eipers Sales Assistant Senior Sales Directorlda6e Jennifer Barrett NEW YORK 212-779-5091 Fernandez Executive Travel Director Brian . Tara Weedfald Assistant to the Publisher Robin Feingold BOSTON 917-208-8825 New England Sales Manager Kristin Hill Casey CANADA 905-770"5959 Canada Sales Manager Debbie lapp CHICAGO 312-252-2845 Midwest Group Director Lisa ceientani Midwest Sales Manager Christina Meram Advertising Assistant Krissy Van Rossum LOS ANGELES 310-227-8952 Southern California/Southwest Group Director Kevin Carr SAN FRANCISCO 415-599"5330 Northwest Group Director Altison Berkley Northwest Sales Manager Ann Pickard . Corporate Sales & Marketing Mark Wildman Vice President.malmsten@bonnier. Thepaper used for this magazine comes from cer.'[.se.. ~. please use our website: skimag. please contact Anders Malmsten at anders.l13.~¢! <f" .el Rogan Director of Digital Media Megan Miller Technical Producer Josh Rashkin Editorial Producers Sally Franklyn. Sarah Bray Events & Promotions Manager Corinne Tisei Integrated Marketing Coordinator Kris-Ann Panzella Marketmg DeSigner TarynneGoldenberg Iltl} ~~1i)!j . Cassandra Orton Enthusiast Group Editor. . Jack Wright.. Christopher Solomon.chel Tjornehoj."tq'.i~iil'tj$. SKI does not accept unsolicited . . d i ~iii . M148106.

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DE CHlLLAN. A CHlLE 20 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .TER 101 S .

Termas is home to South America's longest run (abouteight miles).. Chile. as the clouds rollin. as far as Termas de Chillan. others have been chasing it-in some cases. REMEMBER DOING THIS? While you've been patiently waitingfor winter to arrive. and views that seem to stretch much farther than thst=especielly when you're carving up corn snow. OCTOBER 2010 SKI 21 . at dusk.

Many skiers still think "Pontoon" when they think of rocker. There's argument between skiers and snowboarders over who thought of it first. have it. it has changed the way people ski-especially. a little history: Boarders may dis- CAMBER WAVES Evidence that rocker is mainstream? Even women's models.th super-sidecut. there has been initial skepticism of the concept. rocker probably can't either. porating the new idea (some of those mistakes contributing greatly to the skepticism). and it's here to stay. Rocker looks to be the next game-changer in ski gear. the McConkeydesigned Machete Spatula.like Atomic's Century. Similarities with the super-sidecut revolution in the mid '90s abound. "Brain Floss. If super-sidecurs couldn't do it. but to our minds the rightful Father of Rocker (as it applies to snow sports) is the late Shane McConkey. it hurtles toward a paradigm shift as significant as metal edges or super-sidecuts or oversized widths. Still. (See page 38. agree. in 2003. By Joe Cutts The evolution of ski design-always a matter of fits and starts-is on the cusp of one of those fundamental breakthroughs. Can it resurrect a struggling skimanufactunng industry with an explosion in sales similar to those that attended the introductions of oversized tennis racquets in the '70s and golf clubs in the '90s'~Probably not. all but the staunchest traditionalists will have it in some form. developed with K2 designers (who admit they were skeptical). And as with super-sidecut. Even as you read this.) Already. Soon. it's likely to heIp-and is certain to at least realign market shares.FALLLINE· WHAT NOW o As important eady to Rock? as the sidecut revolution? Yep. The Spatula had its flaws. McConkey described it in a 2002 essay. But his concept predates the Pontoon by several years. as the comparues that adopt it earliest and most effectively thrive while laggards lose ground. but not exclusively. That was McConkey's baby." and Volant introduced the first reverse-camber ski. There have been mistakes made as manufacturers experiment with different ways ofincor- WHERE ROCKER WAS ONCE CONSIDERED EXCLUSIVELY A SOFT-SNOW TECHNOLOGY. the free-spaired freeride legend. As wi. IT HAS SINCE DEMONSTRATED ITS BENEFITS IN VIRTUALLY ALL CONDITIONS AND FOR ALL ABILITIES. Those that don't soon wilL More reasons to smile on a powder day. in powder. and the con- . the end result is so startlingly good you wonder how you ever skied without it. Rocker-the introduction of reverse camber to at least some portion of a ski-has arrived as a mainstream design concept. First.

ill varying amounts-smooths the jostling a skier experiences in crud. "Sidecut did help a lot. Meantime. "1t'U definitely move the need le. who tracks sales for the Snowsporrs Industries of America (SIA). In the '90s. the obscu re brand's annual sales totaled $55 million. Among them.. offering a looser. And V61kl: "The performance aspects are as significant as with shaped skis. there was hope that sidecut technology would drive sales. with sales of $255 milUon. Which means that-you guessed it-your skis are suddenly." says Scott Jaeger. sales of ski equipment have declined. ceprwas slow to catch on. Can rockered skis de liver the same excitement on ski shop sales floors? Thor Verdonk. this much is true: Skiers who do buy the new technology will enjoy the ride . K2 has introduced some form of rocker- 'TECHNOLOGIES THAT ROCKED BUT WILL YOU RUSH OUT TO REPLACE YOUR CURRENT SETUP? CAN ROCKER BE THE RISING TIDE THAT BUOYS A STRUGGUNG GEAR INDUSTRY? THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN." says Jolyn de Boer. director of alpine product development for Rossignol U.• . Since the late '80s. and at lea st moderate gains overall due to rocker. "In the future. led by Callaway. but rather the waist width and type of baseline [K2 's term for a ski's camber profile] to define their skier type. Meanwhile. K2 argues. ill particular. making a ski easier to turn. But will you rush out to replace your current setup? Can rocker be the rising tide that buoys a struggling gear industry? That remains to be seen. instead of tipping and can·mg. He expects a significant realignment of marketshare in favor of those who do the best job soonest. who instantly saw the benefits of rocker ill deep snow. for newbies and novices-those who still PIVot and skid their skis to turn. however." Can rocker be the catalyst for growth? "I think it'll have an impact. it was a different story. The new technology did. chop and bumps. Golf went through a similar revolution." says De Rocco. as it applied to skis." Other companies agree. ta king advantage of new ca rbon-fiber construction technologies. it was No. and we believe it's here to stay. was the first to popularize the concept. a runaway hit among boarders. boosting overall industry sales in the process. the same ski can still incorporate traditional camber and sidecut underfoot.e. president of the SIA. even on the groomers." says U. Salomon and K2." Like we said: a new paradigm. What the ski industry wishes it had is the sales equivalent of a little tip rocker to float sales up. product manager Thor Verdonk. They'll see it as a product they need to have ill their quiver.How much can game-changing technology boost the sales of a sporting-goods industry? Consider the examples of Callaway Golf and Prince Tennis. But here's the thing: Where rocker. was once considered exclusively a soft-snow technology-with rockered super-fats like the Pontoon and Rossignol's S71eading the way down the mountain-it has since demonstrated its benefits in virtually all conditions and for all abilities." ." But Ingemie and other industry insiders see other forces at work dampening ski sales. well . even on "fronrside" skis.S. There's even an application. "There wasn't exponential growth." says U. including a still weak economy and the trend toward renting skis instead of purchasing. "Traditional camber is not going away.obsolete. By 1993.. "We can now make skis that turn just as well but are easier. rocker makes the sport easier. global head of product development at K2. and work better in all conditions. When it introd uced the innovative Big Bertha driver in 1991. Rossignol: "Even for an intermediate. Maybe it does. marketing cl'Jief Geoff Curtis. senior retail analyst at Leisure Trends Group. A touch of rocker at the tip and tail makes skiing easier. "We're firmly behind rocker technology. but mostly reducing the drain that the expanding snowboarding market caused on ski sales.S. it also turns out that rocker-employedjudiciously. How popular? "The introduction of the first oversize tennis racquet in 1977 propelled Prince from a pro/specialty market share of less tha n 10 percent to market leader with 35 percent share in 19S2.s. easier ride. "We saw depletion ill rocker inventory ill SllOWboards ill the past couple of years. "All our skis have some amount of camber. and I think core skiers will want to try it. Not only does rocker aid flotation ill deep powder.. ha s seen the rockered 57 powder ski sellout for two consecutive years. The Volant brand's demise didn't help. Over in the snowboard world. Lib Tech launched its now lege endary Skate Banana model.J. but people who did ski were buying new skis at a hyper-accelerated rate." At the same time. from powder to groomers. smoother.1 in revenue. people won't talk about the radius of a ski. Prince. because you still had flat or decliningparticipation. though. executive director of the Tennis Industry Association. Some fonn of rocker is probably going to be useful in every aspect of skiing." says Anthony DeRocco. Though not the first to make an oversize racquet. where it waits patiently for the novice to set an edge and carve." says David Ingemie. a lot or a little--into virtually all its skis. have incorporated rocker deep into their lines.

The EZ-On gloves and mitts ($20) have a wide opening at the bae k and a q uiek but secure vetcro closure. We should know: Sportfood companies shi p them to our office by the crate. but a nyone who's tried to stuff them into ski gloves knows better. But one day a box of home-baked. The designers at Grandoe are either parents or ski instructors. Here's the a uta equivalent: Due out in 2011.75 each) arrived from Jackson Hole. does the job of both your around-town coupe and your rugged weekend sag wagon.000 MSRP). where one woman and 12 ingredients prove that good for you can also taste good. the new four-door. organic and-get this-delicious Tram Bars ($2.FALL LINE • GEAR & GADGETS I ) STUFF WE LIKE I » OPEN WIDE Kid ha nds look deceivingly sma II and nim ble.com ~ ONEFOURALL We've talked about the one-ski quiver for years.com ( 24 SKI OCTOBER 2010 . trembers.com ~ BAR FOODAs far as we knew. What to do with all that extra garage space? You could always use a few more pairs of skis. energy bars ca me in two varieties: barely palatable and not fit for human consumption. miniusa. four-cylinder Cooper MINI countrymen (from $30. with optional turbo charge and all-wheel drive. grandoesports.

SSORII.s in Cr-ime BASElAV&:RS > ACCI.. Dartn.Mother and Son.et.-- .S ~ SOCKS ~*' I _ __..

Tap twice on the body to take photos or video.6.com SONY CYBERSHOTDSC·TXS • A 3"inch touch" screen gives it a sleek. • Digic4 face detection technolo.1 megapixels. 3x optical zoom. shockproof from 4 ft. waterproof to 33 ft. freezeproofto 14°F »$330 usa. shockproof from 6 ft. and the high-resolution LCD is bright even in direct sunlight. 2. • Best Shot menu gives youguick access to' interval.shaky hands and low light..$400 snow. button-free interface.. • 5. • iSweep technology links up to 100 images. • Dual image stabilization ensures dear images even when the subject is moving fast. 2. 3x optical 200m. freezeproof to 14°F.$400 olympusamerica..se stabilizer minimIzes blurriness from motion.4 oz. The lens and flash sit flush againstthe slim body.5-inch LCD screen.560z. but it isn't glove-friendly. even while wearing gloves.1 megapixels.dust proof PRICEflNFO . . 14.. so you can capture that breathtaking mountaintop panorama. waterproof to 10 ft.. 12. so it's easy to stash. . crushproof to 220 pounds. Big buttons are easy to press while wearing gloves..6. shockproof from 6 ft... • The faceplate can be switched out for a custom look. 10. 4.1 megapixels.7-inch LCD screen. 12. • The only crushproof camera we tested.dustproof . but its Image quality is lower than the other cameras we tested. waterproof to 33 ft.dustproof .6x optical zoom. 5x optical zoom.1 rnegepixels.2 megapixels. freezeproof to 14°F." "YouTube movie" and "snowy landscape" capture modes. 720p HD movie capability .7-inch LCDscreen. waterproof to 10ft.com OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH-SOlO .sy provides indiVidual focus adjustments for every face in your photo.FALL LINE • TOOLBOX o Go ahead: Drop it in the Digital Cameras DETAILS PANASONIC LUMIX DMC'TSZ • Heavy but tough. 4x optical zoom.5-inch LCD screen.40 MBof built-in memory.casio... shockproof from 5 ft.. By Jennifer Davis • Its optical ima.capture modes with the twist of a knob..4 oz.. shockproof and cold proof cameras can survive nearly anything. waterproof to 33 ft.com 26 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .dustproof '$280 my. freezeproof to 14°F.$400 sonystyle. it has an easy-touse control panel that lets you switch between photoand video..com CANON POWERSHOT 010 • The 010 makes up for its somewhat cumbersome eggshaped body with an intuitive menu and layout. panasonic.com PENTAXW90 • With 5x optical zoom.com CASIO EXILIM EX-Gl • Its slim design fits well in your hand or pocket. 3.$330 pentaximaging.e. this one has the longest range of any cameras we tested. it's sleek yet indestructibl. • 5.6x optical 200m. Kick it with your ski boot. 12. The tap-control feature is perfect for gloved hands... • 5.6.7 oz. SPECIAL FEATURES SPECS .7 oz. just in case you fiUyour memorycari:i • Creative art filters let you apply special effects to your photos. waterproof to 20 ft. • Captures highquality widescreen movies in nop HD videomode • A rubberized face and a strap with carabiner make drops and dings less catastrophic . coldproof to 14°F.. freezeproofto 14°F.1 oz. 12 megapixels. .. shockproof from 7 ft.canon. shockproof from 4 ft. 2. The latest waterproof. 2. Leave it outside overnight.

Visible Ught Transmitted LIGYT IN-~E DARK The Bolie Modulator™ Is a state-of-the-art. the darker the lens will become.. ONE LENS FOR ANYCONDTON LIG~T DARK IN T-1E 66% VLT~ .brings photochromic innovation to the spherical lens . The more UV light exposed to the lens. light reactive lens that changes lens tint density with the changing light conditions. high contrast. .

FALL LINE • WHERE

IS IT?

WIN THESE SKIS
Are you ready to rock? Identify the resort in this photo, and you could win a pair of new Rossignol S7 Freeride skis, rockered at the tip and tail for incomparable floatin bottomless powder. Go to skimag .com/contest to submit your guess. One winner will be randomly selected from the correct respondents.
ROSSIGNOL 57 Tops in no fewer than six criteria in this year's ski test, the Freeride S7 was the Deep Snow category winner and a teste r favorite.
NO PURCHA$ENECESSARY TO ENTER. FOR COMPLETE RULES, GO TO SKIMAG.cOM /CONTESTRULES.

28

SKI

OCTOBER

2010

PHOTOGRAPH

BY ADAM

BARKER

THrs IS W~AT I CALL AN EMBARRASSMENT OFRICUES.

THE

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FALL LINE • LEGACY
TIGHT TURN French racer Perrine Pelen wins the 1980 women's slalom in Waterville, N.H., the first World Cup race to feature a new hinged slalom pole, which allowed for straighter lines and improved course maintenance.

Hinge of History
o The slalom pole that revolutionized racing. By John Fry
The intention of setting slalom poles on a hilt was to simulate turning
through trees in a forest. To realize the shortest-and therefore the fastest-line down the hill, racers have always tried to tum as close as possible to the pole. That technique had its consequences. The repeated impact of hitting rigid poles bruised arms and shoulders. Splintered wood and bamboo occasionally punctured legs, arms, hands and lungs. In 1968, an Australian racer training in France was impaled on a pole.-it went right through his body. He survived. If a pole came out, the gatekeeper had to run downhill and retrieve it, bring it back up, and jam it back into the hard snow-hopefully in the same place. The work of resetting poles interrupted races and slowed training. In 1930 a couple of inventive Swiss, working with slalom's creator Arnold Lunn of Great Britain, designed a pole that would remain upright. They called it the "Kandahar flag." It was a pole with a primitive springjoint at the snow surface. If you struck the upper section, it flopped over but then sprang back. In turning, a racer could exploit the spring action of the Kandahar flag by swinging the back of his skis over the pole's upper section, gaining a faster line but leaving officials to puzzle over whether he should be disqualified. The design was abandoned after a few winters. Almost 50 years would pass before the Kandahar flag was reinvented. The

hinged pole made its debut in international competition in the 1980 World Cup races at Waterville Valley, N.H., using the Reliable Racing Company's Break-AWay pole. A niftily engineered spring in the base allowed the upper section of the pole to hinge and unhinge firmly. The new poles were a success, appreciated by trainers and gatekeepers. And they were eventually a boon for recreational racing programs, such as N astar, since they reduced the manpower needed to run races. Still, poles occasionally came out of the snow. The problem was solved when Austrian-born U.S. coachHermann Gollner; a skilled climber, realized that the threaded ice screw used in glacier climbing would work as the slalom pole's tip. In the 1980s, racers-increasingly armored with padding and face shields-began to use their inside shoulder to brush the pole aside. But with the advent in the 1990s of shorter, shaped skis, which carve a virtually non-skidded line, almost the entire skier's body was now outside of the gate; only the feet and ankles were inside. Racers switched to using the outside arm to knock the turning pole aside. Slalom became "like skii_ng and playing tennis at the same time," Gollner quipped. Six decades ago, when racers began to use the reverse-shoulder form to win slalom competitions, recreational skiers copied it with the popular wedel technique. In contrast, the new armsand-hands slalom technique, though it has revolutionized racing, has exerted virtually no influence on the way you and I turn today .•

1 9 8 o

30 SKI

OCTOBER 2010

they float forward and aft. By using my Skier's Edge Big Mountain machine for 20 minutes a day. why's every turn I make so much harder than the one before? What's wrong is a combination of lack of a. You go along. shin and calf muscles. mountain. UT 800-225-9669 Ext.and bumps jus! appear from nowhere. By strengthening Ihe muscles around my ankle. the strength and endurance to master the most challenging runs.com/171 . you'll be the skier who has the ability to ski the entire mountain and take any trail with confidence and style. No big deal. The strength I've gained by using my Skier's Edge allows me to stay centered on my skis. Utah. My goal is to keep my feet level while moving side to side in order 10 become stronger and improve my bolonce. I increase the level of my workout even more by adding the Slope Simulator accessory to my machine.This causes faulty body alignment which may cause you to fall. You have two choices . including By following this training routine on the Skier's Edge. moguls and powder with confidence. I gain the strength and endurance to master the mosl challenging runs. You stay cool and try to psych yourself up. Featured in Skiing Magazine's Top 100 Inslructors . I can slay centered on my skis and not lean back. down. " You ask yourself. How many times have you been out skiing and decide to follow a friend down a steep run? It's a run that you've always wanted to do but didn't have the confidence to go develops total balance and control. so I work my ankles. right? Ha! The run is steeper than you thought The Skiers Edge Company'" • Park City. It's nice to be able to go top to bottom without stopping. It's nice to be able to go top to bollom without stopping.1gain strength and endurance that lakes away your confidence .171 • www. I can tackle any pitch. .not ski challenging runs or work oullo become stronger.SkiersEdge. By removing the pins from the front and back... knowing that it's not in your comfort zone. Slope Simulators train for the forward position and You CANSki the Entire Mountain BY DAVE JONES PSIA Level III Deer Valley. You wonder what you're doing wrong and why you're exhausted halfway down the run. I am prepared for any terrain on the moguls.

By Valerie Gleaton AUTUMN CASHMERE Sophisticated Style FUNNEl NECK SWEATER Snuggle upfora cozy cabin weekend or Luxe lodge retreat in 100 percent cashmere .com HELLY HANSEN SNOW CUTTER These blingy. $209. waterproof boots come equipped with rubber running-shoe treads for stability and fauxfur liningfor comfort and added glam. kaenon.sh- mere.echnology and' are made with the female form (and'face) in mind. $130.com 32 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .. com KAENON JOSS These shapely shades include polarized lenst.FALL LINE • SLOPESTYLE o You may not own a chalet in the Alps. autumnca. but you can look the part in these chic winter wearables. heUyhansen. $495.

$199jJawbone. OCTOBER 2010 SKI 33 .Professionalgrade noise cancelingtechnology blocks out wind and liftline chatter..OAFERHORN Classic. $99. tweet and text-handsfree .com WENGER L. eiRE BENTLEY Supple sheepskin gloves with cashmere linings pamper winter-chapped hands and fingers. $88jgrandoe. full-grain leather slip-ons have lugged outsoles for navigating stick sidewalks.com JAWBONE ICON The Bluetooth device with voice command lets you talk.NOTAFURFAN? No worries: The hood's trim is faux fur and fully detachable.

CARVE AND BUST THROUGH CRUD. EXPANDING THE MOUNTAIN 3411 Buyers Guide II SKI .MIDFATS FLOAT.

SKI II BuyersGuide 1135 .

I Buyers Guide /I SK .

II

NEW SKIS AND BOOTS COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE THIS SEASON. (OR AT LEAST MAKE YOU SKI BETTER.) HERE'S HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ONES FOR YOU.
Among skiers, there are universally shared hardships. Frostbite. Liftlines. And trying to navigate your way through rack after rack of skis and boots in a busy ski shop. It's intimidating, we know. But there's nothing more important to your skiing than getting on the right gear. And after a few years or roughly 100 hard-charging days on the hill, the "right" gear usually means newgear. Read the category descriptions to the right, decide which best suits you, and flip to the corresponding section. A couple ofthings to keep in mind:

5

so if you think you're at least an advanced intermediate, most of these skis will be excellent improvement tools to take you to the next level. (Payclose attention to each ski's Forgiveness numbers: The higher the number, the easier it is to ski.) CHEAPER-AND EASIER,TOO Advanced intermediates or below should check out the skis in our value section ("The $700 Showdown," p. 90), which have a broad range of ability parameters. Orfind an expert ski you think you might like, and ask for the next ste p downless aggressive and less expensive-in that line. (Ski manufacturers make many skis from the same mold, adjust~ ing performance levels by using different materials.)
So read the reviews (starting on p, 64), check out the numbers (p. 88), and talk to friends and shop staffers. Then bring this issue with you when you're looking to buy. It will help demystify the process. (As for frostbite and liftlines, we found a cure for those, too. Several, actually. Just ask your favorite apres bartender.)

CONTENTS 38 Trends 2011 This season's exciting innovations 46 Makeover The right boots matter: a before-and-after 54 Ski Anatomy What's your ski made of? 56 Boot Anatomy How a boot is built 58 What You Need to Know Tips on buying and maintaining 64 Skis 73 award-winning models, tested and reviewed 88 The Data The numbers behind our ranki ngs 90 The $700 Showdown Winners that won't break the bank 94 Boots We suffered ...so you won't have to. The 49 best. SKI CATEGORIES

IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING NICE TO SAY•••Every ski and boot we feature here is a medal winner. (Wedon't review gear that doesn't make the cut.) In other words, all of the skis and boots you see on these pages is worthy. Your choice is a matter of preference, dependent on variables such as your skiing style, favorite terrain and perso naItaste. CREAM OF THE CROP All skis in our terrain-based categories are high-performance. Good expert skis should be forgiving,

64168 DeepSnow Skis > Specialists built to smear through the deep. Great "cheater" skis for intermediates, too. (98~128 mm waists)

72177 MixedSnow Skis > All-mountain skis appropriate mostly for softe r snow. A Western~ er's one-ski quiver. (80-98 mmwaists)

82/85 HardSnow Skis > Narrow-waisted carvers for the groomed. An Eastern everyday tool; a specialist out West. (Up to 84 mm waists)

BOOT CATEGORIES

95/100 Speed Boots > Snug, stiff. For experts who crave speed and precision-and knowagood bootfitter.

96/100 Freeride Boots > A little softer for versatility in all terrai n, but still expert-level high-performance boots.

99/106 Comfort Boots > Warm, soft, roomy; footfriendly but structured enough to help intermediates improve.

SKI II BuyersGuide

1137

FOR VERY GOOD REASON, ROCKER GETS MOST OF THE ATTENTION. BUT THE NEW YEAR BRINGS AN UNUSUALLY FRUITFUL CROP OF INNOVATIONS.

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Rocker isn't just for powder anymore. Turns out it was never just for experts, either. So over the past two years we've seen it creep onto frontside skis aimed at various ability levels, where it serves two purposes. One is shock absorption: A raised tip, when it hits a bump, doesn't jolt you like a cambered tip wilt; the impact is gradual. And if yours not getting tossed around+sey, in bumps or crud=it's easier to balance. The other purpose is, well, call it forgiveness, because "pivotability" isn't a word. For those still turning their skis by pivoting them, a raised, unpressured tip is less grabby on the snow. Go ahead, twist your torso, and skid your skis with enhanced ease. When you're ready to tip them on edge and carve like a pro, there's still plenty of sidecut to work with. But it's still in powder, glorious powder, that rocker comes into its own. It's changing the
3SIISuyers Guide 1/ SKI

LET US IROCK

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liP AND TAIL ROCKER, CAMBER UNDERFOOT

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way experts ski: They can go faster, harder, longer. Yet at the same time" it's the perfect learning tool for powder newbies. How's it work? Let's break it down. BIGSEXY TIPS This is the most immediately intuitive benefit. Combine massive width with rocker, and the result is a tip that simply won't dive. Everyone wins: novices, because keeping tips up in powder is one of the hardest things to master; experts, because they can stand more aggressively, with more shin-boot pressure, knowing they won't go over the handlebars. THE SCHMEAR Srnearing=i.e., skidding in powder-gives

experts new options, with more nuanced control over speed and line. Example: treeskiing. You find a llne, descend it, then hunt laterally for the next one. 'Ifthe next line isn't too far left, say, you can set a strong right-footer, pop as far across the hill as possible, then set a left-footer at the top of the new line..But if that next line is just a little too far? Old school: Throw in a couple turns to set up (losing speed), School of Rocker: After making that strong right-footer, make one big messy smeared left-footer that gets you all the way over to the new line. Skid, skid, skid, until you have a good angle, then set an edge and charge. One turn, skidded+ smeared. Like a GS

racer drifting straight at the next gate, then hammering the edge into a carve at the last moment. It's faster. It even makes its own special sound, exactly like a Bronx cheer. THEE-BRAKE Flotation and smearing 'let you ski powder at unprecedented speeds. And when you see that cliff band ahead? Rocker lets you drop anchor instantly. Lean back on those tails and throw a huge spray. Cambered skis just don't let you get them sideways as quickly. Is it still fun to ski powder on midfats and unrockered fatties? Hec k yeah. But it's like super-sidecut: Those who have embraced its charms will have a hard time going back.

CUSH~ SUSPENSION

J

SKI II BuyersGuide II

VolklKuro ) (132 mm). Wagner. some are clever innovators with bright futures and passionate followers (Liberty.Pictured:Ice tic Ke) !. wider tails remain engaged longerfor stronger turn finishes. lean back and bury that tail at the first sign of trouble.S. they seemed like pi. 4FRNT) ar~ here to stay. lcelantic). It gives you courage for steep lines and huge landings. too. Where did all those manufacturing presses go? Welcome to the age of indie ski brands. THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF HUGENESS 40 II Buyers Guide II SKI . Stand aggressively when things are going well. the now venerable K2 Pontoon and the amazing. Colo.. Some (A:rmada. Look for the results laterthis season andon i m. K2 Pontoon (130 mm) and Nordica Jah Love {140 rnrn). returning Rossignol THE GARAGE BRANDS There used to be some 250 snowboa rd brands in the U.blicity stu nts. Examples:.THE STATE OF THE ART TAPER CAPERS C "Taper" is the difference in width between a ski's tip and taiL On hardpack.. While your tips remain floaty and maneuverable.The biggest beasts are more than twice as wide as skis of the recent past. and while most of us aren't lucky enough to need a dedicated deeppowder tool in the everyday quiver.. unwanted speed is scrubbed instantly. some just seem like hobbies for kids with too muc:htime on their ~ands.before a massive consolidation shrank that number to somethi ng like 70 this year. narrow ones feel slippery and easy. Turns out a narrower tail gives you options in powder.--=l11 When the double-wides first came out. Examples: Line Prophet 130 (130 mm). We counted 41 independent brands attending this year's nationa Itrade show. We spent some time with the indie-brand skis duri ng two days of testing at Breckenridge. But designs have improved. these giants really can't be beat for making the most of monster storms .

They bu ild bike fra mes out of it. roomier fits and lighter constructions make them eager companions for freeride adventure beyond the ropes. not wood. Lange's Blaster (and women's Delight) and Dalbello's Virus (see p.the way. Tecnica AgentAT and BC. after all.Atomic's Tracker series. Whatever: Trendy bamboo continues to demonstrate its amazing versatility in new uses every day. though we vouch for their skiability. But don't be surprised to see the fewer-is-more trend migrating to all-rnounta in boots. Th e Duke-Ma rker's burly hybrid-rocked the world five years ago. grippy soles. Knee Binding introduced a product designed to save you r ACL.Remember.) BACKCOUNTRY FOR ALPINERS What's fueling the AT boom? Gear like this: stout enough to keep spoiled alpiners happy on th e descent but light and functional enough for unambitious touring. Nordica debuted its flashy Ace of Spades last December and bui It a new Freeride collection around it. Liberty goes all. (Still too small a sample size to know if they work. Watch to see if other brands adopt this highly renewable resource.0 BINDINGS: THE ANTHREND Marker takes aim at the Fritchi Freeride with a new AT binding. THE VANISHING BUCKLE They are. and its Royal Family of models-including the Jester and Baron-are big sellers. So how few bu ckles ca n still get the job done? Salomon has been at it for a couple years with boots like the Ghost. BAMBOO 2. SKI II BuyersGuide II 41 . it's grass. it's mostly park-oriented stuff. Ski-walk features. Last year. 42). As far as alpine models. the Tour. there's not mu ch new. building its Helix 176 (andothersl around a ba mboo core. Mainstrea m com panies continue to exploit the new category. heavy and expensive and prone to breakage. Exam~ ples: Salomon Quest 12. For now. why not skis? Salomon leads the way among mainstrea m brands with ba mboo laminatesin the Czar and Shogu n.

.. Glen Plake took a lead role in the design of Dalbello's newest offering. It belongs in the emerging alpine/AT hybrid category (see page 41).. v As with the Krypton series.. has a flexible panel in the troublesome "sixthtoe" area ofthe bootalong the outside wa [1.. We'll LIGHTEN UP ONE-BOOT QUIVER fortheATersion.. (t An all-carbon boot would bethe ultimate in power and quickness. Solution: The Dodge boot's curved spine leaves room to slide in.. It expa nds to accommodate widerfeet.. featured in models like theLF 90.... you have to admire the exuberance of Full Tilt's 2011 styles. though skiers of a certain age might want to go with something a little more conservative.. long popular among park and pipe crowd. the Virus. The problem: It'd be so stiff you couldn't get into it. gym-sock cuffs (as in the Hot Dogger) put the fun in freeriding..BRAND INNOVATIONS HIGH STYLE FLEXIBLE FIT Ready for a red-plaid ski boot? Even if you're not.. decorative zippers. but for now it's a race application. Atomic's new Live Fit technology... Feet that aren't constricted are warme r.. We hear amazing things.~balanceJ . blend ing the best of alpine performance with acceptable toura] 4211 Buyers Guide II SKI . Quilted panels..~::----.more relaxed and easier to ~ .

