Everything You Need To Know About The Salomon Stance Ski
Salomon skis continues to impress me. From one skier to another I was never the biggest fan of Salomon. Their skis were too soft or too stiff and really didn’t fit into my style of skiing. That was until the redeveloped the QST 92 ski and now the Stance Series. Saying I’m a Salomon Fan-girl may be an overstatement but right now from 2020 into 2021 I’m really digging their skis.
Before I even dive into the technical details of the Stance Skis let me lay out the typical skier who might be skiing this ski. I’m going to focus on the Women’s Stance 88 and the Men’s Stance 90 ( Though I reference the 88 most of all). These were my two favorite out of all the Stance’s I tried at the industry test fest back in January. The Stance is a ski for the everyday recreational skier. It’s the all-mountain, daily driver, hard charger of skis. For those familiar with the XDR series this is the new inception of that. I ski like a Slalom skier. I take short and aggressive turns. I’ll lay my edge over but it’s a precise turn and I don’t like to draw it out. The Stance ski clicked with me because it was precise and edge-able. When I gained speed and wanted to make a turn I felt in control and confident that my edge would hold.
Eventually I will have a full review video for your viewing pleasure but for now you can take a look at this clip from on-snow at Pico back in January. I’m 5’9″ and 150Ilbs- and with Salomon’s Sizing this year I could either try a 168cm or 174cm. I opted for the 174cm ski and tried that across the entire collection. In the 88 in particular it felt almost short. I got the same precise turning response that I would on something in the 165 range. That was comforting to me in a way. I knew on a longer ski I could make my short aggressive turns and be confident in my edge and the skis ability to come around quickly. To give you an idea, I came down the first pitch of the day on these skis, having never skied them before. This pitch was the 49er trail at Pico. A wide trail, yet probably the steepest pitch on the entire mountain. My friend and I stop at the bottom of the first pitch and I exclaim, “Holy S–T! These skis are phenomenal!”. This same little section of trail hadn’t felt nearly as confidence inspiring on any of the other skis I had tried that day. I cannot reinforce how stable on edge the Stance Series is. It’s pretty much putting all other skis to shame in it’s waist category with it’s edge stability and dampening absorption at speed. These skis are so good in fact that I’m planning on selling my narrow waisted ski this fall and buying the Salomon Stance 88 in it’s place.
Salomon Stance 88 Specs:
Lengths (cm): 154, 161, 168, 174
Sidecut Dimensions (mm): 120/88/102 (@161)
Radius: 17m (@161)
Weight: 1,520g (@161)
Salomon Stance 90 Specs:
Lengths (cm): 168, 176, 182, 188
Sidecut Dimensions (mm): 126/90/106 (@176)
Radius: 18m (@176)
Weight: 1,775g (@176)
The Women’s Salomon Stance 88 is essentially the same as the men’s ski, yet the core is made of karuba/poplar not just poplar (Men’s skis are full poplar). Similarly both skis will have traditional metal titanal. Nothing to fancy, all designed with a full poplar wood core, race-inspired sidecut, full sandwich sidewall, and double Titanal construction for increased edge grip. Both the men’s and women’s Stance skis will feature a new technology to reduce weight and torsional rigidity of the core: laser-milled windows in the upper Titanal layer reinforced with a blend of carbon and basalt. The idea here is one, to replace the now dated XDR collection and to bridge the gap between the QST line and X/Max Collection. For skiers who need an everyday daily drive type ski the Stance is the best choice on the market. Though we focus on the 88 here, the women’s skis come in 88 and 94 underfoot- whereas the men’s is available in 90, 96 and 102 underfoot.
Personally having skiing the 94 and 96 I preferred the 88 and 90. The wider the ski got the less playful it became. I think if I were to choose a wider waist ski from Salomon I’d end up going to a QST. When the ski gets wider I still want it to be playful and forgiving, not overly damp and heavy which is the impression I got from the Stance line. A no brainier to me though is as an east coast skier (or even a west coast skier), if you want a reliable and trustworthy ski that will perform well for an intermediate to advanced level skier, the narrower Stance options are a great addition to a quiver. For carving or even east coast powder days, the stance is a great choice.
We’ll have these skis available for demo before this season is over, and purchase for early fall 2020.
Top 5 Skis For 2020- From An East Coast Ski Shops Standpoint
These reviews are based on our on-snow testing, discussions with brand reps, and years of experience.
