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2008 Ski Review vol.2

2008 Ski Review vol.2

2008 SKI REVIEW

Prior
Prior
Based out of Whistler, Prior started life as a snowboard manufacturer before introducing its ski line in 2003. The company’s line-up features wood-core sandwich construction with aspen and maple as the primary ingredients. Prior lets you choose base color and topsheet art when you order online. It’s a cool option, and one we wish more manufacturers offered.

Overlord
L: 183, 193 D:144-118-130 @ 193
$: 850 Stoke: 7.5
The Overlord has a relatively normal sidecut and camber, but the massive tip will elicit plenty of comments in the lift line. Designed for powder days, the Overlord can be a bit “jumpy in crud” but “floats and turns like magic” in deeper snow. This ski was a great surprise from Prior and is a good option for a powder-day-only ski if you are looking to add something unique to your quiver.

Original
L: 165, 171, 181, 188, 193 D: 127-98-115 @ 188
$: 850 Stoke: 6.5
Prior has slowly been overcoming testers’ skepticism about its product. Due to poor showings from Prior in the past, testers have tended to shy away. That is a mistake, because the company put the time in this year and the results prove that Prior makes decent skis. The Prior Original is “good for charging crud” and has “solid performance.” Still it will take a while to win our testers’ confidence back.

Rossignol
Rossignol
Rossignol maintains its ever-recognizable “Scratch” name in nearly all of its freeride skis this year. The line, however, has experienced a full overhaul, complete with new and improved graphics to stand out in a crowd. And with a team full of the likes of Treadway, Sage and Candide – to name a few – who’s to doubt that Rossignol is still at the top of the game?

Bandit B104 Squad
L: 189, 194 D: 130-104-117
$980 Stoke: 8
The B104 is a serious big-mountain tool. The ski (in both lengths) “busts through everything” and “simply hauls ass.” But be forewarned, the 194 is for the strongest skiers only. “Too much for me,” commented one tester who felt that “the 189 was much better for my smaller size.” It’s true that the ’89 is “a bit easier to ski in all conditions” but don’t be fooled. It’s still designed for experts who know how to ski fast.

Bandit B100-Quad
L: 154, 164, 174, 184 D: 130-100-120
$930 Stoke: 8.5
While the biggest and meanest guys on the hill will want to ride the B104, the rest of us will be more than happy with the B100-Quad. More
forgiving, more fun and more versatile than the 104, the 100 “handles well in broken snow” and “is stable at speed on groomed runs.” “Powerful and commanding, the ski is a blast” and “is really mobile in tight terrain.” This is Rossi’s go everywhere big-mountain tool.

Bandit B94
L: 158, 168, 178, 185 D: 122-94-112
$880 Stoke: N/A
Unfortunately our testers were so caught up skiing on the 104 and B100 that this ski didn’t get a stoke rating. That shouldn’t turn off fans of easy turning, predicable skis that can hold an edge at speed and cruise through powder. A few years ago we’d be calling any ski that clocked in at 94 underfoot fat, but times have changed. This is a ski for those who spend more time in-bounds than out, but who still like to poach private pow stashes on deep days.

Scratch Steeze
L: 174, 185 D: 140-110-133
$850 Stoke: 9.5
“An awesome ski, with the perfect flex for its width” and “really stable and fun, especially in the pow” describe the Steeze, which is Rossi’s top-of-theline backcountry jib offering for 2008. The Steeze
features Rossi’s WRS (weight reduction system). The result is a ski that weighs less (800 grams in the case of the Steeze) and has more pop for kickers. It’s a serious ski that is seriously fun, making it one of our editor’s picks.

Scratch Brigade
L: 171, 178, 185 D: 128-98-121
$750 Stoke: 6
The Brigade sits in the grey area between a pure park offering and a backcountry jib ski. What that means for you is that this ski does everything fairly well, but true big-mountain skiers will quickly discover the Brigade’s shortcomings. Bigger, heavier testers found that the ski was “hard to turn in deep snow” and “got bounced around in the chop.” Lighter athletes liked how the ski was “easy to turn” and “was nice and soft, which I like.” How you will like this ski will depend on how hard you ski, and how much you weigh.

Scratch Girl BC
L: 140, 150, 160, 170 D: 120-90-113
$550 Stoke: 8.5
One of the top women’s skis available for 2008, the Scratch Girl BC is built around Rossi’s F.I.T core. This women-specific core combines two types of wood wrapped in a special fiberglass torsion box. The flex of the ski gets softer in shorter lengths. In addition, the core is exceptionally light, meaning the ski is easier to turn and more fun. Does it work? Our testers think so. “A great all-mountain ski” and “lively and responsive” are two of the accolades.

