2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (18/19)

Intro

Picking a 3-ski quiver is tricky, and you’ll notice a fair amount of hand-wringing and second-guessing in our 3-ski quiver selections. And things get even more difficult when trying to trim that to two skis.

When narrowing a quiver down from three skis to two skis, a wide range of factors still come into play: your skiing style; the snow quantity and snow quality (heavier/wetter vs. lighter/drier) of the area you typically ski; the sort of terrain you ski most (tight trees? groomers? big faces?); whether you travel much to ski elsewhere; and whether or not you do any ski touring, or do all of your skiing inbounds.

So, once again, we’ve asked our reviewers to weigh in on their 2-ski quiver picks to let you see how they think about these issues.

And once again, we’re interested to hear how you do, too.

The Questions:

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

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

V. 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?

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

The Selections:

Cy Whitling

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

Like last year, if you read my 3-ski quiver piece I’m probably going to sound like a broken record. I primarily ski in the Tetons with a fair number of trips every year, and I like wide skis, even if the conditions don’t necessarily call for them. As I grow and mature a bit as a skier, I’ve found that every year I’m getting to better know myself and what I want out of a limited quiver. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a wide variety of skis — I absolutely do — but if you’re going to limit my quiver, I’m only going to pick my very favorite skis. And those skis are:

Ski # 1: Moment Deathwish, 184 cm w/ Shift bindings

Which Ski for Which Superhero? Blister
Moment Deathwish

I can’t say enough good things about this ski. I love it. And I’m no Moment shill. I bought my pair of Deathwish’s second-hand with my own cash, and after I foolishly lent them to an acquaintance last year, they’re pretty beat up. I’m just waiting for the edge to fully separate while I’m on a trip. But until that happens, this is the ski that I can’t live without.

Ski #2: Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm w/ Shift bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Atomic Bent Chetler 120

I spent my first day on this ski at Sun Valley, skiing Warm Springs on a very firm spring day. I thought I’d take the ski out for a lap before swapping it for something that made more sense for the conditions. I ended up skiing it all day with no regrets. And in deep pow, it’s just as good as a light, 120mm-underfoot, boat-hulled ski should be. I continue to be impressed with this ski’s versatility. It’s a great in- or out-of-bounds weapon, and its touring prowess means it edges out last year’s pick, the K2 Catamaran, for my two ski quiver.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

For strictly inbounds skiing, I’d swap the very light Bent Chetler 120 for the much heavier but extremely fun K2 Catamaran. I’d keep the Deathwish as my narrower ski.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I sort of hate this question, which means it’s a good one. I’ve never skied the east coast, and I really don’t want to that bad, so it’s hard to imagine myself needing a ski that’s less than 106 underfoot. But it sure seems like I might. But no matter where you put me in the world, I’m going to need a big fun pow ski. So….

Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm w/ Shift bindings

This ski is awesome. If you made me live in some snowless hell I’d still want this ski for trips to greener pastures.

J Skis Metal, 186 cm w/ alpine bindings

This ski makes me feel faster and more aggressive than I really am. If you dumped me somewhere with really firm conditions, this is the ski I’d like to be on. And it’s still fun when the snow is good. But if you dumped me somewhere really terrible, I’d swap this ski for a new Transition Smuggler. I love skiing a lot, but I don’t think I’d ski as much if I lived somewhere with only man-made snow. So I’d be riding my bike a lot in the winter.

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

It’s hard not to have something on this list that invites me to RAGE! On occasion, both the J Skis Metal and the ON3P Kartel 116 give me that feeling, so it would be fun to have one of those two as well. And of course, the K2 Catamaran would be sorely missed.

V. 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?

This one is hard. There’s not much out there right now that I think has the potential to bump one of those skis down. If Moment released a Wildcat 108 inbounds version that might dethrone the Deathwish? Similarly, a Bent Chetler 110 would make me very happy. But as far as real, available skis, I guess there’s a chance the ON3P Kartel 108 will dethrone the Deathwish, but I’ll have to wait for more time on that ski (which will be happening in the next week).