Basin Sports is a ski shop in Killington, Vermont. With access to the largest east coast ski resort at our door, we are able to provide accurate and intelligent insight to the state of the ski industry as it reflects our specific market.
K2 Mindbender Series
You’ve probably heard about the K2 Mindbender and Alliance-benders by now. The replacement of the Pinnacle and LuvIt Series skis. K2 spent a lot of time testing and designing these skis to make them what they are. They wanted something stiff torsional but soft and floaty too. So what makes the Mindbenders so amazing? They’re incredibly light, yet stiff, yet powerful. The 90ti in particular for both men and women is stiff yet not. In our on snow test the ski was phenomenal on groomers and comfortable and controllable in the bumps. It didn’t feel like you had to overcompensate to make a turn. It didn’t feel too heavy or bulky either. One moment you’d be making beautiful racer carves on groomers, the next you’d be navigating tight New England trees. The Mindbenders want to float and dance over terrain- not bash and brawl their way down the mountain.
The Mindbender Series comes in many lengths. The men’s is 116C, 108Ti, 99Ti, 90Ti, 90C and 85. The Women’s or Alliance Series is available in 115C, 106C, 98Ti, 88Ti, 90C and 85. Yes, the Alliance series is a different mold. Everything is going to be the same about these skis except for the core. The main difference between the two is that the Men’s Mindbenders have full wood cores and the ladies Alliance have Aspen Vanier Core. Yes, that’s still technically wood- it just flexes differently than the full single wood core.
We’re on the east coast here, so we’re biased to the 99 and 90Ti (Or 98Ti and 88Ti) options. When we demoed these skis it was hero snow. Or at least what us east coasters call Hero Snow. Firm yet soft groomers, with plenty of packed powder in the trees. We’ve been slimming down what the optimal waist width is for the East Coast and was planning on ordering more 90’s instead of 99’s. That’s not to say one was better than the other. Both skied excellently. By this point, it’s more personal preference.
We’ve been asked a lot to compare the Mindbenders against the Nordica Enforcers, and we’ll probably end up doing a blog and video comparing the two, but for now, we’ll give you this. The Enforcer Series is a great All-Mountain ski. It does everything well and is incredibly fun to ski on. One main difference between the two is the rocker profile. The Enforcer is going to want to power through everything- we refer to the Enforcer as a brawler ski. It’s fun, enjoyable and strong- but it would rather power into snow than float. The Mindbender is going to feel more familiar to skiers who maybe raced or spent a chunk of time on groomers- expect the Mindbenders allow you to ski off trail comfortable. You can go really fast on the Mindbenders and not feel out of control with twitchy rocker in your tips. The Mindbenders carve, they don’t smear. You know that famous quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”? That pretty much sums up the Mindbenders. They float and dance, they didn’t come to muscle their way through. They’re precise, agile and responsive.
Nordica Enforcer 88 & 104
Speaking of Nordica, There are some new additions to the Enforcer Family. The Nordica Enforcer 88 and the Enforcer 104. Both skis come with new technology and so far, our staff have been raving about the changes. The 88 was designed with us East Coasters in mind. It’s a true on-piste carver. You can read our review on these skis here. The 104 is a wider option but not overly cumbersome like the 110.
What Makes the 88 So Great? It’s different than it’s big brothers because It has less ABS sidewall. The ABS Sidewall is essentially plastic. Plastic is damp and non-responsive on impact. Nordica reduces the amount of Sidewall and filled it in with more wood to make the ski more snappy and powerful. Then they added a carbon grid to increase snap. It makes the ski much more maneuverable at speed and not quite as unstable.
The 104 has the same technology as the 88 and made many of our employees who own the 100 consider upgrading to the 104. A positive aspect of the 104 is that it offers more drive and stability at speed without increasing extra weight. The 104 allows you to explore more of the mountain with stability and control. One of the positives in the new designs is the power in and out of turns. One thing I’ve found in the older designs is that due to its shape I often feel like I lose a lot of my speed in and out of turns. The 104 certainly does not have that problem. Same goes for the 88. Both are responsive and power out of the turns effortlessly.
These skis are great for one ski quiver shredders or enforcer series collectors. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 20/21 series of Enforcers don’t all have the new carbon technology incorporated into their design.
