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Ranger 108 TI

Fischer

2017

rating2.80

price$850

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.18 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.11 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.96 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.89 / 5
Overall: 
2.80 / 5
Flotation: 
2.78 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH108mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST140-108-130

LEVELIntermediate

LENGTHS174, 182, 188

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The narrowest ski finished last in Flotation. But don’t write off the Ranger on powder days just yet. Fischer power and edginess are there, for great hardpack versatility, but there’s nothing locked-in about it when quick line changes are required. The wood core is channeled, the top surface rounded— both to save weight. And a light tip gives it easy-to-pivot quickness in powder. Elling: “Excels in soft snow. Pivot, scrub, carve, and pound at will.”

 

Black Majic

Scott

2017

rating2.79

price$700

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.67 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.87 / 5
Crud Performance: 
1.80 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.36 / 5
Overall: 
2.79 / 5
Flotation: 
1.66 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH78mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST122-78-112

LEVEL

LENGTHS157, 167, 177, 184

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The narrow, carvy Black Majic, which debuted for the 2015-16 season, returns unchanged for 2017. It's the flagship model of the Scott's All Conditions collection, designed to spend the majority of its time on-piste. It's offered in four lengths, each with its own graphic, ranging from 157 cm to 184 cm, with slender, groomed-snow-appropriate waist widths ranging from 75 mm (at 157 cm) up to 80 mm (at 184). The Black Majic features Scott's distinctive Elliptic construction, with its elliptical (or humped) top sheet. The rounded profile is designed to save weight while stiffening torsional rigidity. Don't mistake it for a cap construction: Under the curved top sheet it's a true laminate construction, with a full-length wood core milled in an arch-topped shape. Metal-reinforcement (two sheets of aluminum alloy-one above and one below the core) gives it additional torsional rigidty, durability, and high-speed calm. The shortened sidewalls below the arched top give it a less aggressive edge bite than full-sidewall skis. A touch of tip rocker absorbs terrain shocks and adds soft-snow flotation. Scott's 3D Sidecut breaks the ski into three sections, with a straighter section underfoot and deeper sidecut radii in the tip and tail. This is designed to improve stability at speed and give the ski a playful easy-pivoting feel. The Scott brand was founded in 1958 when Sun Valley racer and ski-tuner Ed Scott developed the first tapered aluminum ski pole. It has grown into a multisport conglomerate (bike, wintersports, motosports, and running) based in Givisiez, Switzerland, with U.S. headquarters in Salt Lake City. It began making skis in 1998. It also makes poles, goggles, and boots. -J.C.

BMX115

Kastle

2017

rating2.78

price$1049

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.14 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
1.70 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.06 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.63 / 5
Overall: 
2.78 / 5
Flotation: 
3.94 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH115mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST141-115-130

LEVEL

LENGTHS177, 185, 193

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The BMX 115 is the widest ski Kastle makes, a rockered, tapered, deep-powder surfer built for maximum flotation. Metal-free construction keeps it as light and lively as possible for its width. It's offered flat or with either a 16- or 14-DIN binding. The BMX series includes three models (105, 105HP, and 115) ranging in width from 105 to 115 mm. They're the widest skis Kastle makes, built for maximum flotation and loose, slashy performance in deep snow on big terrain. The 115 is a metal-free construction; the 105 is offered metal-free or in a beefier HP version built with two sheets of Titanal for added power, edge-grip and high-speed calm. All models are full-wood-core, vertical-sidewall, laminate constructions for durability, power, and hardpack edge grip. Low camber underfoot enhances carvability on hardpack in between storms. Rocker and tapered shape in both the tip and tail combine to keep it loose and pivoty when the powder's deep. Kastle's Elliptical Radius sidecut is progressively tighter fore and aft, for quick turn initiations and strong finishes. The Hollowtech tip is a Kastle signature: All but a thin translucent layer is removed from an egg-shaped cutout in the tip. This reduces swing weight, and because there's less mass, tip vibration is reduced, so the ski is quieter on the snow and hooks up into a carved turn more readily. K_stle, based in Hohenems, Austria, was founded in 1924, when race coach Aton Kastle developed an all-ash ski. In the 1960s, it had great success with its CPM (compound-plastic-metal) constructions. The brand has an illustrious racing heritage, with World Cup stars such as Pirmin Zurbriggen and Kjetil Andre Aamodt. In 1991 it was purchased by Benetton and folded into the Nordica division. In 2007 it was divested and returned to Hohenems. Its U.S. headquarters are in Vail, Colorado. -J.C.