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

Moment would be easy: Deathwish and Wildcat, or even the Wildcat Tour. Same with ON3P: Kartel 116 and 108. And of course the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 and 120. And honestly, it would change my skiing style, but I bet I could be a happy camper with a Line Pescado and Sakana. So again, I could be reasonably happy with a wide range of skis, but none of them would make me quite as happy as that Deathwish / Bent Chetler 120 combo.

Sam Shaheen

I’m going to preface this by saying that Blister’s Managing Editor, Luke Koppa, gave me permission to cheat on this — in other words, pick multiple quivers for question #1. However, after thinking about this a bit more, I’ve decided to stick strictly to just two skis. Because this wouldn’t be all that useful to someone who can only afford two skis if I went and picked 3 different quivers.

So, although this was quite a difficult decision, I could definitely happily ski on these two skis for a full season of riding lifts, mid-winter touring, and spring mountaineering. This isn’t a sexy quiver, but a utilitarian one. With a 3-ski quiver, there’s room for some more fun and less practical options, but a 2-ski quiver is all business.

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

Ski #1: Dynastar Mythic 97, 184 cm w/ ATK Raider 2.0 / Hagan Core 12 bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Dynastar Mythic 97

This ski really surprised me last season. It has tons of taper and a huge amount of tip splay which make it quite forgiving (and fun) in soft snow. But it’s also pretty stiff underfoot and holds a strong edge. It wouldn’t be my first choice for either ski mountaineering or moderate (~12”) CO backcountry powder days. But if I have to have a ski pull double-duty for both, the Mythic 97 is a very versatile choice.

Ski #2: Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm w/ Shift bindings

Blister's Ski Quivers
Blizzard Rustler 11

The Rustler 11 would serve as both my everyday inbounds ski and a powder touring ski. It’s strong enough to charge pretty hard inbounds but it’s still light enough to lug around on the skin track on deep days. I dig this ski.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

For this question, I’m split between two quivers.

On one hand, a Volkl Mantra M5 + Rossignol Soul 7 HD could be super fun, and would give me a ski that’s very strong and damp for firm days, but I wouldn’t have a great deep-snow ski.

Another option would be the Soul 7 HD + Prior CBC. This quiver would be a lot of fun on most days, and especially on pow days thanks to the CBC. But I would miss having a damp narrower ski for firm days.

What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I don’t think my list would change if I had to push it out to three years. I haven’t had durability issues with either the Mythic 97 or the Rustler 11. If I knew I was going to spend significant time in lower-snow areas like the midwest or east coast, then I would probably have to change things up. But in the western US, Europe, South America, or New Zealand, I’m sticking to my guns on the Mythic 97 and Rustler 11.

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

It would make me very sad to go a whole season without skiing on the Rossignol Soul 7 HD. Not even the Bent Chetler 120 puts as big of a smile on my face as the Soul 7. It’s just sooooo good. No ski I’ve been on has as much energy and rebound. It’s a racecar and I love it. It just doesn’t have a place in a 2-ski quiver for my skiing style.

V. 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 Folsom Primary (Blister Edition) seems like a ski I am really going to like — all I have to do is pry it from Jonathan’s personal quiver. Easier said than done.

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

Now that I’m thinking about Folsom, is it cheating to pick a custom ski maker? Folsom could make me a 2-ski quiver that would be awesome. I think a directionally rockered, carbon Rad Dad in 182 (with some weight pulled out) and a Blister Edition Primary would make for a sick 2-ski quiver.

Luke Koppa

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

For my 2-ski quiver, I want one dedicated inbounds ski, and one 50/50 ski that I can use for mid-winter powder touring, soft-snow days at the resort, and spring couloir missions. This choice is fairly easy for me:

Ski #1: 50/50 Ski — Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm w/ Shift bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Line Sick Day 104

This ski is just so versatile and so fun. Light enough for fairly long tours, but stable enough to ski very hard in the resort. Floats well enough for moderate pow days, and is a blast to carve. Just a really predictable, really versatile ski.

