Buyer's Guide, Ski Test // October 11, 2016 // By


What Kind of Ski Do You Need?

ALL-MOUNTAIN

ALL TERRAIN, ANY SNOW

Style: Versatile turns and speeds

Waist size: 75-100mm

Description: Every run is on your play list, as are a few that aren’t on the map, and you want a ski that can keep up. Something that floats in powder, is nimble in the trees, playful in the bumps, but still rails when the corduroy calls. These quivers-of-one span a broad range, so we’ve divvied them up into three categories within the All-Mountain realm.

ALL MOUNTAIN: The most versatile skis on the mountain, these skis are fun anywhere and in any snow conditions. A great choice if you ski no matter the conditions. 50% off-piste, 50% on-piste; roughly 80-90mm waists

FRONTSIDE: You only ski the bumps and trees when conditions are perfect. Or maybe you live in the East and only head off-piste on holiday. These skis excel in harder snow but can handle just about anything. 30% off-piste, 70% on-piste; roughly 75-85mm waists

FREERIDE: Let’s face it, you’re a bit of a powder snob. You probably live in the West, or only ski in the West, and want a ski that excels in soft snow, trees and bumps—but you want to have fun taking the groomer to the bottom, too. 70% off-piste, 30% on-piste; roughly 85-100mm waists

Ski Canada Test reports in Buyer’s Guide 2017 issue

CARVERS

Powerful carving

Style: GS-type turns, high speeds

Waist size: 65-80mm

Description: If you line up for the first chair on a groomer day, these skis are for you. Think detuned race skis with enough sidecut to make dragging a hip just one turn away. Ski instructors, ex-racers or anyone who wants to leave trenches top to bottom, apply here.

Ski Canada Test reports in Fall 2016 issue

CRUISERS

FUN SKIING ON MOSTLY GROOMED RUNS

Style: Easy-turning, moderate speeds

Waist size: 75-85mm

Description: Skiing is about being outside, soaking in the view, hanging out with friends and family and exploring the hill. You generally choose groomed runs over moguls or powder. Blues and blacks are on your dance card.

Ski Canada Test reports in Fall 2016 issue

SLALOM

High-Performance short-radius turns

Style: Short turns, precision, high-speed

Waist size: 65-75mm

Description: In or out of the racecourse, these skis beg to be put on edge and turned. They’re snappy, lively and demand your attention. Send them through the gates and expect to be amazed by their tenacious edge grip, agility and power.

Ski Canada Test reports in Fall 2016 issue

BIG MOUNTAIN

UNTRACKED AND UNRESTRAINED

Style: Playful, versatile, floaty

Waist size: 95-110mm

Description: As far as you’re concerned, the ski hill begins where the groomed ends. Like these wide, powerful boards, you’re happiest in untracked snow. Your ultimate run would likely involve a cliff drop, a wide-open bowl, tight trees and no other tracks.

Ski Canada Test reports in December 2016 issue

 

POWDER

Two snowboards, one for each foot

Style: Floaty, surfy, fun

Waist size: 100+mm

Description: Like the name says, these sticks make fresh snow feel effortless and a whole lot of fun. With generous widths, lots of rocker and little sidecut, they plane quickly and have a playful feel. Powder skis are tested by the pros at Mike Wiegele’s Helicopter Skiing.

Ski Canada Test reports in December 2016 issue