Salomon QST 92
The Salomon QST 92 has got it’s S—t together this year. In it’s first iterations it was one the softer side of all-mountain skis. Now it’s back and in it’s series (so the 92, 99 and 106) have the same technology throughout. But it’s an entirely new ski. So new tip design, new sidewalls and new core construction. I’m generalizing but all three waist widths will be the same construction. We’re digging the 92 because it’s probably the lightest All-Mountain ski that’s isn’t made of foam, fiberglass or unicorn dust. It’s rocker profile would make it great for a east coast skinning ski but also as a weekend warriors ski.
If you ski anything like me you may have thought that the QST was a fun ski but it was a bit soft and chattery on harder snow. Beefed up sidewalls have eliminated this chatter to a minimum and torsionally increased stability in turns. Win, Win!
The carbon, basalt, and flax are blended together in the new models from tip to tail, and there’s an extra layer of flax plus cork tips to optimize dampness at a lower swingweight. This is translated onto the women’s Lux, Lumen series too. The tip shape is new too and this reduced taper. The cork in the tip and tail makes the skis less chattery, and reduces swing weight making turns pretty darn fun. The graphics aren’t half bad either on these skis. Sticking with solid tones and less flair. Mounted up with the oh so toted Salomon Shift Bindings and you’ve got one heck of a ski set-up.
Black Crow Camox & Camox Birdie
We also are going to talk about Black Crow. They’ve been around for a while but really have exploded onto American markets more recently. The Camox is the showcase twin ski and has really stayed tried and true to its roots. It’s a true twin tip ski with classic rocker, camber, rocker profile. Nothing overly fancy or technical, just the stuff that works- which is why it’s one of their bestselling skis.
But, the Camox is on the heavy side. So this year Black Crows reduced the weight of the ski and shortened the taper without overly changing the performance of the ski on snow. It does have a shorter turn radius- which can just mean it will get edge to edge quicker. An Advantage here is that as a true twin tip ski the Black Crow Camox and Camox Birdie will have an increased playfulness feel on snow. This will make for more a lighter, but tried and true ski that anyone can have fun on.
Atomic Redster X Series
An honorable mention and one ski that’s not really getting a whole lot of attention is the Atomic Redster X series. This skis was redeveloped last season and can be distinguished from its World Cup counterparts by it’s lack of red coloration. We’ve been jokingly calling it the greenster since the 18-19 skis was bright neon green. This year It’s not as bright but still a gunmetal grey with green highlights. Of the Redster X series the one that caught our eye the most was the Atomic Redster X WB (WB= Wide Body). The Redster is a series no F-ing around ski. The Redster X WB is the same nutty ski but minus the servotec. At 75 underfoot (versus 65) the WB is just a bit more forgiving. With true race camber underfoot the Atomic Redster X WB is still an extremely powerful ski. It’s just nicer to play with.
Coming in 152, 160, 168 and 176 you have a few options to choose from. The WB still has the multi-radius sidecut, full sidewall (hence 0/100/0 camber to rocker), Powder Woodcore, Titanium Powered, Structured Topsheet, and World Cup Base Finish. It still has all of those goodies. The reason we’re mentioning this ski is not that we enjoy it (I mean we do, we wouldn’t be writing this review otherwise) but because it enables you to still carve aggressive groomers, but still be able to walk the next day. We will be pushing this ski towards our Ski Bum Race Series competitors who want a fast ski for race day, but a comfortable ski for groomer days.
What to expect in the narrowest waist width Enforcer
Since its inception, the Enforcer Series has been rapidly growing as the most sought after skis in the industry. Nordica has been careful to release new waist width options and technological tweaks steadily over the years and people are eating them up. With this year’s release, all the ski industry aficionados are buzzing about the two newest additions to the pack, the Enforcer 88 and Enforcer 104. We were fortunate to ski the new waist widths for both men and women (so be on the lookout for the Santa Ana 88 review) and have a good feeling of how the industry will accept the skis, and what customer s should expect out of them.
This review is solely regarding the Nordica Enforcer 88, though we’ll get a review out about the 104 as soon as we can. Luckily for us, we hold one of the biggest Nordica accounts in New England and have access to early release gear like the Enforcer 88. This particular waist width caught our eye because we live in New England and very rarely do we really need to ski on sticks wider than 100.
