Switch and symmetry are two big words of this genre. Swing-weight is paramount. Riders want light, dynamic and battle-proof boards for sweetening up impact-laden landings. As the Park migrates and morphs somewhat with the Big Mountain division, expect to see more boards with a larger footprint for executing park-style tricks off natural features.
It’s slash and butter with Rossignol’s Sickle. Made for the pow over park, preferring the advanced-through-expert crowd, this banana board features Spin Turn technology, giving you 100 per cent rocker. It’s built over a mini cap sandwich construction resistant to chipping and lightened to improve swing weight. Rossi extends the 140/110/133 sidecut to continue beyond the contact point where the tip and tail rocker start, so at higher speeds and angles, expect more engagement resulting in powerful full-length edge grip; at lower speeds, there’s less for manoeuvrability. The Sickle also has rounder tips for park transitions and skiing switch.
Looking for a high-performance, all-mountain tool made solid enough for the worst of the pipe and park? Think K2’s bi-directional sidecut (121/90/115) and rockered Recoil. The Factory team model comes with twin-specific absorbing sidewalls, solid wood core, oversize steel edges and is quick-set for Marker’s Schizo bindings.
On the Ledge
Völkl promotes its Ledge as a playful park specialist and favourite rail ski for the Team. Agile and lively, the multi-layer wood-core twin comes with moderate tip and tail rocker and camber in between for pop. It has a 111/84/111 sidecut.
Punx: X-Games performance
Atomic’s Punx returns with upgrades after its standard-setting season last year. An enviable combination of wood core and Atomic’s Active Camber profile ensure high stability on approaches. The ski now features an abrasion-resistant edge to reduce rail wear and tear.
The Switchblade combines 4FRNT’s new semi-cap construction with sintered bases and lots of pop. Expect it to be a lighter and more playful ski than the TNK, which it replaces. Women can ski the Blondie. The wood-core ski is modeled on the earlier Click! It comes with a cap construction, and sells with 84, 85 and 86mm waists. torsional stiffness for both powder mornings and laying afternoon tracks. Under the hood,
look for a healthy mix of bamboo, fibreglass and carbon.
Fischer’s twintipped Maven (119/88/112) features sandwich sidewall construction, proprietary Freeski rocker, and is protected with ABS sidewalls for the advanced to expert park-and-beyond skier.
Fresh out of Switzerland’s Stöckli, this year’s Rotor 80 (111/79/105 at 163 cm) comes with a funkier-than-ever design, along with sintered bases, wood-core sandwich cap construction and good price-performance ratio. Those looking for a beefed-up version of the same can slip into the blue-and-yellow Rotor 72, which comes protected by a new polyamide surface for increased durability, and at a fast-carving 118/72/106 sidecut for improved GS turnability.
Handmade in the Sierra Nevada by Moment comes Ghost Chant, a totally symmetric, twin-rockered, bamboo-cored, sidewalled ski that its maker claims is going to take switch pow riding to the next level. It’s two-sizes-fit-all: a 139/124/139 sidecut at 176 and 186 cm lengths. Those looking for a quiver of one to satisfy an all-mountain/park/pow addiction, should check out the mustache rockered and cambered PB&J. Like the sandwich it’s named after, the ski is loved by all and comes with symmetrical flex on an aspen-pine core, has a centre mount for the park, and wears a 129/101/121 sidecut in 162, 172, 182 and
188 cm lengths.
Dynastar adds this aggressive all-mountain, wood-core rider to its twin collection. The experts-only 6th Sense Slicer incorporates some of the company’s best park technologies, including Spring Blade tips, a wood and fibreglass composite core for fluidity with straight sidewalls for precise transmission, and a long progressive rocker for heightened pivoting and flotation in all snow conditions. Regular camber
underfoot confers on-piste control. The Slicer owns a 132/115/130 sidecut.
Changes on deck
Line redesigns its StepUp, a rugged, symmetric park twin with a 113/86/113 footprint. At the heart of it comes its Deckwall construction, which blends Line’s novel Skate Deck and Sidewall construction—where the two-ply horizontally laminated Skate Deck maple veneers do shock and impact duty at the extremes, while the underfoot sidewall provides a smooth even flex and solid feel.
Tags: 4FRNT Blondie, 4FRNT Switchblade, Active Camber, Atomic Punx, big mountain, Click!It, Deckwall, Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer, Dynastar Spring Blade, Fischer Maven, Freeski rocker, K2 Recoil, Line StepUp, Marker Schizo, Moment Ghost Chant, Moment PB&J, park, Park & Pipe, pipe, Rossignol Sickle, Skate Deck and Sidewall, Spin Turn, Stockli Rotor 72, Stockli Rotor 80, swing-weight, switch, symmetry, Volkl Ledge