"Playful" isn' t what you expect from a ski this big, but the metal-free Patron is astonishingly light and snappy (No. 1 in Rebound) without-and this is the surprising part-any undue sacrifice of stability (No. 4). Credit the low profile of the rockered tip. It looks like a downhill race ski tip, and at first it' s a bit unnerving. Will it dive in powder? Spear itself into the backside of a cruddy bump? No to both, and the low tip puts more edge on the snow when the ski is flexed. So let it run, but don' t be afraid of tight spots, either.