Ski Canada Test 2019 On-Slope Reviews
GET LOST IN THE MATRIX
The Matrix may be Deviation’s most groomer-focused ski, but it’s no one-trick stick. Handmade at Deviation’s Portland, Oregon, factory, The Matrix has a unique wood core of ash vertically sandwiched between strips of purpleheart, an aptly named tropical hardwood. Running along the sidewalls, the purpleheart adds serious durability and striking looks. By variably dispersing the purpleheart—more at the tip and tail—it smooths out the flex and increases torsional rigidity for biting into hard snow. With an 87mm-waist and a shovel designed for float, it’s no slouch in the soft stuff, making The Matrix a complex beast worthy of its name. (US$849; deviationusa.com)
DEVIATION THE MATRIX
US$849 * BEST FOR: The definition of frontside all-mountain.
LENGTHS: 168, 174, 180 * RADIUS: 13.4@174 * SIDECUT: 135/87/122
Load up the G-forces and this carving ski returned the energy with power and pop. It was lively and exciting to ski. “It felt in control at all speeds and was easy to turn on groomers, whether it was tight turns or giant ones,” said Paul LaPerriere. Deviation is the only ski brand using purpleheart wood that runs along the ski edge, adding bite to edge grip and toughness to the ski. At 87mm underfoot it’s relatively wide for an on-piste ski, so it wasn’t surprising to find it was fun all over the mountain, including in the bumps and steeps. With no rocker in the tail, it wanted to finish turns rather than smear or slide at the end, no matter where we took it. The all-wood ski is heavy, nearly more than four kilos for the pair, giving them a solid, powerful, charging feel in all conditions. We had the chance to test two different lengths and the shift dramatically altered the way the ski turns.