Freestyle skiing has numerous avenues—street hits, jump lines, halfpipes and rails—and when your imagination is firing, you don’t want skis that hold you back. The latest breed of skis, the best park skis of the year, boast the symmetrical designs, minimal swing weights and plentiful pop you need to nail the line you see. First try or tenth… that’s up to you.
For the freestyle-focused rippers out there, the Vandal is a one-stop-shop. Easily a daily driver out West or on the East Coast, this ski features a decent dose of camber and a solid flex underfoot derived from a poplar-beech-poplar sandwiched wood core. Clicked into the Vandal, you’ll charge the groomers, crud and moguls while ollie-ing over anything you please. Just a smidge of tip and tail rocker enable you to slide into turns or even throw the ski sideways—spraying the hell out of that Yellow Jacket in your way. Really, though, this ski is essentially an all-mountain/park ski, so don’t be afraid to hit the jump line on your way down.
The BDOG is Phil Casabon’s namesake ski and tool of choice, and it’s one of the best park skis of the year. Boasting a poplar and ash core, the ski provides a soft and playful ride that’s ideal for your next park or urban mission. You’ll notice that the sidecut actually straightens out through the tip and tail of the ski. This provides more surface area, reduces edge-catch and, along with a soft flex pattern in those zones, makes the ski perfect for pressing onto ledges, rails and whatever else you want to bang on. Whether you’re hitting the streets of Montreal or the bonkin’ barrels at your local terrain park, the BDOG is ready for action.
You may recall seeing the Nightstick atop the 2014 Olympic slopestyle podium. Guess what… it’s unchanged and still that good, ranking as one of the best park skis (once again) this winter. For starters, sintered bases add a turbo boost of speed on every in-run. But the bases and edges are also reinforced for durability and sandwich sidewall construction further promotes the ski’s resilience. As for the profile, you’re getting classic, symmetrical hourglass shape with a healthy dose of camber for ridiculous pop and confidence when sticking big landings. The Fischer’s Nightstick is a workhorse—a mainstay for die-hard park and pipe skiers—that’ll stick with you from practice sessions until the cameras are rolling.
J skis The Vacation
Hit play on your Jimmy Buffet playlist and slap on some sunscreen—you’re about to take a ride that’ll have you yearning for a Piña Colada at the après. With a 104-millimeter width underfoot, gently rockered tips and tails and a consistent, ultra-soft flex pattern, The Vacation is truly constructed for your high-flying enjoyment. Rounding out the vibe, these skis feature a distinctively tapered geometry in the tip that’s designed to pivot quickly and avoid tip/tail catching when you’re swapping from forwards to backwards. All in all, the design here is marked by stable feel underfoot whilst buttering, grinding rails, dropping pillows or stomping landings.
Redesigned for this year, the Line Blend returns as one of the best park skis to transform your greatest freestyle fantasies into reality. Wider, blunted tips and tails, a completely symmetrical design with longer effective edge and a uniquely forgiving flex pattern instill a ride that promotes buttering and popping while the 100-millimeter waist width provides a bigger platform for stomping landings. Inside, the Maple Macroblock wood core—two, full-length maple stringers surrounded by aspen wood—instills a tough-as-nails construction, and extra-thick bases and edges ensure you can bash’n’thrash this ski on rails, boxes or whatever else you come across. And a five-point sidecut ensures better edge control when you’re bombing the hill. Let your imagination run wild and, of course, don’t forget to bend your Blends.
Line Tom Wallisch Pro
Tom Wallisch, a pioneer in the freestyle skiing world and a mainstay on the Line Skis roster for six years strong, made sure that the latest iteration of his Pro Model further enhances the terrain park prowess of anyone who clicks into ‘em. Constructed with super durable “fatty” base and edges, the Maple Macroblock wood core sandwiches full-length maple stringers between strips of aspen and a completely symmetrical flex pattern. Blunted tips and tails are ideal for buttering and the balanced weight makes these skis easy to spin and stomp. Bottom line: The TW Pro is meant to stand up to banger days in the terrain park or long nights exploring the unforgiving streets, earning a well-deserved spot on our list of the best park skis this season.