Ski #2: Everyday Resort Ski — Nordica Enforcer 110, 185 cm w/ alpine bindings

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Nordica Enforcer 110

If I only get one resort ski, I again want something that’s versatile. And for the western U.S., where we typically get plenty of days with pretty firm snow and then some deep days, the Nordica Enforcer 110 is an easy pick for me. It carves exceptionally well for how wide it is, it’s damp and I can ski it very hard, but it’s got a rocker profile that lets me goof around at slow speeds.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

This would basically just be the inbounds portion of my 3-ski quiver:

J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm — For all the icy, nasty, firm days.

Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm — For anytime there’s more than ~6” of snow.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

This is tough. The Sick Day 104 and Enforcer 110 are extremely versatile, but they are also pretty wide. So if I ended up somewhere really icy, I might be wishing for a narrower ski. So I guess I’d go with this combo if I had to account for all conditions:

J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm w/ alpine bindings

I could happily ski the Masterblaster most days in the resort, as long as there was less than ~6” of new snow (and on those deeper days, I’d bring out the next ski). The Masterblaster lets me have fun no matter how nasty the conditions, and combined with the Rustler 11, it covers a broader spectrum of conditions than the Sick Day 104 + Enforcer 110 combo.

Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm w/ Shift bindings

While I didn’t fall in love with the Rustler 9 and Rustler 10, I really like the Rustler 11. Like the Sick Day 104, I often catch myself double-checking our measured weights for the Rustler 11, because it just doesn’t seem like this ski should perform as well as it does for how light it is. It floats well in pow, handles soft chop predictably, and is surprisingly fun even when conditions aren’t deep. It’d be a pain to haul out for long touring days, but this is all about compromises, and the Rustler 11 would make the occasional deep day a lot of fun.

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

There are a bunch of skis I would’ve liked to include. The Fischer Ranger 102 FR comes to mind, as does the Line Sakana, Salomon MTN Explore 95, Icelantic Nomad 115, ON3P Kartel 108, and the Prior CBC. Those are all great skis, but for what I do and what I prioritize in a 2-ski quiver (versatility), the skis I picked make more sense to me.

V. 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?

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with my picks. I guess if the Moment Commander 108 or Blister Pro come close to matching the versatility of the Enforcer 110 they could unseat it, but I doubt the Commander 108 will be as playful, and I doubt the Blister Pro will be as fun when conditions are really firm. I don’t currently see any skis that would knock the Sick Day 104 from its spot — there’s just nothing I’ve used that matches its suspension-to-weight ratio, level of playfulness, and soft and firm-snow performance.

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

I could go with a few here:

Line: Sick Day 104, 186 cm (touring) + Sick Day 114, 190 cm (alpine)

I like the Sick Days a lot. The 190 cm Sick Day 114 isn’t quite as playful as I’d like, but it’s still a really fun ski.

Moment: Deathwish, 184 cm (touring) + Blister Pro, 184 cm (alpine)

I haven’t been on either of these skis, but based on our other reviewers’ raving about them, I think I’d like this quiver. The Commander 108 could also replace one of them, depending on how my time on it goes.

Atomic: Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (touring) + Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (touring)

This would be a fun one. The only thing I’d be missing is a ski that’s very damp. The BC 100 is still fun on firm snow, but it doesn’t really want to rage like the Enforcer 110 does. But I’d still be very happy on this quiver, and it’d definitely be nice for touring.

Brian Lindahl

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

If you’ve read my 3-ski quiver selections, you’ll know that this will be a tough call, as I split my time between 3 very different environments: (1) variable conditions and powder at high-alpine resorts, (2) deep snow at below-treeline resorts, and (3) all conditions in the backcountry. Each environment really demands a different ski.

I could see this playing out in a number of ways:
Compromise high-alpine resort and deep snow
Compromise high-alpine resort and backcountry
Compromise deep snow and backcountry
Compromise backcountry

In the end, I don’t ski a ton of super firm high-alpine days. I also don’t go on longer tours very often, and when I do, I can always swap out for a super lightweight binding and boot to compensate for ski weight and deal with an extra pound or more on the ski. Therefore, I’m going to compromise on high-alpine resort and backcountry skiing, with a slant towards the high-alpine resorts.

