2010-2011 ON3P Caylor, 191cm, Blister Gear Review

2010-2011 ON3P Caylor, 191cm

Ski: 2010-2011 ON3P Caylor, 191cm 

Dimensions (mm): 148-120-140

Turn Radius: 27.4 meters

Actual tip to tail length – straight tape pull: 193cm

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Supercharger Ignition / Head Mojo 15, DIN at 12

Mount Location: recommended (3cm back from true center)

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin; Eaglecrest; Colorado and Alaska Backcountry

Days Skied: ~25

The past few seasons I’ve been on an epic quest to find the perfect powder ski, or at least my perfect powder ski. During my search I spent time on a handful of fun-shape skis: the Armada JJ, Armada ARG, K2 Hellbent, Moment Bibby Pro, Moment Donner Party, and Praxis Mountain Jib, just to name a few. While all of these skis were particularly good at certain things, none had the versatility that I sought. I was after a ski that excelled in all soft-snow conditions, backcountry trickery, and that could survive when the snow was less than ideal. After a few years of searching – and ever evolving ski design – I finally found my ski.

The Caylor is a soft snow machine, and dominates in a variety of conditions. This winter, I was able to ride the Caylor in nearly every variety of soft snow imaginable: perfect, blower pow; old, faceted sugar; thick, wind-affected snow; heavy maritime pow; rain-soaked slop; and deep slush. In the most difficult of conditions I never struggled with the Caylor. A medium-stiff flex was neither too soft nor too stiff; it simply felt good in all forms of powder. I could feel the skis flex and respond to my movements. Although a soft flex on an aggressively rockered ski can be quite fun (e.g., the K2 Hellbent), a stiffer flex like that of the Caylor provides a greater amount of versatility. This stiffer flex certainly didn’t diminish my desire to go airborne, and in some cases, I preferred it.

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2011-2012 4FRNT Switchblade, 181cm, Blister Gear Review

2011-2012 4FRNT Switchblade, 181cm

Ski: 2011-2012 4FRNT Switchblade, 181cm 

Dimensions (mm): 122-89-116

Turn Radius: 18.4 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 179cm

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Supercharger Enforcer / 4FRNT demo, DIN at 10

Mount Location: -1cm from true center

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin

Days Skied: 2

Memorial Day weekend yielded beautiful, sunny weather at Arapahoe Basin. This was quite the change from all the snow A-Basin had been getting the last few weeks. Spring had finally arrived, just in time for A Basin’s biggest party of the year, the 10th Annual Festival of the Brewpubs. It was also the perfect time to test 4FRNT’s newest park ski. Good times!

Arapahoe Basin’s Treeline Park was in excellent condition for this time of the season. A blustery tailwind combatted the slushy conditions and allowed the jumps to stay open most of the weekend, allowing me to spend a couple of full days testing the Switchblade in its element.

For me, the Switchblade’s moderately stiff flex was pretty ideal for a park ski. Butters and presses were manageable, but did require a little bit of effort. Though stiff, the flex was consistent and predictable – there was no guesswork when setting presses of any kind. I frequently found myself skipping jumps and rails so I could jib their rollers. But while butters and nose blocks were a blast on the Switchblade, jumps were really where the ski shined.

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2nd Look: 2011-2012 Black Diamond Amperage, 185cm, Blister Gear Review

2nd Look: 2012-2013 Black Diamond AMPerage, 185cm

Ski: 2012-2013 Black Diamond AMPerage

Dimensions (mm): 142-115-124

Turn Radius: 22 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 185.4 cm

Boots/ Bindings: Noridca Supercharger Ignition/ Marker Griffon, DIN (10)

Mount Location: +1 from recommended

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin

Days Skied: 2

(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 AMPerage, which is unchanged for 12/13.)

When Jonathan Ellsworth and I left Colorado Springs on Saturday, May 21st, temps were already in the 60’s and the sky was bluebird. I was planning to ski 4FRNT’s flagship park ski for next season, the Switchblade, but Mother Nature decided that this late May weekend would be better suited to testing powder skis. Good thing the Black Diamond AMPerage was one of the 11 pairs of skis loaded in to the back of Jonathan’s FJ Cruiser….

11 skis, 4 pairs of boots, 5 packs, 1 kitchen sink.

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2nd Look: 2011-2012 Icelantic Da'Nollie, 180cm, Blister Gear Review

2nd Look: Icelantic Da’Nollie, 180cm

Will Brown reviews the Icelantic Da'Nollie, Blister Gear Review
13/14 Icelantic Da’Nollie

Ski: 2013-2014 Icelantic Da’Nollie, 180cm

Dimensions (mm): 118-88-118

Turn Radius: 20 meters

Actual tip to tail length: 177.2 cm

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Supercharger Ignition / Marker Griffon, DIN (10)

Mount Location: Core Center

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin

Days Skied: 2

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Da’Nollie, which is unchanged for 12/13 and 13/14, except for the graphics.]

You may know Icelantic because of their fresh graphics and unusual designs, like the relatively short Shaman with that enormous shovel.

The 11/12 Icelantic Da’Nollie, however, is nothing revolutionary design-wise as far as park skis go; but it’s just about as good as park skis come.

When I arrived at A-Basin for what would be my first day on the Da’Nollie, I was still recovering from the previous day’s bluegrass festival and end of the year party.  Needless to say, I was a little low on energy that first day. My first run on the Da’Nollie, however, snapped me out of my morning stupor, and I quickly learned that the Da’Nollie is a very lively and playful ski.  I took a few laps on Black Mountain Express while I waited for the rest of the BLISTER crew to get ready, and I was immediately impressed. I found the Da’Nollie to be very quick from edge to edge, and it felt lively when carving – responding well to my every move.

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