Stormrider Pro 115

Stockli

2017

rating2.78

price$1399

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.65 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.14 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.26 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.43 / 5
Overall: 
2.78 / 5
Flotation: 
3.05 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH115mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST137-115-128

LEVEL

LENGTHS185, 195

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The Stormrider Pro 115, returning unchanged for 2017, is the widest and most powerful Stormrider, built for strong experts and big-mountain freeriding. Stockli gives it just a touch of tip rocker, and it comes in just two lengths, 185 and a massive 195 cm (weighing in at 4,390 grams per pair). Both models have long-turn sidecuts (24.0 and 28.0 meters, respectively) for high-speed stability. Stockli's Stormrider series, built for adventuresome freeriding, has expanded to eight models. The series includes the Swiss brand's top sellers in the U.S. market. Waist widths have grown over the past few years, now ranging from a powder-specific 115 mm down to a touring-appropriate 83 mm. The series now includes two women's models at 85 and 100 mm. Rocker profiles vary, from subtle to pronounced, depending on model. All are classic Stockli constructions: wood cores for responsiveness and integrity, metal reinforcement for durability and high-speed calm, vertical sidewalls for optimized edge grip and solidity. One notable difference between Stormrider constructions and other Stocklis is that the upper layer of metal serves as the topsheet of the ski, rather than being covered by another laminate. This makes the topsheets uncommonly durable and gives the Stormriders a rich look. Core compositions vary from model to model. Stockli's Light Core combines two different woods-sturdy, resilient ash and lightweight ceiba (a West African species). Stockli's Super Light Cores incorporate balsa wood along with the other two for additional weight savings. Stockli Skis, founded in 1935 and under its third generation of family ownership, is based in Wohusen, Switzerland, near Lucerne. -J.C.

Scrapper 115

Scott

2017

rating2.75

price$600

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.86 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
1.74 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.43 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.53 / 5
Overall: 
2.75 / 5
Flotation: 
3.56 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH115mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST142-115-131

LEVEL

LENGTHS182, 189

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The twin-tipped Scrapper, with its powder-ready 115 mm waist, is the widest ski in Scott's collection. (The Scrapper 124 has been retired for 2017.) It's a quiver ski for deep-powder days. It's a wood-core laminate construction built for durability and high performance in deep snow, though vertical sidewalls give it a measure of hard-snow edginess as well. Fiberglass reinforcement, rather than metal, keeps it light and responsive in soft-snow conditions. The core is paulownia, prized for its light weight. Moderate rocker in both the tip and tail enhances buoyancy and shock-absorption in off-piste conditions while keeping it loose and surfy in deep snow. Scott's 3D Sidecut breaks the ski into three sections, with a straighter section underfoot and deeper sidecut radii in the tip and tail. This is designed to improve stability at speed and give the ski a playful easy-pivoting feel. The Scott brand was founded in 1958 when Sun Valley racer and ski-tuner Ed Scott developed the first tapered aluminum ski pole. It has grown into a multisport conglomerate (bike, wintersports, motosports, and running) based in Givisiez, Switzerland, with U.S. headquarters in Salt Lake City. It began making skis in 1998. It also makes poles, goggles, and boots. -J.C.

