Ski equipment is ever-evolving, the constant tweaking of ski length, shape and
construction is enough to make your ski helmet explode. Add to the change in
technology – the ski terminology, it’s as confusing as where to ski first on a
powder day. The 2015-16 ski season, ski categories have changed to all mountain
wide versus all mountain narrow, powder – which is super wide, and finally
groomed - previously called front side carving skis. We’d call groomed skis East
Coast skis, but last season New England got the goods – thank you Snowmageddon.
Call it what you will, there are some awesome new skis and many favorites back
with a change in font or graphics. Here are the top new skis for 2016-17 for men
(or unisex skis for gals who rip men’s skis), many if these best skis we have demo’d and loved:
The Rossi 7 Series keeps bringing big fat fun skis to the mix. Rossignol's Soul 7HD is 106-millimeters with a rocker tip and
honeycomb technology that makes it float yet respond fast to quick turns. Rossignol Experience 100 is black, wide and wonderful – for
high speed cruising on soft snow. Rossignol's Experience 98 is still the favorite ski of our guy
tester, a big mountain ski that’s great on groomers and firm snow, but fun to
float through pow. You must experience the Rossi Experience line, you will be
wowed – if not the boring graphics. Rossi's Experience 88s and Rossi 84s are top on our testers'
list for a narrower all mountain ski. Rossi’s new Pursuit 800 is a carver with a playful freeride
side, borrowing characteristics from Rossignol’s park and ride skis. Final note:
Rossi - please bring back the Rossi Rooster, Le Coq rocks.
Nordica Enforcer 100 gets high marks for all conditions. With a
100mm waist, this ski likes everything, leaves everyone behind too. We have said
it before, bears repeating -Nordica is no longer just a ski boot fleet.
Nordica’s ladies ski line up is a winner too, with Nordica Santa Ana, ElNino and
Nordica Wild Belle swooning the women.
Blizzard keeps bringing big beefy skis, the graphics are cool
too. Blizzard Peacemaker is all new with the bull graphic and a no
bull ski style, strong on cord, but competent cruising powder too for 104 mm
under foot. Blizzard Cochise 108 is back, broad and bullish on powder, this
year its lighter and tighter – an aggressive pow ski with red bull’s eyes. Blizzard’s Bonafide 98 is a more tapered bull – more versatile
but still super playful if you like a full quiver ski. Blizzard Brahma 88 is a great groomer ski based off the popular
Blizzard Magnum series.
K2 is a comeback kid this season, kudos to the new line
combined with the return of vintage K2 graphics. K2 Shreditor 102 is an old-school K2 striped ski fattened up
for a surfy powder ride, but still grippy on the hard, and turny in bumps and
trees. Imagine you are Glenn Plake on these 80’s looking retro gone wide skis. K2 Pinnacle 95 is a top all mountain performer, quicker than
its predecessors, K2 Pinnacle 118 and 105 are kickin in powder.
Volkl Mantra has been remade, and well-played, at 100mm Mantra
now rivals top all mountain skis – aggressive but fun. Volkl 100Eight is a faster fun version, not for the faint of
heart, the top sheet resembles an eye exam. Volkl Kendo, sounds like Ken Doll, is slick and quick (like
Ken) for both on and off-piste with a manageable 90mm platform. Volkl 90Eight, get it, offers a wood core and camber for extra
pop despite its wide 133 tip. Volkl RTMS 86 is still a favorite for ripping the front side,
light, quick and responsive like a race ski should be only designed to “Ride The
Mountain” per its acronym.
Atomic’s Vantage ski line is all new and awesome. Atomic Vantage 95 and 90 have a former racer style while still
performing well in bumps, crud and whatever else you find on the backside.
Atomic Vantage has the advantage of metal and carbon mesh making it strong but
smooth. Atomic Bent Chetler, clever namesake for Chris Benchetler, is
super cool looking, with wood grain graphics, but makes super buttery turns in
deep powder. Atomic Automatic 109 is a fun versatile pow charger too, back
by popular demand. Atomic Redster DoubleDeck is smooth and speedy for front side
and for crushing your amateur race league competition. Atomic has always made
rippin race sticks, thanks for bring the A game back Austrian ski makers.
Head Monster 98 and 83 are built with graphene to be smooth but
strong as an all terrain ski. Head iSupershape Titans are still one of our fave race ski
prototypes – fast, unforgiving but so responsive, the kind of ski Teg Ligety
would take out to play - hence his sponsorship.
Salomon X Drive 8.8 was not a big smile producer for our
tester, on the light side, not so responsive were the remarks.
Kästle FX95HP is an Austrian powerhouse for all mountain
skiing, versatile but with a traditional racey feel at 95 mm underfoot. Kästle’s FX85 has a wood core, carves well but performs off the
grid (groomed) too – making it a great New England ski. Kästle BMX 115 (b= big as in 141:115:130) looks sick for sick
days, as in powder flu.
But remember, the best ski for you is the one you like - at the best ski price
you can find at your favorite ski shop. We recommend you demo skis on snow it
you have the chance. Just be warned: free ski demos can be costly to you when
you fall in love with your new fall line boards.