!v home trial l311m ur to 1.Itls not the Shape of the Ski.E!f o .1!()1-~1>-8HIII ~ . -RSED6E" ((( JJ) 10 ci. Hit the slopes this season in shape and with style. 'illl) .~~ 0 rllc:i~1Suppl er 10 1he Wefld's Be.SkiersEdge.:~I()ue"hr 4/1 Year wammty ~~~ ? -~". Itls the Shape of the Skier. . You won't be the only one who notices the improvement in your skiing! SKI.com/170 fhc Skl{'r'~ Edge Company ~al~ C 1/. \)1.t The #1 Tedlilical S~I Condlliol1f'r ill lh" WOlld Ski Ieams • Call today for a FREEBuyers Guide and DVD 800-225-9669 EXT~ 170 www.I! 3l_ . make this season count Starting now! You can push yourself to the next level by training year-round on the Skier's Edge in the comfort of your home.

CARVING PUSHING LIMITS Embracing roc ker much? How about five flavors of it. G-forces. '\_____J . firm corduroy beckons. accessorized with climbing skins.BRAND INNOVATIONS IS COOL Carving needs a new publicist. Sidestash and Coomback. The returning Ba. Mea nwh ile. If speed is yourthing and fresh. can Icrash on your couch?" but the race~ ready construction and hybrid GS/slalom sidecut are all business. you'll wa nt a ski that isn't afraid to admit it's a carver. Try Nordica's Firearrow. few will admit loving it. The graphics say "Dude. attempts to inspire lift slaves to ventu re beyond the boundaries with models like the Darkside. packs. Every good skier does it. telescopic poles and the li ke.ckside line. it continues its headlong plu nge into the mainstreaming of backcou ntry adventure. aimed at every level of skier ability? K2 retired the Apache line this year and unveiled its new AMP line to cover the frontside needs of all-mountain skiers. Its charms are undeniable-a seductive mix of speed. smoothness.

WHERE DO "LIFT TICKETS" GO ON AN EXPENSE REPORT? .THREE DAYS IN SALT LAKE CITY FOR A SALES CONFERENCE.

Flimsy footbeds don't provide support. the boot wasn't a commercial success.you know. But it was an interesting project. And it got us thinking: What would it be like to try to ski if. especially when it comes to proper boot-fit and stance-alignment.•• 4611 Buyers Guide II SK PHOTOGRAPHS ElY KElti "ASCETTA . And hilarious. it really is your tools that are holding you back? In fact. Ore. WE TOOK TWO TELLURIDE LOCALS AND EQUIPPED THEM FOR SUCCESS. we've always had our suspicions that a significant number of skiers are poorly equipped to succeed.COMI MAKEOVER_ . With just a halfdegree of unneeded cant. The results? Read on. to whining babies who couldn't buy a turn. Old. The idea was hatched a while back during a week of boot testing at Mount Bachelor. The sale could be unlocked. Aging plastic loses resiliency and grows brittle. like so many avid skiers. lifelong rippers were reduced. But it's not the only one. TO PUT IT TO THE TEST. They could n't believe how bad they were. instantly. yes. proper stance alignment is usually the most important factor to address. We gave our guinea pigs new boots and set them up with one of the best bootfitters we know. Improper flex compromises balance-too stiff. too soft. or how big a difference a little cantingmade .. some background. We brought in an instructor to assess technique before and after.IT'SAPOOR craftsman who blames his tools and all that. THE MAKEOVER alignment. it knocks you fore and aft..II HOW MUCH DOES EQUIPMENT REALLY MATTER? CAN GOOD SKIERS GET BETTER IF THEY'RE IN THE RIGHT GEAR? WE THINK SO. inward or outward. For various reasons. we were starting from the disadvantage of poorly aligned stance? What would happen if we took our hotshot testers and knocked them out of you need. You can't steer a ski with a sloppy-fitting boot. FOR ALL THE DETAILS " GO TO sKIMAG. You get the idea.. But first.. There was an interesting new product that year-a boot with adjustable cant. Depending on your biomechanics. And that gave us an idea What if we identified a couple of candidates and set them up properly? Would we see an immediate difference? And would they appreciate the difference? As we suspected. But what if. GUESS WHAT HAPPENED . even just a tiny bit? The results were spectacular. and you don't have the support SURE. packed-out lin ers lack leverage over your ski. and the boot could then be tilted inward or outward in relation to the sale to match the skier's biomechanics.

SKI II BuyersGuide II 47 .

THIS IS A GOOD ONE. but there are competent pros like him in almost every ski town now. it can be reused in your new boot. We went there to enlist the services of Bob Gleason. then selects sizes that fit snugly but comfortabty. Coto. get one. especially in the critical arch area. ette ? ere. ) FIT FIRST Gleason quickly zeroes in on appropriate models for our subjects.. GEARING UP ) THE GURU We didn't just choose Telluride. Seek them out. and is shaped to conform to your foot. BUT MOST OF US COULD USE SOME HELP. Stock footbeds.NEW BOOTS-WITH PROPER FIT AND FLEX-MIGHT BE ALL YOU NEED. Step 1 is always the footbed. Tight spots can always be expanded later. don't support your foot sufficiently. 4811 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . FROM FOOTBEDS TO CANTING. A custom foot bed is more rigid and substantial. giving you improved leverage over the ski and a more precise fit. If not. Not everyone will be lucky enough to have access to him. it's only a sloppy fit that can't be fixed.lf you've already got a custom job. an equipment tester for SKI. shaped to fit the masses and often made of flimsy materials. is one of the preemi nent bootfitters in the country. One of Gleason's subjects dicksinto a ski simulator (left) to get an idea of how two different boots will fit and feel in action. ) FOUNDATIONS Next. customization. as the tocate for our makeover project because it's beautiful and the skiing's great. Gleason. owner of The Boot Doctors. IF YOU MAKE ONE UPGRADE THIS SEASON.

As is typical. thus determining how much adjustment is needed. grinding cants is the most complex. He then uses calibrated wedges to bring the skier into alignment. he removes the toe and heel plates. Gteason shaves each boot's sale at the appropriate angte. And that's it. The wands are rockered underneath. our female skier.. right) usingcalipers.Gleason starts by locating the center of knee mass (the black dots. in the case of our male candidate's new Langes. Naturally this affects the way the boot interfaces with a binding.it's time to plane the sales. . so. rigid sales and constricting cuffs). using epoxy. ) CANTING Once he's determined how much and in which direction to cant the boot. Thewands. Next.> DIAGNOSIS Both our makeover candidates have alignment issues. Gleason builds the top face of each lug back up to where it's square with the bottom. - SKI II BuyersGuide II 49 . so choose your technician carefully or risk needtessly ruining a pair of boots. then screws the plates back on (left). Of all bootfitting processes. Or. inserts cant wedges. so that it fits as intended into a binding. show Gleason how far out of alignment the subject is. our male skier was slightly bowlegged. knockkneed . It's irreversible. so the skier can stand neutrally (without being forced inward or outward by the boots' flat. which rise perpendicularly to the boot sales. he has the subject stand on cant wands (far right).

you're rock-solid on this side. 'Wow. an aceTelluride Ski School instructor with 29 years of experience. since like a lot of men Han nah is significantly bowlegged. when we asked John Balmain. 'John took one look and said.'" Which wasn't surprising. 50 II Buyers Guide 1/ SKI .He's comfortable in any terrain. by any standard. Balmain zeroed in instantly on his one flaw. moved to Telluride right after high school and skis about 80 days per year .) FILMMAKER Don Hannah is as avid as skiers come: on snow at age 3. a good skier.. prefers steep powder and is. And yet. Hannah recalls. but you're allover the place on the other. to analyze Hannah's technique.

to effectively soften the inside edge of the ski. "Once Iwas corrected. Because h is knees were outside. It's always that kind of stuff where you blow a knee out. In his new. which was especi ally noticeable when Iwas maching on the groomers to get back to the lift.ungroomed stuff. high on the outside. canted boots. I'd have no position to stand solidly against it.It could be terrifying. His outside ski wanted to hook up and carve in a new turn before his body was in a from Balmain. more on top of the skis than I was prior to being properly aligned. Then he built in 1 degree of cant. but on any hard-packed snow." Over-edging is exactly what he was prone to. shaping them to leave room for Hannah's rigid midfoot to flex. "It made me feel very much centered. Gleason's solution: The Lange R130 looked like the best fit for Hannah's foot. he was soon carving clean trenches on the hardpack. But with coaching problem in powder. he had too much leverage over the inside edge.. I had complete confidence to ski with impunity on any slopes." SKI II BuyersGuide II 51 . Iwas over-edging in certain situations. with a stout flex to match his size and aggressiveness. "But on groomers it was obvious. Gleason molded new footbeds. all his life." Hannah says." And that's what Hannah has been doing. "If you're a good athlete. he knew he had issues. "It wasn't ever a problem on steep. the twitchiness would make my heart jump sometimes . you can adapt your technique to overcome an alignment problem. Still." he says.TOUCHY EDGE RESULT: LESS AfTER ) AS INSTRUCTOR Balmain notes. quite successfully. Hannah had some adjustments to make and some techniques to relearn.

Maribeth Clemente is a travel writer and professional shopping consultant. and he didn't have to look hard. Balmain knew her as a colleague on the Telluride Ski School staff." 5211 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . "My whole ski life. setting an edge. All that instructor analysis only made her more aware of her one shortcoming.different story.. Her sense of style is unassaila ble. We asked Balmain to scout out a knock-kneed Telluride local. I've had a hard time getting on edge-rolling my ankles. the reverse is true of women. Not that she's a bad skier.) IF MEN TENDTO BE bowlegged. all the things you need to do to ski really well and carve a turn.. her ability to set an edge .

The canting fixed that. a good fit for her foot shape." meaning she has difficultypressuring the inside edge.ljust wasn't physiologically set up to do what I need to do. Mission accomplished. to allow h er to more easily pressure the inside edge.RESULT: A STRONG INSIDE EDGE AfTER ) CLEMENTE'S affliction is so common it has a name: the "A-frame. it has nowhere to go when she wants to tip that ski on edge. after lifetimes spent compensating for biomechanical disadvantages. Clemente needs time to adjust and says the new edginess of her skis gave her some difficulty at first. there was no way Iwas going to get the right edging. SKI II BuyersGuide II 53 . did the But that's not surprising. Both of our subjects. The groundwork for a successful mission has been laid. but not quite using the ski's flex and sidecut to carve. drills. He added a quarter-inch of heel lift und er new custom footbeds to improve her limited ankle flexion. need to adjust to new atignments. she admitted she ran back to the familiarity of her old boots to get through a week of end-of-season lessons. "No matter how much I pr acticed. As Balmain puts it. could see instant results+and predicts technique breakthroughs for both in the coming season. high on the inside. When pressed. So she's a chronic skidder+graceful and poised. But Balmain." Clemente says. Gleason began with a Salomon Idol9. being knock-kneed." Well. our trained eye." which describes the angles of a knock-kneed woman's shins. sort of. she's "under-edged. he ground a fulll. More like. Because her downhill knee is already inside as she enters a new turn.S degrees of cant into her sales. Most important. "It's been a big source of frustration.

) EDGE A strip of stainless steel integrated into the layup layer of a ski. ) MOLD A metal plank with a ski-shaped cavity milled into it. while a ski with a larger taper is less "hooky" and easier to skid. more durable and more damp-are made by laminating vertical strips of wood together (think plywood tipped on edge). typically a sheet of clear plastic with the ski's graphics printed on its underside ) LAMINATES Sheets of reinforcing materialusually metal or fiberglass fabric-layered above and below the core.. often alloyed with aluminum for use in laminates ) TORSIONAL RJGIDITY G. ) TITANAL The brand name of the aluminum alloy commonly used in laminates ) TITANIUM A lustrous white metal prized for its strength-to-weight ratio. Typically. . ) MIDFAT A loosely defined category of skis. fore and aft. a manufacturer can make a lighter. Some foam cores (the good ones) are milled to precise shapes from foam blanks. ) DAMPENING The reduction of the vibrationsthatoccurwhena ski is in motion. fiberglass light and lively. Sheets offiberglass fabric are impregnated with epoxy. giving the ski more grip on the snow. ski components (and a liberal amount of epoxy) are placed into the mold. aids in turning when the ski is tipped on edge and pressured into an arc ) SIDECUTRADIUS A measurement. prized for their versatility. ) CORE The primary structural elementwood or foam-around which the ski is built. 5411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . ) BASE A sheet of plastic. Wood coreswhich are generally heavier. ) SIDECUTThenarrowing of a ski at its waist. cured. usually high-density polyethylene. ) ROCKER (REVERSE CAMBER) The opposite and tail widths-an expression of the shape ofaski of camber. ) TAPER The difference between the tip and tail widths. metalfree ski that still holds an edge on hardpack. A dampened ski is better able to hold an edge in the snow-but might lack liveliness. then laid into the ski mold. ) DIMENSIONS Tip. They're not as wide as specialized powder skis nor as narrow as speed or race skis. other foam cores (derisively known as "squirties") are simply injected through the tail into a hollow shell of a ski (a cheap and imprecise manufacturing method). Metal laminates tend to make a ski more damp and stable. waist ) PRE~PREGA type of prefabricated laminate used to reinforce cores. which is then subjected to intense heat and pressure to bond the components and squeeze out excess epoxy.LOSSA RY ) CAMBER The convex curvature built into the length of a ski. A ski's ability to resist twisting. Typically "structured" with microgrooves that help to reduce suction and promote glide.HOW WILL A SKI PERFORM ON THE HILL? IT'S ALL ABOUT WHAT'S INSIDE. in meters. By increasing torsional rigidity. Distributes the pressure of a skier's weight to the tip and tail. A ski with a smaller taper generally initiates ares easily. Differing densities of material yield different performance characteristics. ANATOMY ) TOPSHEET The top ) SIDEWALL The vertical plastic side of a laminateconstruction ski. of the depth of a ski's sidecut curvature. curving upward off the snow. Today's midfats-typically 85 to 95 mm atthe waist-are generally wider than those of recent years. resulting in a tumier ski. often achieved by aligning glass fibers across the core at an angle (see "torsion box"). then cut to fit the ski's width and placed in the mold. Used in powderspecific skis for ease and better float.

so that the top of the ski is rounded. then the core. is encased in fiberglass. the ski is built+or "laid up'--ln horizontal layers. then epoxy-soaked and cured. but usually it's cosmetic. ILLUSTRATION ElY STEPHEN IIENESKI SKI II BuyersGuide II 55 . usually wood. rather than flat. then metal.LAMINATES BASE BASIC CONSTRUCTION TYPES ) LAMINATE OR "SANDWICH" Prized for ) TORSION BOX The core. then a sheet of pre-preg fiberglass. then topsheet.i-no metal neededwithout sacrificing edge-grip. So named because it resists twisting (see "torsional rigidity. > CAP The top layer(s) arch from one edge to the other. with performance attributes determined by core design. Typicallaminate construction: base sheet. then a sheet of metal. It can produce a lighter sk. cap skis vary widely in performance and price. then fiberglass. . its power and edge-hold. Though typically a less expensive construction. Sometimes thetopsheetis reinforced and plays a structural role (a"loadbearing cap")." left).

HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE MADE OF. GLOSSARY ) BOOTBOARD The platform inside the boot shell on which the liner rests. ) LUGS (TOE AND HEEL) The portions of the shell's sale that interface with a ski binding. so that the cuff can be angled to match the angle of the skier's leg. Boots can be canted to lean inward or outward.YOUR BOOTS ARE YOUR FOUNDATION. ) SHELL The plastic exterior components of the boot. usually removable. "Last" is a cobbler's term for the footlike form around which shoes were once crafted. it provides padding for the foot to protect it from the rigid shell. usually made of foams. usually by grinding the sale at an angle. usually comprisingtwo components: the cuff and the lower. FO 5611 Buyers Guide II SKI ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN ISENESKI . ) CANT The lateral (sideto-side) angle of the boot in relation to the ski. leather and plastics.zeppa ) FOOTBED The removable platform-located inside the liner-on which the foot rests ) LINER The removable inner boot. also referred to by its Italian name. ) LAST The shape of the interior cavity of a boot. usually adjustable on at least one side of the cuff. must meet industry standards for size and shape. to give the skier better access to all four ski edges. ) SHAFT ALIGNMENT The lateral orientation of the cuff in relation to the lower shell. sometimes replaceable in the event of wear.

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'S YOUR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO BUYING GEAR. (Sound like a good job? See page 61 to find out how to join our team of "civilian" testers. instructors.BEFORE YOU WALK INTO THE SHOP. UsuaUyonly half of what the manufacturers enter win medals. and award medals ta those skis with the highest average scores acras s all criteria. FROM HOWWE TEST TO HOW TO SIZE. HERE. filling out test cards as they go. retailers and bootfitters=all of whom are natur al gea r analysts. SPECIAL THANKS Snowbird Resort Chaos Hats HeHyHansen Mountain Hardwear Smartwool Komperdell Kombi Bolle S8118uyers Guide II SKI .) We collect test cards. and testers put them through their paces. Manufacturers enter their best skis and boots for each category.. and give you the data you need to pick the right gear for the upcoming season. READ THIS.Testers rank each and comment extensively about its behavior on every type of terrain. HOWWETEST We corral a tea m of expert testers+Sl former racers. enter data. Then we write reviews based on our testers' cards.

while narrow skis (70-80 mm underfoot) turn quickly and bite into ice.Nothing makes us realize how much a tune matters more than skiing the test fleet....lmagine extending that arc into a huge imaginary circle. Anything in between (BO-IOO mm underfoot) is a versatile. . Skis with a small radius-and deep sidecut-tend to prefer short. Most skis keep their dimensions (tip.. However some brands maintain the same side cut radius.. .. You don't have to have an engineering degree to understand a ski's dynamics. makes you a better skier~ and diamond stones. The measurement (in meters) refers to the arc of the sidecut. and therefore easier to ski. sidecut is irrelevant. and illustr ates what type of tu rns the ski is most comforta ble rnaking. which means the radius changes accordingly. 38. The result is astonishing: A good tune !!! . p.. II .. which give you a good idea oflhe terrain it's built for and how it will likely behave. (Except maybe getting back on our own equipment after skiing the test fleet. II SIDECUT • 11- . when we could swea r our bases were coated in peanut butter. The difference between the tip and tail-called the taper anglecan teU you how forgiving a ski is: WHAT ARE DIMENSIONS? p SIDECUT RADIUS III til . waist and tail widths-see left) the sa me regardless of the ski's size.. changing their dimensions instead. we provide the tip.. • WHAT IS SIDECUT RADIUS? A narrower tail (or large taper angle) is easier to skid. Wider skis (100 mm underfoot and up) float and smear better in powder. depending on conditions and terrain. 'II!I • ... for more on how taper angle can affect aski in powder. (See Trends. In each review. quick turns.. So generally. The sidecut radius would be the radius of that circle. all-mountain ski.. lending a stuck-to-the-snow feel that experts can appreciate.. the longer the ski. (Notice we said "carve. so the ski ca rves the same regardless of length. you should sharpen your edges and wax your bases after five to seven days on the hill... product managerssome of the best tuners in the business-slave over their skis with files WHAT ABOUT TUNING? So wh ether you invest in sometools for regular maintenance (doing it yourself is rea lly not that hard) or take you r skis to a shop.) SKI II BuyersGuide II 59 .. A wider tail (or small taper angle) stays true to its arc longer. waist and tail widths (in millimeters).) Every night of the test. and even in between runs.) This measu rement describes a ski's sidecut.." If you're skidding your turns.. the longer turns it prefers. those with a long radius like to run..

Their salespeople are the most educated. However. then sidewalls. If you like to make tight. it's ready for the slopes. Forgiveness. a clear layer with the graphic printed on its underside. then a couple more laminates and finally the topsheet. the shop that sold the gear should make it right. go shorter.Don't be scared by the dollar signs. For powder skis. which determines the shape and length of the finished product. 54. experts will want skis that stand at or above the eyebrows. with 100 being the perfect score. which tend to ski shorter. for carvers. You'll often find higher prices in ski towns. p. you can fi nd great deals at urban shops. We rank according to average across all criteria. Forfast. popularity of the product or the time of year. Stability.It's also a matter of preference. then the pre-shaped core. The best places to buy tend to be shops that offer tu ning and bootfitting. WHATISMSRP? Testers rank each ski in nine criteria: Flotation.. Once it's cured. Balance of SkiUsand OveraUImpression. WHAT SIZE SKI DO I NEED? Every ski size and sha pe has its own mold. then a couple of lam inates (typicaUyfiberglass or metal). you may want to go longer (5 cm or so). A database program corrects for standard deviation (some testers are generous. Crud. intermediates at the chin. depending on the location of the shop. but you can trust the staff to know their stuff-which is usually worth it. some stingy). go a little shorter . aggressive skiingespecially off·piste-opt for more length. And. The ski is then cleaned up and tuned. quick turns. Quickness.) HOW ASKIIS MADE 60 II Buyers Guide II SKI . the materials are placed into the mold fro m the bottom up: edges and base material first. In a laminate-construction ski. A heated press squeezes out extra epoxy. not what you're likely to pay. The price is what the rnanufacturers suggest. especially those with rocker. HOW DO YOU RANK THE SKIS? Generally speaking. Hard-Snow Performance. if you do need work done. (SeeAnatomy of a Ski. and make your purchase before you get to the hill. Rebound.

Lindsey Vonn-stiff.corn. flexing the boot forward without being thrust in the bac k seat. When you find a shell that fits. conti nue reading. trying on as many brands and models as you can stand. 60~70> For novices. Though we kept their results separate for consistency's sake. In a heated ski shop. a fun crew and a few boisterous nights at the bar-sounds like a tough job. new skis are sexier. 75) To sign up for this year's program. if you thi nk you can hack it. you'll need to find the appropriate flex withinthat line. p. dread the bootbuying process. lightweight intermediate women and kids a different perspective on gear. you should be able to squat. junior racers. For most highexpert men.) A BOOT HOW TO BUY RATINGS 140~150 > II/BOOT FLEX Stiff as bricks. where "civilians" join our team and test along with the pros. For intermediate men. ratings are not standardized. not only gives us Eric Weber> Atomic Access (not medalled) David Hansen> Vtilkl Bridge (Value Skis. SKI II BuyersGuide II 61 . But it's worth it. For elite male World Cup racers only Still really stiff. 96) Mark Lester> V6lkl Kendo (MixedSnow Skis. But new boots will make you better. too. We can't say it enough: There is nothing more importa nt to your skiing tha n a boot that fits properly and suits your ability leveL That's not to say we don't understand why you're still rock ing your old. stay tuned to skirnag. We'll post info after the snow faUs. First. but structured. packed out pairwe. so your own flex test is more important. Last year's guest testers followed the same protocol as the pros.Sure. you should be able to slide your hand down the backandfitoneanda half fingers between yourheelandtheshe~ Never buy a boot that is too big: You need a snug fit to steer a ski. (A boot fitter can shorten this processand enable you to make your initial fit more snug-by customizing your shell for roughly $150. expert women. Well. you should visit several shops. here's what they liked best: r"'--J '"'HOW CAN I BE A TESTER? We know what you're thinking: Testing next year's skis in Snowbirdfresh powder. heavyweight intermediate men and aggressive expert women BO~90 > Comfortable. ForWorld Cup women and heavyweight and/or aggressive expert men Brawny but bendable. expert teens 120-130 > - 100-110 > Don't get distr acted by things like canting.92) Eliza Hillhouse> K2 Burnin' Luv (Hard-Snow Skis. Our guest tester program. working their way through each category and filling out test cards. Though it gives you a good idea about the level of performance a boot offers. with the opportunity of a lifetime. our loyal readers. "fur" liners or alloy buckles: You need to first find a good fit A knowledgeable salesperson will take out the liner and have you step in the shelL With your toes touching the front. p. but provides you. lightweight/ nonaggressive expert men.p.

43. ex-racer ) TOM FAVRO. PSIA Level IIIalpine and telemark instructor at Copper Mountain. Pro freeskier. Vermont native > VICTORIA DAWSON.'sdeputy editor and equ ipment test director. 34.150 Ibs. 2002 us. 30. . 41.. Former Middlebury College and Green Mountain Valley School racer. Master bootfitter in Vermont. certified pedorthist. Killington. 1851bs. 14S Ibs. Colo.e ~u __ ·_:_' ) COURTNEY GILLET. bootfitter. 34. 47. 57.. instructor and coach lbs. Str atton Mountain School grad. Snowbird local > TODD CASEY. certified pedor- thist ) TRACY GIBBONS. 58. Stevens Pass. 175 lbs. USSA .. Former UVM racer. Boot department manager. Calif..Veteran pro patroller a nd snow-safety director at Taos Ski Valley. 120 JIM SCHAFFNER. Coloradonative > ER IK BOLLER. owner/ operator of Start Haus Ski Shop in Truckee. Vt. 59.M. SKI. 59. 1151bs. Certified pedorthist. alpine/tete instructor for Vail and Beaver Creek. Women's gear director for Skiing Magazine. 1351bs . 125 tbs.SKI TEST ROSTER > CAROL BEALE. BOOT TEST ROSTER ) CAROL BEALE.240 Ibs. native ) BOB GLEASON. 190 lbs. Idaho ) HEATHER SCHULTZ. see above ) JAMIE PRESTON. 165lbs.seeabove ) GALENA GLEASON. ex-racer. 1851bs. N. Spent five years on the competitive race circuit. 190 lbs. Masterfit University. Hardgoods and store manager of Jans Mountain Experts at Park City Mour» tain Resort. former ski racer. 24. 1901bs. Co-owner of Sturtevant's ski shop in Bellevue. Utah. 172 lbs. Bootfitter for 18 years. Italy.Masters racer > HEATHER SCHULTZ.. 46. Educational director at Masterfit University. Co-owner and -founder of The Boot Doctors in Taos and Telluride. 2010 Telemark Freeskiing Champion.com. former instructor ) RACHEL MOSCARELLA. see above > HEATHER VAN GILDER. master bootfitter in Oregon > RAY GARRETT. ski bum ) BRIAN EARDLEY. 1381bs. 41.. 138 Ibs. Spedalty retailer with BentGate Mountaineering and Larry's Bootfitting. director of sales at Silver Mounta in Resort. 130 lbs. 52. 1451bs.. bootfitter for 28 yea rs. Wash. 39. certified pedorthist > KIM BEEKMAN. 46. Warren Miller athlete ) MEGAN MICHELSON. 14i4illis. Works in customer care at evo.. 47. three-time Demo Team World Champion ) SARAH WILDE. Manager of Inner Bootworks in Stowe. 36. former downhill and super G racer for the Ski Team •• u. 1151bs.. Repair manager of Rennstall for Ja ns ski shop in Park City. Head J4-5 coach at Snowbird. Cortina. Basin Ski Shop. Wasatch local ) NEAL SCHOLEY.225 lbs. Veteran bootfitter. co-owner ofThe Boot Doctors shops in Telluride. 52. Freeskiing editor at ESPN. ex-racer ) BOB REMIGER. 38. Backcountry snowcat ski guide with Cat Ski Mount Bailey. 33"yearindustry veteran ) RAY GARRETT. for 21 years. 34. > JOE CUTTS. Utah. 39. runs The Bootlab at First Run Ski Shop in Stratton. Senior instructor.s.. former racer. Vt. SKI's managing editor. 1251bs. ) STEPHANIE HUMES. Colorado native > BENNY WAX. . 190 lbs. certified pedorthist 6211 Buyers Guide II SKI . 1231bs. Wash. 45. Vt. 42. 28. Utah ) TIM MALONE. Colo. 31. see above ) BOBGLEASON.. 1651bs. freeskiing champion > MARK ELLING.

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.~.!E PRESTON 6411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL . TESTER JAM.

. made a huge run up the ranking.. A wood-core. usually lack of quickness or hard-snow grip.1 in six criteria-forgives almost any mistake. Ski as aggressively as you dare. The 57-No. stronger skis..4 in Rebound Energy as weLl. but now the Czar puts up No. with its wood core a Uttle more sturdily reinforced.. Traditional camber and sidecut underfoot provide a comfy home base. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 80." said Etling. advanced intermediates who want a powder-teachingtool WHAT Fat platforms and rockered profiles that float and smear through the deep WHERE Mostly untracked fresh.7 DIMENSIONS 131-111-121 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 44:7 m at 182 em MSRP $910 flat Last year's Czar struck testers as easy.5m at 188 em MSRP $900 flat Think you're nota very good powder skier? Don't decide till you try the category-crushing 57.. . en S7FREERIDE ROSSIGNOL .2 ranking in Quickness). There are bigger.. The secret's in the shape. The Girish puts up high scores across the board. 3D-degree sidewalls take a beating. but none more versatile. The tip is smeary. undemanding. its rocker extends about a third of the way back from the tip-plenty of float and maneuverability in powder that both experts and intermediates will enjoy. Tip and tail are rockered and reverse-sidecut. This year's modeL. CZAR SALOMON GIRISH NORDICA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 87. There's nothing special aboutthe construction: A sheet of Titanal gives it just enough power and dampness. and we tested the 195 cm.. whiLe a touch of tip rocker-40 cm long.0 DIMENSIONS 139-110-129 mm slDECUT RADIUS 26mat185cm MSRP $999 flat Girish-Sanskrit for "lord of the mountains"-is an apt name forthis versatile multitooL Every other ski in the category has one weakness.WAIST WIDTHS 98-128 mm WHO Experts who crave a powder specialist. metal-reinforced laminate layup gives it power and stability (and a No. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 80. "The ultimate powder tool. quick. No ski was deemed more forgiving.2 DIMENSIONS 145-115-123 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. perfect combination.2 ranking in Hard-Snow Grip)." said Gleason. the tail sinks readily when you need to dump speed. it bails you out every time." said Preston. Z-. up to 4 mm high-gives it a nice looseness and creamy flotation in powder [and a No. MeanwhiLe. snappy. fioaty. too w J:: .. "Well balanced. but a little boring. but now noticeably snappier and more dynamic. but rockered tips ease through cut-up crud.1 ranking in Quickness and a No. It's still an easygoing ride. "An all-mountain fat super-G ski with the godsend of rocker. some of the best rebound among the big skis.