Scratch Ghetto
L: 167, 174, 181 D: 116-84-109
$: 630 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 7.5
“They felt like my favorite pair of kicks – just dying to get out of the closet and start rollin’,” said one tester. The Ghetto is a “huge step up from the ‘FS’ of old” said another. The Ghetto utilizes the Weight Reduction System (WRS) that was developed with the help of Candide Thovex. Essentially, the WRS has strands of fiber that run tip to tail with a higher concentration under the foot. This allows for reduced weight in the tip and tail giving the ski an even flex pattern, increased durability and added pop in the pipe and on jumps.

Scratch Bling
L: 160, 170, 176, 182 D: 120-88-113
$: 550 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 7
The Bling is one of Rossignol’s price point offerings that transitions easily from backcountry to park, thanks to its fairly neutral dimensions. It incorporates many of Rossignol’s traditional technologies, including slanted sidewalls and shock absorbers in the tip and tail. It is heavier than the Ghetto, but our testers felt that this ski is a great value.

Scratch Girl FS
L: 138, 148, 158, 168 D: 110-80-103
$: 480 Stoke: 9
Junps: 9 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 7 All-Mtn: 9
The Girl FS was a hit with our women testers. Rossignol found the perfect balance between stiffness and flexibility to please our ladies in the park and cruising the rest of the mountain, as well. Their women-specific flex pattern uses looser fiberglass weaves wrapped around their poplar and fume wood core creating a softer flex that was clearly a hit with our testers.

Trixie
L: 138, 148, 158, 168 D: 110-80-103
$: 400 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 5 Pipe: 5
Playfulness: 9.5 All-Mtn: 9
Another price-point ski from Rossignol, the Trixie features the same dimensions as the Girl FS without some of the more advanced technology. Perfect for the beginner jibber or girl who wants to ski
comfortably around the entire mountain. Women on a tight budget can purchase these lovely ladies, including a boot and binding made to compliment the Trixie, for under $500.

Roxy
Roxy
If you attended any competitions this season and didn’t see at least two girls per comp on Roxy skis, we’re going to guess you had a seeing eye dog with you. Roxy reps have been scouring the country and signing up girls left and right, from the grassroots level up to Sarah Burke herself. As far as the company’s product goes, Roxy has stepped it up from last year with a full line of competition worthy twin tips, highlighted by the park specific Broomstix and big-mountain oriented Black Magic. Ladies, enjoy.

Black Magic
L: 166, 176 D: 124-92-114
$: 730 Stoke: 8
The Black Magic from Roxy reflects the huge strides the company has made in improving its 2007 line. The ski is loaded with lots of pop thanks to the Spring Blade construction it employs. According to our lighter skiers, the Black Magic is an “easy, fun ski.” This is a do-it-all tool, great for all-mountain and park skiing. Definitely a step in the right direction for Roxy.

Phoenix
L: 150, 160, 168, 176 D: 120-83-110
$: 960 Stoke: 7.5
Testers found that the Phoenix suffers from a lack of beefiness. “Could be stiffer” and “a bit too soft” were two comments. But the ski does score well in variable conditions. “Much better in variable snow than I thought it would be” and “powered through broken up snow” were two comments. The Phoenix is “very turny.” That trait, combined with the softer flex make it a good choice for lighter riders who like to turn.

Broomstix
L: 155, 165, 175 D: 112-78-102
$: 600 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 7
Incredibly jibby, this ski loves to spin and butter around the park. It’s not as stiff as needed for ultimate all-mountain performance, but the Broomstix will serve any chick well both on jumps and in the pipe. “Super-light swing weight, forgiving and snappy under foot,” commented one tester. Also, in signature Roxy style, this ski has matching boots, poles, bags and outerwear so you can cruise around the hill in fashion morning to night.

Alakazam
L: 148, 158, 168 D: 11-80-103
$: 460 Stoke: 6
Jumps: 7.5 Pipe: 6
Playfulness: 6 All-Mtn: 4
The Alakazam will magically make you a good skier. Or at least it will help you progress your park skiing. One of our female testers thought it was “stable for jumping and stable in the pipe. It is a good intermediate ski but is less solid in iffy snow than the Broomstix.” It comes in shorter lengths, making it great for those beginning their park career or just looking for a smooth and easy way down the mountain.