The Enforcer lineup is reminiscent of an old Helldorado but with less rocker and metal- and that’s one of the reasons it excels in the east. But the Enforcers of yesteryear are bulky and some would describe as brawlers, not ballerinas. So to alleviate some of this extra meat the Enforcer 88 has vibration dampening tips. This helps alleviate some the meat, the weight and adds more nimbleness to the skis maneuverability.
These tips in technological terms are called True Tip Technology and essentially reduce weight and tip chatter. Basically, Nordica has trimmed the amount of ABS plastic in the sidewall in the tip and extended the lightweight wood core into the area now void of plastic. Plastic is not exactly a pliable material when it comes to skis, and will impact something with a thud, not a spring or rebound. That’s one of the reasons why True Tip Technology works. It makes the ski more lively and snappy. It’s also lighter so you can turn more effectively and build energy in and out of turns.
The other new construction is the Carbon-Reinforced Chassis. As mentioned early, the Enforcer could be referred to as a brawler. Where it would rather plow and power through snow than glide over snow. The Carbon chassis essentially makes the Enforcer more nimble. We’re not going to get full ballerina status on snow but it won’t feel like a brawler either- Nordica is finding a happier medium between brawler and dancer.
Another notable difference in the Nordica 88 Is that it comes in different lengths than previous enforcers. That means a completely new mold and serious “back to the drawing board” concept. With the Enforcer 88 you get to choose from the sizes of 165, 172, 179 and 186. This could throw a rope in the Enforcer Collectors wheelhouse but, if then again it could be a good thing. This ski is considered a hard carver and that divides the skiers into two categories- the slalom skiers or the super g skiers. I myself like to shorten up my carving skis. I like to make fast precise and short turns so I lean towards a shorter length. But, if you like to go fast, take minimal turns on piste and lay over edges then go longer. It’s all in how you ski.
So our first day of testing was at the New England Ski Industry Demo Day. This is where people in the industry have a chance to demo skis for the 19/20 season. This was held at Pico Mountain this year and the temps were hovering at 32 degrees so the snow was hero like. When we were able to ski the 88 we got next to perfect conditions for New England so yes, this review is biased towards the conditions we tested in. That being said the Enforcer 88 did just fine on and off-piste. On-Piste, the 88 was quite responsive and was easy to maneuver. It glided across the snow easily and was powerful yet forgiving. One notable change in turning was that the ski powered out of turns. In the past, the wider widths would lose some of that momentum in turns because of the rocker and its width. That’s not the case here and we truly feel the 88 is the perfect ski for the east. This ski is distinctly focused on performance on piste, and it does okay off-piste too. But if you’re a bump lover and tree hugger then consider the 93- otherwise you should consider this nimble machine to be in your quiver.
The Enforcer 88 will be fine off-piste but it wasn’t designed to do that. It was designed to be an on-piste carver and it does that well. The 88 wants to stay on edge and hold that turn, making consistent and thoughtful turns down the slopes. Compared to the Navigator 85 the Enforcer 88 is heavier and has more rocker to it. Edge to edge the Navigator will win- it’s quick and lighter. All around maneuverability and being as All-Mountain as they get, the Enforcer 88 will win. It just does everything well and really defines what an all-mountain ski should be.
To summarize, the Nordica Enforcer 88 for 2020 is going to perform best on firm conditions. It’s going to slay groomer runs and turn well. It’s light, but not as light as a navigator. It’s well-rounded too and when you’re in a pickle it will perform at a level that’s just plain necessary. As an east coast Enforcer lover, this is the ski you need in your collection. It works, it does its job well and is fun.
Convinced and want one? We have the 2020 Nordica Enforcer 88 and 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88 available for purchase.
Top 3 Skis of 2018 And Why You Should Be Taking A Closer Look
Pre-Season Purchase Coming Soon!
I did it, I narrowed down my selection from 5 Top skis to 3. I wasn’t wildly impressed by the ski industry this year. That’s not to say there weren’t amazing skis by all the ski companies because when isn’t there really? In a way it felt similar to the slump that the bike industry is having. Maybe I’ve just gotten pickier about my choices. I’m like a food critic but for skis! Typically I would do top 4 or top 5 skis of the year but really got strict on my preferences and requirements to make it onto this list. Two of the skis on this list are entirely new skis the other is hitting it’s 1 year birthday. I’ll explain my reasoning as I progress through the skis.