In deep powder. "BLends big-ski float with user-friendly agility. it's part of Rossi's "jib" collection. But its rocker and sidecut work togetherto lay a nice long edge on hard pack. SIDECUT RADIUS flat The Answer is a rockered big-mount. but the 184 was zippy in crud and pleasingly energetic on the groomed." said Garrett. it's a full twin-tip." said Gleason. but you get the idea.ain twin-tip that's as lively as a fat ski can get (No. "A versatile. so it has a pleasing. buttery feel in soft snow.000 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $950 flat The tip and tail notches are for climbing skins-not required.1 in Rebound) thanks to the subtleness of its rocker profile.51DE5TA5H CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: K2 ROSSIGNOL 56JI8 4 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: THE ANSWER BLIZZARD CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 7B.1 DIMENSIONS 135-110-12S 2Bmat184cm MSRP $1.B DIMENSIONS 140-110-133 mm 5 AVERAGE SCORE 77.2 in Crud. If your snow is typically somewhere in between the two. The Answer comes with Blizzard's Slider binding interface. it tolerates hard pack.9 DIMENSIONS 139-108-127 23 mm AVERAGE SCORE 77.ing. 6611 Buyers Guide II SKI . with or without a short-tomedium hike." said Malone. Rockered in the forebody and traditionally cambered underfoot. but it'll carve. some testers wished they had the 191-cm length for extra float. The Sidestashis buiLt for adventure in the kind of snow you might find beyond the ropes. Testers clearly preferred Rossi's 57 (p. but handles aU surfaces nicely. 69) for pure powder applications. which accepts any binding. This year's version is rockered tip-totail. but the 56 offers more aU-mountain versatility. You have to be patient. andaUows the ski to flex roundly fore and aft of its single mounting screw directly underfoot. and yes. "Best in deep snow. all-around performer. dismounts in seconds (so you can swap in another Slider· mounted binding). but the sensibLy priced 56 impressed testers (most of whom never ski backward-at least on purpose) with its combination of powderday surfiness and everyday skiability. More 'important: It ranks among the top three in Overall Impression. surprisingly forgiv.3 mat 186 cm MSRP $800 flat Yes. mat 174cm SIDECUT RADIUS 21. you're in Luck: Testers ranked the Sidestash No. but greatly prefers soft snow and deep powder.

"Stiff and dynamic. but it's surprisingly forgiving (No ." said Malone. it still lacks quickness.ln powder. progressively more supple tip and taitJ. That's a function of Dynastar's interesting leaf spring core profile (stiff underfoot. and powerful skiers will love its beefiness.. but that's not a problem at speed in bottomless powder. metalfree. Testers preferred it overthe Legend 115. but with carbonbeam reinforcement. a burly ski that doesn't forget how to have fun. along with Powder Hull Tecbnology-a tip shaped like a boat prow. the better to part the snow in its path. where it thrives with a loose. light and floaty.000 flat If the Sidestash (leftJis built for a modicum of variable-snow versatility. unrockeredtail. "Super sturdy. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 9 AVERAGE SCORE 75.3 DIMENSIONS 146-114-128 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 27 mat 186 em MSRP $895 flat Fischer's widest ski features a subtly rockered forebody this year.5 DIMENSIONS 140·115·130 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 33mat185cm MSRP $820 flat It's stilt a Lot of ski." said Gleason. "Solid. The construction isa surprising blend of power in a Lightweight frame-wood core. 2). AVERAGE SCORE 76.2 DIMENSIONS 156·128·144 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 25 mat 174cm MSRP $1. it's both a game·improvement tool for powder novices and an accomplished expert's big mountain slayer. Given the 114's size.smearyfeeL The rocker adds a dose of maneuverability." said Preston. but skis easier than you expect. . It's metal-free for lightness and ultra-wide forflotation (No. but tip-and-taiL rocker and twin tips give the Huge a welcome measure of quickness and forgiveness.DARKS IDE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: K2 6TH SENSE HUGE 7 Men's Deep Snow: 8 DYNASTAR WATEA114 FISCHER CATEGORY RANKING AVERAGE SCORE 75.lt bareLy tolerates hard snow and lacks quickness for typical inbounds conditions. a non-twin Dynastar of comparable shape but with a more demanding. it's predictably fun and surfy. stable and purposeful. This year's version is rockered from just in front of the toepiece forward and cambered from there back. with nice flotation. the massive Darkside prefers powdery chutes and north faces. TheHugewas snappierthan testers expected for a ski with so much rocker.3J in deep powder. rockered skis. Like other big.

8 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 11 13H06-122 rnm AVERAGE SCORE 74. but the Gotama won accoLades for versatility and mellow user-friendliness. With roughLy the same dynamics as the hugely popular S7 (No." said Casey. Groomers? It rips. graduaL tip-to-taiL bend. Now it unveils the Freeski. "What a standout. tight trees? Chuck yourseLfin. It surfs and smears readily in powder and smoothly manages crud. and there's plenty of edge-to-snow contact for easy carving.8 mat 178cm flat The original backcountry twin-tip returns with minor modification this year. But it's built for soft snow. "It could float the Titanic. Rebound and stability. The tip rocker starts 40 cm back and rises almost a full 3 cm-so high there's no need for much additionaL tip curvature. Vii!kl takes care to make sure rocker and sidecut work together: Tip a Gotama up on groomers. The redesigned Crush blows through everything in its path. The first thing you notice is how huge it is." said Beale. All you have to do is look down your line. Testers had to punish it for Lack of versatility.74. A rocketed tip and tail work with its sidecut for supreme contact on hard snow. For deepsnow purists. The combination of width and rocker adds up to supreme flotation in the deepest pow. snow snow . with a long. Crud. but subtly. where it handles speed so well you hardly notice the trees are a blur.100 w/binding. Hence its funny shape: The tapered tip and tail smear better in the deep. 65). it's buiLt to float effo rtLes sly th rough feet of velvety powder." Rossi was among thefirst to incorporate rocker into a women's ski (Voodoo Pro BCllO).1 in Overall Impression)." said Casey." said Dawson. and this ski will take you there. There were more dynamic skis in the test. It's fully.3 PIMENSIONS 140-110-118 mm 28. Chopped up crud? Ditto.4 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING Women's Deep Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 84. "I couldn't goas fast as this ski wanted to.5 m at 185 em flat 18mat184em $800 flat SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $800 14.8 m at 185 em MSRP $825 flat SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $899 18. reemergent Blizzard factory is fully staffed: These skis are goingto sell. "A versatile tool for powder and crud-even carves on hardpack. but still gave itthe No. it smears lusciousLy through pow. And yes. Let's hope the still-small. the is not built for versatility.6 DIMENSIONS 132-98-122 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. Then the scary down. see p. it can't be beat (No. making it the most versatiLe in the categorytops in Hard-Snow Grip.2 ranking for Overall Impression. fun and easy. Then the tip profile: There's almost no upward curve to it. rockered.1 in Men's Deep Snow. "Surprisingly maneuverable for its size. The new Radict has traditionaL camber underfoot-about 60 percent of its lengthwith pronounced rocker tip and tail. Steep. 157-127-146 mm CATEGORY RANKING Deep Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 83. super fun.VOLKL GOTAMA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: •• RADICT NORDICA • THE CRUSH BLIZZARD snow FREESKI Women's ROSSIGNOL •• 10 AVERAGE SCORE. one of the first women's skis with rocker and reverse sidecut.

.kastle-ski. E o N a::: u <0 I E . w <0 00 I E . How do you define the value of a product? Everybody is talking product passion these days.... we believe in what we call "the care". E u <0 <0 r-< ......www.. FSC certified wood cores in every single ski and the shortest supply chain of the industry located in the heart of the Austrian Alps..:. Our products today go beyond the industry standards when it comes to quality criteria: 24 stone grinds and a hand finish before they leave the factory.com www.: $C E E 00 N . but we need it to manufacture the ski we want to build for you. _J E E ~ I Q') ...--... WE CARE.--. «leaS LE .--. At KAsTLE. E 00 a::: .I- E E en I :. Do you need all of that to build a ski? Probably not..._ ._ .com YES. ..kaestle-adventuretours. beating the norm when it comes to ski pairing criteria.

As for Hard-Snow Grip. the rewards are rich.. if you're into that kind of thing (K2 skins clip into holes in the tip and tail). (It scored last among win~ ners in Forgiveness." said Wilde. It's not beefy enough to bust through thick crud. tapered tip that won't hook up harshly in fluff. damp Nemesis and lightened it up. f Nordica took last year's burly. it's not too stubborn to hustle through tight trees and bumps.3) and Overall Impression (No. relax and enjoy the ride." said Beale. where it scored last among winners . Testers scored it high in Flotation (No. and it requires a skilled. The new rocker-tipped Got Backfemale counterpart to the Coomback-is life-partner material: easygoing. making it one of the more multitalented skis in the category. Can: It doesn't have the buttery smooth feel of some of the powder purists in the category. this is your mentor. f . .at the bottom. Gradual rocker from tip to tail is the Kiku's secret to unsurpassed smoothness.ESCORE 76. You do have to steer it from exactly the right spot.2 in Flotation.5 m at 162 em MSRP $825 flat Some skis are like good party guests: strong personalltles that Light up a room. dependable and forgiving (No.. smiting uncontroUably. Intermediates. "This is definitely a ski for an aggressive woman. powerful driver. . It's steady." said Humes.) "Solid at speed and holds a nice edge.lt craves long turns and virgin powderthe most. it's a powder ski. making it a good option for powder novices. 4 CATEGORY RANKING NEMESIS NORDICA PANDORA Women's Deep Snow: 6 142-115-139 mm 15. it's a. too. but for those who find that spot. Experts. Perfect for powder only. it delivers performance in perfect fluff and the morechallenging chop.4 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $800 flat LINE AVERAGE SCORE 78. too. but its lightweight feel is easy on the thighs-and ideal for earning your turns.8 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $899 flat SIDECUT RADIUS 20." Pandora's customer? The deepseeker. smearing easily through trees and down steeps until the riderfinds herself.inthe test-and an early-rise. With a 115 mm waist-by far the fattest women's ski . The Pandora doesn't so much turn as drift.. replacing the two sheets of metal with carbon to make it significantly easierto handLe. but when prodded. "Realty sweet in the deep. Crud Performance (No. "Any skier will love it. damp and humming with Viilkl power.3).powder specialist. 2J. ranking No. Pro: It carves cleanly on hardpack. but too much to handle in a long-term relationship.9 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $825 flat AVERAGE DIMENSIONS SCORE 78.5 m at 172 cm CATEGORY RANKING AVERAG..weU.GOT BACK Women's Deep Snow: 3 135-102-121 mm 18mat160cm CATEGORY RANKING K2 VOLKL KIKU Women's Deep Snow:. to be sure. One thing hasn't changed: It's still an aggressive charger with a more demanding feel. peopLe. Go find some.4 Women's Deep Snow: 5 135-98-125 mm 19mat169cm CATEGORY RANKING 13H06-122mm AVERAGE SCORE 76. It's forgiving.1) of even major mistakes." said Moscarella. "A strong and powerful ski.

with no traffic lights or franchrse restaurants lets you know voure Colorado's rn d one-ol-e-kind pldce Experience last great ski town at skic6com/Butteness BUTTEness an attitude d d joy lor living welcoming spirit where you'll stop to enjoy what really matters .Big snow and easy-going locals.

TESTER MARK ELLING 7211 Buyers Guide II SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .

$760 flat High marks across the board speak to the Sultan 85's balance of skills. quiet on the snow but never lifeless. and here's the poster child of the Rooster's fully fledged return to relevance.WIDTHS 80-98 mm waists WHO Experts and advanced intermediates who ski aUover the mountain WHAT Midfats-most with rocker in the tips and tails-that float. but the Atlas proudly rocks traditional camber.3 overall ranking speaks volumes. 586 FREERIDE ROSSIGNOL LEGEND5ULTAN 85 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 82." said Scholey. "Such a silken grip.060 w/binding. and presto: interchangeable bindings. It's an ideal intro-to-rocker ski for the traditionalist.200 w/bindlng. carveswhatever is asked of itmaking it a great choice for anything but the deepest powder or hardest ice. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 81 DIMENSIONS 130-94-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 20mat180cm MSRP $1..6mat186cm MSRP $800 flat Rossignol had a great test this year. two sheets of metal-and traditional camber along the majority of its length give it the snapandreboundthat some all-mountain experts still prefer. metal-reinforced construction make rt surefooted on hard snow. The camber gives it a responsiveness and explosiveness that rockered skis lack. "Hungry for fun in all conditions. especiaUy crud and bumps. The 585 is an accomplished generalist. It pivots. Sidecut and traditional camber underfoot cornbined with a wood-core. but comfortable venturing everywhere fI) ~-+ :E . $900 fiat Blizzard makes rockered skis.. A touch of early rise-starting about 18 em back from the tip of the ski-gives it smoothness and flow in powder and crud. it floats through crud and powder as you'd expect. I . But bomber constructionvertical sidewalls. skids.... crud. charge and carve WHERE Mostly soft snow. DYNASTAR TITANATLA5 BLIZZARD CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 84." said Glea· son. smears. nice round tum finishes. and its NO. But rocker and reverse camber tip-and-tail make it fun and easy in powder. "A solid ski for solid skiers. even bumps. It's solid and fluid. ." said Preston. Amongthe fattest in the category. surefooted in chunky snow. The Sliderbinding interface gives you options: Buy another Slider ($75) for a tele or AT binding.2 DIMENSIONS 126-85-110 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19mat184cm MSRP $1. wood core.6 DIMENSIONS 130-865-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. too. but its edge-grip and carveability are faultless.

2 in Hard-Snow Grip . AVERAGE SCORE 79. Almost every ski in the line gets some. "Rewards those willing to set an edge an stand on it.. Blizzard softens the flex and adds tip rocker for manageability and soft-snow versatility." said Garrett. Yeah. No. floatier feel that's more at home in soft snow and a little Less versatile forfrontside applications. but it expects you to know what you're doing. M·POWER LEGEND SULTAN 94 CATEGORY RANKING DYNASTAR BLIZZARD Men's Mixed Snow: 4 Men's Mixed Snow: 5 Men's Mixed Snow: 6 132-9+118 mm 18mat178em 131. quick and easy. It's thrilling. metal laminates.. The resultisa surfier.250 w/binding. "Fun.. well balanced. smooth shock-absorption and quickness in bumps and crud. Dynastar gives it the same burty construction (it scored a shade higher in StabiLity). AVERAGE SCORE 79 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $820 Men's Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 77.200 w/binding It's built like a race ski in some respects-wood core.2).250 or $1." said Malone. Here's a super-sized version of the Sultan 8S (see No. The Crimson-traditionally cambered. 2 Overall Impression ranking shows that testers were more than wilLing to overlook the tradeoffs in forgiveness and quickness. the differences are simply width (94 mm instead of as] and rocker (about 23 em in the tip instead of 1aj.5 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP$1. Testers gave it the top score in Crud Performance. flat No.3 DIMENSIONS 130-86-114 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1.1 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING 128-87-113 mm 18. "Give it the gas. but it's stilL very much a go-fast ski: No. though it's stilt among the favorites..2 in Stability at Speed..1 in HardSnow Grip.. Easterners will love the tenaciousness. . metalreinforced and a perennial testerfavorite-doves to go fast. from huge helpings in powder skis to subtle tip rocker that makes hard-snow skis easier for skidders to pivot-In an all-mountain ski like the After Shock. liveLy. and forgiving maneuverability on hard snow. No." said BUng.3 mat 174 em 17 m at174 em SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. 80. though.ATOMIC CRIMSONTI CATEGORY RANKING AVERAGE SCORE. $900 flat K2 goes deep with rocker.5-88-117 at 178 em 17mat 178em $879f1at w/binding. Bllzzard's new Power System-a carbon reinforcement bar connected to an oil-filLed piston underfoot-adds tipand taiL pressure at speed while quietingthe ski between turns. That left our 174 cm test length with about 160 cm of traditional camberplus two sheets of metaLwith which to carve trenches as deep as we cared to. And a No.1 in Stability at Speed. a IS-em section oftip rocker gives it float in powder. That big tip hooks up with ease.199 . perfect for rooting out the Last pockets of powder. A true one-skiquiver ski. AFTERSHOCK CATEGORY RANKING K2 •• • ++j + . it's an Atomic. . it gives back. and doesn't seem to care whatthe snow conditions are Like. vertical sidewalls. plus a slightly longer sidecut radius that prefers going down the hill instead ofaeross it. "Strong. and thrilling rebound propeLs you from one turn to the next-It's not for sissies." said Casey.

sparked disagreement.7mat 179cm MSRP $570 flat Was it just three years ago that Line was the scrappy little independent brand with way more passion than market share? Times have changed.1 for FLotation and No. bumps. 3 for Forgiveness. its Little brother the Ridor gets "speed rocker." Just the forward 10 percent is rockered-the rest is traditionally cambered. was ajoy. that's an apt image for its performance on groomed. The twin-tipped Prophets have been tester favorites all along. though certainly the marketing muscle of parent company K2 must have helped.125 w/binding.2 in Crud Performance. miLling out parallel channeLs in the core..fast arcs on the groomed while waiting forthe next powder day. K2 pairs that profile with a huge tip and aggressive sidecut for an 80"mm ski that carves with enthusiasm but nevertalks back. It gets excellent marks in Forgiveness-truLy an everyday frontside ski and a worthy successorto the late. "The tip rocker loosens up the front of the ski. carving. But some testers saw it as a burty carver most at home on hardpack.2). I . The Flite is a lightened version of the 90 (aformer category winner). quick in the trees. Then it gives the tip a unique shape-a 3D prow like the hull of a speedboat-the better to slice through soft snow. K2 PROPHET FLiTE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 75. 13). It's a narrower version of the highly decorated Mantra (see No. others enjoyed it more in bumps and orud. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 77. even moonlights in crud. then filling them with rei nforci ng carb on -flb er l-beams. crud." and with a sturdy.1 DIMENSIONS 130-94-118 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 21 m at aU lengths MSRP $850 flat Fischer has gone to great Lengths to Lighten up the 94-mm Watea. frankLy. and Line still ranks No.9 DIMENSIONS 127-80-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 16mat174cm MSRP $1. but the price is certainly right.5) features K2's "all-terrain" rocker. The result: The Watea 94 was No. and there was consensus regarding its Quickness (No. As testers pointed out. great Apache Recon.9 DIMENSIONS 127-88-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 24. LINE VOLKL KENDO CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 9 AVERAGiE SCORE 74." said Elling." said Elling. whether it's for you or your teenager. $800 flat Where the After Shock (see No." said Boller. awesome in crud.1 m at184 cm MSRP $775 flat The Ken do. making it just plain easy to turn and more versatile offpiste for such a narrow ski. "Fun athigh speeds." said Malone. "A solid bump ski. all-mountain versatile. ranking No.1 in street cred. Some testers wanted more edge-grip. raceready construction and two sheets of metal. Kendo means "way ofthe knife.9 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. One of our pickiest testers was its biggest proponent. lts lightness surprised us. there are quicker and more energetic skis in the category. WATEA94 FISCHER RICTOR CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 75. but the Watea loves cruising in Long. "Rips the heck out of'the hill in every facet: pow.

hard chargers will Love the 90's hefty.7 DIMENSIONS 128-88-108 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 21. That putitata disadvantage in terms of quickness andall-mountain versatility. 10) asa dialed-back. tip arid taiL Its sidecut carves as well backward as forward.7mat 179 em MSRP $670 flat Line this year introduced the Flite (see No. wood-core. vertical-sidewall. "BuiLt forthe all-mountain ripper. solid and well balanced. $750 flat In a category where versatiLity is prized above all eLse. relatively narrow tail in relation to tip). it feels especially Long and burly. Among all the rockered skis. Lighter.2 DIMENSIONS 133-96-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 22. demanding.1 mat 177cm MSRP $1. you get used to it. Laminate construction-built for racy edge-grip that belies its girth. a refreshing eye-opener. but also rewarding.68. It's a nogimmicks. which skilled traditionalists will love. requires very little effort. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 13 AVERAGE SCORE 66. mostly positive. It Loves long arcs and high speeds. don't dismiss it yet.. it releases readiLy at the end of each arc. "A dynamic one-ski-quiver gem for experts. the Mantra was second-fattest in the category.3 in Flotation. Yet with plenty oftaper (i. It's a traditional-camber. and the metalreinforced construction feeLs especialLy rugged and durable. suppLe feeL~ plenty of fun at speed.9 DIMENSIONS 123-91-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19. powerful. well." said MaLone. "Direction changes are quick. AU in all. the Apex gets the job done with a pleasing bLend of power and forgiveness. Still. unrockered. scoring it slightly higher across the board. metal-reinforced construction with a smooth.. it's aggressively rockered. It was NO. . fluid free riding skills and supreme forgiveness.TWENTY TWELVE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 10 AVERAGE SCORE. so you'll neverfeel overmatched. And our test model felt forward-mounted.5 mat 184 em MSRP $825 flat At 96 mm. stable. while the 90 is still marketed by Line as the "higher-performing" modeL. Like the Fiite." said Preston. Salomon bills the Twenty Twelve as a park/freeride hybrid=but if you're nota park rat. wood-core. stability is super high-it does everything well. though you have to be ready to work a little. Yet it surprised us with easygoing." said Scholey. All that rocker smooths the ride in bumps and harbor chop. And onthe groomed.. damp vibe. more forgiving version of the venerable 90. tt's nimble and buoyant. but it will rock those powder days.. yet still in the middle of the pack for Hard-Snow Grip. "Easy skiing.5 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. Testers gave it high marks for its hardsnow performance." said Gleason. LINE APEX ELAN . it's also one of the better vaLues in the test. SALOMON • VOLKL MANTRA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 11 AVERAGE SCORE 68.7mat 171 em MSRP $750 flat Here's an interesting design that elicited strong reactions. .e.000 w/binding. testers found the Flite more to their liking. .lnterestingly. Yes. PROPHET 90 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 12 AVERAGE SCORE 67. erring on the side of power over finesse.

being one ofthe world's greatest big mountain skiers and all that. "RULES!" The FX94-the newest in Kastle's freeskil mountaineering Line-eats up the fall line regardless of what lies beneath: powder. A bit of tip lift makes it easy to pivot.ESCORE 85 DIMENSIONS 125-S2. I TypicaL K2 has another ski that's fun.390 w/binding. a high-energy ski. Two sheets of metaL sandwich a wood core-the sturdiest in the category.it's the same as the Apex (see No. The Layup is classic: wood core.440 or $1. B). strong and surprisingly agreeable in bumps. easygoing ride that won't give you attitude-even if you're not on your game . ISS w/binding. and yet the edge engages so easiLy."Ski it aggressiveLy or ski it easily. round and smooth in longerturns. all-conditions applications.1 AVERAGE SCORE 66. supple. playful-and did we already mention fun? Like all the K2s we tested. SIDECUT RADIUS 17.JETFUEL NORDICA 13 SPIRE ELAN FX94 KASTLE LOTTA LUV CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 2 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 14 AVERAGE SCORE 66. cord.1 in Quickness. but they warned that it gets knocked around some in crud.2) for advanced intermediates. espe· cially. Testers Loved it in bumps and short-rsdlus turns. trees. crud. versatile. the Lotta Luv is suited for the broadest range of ability levels. So it follows that the ski he inspired.7 DIMENSIONS 126-84-112 17mat170cm mm DIMENSIONS 130-98-120 23mat $S25 lSI DIMENSIONS 12S-94-1l7mm AVERAG." . which testers liked for all-mountain. Flotation won't be a problem. "SLingshot turn finishes and nimbLe quickness. no one doubts its powder-day capabiLitiesespecially with its touch of tip rocker." said Humes. "Easygoing. But if you ski lots of powder.-11O mm mm em SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. but it held its own nevertheless. great float. bumps. and could still carve way out from under me. and two sheets of Titana! give it enough spine for experts.Smat166em SIDECUT RADIUS 14mat163cm flat MSRP $1. $900 flat As the fattest ski in the category. two sheets of metal. A huge sweet spot makes it forgiving enough (No.) "Crushed the chop. as one tester put it." said Schultz. "It's just plain fun. It's fluid." said Casey. No. $1. it's a lightweight. balanced." said Gleason. That's how light. Butthis year Nordica Lightens it up by using a less-dense wood core and replacing a section down the middle with foam.199 w/binding The Jet Fuel makes a lot of skis in the category feel like river barges. lively and quick it is. Nordica says it's 20 percent lighter.3 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE S8. verticaL sidewalls. and that weight savings is immedi· ateLy apparent. Kastle's women's line is in the works. (It's also the only unisex modeL. SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. It's ravenous for speed and can never get enough.075 w/binding.. Aside from the rocker and width.1S0flat Chris Davenport isa cool dude. the Spire was at a disadvantage in terms of quickness and hard-snow grip. carving feeLs automatic. MSRP $1. the Spire will satisfy. And with that 9S-mm waist.

"Super fun and smooth. Meanwhile. Enter Kenja ("wise one''). yet not heavy." said Beale." said Gibbons.) Testers agreed that the S86W suited the category perfectly. but it sinks more than most in powder." said Gillet.2 mat 165 cm MSRP $575 flat Remember when skiing wasn't cool anymore? At the height ofthe snowboard revolution.•• +t. "A stable ski that rips in ell conditions. Line boasts a huge following among core skiers. though.. Line's founder. a college kid taking woods hop heLped bring our sport back Jason Levinthal. KOA84 FISCHER VOLKL KENJA CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 84 DIMENSIONS 129-86-105 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19. Westerners: Buy this board. too."I was giddy" LINE S86WFREESKI ROSSIGNOL CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 84. But take a look at the price. The Koa 84is a sta ndout for striking the perfect balance: a solid powerhouse that's ridicuLously easy to ski. Now. too. It's predictable. two sheets of metal and a full wood core give it plenty of hard-snow integrity. racyfeel.lts heavier weight is comforting. 73). It's stiff. It's No. not watered down: Vertical sidewalls. scoring last among winners in Hard-Snow Grip. but a tapered tail scrubs speed in powder and releases relatively easily on groomed. One of which is the Celebrity 90. "I was a charging animal on this ski!" CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 82 DIMENSIONS 130-86-U6mm SIDECUT RADIUS 14. It has the same hip freeride feel as the wider Aura and Kiku-pLus Volkl's classic edge-grip to raiLon the groomed. earning it respectable scores in Forgiveness. besides. thankfully.8 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 14.3 mat 170cm MSRP $750 flat Rossignol's S86 ranked No. but didn't stand out in anyone. The women's version is." CELEBRITY 90 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCORE 83.1 in Stability and Rebound and last in Quickness/Bumps. (It scored No." ~ t • . and has a ripping. "Performs best when pushed. "StabLe. )t _} . which stomped the category in powder and was No. stable. for good reasons. Its hallmark is a glued-to-thesnow feel (it's No. which Lendsthe driver the as surancetosend it into the trees without checking speed.1 in the Men's Mixed Snow category (see p. built what were arguably the first skis for the jib generation. We suspect it's because they craft skis as fine as samurai swordsand the graphics are cool. too." said Humes . a rockered tip and tail ease through crud and bumps like water running downhill.3 in Forgiveness.1 in Hard-Snow Grip).6 mat 170 em MSRP $775 flat VoLkL'sgot a thing for Japan. a Jill of aU trades that scored highLy in every criterion. which tells you it likes speed and power. "You could really take them anywhere. A very versatiLe ski for alL levels. its talen ts are best su ited for experts. Still. "What a ripping ski.3 DIMENSIONS 126-84-112 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 16matl67cm MSRP $795 flat We're stilt scratching our heads: A tank that plows through crud like this one does shouldn't be able to effortlessly dice uptight trees. It turned up its nose at hardpack.3 in Quickness/ Bumps.

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7 Women's CATEGORY RANKING CATEGORY RANKING DIMENSIONS 126-85-110 16mat165cm mm Mixed Snow: 9 AVERAGE SCORE 76.OOOw!binding. her comments were anything but ladylike.1 DIMENSIONS 118. it's a great ski. The Seventh Heaven is a better bet. (Not surprising. feeling sLuggish underfoot.." said Wilde. sandwich! sidewall construction and scoring it highLy in Overall Impression-perhaps the most important criterion in the test.ATOMIC ELYSIAN Women's LADY SALOMON EXCLUSIVE EDEN Women's DYNASTAR ATOMIC Women's SEVENTH HEAVEN 79 CATEGORY RANKING Mixed Snow: 10 CATEGORY RANKING Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 80. Our stronger and/or heavier testers were huge fans.2-116 SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $699 flat 18 m at all Lengths at 168 DIMENSIONS cm 128-85-113 mm AVERAG.) I . playful and forgiving ride that surfs through powder and sucks up bumps.5 m at 164 em MSRP $879 w/binding The Seventh Heaven has a quick." which means it's the least versatile in the group . though. (Atomic edge-grip? Check.5 Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 79. expressive and sensitive to your every thought Thisone is like Rambo-out for first blood. $760 flat Some skis are like Meryl Streep. if only you have the strength to hang on. The sweet spot is huge-you can get back on your tails and it gently corrects you-but it's not a pushover: As Beale. and it will groan and drag.) A slight rise in the tip (Atomic calls it "adaptive camber") makes it easy to pivot in transitions between turns. For Westerners skiing mostly offpiste. the Lady is a floaty. But everyone agreed that when crud comes your way. A twin-tip with traditional camber-one of the few in the category with no rocker-the Elysian lays its whoLe edge on the snow. (Salomon's early-rise tip is the key in both instances) With a softer. SIDECUT RADIUS 16. but easy to initiate.5 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15.But what it does-carve-it does well. which accounts fora high score in Forgiveness (No. 10) in hard.ESCORE 76. put it. too." or "great for an East Coast everyday ski." SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. The widerwaisted Elysian shined in soft snow. Try to rein it in. its strongest proponent. fun.just a simpLe. it's not a hard-snow specialist. "It may be a Lady. easier flex that rewards finesse over power." said MoscareUa.''A power. Nothingflashy here.4). making it supremeLy stable at speed. Our lighter girts. "Very solid base without feeling heavy or damp. but it's got grit. found ita bit bullheaded and ranked it last among winners in Forgiveness. feverish about its wood-core. but itis beautifully balanced for soft and variable snow. but otherwise it's built like a traditional groomer ski. though.5-9. solid ski that performs. Atomic has two winners in this category. racy feel that's ideaUy suited for harder snow. the Eden will flex all its muscles. house!" said Shultz. fun" on this ski. the narrower Seventh Heaven (see No. (Easterners: look to the right. "Feels powerful underfoot.5-79-10-4.6 DIMENSIONS 127. A winner in last year's test.4 mat 169 em MSRP $685 flat One of our testers had "so much $%A&%A. given that it has the narrowest waist of the group.) Most testers wrote "good frontside ski.

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TESTER SARAH WILDE 82 II Buyers Guide /1 SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .

000 w/binding In a category of race-bred Type A carvers.250 w/binding. Testers praised its confidence in crud and gave it the No. but was so strong across the board that it earned the No .4mat177cm MSRP$1. too. "VersatiLe in seemingly all conditions. One of the favorites in the category.1 ranking overall. it's a race-reedy. it blends hard-snow excellence (vertical sidewalls." said Garrett.4 DIMENSIONS 126-82-112 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 1S. but it never forgets that skiing is supposed to be enjoyable. smooth.WIDTHS Up to 84 mm underfoot WHO Experts and advanced intermediates who spend most of their time cruising on groomers WHAT Precise. the Avenger isn't afraid to let its fun. Talk about balance of skills: The Avenger earned the top mark in only one criterion. narrow-waisted skis builtto grip on ice and rip up corduroy WHERE Ideally suited for Eastern/Midwestern hardpack or Western groomers I. $875 flat Salomon blazed a traiL with subtly rocketed frontside skis. "Easy." said Preston. laminates. creamy feel. "An all-around winner. grippy construction) with an 84-mm waist and a touch oftiprocker. and the new. metal. refined Enduro is a shining example ofthe benefits.8 DIMENSIONS 127-S4-111 mm SIDE." CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 76.CUT RADIUS 17..3mat177 cm MSRP $1.e ski that trenches on the groomed but Loves soft snow. The result is a supremely smooth and versatil. Sure. and testers universally loved it forth at. too. wood-core construction with two sheets of metal and stout sidewalls.1 ranking for Flotation. SKI II BuyersGuide 1183 . That one criterion? Forgiveness. AVENGERB2 TI IROSSIGNOL ENDURO SALOMON CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 77. playful side show.

