Featured Image: Matt Power
At FREESKIER’s annual Ski Test, we’re accustomed to seeing many of the same big name and indie brands year-over-year but, last March, there was a new manufacturer in town. Hailing from the base of the French Alps in Chamonix, Decathlon is a hugely popular ski-maker overseas, just now making its first splash into the North American market.
The French brand is the largest outdoor and sporting goods company in the world and sets itself apart by maintaining all of its product development, manufacturing and sales in-house, ensuring lower prices for consumers. But that doesn’t mean Decathlon’s designers skimp on engineering—rather, it’s the opposite. By vertically integrating all of its processes, Decathlon is able to create head-turning products at notably lower prices, and our Ski Testers surely took note.
During our week-long Ski Test in Aspen, Colorado, FREESKIER staffers and testers, alike, were especially impressed with Decathlon’s all-new freeride lineup, including the touring-focused MT90, all-mountain powerhouse Rookie 90 and ladies-specific Slash 100, highlighted below. In this post, we’ve compiled reviews from the FREESKIER Buyer’s Guide all in one place. Here’s everything you need to know about Decathlon’s freeride lineup for winter 2020-21.
The skinnier waist width of the Decathlon MT90 make this touring-focused ski ideal for spring corn harvests or late season jaunts out of bounds. Inside, a full karuba wood core paired with carbon fiber running the length of the ski offer responsive performance. Complemented by tip/tail rocker and a touch of camber underfoot, this plank is primed for whatever comes its way, and the tighter, 18-meter turn radius ensures nimble navigation in steeper, consequential terrain. Better yet, the Decathlon MT90 ski is a one-stop-shop—every pair comes with pre-cut skins and WEDZE pin-bindings—and, for that price tag, it’ll be hard to find a better deal.
Decathlon Rookie 90
Fresh from the steeps of Chamonix comes the new Decathlon line of freeride skis. With a name like “the Rookie,” our testers expected it to ride similar to what the French call a “nouilles molles,” or a limp noodle, but most testers found themselves pleasantly surprised by the Decathlon Rookie 90. With three years of development, the folks at Decathlon were able to craft a stable and responsive ride that’s suited toward a skier who rides mostly on-piste but likes to venture off every now and then. The Decathlon Rookie 90 utilizes the popular rocker-camber-rocker profile and comes complete with bindings.
Decathlon Slash 100
Inspired by that feeling of weightlessness when slashing the lip of a wave, the Decathlon Slash 100 was designed to surf on snow. This is made clear by the length of the tip and tail rocker that’s built into the all-mountain chassis. With traditional camber underfoot and a 100-millimeter waist width, the Decathlon Slash 100 is easy to carve but “playful” and “surfy” were the main adjectives used to describe it. As indicated by the 17-meter turn radius, it’s a pretty relaxed ski that won’t tire you out before the day is done, so you can surf right into après.