Frontside 2013

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While carving is still king on the frontside, getting the perfect turn has become way easier. Enter rocker, an early-rising tip born out of necessity in the backcountry, but now ubiquitous wherever you ride—yes, even on corduroy. Expect a full integration of this technology throughout this season’s lineups.


Led by flagship Pursuit 18 Elite, Rossignol’s all-new skis-boots-poles-helmet-app, the Pursuit series aims at bringing the adrenalin rush back to the frontside experience. Proprietary H-Technology on the deck supports torsional flex at the extremities for enhanced edge contact, while the addition of 10 per cent low-rise Power tip rocker means more play and easier turn initiation. The Pursuit’s 122/76/102 oversize sidecut and high camber result in quick manoeuvrability (17.4m radius turns at 170), with a square tail for solid finishes. There’s something for every frontside rider: the six-ski series comes with underfoots from 70 to 81.


Elan’s mantra for women is LightSkiing, a technological combo optimizing easy skiing with lightweight tools. Expect the full nine yards of technologies from Porsche-designed featherweight Fusion integrated bindings, to a women-specific wood core and a special heel support sidewall for improved turn execution and support, complete with Waveflex technology for torsional rigidity without the added grams. Look for the brand-new Ilumina Fusion (124/75/104, topped with early-rise rocker and a weight savings of 150g) and the early-rise Mystic QT (124/75/104, now more than a kg lighter). Two skis in the collection ride on the award-winning, left-and right-specific, Amphibio (cambered inner edge, rockered outer edge) chassis: Amphibio Insomnia Fusion (125/74/104) and Amphibio Inspire Fusion (127/78/107).


Over the past few seasons, Völkl’s R&D team has invested in improving women’s skiing experience with its Bio-Logic system, one that focuses on gender-specific ski stance, geometry and flex. Expect more innovation with this year’s new six-ski Essenza line since the German manufacturer has developed entirely new moulds with added high-performance technologies that feature tip rocker for easy turn initiation. Flagship models Charisma (127/79/100) and Allura (125/75/96) boast an extra-light wood core boosted with Double Grip XTD technology for optimal edge grip and a thin but strong steel dampening system for clean, harmonious turns.


The Fire Arrow 84 EDT EVO XL CT from Nordica combines modern sidecut with a versatile waist and tops it off with twintips. The frontside-friendly ski has the features to open up new terrain for skiers eager to try new tricks, and includes Rapid Race profile—the shortened tip shifts the widest part of the tip closer to the contact point of the base while keeping it “high”— for rapid turn initiation, a sturdy binding plate and Efficient Dynamic Technology (EDT), a special carbon alloy insert offering stability, particularly when using Nordica’s EDT series boots.


Long known for backcountry battleaxes, K2 now takes its ski technology to the hard snow frontside. The award-winning, three-ski (Bolt, Charger and VelocityRoX lineup marries Speed Rocker (minimal rocker in the tip with traditional camber underfoot) for ease of initiation with bombproof flex, using the company’s tried-and-true MOD suspension for dampening. It crowns it off with a carbon webbing that results in a stronger edge hold with minimum weight. At the top of the line, the Bolt (125/72/99) boasts a stiff fir core, strengthened with metal laminates and covered by a hybrid sidewall/cap construction. More than winning best hard-snow ski at Munich’s ISPO—the planet’s top outdoors show—the innovative RoX rocked BMW’s design team. According to Dr. Friedrick Nitshke, managing director of BMW, the RoX are “comparable with our cars.” Expect to see some joint ventures (and adventures) of these skis with the German automobile company this season. Gentlemen, start your engines.

from Buyer’s Guide 2013

2013 Alpine Ski Listings

Marty McLennan
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