D2 stands for "double deck": it has a primary core plus a secondary structure on top. it's wide enough for soft snow. Testers kept trying to find its speed limit.1) translates well to moguLs." said Garrett. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 71 DIMENSIONS 123-72-105 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15. Flotation and Crud Performance? Not its bag.240 or $1. and you've got one thrilling ride. nothing beats a narrow waist for quickness and edge-grip. baddest carver in the test? Yes it was: No. But carve techniclans and citizen racers wiLLrip the groomed with confidence.190 wlbinding. the fasterthe better-that testers Loved it. "As long as I was wiLlingto go way too fast. The second core's shearing action insulates skiers from vibrations and beefs up tip and tail stiffness when the ski is flexed atspeed {hencethe VF. $990 fiat What's with the oval cutaway in the tip of every Kastle? That's Hollowtech.) Forgiving? OnLycompared to FIS"leveL race skis.5 matl82 cm MSRP $1. (Check out the OveralL Impression ranking: No.LX82 l KASTLE ~ COURSETI DYNASTAR ATOMIC D2VFB2 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCORE 73.5 at 182 cm SIDECUT RADIUS 17.for "varia flex")." and Dynastar took us at our word. big fun. At 82 mm. squaresidewalled speed demon with an ice-biting 72-mm waist." said Scholey. and it's a Kastle haLlmark harking all the way back to the '76lnnsbruck Olympics. but chickened out every time.200 w/bindtng While it's amazing what some of the wider skis in the category can do. G·POWER rs 10 BLIZZARD •• \ / I CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE.) Little ski. 74. "Exemplifies the best attributes of the 'cheater race ski. That might be a problem in bumps. "Nice balance of power and finesse.5-82-113.lt's a full-on.3 DIMENSIONS 127-82-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 18mat180cm MSRP $1.ertip vibrates Less.3. And overall this flagship of the new LX line of tighter. (Hence its No. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 74. the LX82 lacks some quicknessedge-to-edge.1 ranking in Balance of Skills.249 w/btnding Was it the biggest.1 in Stability at Speed and Hard-Snow Grip. and reduced swing-weight gives it a more nimble feel. Straight out of the race collection comes the Course Ti. confident and obedient in high-speed arcs. • . Throwin a dose ofexciting rebound energy and a ton of sidecut. softer Kastles offered a smooth and veLvety ride that was enjoyabLe in crud as weI! as on the groomed.1 DIMENSIONS 120-72-104mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15 mat 172cm MSRP $940 flat We said "hard snow. Carve technicians wit! Loveit.so the edge remains engaged. The GPower is a race ski with manners-quiet. metal-reinforced. this ski lit it up. "Super lively feel combined with superior carving performance.9 DIMENSIONS 126. A light. but its supreme Quickness (No.. and yettor all its raciness. and corduroy is its preferred medium." said Elling. Nothing shakrs its quiet stabiLity. But it's so good at what it does-medium-radius arcs on hard snow. it's the Least forgiving among winners. Beware.5 m at 174 cm MSRP $1. but it's a blessing on powder days." saidScho[ey_ 8411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI .

Forgiveness.4 AVERAGE SCORE DIMENSIONS 128-78-114mm DIMENSIONS 126-84-112mm AVERAG.lOOw/btnding.5 123-81-108 mm CATEGORY RANKING Hard Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE B2. Translation: It has the control of a Ferrari and edgebite of an ice skate. yes.. "Instantaneous hookup. It's snappy. and it's a blast.065w/binding If precision and control are what you're after." said Humes.150 w/binding Head added 7 mm to the waist of its top-end Supershape." said Gleason. At its heart it's a slalom race ski. but fun to freeski as well.. it makes you pay for your mistakes.5 m at 172 em MSRP $l.tts aptly named "double grip" construction adds more materiaLto support the edges and distribute pressure evenly down the ski when it's flexed at high speeds. Crud? Not on the menu. giving the perennial winner an added measure of versatiLity. "The Conquer will never give up on you. and you're ripping perfect GS turns down the steeps. and it refuses to deviate from the fall Line. This ski has personality. bubbly-and so responsive. The Conquer is everything for everyone." said MoscareUa. the Tierra is your ski.6 DIMENSIONS 129-78-99 mm 3 SIDECUT RADIUS 13. • SIDECUT RADIUS 17. versatiLe for a carver.1 in Rebound Energy. though: The Tierra aLways revs high.ESCORE 79. too-patiently skidding when you need to scrub speed. Scoring first in Hard-Snow Grip and last among winners in Forgiveness. 7 70..4 HEAD VIVAS. Simply put. smooth and powerfuL yet-with a 20-percent lighter wood core than Last year's model-esurprislngly easy to ski.2 ranking in Quickness edge-toedge. "Begged for speed and didn't get nervous or break away. $850 SIDECUT RADIUS 15mat162em SIDECUT RADIUS 14. It should come with a warning label for non-experts. rally-car performance. "This ski blew my mind.l Women's BLIZZARD CONQUER Women's NORDICA TIERRA Women's VOLKL CATEGORY RANKING Hard Snow: CATEGORY RANKING DIMENSIONS Hard Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 83. But it still has the deepest sidecut in the category-a 13. lively. 1 in Flotation.. snappy-everything I Love in a carver. its 81-mm waist is wide enough to bust crud and float though pow. But what surprised us was that it still managed a No. What continues to surprise usis its combination of thrilling high-speed performance with an undomineering personality and versatility of turn shapes.275 or $1.199w/binding One would expect a hardsnow ski with a waist width of84mm tobethe most versatile in the category (No. Are we gushing? Absolutely: tt was No. Stability and Crud Performance)." said Schultz. Powerful. It's solid and predictable yet humming with energy. Every ski has character traits. ". But Titan stitheredthrough bumps with ease. . stable.It continues to provide tenacious grip no matter what you throw at it.. it seems to read your mind.8 mat 161 em flat MSRP $1.iSUPERSHAPE TITAN CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow.. it's fast. but polite. Though most at home on hardpack. Just think about turning." MSRP $1." . HardSnow Grip and BaLance of Skills.5mat170cm MSRP $1.5meter radius that dives in and carves at the barest hint ofedge angle. "Quick.

Racer types will want more grip." said Gibbons." said WiLde. the LX 82 goaded our testers to the edges of their comfort levels. Atomic's "double deck" construction is responsible: Two independentlyflexing decks are stacked on top of each other. The secret is a light.ndi. an expert ski layered with metal laminates.RE74.ng.3 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING K2 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Hard Snow: 6 127-82-109 mm 120-76-104 mm 126-75-111 at 166cm AVERAGE SCORE 72. though. The verdict? K2 winsagain.It only has one speed. it was one of the quickest sticks-its edgeto-edge rhythm is as automatic as a metronome's. So imagine our curiosity about K2's new line. though: hauling butt. The end result is a ski that's both damp and stable and snappy and lively. but it zipped playfully-joyfully-down the hill.2 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING K2 ATOMIC D2VF75W Women's Hard Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCO. \ . "Good for someone who charges aU the time. $725 flat Foryears we've been saying nothing smears better in powderthan rocker. SIDECUT RADIUS 14mat163cm MSRP$l. aut it insisted on short turns. carve. We should have expected as much from the onLy unisex ski entered in the category [see also: Men's Hard Snow) but its lightweight construction-the trademark of the new LX linehad us fooled. and the upper deck distributes your powerto stiffen the tip and tail as needed at higher speeds (hence the energetic pop).1 in Forgiveness. earning lt No. giving it the torsional rigidity to bite on ice.190 117-70-101 mm . so you'd better be in for a race-like ride.nding.5 . Perhaps with a waist of 70 mmthe narrowest in the testit got penalized for not being as versatiLe as others. well.FREELUV Women's Hard Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 76. A damp powerhouse that insists on speed. The Free Luv's elevated tip effortlessly scouts lines through variable snow. but get on groomed and. in which every ski-even carvers-incorporates reverse camber. the Free Luv (see left). $850 flat This one should come with a helmet." said Shultz. $990 flat SIDECUT RADIUS 13mat160em MSRP $1.125 w/binding. and some feLt the new "speed rocker" tip-a slight rise to ease initiation and transition-took some getting used to.OOO w/bi. softwood core sandwiched in metal then wrapped in fiberglass. "Best suited for an Easterner who wants to carve. "Perfect meatof-the-market ski. but found it to be a standout in no one criterion. better than the Burnin'. w/bi.a DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING LX82 KASTLE BURNIN'LUV Women's Hard Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 70. "A great hard-snow and crudbuster ski.5 mat 164 em MSRP $1." said Gillet.240 or $1. good luck steering around those lift towers. SIDECUT RADIUS 13mat166em MSRP $999 w/bind\ng Our testers were shocked by this ski: It was so heavy they had to drag it to the lift.DIMENSIONS SIDECUTRADIUS 14. It initiates and releases with ease. forgiving and easy. As you'd expect. Interesting: Testers liked K2's lower performing ski. Testers admired its versatiLity. carve. though. The lower deck absorbs the shock. It is still an Atomic.

corn Doc's Ski Haus Santa Monica.1351 hoigaards.297.com Hoigaard's St. MO 314. Inc.com Alpine Shop St.431.453.corn The Ski Pole Fort Wayne.7547 Buckeye Sports Center Peninsula. Inc.2003 skilonestar.com Marquette Mountain Shop Marquette. NM 505. MI 616.527. Louis.773.com Putnam's Ski & Snowboard Portsmouth. MA 617. CO 970.8347 rodgersskia ndsport com Ski Depot.7715 alpineshopcom Alpine Sport Shop Saratoga Sp ring s.883.1155 marquettemountain.429.com Hunterdon Ski and Snowboard Lebanon.com Bill Paul's Sporthaus Grand Rapids.1684 bi Ilandpauis com Bob Skinner's Ski &.983.432. NY 518.com Footloose Sports Mammoth Lakes.422.7940 Tampa.com Berg's Ski Shop Eugene. MI 231. Jay.458. MN 952. PA 412. Snowboard Cadillac.com SkiRack Burlington. OH 330929.254.com Nestor's Sporting Goods Whitehall.929.6051 nestors.8585 Hudson. OH 614.723.897.2571706 Richmond.2939 qrizzlvoutfitters.962.881. com Freestyle Charlottesville.net Breck Ski & Boot Breckenridge. CO 970.5660 willisskia ndboard. CT 203966.com Sun 'N Snow Ski &.1666 valleybikeandskicom Viking Ski Shop Chicago. IL 7732761222 Barrington.1990 piercestkateandski . MT 406. IN 260.1300 berqsskishop.2163 paoliproshop. MN 952.658.884.com Peak Performance Ski Shop Killington. FL 407.775. IN 812. ME 207.corn Lone Star Sports Breckenridge. MN 651.3376 ski-depot.683. VA 434.298.8769 trovskishop.corn Pierce Skate & Ski Bloomington.5445/866. 4511 Shop s More at ebook-free-download.3993 countrvski. NH 603. MN 952. FL 561. VT 802.453.9602453 Orlando. NH 603433.VISIT SKI MAGAZINE'S GOLD MEDAL NOMINEES Alpine Accessories Lake In The Hills.436.8484 West Lebanon. ME 207.3606 Palm Beach.4370300 hunterdonski. com Country Ski & Sport.com Willi's Ski & Snowboard Shop Pittsburgh.754.2400 footloosesports. GA 404. PA 610. FL 954. NH 603. CO 888.com .6122 docsskiha us com Equipe Sport Rawsonville. OR 541.1234 Atlanta.net or magazinesdownload. VT 802.3333 hitempo.6290 alpinesportshop.2020 peterqlenn.9447 peakskishopcom Peter Glenn Ski & Sports Miami. WA 424454.com Call Linda todev for more information about Ski Magazine's Gold Medal Program 888-259-6753 Ext.com HiTempo Ski Shop White Bear Lake.3313 skirack com Stu rteva nt's Bellevue.8282 Scarborough.4343 golfskiwa rehouse.com Jack Frost Ski Shop Glen.934. IL 847.381. VA 804.995.2401 sunsnowskishopcom Troy's Ski Shop Vail.832.1671 newca naanski andspo rt co m Paoli Pro Shop Paoli.com Alpine Sports Santa Fe.7154 Valley Bike & Ski Apple Valley.383. IL 8478544754 alpineaccessories. Ski Warehouse Greenland.corn Rodgers Ski & Sport Lincoln.1188 vikingskishop. NH 603.9784091 freestyleonline.2303 bobskinners.com Golf &. NH 603. Quincy.8486600 aspenskiandboa rd. MI 906 225.7764 putnamsports. Sport Newbury.3309 Ft.6465 sturtevants.745.622. NJ 908.584.5155 aIpi nespo rts-sa ntate co m Aspen Ski and Board Lewis Center. CA 760.445. VT 802. NH 603595.484.2847 equipesport.354. FL 305. Louis Park.com New Canaan Ski & Sport New Canaan. NH 603. FL 813. Lauderdale.763.433.com Grizzly Outfitters Big Sky. CA 888.4391 jackfrostshop.3366 buckeyesportsce nter.

3 or No.) MEN'S MIXED SNOW DYNASTAR BLIZZARD ATOMIC WOMEN'S MIXED SNOW BB II Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . And the numbers are just one component to consider in determining which ski suits your style. (Does a ski with an 84 score in Hard Snow grip demonstrably better than one with an 827) Keep in mind that every ski we medal is a winner selected from our full test group-whether the ski ranks No. Variables like conditions. 14. time of day and tester preferences can influence the ISART data. (See page 36. but ranking the middle skis is much harder. terrain type and personality.) We do get a strong consensus on the top and bottom of the pack. (We correct for standard deviation. as the scores are a lot closer.THE NUMBERS BEHIND OUR RANKINGS NUMBER CRUNCH AGEARTEST and science.

.I "~ ..f I -t . MEN'S HARD SNOW WOMEN'S HARD SNOW MEN'S DEEP SNOW WOMEN'S DEEP SNOW SKI II BuyersGuide II B9 ..• -~ ~ -~.' ". J' r " ~~ ...

Bu ers Guide/I SKI .

Here they are. And retailers hate it when we say this. but we didn't get too hung up on an exact number. for instance). SO . We tested this category just as we did the others. newest and most expensive products that we don't even see the middle price range. in typical all-mountain terrain and conditions at Snowbird. unappreciated. $700 or less for a flat ski. e * "Price parameters: $750 or less for a ski~binding system. We call it The $700 Showdown. SKI II BuyersGuide II 91 . Are the manufacturers holding outonus? We-and they (and you. down there at the "tower price points" (retail-speak for "less expensive'). but the prices here are full-pop "suggested retail. and had a blast finding the steals. for instance: It's expensive. Bottom l!ine?Some of these skis are every bit as good as top""'Of-theline stuff from two years ago. But what better time than on the heels of the Great Recession-when plenty feel like we could use a price break-to check out stuff a tittle farther down the wall. Our winners range from about $700 to $750-most are flat. using the same criteria. Think about metal. Some even have key technologies that this year's top-ofthe-line stuff has. HERE ARE SOME BARGAINS THAT HAD US WONDERING WHY ANYONE WOULD PAY MORE. but the rnoreexpensive ones come with bindings. TESTING A RACK OF budget skis makes us wonder what else is lurking." You'll see a lot of shops selling these for $600 or so. dear buying public)someti mes get so myopically obsessed with the sleekest. but they've been str:ipped of expensive features that only make a ski unforgiving for mortals. Why pay more? .THE ECONOMY HASN'T EXACTLY REBOUNDED. we found some dogs-we won't waste time talking about them.IF YOU'RE NOT TOO OBSESSED WITH THE LATEST AND GREATEST. being just as picky as we always are. There are some different flavors (waist widths range from 77 to 98 mm. and a lot of skiers like a lighter feel or are just better off without it. But testers took to the task with bargain-hunter zeal.True.

too-not something all high-end skis do. And it shares the S7's shape: rocker. vertical sidewalls . FISHER WATEA 78 DIMENSIONS 122~78-107. it's quick. •• DIMENSIONS 128-87-115 at 177 em. but it's another great vaiue as a powder tool for any guy who thinks he can pull off the loud graphics.[MEN'S VALUE] 1. but it's not a disaster. radius: 15. Rebound. 67). ROSSIGNOL S3 DIMENSIONS 128-98-118. • 9211 Buyers Guide II SKI . Carbon reinforcement keeps it light and strong. is as easygoing as skis get.7 m at 179 cm MSRP $700 flat YoLkLpositions the redesigned Bridge as equaL parts park and bigmountain ski. The lord does have a speed limit. (Are you listening. Laminate construction. It doesn't pretend to be a powder ski. but it's a nice little game-improvement tooL 3. but snappy. No. . and it was No. but a surprisingly good hard-snow carver. Balance and Overallimpressian. Tip it on edge. too.5 at 178 em. A powder fiend. radius: 23 mat 186 em MSRP $700 fiat A poor man's-or kid's. with the coolest graphic. reverse side cut tip and tail. Rossi will sell a lot ofS3s. Eastern and Midwesterners skiers?) It loves to be bent.2 in FLotation and Crud.4 m at 177 em MSRP $685 flat The heavy-footed will have to back off.in short. YOlkl marries a long. No. Only the most demanding expert will want more ski. it's the highest end as well. Forgiveness.. A natural in bumps and variable terrain. and it'll hook up and hammer. It's a foam core. especially in powder. Quickness. VOLKLB'RIDGE DIMENSIONS 128-95-115. so that the edge engages when the Bridge is tipped on edge.1 in 'Flotation and Crud. ATOMIC SMOKETI DIMENSIONS 125. Testers loved the 78's stabiLity. but performs at reasonable speeds. or Easterner's-S7 (see p. +-0 5. with its 21 em of tip rocker.5-77-109.. either. it's not. I-by a lot-in Hard-Snow Grip.. subtle tip-to-tail rocker with sidecut. the Smoke Ti is game. radius: 17. Not onLy is it the fattest in the category. radius: 20. It was No. with a soft tip that never bucks you back and a slight-twin tail that releases readily. with a touch of rocker tip and tail. but metal-reinforced. but the lord.. "" .5 m at 178 em MSRP $749 w/btnding if an aggressive expert wants to ramp it up. --- --0 4. it has a wood core with no metal (which explains its popularity as a touring ski). experts won't miss much.1 in Stability. radius: 17 m at 174em MSRP $695 flat Wood core.

1 in Flotation and Crud). It's ready when you are. though.5-73-108.. it instantly rails into a perfectly rounded arc. A full sidewall-rare in this category-gives it the integrity of a pricier ski.. Damp. Quickness and Rebound. A high-performance carver. though. $575 flat We can sum the True up in one word: Easy. short turns. radius: 12. It's never hyper.. ~ 3.5 rn . It's a perennial medaL-winner. ROSSIGNOL 5 90 W DIMENSIONS 122-9Z-115. 4. But for experts (it was last among winners in Forgivenessj who ski off-piste. quiet. stable. lt's easy to tip into a strong arc sndjust as easy to disengage-a breakthrough ski for an athletic woman with a steep learning curve. engaged with snow. Topping the chart in Forgiveness and Balance of Skills. When you lay the Cloud 9's edge on snow. or a great value for smaller experts. but this year's model has a slight earLy-rise tip that makes it easierto skid around-From the second you stand on it. surefooted feel (tops in Stability. withoutthe rebound to pull the less skilled or less powerful into a carve. It holds on hardpack and loves to bound down the groomed in clean. For Lightweights or intermediates. MSRP $750 w/binding radius: 16 m at 155 cm The Koa is light and playful-a fun littLe carver. DIMENSIONS 118-74-103. it's a charger that's shockingly cheap. it comfortabLy guides you wherever you want it to go-the most versatiLe carver in the category.[WOMEN'S VALUE] 1. it's a zippy ride that doesn't demand improvement. FISCHERKOA75 DIMENSIONS 119-75-102. with a bomber. but its relaxed. When the snow firms up. Charged with energyspunky. and Overall Impression). even-it pops down the hilL. Still.1 in Hard-Snow Performance) to be so friendly. steady feel is reassuringfor those who don't always want to pound. It's no wonder it wants to stay that way: tipped on edge.. it can feel monolithic. SKI II BuyersGuide II 93 . MSRP $550 flat radius: 20 mat 170 cm . it's a stealthy powder seeker that feeds on speed (No. This is the surfer in the category.. ATOMIC CLOUD 9 DIMENSIONS 123. DIMENSIONS 119-74-102.5 at 165 MSRP $749 w/binding at 165 ern. radius: 14m at 163 em MSRP $750 wi binding. testers feLt it was not serious enough for powerful experts. MSRP $700 w/binding radius: 13 mat 156 em You wouldn't expect the ice queen (No.. this is the ultimate feel-good ski.

itions vers.SPEED Race-like performance and snug fits for speed-loving experts \ ~REERIDE All-. value and forgiveness for intermediates 9411 Buyers Guide II SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .COnd.uresome expe.atility for advent.rts ~OMFORT Warmth.

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Atomic Smoke Ti. Buynew gear-the right gear-and you willbe able to ski longer. Kastle FX 94-some of our gear test's No.1.what trends you need to watch and. Inthe pages ahead. Buvers Guide 34 COVER STORY Photograph by Christopher D. That's what we're promising. stronger and better. Guaranteed. UTAH' Morerun. Blizzard Viva 8. of course.Thompson and Jordan Uoyd OCTOBER 2010 SKI 7 . what gear is gold-medal worthy. MARl( EU. 1 skis.TESTER. ON THE COVER Rossignol 57 Freeride.ING SNOWBIRD. we let you inon all the industry secrets on how to buy.

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cy The hinged slalom pole changed the course of ski history. A view from Termas de ChiUan. a dropping.. 32 Siopestyle What to be seen in this season and . 16liftlines 112 Warren 10 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .. 20 News and Views It's always winter somewhere. 28 Where Is It? Identifythis resort. Why it's rightforyou.22 fall line What Now Rocke r is the biggest innovation in ski design since sidecut. 30 Lega.. 24 Stuff We Like Kid gloves. win Rossi skis. a kicking . a mini car and a power bar 26 Toolbox Digi cams that take a licking..

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) I had a boot intervention from a peeved deputy editor a few seasons ago. Ifinally did buy new boots-with a 100-110 flex rating. We found two such candidates in Telluride. The middle buckle pulls my heel back. I'm still skiing two to three times a week. With my knobby feet.I1. but at 50.past or present? Greg Ditrinco. Anyone who's spent a lot of time on snow shouldn't be surprised.l've had two surgeries on a busted ankle. ROGER BARTLETT the From Bottom Up (~ San Diego. Now for the sexier stuff: your skis.~~ WJ!I''WHi:J1'\. rockered skis have been refined so they ease your ride across just about all terrain.> LETTERS Cover Girl Congratulations on trumping Sports Illmff'atedwitb your great and tasteful February 2010 cover of Lindsey Vonn. Editor • MyoId Raichle Flexons. so Ishouldn't complain when Ican't do it as well as Ionce did. Ienioyed the Olympic update ("Swifter. I haven't looked back. Higher. So check out the reviews. 12 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .r • My Nordica foam liners. Calif New season? First things first: Look down. They bond with them.-" ~P£TENOW EUCII:OBS ~lUM JiMElI'O::A'5 season's Buyers Guide: What's your favorite piece of gear? (See our answers below. sol can drive my shin forward for a few extra degrees of flex. put diem into new boots and then had a fitter do his magic..C'iIEfr.. Kim Beekman. Foam is expensive and a complicated process. chances are you've been bonding far too long. SKI staffe.com Poughkeepsie. so Ilack dorsitlexlon. Editor gditrinco@skimag. Skiers don't just ski in their boots..I:l{1 CIl. but I've never been so locked-i n and so comfortable (no more heel spurs). When buying boots. Then there was the Turning Points article ("Turning: Irs All In Your Legs").ite piece of ski gear. a snug boot fit is difficult. NY • FROM THE EDS What's yourfavor. Deputy Edito. Managing Editor. If you're like most good skiers. At least I'm still making turns. Let me save you some time and yelling. Joe Cutts. and for all skill levels. Now I have something to work on this season. MIKEWAWRYK Greg Ditrinco. being from the East. Ifound the interface made the poles feel more responsive. Conceived as powder tools. ignore your ego and pay attention to two key words: flex rating. Colo. I enjoyed the articles about Mt. It was unwieldy at first-especially when buckling boots-but once . Ilove my Leki Trigger glove-and-pole setup. Senior Editor t My Dalbello Kryptons-custom fit. g Deborah Williams. They even feel warmer. Snow (Where Now) and Stratton ("Stratton Style"). Guess what happened? (Or see page 46. Stronger") and. After a decade of love. Matter of Perspective I waspsyched to get my February issue. Remember the shaped-ski revolution in the mid-'90s? Welcome to the next game-changer: rocker.E5 _mlJ".I ot used to it.) The majority named their ski boots.YMP:I.rs were asked a question as we were putting together this =Mm !. ~What a Pain" (Warren Miller Classics) reminded me not to be so critical: Maybe I don't ski as hard or as long as I once did. learn about the latest technologies and maybe bond with some new gear. Then go see a good bootfitter. We like that in equipment.

Silver Baron Lodge.com 3~ . ki lessons and rentals as well as a Full line of travel services at preferred rare _ Book now and save ~5% on lodging and lift package at a variety of pr pertles and rime. The Lodges at Deer Valley. Featured oruluminiums managed by the resort include: Black Diamond Lodge. Flagstaff.odge and Trail's End Lodge.3337 decrvalley. We contirme to provide the largest selection of accommodnnons in [be Deer Valley area as well as other select propertie in Park City and we offer xclu ivc non-holiday discounts on lif ticke . The rand Lodge. right this way. 800-580.Your vacation is waiting. Shooting Sur. Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservarions allows OUT local Vacation Planners [he ability to be hand -on throughout every step of your vacation experience. ~r~g l.

indeed.~e§. For the full test results.liftlines 0: For Olympics OK. GARY CHANDLER Whiskey Business Iloved seeing stranahan's Colorado Whiskey featured on February's Stuff We Like page. Editors note: We didn't mean to sensationalize. I thought I'd share yet another reason why those of us who live in Colorado are the luckiest folks on Earth: Stranahan's is made in Denver. not just duck at their dangers. It was four hours of hard work bottling that month's shipment Denver. Colo. Iget it:Youthink anyone who participates in downhill.o"" !g~leg70 skied by testers per tester/per day 800-580-3337 dee:rvalley"com . Here's a look at what our ski testers had to endure to bring you this year's Buyer's Guide. super G or ski cross has a death wish. It is. a fine product. By the Numbers Olt's a tough job." I guess I expected SKI to do a better job evoking the awesome physical and mental demands of speed events. I was lucky enough to take part in one last summer." Even spectators ought to worry about "an outof-control racer rag-dolling through the crowd. and every so often they put out the call to their fans for a bottling session. Maybe it was phrases like "absurdly dangerous. check out this year's Buyers Guide on page 36. But we're continual!) a:wed fry ski meers' COllrage and athleticism-and don't thi:f1kmart Americans appreciate the risks these athletes take." "patently unsafe" and "blood sport. Gary. but someone has to do it. Number of ski testers 16120 Numberof skistested Average number of test runs per tester !.

) 445·9070 Pequannock Plymouth Sun and Snow.) 742-2400 Park City ParkCily Ski 'Bo01 (43S) 513-0672 WEST (651) 209· 7800 Onio Cnagrin Falls Gelge.ide (518) 263-5303 New Yorl< City U.kl (BOO) 675-4261 Eng. S&W Siports NORTHEAST Cllnneetielil Stratton Mounfain Green Min. OrlhoHcCenler (212) 832-1648 Ve. Bachelor Bachelor Ski & Spons (541) 3112-2442 Editors note: Yournumbm are aauraie. Orthotics @ EQuille Sports (802) 875-1122 WarreniSugarbu511 Alpine Options (802) 583-1763 MID-ATLArmC New Jersey Frisco Ski FriscoSlIllrts One Stop Ski Shop (97. However. that you cited the three local ski resorts as receiving 300 inches of snow.209) 25B-7240 San Jose MelCottlln's Ludlow/Okemo Mt.Count on tbe pros at these shops fOT the Onest in: Pel'. The Bool Pro (80.lewood The Custom Fool (303) 761-4002 Texas (214) 357-9700 lJallas SI. MATTHEW RZOMP NewYork.er's Clothing & Sports (216) 521-1771 Colorado Aspen & Snowmass Company (510) 527-6411 Kirkwood Kirkwllod MlluntainSports Killington Northern Ski Works (80.700 sheep as they make their way from their northern summer pastures to the resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley.rthotics Clr. It received a AAA three-diamond rating.2) 377·2200 MIDWEST illinois Chicago Viking SklShllp (773} 276·1222 Massachusetts TheD1l1l1 . plus beer and pizza. tralilingofthesheep_org WetnerSfield The Arpino Haus (860) 563·2244 Westwood Ski Slop (781) 329-3616 New Hampshire Profile O. Heino's New York MudSwea. January 2010).porls (51 B) 427·2406 Ellicottville Ski & Cycle (973) 696-3044 (734) 927-0007 Wayne Ski Bam (973)256-8500 Jlle 'sSki Minnesota 81. Paul Alia (Three 'locations) Deep PllwderHouse (801. Tag along with 1.6954 Skibootllllln{l.NY Hunter Th. a tour of the facility. CHASE SQUIRES Denver. newer and usually cheaper than its neighbor.s (B02) 464-4052 SoulhernS. Sports. (Oct. fluffier version ofthe running of the bulls. Enjoy the other fes tivities. too. 8~10. Also. the town Ogden regularly receives a more-than-resped: 0/ .2) 422·9675 C11tl otte svi lie a Freestyl~e (434) 978-409'1 ROCKIES (. 31.rmonl Heading Rich Reber's Pro Snow Spans (610) 921-1011 Ski & Spurt Haus (440) . 2010) Sun VaUeY.oo1.e ProSkl III R.com > EVENT SPOTLIGHT Trailing of the Sheep Festival.29 Ski N. the Hampton Inn in Ogden (right behind the Marriott you cited) is nicer. as we stated UI the artide. but the payoff was a free bottle of Stranahan's.sonalized boot fitting Performance enhancements comfon modifications CUStom-crafted insoles Steamboat Springs {970} 879~4916 Tellurida Vai'l (970) 728.S. Utah (Weekends. Carolina ThoUe Shops at Aspe n Sp 0 rts (970)618·2530 Breckenridge Norway Haus (970) 453-2375 Sporling Goods (408) 287-5994 Studio Grly Ludlow/Okemo Mt. Colo (800) 371-3447 Plymouth Rfchelson's Feel First (201.ldaho tit's America's friend lier.247·4900 California Berkeley California Ski Whitehall Neslor's (610) 433-6051 Virginia Lakewood Gei'!I.r's Shllp Snow Totals As an avid SKI magazine reader. Ogden's three resorts' annual snowfall totals range from over 300 inches at vVolfCreek to 400 inches at Snowbasin and over 500 inches at Powder Mountam. :NortnernSkl Works (802) 228·3344 Wintergreen FreeslYi!! (434) 325·1183 SOUTH Soulh.lo'r5 Concord Eatonlown Crestwood Ski Barn (732) 578-9460 Snowcrest Ski Cenl'er Mlehl~an at VaU snorts (802) 379·1014 Winter Park Le Feel Lab (603) 491-4917 Bllb Skinner's (603) 763·2303 ~lewbu I)fIS unall ee Lawrenceville Ski Bam (609) 530·1666 Paramus Ski iBarn (70S) 389·4963 Ann Arbor (970) 726·9841 New Mexico Taos Ski Valley ThllBllllt ~Dotto rs (575) 776-2489 UIah Sun & SnoVf Sports (734) 663-9515 of whiskey. Thanks for the continued great reading. including sheep shearing. I was Pennsylvania disappointed to read in your January story about Ogden.einer's S. Bernard Sports Pagosa Springs Ski & Bow Rack Oregon (970) 264·2370 Mt.1 n'Gears (716) 699-8300 GlenmonWaIatle SI. not bad for a Hampton.el sports {818) 505-1294 Truckee The Start Haus (530) 582-5781 Columbia Mt Snow Baal Worl(. herding demons trations and lamb tastings.2) 228·2776 Mt Snow Stowe Inner Boolworks (602) 253-69.

