The Freeride Revolution
Some years ago ski makers began building deep side cuts into skis so they’d turn easier. Then companies began fattening skis to change how they work in powder and how they mash through a variety of snow conditions. As materials evolved, skis could be skied shorter, carve tighter turns and hold better on firm snow.
The snow never stopped getting deep and in the mid-90’s fat skis began to appear to make deep snow skiing easier. These skis had minimal side-cuts and could do little more than handle soft deep snow.
We’ve now come full circle. In 2016 we see more fat skis than ever, sporting sidecuts that cruising skis of 5 years ago would have lusted after, and now rocker profiles have become all but standard. This has moved the fat ski into the realm of real-world option for more and more skiers, intermediates and experts alike.
Our staffers have skis of this type in their quivers; many of us find them the most fun skis we own. We call them Freeride skis and they are creating the biggest buzz in the industry since shaped skis first appeared!
Rossignol Soul 7
A good example of this type of ski is the Rossignol Soul 7. We’ve had the chance to ski the Soul 7 quite a bit now and are in awe of how fun and easy it is. This is a ski that almost everybody at least “likes”. It is an even blend of powder and all mountain. With an easy to turn sidecut (17m @ 180cm), plus generous Rocker at the front and back of the ski it can be either steered or carved easily. With hollow cores at the tip and tail for lighter weight to change direction, it handles well on the groomers for basic intermediate level skiers too. Of coarse, with it’s 105mm waist it works great as a powder ski!
Fischer Ranger 98
Do you like a ski that is lighter and easier? Still want that ski to perform well at the limits?
You will love the Fischer Ranger 98. This ski is remarkably nimble for a ski of its size. It turns more like it had a waist 10mm narrower. Although wonderful in powder, its light weight construction makes it a bit more jarring in the crud than would be a heavier ski.
Still, what is amazing to us is that while most “lightweight” skis don’t hold a solid edge on hard pack under loads, the generous use of titanium laminates as well as a pure carbon fiber tip make the edge hold amazingly well! If you like an agile, cat-like ski, but still want to push the speed barrier, the Ranger 98 can’t be beat.
Another favorite of ours is the Blizzard Bonifide. At 98mm under foot, this is a hard charger’s ski for all conditions. Relatively—that is to say medium—stiff and powerful, the Bonifide is better suited to bigger or more aggressive skiers. We love its versatility. It pounds through crud and lays big, smooth turns on packed powder; a confidence inspiring ski.
One interesting—and unique—feature of Blizzards is the “flipcore”, in which the wood core is literally turned upside down, inverted in the mold. This manufacturing technique allows a natural and relaxed ski feel, which is uncommon in rockered skis, where many models have been forced into a rockered shape and feel- well, I guess stressed is a good word. You won’t stress on a Bonifide!
Light, medium, or powerful; we offer different skis for different people and stock the best of each to match your needs.
These skis typically have waists of 90mm-105mm and, often, twin tips. We stock models from Blizzard, Armada, Rossignol, Fischer, Head, Wagner Customs and Stöckli.