We can talk until we’re blue in the face about waist width, cambers, sidecuts and wood types, but in the end, we know that some of you will decide your next purchase of skis solely based on looks. And heck, maybe that’s OK! Ski companies enlist the help of talented artists from around the world to make sure that the skis they produce look as good as they ride. So, after browsing the Editor’s Picks from this year’s Buyer’s Guide, our editors narrowed down the ten best ski graphics of 2014. Mind you, this list is completely subjective. The skis are ranked in no particular order. Feel free to nominate your own personal picks in the comments section below.
Wiley Miller likes to rock a bit of “native” in his signature gear, and this is evidenced in the 2013/14 YLE. A bevy of various tribal headdresses, tomahawks, and jewelry adorn the artwork done by Max Neutra, perfect for Wiley’s wild style.
Overall Score: 19.01 | Price: $710
Sammy Carlson’s pro model park ski has some explosive graphics. The giant fist, located in the tips, appears to be crushing something into oblivion, perhaps a metaphor for the way Sammy destroys the slopestyle course?
Overall Score: 20.80 | Price: $600
“As a slopestyle gold medalist at Winter X Games 15 in Aspen, Sammy Carlson knows a thing or two about what goes into making a good park ski…” Click for full review and scores.
The TSTw features subtle, bold graphics. We dig the color scheme. You’ll also notice hearts and keys around the skis’ midsection, signifying that the TSTw is, “the key to your heart.”
Overall Score: 21.14 | Price: $850
“It’s sort of mind blowing how well this ski performs,” said one tester about the TSTw. Like her big brother, the TST, she boasts a rockered tip and positive camber underfoot…” Click for full review and scores.
The AR7 features an illustration done by the artist Saddo, which seems to portray some sort of medieval warriors in one spot, and perhaps gives a nod to el dia de los muertos in another. Overall, we’re impressed by the intricacy of the design more than anything else.
Overall Score: 21.13 | Price: $650
“The golden staple of park skis for a hot minute, and it’s no wonder why,” said one of our testers, who later joked, “If this ski were a woman, I’d marry it…” Click for full review and scores.
One can see the influence that Jossi Wells had on the graphics of the Infamous; can you find the motorcycle that graces this top sheet?
Overall Score: 20.40 | Price: $400
“Dropping a midseason release in 2012-13, Atomic made waves with this brainchild of Jossi Wells. “This ski is incredible. So responsive and fun,” said one tester…” Click for full review and scores.
Is there anything more intimidating than a giant cobra on your top sheet? The same way this cobra will sink its teeth deep into your flesh, Sean Pettit uses this tool to cut trenches through fresh pow. Nothing but the best for the pro model of Mr. Cool, Sean Pettit.
Overall Score: 18.90 | Price: $840
“The second iteration of Sean Pettit’s pro model features a mellower tip profile to ensure predictability in a variety of conditions…” Click for full review and scores.
Eric Pollard has always been behind the artwork of both the MPO and Sir. Francis Bacon skis. His oriental style certainly shines in the MPO with the red, rising sun along with the beautiful “Earth Mama” snaking her way from tip to tail.
Overall Score: 19.30 | Price: $880
“Eric Pollard’s masterpiece returns unchanged this year because frankly, there was nothing wrong with it. Along with some schnazzy new artwork by the man himself…” Click for full review and scores.
The Line Sick Day 125 boasts an illustration of what appears to be a badass tree house, complete with old airplane propellors and a snowmobile. Looks like a ski bum oasis to us.
Overall Score: 19.09 | Price: $940
“Tell your boss you’re sick today and go have a sick day on these puppies. The fattest of the new Sick Day line, the 125 is a bangin’ ski that’s not afraid to have a little fun along the way…” Click for full review and scores.
The “mexican gunslinger” graphics on the Patron have long made a statement on the hill, but Nordica dialed it back a bit this year, with the more refined, elegant ram now gracing the top sheet.
Overall Score: 19.82 | Price: $749
“The Patron has been on the top shelf of Nordica’s freeskiing lineup for a couple of years and this year is no different. The playful powder slayer hits the sweet spot with a floaty, yet agile waist width…” Click for full review and scores.
Embedded in the blue top sheet of the Völkl One are some trippy graphics that look like something out of a Salvador Dali painting—thereby, this ski is certainly worthy of making the cut.
Overall Score: 19.25 | Price: $750
“This brand new ski from Völkl blurs the line between big-mountain and powder boards. Balancing the strengths of the Katana and the Shiro, the One gathers energy from a wood core and carbon backbone…” Click for full review and scores.
Which graphic do you dig the most? Cast your vote below.[poll id=”10″]