'We have skied all over Europe and North America and do not usually return to the same area twice. Thanks for all the useful i. Ga. TUCK WILSON Thornbury. Ontario Olympic Valley. Or. or emailedtoliftlines@skimag. . In my opinion Sun Valley is arguably one of the best ski resorts in the world when it comes to quality and variety of terrain. address and daytime phone num ber. HELMUT G. with its excellent ski facilities. but we all agreed that we will be rerurning to Sun Valley again in the near future. At Squaw. One thing I might suggest would be to have some pictures of the trail maps to the ski areas. Allow six to eight weeks for changes to process. its staff.P. FEND Atlanta.'Return of Sun. rrtailingit a flame basefor ([. Liftlines.liftlines able 300 annual inches qf snow. Letters may be edited for length a nd clarity. Lesson learned: Everyone needs a break from work. BRADY RINEHART Underrated and Overdue I reaUyenjoyed reading Allen St." My family and I spent three weeks there inJanuary and had the time of our lives. skiing is a spectator sport.lnclude your full name. New or renewa I subsc riptions or c hangs-of-address requests (please send new and old addresses) ca n be sent to SKI. Spain. But I've also worked as a ski pro in Austria. Calif. DENNIS MARSELL I enjoyed your spread on Tahoe in the December issue. from the Gold Coast chair. snow grooming. and a ski break is even better. Squaw skiers enjoy terrain that would be closed at any other American resort for being too dangerous.Box 420235. John assisted us making that decision. even intermediates get to watch Mike Wilson's insane back flips off the Palisades. Lebanon and Australia. so my observation is not without basis. the oldest ski resort in North America.nformation about the resorts and the entire Lake Tahoe area. since I taught there for 10years during the '60s and early '70s as a member of the "Austrian Boys" under Sigi Engl.O. Day after day." My wife. The article by Allen St. two other couples and I had that opportunity for 10 days this past Easter. "Squallywood" puts on the greatest snow show on Earth. One week after losing my Job. amenities and consistent fall line. Maybe I'm a bit biased.Jo/OIW seeking turns-and deeper snow-at the three nearby resorts. and we did discover the "new" Sun Valley. Ode to Tahoe "The Ultimate Guide to Tahoe" article (December 2009) was perfect for a newbie to that area. CaUf Redondo Beach. Boulder. visit skimag.com.com/c s or call 800-6 78-0817. John's feature on Sun Valley (. 5720 Flatiron Parkway. and the lifts provide front-row seats to incredible action. Calif Skiing Sun Valley. FL32142-0235. Palm Coast. was always on my "bucket list. I received the December issue with your "Ultimate Guide to Tahoe. but you never quite got to what sets Squaw Valley apart. the Ketchum restaurants and the Roundhouse for lunches.CORRESPONDENCE Letters to the editor may be mailed to SKI. DARIN RECCHI San Francisco. Thanks for your magazine and for making my trip a ton easier. . You might catchJT Holmes or Tim Dutton ripping pow and launching off the fingers below KT-22."January 2010). co 80301 For subscription inquiries.

THOSE WHO SKI IN ~NVTH NG WON'T SKI IN JUST ANYTHING. .

tlf. Linda Hayes.·· _. Enterprise Systems Shawn la~n Vice President. Microfilm editions are available from UMI. Ra. call Palm Coast Data at 800.com Editor Greg Ditrinco Deputy Editor Joe Cutts Managin~ Editor Kimberly Beekman Senior Editors Samal'ltha Berman.skimag. Media Development Michael Slarobin Brand Director John Miller Director. Keri Mahe.ip:.. Consumer Marketing Bruce Miller Vice President. Licensing & Merchandising Stanley Weil Publishing Consultant Martin S. 18 SKI OCTOBER 2010 I@·. Palm Coast. iflj :.Box 420235.com/cs.sA.!:i..l1].? E F C ~ PEFcm-~'. \ "... Edie Thys. i ~! =i i i:l{'WM411 a Consumer Marketing Director Diane G. ma. Warren Mille~. ..s ~ j.fj ill IllI6'''!· Id . Hansman Group Production Director Rina Viray Murray Senior Production Manager Kristin Dann I :hj: i i :filt!. Corporate Communications Dean Turcol Vice President. or write to SKI at P. Paul Toime Senior Contr. call Wrighfs Reprints at 877-652-5295. CaU 386-597-4326. Chrlstophe. FL 32164 BACK ISSUES/REPRINTS To request back issues. ied foreststhatare . i.s8 .Q817 or email wpcUent@palmcoastd.. 300 North Zeeb Rood.678.nagedinasustainableway to meet the social. Heather 14. Morgan MacKay.l'!:.. man uscri pts and assumes no resp ons ibility for th eir return. E-Media BiD Allman Vice President.oebe l.lil..egg Business Manager Jim Lundberg Associate Business Manager Kristi Armijo NEW YORK 212-779-5091 Group Markebing Director Amy ManEPno Creative Services Director Gina Schramm Group Advertising Art Director .O. Potter Business Development Manager Melissa Nelson Grima Corporate Research Director Heather M..Tllio . Ann Arbor.r D. Everett Potter.i:'.ial Director Tom James rll] Art Director Eleanor WilUamson Photo Editor Keri Bascetta Actinj5 Art Director Shennon Murray Interns Jordan loyd.. or call customer service at 800-521-0600. Production Lisa Earlywine Vice President.. Human Resources Cathy Hertz Vice President...~"..}i. Group Publisher Meni Lee Kingsly Associate Publisher Ben Rifkin PRINT AND DIGITAL ADVERTISING SALES OFFICES BOULDER 303-253"6300 Account Managers Delia Deocampo. Kristen Magnani..com.Israel Sales Directors Deanna Forgione. Deborah Willfams Interns Michael DiFerdinando. o. Philip Higgs. Thompson Stephen Beneski. Idema Research Analyst Charlotte Chairman Jonas Bonnier Chief Executive Officer Te~ Snow Chief Operating Officer Dan Altman Chief Financial Officer Randall Koubek SVP. ii:':. ~ PRINTEDINTHEU. Jay Cowan. Susan Reifer. Digital Sales & Marketing John Haskin Vice President. Ph."1ij~t19. Walker Corporate Counsel Jeremy Thompson BONNIER l. !. For article reprints.Libby VanderPloeg Group Online Marketing Director Knsten Goode Special Projects Director Matt Chamberlain Senior Marketing Manager Ann Brown Senior Online Marketing Manager Paige Lester Senior Integrated Marketing Manager Jessica Eassa Integrated Marketmg Managers Casey McCarthy. i~[t) BOULDER 303-253-6300 Director of Marketing Stef Luciano Senior Marketing Manager Liz Ludwig Marketing Managers Amy Chamberlain.ibutor-at-Large Jolm Fry Instruction Director Micha..' I~iH :hiil a i: VP..j:'1 For 24/7 service. iii'i3ijU3ii·jUj'Mi43:~1i:i!fj:i·tjj:i·j[ltii[·j:N'l!LtIl£I For inquiries regarding international licensing or syndication. economic and environmental needs of present and future generations.:f.i!fjJ:~:. Kim Eipers Sales Assistant Senior Sales Directorlda6e Jennifer Barrett NEW YORK 212-779-5091 Fernandez Executive Travel Director Brian . Tara Weedfald Assistant to the Publisher Robin Feingold BOSTON 917-208-8825 New England Sales Manager Kristin Hill Casey CANADA 905-770"5959 Canada Sales Manager Debbie lapp CHICAGO 312-252-2845 Midwest Group Director Lisa ceientani Midwest Sales Manager Christina Meram Advertising Assistant Krissy Van Rossum LOS ANGELES 310-227-8952 Southern California/Southwest Group Director Kevin Carr SAN FRANCISCO 415-599"5330 Northwest Group Director Altison Berkley Northwest Sales Manager Ann Pickard . Corporate Sales & Marketing Mark Wildman Vice President.malmsten@bonnier. Thepaper used for this magazine comes from cer.'[.se.. ~. please use our website: skimag. please contact Anders Malmsten at anders.l13.~¢! <f" .el Rogan Director of Digital Media Megan Miller Technical Producer Josh Rashkin Editorial Producers Sally Franklyn. Sarah Bray Events & Promotions Manager Corinne Tisei Integrated Marketing Coordinator Kris-Ann Panzella Marketmg DeSigner TarynneGoldenberg Iltl} ~~1i)!j . Cassandra Orton Enthusiast Group Editor. . Jack Wright.. Christopher Solomon.chel Tjornehoj."tq'.i~iil'tj$. SKI does not accept unsolicited . . d i ~iii . M148106.

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DE CHlLLAN. A CHlLE 20 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .TER 101 S .

Termas is home to South America's longest run (abouteight miles).. Chile. as the clouds rollin. as far as Termas de Chillan. others have been chasing it-in some cases. REMEMBER DOING THIS? While you've been patiently waitingfor winter to arrive. and views that seem to stretch much farther than thst=especielly when you're carving up corn snow. OCTOBER 2010 SKI 21 . at dusk.

Many skiers still think "Pontoon" when they think of rocker. There's argument between skiers and snowboarders over who thought of it first. have it. it has changed the way people ski-especially. a little history: Boarders may dis- CAMBER WAVES Evidence that rocker is mainstream? Even women's models.th super-sidecut. there has been initial skepticism of the concept. rocker probably can't either. porating the new idea (some of those mistakes contributing greatly to the skepticism). and it's here to stay. Rocker looks to be the next game-changer in ski gear. the McConkeydesigned Machete Spatula.like Atomic's Century. Similarities with the super-sidecut revolution in the mid '90s abound. "Brain Floss. If super-sidecurs couldn't do it. but to our minds the rightful Father of Rocker (as it applies to snow sports) is the late Shane McConkey. it hurtles toward a paradigm shift as significant as metal edges or super-sidecuts or oversized widths. Still. (See page 38. agree. in 2003. By Joe Cutts The evolution of ski design-always a matter of fits and starts-is on the cusp of one of those fundamental breakthroughs. Can it resurrect a struggling skimanufactunng industry with an explosion in sales similar to those that attended the introductions of oversized tennis racquets in the '70s and golf clubs in the '90s'~Probably not. all but the staunchest traditionalists will have it in some form. developed with K2 designers (who admit they were skeptical). And as with super-sidecut. Even as you read this.) Already. Soon. it's likely to heIp-and is certain to at least realign market shares.FALLLINE· WHAT NOW o As important eady to Rock? as the sidecut revolution? Yep. The Spatula had its flaws. McConkey described it in a 2002 essay. But his concept predates the Pontoon by several years. as the comparues that adopt it earliest and most effectively thrive while laggards lose ground. but not exclusively. That was McConkey's baby." and Volant introduced the first reverse-camber ski. There have been mistakes made as manufacturers experiment with different ways ofincor- WHERE ROCKER WAS ONCE CONSIDERED EXCLUSIVELY A SOFT-SNOW TECHNOLOGY. the free-spaired freeride legend. As wi. IT HAS SINCE DEMONSTRATED ITS BENEFITS IN VIRTUALLY ALL CONDITIONS AND FOR ALL ABILITIES. Those that don't soon wilL More reasons to smile on a powder day. in powder. and the con- . the end result is so startlingly good you wonder how you ever skied without it. Rocker-the introduction of reverse camber to at least some portion of a ski-has arrived as a mainstream design concept. First.

ill varying amounts-smooths the jostling a skier experiences in crud. "Sidecut did help a lot. Meantime. "1t'U definitely move the need le. who tracks sales for the Snowsporrs Industries of America (SIA). In the '90s. the obscu re brand's annual sales totaled $55 million. Among them.. offering a looser. And V61kl: "The performance aspects are as significant as with shaped skis. there was hope that sidecut technology would drive sales. with sales of $255 milUon. Which means that-you guessed it-your skis are suddenly." says Scott Jaeger. sales of ski equipment have declined. ceprwas slow to catch on. Can rockered skis de liver the same excitement on ski shop sales floors? Thor Verdonk. this much is true: Skiers who do buy the new technology will enjoy the ride . K2 has introduced some form of rocker- 'TECHNOLOGIES THAT ROCKED BUT WILL YOU RUSH OUT TO REPLACE YOUR CURRENT SETUP? CAN ROCKER BE THE RISING TIDE THAT BUOYS A STRUGGUNG GEAR INDUSTRY? THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN." says Jolyn de Boer. director of alpine product development for Rossignol U.• . Since the late '80s. and at lea st moderate gains overall due to rocker. "In the future. led by Callaway. but rather the waist width and type of baseline [K2 's term for a ski's camber profile] to define their skier type. Meanwhile. K2 argues. ill particular. making a ski easier to turn. But will you rush out to replace your current setup? Can rocker be the rising tide that buoys a struggling gear industry? That remains to be seen. instead of tipping and can·mg. He expects a significant realignment of marketshare in favor of those who do the best job soonest. who instantly saw the benefits of rocker ill deep snow. for newbies and novices-those who still PIVot and skid their skis to turn. however." Can rocker be the catalyst for growth? "I think it'll have an impact. it was a different story. The new technology did. chop and bumps. Golf went through a similar revolution." says De Rocco. as it applied to skis." Other companies agree. ta king advantage of new ca rbon-fiber construction technologies. it was No. and we believe it's here to stay. was the first to popularize the concept. a runaway hit among boarders. boosting overall industry sales in the process. the same ski can still incorporate traditional camber and sidecut underfoot.e. president of the SIA. even on the groomers." says U. Salomon and K2." Like we said: a new paradigm. What the ski industry wishes it had is the sales equivalent of a little tip rocker to float sales up. product manager Thor Verdonk. They'll see it as a product they need to have ill their quiver.How much can game-changing technology boost the sales of a sporting-goods industry? Consider the examples of Callaway Golf and Prince Tennis. But here's the thing: Where rocker. was once considered exclusively a soft-snow technology-with rockered super-fats like the Pontoon and Rossignol's S71eading the way down the mountain-it has since demonstrated its benefits in virtually all conditions and for all abilities." ." But Ingemie and other industry insiders see other forces at work dampening ski sales. well . even on "fronrside" skis.S. There's even an application. "There wasn't exponential growth." says U. including a still weak economy and the trend toward renting skis instead of purchasing. "Traditional camber is not going away.obsolete. By 1993.. "We can now make skis that turn just as well but are easier. rocker makes the sport easier. global head of product development at K2. and work better in all conditions. When it introd uced the innovative Big Bertha driver in 1991. Rossignol: "Even for an intermediate. Maybe it does. marketing cl'Jief Geoff Curtis. senior retail analyst at Leisure Trends Group. A touch of rocker at the tip and tail makes skiing easier. "We're firmly behind rocker technology. but mostly reducing the drain that the expanding snowboarding market caused on ski sales.S. it also turns out that rocker-employedjudiciously. How popular? "The introduction of the first oversize tennis racquet in 1977 propelled Prince from a pro/specialty market share of less tha n 10 percent to market leader with 35 percent share in 19S2.s. easier ride. "We saw depletion ill rocker inventory ill SllOWboards ill the past couple of years. "All our skis have some amount of camber. and I think core skiers will want to try it. Not only does rocker aid flotation ill deep powder.. ha s seen the rockered 57 powder ski sellout for two consecutive years. The Volant brand's demise didn't help. Over in the snowboard world. Lib Tech launched its now lege endary Skate Banana model.J. but people who did ski were buying new skis at a hyper-accelerated rate." At the same time. from powder to groomers. smoother.1 in revenue. people won't talk about the radius of a ski. Prince. because you still had flat or decliningparticipation. though. executive director of the Tennis Industry Association. Some fonn of rocker is probably going to be useful in every aspect of skiing." says Anthony DeRocco. Though not the first to make an oversize racquet. where it waits patiently for the novice to set an edge and carve." says David Ingemie. a lot or a little--into virtually all its skis. have incorporated rocker deep into their lines.

The EZ-On gloves and mitts ($20) have a wide opening at the bae k and a q uiek but secure vetcro closure. We should know: Sportfood companies shi p them to our office by the crate. but a nyone who's tried to stuff them into ski gloves knows better. But one day a box of home-baked. The designers at Grandoe are either parents or ski instructors. Here's the a uta equivalent: Due out in 2011.75 each) arrived from Jackson Hole. does the job of both your around-town coupe and your rugged weekend sag wagon.000 MSRP). where one woman and 12 ingredients prove that good for you can also taste good. the new four-door. organic and-get this-delicious Tram Bars ($2.FALL LINE • GEAR & GADGETS I ) STUFF WE LIKE I » OPEN WIDE Kid ha nds look deceivingly sma II and nim ble.com ~ ONEFOURALL We've talked about the one-ski quiver for years.com ( 24 SKI OCTOBER 2010 . trembers.com ~ BAR FOODAs far as we knew. What to do with all that extra garage space? You could always use a few more pairs of skis. energy bars ca me in two varieties: barely palatable and not fit for human consumption. miniusa. four-cylinder Cooper MINI countrymen (from $30. with optional turbo charge and all-wheel drive. grandoesports.

SSORII.s in Cr-ime BASElAV&:RS > ACCI.. Dartn.Mother and Son.et.-- .S ~ SOCKS ~*' I _ __..

Tap twice on the body to take photos or video.6.com SONY CYBERSHOTDSC·TXS • A 3"inch touch" screen gives it a sleek. • Digic4 face detection technolo.1 megapixels. 3x optical zoom. shockproof from 4 ft. waterproof to 33 ft. freezeproofto 14°F »$330 usa. shockproof from 6 ft. and the high-resolution LCD is bright even in direct sunlight. 2. • Best Shot menu gives youguick access to' interval.shaky hands and low light..$400 snow. button-free interface.. • 5. • iSweep technology links up to 100 images. • Dual image stabilization ensures dear images even when the subject is moving fast. 2. 3x optical 200m. freezeproof to 14°F.$400 olympusamerica..se stabilizer minimIzes blurriness from motion.4 oz. The lens and flash sit flush againstthe slim body.5-inch LCD screen.560z. but it isn't glove-friendly. even while wearing gloves.1 megapixels.dust proof PRICEflNFO . . 14.. so you can capture that breathtaking mountaintop panorama. waterproof to 10 ft.. 12. so it's easy to stash. . crushproof to 220 pounds. Big buttons are easy to press while wearing gloves..6. shockproof from 6 ft... • The faceplate can be switched out for a custom look. 10. 4.1 megapixels.7-inch LCD screen. 12. • The only crushproof camera we tested.dustproof . but its Image quality is lower than the other cameras we tested. waterproof to 33 ft.dustproof .6x optical zoom. 5x optical zoom.1 rnegepixels.2 megapixels. freezeproof to 14°F." "YouTube movie" and "snowy landscape" capture modes. 720p HD movie capability .7-inch LCDscreen. waterproof to 10ft.com OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH-SOlO .sy provides indiVidual focus adjustments for every face in your photo.FALL LINE • TOOLBOX o Go ahead: Drop it in the Digital Cameras DETAILS PANASONIC LUMIX DMC'TSZ • Heavy but tough. 4x optical zoom.5-inch LCD screen.40 MBof built-in memory.casio... shockproof from 5 ft.. By Jennifer Davis • Its optical ima.capture modes with the twist of a knob..4 oz.. shockproof and cold proof cameras can survive nearly anything. waterproof to 33 ft.com 26 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .dustproof '$280 my. freezeproof to 14°F.$400 sonystyle. it has an easy-touse control panel that lets you switch between photoand video..com CANON POWERSHOT 010 • The 010 makes up for its somewhat cumbersome eggshaped body with an intuitive menu and layout. panasonic.com PENTAXW90 • With 5x optical zoom.com CASIO EXILIM EX-Gl • Its slim design fits well in your hand or pocket. 3.$330 pentaximaging.e. this one has the longest range of any cameras we tested. it's sleek yet indestructibl. • 5.6x optical 200m. Kick it with your ski boot. 12. The tap-control feature is perfect for gloved hands... • 5.6.7 oz. SPECIAL FEATURES SPECS .7 oz. just in case you fiUyour memorycari:i • Creative art filters let you apply special effects to your photos. waterproof to 20 ft. • Captures highquality widescreen movies in nop HD videomode • A rubberized face and a strap with carabiner make drops and dings less catastrophic . coldproof to 14°F.. freezeproofto 14°F.1 oz. 12 megapixels. .. shockproof from 7 ft.canon. shockproof from 4 ft. 2. The latest waterproof. 2. Leave it outside overnight.

Visible Ught Transmitted LIGYT IN-~E DARK The Bolie Modulator™ Is a state-of-the-art. the darker the lens will become.. ONE LENS FOR ANYCONDTON LIG~T DARK IN T-1E 66% VLT~ .brings photochromic innovation to the spherical lens . The more UV light exposed to the lens. light reactive lens that changes lens tint density with the changing light conditions. high contrast. .

FALL LINE • WHERE

IS IT?

WIN THESE SKIS
Are you ready to rock? Identify the resort in this photo, and you could win a pair of new Rossignol S7 Freeride skis, rockered at the tip and tail for incomparable floatin bottomless powder. Go to skimag .com/contest to submit your guess. One winner will be randomly selected from the correct respondents.
ROSSIGNOL 57 Tops in no fewer than six criteria in this year's ski test, the Freeride S7 was the Deep Snow category winner and a teste r favorite.
NO PURCHA$ENECESSARY TO ENTER. FOR COMPLETE RULES, GO TO SKIMAG.cOM /CONTESTRULES.

28

SKI

OCTOBER

2010

PHOTOGRAPH

BY ADAM

BARKER

THrs IS W~AT I CALL AN EMBARRASSMENT OFRICUES.

THE

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FALL LINE • LEGACY
TIGHT TURN French racer Perrine Pelen wins the 1980 women's slalom in Waterville, N.H., the first World Cup race to feature a new hinged slalom pole, which allowed for straighter lines and improved course maintenance.

Hinge of History
o The slalom pole that revolutionized racing. By John Fry
The intention of setting slalom poles on a hilt was to simulate turning
through trees in a forest. To realize the shortest-and therefore the fastest-line down the hill, racers have always tried to tum as close as possible to the pole. That technique had its consequences. The repeated impact of hitting rigid poles bruised arms and shoulders. Splintered wood and bamboo occasionally punctured legs, arms, hands and lungs. In 1968, an Australian racer training in France was impaled on a pole.-it went right through his body. He survived. If a pole came out, the gatekeeper had to run downhill and retrieve it, bring it back up, and jam it back into the hard snow-hopefully in the same place. The work of resetting poles interrupted races and slowed training. In 1930 a couple of inventive Swiss, working with slalom's creator Arnold Lunn of Great Britain, designed a pole that would remain upright. They called it the "Kandahar flag." It was a pole with a primitive springjoint at the snow surface. If you struck the upper section, it flopped over but then sprang back. In turning, a racer could exploit the spring action of the Kandahar flag by swinging the back of his skis over the pole's upper section, gaining a faster line but leaving officials to puzzle over whether he should be disqualified. The design was abandoned after a few winters. Almost 50 years would pass before the Kandahar flag was reinvented. The

hinged pole made its debut in international competition in the 1980 World Cup races at Waterville Valley, N.H., using the Reliable Racing Company's Break-AWay pole. A niftily engineered spring in the base allowed the upper section of the pole to hinge and unhinge firmly. The new poles were a success, appreciated by trainers and gatekeepers. And they were eventually a boon for recreational racing programs, such as N astar, since they reduced the manpower needed to run races. Still, poles occasionally came out of the snow. The problem was solved when Austrian-born U.S. coachHermann Gollner; a skilled climber, realized that the threaded ice screw used in glacier climbing would work as the slalom pole's tip. In the 1980s, racers-increasingly armored with padding and face shields-began to use their inside shoulder to brush the pole aside. But with the advent in the 1990s of shorter, shaped skis, which carve a virtually non-skidded line, almost the entire skier's body was now outside of the gate; only the feet and ankles were inside. Racers switched to using the outside arm to knock the turning pole aside. Slalom became "like skii_ng and playing tennis at the same time," Gollner quipped. Six decades ago, when racers began to use the reverse-shoulder form to win slalom competitions, recreational skiers copied it with the popular wedel technique. In contrast, the new armsand-hands slalom technique, though it has revolutionized racing, has exerted virtually no influence on the way you and I turn today .•

1 9 8 o

30 SKI

OCTOBER 2010

they float forward and aft. By using my Skier's Edge Big Mountain machine for 20 minutes a day. why's every turn I make so much harder than the one before? What's wrong is a combination of lack of a. You go along. shin and calf muscles. mountain. UT 800-225-9669 Ext.and bumps jus! appear from nowhere. By strengthening Ihe muscles around my ankle. the strength and endurance to master the most challenging runs.com/171 . you'll be the skier who has the ability to ski the entire mountain and take any trail with confidence and style. No big deal. The strength I've gained by using my Skier's Edge allows me to stay centered on my skis. Utah. My goal is to keep my feet level while moving side to side in order 10 become stronger and improve my bolonce. I increase the level of my workout even more by adding the Slope Simulator accessory to my machine.This causes faulty body alignment which may cause you to fall. You have two choices . including By following this training routine on the Skier's Edge. moguls and powder with confidence. I gain the strength and endurance to master the mosl challenging runs. You stay cool and try to psych yourself up. Featured in Skiing Magazine's Top 100 Inslructors . I can slay centered on my skis and not lean back. down. " You ask yourself. How many times have you been out skiing and decide to follow a friend down a steep run? It's a run that you've always wanted to do but didn't have the confidence to go develops total balance and control. so I work my ankles. right? Ha! The run is steeper than you thought The Skiers Edge Company'" • Park City. It's nice to be able to go top to bottom without stopping. It's nice to be able to go top to bollom without stopping.1gain strength and endurance that lakes away your confidence .171 • www. I can tackle any pitch. .not ski challenging runs or work oullo become stronger.SkiersEdge. By removing the pins from the front and back... knowing that it's not in your comfort zone. Slope Simulators train for the forward position and You CANSki the Entire Mountain BY DAVE JONES PSIA Level III Deer Valley. You wonder what you're doing wrong and why you're exhausted halfway down the run. I am prepared for any terrain on the moguls.

By Valerie Gleaton AUTUMN CASHMERE Sophisticated Style FUNNEl NECK SWEATER Snuggle upfora cozy cabin weekend or Luxe lodge retreat in 100 percent cashmere .com HELLY HANSEN SNOW CUTTER These blingy. $209. waterproof boots come equipped with rubber running-shoe treads for stability and fauxfur liningfor comfort and added glam. kaenon.sh- mere.echnology and' are made with the female form (and'face) in mind. $130.com 32 SKI OCTOBER 2010 .. com KAENON JOSS These shapely shades include polarized lenst.FALL LINE • SLOPESTYLE o You may not own a chalet in the Alps. autumnca. but you can look the part in these chic winter wearables. heUyhansen. $495.

$199jJawbone. OCTOBER 2010 SKI 33 .Professionalgrade noise cancelingtechnology blocks out wind and liftline chatter..OAFERHORN Classic. $99. tweet and text-handsfree .com WENGER L. eiRE BENTLEY Supple sheepskin gloves with cashmere linings pamper winter-chapped hands and fingers. $88jgrandoe. full-grain leather slip-ons have lugged outsoles for navigating stick sidewalks.com JAWBONE ICON The Bluetooth device with voice command lets you talk.NOTAFURFAN? No worries: The hood's trim is faux fur and fully detachable.

CARVE AND BUST THROUGH CRUD. EXPANDING THE MOUNTAIN 3411 Buyers Guide II SKI .MIDFATS FLOAT.

SKI II BuyersGuide 1135 .

I Buyers Guide /I SK .

II

NEW SKIS AND BOOTS COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE THIS SEASON. (OR AT LEAST MAKE YOU SKI BETTER.) HERE'S HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ONES FOR YOU.
Among skiers, there are universally shared hardships. Frostbite. Liftlines. And trying to navigate your way through rack after rack of skis and boots in a busy ski shop. It's intimidating, we know. But there's nothing more important to your skiing than getting on the right gear. And after a few years or roughly 100 hard-charging days on the hill, the "right" gear usually means newgear. Read the category descriptions to the right, decide which best suits you, and flip to the corresponding section. A couple ofthings to keep in mind:

5

so if you think you're at least an advanced intermediate, most of these skis will be excellent improvement tools to take you to the next level. (Payclose attention to each ski's Forgiveness numbers: The higher the number, the easier it is to ski.) CHEAPER-AND EASIER,TOO Advanced intermediates or below should check out the skis in our value section ("The $700 Showdown," p. 90), which have a broad range of ability parameters. Orfind an expert ski you think you might like, and ask for the next ste p downless aggressive and less expensive-in that line. (Ski manufacturers make many skis from the same mold, adjust~ ing performance levels by using different materials.)
So read the reviews (starting on p, 64), check out the numbers (p. 88), and talk to friends and shop staffers. Then bring this issue with you when you're looking to buy. It will help demystify the process. (As for frostbite and liftlines, we found a cure for those, too. Several, actually. Just ask your favorite apres bartender.)

