2017 SKI REVIEWS: PERFECT RUNS ON BOUTIQUE FRONTSIDE CARVING SKIS
by The Editors
Our 2017 snow ski reviews of new high end carving skis, tested in Aspen.
SNOW Magazine hosted its annual Snow Ski Test last April on Colorado’s Aspen Mountain. David Stapleton, past U.S. Ski Team member, pro racer, shop owner, and Gorsuch manager, acted as test director, selecting a number of high end boutique skis new on the market for 2017. In this edition we’re presenting test results for frontside carving skis; in our next edition, we will focus on all-mountain boards.
With the help of professional skiers — all testers came from a ski teaching or ski racing background — SNOW’s goal was to find the “perfect run” for each ski. As these professionals have skied many famous resorts, we asked testers to match each set of boards with an iconic run. It’s a fun way to give our readers a quick and easy snapshot of every ski.
We also asked participants to test skis for functionality: How do they hold at speed? How do they perform in the bumps, in the trees, on smooth groomed runs, or on steep, challenging terrain? At Aspen, the team skied these frontside carvers on perfectly groomed packed powder.
SNOW’s testers included Joan Valentine, Kimberly Mann, Trent Jones, Nick Hill, P.J. McGovern, Lizzie Talenfeld, Scott Kane, Shelby Rogala, Lindsi Brandbury, and Greta Muxworthy.
Here are their findings:
122 x 73 x 102
Perfect run: Born Free, Vail
“These skis are ideal for medium radius cruising, with good edge hold at speed,” says Shelby Rogala, a ski pro at Aspen Highlands. P.J. McGovern adds: “These skis are light to carry, but ride like a heavy, damp ski. They’re perfect for someone spending time on frontside groomers.”
Timeless looks. Cutting-edge performance.
Beneath its handcrafted walnut surface, zai testa boasts a high-tech interior engineered to deliver formidable handling and control. A rewarding ride for skiers of all abilities, testa performs with grace and power in a variety of snow conditions.
- Handcrafted in Switzerland
- Polished walnut veneer surface
- Stainless steel upper edges
- Ultra-lightweight cedarwood core
- Nano high speed race base
BOMBER AM TIMBERLINE
124 x 77 x 110
Perfect run: Ruthie’s Run, Aspen Mountain
“I can see why Bode loves them!” says tester Lindsi Bradbury, an ex-ski racer. “I felt like I could tip them up early and trust them to come around. They have brilliant edge hold. They are stable at both high and low speeds, and they feel damp and solid.” Tester P.J. McGovern, ex-ski pro and on skis 150-plus days per year, adds: “You can tell this ski is made the old‑fashioned way. Awesome!”
The moment you mount your Bomber skis you know – this is different – this is sublime.
Bomber’s All Mountain Timberline skis are handcrafted at our factory in the Italian Alps with the highest level of craftsmanship and technology, producing the best ski man and modern materials can create.
- Sandwich Construction
- ABS Sidewall
- Tip-to-tail Wood Core
- Traditional Camber
135 x 76 x 116
Perfect run: Sundance, Jackson Hole
Meister uses a technology called “elliptical side cut” that allows skiers to switch from short to medium or long radius turns quickly and easily. Testers’ comments included: “strong edge hold,” “good for fast, aggressive turns,” and, “this ski is all about carving — perfect for frontside groomers.”
YOU CAN CHOOSE THE DESIGN. CREATE YOUR DREAM, UNIQUE SKI
The Ski is developed for carving in almost any snow condition. Thanks to its wider construction it works brilliantly on artificial or fresh snow but also in powder or on icy slopes.
A ski built like this allows the rider to change his turns from wide to narrow easily, he is not limited by the radius which the ski gives him. This technology allows for more safety and a smoother ride. Superior edge grip on icy slopes and very smooth and stable ride also in rough slope conditions.
- FULL ASH WOOD CORE
- TOPSHEET: CARBON/WOOD CARBON/TITANAL
- SIDEWALL MATERIAL: ABS/PE
KASTLE MX LIMITED
128 x 84 x 112
Perfect run: Franz’s Run, Whistler
“Fun ski!” says Aspen Mountain ski pro Scott Kane. “It’s trustworthy, damp but lively, and works well in a variety of conditions. It is the first carbon fiber ski I’ve ever liked.” Shelby Rogala adds: “I’m sold. Whether your are a weekend warrior or ski 100-plus days per year, this ski won’t let you down. It’s responsive, solid, and good to go!”
ELLIPTICAL RADIUS delivers sporty performance and agility. The new sidecut results in even greater ski-control and precision. A 28% greater running surface compared with traditional piste skis produces more float and stability in off-piste terrain.
Classic sandwich design with two titanal sheets and mixed ash and silver fir wood core for optimized weight and great rigidity.
Two sheets 0.5 mm titanal / ABS side walls / graphite sinter base / optimized weight / HOLLOWTECH 2.0 – reduced weight in the shovel improves dampness by up to 30%.
ELAN AMPHIBIO 84 XTI
131 x 84 x 112
Perfect run: Plateau, Portillo
Testers picked Plateau in Portillo as the perfect run for this ski as it’s steep at the top, then long and rolling. Elan’s Amphibio combines camber and rocker in the same ski. Camber gives greater edge grip; rocker helps get you in and out of each turn. Testers discovered the ski’s unique design allows for precise turn
entries and dynamic exits. “This ski’s 84 cm under foot is pure magic,” said one tester. “It’s not too thin and not too fat. It’s just perfect!”
An enormously broad application range
This ski features our latest Amphibio 4D technology with our Amphibio® profile, which assures greater edge grip and faster more direct turns. The convex front section of the ski provides a more precise turn entry, while the concave rear guarantees a dynamic exit from the turn. Dual Shaped Titanium increases torsional stability, reduces vibration by 30%, and brings down the weight of the ski.
- Amphibio 4D
- RST Sidewall
- Power Woodcore
- Amphibio Profile
Stöckli Scale Delta
129 x 84 x 111
Perfect run: Ladies Downhill, Lake Louise
“This ski’s early rise makes it want to turn,” says Joan Valentine, ski pro and instructor trainer at Aspen Mountain “But fasten your seat belt and be ready for the ride. This ski is a thoroughbred. It loves speed, it’s hard to hold back, and it has nerves of steel!”
A MODERN SKI FOR VERSATILE SKIERS
Thanks to the broad shovel and the rocker the Scale Delta has an enormously broad application range and is made to be driven extremely sporty in every terrain. Designed for medium to long radii this ski will accompany you in every situation.
- Construction: Sandwich System
- Surface: Polyamid
- Base: Racing Graphite
- Technology: LC, Powder Rocker, Solid Metal Edge, SST
Featured Image by Jonathan Selkowitz