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

Paul Forward (see Bio)


I. What’s your 2-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?

I live and do most of my skiing in the Chugach range of Alaska, so I want a big powder ski for touring in big terrain, and especially for heli ski guiding. So I’m going to again go for the DPS Lotus 124 Alchemist Spoon. It’s the best ski for me at the moment for what I do every winter. A skinnier ski just won’t do what I need it to for my work, and I can still smash around the ski area on the Lotus 124 in most conditions. As I mentioned in my 3-ski quiver, I can also use the Lotus 124 as a pow touring ski with some creative binding solutions, but they’d be mounted up with Salomon STH 16’s for most of the winter.

Blister Review's 3-Ski Quiver Selections
DPS Lotus 124 Alchemist Spoon


With alpine bindings on the Lotus 124’s during most of the winter, I would need another ski to tour on during my days off from guiding and during the early season. While I’d like something that might satisfy my desire to carve a more powerful turn on firm snow, I’d probably have to go for the Volkl BMT 109 again as it will satisfy my need for an everyday, all-conditions touring ski and, when mounted with something like a Marker Kingpin, would still be passable for traveling and inbounds riding.

Blister Review's 3-Ski Quiver Selections
Volkl BMT 109


II. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location?

My location and ski-related work in Alaska are strongly linked with my selection of a >120mm ski in a 2 ski quiver for home. I might have to go with something a bit more versatile if I was traveling a lot and might take the 190 cm Bibby Pro or Bibby Tour with a Marker Kingpin or Fritschi Tecton for powder and touring.

My second ski for traveling would also have a tech binding and should be capable of handling some inbounds conditions but primarily big tours in all conditions. I’d opt for the 184 cm Salomon Explore 95. It’s a light touring ski, but is surprisingly capable in firm and bumpy conditions.


III. What ski was most difficult to leave off your list?

It’s super tempting to have a pair of 100-110 mm boards in different constructions. A pair consisting of the Blizzard Cochise and a Zero G 108 could be a pretty decent 2-ski quiver for a lot of areas, but I have found the pow performance of both to be pretty lacking relative to their width.

The Volkl V-werks Katana is also a surprisingly versatile ski that could serve as a touring or inbounds ski.


IV. What ski do you imagine has the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski it, or get to ski it more?

The DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 is definitely of interest. I’m wary of it’s short sidecut radius, but on-snow performance often doesn’t line up with the numbers, and I have high hopes for the 189 cm version based on my time with the Alchemist Lotus 124.


V. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 2-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

I wish I had time on that DPS Alchemist Wailer 106. If it handles firm inbounds conditions reasonably well, then I’d just grab the Lotus 124 and Wailer 106 and probably be happy with whatever conditions I encountered.

Since I don’t know about the Wailer 106 yet, I would probably take two skis from the Volkl BMT line (the BMT 109 and BMT 122) and be set for touring in any depth of snow wherever I ended up.


NEXT: Scott Nelson’s 2-Ski Quiver Selections


9 comments on “2-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (17/18)”

  1. I’m not about to limit myself to two (really?!) pair, but I often have to do exactly that on road trips. This year:

    1. Head Titan: Because if you go — and it doesn’t snow — a guy has to dig some trenches (also a great ski for technicians in the bumps).

    2. Nordica Enforcer 100. A change in this slot from my much-loved Fischer Motive 95s the last few years. Haven’t skied them yet (thanks, rain) but I’ve got high hopes.

    • Hi, Troy, couple things: (1) the Raven is my pick for everyday touring ski, and we’ve gushed about that ski for two years now. (2) We haven’t reviewed all the current skis from 4FRNT. (3) I always love the anonymous “quite highly regarded” claims — highly regarded by whom? And more specifically, what did they praise them for? How well they worked as part of a 2-ski quiver? I say all that only as a reminder that the skis listed here are not answers to the question, “Which skis are good or bad?” but rather, “Which skis work well as part of a 1, 2, or 3-ski quiver?”

  2. I don’t have 4frnt and haven’t ever ridden them – not trying to be anonymous in any way either, just have seen the top mags (powder, ski, skiing & freeskier) all gush about this year’s 4frnt line and was surprised they didn’t get a mention. U guys do great work there and your views and your opinions are appreciated. Won’t get any hate from me, was just wondering if you had input on all the praise being thrown 4frnts way. Was looking at the 4frnt MSP and have read it stacks up or beats J’s MB. Either way, they both sound like great skis.

  3. Anyone have advice on a new ski purchase? I’m skiing about 14 days a year usually in Steamboat or Park City on vacations. Southern Vermont for weekend trips. I’m Solid advanced intermediate, like everybody else looking for soft snow to ski on resort no back country. I don’t ski park but want a fun ski. I currently own a J ski Masterblaster and thinking about getting something a little wider for vacations out west. I have been looking at the Deathwish, Sego big horn 106, ON3P Wrenegade 108, and the Cartel 108. I’m sure they are all great but i’d apreciate a push in the right direction.

    • Hi, I can’t speak to the Sego Big Horn 106 – so you’ll have to track Cy Whitling’s comments about it on the site and in our buyers’ guide, but the the Deathwish, Kartel 108, and Wren 108 are all pretty similar in terms of stability, forgiveness, quickness and intuitiveness. Honestly, I think mount point will be one of the biggest factors; the Wren 108 is the most set back, and that ski is the least playful / most directional of all the skis you mention. (Big Horn 106 & Kartel 108 are most progressive, then Deathwish, then Wren 108.) Still, they are all pretty easy and forgiving skis, so I’d think about how traditional (driving the shovels hard) you like to ski, or how upright / neutral / centered you prefer to stand on your skis, and that will go along way to determining whether the Wren 108 should be in play, or whether the other 3 skis will likely be the better (and more playful) fit for you. Hope that helps?

  4. Hi Jonathan, thanks the quiver section! It’s always very interesting and helpful! I’m thinking of adjusting my quiver a bit, that’s why I’m posting my question in this thread. I bought the Rossignol Soul 7 the season it came to the market mainly based on the reviews and suggestions on blister. I’m using it as my soft snow touring ski with pin bindings ever since then and absolutely love it. So thanks for supporting me to having made a very good buying decision some years back. :-)

    In the last year’s there have only been a few occasions with 24+” of fresh powder where I wished for wider skis with better floatation. However, I will be heading to Georgia (cat skiing and touring) and Japan this winter season where I will most probably encounter more of those deep powder conditions (hopefully!). That’s why I’m wondering if I should add a truly powder specific ski to my quiver. If so, I would for sure mount touring bindings and it should deliver a noticeable bump up in float and a similar skiing experience (easy and fun to ski, versatile, directional, intuitive, nimble, good performance in Soft chop, still touring friendly) to my Soul 7s.

    From what I have been reading on blister (and I already spent hours ) I think the atomic automatics 117 in 186cm would actually be the perfect choice. However, they are not produced anymore but I might find some 2nd hand deals on the web or maybe look into their successor, the backland FR. Since I never skied something wider than the 108mm on the Soul 7 188cm I’m just not quite sure if the 117 width makes sense for what I’m looking for or if I should go even wider..?! I don’t really want to buy super wide skis that would stay in my basement for the majority of the season. I’m living in the Alps and I think I would be able to use skis like the automatic on a quite regular basis also here at home. With anything much wider I doubt that a little..

    What’s your thoughts on this one and do you maybe have recommendations which other skis might fit the bill? I’m 6″1 and around 178 pounds.

    Thanks for your advice,

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