Ski Canada Test 2019 On-Slope Reviews
LIGHT LIKE AIR, EH?
Like your skis versatile and light? The Salomon Aira lineup might be what you’re looking for. The equivalent of the unisex XDR collection of skis, the Airas are frontside-leaning all-mountain skis with a focus on weight. The core is ash and poplar wood with cork inlays at the tip to reduce weight and stiffness for faster and easier turning. The more aggressive models also use Salomon’s favourite carbon-flax mix to add rigidity and dampening simultaneously. The Airas come in widths ranging from 84 to 76mm underfoot. (from $499; salomon.com)
SALOMON AIRA 80 Ti
$799 * BEST FOR: Intermediates who mostly ski groomers looking for an easy-turning ski.
LENGTHS: 148, 155, 162, 169 * RADIUS: 13@162 * SIDECUT: 125/80/108
The frontside-focused Aira family comes in four models: the most all-mountain and higher-performing 84 Ti, the middle child 80 Ti, 76 CF with carbon and flax instead of metal, and a softer 76. We had testers on all four models. In general they found the skis to be most suited to intermediate to advanced skiers sticking close to groomed snow. Cork in the tip and tail lightens the ski, making it effortless to move around and easy to initiate turns, but doesn’t provide a lot of dampening or stability at higher speeds. “This ski seemed better at slower speeds and rounder turns,” said Andi Ciotti of the 84. The 76 was even softer, noted Yoshi Watanabe: “The 76 is probably best as a beginner or intermediate ski, but the 80 performed well at medium speeds in medium to long turns.”