Frontside 2011

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Whether or not ski industry marketing types will admit it, the Frontside category may be the least sexy but it’s also what most skiers in Canada are looking for. Near the lifts on groomed runs is where Frontside skiers spend most or all of their time. Think intermediates and advanced skiers who want a little game improvement to more performance-oriented skiers who don’t want a racing ski, or even one with a racing pedigree. Yes, carving up the hardpack makes sense on a narrow-waisted Frontside ski, but the East has no exclusivity on the category. There are Frontside examples in shops across the country—and here’s a sampling. (Of course, if you’re ready now to move up, check out the High-Performance category)


A ski for all seasons, the rockered Rictor (127/80/109) fits K2’s progressive sidecut, which combines two different radii for improved turn initiation onto a metal laminate body. Ladies can get the rockered Free Luv (120/76/104). Both models come with updated versions of K2’s patented Mod Technology vibration suppression system.

Light and lively LX

Kastle’s newest ski line comes in two
versions. The LX72 and LX82 (each denoting
underfoot width) have lightened up.
According to Kastle, the structural changes mean a softer longitudinal flex while still delivering a high level of torsional stability, response and grip. The result: an easier ski to steer and control.

Absorbing performance

An extra-stable performer with a wide sweet
spot, the Daytona offers excellent terrain absorption for frontside skiers. New this season, it was designed to power through soft snow and hardpack with Salomon’s versatile Powerline Magnesium dampener, sandwich sidewalls and racy wood core over a performance base.


Double deck at (almost) half the price

Get the World Cup advantage in men’s and
women’s Varioflex 75 and 73. Atomic brings
its pro-level Double Deck (D2) technology
down to the intermediate skier – talk
about game improvement.

Frontside collection 1

Top row, left to right: Atomic D2 VF75, Black Diamond Verdict, Dynastar Contact Cross, Fischer Breeze, Goode Carbon 74, Head Great One

Bottom row, left to right: K2 Rictor, Nordica FireFox XBi CT, Rossignol Strato 70, Salomon 24 Daytona, Völkl AC20

Friends of the environment

Frontside collection 2Rossignol continues to create more environmentally friendly
products that ski well. This year’s Attraxion 3 Echo boasts a
wood core combined with natural linen fibres and enveloped
in a see-through topsheet to reduce petroleum-based products
and inks. The lightweight, all-mountain ski comes at 72 mm
underfoot. It’s designed for a woman’s lower centre of gravity
with the bindings set forward on Rossi’s special Feminine
Intuitive Technology (F.I.T.)
interface, which the company says
will improve stance and control.


From piste to pow, Völkl’s full range of
Unlimited AC (All Conditions) skis now shine
with updated cosmetics. The Unlimited AC and
women’s Attiva AC join the line. The skis feature
Progressive Edge—essentially a semi-rockered
tip for easier turn initiation—and Progressive
, which takes material out of the tail
enabling easier turn completion. Best of all, both
technologies come without a price markup.

Marty McLennan
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