2018 Nordica Enforcer Pro
This ski will be available for pre-season purchase at Basin Sports. Nordica has been hugely popular with the Enforcer line and as we move into next year will be offering narrower and wider waist width options. The Nordica Enforcer Pro is unique though. Boasting 115 underfoot the 2018 Nordica Enforcer Pro will only be available in the 191 length. The rocker in itself is also different. With a rocker profile mirroring the retired Helldorado this ski will be perfect for the shredder looking to replace their old black on black ass kickers. Big Mountain minded the 2018 Nordica Enforcer Pro is no joke. With a 21.5 meter turn radius this ski is for advanced level skiers. A mention in itself for the Top 3 Skis of 2018 due to its appealing name and joke inspiring name. Do you think your pro enough for the 2018 Nordica Enforcer Pro?
9 Meter Turn Radius
Only Available in 191
Big Mtn Inspired and a direct replacement of the Helldorado
Unique Rocker Profile
Same Layup as other enforcers
2018 Atomic Vantage x 83 Cti
This ski will be celebrating its 1st birthday this year as it’s been around for a year but is notable in the Top 3 Skis of 2018. I’ve noticed an interesting trend with any and all Atomic Skis though. They almost never get the recognition they deserve in their debut year. It isn’t until their second season that they start racking up awards. Think about the Atomic Vantage 100 Cti and the Women’s Vantage 95 C. Both won awards this year but this is their second season in existence. So I predict that the 2018 Atomic Vantage X 83 CTi will win some awards next season and here’s why.
First off not much has changed, just minor tweaks to make it better than it already is. This ski is perfect for those hard pack ski days or groomer days. They’re in fact quite forgiving in bumps too which I found incredibly surprising. For 2018 you’ll see a new graphic on the 83. Less loud and in your face. Last year’s ski was Neon Orange vs the 2018 which is blackout with orange highlights, much more sexy if you ask me. The only other major difference between 2017 and 2018 is the beefed up layup underfoot. Not that it wasn’t all there, it’s just more there than ever before.
I like this ski because at 174cm it has a 16.4 turn radius. It’s got a carbon mesh and Ti backbone construction. All while keeping that 10/90/0 rocker profile that the iconic Atomic Redster has. Don’t forget the plate system that looks incredibly similar to the race plate on the Redster. All this at $899 (bindings included). A hell of a deal and a hell of a diverse ski. I wouldn’t overlook this ski this coming season. Often passed by, this ski has rockets attached to the tails of it….At least that’s what it feels like.
Beefed Up Underfoot
4meter turn radius @ 174
AMT Rocker 10/90/0
Ti Backbone 2.0
Carbon Tank Mesh
Plated System Ski
2018 Armada Tracer 98
Basin Sports Staff Favorite and all-around 2018 Pick of the year.
The 2018 Armada Tracer 98 was the third Top 3 Skis of 2018 and was number 2 on my list of favorite skis at the New England Test Fest this year. I skied the test fest the day it decided to drop a foot of snow on us. My number 1 ski was 115 underfoot for reference. A 98mm ski on a powder day was #2?! Yes, yes it was. Also I should note that this ski has no metal in it. But don’t let that turn you away. See Armada came out with this tech called Xrystal Mesh. It feels like metal but it isn’t. This ski was light, playful and nimble. A foot of champagne powder? No Problem. Tight New England Trees to wide open powder fields I was surprised and amazed at how well this ski handled. The 2018 Armada Tracer 98 is part of the Tracer collection and comes in narrower and wider waist widths. Ladies should look to the Trace series which boasts the same construction but with a better graphic.
Armada has come a long way since its Freestyle Days. I love the older generation whose been taking out the invicta skis by Armada and say how surprised they are that a “freestyle” rooted ski company has such a diverse collection. Don’t overlook Armada, they’re legit.
The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski Review Revolutionizing and Finessing the Women’s Ski Industry
The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski is relentless but in a good way. Relentless in the since that you can ski all day with ease. You can navigate variable terrain and feel right at home. For the woman who’s an intermediate to advanced level skier and wants an affordable stick to shred gnar on, well yeah the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 is going to rock your socks off.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty right away shall we? The sport of skiing has exploded in popularity in the last 5 years thanks to rockered ski technology. At the forefront of this wave stood K2 and its Women’s ski line. Believe me when I say it but “women’s” skis weren’t always badass and well-constructed as they are today. For a little while companies believed “women’s” skis needed to fit what was thought to be the typical female skier- an intermediate level skier who was cautious and well weak. K2 was NOT one of those companies and the LUV line proves it.