Salomon
Salomon
With its move to Ogden, Utah, Salomon will be at the epicenter of ski manufacturing in North America, not to mention have access to some of the best testing – and proving – grounds in the industry. In addition to the new location, the company has some of the most dominant athletes of any freeride team from which to draw feedback. No doubt Salomon will continue to push the envelope.

X-Wing Lab
L: 198 D: 140*-107-120
$: 1,115 Stoke: 8
For some testers the Lab is “close to the one ski I’d ever need.” For others, it is a monster. “Way too big for me,” was one comment. It’s true that the Lab is “a lot of ski” but if you can handle this beast, you’ll be riding a tool that’s “great in wide open powder” and that skis “shorter than its length. As one tester aptly states: “It’s a great ski for big kids, but be prepared.”

XW Sandstorm
L: 173, 180, 187 D: 135-99-125 @ 180
$: 915 Stoke: 7.5
The Sandstorm is a rocket that “loves speed” and “takes some muscle to ski.” Not for the weak, you have to be aggressive on this ski. “It’s not a short radius turner” and “likes to make GS turns everywhere, no matter the terrain or the conditions.” “When you get it working, man, it works!” enthused one tester, who liked the “stiff and tight feeling” of the Sandstorm.

Rocker
L: 192 D: 147-127-137
$: 1,155 Stoke: 9
Yet another in a long list of new-shape skis that are appearing everywhere, the Rocker is Salomon’s contribution to this phenomenon with a reverse camber offering. With plenty of powder to ski at Solitude, testers loved it. “Hands down the best specialty ski on the shop rack,” raved one, who said that the Rocker “turned very quickly” and was “fat and fun.” On powder days it’s an ideal tool being “fun, floaty and incredibly turny for a big ski.”

Gun
L: 164, 174, 181, 188 D: 130-96-124 @ 174
$: 925 Stoke: 8
There is little doubt in our mind that the Gun will, like the ski that spawned it (Salomon’s Pocket Rocket), be extremely popular. This is an
everyday tool that “makes skiing fun and easy.” “I didn’t break a sweat,” said one tester who loved the fact that the Gun is a “great do-everything tool.” The Gun is “good in all conditions” and is “a great all-around ski.” If you only can buy one ski, ski everywhere on the mountain and want something that puts a smile on your face every day, start packing the Gun.

Scarlet
L: 164, 174, 181 D: 130-96-124 @ 174
$: 925 Stoke: N/A
The Scarlet is essentially the Gun with the standard graphic change to appeal to women. Like the Gun, the Scarlet will be a great one-ski product that will shred all conditions. With a 96 mm waist, the Scarlet will take you all over the mountain and under some ropes to boot. We recommend this ski to the girl who keeps up with the boys and
maybe even beats them down a tree run or two on an epic powder day.

The Dumont
L: 161, 171, 176, 181 D: 117-83-110 @ 171
$: 725 Stoke: 7.5
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 9
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 6
“With a ski like this, it’s no wonder Simon boosts bigger than all,” said one tester who hiked the pipe over and over with The Dumonts in hand. With the only full-wood core in Salomon’s Freestyle line, The Dumont packs plenty of pop. “Solid on black diamonds, the greens and everything in between,” said one tester, “Great on jumps and in the pipe too!” If you’re looking for the perfect tool to improve your pipe skiing and let you to cruise elsewhere with ease as well, it may be worth taking a look at The Dumont.

Thruster
L: 151, 161, 171, 181 D: 117-83-110 @ 161
$: 595 Stoke: 8.5
Jumps: 9 Pipe: 9
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 6
Testers loved the Thruster at our park test, enough to solicit an Editor’s Pick from us. The Isocell wood core combines wood with foam
to create a durable, yet softer flex, allowing for a more playful feel. “It’s so buttery in the dopest way,” said one tester, “It’s quick and responsive on rails and in the pipe. The Thruster also incorporates Salomon’s Pulse Pad technology in the tip and tail, creating smoother and softer landings.

Temptress
L: 151, 161, 171 D: 117-83-110
$: 595 Stoke: 6
Jumps: 6 Pipe: 6
Playfulness: 5 All-Mtn: 7
For carving and ripping up the groomers, the Temptress is a solid ski, but the softness and inability of the tips to initiate a turn led one tester to feel as though she was getting “tossed around in the crud.” “It was great for carving and holding on… but it wasn’t very jibalicious,” said another. The stiffness of this ski turned some of our testers off to its park abilities, so our recommendation is to try the Temptress out if you’re looking for a solid ski that will take you everywhere, just don’t expect it to butter around the park.