CONTENTS 38 Trends 2011 This season's exciting innovations 46 Makeover The right boots matter: a before-and-after 54 Ski Anatomy What's your ski made of? 56 Boot Anatomy How a boot is built 58 What You Need to Know Tips on buying and maintaining 64 Skis 73 award-winning models, tested and reviewed 88 The Data The numbers behind our ranki ngs 90 The $700 Showdown Winners that won't break the bank 94 Boots We suffered ...so you won't have to. The 49 best. SKI CATEGORIES

IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING NICE TO SAY•••Every ski and boot we feature here is a medal winner. (Wedon't review gear that doesn't make the cut.) In other words, all of the skis and boots you see on these pages is worthy. Your choice is a matter of preference, dependent on variables such as your skiing style, favorite terrain and perso naItaste. CREAM OF THE CROP All skis in our terrain-based categories are high-performance. Good expert skis should be forgiving,

64168 DeepSnow Skis > Specialists built to smear through the deep. Great "cheater" skis for intermediates, too. (98~128 mm waists)

72177 MixedSnow Skis > All-mountain skis appropriate mostly for softe r snow. A Western~ er's one-ski quiver. (80-98 mmwaists)

82/85 HardSnow Skis > Narrow-waisted carvers for the groomed. An Eastern everyday tool; a specialist out West. (Up to 84 mm waists)

BOOT CATEGORIES

95/100 Speed Boots > Snug, stiff. For experts who crave speed and precision-and knowagood bootfitter.

96/100 Freeride Boots > A little softer for versatility in all terrai n, but still expert-level high-performance boots.

99/106 Comfort Boots > Warm, soft, roomy; footfriendly but structured enough to help intermediates improve.

SKI II BuyersGuide

1137

FOR VERY GOOD REASON, ROCKER GETS MOST OF THE ATTENTION. BUT THE NEW YEAR BRINGS AN UNUSUALLY FRUITFUL CROP OF INNOVATIONS.

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Rocker isn't just for powder anymore. Turns out it was never just for experts, either. So over the past two years we've seen it creep onto frontside skis aimed at various ability levels, where it serves two purposes. One is shock absorption: A raised tip, when it hits a bump, doesn't jolt you like a cambered tip wilt; the impact is gradual. And if yours not getting tossed around+sey, in bumps or crud=it's easier to balance. The other purpose is, well, call it forgiveness, because "pivotability" isn't a word. For those still turning their skis by pivoting them, a raised, unpressured tip is less grabby on the snow. Go ahead, twist your torso, and skid your skis with enhanced ease. When you're ready to tip them on edge and carve like a pro, there's still plenty of sidecut to work with. But it's still in powder, glorious powder, that rocker comes into its own. It's changing the
3SIISuyers Guide 1/ SKI

LET US IROCK

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way experts ski: They can go faster, harder, longer. Yet at the same time" it's the perfect learning tool for powder newbies. How's it work? Let's break it down. BIGSEXY TIPS This is the most immediately intuitive benefit. Combine massive width with rocker, and the result is a tip that simply won't dive. Everyone wins: novices, because keeping tips up in powder is one of the hardest things to master; experts, because they can stand more aggressively, with more shin-boot pressure, knowing they won't go over the handlebars. THE SCHMEAR Srnearing=i.e., skidding in powder-gives

experts new options, with more nuanced control over speed and line. Example: treeskiing. You find a llne, descend it, then hunt laterally for the next one. 'Ifthe next line isn't too far left, say, you can set a strong right-footer, pop as far across the hill as possible, then set a left-footer at the top of the new line..But if that next line is just a little too far? Old school: Throw in a couple turns to set up (losing speed), School of Rocker: After making that strong right-footer, make one big messy smeared left-footer that gets you all the way over to the new line. Skid, skid, skid, until you have a good angle, then set an edge and charge. One turn, skidded+ smeared. Like a GS

racer drifting straight at the next gate, then hammering the edge into a carve at the last moment. It's faster. It even makes its own special sound, exactly like a Bronx cheer. THEE-BRAKE Flotation and smearing 'let you ski powder at unprecedented speeds. And when you see that cliff band ahead? Rocker lets you drop anchor instantly. Lean back on those tails and throw a huge spray. Cambered skis just don't let you get them sideways as quickly. Is it still fun to ski powder on midfats and unrockered fatties? Hec k yeah. But it's like super-sidecut: Those who have embraced its charms will have a hard time going back.

CUSH~ SUSPENSION

J

SKI II BuyersGuide II

VolklKuro ) (132 mm). Wagner. some are clever innovators with bright futures and passionate followers (Liberty.Pictured:Ice tic Ke) !. wider tails remain engaged longerfor stronger turn finishes. lean back and bury that tail at the first sign of trouble.S. they seemed like pi. 4FRNT) ar~ here to stay. lcelantic). It gives you courage for steep lines and huge landings. too. Where did all those manufacturing presses go? Welcome to the age of indie ski brands. THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF HUGENESS 40 II Buyers Guide II SKI . Stand aggressively when things are going well. the now venerable K2 Pontoon and the amazing. Colo.. Some (A:rmada. Look for the results laterthis season andon i m. K2 Pontoon (130 mm) and Nordica Jah Love {140 rnrn). returning Rossignol THE GARAGE BRANDS There used to be some 250 snowboa rd brands in the U.blicity stu nts. Examples:.THE STATE OF THE ART TAPER CAPERS C "Taper" is the difference in width between a ski's tip and taiL On hardpack.. While your tips remain floaty and maneuverable.The biggest beasts are more than twice as wide as skis of the recent past. and while most of us aren't lucky enough to need a dedicated deeppowder tool in the everyday quiver.. unwanted speed is scrubbed instantly. some just seem like hobbies for kids with too muc:htime on their ~ands.before a massive consolidation shrank that number to somethi ng like 70 this year. narrow ones feel slippery and easy. Turns out a narrower tail gives you options in powder.--=l11 When the double-wides first came out. Examples: Line Prophet 130 (130 mm). We counted 41 independent brands attending this year's nationa Itrade show. We spent some time with the indie-brand skis duri ng two days of testing at Breckenridge. But designs have improved. these giants really can't be beat for making the most of monster storms .

They bu ild bike fra mes out of it. roomier fits and lighter constructions make them eager companions for freeride adventure beyond the ropes. not wood. Lange's Blaster (and women's Delight) and Dalbello's Virus (see p.the way. Tecnica AgentAT and BC. after all.Atomic's Tracker series. Whatever: Trendy bamboo continues to demonstrate its amazing versatility in new uses every day. though we vouch for their skiability. But don't be surprised to see the fewer-is-more trend migrating to all-rnounta in boots. Th e Duke-Ma rker's burly hybrid-rocked the world five years ago. grippy soles. Knee Binding introduced a product designed to save you r ACL.Remember.) BACKCOUNTRY FOR ALPINERS What's fueling the AT boom? Gear like this: stout enough to keep spoiled alpiners happy on th e descent but light and functional enough for unambitious touring. Nordica debuted its flashy Ace of Spades last December and bui It a new Freeride collection around it. Liberty goes all. (Still too small a sample size to know if they work. Watch to see if other brands adopt this highly renewable resource.0 BINDINGS: THE ANTHREND Marker takes aim at the Fritchi Freeride with a new AT binding. THE VANISHING BUCKLE They are. and its Royal Family of models-including the Jester and Baron-are big sellers. So how few bu ckles ca n still get the job done? Salomon has been at it for a couple years with boots like the Ghost. BAMBOO 2. SKI II BuyersGuide II 41 . it's grass. it's mostly park-oriented stuff. Ski-walk features. Last year. 42). As far as alpine models. the Tour. there's not mu ch new. building its Helix 176 (andothersl around a ba mboo core. Mainstrea m com panies continue to exploit the new category. heavy and expensive and prone to breakage. Exam~ ples: Salomon Quest 12. For now. why not skis? Salomon leads the way among mainstrea m brands with ba mboo laminatesin the Czar and Shogu n.

.. Glen Plake took a lead role in the design of Dalbello's newest offering. It belongs in the emerging alpine/AT hybrid category (see page 41).. v As with the Krypton series.. has a flexible panel in the troublesome "sixthtoe" area ofthe bootalong the outside wa [1.. We'll LIGHTEN UP ONE-BOOT QUIVER fortheATersion.. (t An all-carbon boot would bethe ultimate in power and quickness. Solution: The Dodge boot's curved spine leaves room to slide in.. It expa nds to accommodate widerfeet.. featured in models like theLF 90.... you have to admire the exuberance of Full Tilt's 2011 styles. though skiers of a certain age might want to go with something a little more conservative.. long popular among park and pipe crowd. the Virus. The problem: It'd be so stiff you couldn't get into it. gym-sock cuffs (as in the Hot Dogger) put the fun in freeriding..BRAND INNOVATIONS HIGH STYLE FLEXIBLE FIT Ready for a red-plaid ski boot? Even if you're not.. decorative zippers. but for now it's a race application. Atomic's new Live Fit technology... Feet that aren't constricted are warme r.. We hear amazing things.~balanceJ . blend ing the best of alpine performance with acceptable toura] 4211 Buyers Guide II SKI . Quilted panels..~::----.more relaxed and easier to ~ .

!v home trial l311m ur to 1.Itls not the Shape of the Ski.E!f o .1!()1-~1>-8HIII ~ . -RSED6E" ((( JJ) 10 ci. Hit the slopes this season in shape and with style. 'illl) .~~ 0 rllc:i~1Suppl er 10 1he Wefld's Be.SkiersEdge.:~I()ue"hr 4/1 Year wammty ~~~ ? -~". Itls the Shape of the Skier. . You won't be the only one who notices the improvement in your skiing! SKI.com/170 fhc Skl{'r'~ Edge Company ~al~ C 1/. \)1.t The #1 Tedlilical S~I Condlliol1f'r ill lh" WOlld Ski Ieams • Call today for a FREEBuyers Guide and DVD 800-225-9669 EXT~ 170 www.I! 3l_ . make this season count Starting now! You can push yourself to the next level by training year-round on the Skier's Edge in the comfort of your home.

CARVING PUSHING LIMITS Embracing roc ker much? How about five flavors of it. G-forces. '\_____J . firm corduroy beckons. accessorized with climbing skins.BRAND INNOVATIONS IS COOL Carving needs a new publicist. Sidestash and Coomback. The returning Ba. Mea nwh ile. If speed is yourthing and fresh. can Icrash on your couch?" but the race~ ready construction and hybrid GS/slalom sidecut are all business. you'll wa nt a ski that isn't afraid to admit it's a carver. Try Nordica's Firearrow. few will admit loving it. The graphics say "Dude. attempts to inspire lift slaves to ventu re beyond the boundaries with models like the Darkside. packs. Every good skier does it. telescopic poles and the li ke.ckside line. it continues its headlong plu nge into the mainstreaming of backcou ntry adventure. aimed at every level of skier ability? K2 retired the Apache line this year and unveiled its new AMP line to cover the frontside needs of all-mountain skiers. Its charms are undeniable-a seductive mix of speed. smoothness.

WHERE DO "LIFT TICKETS" GO ON AN EXPENSE REPORT? .THREE DAYS IN SALT LAKE CITY FOR A SALES CONFERENCE.

Flimsy footbeds don't provide support. the boot wasn't a commercial success.you know. But it was an interesting project. And it got us thinking: What would it be like to try to ski if. especially when it comes to proper boot-fit and stance-alignment.•• 4611 Buyers Guide II SK PHOTOGRAPHS ElY KElti "ASCETTA . And hilarious. it really is your tools that are holding you back? In fact. Ore. WE TOOK TWO TELLURIDE LOCALS AND EQUIPPED THEM FOR SUCCESS. we've always had our suspicions that a significant number of skiers are poorly equipped to succeed.COMI MAKEOVER_ . With just a halfdegree of unneeded cant. The results? Read on. to whining babies who couldn't buy a turn. Old. The idea was hatched a while back during a week of boot testing at Mount Bachelor. The sale could be unlocked. Aging plastic loses resiliency and grows brittle. like so many avid skiers. lifelong rippers were reduced. But it's not the only one. TO PUT IT TO THE TEST. They could n't believe how bad they were. instantly. yes. proper stance alignment is usually the most important factor to address. We gave our guinea pigs new boots and set them up with one of the best bootfitters we know. Improper flex compromises balance-too stiff. too soft. or how big a difference a little cantingmade .. some background. We brought in an instructor to assess technique before and after.IT'SAPOOR craftsman who blames his tools and all that. THE MAKEOVER alignment. it knocks you fore and aft..II HOW MUCH DOES EQUIPMENT REALLY MATTER? CAN GOOD SKIERS GET BETTER IF THEY'RE IN THE RIGHT GEAR? WE THINK SO. inward or outward. For various reasons. we were starting from the disadvantage of poorly aligned stance? What would happen if we took our hotshot testers and knocked them out of you need. You can't steer a ski with a sloppy-fitting boot. FOR ALL THE DETAILS " GO TO sKIMAG. You get the idea.. But first.. There was an interesting new product that year-a boot with adjustable cant. Depending on your biomechanics. And that gave us an idea What if we identified a couple of candidates and set them up properly? Would we see an immediate difference? And would they appreciate the difference? As we suspected. But what if. GUESS WHAT HAPPENED . even just a tiny bit? The results were spectacular. and you don't have the support SURE. packed-out lin ers lack leverage over your ski. and the boot could then be tilted inward or outward in relation to the sale to match the skier's biomechanics.

SKI II BuyersGuide II 47 .

THIS IS A GOOD ONE. but there are competent pros like him in almost every ski town now. it can be reused in your new boot. We went there to enlist the services of Bob Gleason. then selects sizes that fit snugly but comfortabty. Coto. get one. especially in the critical arch area. ette ? ere. ) FIT FIRST Gleason quickly zeroes in on appropriate models for our subjects.. GEARING UP ) THE GURU We didn't just choose Telluride. Seek them out. and is shaped to conform to your foot. BUT MOST OF US COULD USE SOME HELP. Stock footbeds.NEW BOOTS-WITH PROPER FIT AND FLEX-MIGHT BE ALL YOU NEED. Step 1 is always the footbed. Tight spots can always be expanded later. don't support your foot sufficiently. 4811 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . FROM FOOTBEDS TO CANTING. A custom foot bed is more rigid and substantial. giving you improved leverage over the ski and a more precise fit. If not. Not everyone will be lucky enough to have access to him. it's only a sloppy fit that can't be fixed.lf you've already got a custom job. an equipment tester for SKI. shaped to fit the masses and often made of flimsy materials. is one of the preemi nent bootfitters in the country. One of Gleason's subjects dicksinto a ski simulator (left) to get an idea of how two different boots will fit and feel in action. ) FOUNDATIONS Next. customization. as the tocate for our makeover project because it's beautiful and the skiing's great. Gleason. owner of The Boot Doctors. IF YOU MAKE ONE UPGRADE THIS SEASON.

As is typical. thus determining how much adjustment is needed. grinding cants is the most complex. He then uses calibrated wedges to bring the skier into alignment. he removes the toe and heel plates. Gteason shaves each boot's sale at the appropriate angte. And that's it. The wands are rockered underneath. our female skier.. right) usingcalipers.Gleason starts by locating the center of knee mass (the black dots. in the case of our male candidate's new Langes. Naturally this affects the way the boot interfaces with a binding.it's time to plane the sales. . so. rigid sales and constricting cuffs). using epoxy. ) CANTING Once he's determined how much and in which direction to cant the boot. Thewands. Next.> DIAGNOSIS Both our makeover candidates have alignment issues. Gleason builds the top face of each lug back up to where it's square with the bottom. - SKI II BuyersGuide II 49 . so choose your technician carefully or risk needtessly ruining a pair of boots. then screws the plates back on (left). Of all bootfitting processes. Or. inserts cant wedges. so that it fits as intended into a binding. show Gleason how far out of alignment the subject is. our male skier was slightly bowlegged. knockkneed . It's irreversible. so the skier can stand neutrally (without being forced inward or outward by the boots' flat. which rise perpendicularly to the boot sales. he has the subject stand on cant wands (far right).

you're rock-solid on this side. 'Wow. an aceTelluride Ski School instructor with 29 years of experience. since like a lot of men Han nah is significantly bowlegged. when we asked John Balmain. 'John took one look and said.'" Which wasn't surprising. 50 II Buyers Guide 1/ SKI .He's comfortable in any terrain. by any standard. Balmain zeroed in instantly on his one flaw. moved to Telluride right after high school and skis about 80 days per year .) FILMMAKER Don Hannah is as avid as skiers come: on snow at age 3. a good skier.. prefers steep powder and is. And yet. Hannah recalls. but you're allover the place on the other. to analyze Hannah's technique.

to effectively soften the inside edge of the ski. "Once Iwas corrected. Because h is knees were outside. It's always that kind of stuff where you blow a knee out. In his new. which was especi ally noticeable when Iwas maching on the groomers to get back to the lift.ungroomed stuff. high on the outside. canted boots. I'd have no position to stand solidly against it.It could be terrifying. His outside ski wanted to hook up and carve in a new turn before his body was in a from Balmain. more on top of the skis than I was prior to being properly aligned. Then he built in 1 degree of cant. but on any hard-packed snow." Over-edging is exactly what he was prone to. shaping them to leave room for Hannah's rigid midfoot to flex. "It made me feel very much centered. Gleason's solution: The Lange R130 looked like the best fit for Hannah's foot. he was soon carving clean trenches on the hardpack. But with coaching problem in powder. he had too much leverage over the inside edge.. I had complete confidence to ski with impunity on any slopes." SKI II BuyersGuide II 51 . Iwas over-edging in certain situations. with a stout flex to match his size and aggressiveness. "But on groomers it was obvious. Gleason molded new footbeds. all his life." Hannah says." And that's what Hannah has been doing. "If you're a good athlete. he knew he had issues. "It wasn't ever a problem on steep. the twitchiness would make my heart jump sometimes . you can adapt your technique to overcome an alignment problem. Still." he says.TOUCHY EDGE RESULT: LESS AfTER ) AS INSTRUCTOR Balmain notes. quite successfully. Hannah had some adjustments to make and some techniques to relearn.

Maribeth Clemente is a travel writer and professional shopping consultant. and he didn't have to look hard. Balmain knew her as a colleague on the Telluride Ski School staff." 5211 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . "My whole ski life. setting an edge. All that instructor analysis only made her more aware of her one shortcoming.different story.. Her sense of style is unassaila ble. We asked Balmain to scout out a knock-kneed Telluride local. I've had a hard time getting on edge-rolling my ankles. the reverse is true of women. Not that she's a bad skier.) IF MEN TENDTO BE bowlegged. all the things you need to do to ski really well and carve a turn.. her ability to set an edge .

The canting fixed that. a good fit for her foot shape." meaning she has difficultypressuring the inside edge.ljust wasn't physiologically set up to do what I need to do. Mission accomplished. to allow h er to more easily pressure the inside edge.RESULT: A STRONG INSIDE EDGE AfTER ) CLEMENTE'S affliction is so common it has a name: the "A-frame. it has nowhere to go when she wants to tip that ski on edge. after lifetimes spent compensating for biomechanical disadvantages. Clemente needs time to adjust and says the new edginess of her skis gave her some difficulty at first. there was no way Iwas going to get the right edging. SKI II BuyersGuide II 53 . did the But that's not surprising. Both of our subjects. The groundwork for a successful mission has been laid. but not quite using the ski's flex and sidecut to carve. drills. He added a quarter-inch of heel lift und er new custom footbeds to improve her limited ankle flexion. need to adjust to new atignments. she admitted she ran back to the familiarity of her old boots to get through a week of end-of-season lessons. "No matter how much I pr acticed. As Balmain puts it. could see instant results+and predicts technique breakthroughs for both in the coming season. high on the inside. When pressed. So she's a chronic skidder+graceful and poised. But Balmain." Clemente says. Gleason began with a Salomon Idol9. being knock-kneed." Well. our trained eye." which describes the angles of a knock-kneed woman's shins. sort of. she's "under-edged. he ground a fulll. More like. Because her downhill knee is already inside as she enters a new turn.S degrees of cant into her sales. Most important. "It's been a big source of frustration.

) EDGE A strip of stainless steel integrated into the layup layer of a ski. ) MOLD A metal plank with a ski-shaped cavity milled into it. while a ski with a larger taper is less "hooky" and easier to skid. more durable and more damp-are made by laminating vertical strips of wood together (think plywood tipped on edge). typically a sheet of clear plastic with the ski's graphics printed on its underside ) LAMINATES Sheets of reinforcing materialusually metal or fiberglass fabric-layered above and below the core.. often alloyed with aluminum for use in laminates ) TORSIONAL RJGIDITY G. ) TITANAL The brand name of the aluminum alloy commonly used in laminates ) TITANIUM A lustrous white metal prized for its strength-to-weight ratio. Typically. . ) MIDFAT A loosely defined category of skis. fore and aft. a manufacturer can make a lighter. Some foam cores (the good ones) are milled to precise shapes from foam blanks. ) DAMPENING The reduction of the vibrationsthatoccurwhena ski is in motion. fiberglass light and lively. Sheets offiberglass fabric are impregnated with epoxy. giving the ski more grip on the snow. ski components (and a liberal amount of epoxy) are placed into the mold. aids in turning when the ski is tipped on edge and pressured into an arc ) SIDECUTRADIUS A measurement. prized for their versatility. ) CORE The primary structural elementwood or foam-around which the ski is built. 5411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . ) BASE A sheet of plastic. Wood coreswhich are generally heavier. ) SIDECUTThenarrowing of a ski at its waist. cured. usually high-density polyethylene. ) ROCKER (REVERSE CAMBER) The opposite and tail widths-an expression of the shape ofaski of camber. ) TAPER The difference between the tip and tail widths. metalfree ski that still holds an edge on hardpack. A dampened ski is better able to hold an edge in the snow-but might lack liveliness. then laid into the ski mold. ) DIMENSIONS Tip. They're not as wide as specialized powder skis nor as narrow as speed or race skis. other foam cores (derisively known as "squirties") are simply injected through the tail into a hollow shell of a ski (a cheap and imprecise manufacturing method). Metal laminates tend to make a ski more damp and stable. waist ) PRE~PREGA type of prefabricated laminate used to reinforce cores. which is then subjected to intense heat and pressure to bond the components and squeeze out excess epoxy.LOSSA RY ) CAMBER The convex curvature built into the length of a ski. A ski's ability to resist twisting. Typically "structured" with microgrooves that help to reduce suction and promote glide.HOW WILL A SKI PERFORM ON THE HILL? IT'S ALL ABOUT WHAT'S INSIDE. in meters. By increasing torsional rigidity. Distributes the pressure of a skier's weight to the tip and tail. A ski with a smaller taper generally initiates ares easily. Differing densities of material yield different performance characteristics. ANATOMY ) TOPSHEET The top ) SIDEWALL The vertical plastic side of a laminateconstruction ski. of the depth of a ski's sidecut curvature. curving upward off the snow. Today's midfats-typically 85 to 95 mm atthe waist-are generally wider than those of recent years. resulting in a tumier ski. often achieved by aligning glass fibers across the core at an angle (see "torsion box"). then cut to fit the ski's width and placed in the mold. Used in powderspecific skis for ease and better float.

so that the top of the ski is rounded. then the core. is encased in fiberglass. the ski is built+or "laid up'--ln horizontal layers. then epoxy-soaked and cured. but usually it's cosmetic. ILLUSTRATION ElY STEPHEN IIENESKI SKI II BuyersGuide II 55 . usually wood. rather than flat. then metal.LAMINATES BASE BASIC CONSTRUCTION TYPES ) LAMINATE OR "SANDWICH" Prized for ) TORSION BOX The core. then a sheet of pre-preg fiberglass. then topsheet.i-no metal neededwithout sacrificing edge-grip. So named because it resists twisting (see "torsional rigidity. > CAP The top layer(s) arch from one edge to the other. with performance attributes determined by core design. Typicallaminate construction: base sheet. then a sheet of metal. It can produce a lighter sk. cap skis vary widely in performance and price. then fiberglass. . its power and edge-hold. Though typically a less expensive construction. Sometimes thetopsheetis reinforced and plays a structural role (a"loadbearing cap")." left).

HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE MADE OF. GLOSSARY ) BOOTBOARD The platform inside the boot shell on which the liner rests. ) LUGS (TOE AND HEEL) The portions of the shell's sale that interface with a ski binding. so that the cuff can be angled to match the angle of the skier's leg. Boots can be canted to lean inward or outward.YOUR BOOTS ARE YOUR FOUNDATION. ) SHELL The plastic exterior components of the boot. usually removable. "Last" is a cobbler's term for the footlike form around which shoes were once crafted. it provides padding for the foot to protect it from the rigid shell. usually made of foams. usually by grinding the sale at an angle. usually comprisingtwo components: the cuff and the lower. FO 5611 Buyers Guide II SKI ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN ISENESKI . ) CANT The lateral (sideto-side) angle of the boot in relation to the ski. leather and plastics.zeppa ) FOOTBED The removable platform-located inside the liner-on which the foot rests ) LINER The removable inner boot. also referred to by its Italian name. ) LAST The shape of the interior cavity of a boot. usually adjustable on at least one side of the cuff. must meet industry standards for size and shape. to give the skier better access to all four ski edges. ) SHAFT ALIGNMENT The lateral orientation of the cuff in relation to the lower shell. sometimes replaceable in the event of wear.

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'S YOUR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO BUYING GEAR. (Sound like a good job? See page 61 to find out how to join our team of "civilian" testers. instructors.BEFORE YOU WALK INTO THE SHOP. UsuaUyonly half of what the manufacturers enter win medals. and award medals ta those skis with the highest average scores acras s all criteria. FROM HOWWE TEST TO HOW TO SIZE. HERE. filling out test cards as they go. retailers and bootfitters=all of whom are natur al gea r analysts. SPECIAL THANKS Snowbird Resort Chaos Hats HeHyHansen Mountain Hardwear Smartwool Komperdell Kombi Bolle S8118uyers Guide II SKI .) We collect test cards. and testers put them through their paces. Manufacturers enter their best skis and boots for each category.. and give you the data you need to pick the right gear for the upcoming season. READ THIS.Testers rank each and comment extensively about its behavior on every type of terrain. HOWWETEST We corral a tea m of expert testers+Sl former racers. enter data. Then we write reviews based on our testers' cards.

while narrow skis (70-80 mm underfoot) turn quickly and bite into ice.Nothing makes us realize how much a tune matters more than skiing the test fleet....lmagine extending that arc into a huge imaginary circle. Anything in between (BO-IOO mm underfoot) is a versatile. . Skis with a small radius-and deep sidecut-tend to prefer short. Most skis keep their dimensions (tip.. However some brands maintain the same side cut radius.. .. You don't have to have an engineering degree to understand a ski's dynamics. makes you a better skier~ and diamond stones. The measurement (in meters) refers to the arc of the sidecut. and therefore easier to ski. sidecut is irrelevant. and illustr ates what type of tu rns the ski is most comforta ble rnaking. which means the radius changes accordingly. 38. The result is astonishing: A good tune !!! . p.. II .. which give you a good idea oflhe terrain it's built for and how it will likely behave. (Except maybe getting back on our own equipment after skiing the test fleet. II SIDECUT • 11- . when we could swea r our bases were coated in peanut butter. The difference between the tip and tail-called the taper anglecan teU you how forgiving a ski is: WHAT ARE DIMENSIONS? p SIDECUT RADIUS III til . waist and tail widths-see left) the sa me regardless of the ski's size.. changing their dimensions instead. we provide the tip.. • WHAT IS SIDECUT RADIUS? A narrower tail (or large taper angle) is easier to skid. Wider skis (100 mm underfoot and up) float and smear better in powder. depending on conditions and terrain. 'II!I • ... for more on how taper angle can affect aski in powder. (See Trends. In each review. quick turns.. So generally. The sidecut radius would be the radius of that circle. all-mountain ski.. lending a stuck-to-the-snow feel that experts can appreciate.. the longer the ski. (Notice we said "carve. so the ski ca rves the same regardless of length. you should sharpen your edges and wax your bases after five to seven days on the hill... product managerssome of the best tuners in the business-slave over their skis with files WHAT ABOUT TUNING? So wh ether you invest in sometools for regular maintenance (doing it yourself is rea lly not that hard) or take you r skis to a shop.) SKI II BuyersGuide II 59 .. A wider tail (or small taper angle) stays true to its arc longer. waist and tail widths (in millimeters).) Every night of the test. and even in between runs.) This measu rement describes a ski's sidecut.." If you're skidding your turns.. the longer turns it prefers. those with a long radius like to run..

Their salespeople are the most educated. However. then sidewalls. If you like to make tight. it's ready for the slopes. Forgiveness. a clear layer with the graphic printed on its underside. then a couple more laminates and finally the topsheet. the shop that sold the gear should make it right. go shorter.Don't be scared by the dollar signs. For powder skis. which determines the shape and length of the finished product. 54. experts will want skis that stand at or above the eyebrows. with 100 being the perfect score. which tend to ski shorter. for carvers. You'll often find higher prices in ski towns. p. you can fi nd great deals at urban shops. We rank according to average across all criteria. Forfast. popularity of the product or the time of year. Stability.It's also a matter of preference. then the pre-shaped core. The best places to buy tend to be shops that offer tu ning and bootfitting. WHATISMSRP? Testers rank each ski in nine criteria: Flotation.. Once it's cured. Balance of SkiUsand OveraUImpression. WHAT SIZE SKI DO I NEED? Every ski size and sha pe has its own mold. then a couple of lam inates (typicaUyfiberglass or metal). you may want to go longer (5 cm or so). A database program corrects for standard deviation (some testers are generous. Crud. intermediates at the chin. depending on the location of the shop. but you can trust the staff to know their stuff-which is usually worth it. some stingy). go a little shorter . aggressive skiingespecially off·piste-opt for more length. And. The ski is then cleaned up and tuned. quick turns. Quickness.) HOW ASKIIS MADE 60 II Buyers Guide II SKI . the materials are placed into the mold fro m the bottom up: edges and base material first. In a laminate-construction ski. A heated press squeezes out extra epoxy. not what you're likely to pay. The price is what the rnanufacturers suggest. especially those with rocker. HOW DO YOU RANK THE SKIS? Generally speaking. Hard-Snow Performance. if you do need work done. (SeeAnatomy of a Ski. and make your purchase before you get to the hill. Rebound.