Durable, not to aggressive but not too soft either. Perfect pretty much sums this ski up. The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski is for the women looking for adventure. The lady who loves to ski but wants something that does everything. This ski embodies a do all, go everywhere and fit into a few different levels of skier types. In fact, K2 is so anti “Women’s Specific” they even wrote this in their product description on their website.
With the same Bioflex Konic genes as its bigger sisters, the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski slims down and bridges the gap between versatile freeride and confident all-mountain skiing. We don’t throw the term “women’s-specific” around lightly – the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski was built for the lady shredder who stuns the slopes in deep powder, over fresh cord, and through wily bumps alike.
So the dirty details are this. You’re getting a 88 underfoot ski. This is a good width for the All- Mountain skier that’s mainly east coast based. If you’re out west possibly consider going wider. It’s a flat mount ski so you’re responsible for your binding option. It comes in 156, 163 and 170 which is great if you’re tall like me and ski a 170. The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski has K2’s All- Terrain rocker which enables off-piste skiing while maintaining control on the groomers. It’s got a metal laminate in it for snap and control at high speeds and in bumps. That mixed with a Fir- Aspen core makes this ski fast, light and fun. For some reason the Beach Boys Song, Fun, Fun, Fun just popped into my head- fitting for the image this ski portrays.
For the lady looking to get on a new All- Mountain ski, well look no further. Give us a shout if you have any question too, we love to just chat about skis. If you’re already convinced that this is the ski you want, the ski you need well Click Here for free shipping and smiles!
Salomon QST 99 Ski Review And A Look At How Far Salomon Has Come
The Salomon QST 99 Ski Review is more than just a review of the ski. It’s a testament of how far Salomon has come as a company. Salomon has been making skis for a long time and they’ve had some good ones and some bad ones. I see a lot of people on Salomon out on the slopes, but I’ve never been really impressed with the company. Mainly, the construction just seemed lousy. It wasn’t constructed well. Yeah the skis were fun to ski but durability wise not so much. So I’ve not exactly had my eye on Salomon.
This year something changed, something called the QST series. This collection has changed the way I see Salomon as a company. From afar these skis look solid, they look stable and they look durable. Picking them up and flexing them straight off the wall you can just tell that these skis want to rip and go fast. No wonder the Salomon QST 99 and QST 106 were freeskier gear guide picks.
The Salomon QST 99 is a great All- Mountain ski for the intermediate to advanced level skier. I prefer them in crunchy hardpack than anything else for their reliability on edge. The Salomon QST 99 has carbon woven laminate with a sheet of titanal. That seems to be the name of the game this season for most ski companies and for good reason. They’re exceptionally snappy and have a ton of power out of turns. Enough power to make you go, “holy $#!t!”
This ski does bumps but isn’t great at it and in my opinion were pretty comparable to the Nordica Enforcers that I found were a little sloppy in bumps. That just because of the rocker profile though. Chundry, corny snow or slushy spring snow is what the Salomon QST 99 excels at and is definitely not a ski for the faint of heart. Make sure you’re a speed chasing maniac before you decide to purchase these sexy sticks.
It’s been a long time coming and it seems the ski industry has finally figured it out. We present the Gear Sneak Peek: 2017 Women’s Skis complete with women’s skis that have a 169cm or longer length model in their line-up. For years it was almost impossible to find a women’s ski that was 170 or longer. As a women whose 5’10” it was frustrating. Not all of us are itty bitty. Some of us enjoy a ski that fits our height. Finally, ski manufacturers are getting it and this season the picking is good, very good.
This ski was a multi- award winner this year and for good reason. It’s a new addition but really it’s a more slimmed down version of the Nordica Enforcer. The 2017 Nordica Santa Ana 93 is available in 153-177 and is marketed towards the aggressive female skier who wants a one ski quiver. Now I’m bias to Nordica, we all have our brands and though I enjoy their skis their not my favorite. That being said, I’m weird, haha. Most ladies love this ski and for good reason. At 169 it’s got a sidecut of 124-93-112. It’s also got a Balsa wood core with a full sheet of titanal. It’s VERY similar to the Nordica Enforcer 93 but the core is different. The Balsa wood is not used in the Enforcer. It’s found in the 2017 Nordica Santa Ana 93 because women respond to ski dampness different than men. We’re not big 200 pound guys, we’re kick ass skier chicks and sometimes having a reliable, yet light core is what we need. So “wahllah” Balsa was used to make the Santa Ana 93 what it is.