Ski #1: Powder 50/50 Ski — Whitedot Ragnarok Carbonlite, 190 cm w/ Fritschi Tecton bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Whitedot Ragnarok Carbonlite

The Ragnarok Carbonlite would be for deep days in resorts and backcountry zones that have lots of feature-rich, below-treeline terrain. This is due to its great powder performance, light weight, stout flex, and excellent landing platform. However, it would also pull double-duty on deeper days at the high-alpine resorts.

Ski #2: Lighter Resort Ski — Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 188 cm w/ inserts for Salomon Shift and ATK Raider 2.0 12 bindings

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Armada Invictus 99 Ti

For the compromise between high-alpine resort and backcountry skiing, I’m going to go with the Armada Invictus 99 Ti. The Invictus in the 188 cm length weighs right around 2000 grams. In the backcountry, when coupled with a very light binding and boot, this weight is workable for me on longer tours. And in the resort, the Invictus 99 Ti is pretty solid at speed in a variety of conditions. The Invictus 99 Ti is still relatively skinny and not that surfy, so I’d use the Ragnarok Carbonlite on deeper resort powder days, though perhaps only until the resort is tracked out.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

It’s a tough call between the standard Ragnarok and the Carbonlite version, but I think I’d go with the standard version. If we’re talking about sidecountry (or a ton of inbounds hiking), then I’d probably pick the Carbonlite. As a narrower resort ski in the quiver, I’d use the 189 cm ON3P Wrenegade 108, as I’d still want to be on a narrower ski in the high-alpine resorts, even on powder days.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I feel as though the conditions I ski in Colorado are fairly representative of the average of conditions across many different locations, and as such, my choices wouldn’t change.

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

The 191 cm Volkl Katana V-Werks was pretty difficult to leave off the list. I picked it last year, along with a resort-oriented firm-snow ski for my 2-ski quiver, but I just can’t justify hauling that long and wide of a ski around in the backcountry.

I’d be curious to see whether or not the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti would work as a stronger resort ski compared to the Armada Invictus 99 Ti, but I’m curious if it’d be a bit too punishing for everyday use in the resort, and especially in the backcountry.

V. 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?

As a replacement for the Ragnarok Carbonlite, I’m intrigued by the Prior Overlord XTC, 4FRNT Renegade, and Volkl BMT 122.

As a replacement for the Armada Invictus 99 Ti, I’d like to stick with a powerful and directional ski that’s around 2000 grams, so the Volkl Mantra V-Werks is intriguing, as is the Prior Husume XTC, Moment Commander 108, Fischer Ranger 102 FR, and the ON3P Wrenegade 96.

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

While I haven’t skied any of these, I like the idea of the Prior Overlord XTC and the Prior Husume XTC. The Volkl BMT 122 and Volkl Mantra V-Werks might be a great 2-ski quiver as well, but I’d be concerned about mount pattern flexibility (in terms of what bindings I could use) and durability. Of skis that I’ve been on, I haven’t had the opportunity to try two skis from a single manufacturer that would fit the desired roles.

Kara Williard

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

I spend 90% of my season skiing inbounds at Taos Ski Valley. So, I need a ski that can be swift through the technical steep lines at Taos, but that can also provide stability on firm or variable snow. My other ski in a 2-ski quiver would serve as my resort powder ski and also as my spring touring ski for when I venture into the backcountry around Northern NM and Colorado.

Ski #1: Everyday Resort Ski: Nordica Santa Ana 100, 177 cm w/ alpine bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Nordica Santa Ana 100

This ski is my absolute favorite for skiing everything at Taos. Having tested it in a wide array of conditions during a season with low snowfall, I was able to see just how versatile this ski is — it offers all that I seek on a daily basis. I’d be very happy to spend most of my season on this ski, and I know it won’t disappoint, no matter the conditions.

