3-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (17/18)

Cy Whitling (see Bio)


I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 3-ski quiver?

Skiing primarily at Grand Targhee, I don’t feel like I need a super narrow ski, so, while some would probably put some sort of race-influenced carving ski, or jibby park ski on this list, I can’t honestly remember the last day I wished I was on something narrower than 106 mm underfoot.

I spend a little less than half my time touring, and I love seeking out natural hits and fresh snow when I am in the backcountry, so I don’t have any dire need for a super light touring ski in my quiver. So, the boxes I’m looking to check are as follows: (1) a do-everything 50/50 ski that I can put alpine or touring bindings on and take on trips, or take up to the hill without checking the snow report and know I’m going to have fun (106-112 mm underfoot); (2) a wider (116-118 mm underfoot) but similarly capable ski for deeper days; and finally (c) the ski that made me feel most like a professional skier last year (120 mm underfoot).

Ski #1: Moment Deathwish, 184 cm

The first ski that immediately springs to mind whenever I talk about “x-ski quivers” is the Moment Deathwish in a 184 cm. That’s a ski you’re going to hear me talk about a lot more in the 2- and 1-ski quiver sections in the coming weeks, so I won’t go into too much depth here, but it’s a pretty perfect ski in most conditions for me. I find it to be stable, very predictable, and easy to turn exactly when and how I want it to, and it’s playful enough that I can have fun on it even at mountains with smaller terrain features, or with terrible snow. It’s also light enough (~2000 g) that I wouldn’t mind it as my only touring ski. I’d love to compare it to the Deathwish 106 Tour, and I have a feeling that once I ski that ski, the regular Deathwish might lose its spot in my 3-ski-quiver list. But until then, the regular Deathwish mounted with inserts for the Tyrolia Attack 13 and Fritschi Tecton 12 is my top choice. I like having a ski that I can take out on any day, at any mountain, and know I’m going to have a great time. The Deathwish is that ski for me. If pushed, I could substitute the Sego Big Horn 106 here, and not really mind too much since it shares a lot of the Deathwish’s character.

Blister Review's 3-Ski Quiver Selections
Moment Deathwish


Ski #2: Tie — Moment Bibby / Blister Pro, 184 cm; ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm; Black Crows Anima, 187 cm

These three skis are pretty similar, and what I feel comfortable saying for now is that I’d be happy skiing any one of them as a deeper-days inbounds ski. Personally, I’d probably go with the Bibby / Blister Pro, because I’m partial to the topsheets, but I’d need more time A/B/C-ing these skis to really get clear on their performance differences.

In any case, I’d drill this ski with inserts for Attack 13’s and Tectons as well. I really like having a fat, capable-in-variable-conditions touring ski for days when I just want to jump off stuff in the backcountry.

Blister Review's 3-Ski Quiver Selections
Moment Blister Pro — Cy Whitling Edition


Ski #3: K2 Catamaran, 184 cm

My third ski makes the list simply because it makes me feel way cooler than I actually am. It is not a versatile ski — maybe the 190 cm version is moreso (I can’t wait to find out) — but in soft conditions, the Catamaran is the most fun thing I’ve ever had on my feet. It’s so playful, so jibby, so ready to smear and pop and tap and spin. I’ve never been on anything like it, and even though it wouldn’t see as much use as the other skis in my quiver, the days where it makes sense to take the Catamaran out are days worth remembering. And for reference, I’d mount the Catamaran with Tyrolia Attack 13’s.

Blister Review's 3-Ski Quiver Selections
K2 Catamaran


II. What skis were the most difficult to leave off your list?

I think the Armada ARV 116 JJ is close for me, and a lot of skiers may like it more than the Bibby / Anima / Kartel option I mentioned above. It’s more playful and forgiving than those skis, but it also feels just a little less precise, and has a little lower top end.

Similarly, the Sego Big Horn 106 is a great ski that, if the Deathwish didn’t exist, would probably take that first spot, and it’s a great option for skiers looking for something narrower.

Finally, the Atomic Backland 109 FR is a great 50/50 ski. I’ll be writing a lot more about it, but for now I’ll just say that it’s not quite versatile enough in variable conditions that I’d want to ski it inbounds as much as I ski the Deathwish, but it’s a very poppy and playful option, and it’s a blast in the backcountry.


III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

I think there’s a decent chance the Deathwish Tour makes it onto this list, but I’m not sure. I’m such a huge fan of the regular Deathwish that I’m not confident I want any changes made, even as a touring ski.

Maybe the 190 Catamaran will be just as fun, but more stable? We shall see.

This year I’ll be skiing Snow King a lot more, and Targhee less, so maybe the J Skis Metal will win my heart — my biggest question is whether it feels “too” directional compared to the skis I’m typically most interested in.


IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 3-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

This one’s hard. I could be very happy on a 3-ski Moment quiver (Deathwish, Deathwish Tour, Bibby), but I suspect that I could also get along fine on an ON3P quiver (Kartel 98, Kartel 108, Kartel 116), or a Sego Quiver (Big Horn 106, Tater Tot, Sloppy Joe). Chances are the Black Crows Atris, Anima Freebird, and Anima would also make a fun and capable quiver for me. So, I’d go Moment on this one, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world at all to go with another one of the brands mentioned here.