Personal Thoughts: To much rocker, if the taper was pushed forward some I think the ski would respond a bit better, especially in sketchy east coast snowpack. For “chundery “spring powder or East Coast Powder Days this ski is an ass kicker.
Shop Tip: Mount +1 for better edge to edge contact.
This ski comes in a 181! But put up next to the Salomon QST 99 (Men’s Version) it’s identical in every way minus the topsheet. It shares the same price too so it’s no surprise this ski is so popular. It looks playful and easygoing but it’s got a whole side to it that you wouldn’t expect. It’s a happy balance of soft and playful to kick- ass hard charging animal. The 99mm waist doesn’t hurt either when it comes to beefing up this ski. There are narrower versions in the line-up but this is a crowd favorite.
Personal Thoughts: I’ve never been a fan of Salomon women’s skis. They were the first to start the women’s specific ski trend, right around the foam core era. They were also one of the first to do away with the lesser quality women’s skis. The QST is a testament to that. Off the wall this ski makes me go wow! I’m quite impressed with it’s construction and layup, to the point where I might own one in the future. It’s a good “affordable” all mountain ski.
Shop Tip: De-tune the tips an extra inch lower so there’s better transition on edge. Consider a Tyrolia AAAttack Binding for an extra low standover height. Go with a 12 or higher for the camming heel to make easy step-in when clicking in.
There’s no kidding around with the Vantages. This ski is stable and reliable, especially at high speeds. It’s a high performance annihilator for the chick that absolutely rips down the mountain. Carbon tank mesh inlay with Titanal bridge overlap the 2017 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI is all there. It’s ironic actually when I think about this ski. It’s ironic because this ski as released last year but didn’t really win any awards until this year. Atomic is one of those companies that is often overlooked in the grand scheme of things so it’s ironic that an unchanged ski from last year to this year is only now just getting recognized for its kick assery and bad-assness. This ski would fit the chick who’s an ex-racer or maybe a free rider, someone who wants something that’s stable at high speeds, that’s the 2017 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTi.
Personal Thoughts: Beefy, almost too beefy for me which is why I went with the 95 C not the 90 CTI. This ski is a crowd favorite and was spotted a lot last season. The perfect amount of rocker too and absolutely blast the crap out of a turn when exiting the transition.
Shop Tip: Great Tele ski!
These are the best well- rounded kind of do anything women ski. It’s not just a carving ski or just a powder ski, it’s a do anything, go anywhere kick a lot of ass ski. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to find all these skis in a 170+ length.
2017 Atomic Vantage X 83 CTI brings new meaning to All- Mountain Ripper
Don’t be afraid of this bright orange graphic or aggressive, race look. The 2017 Atomic Vantage X 83 CTI is an All- Mountain, Frontside dominator. “Rippah!” as I put it, this ski is all there. I was fortune enough to be able to test this ski out at our Season Tuner Appreciation Demo Day where vendors of major brands we carry showed up to offer our season tuners a chance to test 2017 skis and snowboards. A short break between photos and videos lent me the chance to test a few of the skis for next year, the 2017 Atomic Vantage X 83 CTI standing out amongst all the skis I tried.
Mellow, casual skiers all the way up to the Olympian World Cup medalists had something good to say about this ski and I expect it to fly off the wall this fall. With minimal rocker (only 10% in the tip) and no rocker in tail this ski is all edge. Even in the softer spring snow up top this ski was still forgiving enough to not completely feel off balance. Then I get to a steeper pitch that hasn’t been exposed all morning and got to navigate firm hardpack, the perfect mixture for ski testing if you ask me. Arms, up weight forward and carve and carve I did because you could lay this ski all the way over, even over ice and it would carve perfect turns, no sliding sideways just perfect turns. I got to the bottom, looked at the rep and said, “Wow!” Will I buy this ski next season? You bet your ass I will!
Top 5 Skis For Spring By The Goggle Tanning Experts At Basin
It’s that time of year, the snow’s melting, the temps are rising and the skiing is getting slushier. For the diehard ski bum, spring is a time to work on the goggle tan and break out the tank tops. For us it’s a time to lay down the top 5 skis for spring skiing and how to make the most of what’s left of winter. Everyone is different when it comes to skiing but one thing is certain when skiing in the spring, there will be moguls. These bumps will be softer than your average mid- winter bump run but, you’re still going to need a ski that can navigate these bumps and flex a specific way to enjoy the bumps for all they’re worth.