Lindsey Vonn-stiff.corn. flexing the boot forward without being thrust in the bac k seat. When you find a shell that fits. conti nue reading. trying on as many brands and models as you can stand. 60~70> For novices. Though we kept their results separate for consistency's sake. In a heated ski shop. a fun crew and a few boisterous nights at the bar-sounds like a tough job. new skis are sexier. 75) To sign up for this year's program. if you thi nk you can hack it. you'll need to find the appropriate flex withinthat line. p. dread the bootbuying process. lightweight intermediate women and kids a different perspective on gear. you should be able to squat. junior racers. For most highexpert men.) A BOOT HOW TO BUY RATINGS 140~150 > II/BOOT FLEX Stiff as bricks. where "civilians" join our team and test along with the pros. For intermediate men. ratings are not standardized. not only gives us Eric Weber> Atomic Access (not medalled) David Hansen> Vtilkl Bridge (Value Skis. SKI II BuyersGuide II 61 . But it's worth it. For elite male World Cup racers only Still really stiff. 96) Mark Lester> V6lkl Kendo (MixedSnow Skis. But new boots will make you better. too. We can't say it enough: There is nothing more importa nt to your skiing tha n a boot that fits properly and suits your ability leveL That's not to say we don't understand why you're still rock ing your old. stay tuned to skirnag. We'll post info after the snow faUs. First. but structured. packed out pairwe. so your own flex test is more important. Last year's guest testers followed the same protocol as the pros.Sure. you should be able to slide your hand down the backandfitoneanda half fingers between yourheelandtheshe~ Never buy a boot that is too big: You need a snug fit to steer a ski. (A boot fitter can shorten this processand enable you to make your initial fit more snug-by customizing your shell for roughly $150. expert women. Well. you should visit several shops. here's what they liked best: r"'--J '"'HOW CAN I BE A TESTER? We know what you're thinking: Testing next year's skis in Snowbirdfresh powder. heavyweight intermediate men and aggressive expert women BO~90 > Comfortable. ForWorld Cup women and heavyweight and/or aggressive expert men Brawny but bendable. expert teens 120-130 > - 100-110 > Don't get distr acted by things like canting.92) Eliza Hillhouse> K2 Burnin' Luv (Hard-Snow Skis. Our guest tester program. working their way through each category and filling out test cards. Though it gives you a good idea about the level of performance a boot offers. with the opportunity of a lifetime. our loyal readers. "fur" liners or alloy buckles: You need to first find a good fit A knowledgeable salesperson will take out the liner and have you step in the shelL With your toes touching the front. p. but provides you. lightweight/ nonaggressive expert men.p.

43. ex-racer ) TOM FAVRO. PSIA Level IIIalpine and telemark instructor at Copper Mountain. Pro freeskier. Vermont native > VICTORIA DAWSON.'sdeputy editor and equ ipment test director. 34.150 Ibs. 2002 us. 30. . 41.. Former Middlebury College and Green Mountain Valley School racer. Master bootfitter in Vermont. certified pedorthist. Killington. 1851bs. 14S Ibs. Colo.e ~u __ ·_:_' ) COURTNEY GILLET. bootfitter. 34. 47. 57.. instructor and coach lbs. Str atton Mountain School grad. Snowbird local > TODD CASEY. certified pedor- thist ) TRACY GIBBONS. 58. Stevens Pass. 175 lbs. USSA .. Former UVM racer. Boot department manager. Calif..Veteran pro patroller a nd snow-safety director at Taos Ski Valley. 120 JIM SCHAFFNER. Coloradonative > ER IK BOLLER. owner/ operator of Start Haus Ski Shop in Truckee. Vt. 59.M. SKI. 59. 1151bs. Certified pedorthist. alpine/tete instructor for Vail and Beaver Creek. Women's gear director for Skiing Magazine. 1351bs . 125 tbs.SKI TEST ROSTER > CAROL BEALE. BOOT TEST ROSTER ) CAROL BEALE.240 Ibs. native ) BOB GLEASON. 190 lbs. Idaho ) HEATHER SCHULTZ. see above ) JAMIE PRESTON. 165lbs.seeabove ) GALENA GLEASON. ex-racer. 1851bs. N. Spent five years on the competitive race circuit. 190 lbs. Masterfit University. Hardgoods and store manager of Jans Mountain Experts at Park City Mour» tain Resort. former ski racer. 24. 1901bs. Co-owner of Sturtevant's ski shop in Bellevue. Utah. 172 lbs. Bootfitter for 18 years. Italy.Masters racer > HEATHER SCHULTZ.. 46. Educational director at Masterfit University. Co-owner and -founder of The Boot Doctors in Taos and Telluride. 2010 Telemark Freeskiing Champion.com. former instructor ) RACHEL MOSCARELLA. see above > HEATHER VAN GILDER. master bootfitter in Oregon > RAY GARRETT. ski bum ) BRIAN EARDLEY. 1381bs. 41.. 138 Ibs. Spedalty retailer with BentGate Mountaineering and Larry's Bootfitting. director of sales at Silver Mounta in Resort. 130 lbs. 52. 1451bs.. bootfitter for 28 yea rs. Wash. 39. certified pedorthist > KIM BEEKMAN. 46. Warren Miller athlete ) MEGAN MICHELSON. 14i4illis. Works in customer care at evo.. 47. three-time Demo Team World Champion ) SARAH WILDE. Manager of Inner Bootworks in Stowe. 36. former downhill and super G racer for the Ski Team •• u. 1151bs.. Repair manager of Rennstall for Ja ns ski shop in Park City. Head J4-5 coach at Snowbird. Cortina. Basin Ski Shop. Wasatch local ) NEAL SCHOLEY.225 lbs. Veteran bootfitter. co-owner ofThe Boot Doctors shops in Telluride. 52. Freeskiing editor at ESPN. ex-racer ) BOB REMIGER. 38. Backcountry snowcat ski guide with Cat Ski Mount Bailey. 33"yearindustry veteran ) RAY GARRETT. for 21 years. 34. > JOE CUTTS. Utah. 39. runs The Bootlab at First Run Ski Shop in Stratton. Senior instructor.s.. former racer. Vt. SKI's managing editor. 1251bs. ) STEPHANIE HUMES. Colorado native > BENNY WAX. . 190 lbs. certified pedorthist 6211 Buyers Guide II SKI . 1231bs. Wash. 45. Vt. 42. 28. Utah ) TIM MALONE. Colo. 31. see above ) BOBGLEASON.. 1651bs. freeskiing champion > MARK ELLING.

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.~.!E PRESTON 6411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL . TESTER JAM.

. made a huge run up the ranking.. A wood-core. usually lack of quickness or hard-snow grip.1 in six criteria-forgives almost any mistake. Ski as aggressively as you dare. The 57-No. stronger skis..4 in Rebound Energy as weLl. but now the Czar puts up No. with its wood core a Uttle more sturdily reinforced.. Traditional camber and sidecut underfoot provide a comfy home base. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 80." said Etling. advanced intermediates who want a powder-teachingtool WHAT Fat platforms and rockered profiles that float and smear through the deep WHERE Mostly untracked fresh.7 DIMENSIONS 131-111-121 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 44:7 m at 182 em MSRP $910 flat Last year's Czar struck testers as easy.5m at 188 em MSRP $900 flat Think you're nota very good powder skier? Don't decide till you try the category-crushing 57.. . en S7FREERIDE ROSSIGNOL .2 ranking in Quickness). There are bigger.. The secret's in the shape. The Girish puts up high scores across the board. 3D-degree sidewalls take a beating. but none more versatile. The tip is smeary. undemanding. its rocker extends about a third of the way back from the tip-plenty of float and maneuverability in powder that both experts and intermediates will enjoy. Tip and tail are rockered and reverse-sidecut. This year's modeL. CZAR SALOMON GIRISH NORDICA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 87. There's nothing special aboutthe construction: A sheet of Titanal gives it just enough power and dampness. and we tested the 195 cm.. whiLe a touch of tip rocker-40 cm long.0 DIMENSIONS 139-110-129 mm slDECUT RADIUS 26mat185cm MSRP $999 flat Girish-Sanskrit for "lord of the mountains"-is an apt name forthis versatile multitooL Every other ski in the category has one weakness.WAIST WIDTHS 98-128 mm WHO Experts who crave a powder specialist. metal-reinforced laminate layup gives it power and stability (and a No. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 80. "The ultimate powder tool. quick. No ski was deemed more forgiving.2 DIMENSIONS 145-115-123 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. perfect combination.2 ranking in Hard-Snow Grip)." said Gleason. the tail sinks readily when you need to dump speed. it bails you out every time." said Preston. Z-. up to 4 mm high-gives it a nice looseness and creamy flotation in powder [and a No. MeanwhiLe. snappy. fioaty. too w J:: .. "Well balanced. but a little boring. but now noticeably snappier and more dynamic. but rockered tips ease through cut-up crud.1 ranking in Quickness and a No. It's still an easygoing ride. "An all-mountain fat super-G ski with the godsend of rocker. some of the best rebound among the big skis.

In deep powder. "BLends big-ski float with user-friendly agility. it's part of Rossi's "jib" collection. But its rocker and sidecut work togetherto lay a nice long edge on hard pack. SIDECUT RADIUS flat The Answer is a rockered big-mount. but the 184 was zippy in crud and pleasingly energetic on the groomed." said Garrett. it's a full twin-tip." said Gleason. but you get the idea.ain twin-tip that's as lively as a fat ski can get (No. "A versatile. so it has a pleasing. buttery feel in soft snow.000 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $950 flat The tip and tail notches are for climbing skins-not required.1 in Rebound) thanks to the subtleness of its rocker profile.51DE5TA5H CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: K2 ROSSIGNOL 56JI8 4 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: THE ANSWER BLIZZARD CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 7B.1 DIMENSIONS 135-110-12S 2Bmat184cm MSRP $1.B DIMENSIONS 140-110-133 mm 5 AVERAGE SCORE 77.2 in Crud. If your snow is typically somewhere in between the two. The Answer comes with Blizzard's Slider binding interface. it tolerates hard pack.9 DIMENSIONS 139-108-127 23 mm AVERAGE SCORE 77.ing. 6611 Buyers Guide II SKI . with or without a short-tomedium hike." said Malone. Rockered in the forebody and traditionally cambered underfoot. but it'll carve. some testers wished they had the 191-cm length for extra float. The Sidestashis buiLt for adventure in the kind of snow you might find beyond the ropes. Testers clearly preferred Rossi's 57 (p. but handles aU surfaces nicely. 69) for pure powder applications. which accepts any binding. This year's version is rockered tip-totail. but the 56 offers more aU-mountain versatility. You have to be patient. andaUows the ski to flex roundly fore and aft of its single mounting screw directly underfoot. and yes. "Best in deep snow. all-around performer. dismounts in seconds (so you can swap in another Slider· mounted binding). but the sensibLy priced 56 impressed testers (most of whom never ski backward-at least on purpose) with its combination of powderday surfiness and everyday skiability. More 'important: It ranks among the top three in Overall Impression. surprisingly forgiv.3 mat 186 cm MSRP $800 flat Yes. mat 174cm SIDECUT RADIUS 21. you're in Luck: Testers ranked the Sidestash No. but greatly prefers soft snow and deep powder.

"Stiff and dynamic. but it's surprisingly forgiving (No ." said Malone. it still lacks quickness.ln powder. progressively more supple tip and taitJ. That's a function of Dynastar's interesting leaf spring core profile (stiff underfoot. and powerful skiers will love its beefiness.. but that's not a problem at speed in bottomless powder. metalfree. Testers preferred it overthe Legend 115. but with carbonbeam reinforcement. a burly ski that doesn't forget how to have fun. along with Powder Hull Tecbnology-a tip shaped like a boat prow. the better to part the snow in its path. where it thrives with a loose. light and floaty.000 flat If the Sidestash (leftJis built for a modicum of variable-snow versatility. unrockeredtail. "Super sturdy. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 9 AVERAGE SCORE 75.3 DIMENSIONS 146-114-128 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 27 mat 186 em MSRP $895 flat Fischer's widest ski features a subtly rockered forebody this year.5 DIMENSIONS 140·115·130 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 33mat185cm MSRP $820 flat It's stilt a Lot of ski." said Gleason. "Solid. The construction isa surprising blend of power in a Lightweight frame-wood core. 2). AVERAGE SCORE 76.2 DIMENSIONS 156·128·144 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 25 mat 174cm MSRP $1. it's both a game·improvement tool for powder novices and an accomplished expert's big mountain slayer. Given the 114's size.smearyfeeL The rocker adds a dose of maneuverability." said Preston. but skis easier than you expect. . It's metal-free for lightness and ultra-wide forflotation (No. but tip-and-taiL rocker and twin tips give the Huge a welcome measure of quickness and forgiveness.DARKS IDE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: K2 6TH SENSE HUGE 7 Men's Deep Snow: 8 DYNASTAR WATEA114 FISCHER CATEGORY RANKING AVERAGE SCORE 75.lt bareLy tolerates hard snow and lacks quickness for typical inbounds conditions. a non-twin Dynastar of comparable shape but with a more demanding. it's predictably fun and surfy. stable and purposeful. This year's version is rockered from just in front of the toepiece forward and cambered from there back. with nice flotation. the massive Darkside prefers powdery chutes and north faces. TheHugewas snappierthan testers expected for a ski with so much rocker.3J in deep powder. rockered skis. Like other big.

8 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: 11 13H06-122 rnm AVERAGE SCORE 74. but the Gotama won accoLades for versatility and mellow user-friendliness. With roughLy the same dynamics as the hugely popular S7 (No." said Casey. Groomers? It rips. graduaL tip-to-taiL bend. Now it unveils the Freeski. "What a standout. tight trees? Chuck yourseLfin. It surfs and smears readily in powder and smoothly manages crud. and there's plenty of edge-to-snow contact for easy carving.8 mat 178cm flat The original backcountry twin-tip returns with minor modification this year. But it's built for soft snow. "It could float the Titanic. Rebound and stability. The tip rocker starts 40 cm back and rises almost a full 3 cm-so high there's no need for much additionaL tip curvature. Vii!kl takes care to make sure rocker and sidecut work together: Tip a Gotama up on groomers. The redesigned Crush blows through everything in its path. The first thing you notice is how huge it is." said Beale. All you have to do is look down your line. Testers had to punish it for Lack of versatility.74. A rocketed tip and tail work with its sidecut for supreme contact on hard snow. For deepsnow purists. The combination of width and rocker adds up to supreme flotation in the deepest pow. snow snow . with a long. Crud. but subtly. where it handles speed so well you hardly notice the trees are a blur.100 w/binding. Hence its funny shape: The tapered tip and tail smear better in the deep. 65). it's buiLt to float effo rtLes sly th rough feet of velvety powder." Rossi was among thefirst to incorporate rocker into a women's ski (Voodoo Pro BCllO).1 in Overall Impression)." said Casey." said Dawson. and this ski will take you there. There were more dynamic skis in the test. It's fully.3 PIMENSIONS 140-110-118 mm 28. Chopped up crud? Ditto.4 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING Women's Deep Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 84. "I couldn't goas fast as this ski wanted to.5 m at 185 em flat 18mat184em $800 flat SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $800 14.8 m at 185 em MSRP $825 flat SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $899 18. reemergent Blizzard factory is fully staffed: These skis are goingto sell. "A versatile tool for powder and crud-even carves on hardpack. but still gave itthe No. it smears lusciousLy through pow. And yes. Let's hope the still-small. the is not built for versatility.6 DIMENSIONS 132-98-122 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. Then the scary down. see p. it can't be beat (No. making it the most versatiLe in the categorytops in Hard-Snow Grip.2 ranking for Overall Impression. fun and easy. Then the tip profile: There's almost no upward curve to it. rockered.1 in Men's Deep Snow. "Surprisingly maneuverable for its size. The new Radict has traditionaL camber underfoot-about 60 percent of its lengthwith pronounced rocker tip and tail. Steep. 157-127-146 mm CATEGORY RANKING Deep Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 83. super fun.VOLKL GOTAMA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Deep Snow: •• RADICT NORDICA • THE CRUSH BLIZZARD snow FREESKI Women's ROSSIGNOL •• 10 AVERAGE SCORE. one of the first women's skis with rocker and reverse sidecut.

.kastle-ski. E o N a::: u <0 I E . w <0 00 I E . How do you define the value of a product? Everybody is talking product passion these days.... we believe in what we call "the care". E u <0 <0 r-< ......www.. FSC certified wood cores in every single ski and the shortest supply chain of the industry located in the heart of the Austrian Alps..:. Our products today go beyond the industry standards when it comes to quality criteria: 24 stone grinds and a hand finish before they leave the factory.com www.: $C E E 00 N . but we need it to manufacture the ski we want to build for you. _J E E ~ I Q') ...--... WE CARE.--. «leaS LE .--. At KAsTLE. E 00 a::: .I- E E en I :. Do you need all of that to build a ski? Probably not..._ ._ .com YES. ..kaestle-adventuretours. beating the norm when it comes to ski pairing criteria.

As for Hard-Snow Grip. the rewards are rich.. if you're into that kind of thing (K2 skins clip into holes in the tip and tail). (It scored last among win~ ners in Forgiveness." said Wilde. It's not beefy enough to bust through thick crud. tapered tip that won't hook up harshly in fluff. damp Nemesis and lightened it up. f Nordica took last year's burly. it's not too stubborn to hustle through tight trees and bumps.3) and Overall Impression (No. relax and enjoy the ride." said Beale. where it scored last among winners . Testers scored it high in Flotation (No. and it requires a skilled. The new rocker-tipped Got Backfemale counterpart to the Coomback-is life-partner material: easygoing. making it one of the more multitalented skis in the category. Can: It doesn't have the buttery smooth feel of some of the powder purists in the category. this is your mentor. f . .at the bottom. Gradual rocker from tip to tail is the Kiku's secret to unsurpassed smoothness.ESCORE 76. You do have to steer it from exactly the right spot.2 in Flotation.5 m at 162 em MSRP $825 flat Some skis are like good party guests: strong personalltles that Light up a room. dependable and forgiving (No.. smiting uncontroUably. Intermediates. "This is definitely a ski for an aggressive woman. powerful driver. . It's steady." said Humes.) "Solid at speed and holds a nice edge.lt craves long turns and virgin powderthe most. it's a powder ski. making it a good option for powder novices. 4 CATEGORY RANKING NEMESIS NORDICA PANDORA Women's Deep Snow: 6 142-115-139 mm 15. it's a. too. but for those who find that spot. Experts. Perfect for powder only. it delivers performance in perfect fluff and the morechallenging chop.4 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $800 flat LINE AVERAGE SCORE 78. too. but its lightweight feel is easy on the thighs-and ideal for earning your turns.8 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $899 flat SIDECUT RADIUS 20." Pandora's customer? The deepseeker. smearing easily through trees and down steeps until the riderfinds herself.inthe test-and an early-rise. With a 115 mm waist-by far the fattest women's ski . The Pandora doesn't so much turn as drift.. replacing the two sheets of metal with carbon to make it significantly easierto handLe. but when prodded. "Realty sweet in the deep. Crud Performance (No. "Any skier will love it. damp and humming with Viilkl power.3).powder specialist. 2J. ranking No. Pro: It carves cleanly on hardpack. but too much to handle in a long-term relationship.9 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $825 flat AVERAGE DIMENSIONS SCORE 78.5 m at 172 cm CATEGORY RANKING AVERAG..weU.GOT BACK Women's Deep Snow: 3 135-102-121 mm 18mat160cm CATEGORY RANKING K2 VOLKL KIKU Women's Deep Snow:. to be sure. One thing hasn't changed: It's still an aggressive charger with a more demanding feel. peopLe. Go find some.4 Women's Deep Snow: 5 135-98-125 mm 19mat169cm CATEGORY RANKING 13H06-122mm AVERAGE SCORE 76. It's forgiving.1) of even major mistakes." said Moscarella. "A strong and powerful ski.

with no traffic lights or franchrse restaurants lets you know voure Colorado's rn d one-ol-e-kind pldce Experience last great ski town at skic6com/Butteness BUTTEness an attitude d d joy lor living welcoming spirit where you'll stop to enjoy what really matters .Big snow and easy-going locals.

TESTER MARK ELLING 7211 Buyers Guide II SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .

$760 flat High marks across the board speak to the Sultan 85's balance of skills. quiet on the snow but never lifeless. and here's the poster child of the Rooster's fully fledged return to relevance.WIDTHS 80-98 mm waists WHO Experts and advanced intermediates who ski aUover the mountain WHAT Midfats-most with rocker in the tips and tails-that float. but the Atlas proudly rocks traditional camber.3 overall ranking speaks volumes. 586 FREERIDE ROSSIGNOL LEGEND5ULTAN 85 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 82." said Scholey. "Such a silken grip.060 w/binding. and presto: interchangeable bindings. It's an ideal intro-to-rocker ski for the traditionalist.200 w/bindlng. carveswhatever is asked of itmaking it a great choice for anything but the deepest powder or hardest ice. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 81 DIMENSIONS 130-94-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 20mat180cm MSRP $1..6mat186cm MSRP $800 flat Rossignol had a great test this year. two sheets of metal-and traditional camber along the majority of its length give it the snapandreboundthat some all-mountain experts still prefer. metal-reinforced construction make rt surefooted on hard snow. The camber gives it a responsiveness and explosiveness that rockered skis lack. "Hungry for fun in all conditions. especiaUy crud and bumps. The 585 is an accomplished generalist. It pivots. Sidecut and traditional camber underfoot cornbined with a wood-core. but comfortable venturing everywhere fI) ~-+ :E . $900 fiat Blizzard makes rockered skis.. A touch of early rise-starting about 18 em back from the tip of the ski-gives it smoothness and flow in powder and crud. it floats through crud and powder as you'd expect. I . But bomber constructionvertical sidewalls. skids.... crud. charge and carve WHERE Mostly soft snow. DYNASTAR TITANATLA5 BLIZZARD CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 84." said Glea· son. smears. nice round tum finishes. and its NO. But rocker and reverse camber tip-and-tail make it fun and easy in powder. "A solid ski for solid skiers. even bumps. It's solid and fluid. ." said Preston. Amongthe fattest in the category. surefooted in chunky snow. The Sliderbinding interface gives you options: Buy another Slider ($75) for a tele or AT binding.2 DIMENSIONS 126-85-110 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19mat184cm MSRP $1. wood core.6 DIMENSIONS 130-865-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. too. but its edge-grip and carveability are faultless.

2 in Hard-Snow Grip . AVERAGE SCORE 79. Almost every ski in the line gets some. "Rewards those willing to set an edge an stand on it.. Blizzard softens the flex and adds tip rocker for manageability and soft-snow versatility." said Garrett. Yeah. No. floatier feel that's more at home in soft snow and a little Less versatile forfrontside applications. but it expects you to know what you're doing. M·POWER LEGEND SULTAN 94 CATEGORY RANKING DYNASTAR BLIZZARD Men's Mixed Snow: 4 Men's Mixed Snow: 5 Men's Mixed Snow: 6 132-9+118 mm 18mat178em 131. quick and easy. It's thrilling. metal laminates.. The resultisa surfier.250 w/binding. "Fun.. well balanced. smooth shock-absorption and quickness in bumps and crud. Dynastar gives it the same burty construction (it scored a shade higher in StabiLity). AVERAGE SCORE 79 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $820 Men's Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 77.200 w/binding It's built like a race ski in some respects-wood core.2).250 or $1." said Malone. Here's a super-sized version of the Sultan 8S (see No. The Crimson-traditionally cambered. 2 Overall Impression ranking shows that testers were more than wilLing to overlook the tradeoffs in forgiveness and quickness. the differences are simply width (94 mm instead of as] and rocker (about 23 em in the tip instead of 1aj.5 DIMENSIONS SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP$1. Testers gave it the top score in Crud Performance. flat No.3 DIMENSIONS 130-86-114 mm SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1.1 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING 128-87-113 mm 18. "Give it the gas. but it's stilL very much a go-fast ski: No. though it's stilt among the favorites..2 in Stability at Speed..1 in HardSnow Grip.. Easterners will love the tenaciousness. . metalreinforced and a perennial testerfavorite-doves to go fast. from huge helpings in powder skis to subtle tip rocker that makes hard-snow skis easier for skidders to pivot-In an all-mountain ski like the After Shock. liveLy. and forgiving maneuverability on hard snow. No." said BUng.3 mat 174 em 17 m at174 em SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. 80. though.ATOMIC CRIMSONTI CATEGORY RANKING AVERAGE SCORE. $900 flat K2 goes deep with rocker.5-88-117 at 178 em 17mat 178em $879f1at w/binding. Bllzzard's new Power System-a carbon reinforcement bar connected to an oil-filLed piston underfoot-adds tipand taiL pressure at speed while quietingthe ski between turns. That left our 174 cm test length with about 160 cm of traditional camberplus two sheets of metaLwith which to carve trenches as deep as we cared to. And a No.1 in Stability at Speed. a IS-em section oftip rocker gives it float in powder. That big tip hooks up with ease.199 . perfect for rooting out the Last pockets of powder. A true one-skiquiver ski. AFTERSHOCK CATEGORY RANKING K2 •• • ++j + . it's an Atomic. . it gives back. and doesn't seem to care whatthe snow conditions are Like. vertical sidewalls. plus a slightly longer sidecut radius that prefers going down the hill instead ofaeross it. "Strong. and thrilling rebound propeLs you from one turn to the next-It's not for sissies." said Casey.

sparked disagreement.7mat 179cm MSRP $570 flat Was it just three years ago that Line was the scrappy little independent brand with way more passion than market share? Times have changed.1 for FLotation and No. bumps. 3 for Forgiveness. its Little brother the Ridor gets "speed rocker." Just the forward 10 percent is rockered-the rest is traditionally cambered. was ajoy. that's an apt image for its performance on groomed. The twin-tipped Prophets have been tester favorites all along. though certainly the marketing muscle of parent company K2 must have helped.125 w/binding.2 in Crud Performance. miLling out parallel channeLs in the core..fast arcs on the groomed while waiting forthe next powder day. K2 pairs that profile with a huge tip and aggressive sidecut for an 80"mm ski that carves with enthusiasm but nevertalks back. It gets excellent marks in Forgiveness-truLy an everyday frontside ski and a worthy successorto the late. "The tip rocker loosens up the front of the ski. carving. But some testers saw it as a burty carver most at home on hardpack.2). I . The Flite is a lightened version of the 90 (aformer category winner). quick in the trees. Then it gives the tip a unique shape-a 3D prow like the hull of a speedboat-the better to slice through soft snow. K2 PROPHET FLiTE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 75. 13). It's a narrower version of the highly decorated Mantra (see No. others enjoyed it more in bumps and orud. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 77. even moonlights in crud. then filling them with rei nforci ng carb on -flb er l-beams. crud." and with a sturdy.1 DIMENSIONS 130-94-118 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 21 m at aU lengths MSRP $850 flat Fischer has gone to great Lengths to Lighten up the 94-mm Watea. frankLy. and Line still ranks No.9 DIMENSIONS 127-80-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 16mat174cm MSRP $1. but the price is certainly right.5) features K2's "all-terrain" rocker. The result: The Watea 94 was No. and there was consensus regarding its Quickness (No. As testers pointed out. great Apache Recon.9 DIMENSIONS 127-88-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 24. LINE VOLKL KENDO CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 9 AVERAGiE SCORE 74." said Elling." said Elling. whether it's for you or your teenager. $800 flat Where the After Shock (see No." said Boller. awesome in crud.1 m at184 cm MSRP $775 flat The Ken do. making it just plain easy to turn and more versatile offpiste for such a narrow ski. "Fun athigh speeds." said Malone. "A solid bump ski. all-mountain versatile. ranking No.1 in street cred. Some testers wanted more edge-grip. raceready construction and two sheets of metal. Kendo means "way ofthe knife.9 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. One of our pickiest testers was its biggest proponent. lts lightness surprised us. there are quicker and more energetic skis in the category. WATEA94 FISCHER RICTOR CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 75. but the Watea loves cruising in Long. "Rips the heck out of'the hill in every facet: pow.

hard chargers will Love the 90's hefty.7 DIMENSIONS 128-88-108 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 21. That putitata disadvantage in terms of quickness andall-mountain versatility. 10) asa dialed-back. tip arid taiL Its sidecut carves as well backward as forward.7mat 179 em MSRP $670 flat Line this year introduced the Flite (see No. wood-core. vertical-sidewall. "BuiLt forthe all-mountain ripper. solid and well balanced. $750 flat In a category where versatiLity is prized above all eLse. relatively narrow tail in relation to tip). it feels especially Long and burly. Among all the rockered skis. Lighter.2 DIMENSIONS 133-96-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 22. demanding.1 mat 177cm MSRP $1. you get used to it. Laminate construction-built for racy edge-grip that belies its girth. a refreshing eye-opener. but also rewarding.68. It's a nogimmicks. which skilled traditionalists will love. requires very little effort. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 13 AVERAGE SCORE 66. mostly positive. It Loves long arcs and high speeds. don't dismiss it yet.. it releases readiLy at the end of each arc. "A dynamic one-ski-quiver gem for experts. the Mantra was second-fattest in the category.3 in Flotation. Yet with plenty oftaper (i. It's a traditional-camber. and the metalreinforced construction feeLs especialLy rugged and durable. suppLe feeL~ plenty of fun at speed.9 DIMENSIONS 123-91-116 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19. powerful. well." said MaLone. "Direction changes are quick. AU in all. the Apex gets the job done with a pleasing bLend of power and forgiveness. Still. unrockered. scoring it slightly higher across the board. metal-reinforced construction with a smooth.. it's aggressively rockered. It was NO. . fluid free riding skills and supreme forgiveness.TWENTY TWELVE CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 10 AVERAGE SCORE. so you'll neverfeel overmatched. And our test model felt forward-mounted.5 mat 184 em MSRP $825 flat At 96 mm. stable. while the 90 is still marketed by Line as the "higher-performing" modeL. Like the Fiite." said Preston. Salomon bills the Twenty Twelve as a park/freeride hybrid=but if you're nota park rat. wood-core. stability is super high-it does everything well. though you have to be ready to work a little. Yet it surprised us with easygoing." said Scholey. All that rocker smooths the ride in bumps and harbor chop. And onthe groomed.. damp vibe. more forgiving version of the venerable 90. tt's nimble and buoyant. but it will rock those powder days.. yet still in the middle of the pack for Hard-Snow Grip. "Easy skiing.5 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 17. Testers gave it high marks for its hardsnow performance." said Gleason. LINE APEX ELAN . it's also one of the better vaLues in the test. SALOMON • VOLKL MANTRA CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 11 AVERAGE SCORE 68.7mat 171 em MSRP $750 flat Here's an interesting design that elicited strong reactions. .e.000 w/binding. testers found the Flite more to their liking. .lnterestingly. Yes. PROPHET 90 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 12 AVERAGE SCORE 67. erring on the side of power over finesse.

being one ofthe world's greatest big mountain skiers and all that. "RULES!" The FX94-the newest in Kastle's freeskil mountaineering Line-eats up the fall line regardless of what lies beneath: powder. A bit of tip lift makes it easy to pivot.ESCORE 85 DIMENSIONS 125-S2. I TypicaL K2 has another ski that's fun.390 w/binding. a high-energy ski. Two sheets of metaL sandwich a wood core-the sturdiest in the category.it's the same as the Apex (see No. The Layup is classic: wood core.440 or $1. B). strong and surprisingly agreeable in bumps. easygoing ride that won't give you attitude-even if you're not on your game . ISS w/binding. and yet the edge engages so easiLy."Ski it aggressiveLy or ski it easily. round and smooth in longerturns. all-conditions applications.1 AVERAGE SCORE 66. supple. playful-and did we already mention fun? Like all the K2s we tested. SIDECUT RADIUS 17.JETFUEL NORDICA 13 SPIRE ELAN FX94 KASTLE LOTTA LUV CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 2 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: CATEGORY RANKING Men's Mixed Snow: 14 AVERAGE SCORE 66. cord.1 in Quickness. but they warned that it gets knocked around some in crud.2) for advanced intermediates. espe· cially. Testers Loved it in bumps and short-rsdlus turns. trees. crud. versatile. the Lotta Luv is suited for the broadest range of ability levels. So it follows that the ski he inspired.7 DIMENSIONS 126-84-112 17mat170cm mm DIMENSIONS 130-98-120 23mat $S25 lSI DIMENSIONS 12S-94-1l7mm AVERAG." . which testers liked for all-mountain. Flotation won't be a problem. "SLingshot turn finishes and nimbLe quickness. no one doubts its powder-day capabiLitiesespecially with its touch of tip rocker." said Humes. "Easygoing. But if you ski lots of powder.-11O mm mm em SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. but it held its own nevertheless. great float. bumps. and could still carve way out from under me. and two sheets of Titana! give it enough spine for experts.Smat166em SIDECUT RADIUS 14mat163cm flat MSRP $1. $900 flat As the fattest ski in the category. two sheets of metal. A huge sweet spot makes it forgiving enough (No.) "Crushed the chop. as one tester put it." said Schultz. "It's just plain fun. It's fluid." said Casey. No. $1. it's a lightweight. balanced." said Gleason. That's how light. Butthis year Nordica Lightens it up by using a less-dense wood core and replacing a section down the middle with foam.199 w/binding The Jet Fuel makes a lot of skis in the category feel like river barges. lively and quick it is. Nordica says it's 20 percent lighter.3 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE S8. verticaL sidewalls. and that weight savings is immedi· ateLy apparent. Kastle's women's line is in the works. (It's also the only unisex modeL. SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. It's ravenous for speed and can never get enough.075 w/binding.. Aside from the rocker and width.1S0flat Chris Davenport isa cool dude. the Spire was at a disadvantage in terms of quickness and hard-snow grip. carving feeLs automatic. MSRP $1. the Spire will satisfy. And with that 9S-mm waist.

