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2013 Buyers Guide Preview: Best Hard Snow Skis

2013 Buyers Guide Preview: Best Hard Snow Skis

For skiers that like to go hard and fast, here's a few of our favorite 73-87 mm skis.
By Mark Elling and Joe Cutts
posted: 09/12/2012

When the snow isn't falling and all you have it corduroy, you may as well hit it hard. Below are a few of our favorite skis for those hardpack days from our 2013 Buyers Guide. Read all Hard Snow ski reviews in our 2013 Buyers Guide on newsstands September 25, 2012.

Men's Hard Snow
Blizzard Magnum 8.0 Ti  The No. 1 ski in the Hard Snow category ought to be No. 1 in Hard-Snow Grip, and the edgy, powerful Magnum 8.0 is. Throw in No. 1 scores for Quickness and Stability at speed, often opposing characteristics, and it’s no wonder the Magnum earns the top Overall Impression score as well. Speed-loving, groomer-ripping carve technicians will love how cleanly it follows its arc in any turn shape, while a touch of rocker gives it appreciable soft-snow versatility (though it’s still somewhat crud-averse). Ski it all day, then throw on a coat of wax and crush your night-league opponents.  | ◆ | ◆◆   
MSRP: $850 flat
Dimensions: 122-80-107
Radius: 18.5 m (172 cm)
Average Score: 3.33
Rocker: Slight, tip and tail

Kästle MX 83  The new 83 fills a key waist-width gap in Kästle’s premium-priced, traditionally cambered all-mountain MX collection. It’s a damp, silken big-turn cruiser, not as quick getting off edge as others in the category but a solid No. 3 for Stability. It’s also No. 3 in Crud Performance, where it uses its damp power rather than agility to smooth out choppy snow and afternoon mush piles at speed. “Clean, predictable, dependable.” ◆ | ◆ | ◆◆

MSRP: $1,179 flat
Dimensions: 123-83-109
Radius: 20.5 m (183 cm)
Average Score: 3.07
Rocker: None

Women's Hard Snow
Dynastar Exclusive Elite  We consistently ranked Dynastars in the top of
our Forgiveness criterion. The Elite (No. 3) was no exception. Surprising, then, that testers defined it by its strong character. Even more surprising is that our test team could find nothing to complain about. Stable, confident, friendly but not a pushover, it tips you into your turn smoothly, supports you at every angle, then pats you on the back afterward.  | ◆ | ◆ | ◆◆   

MSRP: $900 with binding
Dimensions: 120-73-104
Radius: 14 m (165 cm)
Average Score: 3.19
Rocker: None

HEAD Mya No. 6  This year, Head incorporated ERA 3.0 into its Mya line, adding rocker (good for absorbing bumps), a progressive sidecut radius (requires less angulation to initiate), and “intellifibers” (to reduce vibration in the tip). What does this mean for you? A solid, supple, confident, and energetic carver that loves to start and finish a turn. Testers gushed about its snow contact and, one noted, “It plows through the muck without even telling you about it.” ◆ | ◆ | ◆◆   

MSRP: $750 with binding
Dimensions: 127-79-109
Radius: 11.2 m (156 cm)
Average Score: 3.01
Rocker: Tip only

 

Click here for more ski previews from our 2013 Buyers Guide.

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