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Kendo

Volkl

2015

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rating3.43

price$775

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.69 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.68 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.66 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.88 / 5
Overall: 
3.43 / 5
Flotation: 
2.51 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH89mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST126-89-110

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS163, 170, 177, 184

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MSRP: $775.00
RATING: 3.43 / 5

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Here's an option for skiers ready for something just a little wider. Unlike other Volkls, the Kendo didn't thrill testers with any one skill, but it does almost anything a re- sort skier asks of it and puts up consistent scores across the board. Testers were more excited about other Volkls (see Groomed Snow and Mixed Snow West). But the steady Kendo is a reliable ride. Gleason: "Smooth, consistent, yet vigorous."

Gotama

Volkl

2015

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rating3.84

price$825

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.77 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.05 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.81 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.55 / 5
Overall: 
3.84 / 5
Flotation: 
3.82 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH107mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST139-107-123

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS170, 178, 186, 194

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MSRP: $825.00
RATING: 3.84 / 5

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Manufacturers keep entering wider and wider waists in this category, and testers keep reward- ing them. The long-esteemed Gotama belongs to Volkl's Big Mountain collection, but it's plenty happy on typical resort terrain, especially if there's soft snow to be found. Testers loved its flotation and crud-busting skills-not surprising, given its considerable girth and terrain-smoothing full- length rocker. And while it's not especially quick in tight spots, it's remarkably manageable for such a big ski. Basso: "Volkl has the full-rocker thing figured out. A great one-ski-quiver for Little Cottonwood Canyon."

Kenja

Volkl

2015

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rating3.89

price$775

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.95 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
4.01 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.64 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.30 / 5
Overall: 
3.89 / 5
Flotation: 
2.77 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH87mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST127-87-106

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS

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MSRP: $775.00
RATING: 3.89 / 5

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A precise and cunning slayer, this perennial winner attacks the hill with audacity and tenacity. It's hyperalert to input, which means yours had better be good, and it prefers to move at eye-watering speeds. It shares the indomitable construction- metal, fiberglass, and wood-of the Aura (another perennial winner in Mixed West) but with an ice-dicing waist width. Sounds a little menacing? Yes. (Testers didn't nickname it the Railin' Ninja for nothing.) But those who can wield it will rip the guts out of any run, regardless of how hard the snow is. "This much fun on a ski should be illegal," said Brown Lovell.

Bridge

Volkl

2015

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rating3.39

price$700

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.15 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.06 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.55 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.67 / 5
Overall: 
3.39 / 5
Flotation: 
3.20 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH95mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST128-95-115

LEVELIntermediate

LENGTHS163, 171, 179, 187

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MSRP: $700.00
RATING: 3.39 / 5

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Aura

Volkl

2015

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rating3.71

price$825

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
4.13 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.73 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.86 / 5
Forgiveness: 
3.29 / 5
Overall: 
3.71 / 5
Flotation: 
3.57 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH100mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST132-100-118

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS156, 163, 170

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MSRP: $825.00
RATING: 3.71 / 5

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Some would argue this perennial winner didn't need redesigning, but when it comes to perfection- ism, Volkl's R&D guys are clinical. The idea was to give it a new tapered tip and full rocker for more maneuverability and accessibility. Well, fans of the original will be happy to hear that while the rocker does offer a measure of forgiveness, the Aura still skis like it has something to prove. It's the women's version of the Mantra and it boasts two sheets of metal that stand up to hard-charging, deep-trenching women. It earned No. 1 in Stability and Hard Snow and No. 2 in Crud. "Volkl = integ- rity = performance," said Jenn Gibbons.

Stormrider Motion

Stökli

2015

rating3.09

price$1098

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.76 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.69 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.75 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.64 / 5
Overall: 
3.09 / 5
Flotation: 
2.45 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH84, 85, 86mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST127-84-109 (159); 12

LEVELIntermediate

LENGTHS159, 167, 175

MSRP: $1098.90
RATING: 3.09 / 5

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The new all-mountain women's ski from Stockli has an 85-mm waist, so it's preferred habitat is groomed snow, but it's wide enough to handle mixed-snow conditions too. Stockli, known for its cambered precision on hardpack, introduces Powder Rocker in this ski-the longest rockered tip in its collection. A new wood core is 10 percent lighter than the unisex version, with linen-reinforced balsa wood combined with fuma and ash, then reinforced with metal. The wood core lends responsiveness and integrity; the metal laminates durability and high-speed calm. Vertical sidewalls give edge grip and solidity. Women's models, like the Motion, also boast a Softflex construction, which is more flexible for lighter frames and easier to control. Stockli Skis, now under its third generation of family ownership, is based in Wohusen, Switzerland, near Lucerne.