Mynx
L: 150, 158, 166, 174 D: [email protected]
$: 725 Stoke: 6.5
Jumps: 7 Pipe: 6
Playfulness: 6 All-Mtn: 7
As one of our testers aptly put it, “this is the baby result of two Foils making love…” He was probably pretty accurate in a creepy sort of way. The Mynx has the same construction and nearly identical dimensions to last year’s Foil, making the Mynx the way to go for a women-specific park tool from Salomon. One of our testers found it to be “stable for jumping” and “locked onto a rail nicely. A great, forgiving ski for those looking to progress in the park.”

Scott
Scott
Scott continues its tradition of introducing a small quiver of wood-core skis with exclusive technology like Energy Transfer Platform (ETP), which increases torsional stiffness without affecting longitudinal flex. The P4’s graphics have been updated for ’08, but the line essentially remains the same as 2007’s offerings, with the exception of the Punisher.

P4
L: 171, 181, 191 D: 134-108-128 @ 181
$: 675 Stoke: 8.5
With two sheets of titanal and a wood core, the P4 is definitely for aggressive skiers who ski fast. “A great all mountain ski,” commented one tester. “Just soft enough but still really solid, a true one ski quiver.” In the wrong hands, the P4 can feel “sluggish” and you “have to get the ski moving to really enjoy it.”

Punisher
L: 162, 172, 182, 191 D: 128-89-115 @ 182
$: 600 Stoke: 8
The Punisher is essentially a twin-tip version of the Mission, meaning Scott intended this baby to be able to transition from all-mountain to park with the greatest of ease. In reality it didn’t quite meet the mark. That’s not to say the ski wasn’t liked — it received high marks in the all-mountain category and slayed the powder — but wasn’t a friend to the pipe skier and its heavy, unbalanced swing weight made spinning anything over a 540 a bit of a challenge. The overall consensus amongst our testers was this ski could punish the backcountry and punish you if you tried to leave it.

Mission
L: 168, 178, 183 D: 128-89-115 @ 178
$: 675 Stoke: 8
“Ugly graphics!,” was one of the
comments regarding the topsheet of the Mission. Regardless if you hate or love the paint job on the Mission, the ski itself “holds its own in every kind of terrain, including choppy crud.” One of our favorites for 2007, the Mission slips a bit on the stoke meter, a reflection of the fact that other companies are making skis that have caught up to Scott. Does this mean you shouldn’t consider this “amazingly versatile ski?” Not at all. It still ranks as a top one-ski option for 2008 and a great choice for aggressive skiers everywhere.


P3
L: 158, 168, 178, 184 D: 118-82-108 @ 178
$: 475 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 7 All-Mountain: 8
The P3 is much more at home in the park than other Scott sticks. Built with a sandwich core construction, the P3 provides pop and stability at the same time. Our bigger testers overwhelmingly found it more fun than our smaller guys due to its fairly stiff flex pattern. Those who were able to ride this ski happily found it to be poppy and were able to “cruise switch with no problem.”

Stockli
Stockli
Based in Switzerland, Stockli isn’t a major player in the US market, and the company’s skis can be hard to find. Manufactured with the same
attention to detail as the heralded Swiss watches, Stockli’s skis are built with a sandwich construction, with both wood and synthetic cores, and the company isn’t afraid to tap into outside expertise to help design the freeride line. Both Scot Schmidt and Dominique Perret have left their mark on the company’s big-mountain tools. With three new park and pipe offerings, Stockli is bringing the durability and toughness of their big-mountain line to jibbers. Unfortunately we did not get the company’s 2008 product to test, so stoke meter ratings are N/A.

Stormrider DP Pro
L: 174, 184, 193, 201 D: 125-94-111
$: 1,050 Stoke: N/A
Legendary French big-mountain athlete Dominique Perret designed this wood-core ski with a sandwich construction. The ski features an asymmetric tail with polyamide inserts that allows the skis to be swapped from right to left to change their performance. When the polyamide inserts are on the inside of the ski, the DP Pro is, according to Stockli, torsionally softer, for a surfy ride in powder. Swap the skis from right to left (with the inserts on the outside edge) and the ski performs better on hard snow conditions.

Stormrider Scot Schmidt
L: 178, 188 D: 122-89-112
$: 1,040 Stoke: N/A
Scot Schmidt’s pro model, the Stormrider Scot Schmidt, returns unchanged for 2008. In past years, Freeskier staffers have found that this ski likes to go fast and straight. Available only in North America, the Scot Schmidt features a wood core, sandwich construction and is relatively beefy. Only the strong need apply.