I recommend a softer based ski for spring bumps skiing and find them to be a ton of fun in slushy conditions. Metal is not always your friend when it comes to spring skiing. A ski that’s to stiff is not going to have enough give in and out of bumps, especially if you’re on beer number 3 and your edge to edge control isn’t so good anymore. Let’s face it, spring skiing is one giant party, I mean we don’t call the parking lot (below the last spring ski run open) the beach for nothing.
Line Sir Francis Bacon
For the wider waist width skiers out there I’d recommend the Line Sir Francis Bacon. This year they narrowed down the waist on the bacon and added cloud core. I like to call these wider, soft skis “Slush busters” because they float through the wet, soppy snow easily and navigate those unruly bumps smoothly. The Line Sir Francis Bacons make great powder skis and great skis and with the new cloud core technology ski smoothly through spring like ski conditions.
Waist Width mm:104
Length cm: 178, 184, 190
Sidecut m:4 (184cm)
Stance mm:Eric’s Choice -20 / Recommended -60
Weight:Weight: 2,045 g/ski (186)
(Tip Early Rise-Camber-Tail Early Rise)
Nordica Soul Rider
Don’t be put off by this ski because it’s twin tip, park shape. The Nordica Soul Rider definitely deserves a spot in the Top 5 Skis For Spring. With a narrower waist than the Sir Francis Bacon the Soul Riders come in at 97mm underfoot. But as I mentioned above, I recommend a softer ski for spring skiing, so the Nordica Soul rider does not have a sheet of metal in it. It does have a Carbon Fiber laminate layup for snappy turn adjustment. This ski kicks a lot of butt in the off-piste choppy snow and can usually be spotted a few times on the hill in the spring.
A redesign off the old Vantage Theory the Vantage 95C is redesigned and reconstructed for a more multi-dynamic ski. The 95 C is designed with Atomic’s carbon tank mesh layer and a Lite wood core. Again no metal but still a great ski. In fact this ski does quite well in a variety of conditions, not just spring snow. With their trademark firewall and superior sidecut and tip/tail rocker this ski is a powerhouse without the skier having to put a ton of effort in. Unlike other skis with rocker, Atomic has extended their sidecut and reduced their rocker down to the perfect amount so that the ski is very stable. Turn initiation in and out is also very fluid and doesn’t slip out exiting a turn. A really fun ski in slushy bumps.
Tip: 134 (@186cm)
Waist: 95 (@186cm)
Tail: 121 (@186cm)
Radius: 18.9m (@186cm)
Weight: 1.85 kg (@186cm)
K2 Pinnacle 95
Some people love this ski some people hate it. I think it’s a contender as one of Top 5 Skis For Spring because it’s got a great design to it. The 95 in the name stands for 95mm underfoot and it has similarities to the old BBR skis, the difference being these ski in a little bit more dynamic manner and the tip is wider than the waist. This ski comes with a metal laminate but it’s not a full sheet of titinal. The only incorporate the metal into the outside of the ski for strong edge hold and chatter reduction. Their nanolite core is a mix of a mystery nanolite wood and aspen. Aspen tends to be a snappy wood and provides a solid alternative to carbon without additional weight. This ski has a good amount of tip rocker and helps when turning in and out of spring bumps and flowing through the slushy chunder.
Radius: 17m @ 184cm
This is Henrik Harlaut’s signature ski. You know, that guy who is crushing it in the X-Games. The one with the dreads down to his waist? Well he may look like a park rat but he has some great ski designing knowledge and this ski performs well in a multitude of conditions including spring slush which is why it’s on of Top 5 Skis For Spring. At 98 underfoot this ski is seriously fun and has this hybrid double zone core so that it engages and disengages pressure in a responsive manner. A great floater in soft spring like conditions.
Tip: 133 (@ 178cm)
Waist: 98 (@ 178cm)
Tail: 123 (@ 178cm)
Radius: 20m @ 178cm
If any of the skis interest you or you have your eye set on something not listed above, and are curious how it performs in spring conditions give us a call, we’d be happy to help you find the right ski for you. We can be reached 7 days a week too!