The Best Big-Mountain Skis of 2017
The Best Big-Mountain Skis of 2017
Ski News 4 September, 2016
It’s that time of the year folks, ski manufactures have let the industry test their attempts to the perfect ski. Our friends at Freeskier have done a massive undertaking of testing most of all the new stuff that is out there and we start by giving you their review of the best big-mountain skis of 2017.
The definition of a big-mountain skis goes as follows: a set of planks that can handle everything from the fluffy stuff, the not so fluffy stuff and every other kind of stuff in-between, all while remaining firm and steady at high speeds. Whether you’re dropping a gnarly cliff or sending it on a pow day, these are the skis that can get you there. Usually in widths of 100.114mm. They can be divided in two categories: Freeride and Freestyle, basically dividing it up in stiffer and not so stiff skis to land those park stile tricks in the backcountry.
Top 5 100-114 mm Freeride skis of 2017:
# 1. Nordica Enforcer 100
Testers experienced pure elation whilst ripping this ski, from firm morning groomers, to midday off-roading through the chop, to late afternoon slush bumps. “It’s unreal,” said one tester plainly. “So smooth and stable. Corners like it’s on rails.” Two sheets of metal over the edges complement its beech and poplar core, yielding outstanding power transmission and torsional stability. Considerable camber underfoot guarantees strong edge hold, and blunted, rockered tips and tails make crud busting a cake walk. “Super snappy and responsive. Rips like a World Cup slalom ski. It’s also amazing in bumps and crud,” gushed another.
Turn Radius: 18.5 m @ 185
#2. Armada Invictus Ti
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The Invictus 108 Ti is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” Really, though, this charger’s stability is absolutely incredible, and it’s the perfect tool for those who want go fast, Ricky Bobby style (recognize Eleanor’s “quote” yet?). That reputation is owed to rock-solid construction that includes carbon, Kevlar and two layers of Titanal. Nose rocker plows through the best and worst conditions, and durable edges and topsheets hold up against seasons of beatings. “An absolute missile going down the mountain,” declared one tester. “Definitely an all-mountain ski that you can use anywhere.”
Turn Radius: 23 m @ 178
# 3. K2 Pinnacle 105
The Pinnacle 105 is back for its second year, and our testers are still impressed. “These skis are money,” one noted. “Great edge grip and control, light swing weight, burly enough to handle crud at speed, great everyday ski.” K2 combines midweight aspen wood with Nanolite—a lightweight, low-density composite—running down the center and in the tips and tails of the core for a reduction in swing weight. Denser materials are placed closer to the edges to distribute the weight to the perimeter, allowing for consistent power and pressure to the edges. Last but not least, moderate rocker is added into the mix, resulting in an aggressive frontside ski that’s powerful enough to charge and light enough to toss around
Turn Radius: 19 m @ 184
# 4. Völkl 100Eight
You want to have control and confidence when ripping, yeah? The 100Eight has you covered, just take it from one satisfied tester: “Unbelievably responsive ski. Tell it to do anything, and it will answer with grace.” Woods of different densities in the ski—denser underfoot and light along the perimeter and tip and tail—strike a balance between playfulness and stability. Its full sidewalls provide edge grip. Pair those qualities with weight-reducing, Hulk-strong carbon strips and you’ve got one incredible set of all-mountain boards
Turn Radius: 24.5 m @ 189
# 5. Kästle BMX 105 HP
Some skis just make you want to go fast, and the BMX105 HP is absolutely one of those skis. Between the burly silver fir wood and two layers of supportive Titanal, Kästle really struck a chord power-wise. Traditional camber underfoot had our squad arcing turns effortlessly, rockered tips helped them float over the all snow conditions like they were all the same. Both the tip and tail feature a bit of taper for hook-free skiing, so you’ll be worry-free whilst hauling ass. “Initiates and holds the turn all the way until the transition” one tester affirmed. “I really do not want to give them back.”
Turn Radius: 21 m @ 181
Top 5 100-114 mm Freestyle skis of 2017:
#1. Blizzard Gunsmoke
Time and time again, the Gunsmoke tops the charts. This marks the ski’s fifth appearance among the Editor’s Picks, and its second time in the number 1 spot. With perfect scores for versatility and float you can rest assured this heavy hitter can handle everything from the deepest of powder days to chunder-filled steeps to frontside hardpack and everything in between. Our testers confirmed, “could ski them everyday, anywhere” and “the ski rips groomers like a champ yet is crazy fun in the crud.” Blizzard combines rigid ISO composite material with mid-density poplar and bamboo in the care. This pairs with the rocker-camber-rocker profile for a knockout combination of power and playfulness. The numbers never lie—this ski is one of the best out there.
Turn Radius: 22 m @ 186
#2. Faction Candide 3.0
It should come as no surprise that the Frenchman Candide Thovex’s pro model ski received a perfect score in the playfulness category. Low-density, hybrid balsa wood keeps weight down and the fun factor up. Rocker in the tip and tail produces maneuverability and float. Titanal mounting plates and camber underfoot help you max out your speed comfortably, too. “Absolutely f#cking loved it,” gushed one tester, while another noted it was a “fun maneuverable ski.” A third stated, “Really lively and poppy, stable and quick. It does everything, period.”
Turn Radius: 22 m @ 186
#3. 4FRNT Devistator
As its name implies, the Devastator was designed to ravage, ruin, wreck, pillage, plunder and lay waste to every mogul, glade, groomer, chute or cliff in its wake. With overwhelmingly positive remarks, our testers confirmed 4FRNT hit the nail on the head. “Navigates really nicely in bumps and handles itself well at high speeds,” said one, while another detailed, “This is the ski for everything … devours chalk and pow and crushes the groomers.” VibeVeil—a composite, elastic membrane incorporated into the tip of the ski—stabilizes the ride, while a poplar and ash wood core yields an ideal blend of power and pop. A full reverse camber profile increases playfulness, maneuverability and float when the freshies await.
Turn Radius: 25 m
#4. K2 Marksman
The all-new Marksman is Pep Fujas’ own Frankenstein’s monster. It incorporates the outer tip shape of the K2 Pinnacle 105 and the inner profile of the K2 Pettitor, resulting in an asymmetrical profile that testers say increases maneuverability. “Holy crap, I love these skis,” exclaimed one. “This is a super fun, surfy and jibby all-mountain ski.” Mid-density aspen in the core’s center keeps weight down and adds considerable liveliness and pop. High-density fir wood over the edges translates to solid power and response for when you’re layin’ ’em over. So, set the monster loose and let it ravage all the snowy lands—no trails, bumps, tree runs, cliffs nor pow fields are safe.
Turn Radius: 20 m @ 184
#5. Blizzard Peacemaker
Paradoxically, the Peacemaker wages war on all aspects of the mountain. It’s a certified hard-charger—as in, it handles like Jeff Gordon—with a hefty dose of press, pop and play in its DNA. “It’s poppy and loves to go backwards yet has that classic Blizzard stability,” said one tester, while another loved it so much they dubbed it “the one ski quiver—suitable in every condition.” Rocker in the tip and tail makes for a nimble ride through trees, bumps and variable terrain, while camber underfoot provides that absurd handling. The 104-mm waist is suitable for almost any conditions you might encounter.
Turn Radius: 21 m @ 186
If you want to read out the rest of the All mountain skis that came further down the raking go to freeskier.com Enjoy:)
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