Ski #2: Resort Powder Ski / Spring Touring Ski: Blizzard Sheeva 11, 172 cm, w/ Shift bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Blizzard Sheeva 11

This ski primarily serves as my resort ski for picking through my favorite lines when we get greater than 6” of new snow, or when I venture out to find some spring snow in the backcountry after the resort closes. The Sheeva 11 is a wonderful option for soft-snow days when I need to navigate the steep and rocky terrain of Taos, and it’s also pretty stable as things get skied out. On top of all that, it’s light enough to work as a touring ski.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

If I was only skiing in the resort, the only thing that would change from the quiver above is the bindings — I’d just put alpine bindings on both the Santa Ana 100 and Sheeva 11.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I would stick to the same choices. The Santa Ana 100 proved to be extremely durable as I repeatedly skied it in Taos’s rocky West Basin on a 60” base last season. It came away relatively unscathed, and always provided the dampness and stability I wanted on techy, steep, firm runs. At the same time, the Santa Ana 100 still offers a fairly playful and nimble feel, meaning that it could also work at mountains with more playful or mellow terrain. I also think I could take out the Sheeva 11 on soft snow pretty much anywhere and still have a great time.

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

I’m still debating whether I prefer the Blizzard Bonafide (173 cm) or the Santa Ana 100 as an everyday tool, so it’s still difficult to leave off the Bonafide.

V. 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 am looking forward to spending some time on the Volkl Secret, and feel like it could provide much of what I seek in my everyday resort ski.

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

I’d look to Blizzard for a 2-ski quiver, choosing the Bonafide as my everyday resort ski, and the Sheeva 11 with a touring binding as my touring / resort powder ski.

Scott Nelson

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

As someone who still spends most of his time in Summit County, CO terrain parks (though I’m spending more time at A-Basin with each passing season), I basically need one or both of my skis to accomplish two goals: (1) feel super stable underfoot to hit big jumps when the weather is good, or (2) be playful and surfy so that they make the worse-weather park days much more enjoyable and to make the rest of the mountain my jib playground.

Ski #1: Head Caddy, 181 cm w/ Rossignol FKS 14 / Look Pivot 14

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Head Caddy

As I’m no longer competing and don’t necessarily need a ski that only performs well on big jumps, I find that the Head Caddy strikes a nice balance between big-jump stability while still maintaining a semblance of playfulness. I can take it out on nice days and rely on it not to scrub out on jump landings, but its low swing weight and playful, ever-so-slightly rockered tip and tail make it a blast around the rest of the park.

Ski #2: Faction Candide 2.0, 184 cm w/ Look Pivot 14

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Faction Candide 2.0

While the Candide 2.0 can’t quite hold its own on big jumps the same way the Caddy can, it’s playful and surfy as both a park jib cruiser and an all-mountain jib ski. The Candide 2.0 is by no means a big-mountain weapon, but it can hold its own on the tightly treed and mini-golf lines off of the Pali chair at A-Basin that I find myself around any time it snows more than an inch.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

Same. (Because I don’t.)

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I would still choose the Head Caddy as my nice-weather jump ski for the reasons outlined above, but I would swap out the Faction Candide 2.0 in favor of the ON3P Magnus 102. ON3P is known for its durability, and the pair of Magnus 102s I’ve been skiing on have remained absolutely bomber. Don’t be fooled by the Magnus 102 — while it’s marketed as a buttery jib tool, it’s much stiffer than I would have expected, and can more than hold its own as an all-mountain jib ski. It’s absolutely a blast in the park, although its main drawback may be its heavily rockered tails, which can lead to some unexpected washing out if you don’t land with your shins pressed to the front of your boots.

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

The Salomon NFX is definitely a more stable jump ski than the Head Caddy and is an all-around more ‘competition ready’ slopestyle ski. If I were still competing, the NFX is likely what I’d be on. Still, it sacrifices a bit too much in the way of playfulness to usurp the Caddy on this list. The NFX might have been more likely to make the list of a 3-ski quiver, just to have for perfect days hitting big jumps in Freeway at Breckenridge.

