Easily the most distinctive shapes to come along this year-or indeed for many years-the BBRs are the singular creation of Bertrand Krafft. (Beber to his friends. BBR for short). Krafft is Salomon designer who also gave the world the Pocket Rocket and X-Scream skis. The V-shaped ski, with huge, pointed, surfboard-like tip, a deep sidecut, and a drastically tapered, semi-twin tail, is designed to embrace the real-world conditions skiers encounter at the slopes, not just untracked powder. With its radical sidecut, the BBR will carve on hard snow, while its broad shovel/tip gives it a measure of float on powder days. There are two versions. The 7.9 is a monocoque (structural cap) construction-also with a full wood core. That should give it a more forgiving feel, and it' s narrower waist (79 mm) will tolerate harder snow better than the 8.9. Pulse Pad technology-a strip of rubber laid in above the edge-quiets vibrations and absorbs shocks.