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Gear Guide Sampler: Carvers

Award-winning frontside slayers from Skiing's 2013 Gear Guide.
posted: 09/24/2012

You learned a lesson last year. Everyone should have a ski that, when trees and bowls are grim, will have you incising the piste like Sanjay Gupta slices neurons. So get a scalpel for your collection. If you're already keen for the front side, let these pages whet your appetite.

Rossi Pursuit HP

Awards:
2013 Ski of the Year (among skis under 100-mm in waist width)
2013 Official Selection

Dimensions: 125-81-111
MSRP: $1050
“I love her,” said one Eastern tester. “Can I take her home?” Not one single test card contained a negative remark, which is why we named this front-side thriller Ski of the Year among skis narrower than 100 millimeters at the waist. It holds talon-like to the hardest snow and cuts clean, round arcs with the precision of a scalpel, yet it’s forgiving and easy to disengage—a rare and difficult-to-achieve blend. “Snappy short turns,” said another tester, “yet smooth and stable at high speed.” Leaning them against the rack at day’s end, a third noted that he “left the hill feeling strong and confident.”


Line Prophet 85

Awards:
2013 Testers' Choice
2013 Official Selection


Dimensions: 125-81-111
MSRP: $690
Want a talented carver with a freeride look and a playful disposition to match? This is your ski. “A powder skier’s groomer ski,” said one tester. Whereas many skis in its waist-width range preferred not to leave groomed snow, the versatile Prophet 85 transitioned from corduroy to bumps and crud without blinking. It’s truly an all-mountain ski, but in a narrow package. “Never thought I’d like this as much as I did,” said a Northeastern tester.

 

K2 AMP Aftershock

Awards:
2013 Official Selection


Dimensions: 130-86-114
MSRP: $1260
Dependability and ease are its hallmarks, but the Aftershock is anything but boring. It loves cleaving deep grooves in groomed snow at high speed and does so in a measured, non-frenetic way. “Totally predictable,” said one tester. “A no-brainer that does everything well.” A touch of tip rocker makes for effortless carve initiation and easy handling in choppy snow. The Aftershock and its A.M.P. Series brethren are heirs to the cool competence of K2’s legendary Apache series.

 

WOMEN

K2 Super Glide

Awards:
2013 Official Selection


Dimensions: 127-80-109
MSRP: $1000
Its name was cause for some chairlift snickering, but on snow the Superglide was no joke, winning a Testers’ Choice award. It glues itself to the hill and smooths out any chatter in variable terrain. A friendly, carefree ride, it received high marks for forgiveness, playfulness, and maneuverability. And though it favors groomers, wind-buffed bumps and week-old crud present no serious problems. “It’s hard to make a bad turn with this ski,” said one Colorado tester, a professional ski instructor. It’s a hop-on-and-go ski with a natural flex and the perfect amount of rebound—an advancing intermediate’s dream with plenty of juice for experts.

 

Kastle MX 83

Awards:
2013 Official Selection


Dimensions: 123-83-109
MSRP: $1179
“An inspiring ski,” said one tester. “A well-balanced blend of carving chops and playfulness,” said another. The MX 88 is a perennial star, and for heavier experts this ski was smeary and easy to steer in trees, bumps, and chop. Lighter testers found it slightly bossy off-piste, but both camps praised its unflappable grip and quiet turns on groomed snow. Admiration for the snubby tip’s easy but firm initiation popped up on a few test cards.

 

Salomon Origins Bamboo

Awards:
2013 Official Selection

Dimensions: 123-74-103
MSRP: $750
Testers loved the adaptability of the Bamboo. Tip it over and it welcomes speedy groomer skiing. Back it off and it’s happy to mosey around the mountain. It’s more of a corduroy tool, but one tester found its tight-radius turns ideal for firm conditions in the trees and bumps. “This ski is the life of the party,” she said. Some questioned its performance on bulletproof, but no one wants to ski that anyway…right?

 

Find these reviews and more in the print and tablet editions of Skiing's 2013 Gear Guide. Subscribe HERE or grab a copy at your local ski shop. Want your shop to carry them? Tell them to email us: editor@skiingmag.com.

 

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