Stormrider Pro

Stökli

2015

rating2.91

price$1538

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
4.22 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.49 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.27 / 5
Forgiveness: 
1.87 / 5
Overall: 
2.91 / 5
Flotation: 
3.38 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH105, 106mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST136-105-123 (190); 1

LEVELExpert

LENGTHS190, 201

MSRP: $1538.90
RATING: 2.91 / 5

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Built for strong experts and big-mountain freeriding, the Stormrider Pro returns again this season. It's the stiffest and most powerful Stormrider, and Stockli gives it a bit of tip rocker. It comes in two lengths-big (190 cm, 105 mm waist) and bigger (201 cm, 106 mm waist). Both models have long-turn sidecuts (27.5 and 31.8 radii respectively) for high-speed stability. Stockli's Stormrider series is a collection of eight models built for freeriding adventurers. The series includes the Swiss brand's top sellers in the U.S. market, and waist widths range from a powder-ready 115 mm to a touring-capable 79 mm (at 170 cm). Rocker profiles vary, from subtle to pronounced, depending on model, and all are classic Stockli constructions: wood cores for responsiveness, metal reinforcement for durability, and high-speed calm, vertical sidewalls for optimized edge grip and solidity. A main difference between Stormrider constructions and other Stocklis is the upper layer of metal that 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 appearance. Core compositions, though, vary from model to model. Stockli's Light Core combines two different woods-sturdy, resilient ash and lightweight fuma (a tropical hardwood). Stockli's Super Light Cores incorporate balsa wood along with the other two for additional weight savings. Here's what testers say: "This ski is not as mean as it looks. It makes me want to go find a cliff and jump off. It's surprisingly easy to make quick turns, and has lots of horsepower. Bring your A-game!" – Colin "This is a big burly ski for big burly guys. It only has one turn shape: Big. Not very agile or playful. You need big open terrain to ski with it-tight trees are not an option unless you have tree trunks for legs." – Mike Britt "The Stormrider Pro is damp to a fault. Pretty awesome, though, just plows through everything. Strong skiers with race boots will love these. They're hard-charging tanks." – Jeremy Benson "For the right guy, this is a great ski. It just kinda kicks my ass. Meaty, hefty, really stable. Sketchy on the traverse, but loves the fall line. Racy but refined." – Kevin Luby

Stormrider 88

Stökli

2015

rating3.41

price$1098

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
4.15 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
4.04 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.42 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.83 / 5
Overall: 
3.41 / 5
Flotation: 
2.75 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH88mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST127-88113

LEVELIntermediate

LENGTHS168, 177, 186

MSRP: $1098.90
RATING: 3.41 / 5

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You know who you are. Patrol does too; they just can't catch you. Testers anointed this the true speed demon of the Mixed Snow East category. It wasn't just No. 1 in Stability at Speed; it was No. 1 by a lot. And it's surprisingly versatile, too. Testers gave it high marks for its crud skills, but they were so blown away by its race-ready, Swiss-made precision in fast arcs that it was almost all they could talk about. Expert hard-snow chargers (who can afford it) will meet their match; intermediates will be overmatched. Moffatt: "Smooth, solid, awe- some. I want to make an analogy to some luxury car, but I've never driven one this nice."

Stormrider 95

Stökli

2014

rating3.63

price$1208

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
4.09 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
3.87 / 5
Crud Performance: 
3.51 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.78 / 5
Overall: 
3.63 / 5
Flotation: 
2.89 / 5

YEAR2013/2014

WAIST WIDTH95mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST128-95-117

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS166, 174, 183, 192

MSRP: $1208.00
RATING: 3.63 / 5

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For a Stockli, the Stormrider 95 struck testers as almost forgiving. But it's still a ski that'll outrun you if you don't stay on top of it. Its groomed- snow excellence isn't merely a factor of its relatively nar- row width. Stockli heritage shines through: two sheets of metal, sturdy sidewalls, high- quality base material, etc. It adds up to smooth power and trustworthy edginess on hard snow. Dyer: "For bigger, stronger Western chargers, it's an A-plus choice."

Spirit Motion

Stökli

2015

rating2.63

price$1098

Ratings
Stability At Speed: 
3.05 / 5
Hard Snow Performance: 
2.93 / 5
Crud Performance: 
2.39 / 5
Forgiveness: 
2.35 / 5
Overall: 
2.63 / 5
Flotation: 
1.58 / 5

YEAR2014/2015

WAIST WIDTH66mm

TIP/TAIL/WAIST122-66-107 (150); 12

LEVELAdvanced

LENGTHS150, 155, 160, 165

MSRP: $1098.90
RATING: 2.63 / 5

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