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.
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.
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