Scott Nelson (see Bio)
I. What’s your 2-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?
As someone who primarily skis park most of the year, my 2-ski quiver would revolve around two distinct purposes: (1) big jump days and (2) everything else. I’d want a stiff, stable, traditional-camber park ski for days when the wind dies down and we can go out and hit big jumps in Freeway at Breckenridge. For those perfect days of 70+ foot jumps, I’d take along the Salomon NFX due to its best-in-class stability.
Of course, the NFX is so incredibly stiff and distinctly not playful, so for everything else (jibs, trees, steeps), I’d want something a bit wider and more playful that’s still fun for mellower park laps, while also being able to handle anything off of Pali chair at A-Basin. The RMU Apostle 98 handles a lot of variable snow conditions very well, both in and out of the park.
II. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location?
As I get older and spend fewer and fewer days each season in Freeway (and if I move away from those perfect Breckenridge jumps), I’ll have less and less of a need for skis like the NFX each year. For a dedicated park ski where I’m spending equal time hitting decent-sized jumps as well as jibs, the Head Caddy suitably handles all kinds of park features, and only makes a slight sacrifice in stability compared to the NFX.
To complement the Caddy, I’d choose the Nordica Soul Rider 97 as a wider, more playful option for all-mountain jibbing, tree skiing and spring slushy park cruising. While the Head Caddy is a practical option due to its versatility as a dedicated park ski, the Soul Rider 97 is an absolute blast on just about any terrain with the exception of charging big lines.
III. What ski was the most difficult to leave off your list?
The Faction Candide 2.0 is a very playful all-mountain jib ski that can handle a variety of different conditions that I ski daily in Colorado, from park jumps and jibs to trees and steeps. Its tip and tail rocker combined with a medium-stiff flex underfoot can handle medium sized jumps while still maintaining a surfy and buttery feel on jibs. I left it off this list, however, due to it not quite being as burly as the Apostle 98 at higher speeds and in variable conditions around the mountain. Not that the 2.0 struggles in these conditions, but I found that the Apostle 98 consistently outperforms the 2.0.
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?
I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to get on the ON3P Kartel 108 in the near future. It looks stiff and burly for hard charging around the mountain; wide and rockered enough to float in powder; but still surfy and playful enough to be my daily park ski.
V. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 2-ski quiver, which company would you pick?
I don’t yet have a clear answer to this question; in short, I need to get on several more skis that are on my radar. So my answer here is hypothetical, but if I had to choose 2 skis from the same company for this upcoming season, I would either go with RMU or Faction.
With RMU, I already love the Apostle 98 for its burly stiffness as an all-mountain jib ski that’s comfortable at high speeds and blasts through slush, and I’m very intrigued to see whether / how these qualities are reflected in the Apostle 106. While the Apostle 98 has been my daily driver, both in and out of the park in the past, the Rippah also looks like a potentially versatile dedicated park tool that blends playfulness and stability.
With Faction, it seems as though the same performance elements could be achieved with the combination of the Candide 1.0 and 2.0. The 1.0 looks like it could theoretically be a capable big jump ski that would fill the role of the NFX in my two-ski quiver above. And as I also mentioned above, the 2.0 is a playful all-mountain jib ski that capably handles my needs for just about everything else, from park jibs to tree skiing, steeps and most powder days.
NEXT: Sascha Anastas’ 2-Ski Quiver Selections