Famous 10

Rossignol

2017

rating2.76

price$900

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.58 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.95 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.33 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.93 / 5
Overall: 
2.76 / 5
Flotation: 
1.74 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH73mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST127-73-109

LEVEL

LENGTHS149, 156, 163

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The 2017 Rossignol Famous 10, with its narrow, edgy 73-mm waist, is Rossignol's highest-performing groomed-snow carver, aimed at expert women who know how to set an edge and aren't afraid of speed. It's sold only as a system, with an 11-DIN Look NX binding. (Rossignol-branded bindings have been discontinued for 2017. Sister-brand Look now provides all bindings for Rossignol system skis.) Rossignol's Famous line of frontside women's carving/cruising skis includes three models (down from four last year), all with groomer-ready waist widths of 73 or 74 mm. Tight sidecut radii (around 12 meters) make them eager carvers for women who know how to tip and pressure a ski. They're similar to the men's Pursuit line of hard-snow carvers, but in lighter, softer constructions suitable to women. All are built on airy paulownia wood cores. Subtle tip rocker smooths out terrain shocks and hastens hook-up in new turns, while full camber underfoot gives them strong edge grip and snappy rebound. All are sold as systems (ie., with binding). Rossignol, along with sister brands Dynastar, Lange, and Look, is based in Voiron, a small town near Grenoble in southeastern France, where it was founded in 1907 by avid skier Abel Rossignol. Its U.S. headquarters are in Park City, Utah. -J.C.

Super Charger

K2

2017

rating2.71

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.95 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.58 / 5
Crud Performance: 
1.71 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.01 / 5
Overall: 
2.71 / 5
Flotation: 
1.46 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH76mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST127-76-107

LEVEL

LENGTHS161, 168, 175, 182

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The K2 Super Charger, new for 2017, isn't the most expensive or narrowest of the new Piste collection of Chargers (see Speed Charger), but K2 nevertheless designates it as the flagship of the collection, meaning it's likely to be the top seller. It's the same construction as the Speed, but with a wider, 76-mm waist width. Not quite as quick, edgy, or demanding as the Speed, it'll be more versatile in softer snow (eg., typical groomed conditions short of Eastern ice) with a wider platform for easier balance. It's sold only as a system, with a 12-DIN K2-branded, Marker-made MXCell binding. The K2 Piste collection gets a total overhaul for 2017, now comprising three new models of hard-snow carvers with waist widths of 72 mm (Speed Charger), and 76 mm (in both the flaghip Super Charger model and the value-priced Charger model). The top two models, Speed and Super, are built for maximum carving performance. Both are full wood cores, mixing lightweight paulownia for liveliness with denser aspen for strength, edge power, and durability. Metal reinforcement increases durability and edge power as well, while adding extra vibration dampening for high-speed stability. Full-length vertical sidewalls further buttress hard-snow edge-bite for tip-to-tail knifeiness. And K2's Full ROX reinforcement adds extra power and snap on top of it all with a grid of strategically angled carbon fiber that strengthens torsional rigidity (twist-resistance-good for edge grip) without affecting the way the ski flexes longitudinally to engage its sidecut. The value-priced model, the Charger, is a more forgiving and economical construction. All feature "cheater GS" style sidecuts, with radii in the 17- to 18-mm range. A touch of rocker in the tip-K2's Speed Rocker design-absorbs terrain shocks and loosens up the tip for drifted turn initiations. All are classic K2 torsion-box constructions (wood wrapped in fiberglass). All are sold only as systems with Marker bindings. The new Charger collection replaces the discontinued AMP series (Bolt, Charger, and Velocity) in the K2 line. K2 was founded in 1962 by the Kirschner brothers, who pioneered the use of fiberglass in ski construction at their Vashon Island, Wash., factory. The brand is now based in Seattle and builds its skis in China. It is owned by Newell Brands, a consumer products conglomerate. -J.C.

