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2013 Buyers Guide Preview: Powder Skis

2013 Buyers Guide Preview: Powder Skis

Sneak Peek: Here are the top two men's and women's powder skis from this year's test. Check out the full results on newsstands now.
By Joe Cutts
posted: 08/27/2012
Mike Rogan at 2013 Ski Test

We're just one month away from releasing our 2013 Buyers Guide with the results of our annual ski and boot tests. Consistently regarded as the best in the industry, our test puts 137 skis and 96 boots through the wringer. Only 119 products performed well enough to earn a coveted SKI Magazine Gold Medal. Over the next four weeks, we'll introduce you to a few of the top performers, including these four from the Deep Snow categoryCheck back next week for standouts from the Mixed Snow group. 

Men's Deep Snow

Nordica Helldorado You just want it to live up to its menacing graphic (the black Death, as one tester put it), but the new Helldorado does more than that. Together with its metal-free brother, the Patron, it dominates the Deep Snow rankings. T ere might be wider, more buoyant skis in the category, but none with greater terrain and snow-conditions versatility than the Helldo (No. 1 in Balance of Skills). With metal reinforcement and a calm, low-profi le tip shape, it has smooth power to spare—“a big, bold ride that takes no prisoners”—and surprising hard-snow game for a board this wide. ◆ |  ◆ ◆

MSRP: $999 flat
Dimensions: 143-113-132
Radius: 18.5 m (185 cm)
Average Score: 3.54
Rocker: Moderate tip and tail

Nordica Patron The returning patron is no. 2 in the category again this year, second only to its evil twin, the Helldorado. They’re identical in shape and rocker, but the Patron is metal-free, so it’s lighter and livelier, No. 1 in both Quickness and Forgiveness in a category of sometimes lumbering giants. Meanwhile, the low-profi le tip gives it quiet confi dence at speed, even in crud. Light-touch experts especially will approve. “Its quickness makes you forget how big it is in tight spots.”  ◆ | ◆ | ◆ ◆

MSRP: $949 flat
Dimensions: 143-113-132
Radius: 18.5 m (185 cm)
Average Score: 3.52
Rocker: Moderate tip and tail

Women's Deep Snow

Nordica La Nina Most companies are making great skis these days, but every so often our testers click into something that just sings. Enter La Niña, Nordica’s all-new women’s powder ski. On fi rst impression, testers thought the 185-cm test length looked like a monster. Once underfoot, though, it felt like an extension of their bodies as it smoothly absorbed crud, snapped through tight trees, and railed on hardpack. Aggressive rocker at tip and tail and camber underfoot are the magic combination, giving a big ski intended for serious skiers a huge measure of forgiveness and fun.  ◆ | ◆ | ◆ ◆

MSRP: $949 flat
Dimensions: 143-113-132 
Radius: 14.5 m (169 cm)
Average Score: 3.63
Rocker: Tip and tail

Rossignol S7 The cult ski that spawned a slew of imitators gathered medals again. The now classic design that transformed powder technique—rockered spoon tip, cambered midbody, rockered pintail—earns No. 1 in Forgiveness and Quickness, and No. 2 in Overall Impression. Its loose, easy feel makes it maneuverable at high or low speeds and accessible to a variety of skill levels. An all-wood core with carbon fibers keeps it lightweight and strong. “Effortless strength and speed.” | ◆ | ◆ | ◆ ◆

MSRP: $800 flat
Dimensions: 140-110-118
Radius: 14.8 m (178 cm)
Average Score: 3.59
Rocker: High tip and tail

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

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