Stormrider XXXL
L: 164, 178, 188 D: 122-89-112
$: 1,040 Stoke: N/A
The XXXL is billed as Stockli’s big-mountain, off-piste ski. At just under 90 mm at the waist, some skiers will find this ski a bit narrow. However, there’s no doubt that the relatively stiff, directional, wood-core XXXL can handle speed and — given the ski’s footprint — make long radius turns. Skiers who like the feeling of a race ski, and who tend to carve their turns no matter what the snow conditions should enjoy the XXXL.

Surface
Surface
Surface was started three years ago by a few collaborators looking for some fun and a couple of skis they could all enjoy. After the first season completed with just six skis in production, Surface was able to hook up with an Austrian manufacturer and start a full blown production cycle. With three models available ranging from a true park ski to big-mountain twin, Surface offers something for everyone.

Live Life
L: 179 D: 142-112-138
$: 580 Stoke: N/A
Surface’s Live Life is a backcountry freeride ski that’s beefy enough for bigger lines and kickers like Chad’s Gap. The Live Life has Surface’s S1 Carbon wood core to reduce weight and ABS sidewalls for strength and durability. With a fairly large footprint, the Live Life can handle the rigors of backcountry jibbing like riding switch into choppy snow. And the directional twin shape means you don’t give up

Watch Life
L: 171, 181 D: 122-87-112 @ 181
$: 350 Stoke: 7
Jumps: 6 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 7 All-Mnt: 8
The Watch Life came to our test mounted center and tuned well, two good qualities for a park demo. Our testers loved the flex pattern as it was “sweet, torsionally very rigid.” One tester was so amped, he spun it around A51 over and over and raved, “Awesome park ski! If you like style, grace and skiing, this ski is for you.”

Switch
Switch
Switch is a small Colorado manufacturer that builds skis featuring full-width wood cores with a triaxial fiberglass laminate for durability. The company essentially builds one ski, but each length has a different shape: the longer the ski, the fatter it is. Switch can also build skis to your own specs, a welcome offering in a world where it’s hard to find individually tailored products built for specific needs.

Havoc
L: 180 D: 114-86-114
$: 550 Stoke: 6
Jumps: 7 Pipe: 6
Playfulness: 7 All-Mnt: 7
Last year we panned Switch, giving the company a mere 4 on the stoke meter. This year conditions were different and it moved up a couple of notches. Both our all-mountain and park testers agreed the ski was a better incarnation that the previous version. The skis were still “weird on groomers” and had a “small sweet spot” but in deeper snow
they performed much better, with one tester describing them as “great fun.” Our park testers thought the ski was “super playful” and one commented, “I like the symmetrical feel.”

Unity
Unity
Colorado-based snowboard company Unity has been making skis for special friends and clients for three years. Increased word of mouth demand led to the company’s decision to add skis to its snowboard line for 2008. Unity has four offerings for next year that all boast a two-year warranty and full-length maple cores. We tested two: the HiattTwin, designed by pro athlete Trevor Hiatt, and the 181 cm PowSki.

HiattTwin
L: 190 D: 155-140-155
$: 800 Stoke: 7.5
These skis are massive at 190 cm long and 140 mm under foot. The design lends itself to use in powder and soft snow conditions. Testers found them “easy, easy, easy” to ski in the fresh stuff and liked the “super-surfy” feel. But make no mistakes. This ski is not a carver. Like the other Unity ski we tried, the ski — due to its girth — feels more like a snowboard underfoot than a ski. Testers said that “it likes to pivot” underfoot, making it a real machine in tight trees and new snow, where you can get up to speed — and shut ‘er down — very quickly.

PowSki
L: 181 D: 132-102-120
$: 725 Stoke: 6
With a full-length maple core, Aramid fiber damping in the tip and tail and Durasurf sintered bases, Unity’s PowSki rides a bit differently than the offerings from other companies. Unity is a snowboard company first and foremost and this ski borrows characteristics you’d expect from a single plank. “Pivots easily” and “a very smeary ski” were two comments. If you like to skid and smear your turns, you’ll like these skis. But the PowSki’s inability to hook up and carve railroad tracks on the groomers cost it stoke points with testers.