X-max X12

Salomon

2017

rating2.70

price$950

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.75 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.01 / 5
Crud Performance: 
1.99 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.99 / 5
Overall: 
2.70 / 5
Flotation: 
1.29 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH73mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST120-73-103

LEVEL

LENGTHS155, 160, 165, 170, 175

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For the ultra-light, super-quick twitchiness of carbon, see the X-Max X12. But for reassuringly calm performance at the highest speeds, many expert hard-snow carvers will prefer the heft and edge security of the metal-reinforced Salomon X-Max X12. It's a precision arc machine built for race-ready performance on groomer days, sold only as a system, with a sturdy 12-DIN Salomon XT Ti binding. Salomon expanded the Frontside Performance X-Max series of narrow, high-precision carvers to three models for 2017, renaming the X-Max the X-Max 12 and building a model above it (X-Max X14) and one below it (X-Max X10). All share the same 73-mm waist, for hard-snow quickness and edge grip. The signature technology is Salomon's Powerframe reinforcement system, a layer at the top of the layup that is strategically shaped to deliver maximum energy to key transmission zones tip and tail. In the top of the line X14, its all carbon fiber, for ultralight quickness and responsiveness. In the X12, it's Titanal (aluminum alloy), for a heftier, more robust dampness at high speeds. In both models, the Powerframe layer extends all the way through the tail (Powerframe+), for strong turn finishes and rearward support. In the X10, it stops short of the tail, for easier-to-skid turn finishes that allow quicker speed control (Powerframe, no "plus"). For additional stability and dampness, both top models also feature Salomon's Powerline reinforcement: a narrow tip-to-tail strip of snappy carbon fiber mellowed by a sheath of rubber. It's anchored underfoot but free-floating tip and tail in a way that allows the ski to bend roundly into its arc. The top two models are full wood-core constructions; the X10's Hybrid more-forgiving core is foam down the middle (light, soft, economical) with wood over the edges where it's needed for edging strength. The top two models feature Koroyd tips; a honeycomb structure of air pockets that reduces swing weight. All are sold as systems (with binding). Salomon has been headquartered in Annecy, France, since its founding there in 1947. Along with sister brands Atomic and ArcTeryx, it is a division of Amer Sports of Finland, which acquired it in 2005. Its U.S. headquarters are in Ogden, Utah. -J.C.

The Ski Women's

Scott

2017

rating2.70

price$600

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.00 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.73 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.34 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.74 / 5
Overall: 
2.70 / 5
Flotation: 
2.14 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH88mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST125-88-115

LEVEL

LENGTHS155, 160, 165

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The Ski W is Scott's women's version of its signature model. It's identical in construction to the men's version, but offered in three shorter (and thus lighter) female-appropriate lengths, each with its own graphic. Scott builds it with all-mountain versatility in mind. With a mid-fat waist width of 88 mm (89 in the longest length), it's intended for equal duty on and off piste in predominantly soft-snow locales. The Ski W features Scott's distinctive Elliptic construction, with its arched (elliptical) top sheet. It's a metal-free construction, which keeps it light, lively and economical. The rounded profile is designed to save weight while stiffening torsional rigidity. But don't mistake it for a cap construction: Under the curved top sheet it's a true laminate construction, with a full-length wood core milled in an arch-topped shape. The shortened sidewalls below the arched top give it a less aggressive edge bite than full-sidewall skis. A touch of tip rocker absorbs terrain shocks and adds soft-snow flotation. Scott's 3D Sidecut breaks the ski into three sections, with a straighter section underfoot and deeper sidecut radii in the tip and tail. This is designed to improve stability at speed and give the ski a playful easy-pivoting feel. The Scott brand was founded in 1958 when Sun Valley racer and ski-tuner Ed Scott developed the first tapered aluminum ski pole. It has grown into a multisport conglomerate (bike, wintersports, motosports, and running) based in Givisiez, Switzerland, with U.S. headquarters in Salt Lake City. It began making skis in 1998. It also makes poles, goggles, and boots. -J.C.

Amphibio 14 TI2

Elan

2017

rating2.68

price$950

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
2.61 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.10 / 5
Crud Performance: 
1.83 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.06 / 5
Overall: 
2.68 / 5
Flotation: 
1.30 / 5

YEAR2016/2017

WAIST WIDTH73mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST121-73-104

LEVEL

LENGTHS160, 166, 172, 178

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