V. 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 excited to get on the Moment PB&Jib for this upcoming season, considering its shape, flex pattern, and the other offerings I’ve skied from Moment, making what I think could be a strong contender in the wider park ski / narrower all-mountain jib ski category.

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

I think Armada would be a viable option to select for a 2-ski quiver, with the ARV 86 making a solid big-jump / dedicated park ski. Then I’d either choose the Edollo as my wider, playful park ski that can handle a bit of skiing around the rest of the mountain, or the ARV 106 as my all-mountain jib ski, if and when I get time on it.

Jonathan Ellsworth

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

This is pretty easy for me:

Ski #1: J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm w/ alpine binding

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
J Skis Masterblaster

Ski #2: Moment Blister Pro, 190 cm w/ Shift binding

Which Ski for Which Superhero? Blister
Moment Blister Pro

Unlike my 3-ski quiver where I can afford to have a straight-up variable charger (the intentionally-built-a-bit-heavy Folsom Hammer), I can now combine my variable conditions charger that will also provide a bit better flotation in pow.

And given that I really like touring on the Shift, and am 100% comfortable skiing on it inbounds, too, the compromise for me here is that I’ll have a pretty wide and long ski to do all of my touring on. But I’m more than okay with that for the backcountry skiing around Crested Butte.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

This is even easier for me:

#1: J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm + alpine binding
#2: Moment Blister Pro, 190 cm + alpine binding

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility)

#1: J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm + alpine binding
#2: Folsom Primary (Blister Edition) + Shift Binding

Durability is always difficult to assess, but if I think about this question as, “If you break these skis, you can’t replace them until 3 years from now” … then I would roll the dice with these two.

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

It feels wrong that I haven’t yet found a spot for either the 186 cm Line Sick Day 104 or 190 cm Sick Day 114. They are terrific. And see Question VI below for a few more skis. (See also my upcoming 1-ski quiver selections.)

V. 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?

Hmmm, I’m not sure. Wish is to say, right now, whatever ski (if any) manages to elbow its way into my quiver selections, it’s going to be a surprise.

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

3rd place:

Volkl: 177 cm Mantra M5 (alpine binding) + 186 cm V-Werks Katana

If I knew that I could mount the V-Werks Katana with a Shift binding, then Volkl would move to 2nd place, or even possibly 1st place.

2nd place:

Blizzard: 180 cm Brahma (alpine binding) + 188 cm Rustler 11 (Shift binding)

I love the Brahma, and I think it’s one of the best skis being made today. I don’t feel as strongly about the Rustler 11, but it’s still a ski that I could be happy with on a lot of days, inbounds and out.

1st place:

ON3P: Wrenegade 96 + Shift binding (this will be my single touring ski) + ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (alpine bindings)

While I wouldn’t mind having a heavier, narrower ski for firm, inbounds skiing, I really like the idea of touring on the Wren 96 with a Shift. That is a sick 50/50 setup in my opinion. And I get a strong ~108mm ski for inbounds raging that won’t be out of place on deep days.

Check in tomorrow for more of our reviewers’ 2-ski quiver selections, and feel free to add in the comments below how you think about putting together a quiver, and which skis you pick for where and how you ski.

Joey Teahan

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

I spent the majority of last season riding at Eldora as its barely 8 minutes from my front door. This season is likely to be similar, with the occasional outing into Summit County and trips planned to Wyoming, Montana, and BC. I primarily ski park, and on non-powder days my riding reflects that jib-oriented style. As a result, my 2-ski quiver is essentially my favorite narrow and fat freestyle skis.

Ski #1: Line Tom Wallisch Pro, 178 cm w/ alpine bindings

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19

This is hands-down my favorite park ski I’ve ever ridden. It’s relatively narrow and light which is great for rails, has tapered tips and tails which make it more forgiving on landings, a very responsive yet playful flex profile, and just enough rocker for light powder days and popping off of chop.