Volkl
Volkl
Drawing upon its rich racing heritage and constant R&D, Volkl holds its standards high when it comes to attention to detail and the time and effort put into its ski design. Consequently, Volkl always produces some of the best skis on the market and plenty of its skis are ranked high on our stoke meter this year. Highlights for 2008 include dual layer wood cores in many models, which make for lighter skis that flex more consistently, and Volkl’s new “armed edge” technology, which adds strength and durability for when you hit rocks or bonk rails.

Sumo
L: 175, 190 D: 150-125-142
$1,000 Stoke: 7.5
The Sumo shouldn’t be your daily driver, it’s much too big and fat for that. The Sumo is for those special deep days where it “gets up to speed likea bat out of Hell” and “effortlessly turns on any kind of terrain.” If you are looking for a pow ski to add to your quiver and have the cash, you can’t go wrong with the Sumo.

Katana
L: 168, 176, 183, 190, 197 D: 140-111-130
$975 Stoke: 9
New for 2008, this ski is billed by Volkl as a “powder-only weapon.” It is true that the ski “rules powder like an ancient warrior!” but the Katana is, according to testers, much more than a pure pow ride. “The most stable and responsive big mountain ski ever,” raved one. “These things are SICK,” said another, “I skied them in nasty wind crust and they even made that fun.” If you are a big-mountain aficionado, the Katana is one of the best offerings out there.

Gotama
L: 168, 176, 183, 190 D: 133-105-124
$795 Stoke: 8
With Volkl’s dual-layer sensorwood core for lightness and consistent flex, the Gotama is one of the most versatile and fun skis for 2008. This is a ski that “works well everywhere” and is “fast and lively.” At 105 mm under foot, it’s “big enough to stomp your landings” yet still “supple through tight trees.” If you ski everywhere and want a one-ski quiver, this is a very solid choice for 2008.

Mantra
L: 170, 177, 184, 191 D: 133-96-116
$795 Stoke: 7.5
If you live on the East Coast but take a trip or two out West each season, the Mantra could be your ski. The ski is “fast and solid on groomers” and “handles hardpack and rough chop with ease.” The footprint of the ski is “fat enough for pow and crud” but also makes the ski “very quick from edge to edge.” It’s a solid offering from Volkl.

Aura
L: 156, 163, 170, 177 D: 130-94-113
$795 Stoke: 8.5
With two sheets of titanium and a full sensor wood core, this is one of the beefiest – if not the beefiest – women-specific ski in the freeride big-mountain category for 2008. Needless to say, our testers loved it. “Holds an edge everywhere and can handle everything,” raved one. “Rad on the steeps and in the crud,” and “for a ripping chick who likes to blow the boys off the mountain” were a few comments from testers. If you are an expert skier and you want the best tool for the trade, the Aura is it.

Bridge
L: 161, 169, 177, 185 D: 130-92-112
$: 695 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 7 Pipe: 5
Playfulness: 4 All-Mtn: 9.5
This ski absolutely slayed it when it came to all mountain performance. As one well-versed tester said, “This ski is the shit if you’re looking for an all-mountain destroyer and occasionally want to dabble in the park.” This ski definitely “bridges” the gap between park and big-mountain skiing. It’s big enough under foot and plenty stiff to hold up well all over the place, yet isn’t going to hinder your performance of basic park moves.

The Wall
L: 161, 169, 177, 185 D: 115-87-115
$: 600 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 9 Pipe: 8
Playfulness: 8 All-Mtn: 8
The top-notch construction and durability one has come to expect from Volkl have been focused on a strict park ski in the Wall and the results couldn’t have been more favorable. The Wall has a completely new, fully symmetrical twin-tip design that registered as a strong favorite amongst testers. The dimensions were “spot-on” according to one tester and another said, “the Wall skis very well outside of the park, but the park is home to the Wall.”

Ledge
L: 148, 158, 168, 178 D: 111-81-104
$: 450 Stoke: 6.75
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 7
Playfulness: 7 All-Mtn: 7
The Ledge’s smaller size and soft flex made this a great “intro park ski” according to many of our testers. Being skinnier, it was playful and more forgiving on landings, but it lacked the energy of the Wall. It wasn’t as stable at high speeds but tooled around the park well for its smaller size.

Pearl
L: 148, 158, 168, 178 D: 111-81-104
$: 695 Stoke: 8
Jumps: 8 Pipe: 8.5
Playfulness: 9.5 All-Mtn: 7
Volkl’s women’s park offering, the Pearl, was very responsive and lightweight, perfect for smaller women looking for a sturdy and solid park ski. It features Volkl’s vertical sidewalls, which help it hold an edge on higher-speed carves. This is the kind of ski any girl can jump on and be instantly comfortable with.

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