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We skied the Merlin V in three lengths and found three different personalities. At 198 cm, the ski is a pure-bred race sled with an overdrive gear-the piezoelectric modules literally calm the ski down as it gains speed.
If the Merlin V feels a bit too rambunctious for your taste, consider the agile, effortless Merlin IV.
These days, most shaped skis promise to boost your performance in a matter of seconds. But some people aren't so demanding in their leisure time. They just want to relax and have fun.
The Contour EXC, which has an ultralight Densolite core, is an EXCellent offshoot of Hart's popular Contour series.
Last year's story went something like this: Famous Austrian ski company gets giant slalom model caught in paper cutter. Resulting ski pleases nearly everybody and wins the Ski of the Year for 1997.
Most skis in the Aspiring Carver category aspire to make the turn easier. The Rossignol Energy 10.1 aspires to make it better.
The Atomic Beta Race 9.28 earned a gold medal in the race category because it handles speed like a 757-do 600 mph, and you could still sip your drink without spilling.
Unchanged from last year's gold medal ski, the Völkl Carver XT is once again the ski for discriminating Aspiring Carvers and lighter intermediates who have designs on becoming experts.
A new graphite base, added to the proven Beta dampening technology in the Beta CarvX 9.18, made for one of the slickest rides in the test. Everyone agreed "ease" is the operative word here.
Next to the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," you may find a picture of the Völkl Carver Plus.
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