Ski #2: Faction Candide 3.0, 186 cm w/ alpine bindings

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19

To be honest, I would most likely step up to the Candide 4.0 for the powder side of my quiver. However, I haven’t actually tested the 4.0, and the 3.0 is everything I would ask for in a mid-fat ski that feels like it was designed with park style riding in mind. It is VERY light, extremely responsive on hard groomers and stable enough that I can ski it pretty hard in chop. At the same time, it has the floaty, slashy feel in deep powder that I love on those deep days, and I imagine the wider Candide 4.0 would be even more ideal for those situations.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

I rarely do any touring, so my quiver wouldn’t change from above.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I would have to stick with my same quiver above. The TW Pro and Candide 3.0 have held up as well as anything I’ve ever skied, although the likelihood of any ski lasting 3-4 years for me seems like a pipe dream.

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

The J Skis Allplay was one of my favorite skis a few years back, but in terms of a 2-ski quiver, it fits right in between my powder and park preferences.

The Line Honey Badger was also up there with the TW Pro, and I would certainly recommend them as an alternative for anyone trying to save a few dollars on their setup.

V. 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?

Without a doubt, the 2019 Line Chronic.

From what I have read and heard, the new Chronic has been redesigned so that it’s now a bit more similar to the Tom Wallisch Pro in terms of its tapered shape and rocker profile. I have owned 5 different pairs of Chronics over the years and have always loved the flex pattern and durability, so with the adjustments they’ve made to this year’s model, I have very high hopes of it being my all-time favorite park ski.

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

For me, Line has always been the brand that has influenced my skiing most. The Travelling circus series was what got me into park and jib style skiing in the first place, and their ski design and playful / fun-oriented outlook on the sport really reflects what I love about the sport. For a Line quiver, I’d go with the TW Pro for my narrower ski, and the Magnum Opus for my pow ski.

That being said, Jason Levinthal was the man behind most of the things that made Line so great. So while I still love Line skis for all the reasons I mentioned, I think if I were to spend some time testing all the J Ski models I would potentially choose a J-Ski quiver over Line.

Paul Forward

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

Ski #1: DPS Alchemist Lotus 124, 191 cm

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
DPS Alchemist Lotus 124

I live in Alaska and spend a lot of my year heli-skiing. The Lotus A124 has been my go-to work ski for 2 years now and I’m excited to check out the latest edition (which had subtle tweaks made to its tip shape). It floats well, carves when needed, is powerful in crud and feels reasonably light in technical steep terrain.

Ski #2: Volkl BMT 109, 186 cm

Blister's 2-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Volkl BMT 109

To complement my pow boards, my second ski needs to be a 100-110 mm touring ski that is good in pow but still fun and reliable for all of the weird stuff I encounter during 7-8 months of touring. The BMT 109 isn’t the greatest at any one thing, it’s not crazy light, and I don’t like the idea of limited binding compatibility, but I can’t think of another ski that is better suited to everyday slogs in the backcountry into unknown conditions.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

I’m going to also exclude heli / cat work in addition to backcountry touring so I’ll ditch the Lotus as well. I’d probably do something like:

Moment Blister Pro, 190 cm

Because it does everything well and Alyeska still gets enough pow that I’ll likely spend most of my season on skis this fat. For all of the reasons we’ve written about before, the Blister Pro is tough to beat.

Volkl Mantra M5, 184 (or maybe 191cm if I get to try them)

I love to carve high-speed turns but I want a ski that can also handle all the variable crap that can come with living at the base of a maritime sea-level ski area like Alyeska. I need more time on it, but the M5 seems to be an improvement over the Mantra’s that I’ve loved in the past.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (a) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years, and (b) versatility.)

I’d probably stick with the Lotus A124 and BMT 109. Despite the appearance, I have no reason to doubt that I could get 3 years of touring out of the BMT’s and my current Lotus A124’s have already withstood a lot of abuse and are going strong. I’ll always seek pow so I’d always like to have the 124’s no matter where I go.

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

The Nordica Enforcer 100 and Enforcer Pro could have easily made the list for inbounds options.