"Super fun and smooth. Meanwhile. Enter Kenja ("wise one''). yet not heavy." said Beale." said Gibbons.) Testers agreed that the S86W suited the category perfectly. but it sinks more than most in powder." said Gillet.2 mat 165 cm MSRP $575 flat Remember when skiing wasn't cool anymore? At the height ofthe snowboard revolution.•• +t. "A stable ski that rips in ell conditions. Line boasts a huge following among core skiers. though.. Line's founder. a college kid taking woods hop heLped bring our sport back Jason Levinthal. KOA84 FISCHER VOLKL KENJA CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 84 DIMENSIONS 129-86-105 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 19. Westerners: Buy this board. too."I was giddy" LINE S86WFREESKI ROSSIGNOL CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE 84. But take a look at the price. The Koa 84is a sta ndout for striking the perfect balance: a solid powerhouse that's ridicuLously easy to ski. Now. too. It's predictable. two sheets of metal and a full wood core give it plenty of hard-snow integrity. racyfeel.lts heavier weight is comforting. 73). It's stiff. It's No. not watered down: Vertical sidewalls. scoring last among winners in Hard-Snow Grip. but a tapered tail scrubs speed in powder and releases relatively easily on groomed. One of which is the Celebrity 90. "I was a charging animal on this ski!" CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 82 DIMENSIONS 130-86-U6mm SIDECUT RADIUS 14. It has the same hip freeride feel as the wider Aura and Kiku-pLus Volkl's classic edge-grip to raiLon the groomed. earning it respectable scores in Forgiveness. besides. thankfully.8 DIMENSIONS 125-90-113 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 14.3 mat 170cm MSRP $750 flat Rossignol's S86 ranked No. but didn't stand out in anyone. The women's version is." CELEBRITY 90 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Mixed Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCORE 83.1 in Stability and Rebound and last in Quickness/Bumps. (It scored No." ~ t • . and has a ripping. "Performs best when pushed. "StabLe. )t _} . which stomped the category in powder and was No. stable. for good reasons. Its hallmark is a glued-to-thesnow feel (it's No. which Lendsthe driver the as surancetosend it into the trees without checking speed.1 in the Men's Mixed Snow category (see p. built what were arguably the first skis for the jib generation. We suspect it's because they craft skis as fine as samurai swordsand the graphics are cool. too." said Humes . a rockered tip and tail ease through crud and bumps like water running downhill.3 in Forgiveness.1 in Hard-Snow Grip).6 mat 170 em MSRP $775 flat VoLkL'sgot a thing for Japan. a Jill of aU trades that scored highLy in every criterion. which tells you it likes speed and power. "You could really take them anywhere. A very versatiLe ski for alL levels. its talen ts are best su ited for experts. Still. "What a ripping ski.3 DIMENSIONS 126-84-112 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 16matl67cm MSRP $795 flat We're stilt scratching our heads: A tank that plows through crud like this one does shouldn't be able to effortlessly dice uptight trees. It turned up its nose at hardpack.3 in Quickness/ Bumps.

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7 Women's CATEGORY RANKING CATEGORY RANKING DIMENSIONS 126-85-110 16mat165cm mm Mixed Snow: 9 AVERAGE SCORE 76.OOOw!binding. her comments were anything but ladylike.1 DIMENSIONS 118. it's a great ski. The Seventh Heaven is a better bet. (Not surprising. feeling sLuggish underfoot.." said Wilde. sandwich! sidewall construction and scoring it highLy in Overall Impression-perhaps the most important criterion in the test.ATOMIC ELYSIAN Women's LADY SALOMON EXCLUSIVE EDEN Women's DYNASTAR ATOMIC Women's SEVENTH HEAVEN 79 CATEGORY RANKING Mixed Snow: 10 CATEGORY RANKING Mixed Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 80. Our stronger and/or heavier testers were huge fans.2-116 SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $699 flat 18 m at all Lengths at 168 DIMENSIONS cm 128-85-113 mm AVERAG.) I . playful and forgiving ride that surfs through powder and sucks up bumps.5 m at 164 em MSRP $879 w/binding The Seventh Heaven has a quick." which means it's the least versatile in the group . though. (Atomic edge-grip? Check.5 Mixed Snow: 8 AVERAGE SCORE 79. expressive and sensitive to your every thought Thisone is like Rambo-out for first blood. $760 flat Some skis are like Meryl Streep. if only you have the strength to hang on. The sweet spot is huge-you can get back on your tails and it gently corrects you-but it's not a pushover: As Beale. and it will groan and drag.) A slight rise in the tip (Atomic calls it "adaptive camber") makes it easy to pivot in transitions between turns. For Westerners skiing mostly offpiste. the Lady is a floaty. But everyone agreed that when crud comes your way. A twin-tip with traditional camber-one of the few in the category with no rocker-the Elysian lays its whoLe edge on the snow. (Salomon's early-rise tip is the key in both instances) With a softer. SIDECUT RADIUS 16. but easy to initiate.5 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15.But what it does-carve-it does well. which accounts fora high score in Forgiveness (No. 10) in hard.ESCORE 76. put it. too." or "great for an East Coast everyday ski." SIDECUT RADIUS MSRP $1. The widerwaisted Elysian shined in soft snow. Try to rein it in. its strongest proponent. fun.just a simpLe. it's not a hard-snow specialist. "It may be a Lady. easier flex that rewards finesse over power." said MoscareUa.''A power. Nothingflashy here.4). making it supremeLy stable at speed. Our lighter girts. "Very solid base without feeling heavy or damp. but it's got grit. found ita bit bullheaded and ranked it last among winners in Forgiveness. feverish about its wood-core. but itis beautifully balanced for soft and variable snow. but otherwise it's built like a traditional groomer ski. though.5-9. solid ski that performs. Atomic has two winners in this category. racy feel that's ideaUy suited for harder snow. the Eden will flex all its muscles. house!" said Shultz. fun" on this ski. the narrower Seventh Heaven (see No. (Easterners: look to the right. "Feels powerful underfoot.5-79-10-4.6 DIMENSIONS 127. A winner in last year's test.4 mat 169 em MSRP $685 flat One of our testers had "so much $%A&%A. given that it has the narrowest waist of the group.) Most testers wrote "good frontside ski.

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TESTER SARAH WILDE 82 II Buyers Guide /1 SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .

000 w/binding In a category of race-bred Type A carvers.250 w/binding. Testers praised its confidence in crud and gave it the No. but was so strong across the board that it earned the No .4mat177cm MSRP$1. too. "VersatiLe in seemingly all conditions. One of the favorites in the category.1 ranking overall. it's a race-reedy. it blends hard-snow excellence (vertical sidewalls." said Garrett.4 DIMENSIONS 126-82-112 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 1S. but it never forgets that skiing is supposed to be enjoyable. smooth.WIDTHS Up to 84 mm underfoot WHO Experts and advanced intermediates who spend most of their time cruising on groomers WHAT Precise. the Avenger isn't afraid to let its fun. Talk about balance of skills: The Avenger earned the top mark in only one criterion. narrow-waisted skis builtto grip on ice and rip up corduroy WHERE Ideally suited for Eastern/Midwestern hardpack or Western groomers I. $875 flat Salomon blazed a traiL with subtly rocketed frontside skis. "Easy." said Preston. laminates. creamy feel. "An all-around winner. grippy construction) with an 84-mm waist and a touch oftiprocker. and the new. metal. refined Enduro is a shining example ofthe benefits.8 DIMENSIONS 127-S4-111 mm SIDE." CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE 76.CUT RADIUS 17..3mat177 cm MSRP $1.e ski that trenches on the groomed but Loves soft snow. The result is a supremely smooth and versatil. Sure. and testers universally loved it forth at. too. wood-core construction with two sheets of metal and stout sidewalls.1 ranking for Flotation. SKI II BuyersGuide 1183 . That one criterion? Forgiveness. AVENGERB2 TI IROSSIGNOL ENDURO SALOMON CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 77. playful side show.

D2 stands for "double deck": it has a primary core plus a secondary structure on top. it's wide enough for soft snow. Testers kept trying to find its speed limit.1) translates well to moguLs." said Garrett. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 6 AVERAGE SCORE 71 DIMENSIONS 123-72-105 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15. Flotation and Crud Performance? Not its bag.240 or $1. and you've got one thrilling ride. nothing beats a narrow waist for quickness and edge-grip. baddest carver in the test? Yes it was: No. But carve techniclans and citizen racers wiLLrip the groomed with confidence.190 wlbinding. the fasterthe better-that testers Loved it. "As long as I was wiLlingto go way too fast. The second core's shearing action insulates skiers from vibrations and beefs up tip and tail stiffness when the ski is flexed atspeed {hencethe VF. $990 fiat What's with the oval cutaway in the tip of every Kastle? That's Hollowtech.) Forgiving? OnLycompared to FIS"leveL race skis.5 matl82 cm MSRP $1. (Check out the OveralL Impression ranking: No.LX82 l KASTLE ~ COURSETI DYNASTAR ATOMIC D2VFB2 CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCORE 73.5 at 182 cm SIDECUT RADIUS 17.for "varia flex")." and Dynastar took us at our word. big fun. At 82 mm. squaresidewalled speed demon with an ice-biting 72-mm waist." said Scholey. and it's a Kastle haLlmark harking all the way back to the '76lnnsbruck Olympics. but chickened out every time.200 w/bindtng While it's amazing what some of the wider skis in the category can do. G·POWER rs 10 BLIZZARD •• \ / I CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 3 AVERAGE SCORE.) Little ski. 74. "Exemplifies the best attributes of the 'cheater race ski. That might be a problem in bumps. "Nice balance of power and finesse.5-82-113.lt's a full-on.3 DIMENSIONS 127-82-109 mm SIDECUT RADIUS 18mat180cm MSRP $1.ertip vibrates Less.3. And overall this flagship of the new LX line of tighter. (Hence its No. CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 74. the LX82 lacks some quicknessedge-to-edge.1 ranking in Balance of Skills.249 w/btnding Was it the biggest.1 in Stability at Speed and Hard-Snow Grip. and reduced swing-weight gives it a more nimble feel. Straight out of the race collection comes the Course Ti. confident and obedient in high-speed arcs. • . Throwin a dose ofexciting rebound energy and a ton of sidecut. softer Kastles offered a smooth and veLvety ride that was enjoyabLe in crud as weI! as on the groomed.1 DIMENSIONS 120-72-104mm SIDECUT RADIUS 15 mat 172cm MSRP $940 flat We said "hard snow. Carve technicians wit! Loveit.so the edge remains engaged. The GPower is a race ski with manners-quiet. metal-reinforced. this ski lit it up. "Super lively feel combined with superior carving performance.9 DIMENSIONS 126. A light. but its supreme Quickness (No.. and yettor all its raciness. and corduroy is its preferred medium." said Elling. Nothing shakrs its quiet stabiLity. But it's so good at what it does-medium-radius arcs on hard snow. it's the Least forgiving among winners. Beware.5 m at 174 cm MSRP $1. but it's a blessing on powder days." saidScho[ey_ 8411 Buyers Guide 1/ SKI .

Forgiveness.4 AVERAGE SCORE DIMENSIONS 128-78-114mm DIMENSIONS 126-84-112mm AVERAG.lOOw/btnding.5 123-81-108 mm CATEGORY RANKING Hard Snow: 2 AVERAGE SCORE B2. Translation: It has the control of a Ferrari and edgebite of an ice skate. yes.. "Instantaneous hookup. It's snappy. and it's a blast.065w/binding If precision and control are what you're after." said Humes.150 w/binding Head added 7 mm to the waist of its top-end Supershape." said Gleason. At its heart it's a slalom race ski. but fun to freeski as well.. it makes you pay for your mistakes.5 m at 172 em MSRP $l.tts aptly named "double grip" construction adds more materiaLto support the edges and distribute pressure evenly down the ski when it's flexed at high speeds. Crud? Not on the menu. giving the perennial winner an added measure of versatiLity. "The Conquer will never give up on you. and you're ripping perfect GS turns down the steeps. and it refuses to deviate from the fall Line. This ski has personality. bubbly-and so responsive. The Conquer is everything for everyone." said MoscareUa. the Tierra is your ski.6 DIMENSIONS 129-78-99 mm 3 SIDECUT RADIUS 13. • SIDECUT RADIUS 17. versatiLe for a carver.1 in Rebound Energy. though: The Tierra aLways revs high.ESCORE 79. too-patiently skidding when you need to scrub speed. Scoring first in Hard-Snow Grip and last among winners in Forgiveness. 7 70..4 HEAD VIVAS. Simply put. smooth and powerfuL yet-with a 20-percent lighter wood core than Last year's model-esurprislngly easy to ski.2 ranking in Quickness edge-toedge. "Begged for speed and didn't get nervous or break away. $850 SIDECUT RADIUS 15mat162em SIDECUT RADIUS 14. It should come with a warning label for non-experts. rally-car performance. "This ski blew my mind.l Women's BLIZZARD CONQUER Women's NORDICA TIERRA Women's VOLKL CATEGORY RANKING Hard Snow: CATEGORY RANKING DIMENSIONS Hard Snow: 1 AVERAGE SCORE 83. But it still has the deepest sidecut in the category-a 13. lively. 1 in Flotation.. snappy-everything I Love in a carver. its 81-mm waist is wide enough to bust crud and float though pow. But what surprised us was that it still managed a No. What continues to surprise usis its combination of thrilling high-speed performance with an undomineering personality and versatility of turn shapes.275 or $1.199w/binding One would expect a hardsnow ski with a waist width of84mm tobethe most versatile in the category (No. Are we gushing? Absolutely: tt was No. Stability and Crud Performance)." said Schultz. Powerful. It's solid and predictable yet humming with energy. Every ski has character traits. ". But Titan stitheredthrough bumps with ease. . stable.It continues to provide tenacious grip no matter what you throw at it.. it seems to read your mind.8 mat 161 em flat MSRP $1.iSUPERSHAPE TITAN CATEGORY RANKING Men's Hard Snow.. it's fast. but polite. Though most at home on hardpack. Just think about turning." MSRP $1." . HardSnow Grip and BaLance of Skills.5mat170cm MSRP $1.5meter radius that dives in and carves at the barest hint ofedge angle. "Quick.

Racer types will want more grip." said Gibbons." said WiLde. the LX 82 goaded our testers to the edges of their comfort levels. Atomic's "double deck" construction is responsible: Two independentlyflexing decks are stacked on top of each other. The secret is a light.ndi. an expert ski layered with metal laminates.RE74.ng.3 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING K2 CATEGORY RANKING Women's Hard Snow: 6 127-82-109 mm 120-76-104 mm 126-75-111 at 166cm AVERAGE SCORE 72. though. The verdict? K2 winsagain.It only has one speed. it was one of the quickest sticks-its edgeto-edge rhythm is as automatic as a metronome's. So imagine our curiosity about K2's new line. though: hauling butt. The end result is a ski that's both damp and stable and snappy and lively. but it zipped playfully-joyfully-down the hill.2 DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING K2 ATOMIC D2VF75W Women's Hard Snow: 5 AVERAGE SCO. \ . "Good for someone who charges aU the time. $725 flat Foryears we've been saying nothing smears better in powderthan rocker. SIDECUT RADIUS 14mat163cm MSRP$l. aut it insisted on short turns. carve. We should have expected as much from the onLy unisex ski entered in the category [see also: Men's Hard Snow) but its lightweight construction-the trademark of the new LX linehad us fooled. and the upper deck distributes your powerto stiffen the tip and tail as needed at higher speeds (hence the energetic pop).1 in Forgiveness. earning lt No. giving it the torsional rigidity to bite on ice.190 117-70-101 mm . so you'd better be in for a race-like ride.nding.5 . Perhaps with a waist of 70 mmthe narrowest in the testit got penalized for not being as versatiLe as others. well.FREELUV Women's Hard Snow: 4 AVERAGE SCORE 76. A damp powerhouse that insists on speed. The Free Luv's elevated tip effortlessly scouts lines through variable snow. but get on groomed and. in which every ski-even carvers-incorporates reverse camber. the Free Luv (see left). $850 flat This one should come with a helmet." said Shultz. $990 flat SIDECUT RADIUS 13mat160em MSRP $1.125 w/binding. and some feLt the new "speed rocker" tip-a slight rise to ease initiation and transition-took some getting used to.OOO w/bi. softwood core sandwiched in metal then wrapped in fiberglass. "Best suited for an Easterner who wants to carve. "Perfect meatof-the-market ski. but found it to be a standout in no one criterion. better than the Burnin'. w/bi.a DIMENSIONS CATEGORY RANKING LX82 KASTLE BURNIN'LUV Women's Hard Snow: 7 AVERAGE SCORE 70. "A great hard-snow and crudbuster ski.5 mat 164 em MSRP $1." said Gillet.240 or $1. good luck steering around those lift towers. SIDECUT RADIUS 13mat166em MSRP $999 w/bind\ng Our testers were shocked by this ski: It was so heavy they had to drag it to the lift.DIMENSIONS SIDECUTRADIUS 14. It initiates and releases with ease. forgiving and easy. As you'd expect. Interesting: Testers liked K2's lower performing ski. Testers admired its versatiLity. carve. though. The lower deck absorbs the shock. It is still an Atomic.

corn Doc's Ski Haus Santa Monica.1351 hoigaards.297.com Hoigaard's St. MO 314. Inc.com Alpine Shop St.431.453.corn The Ski Pole Fort Wayne.7547 Buckeye Sports Center Peninsula. Inc.2003 skilonestar.com Marquette Mountain Shop Marquette. NM 505. MI 616.527. Louis.773.com Putnam's Ski & Snowboard Portsmouth. MA 617. CO 970.8347 rodgersskia ndsport com Ski Depot.7715 alpineshopcom Alpine Sport Shop Saratoga Sp ring s.883.1155 marquettemountain.429.com Hunterdon Ski and Snowboard Lebanon.com Bill Paul's Sporthaus Grand Rapids.1684 bi Ilandpauis com Bob Skinner's Ski &.983.432. NY 518.com Footloose Sports Mammoth Lakes.422.7940 Tampa.com Berg's Ski Shop Eugene. MI 231. Jay.458. MN 952. PA 412. Snowboard Cadillac.com SkiRack Burlington. OH 330929.254.com Nestor's Sporting Goods Whitehall.929.6051 nestors.8585 Hudson. OH 614.723.897.2571706 Richmond.2939 qrizzlvoutfitters.962.881. com Freestyle Charlottesville.net Breck Ski & Boot Breckenridge. CO 970.5660 willisskia ndboard. CT 203966.com Sun 'N Snow Ski &.1666 valleybikeandskicom Viking Ski Shop Chicago. IL 7732761222 Barrington.1990 piercestkateandski . MT 406. IN 260.1300 berqsskishop.2163 paoliproshop. MN 952.658.884.com Peak Performance Ski Shop Killington. FL 407.775. IN 812. ME 207.corn Lone Star Sports Breckenridge. MN 651.3376 ski-depot.683. VA 434.298.8769 trovskishop.corn Pierce Skate & Ski Bloomington.5445/866. 4511 Shop s More at ebook-free-download.3993 countrvski. NH 603. MN 952. FL 561. VT 802.453.9602453 Orlando. NH 603433.VISIT SKI MAGAZINE'S GOLD MEDAL NOMINEES Alpine Accessories Lake In The Hills.436.8484 West Lebanon. ME 207.3606 Palm Beach.4370300 hunterdonski. com Country Ski & Sport.com Willi's Ski & Snowboard Shop Pittsburgh.754.2400 footloosesports. GA 404. PA 610. FL 954. NH 603. CO 888.com .6122 docsskiha us com Equipe Sport Rawsonville. OR 541.1234 Atlanta.net or magazinesdownload. VT 802.3333 hitempo.6290 alpinesportshop.2020 peterqlenn.9447 peakskishopcom Peter Glenn Ski & Sports Miami. WA 424454.com Call Linda todev for more information about Ski Magazine's Gold Medal Program 888-259-6753 Ext.com HiTempo Ski Shop White Bear Lake.3313 skirack com Stu rteva nt's Bellevue.8282 Scarborough.4343 golfskiwa rehouse.com Jack Frost Ski Shop Glen.934. IL 847.381. VA 804.995.2401 sunsnowskishopcom Troy's Ski Shop Vail.832.1671 newca naanski andspo rt co m Paoli Pro Shop Paoli.com Alpine Sports Santa Fe.7154 Valley Bike & Ski Apple Valley.383. IL 8478544754 alpineaccessories. Ski Warehouse Greenland.corn Rodgers Ski & Sport Lincoln.1188 vikingskishop. NH 603.9784091 freestyleonline.2303 bobskinners.com Golf &. NH 603. Quincy.8486600 aspenskiandboa rd. MI 906 225.7764 putnamsports. Sport Newbury.3309 Ft.6465 sturtevants.745.622. NJ 908.584.5155 aIpi nespo rts-sa ntate co m Aspen Ski and Board Lewis Center. CA 760.445. VT 802. NH 603595.484.2847 equipesport.354. FL 305. Louis Park.com New Canaan Ski & Sport New Canaan. NH 603. FL 813. Lauderdale.763.433.com Grizzly Outfitters Big Sky. CA 888.4391 jackfrostshop.3366 buckeyesportsce nter.

3 or No.) MEN'S MIXED SNOW DYNASTAR BLIZZARD ATOMIC WOMEN'S MIXED SNOW BB II Buyers Guide 1/ SKI . And the numbers are just one component to consider in determining which ski suits your style. (Does a ski with an 84 score in Hard Snow grip demonstrably better than one with an 827) Keep in mind that every ski we medal is a winner selected from our full test group-whether the ski ranks No. Variables like conditions. 14. time of day and tester preferences can influence the ISART data. (See page 36. but ranking the middle skis is much harder. terrain type and personality.) We do get a strong consensus on the top and bottom of the pack. (We correct for standard deviation. as the scores are a lot closer.THE NUMBERS BEHIND OUR RANKINGS NUMBER CRUNCH AGEARTEST and science.

.I "~ ..f I -t . MEN'S HARD SNOW WOMEN'S HARD SNOW MEN'S DEEP SNOW WOMEN'S DEEP SNOW SKI II BuyersGuide II B9 ..• -~ ~ -~.' ". J' r " ~~ ...

Bu ers Guide/I SKI .

Here they are. And retailers hate it when we say this. but we didn't get too hung up on an exact number. for instance). SO . We tested this category just as we did the others. newest and most expensive products that we don't even see the middle price range. in typical all-mountain terrain and conditions at Snowbird. unappreciated. $700 or less for a flat ski. e * "Price parameters: $750 or less for a ski~binding system. We call it The $700 Showdown. SKI II BuyersGuide II 91 . Are the manufacturers holding outonus? We-and they (and you. down there at the "tower price points" (retail-speak for "less expensive'). but the prices here are full-pop "suggested retail. and had a blast finding the steals. for instance: It's expensive. Bottom l!ine?Some of these skis are every bit as good as top""'Of-theline stuff from two years ago. But what better time than on the heels of the Great Recession-when plenty feel like we could use a price break-to check out stuff a tittle farther down the wall. Our winners range from about $700 to $750-most are flat. using the same criteria. Think about metal. Some even have key technologies that this year's top-ofthe-line stuff has. HERE ARE SOME BARGAINS THAT HAD US WONDERING WHY ANYONE WOULD PAY MORE. but the rnoreexpensive ones come with bindings. TESTING A RACK OF budget skis makes us wonder what else is lurking." You'll see a lot of shops selling these for $600 or so. dear buying public)someti mes get so myopically obsessed with the sleekest. but they've been str:ipped of expensive features that only make a ski unforgiving for mortals. Why pay more? .THE ECONOMY HASN'T EXACTLY REBOUNDED. we found some dogs-we won't waste time talking about them.IF YOU'RE NOT TOO OBSESSED WITH THE LATEST AND GREATEST. being just as picky as we always are. There are some different flavors (waist widths range from 77 to 98 mm. and a lot of skiers like a lighter feel or are just better off without it. But testers took to the task with bargain-hunter zeal.True.

too-not something all high-end skis do. And it shares the S7's shape: rocker. vertical sidewalls . FISHER WATEA 78 DIMENSIONS 122~78-107. it's quick. •• DIMENSIONS 128-87-115 at 177 em. but it's another great vaiue as a powder tool for any guy who thinks he can pull off the loud graphics.[MEN'S VALUE] 1. but it's not a disaster. radius: 15. Rebound. 67). ROSSIGNOL S3 DIMENSIONS 128-98-118. • 9211 Buyers Guide II SKI . Carbon reinforcement keeps it light and strong. is as easygoing as skis get.7 m at 179 cm MSRP $700 flat YoLkLpositions the redesigned Bridge as equaL parts park and bigmountain ski. The lord does have a speed limit. (Are you listening. Laminate construction. It doesn't pretend to be a powder ski. but it's a nice little game-improvement tooL 3. but snappy. No. . and it was No. but a surprisingly good hard-snow carver. Balance and Overallimpressian. Tip it on edge. too.5 at 178 em. A powder fiend. radius: 23 mat 186 em MSRP $700 fiat A poor man's-or kid's. with the coolest graphic. reverse side cut tip and tail. Rossi will sell a lot ofS3s. Eastern and Midwesterners skiers?) It loves to be bent.2 in FLotation and Crud.4 m at 177 em MSRP $685 flat The heavy-footed will have to back off.in short. YOlkl marries a long. No. Only the most demanding expert will want more ski. it's the highest end as well. Forgiveness.. A natural in bumps and variable terrain. and it'll hook up and hammer. It's a foam core. especially in powder. Quickness. VOLKLB'RIDGE DIMENSIONS 128-95-115. so that the edge engages when the Bridge is tipped on edge.1 in 'Flotation and Crud. ATOMIC SMOKETI DIMENSIONS 125. Testers loved the 78's stabiLity. but performs at reasonable speeds. or Easterner's-S7 (see p. +-0 5. with its 21 em of tip rocker.5-77-109.. either. it's not. I-by a lot-in Hard-Snow Grip.. subtle tip-to-tail rocker with sidecut. the Smoke Ti is game. radius: 17. Not onLy is it the fattest in the category. radius: 20. It was No. with a soft tip that never bucks you back and a slight-twin tail that releases readily. with a touch of rocker tip and tail. but metal-reinforced. but the lord.. "" .5 m at 178 em MSRP $749 w/btnding if an aggressive expert wants to ramp it up. --- --0 4. it has a wood core with no metal (which explains its popularity as a touring ski). experts won't miss much.1 in Stability. radius: 17 m at 174em MSRP $695 flat Wood core.

1 in Flotation and Crud). It's ready when you are. though.5-73-108.. it instantly rails into a perfectly rounded arc. A full sidewall-rare in this category-gives it the integrity of a pricier ski.. Damp. Quickness and Rebound. A high-performance carver. though. $575 flat We can sum the True up in one word: Easy. short turns. radius: 12. It's never hyper.. ~ 3.5 rn . It's a perennial medaL-winner. ROSSIGNOL 5 90 W DIMENSIONS 122-9Z-115. 4. But for experts (it was last among winners in Forgivenessj who ski off-piste. quiet. stable. lt's easy to tip into a strong arc sndjust as easy to disengage-a breakthrough ski for an athletic woman with a steep learning curve. engaged with snow. Topping the chart in Forgiveness and Balance of Skills. When you lay the Cloud 9's edge on snow. or a great value for smaller experts. but this year's model has a slight earLy-rise tip that makes it easierto skid around-From the second you stand on it. surefooted feel (tops in Stability. withoutthe rebound to pull the less skilled or less powerful into a carve. It holds on hardpack and loves to bound down the groomed in clean. For Lightweights or intermediates. MSRP $750 w/binding radius: 16 m at 155 cm The Koa is light and playful-a fun littLe carver. DIMENSIONS 118-74-103. it's a charger that's shockingly cheap. it comfortabLy guides you wherever you want it to go-the most versatiLe carver in the category.[WOMEN'S VALUE] 1. it's a zippy ride that doesn't demand improvement. FISCHERKOA75 DIMENSIONS 119-75-102. with a bomber. but its relaxed. When the snow firms up. Charged with energyspunky. and Overall Impression). even-it pops down the hilL. Still.1 in Hard-Snow Performance) to be so friendly. steady feel is reassuringfor those who don't always want to pound. It's no wonder it wants to stay that way: tipped on edge.. it can feel monolithic. SKI II BuyersGuide II 93 . MSRP $550 flat radius: 20 mat 170 cm . it's a stealthy powder seeker that feeds on speed (No. This is the surfer in the category.. ATOMIC CLOUD 9 DIMENSIONS 123. DIMENSIONS 119-74-102.5 at 165 MSRP $749 w/binding at 165 ern. radius: 14m at 163 em MSRP $750 wi binding. testers feLt it was not serious enough for powerful experts. MSRP $700 w/binding radius: 13 mat 156 em You wouldn't expect the ice queen (No.. this is the ultimate feel-good ski.

itions vers.SPEED Race-like performance and snug fits for speed-loving experts \ ~REERIDE All-. value and forgiveness for intermediates 9411 Buyers Guide II SKI PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN CAMPBELL .COnd.uresome expe.atility for advent.rts ~OMFORT Warmth.

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