NEXT: Brian Lindahl’s 3-Ski Quiver Selections

21 comments on “3-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (17/18)”

  1. FYI about the BMT series and non-Marker binding compatibility: I’ve mounted the BMT 94 (also only made for Marker bindings) with the Vipec, but used inserts and haven’t had any issues to date. I’ve put 7 days on them last spring, Expert skier, style: 160 lbs and ski in a playful directional way, but fairly hard. I’ve even subjected them to a day of resort laps in firm, cruddy snow, that was just beginning to thaw a bit and they held up. They actually skied surprisingly well for their low weight..

    You guys really should have reviewed the BMT 94 before it was replaced with the now cambered BMT 90.. The 94 is soooo much fun as a narrow touring ski for firm / spring conditions. It has tenacious grip in firm snow, you wouldn’t even know it’s fully rockered! Until you try the first ankle initiated slarve in spring corn..

  2. Great write up, I was hoping you guys would drop a quiver article this year.

    There were a few mentions of using multiple binding patterns on the same ski with inserts. Have you noticed any change in performance or stiffness when there are multiple insert patterns drilled?

  3. The love for blizzards appears to be over compared to the last couple of years…. was it that good of a snow year in the US? ;)

    • For the Western side of the U.S., yeah. Some Californian resorts were open until August, and when the temps around 2 hours away were over 100f.

  4. Awesome stuff. Surprised the Nordica Enforcer 100 didn’t make anybody’s cut, since it reviewed well here (and everywhere else).

    Looking forward to the A/B of Monster 88 and 98. The 88 is on my short list, but may have a bit too much overlap with the Enforcer 100 sitting in my garage.

    • Hi, Tom – I mention the Enforcer 100 and offer my explanation. It’s a fantastic ski, no question. And others will prefer it to my pick – it’s such an easy ski to recommend.

      As for the Monster 88, I personally don’t think it has too much overlap with the Enforcer 100. On really firm snow, the Monster 88 blows the Enforcer 100 away in terms of stability at speed. Whereas in deeper snow, the Enforcer 100 would blow the Monster 88 away. The Monster 88 is simply one of the best / burliest firm-snow skis we’ve been on. I’m not 100% ready to put it in the same category as the Salomon X-Drive 8.8 … but I’m about 99.2% ready to do that. It’s really, really good.

  5. Pretty cool segment! Dialing in my 3 ski quiver has been a hobby of mine to kill time at work forever. It’d be nice if you mixed in a lady reviewer. I personally don’t like most skis over 115 underfoot because they drive me more than I do them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong ass lady and am by no means small but still it’s often too much much ski for me. Since most of these reviews had skis bigger than that I’d like to hear some lady’s opinions. Cmon at least add one before you publish an article like this…. we are 40% of the market.

  6. Jonathan,

    The quiver section is my favorite. Quick question for you. My travel quiver is Kastle MX84 185cm and Bibby Pro 190cm. What would you choose for the middle spot the Masterblaster or the Kartel. I am 6′ 220 expert. Ski mainly Utah and Wyoming. Thanks Steve

    • Hi, Steve – for this middle ski, the more you care about its carving / groomer performance, the more I’d opt for the Masterblaster. Beyond that, you just have to make the decision: the Masterblaster is the better firm-conditions ski, but it can also handle some deeper snow – easily 6-12″, where I, at least, wouldn’t hesitate to then break out the Bibby. The Kartel 108 is going to overlap more with the Bibby, but it’s certainly a fun, all-mountain ride. So I’d think you’d want to go with it the more interested you are in — when you’re not skiing the Bibby — opting for 1 of 2 very different styles of ski, the MX84 (traditional carver) or the Kartel 108 (more versatile, way more playful, all-mountain ski). I.e., the MX84 anchors the groomer / carving side of the quiver. The Bibby anchors your deep snow / variable conditons end. Now just decide where you’re willing to overlap a bit / have zero performance gaps (MX84 + Kartel 108 + Bibby, or MX84 + Masterblaster + Bibby). Two good options, just depends now on your preferences.

  7. I am surprised you picked the Kartel 108 over the Wrenegade 108 given you prefer directional skis. I am assuming the bump up in playfulness of the Kartel is greater than the bump up in stability of the Wrenegade. Is that a correct assumption or were you looking for greater differentiation between skis in your three ski quiver?

  8. I realize this is not really what blister is about but I’m surprised that even though you pick skis specifically for groomers nobody chose an actual SL/GS carving ski like the Fischer RC4, Stöckli Laser, Nordica Dobermann etc.
    Has any of you ever skied something like that?

    • You and I may be in a club of two here at Blister, but I enjoy skiing my Head SLs and Titans as much as my wider skis.

      It doesn’t hurt that these skis usually come out on bluebird, windless days, and that crowds on those days tend to run around 20% of a good powder day!

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