V. 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 shape and rocker profile of the updated 4FRNT Renegade has my interest for sure, as does the Black Crows Nocta as pow skis.

I really want to spend more time getting to know the 95-100 mm carvers this season, but none jump out at me in particular.

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

While I generally only love their dedicated pow shapes, the DPS powder skis are so good for what I like to do that it’d be hard not to pick them. I have hope that I’ll like one of their skinnier models someday enough to make me feel good about this decision, but as much as I love all kinds of skiing — even really crappy snow — my pursuit is pow and the DPS pow shapes are consistently among the best.

Kristin Sinnott

I. What’s your 2-ski quiver for where you ski most?

I’m going to cheat a little on this as I opted to put Shift bindings on both pairs of skis. Basically this transforms my 2-ski quiver into a 4-ski quiver so yay for me. Anyway, this selection gives me the best of both worlds — a ski that is playful and fun on both firm and soft conditions, and a powder ski that also plows through crud and zooms down groomers. And yes, both of these skis appeared in my 3-ski quiver. So my choices are as follows:

Ski #1: DPS Alchemist Uschi 94, 171 cm w/ Shift bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
DPS Alchemist Uschi 94

These skis are fun and I’ve been looking forward to getting back on them since the lifts closed last season, so the idea of adding AT bindings and extending my season on them has me really excited. Of the two skis in this quiver, I would bring these out on days when I plan on making small-radius turns in technical terrain (which, in a place like Taos, is pretty frequent).

Ski #2: Nordica Santa Ana 110, 177 cm, w/ Shift bindings

Blister's 3-ski Quiver Awards — 18/19
Nordica Santa Ana 110

In previous ski seasons, my go-to ski was the Line Pandora 110 and it really was a bit of a 1-ski quiver for me. While I look forward to testing the new Line Pandora 104, I have spent many happy days skiing the Nordica Santa Ana 110. In this 2-ski quiver scenario, I would bust out the Santa Ana 110 for resort powder days, dawn-patrol sessions at my local ski hill, groomer days when I want to ski fast, and deep days in the backcountry. With their two sheets of metal, these are heavy skis and not necessarily great for uphill travel, but if it’s a deep day in the backcountry, I would just suck it up.

II. If you didn’t do any backcountry touring, what would your 2-ski quiver be for inbounds-only skiing?

If I wasn’t doing any touring, the only thing that would change from my quiver above would be the bindings — I’d just put alpine bindings on both the Uschi A94 and Santa Ana 110.

III. What’s your 2-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location? (We’re framing the question this way to emphasize (1) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3 years, and (2) versatility.)

This is an interesting question and after a lot of back and forth, I think I would keep my choices the same. If I changed anything it would be to put an alpine binding on one of the skis but as I can’t decide which one, I’ll stick to the Shift bindings.

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

For me, the most difficult item to leave off my main quiver was a pair of dedicated alpine bindings. While I am a pretty light skier who doesn’t torque ski bindings too much and I think I would be happy with skiing the Shift in and out of bounds, I’ve never spent an entire season (inbounds and backcountry) solely on touring bindings, so it makes me wonder.

V. 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?

As much as I like the Santa Ana 110, I look forward to trying the Santa Ana 100 since the narrower version might be versatile enough to change my quiver selections completely. In my 3-ski quiver selections, I also mentioned that I would like to ski the Head Kore 93 to see how it compares to the DPS Alchemist Uschi 94. And putting in some more time on the Blizzard Sheeva 10 and 11 might change my mind about including the Santa Ana 110 in my 2-ski quiver.

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

I promise to answer this next season, but as it currently stands I think I need more time on more skis to provide an accurate answer.

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10 comments on “2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (18/19)”

  1. Hi,

    I used to race so I ski quite aggressive on the edges of my skis. However, now I like to spend all my time off piste in resort, if conditions will allow it, when I visit Europe. Due to the mixed off piste snow I still ski a lot of groomers, especially with friends who are not as keen on heading out of bounds. I really like the look of the Moment Deathwish and I have read some amazing things about this ski. Do you think its a good fit? Will it be able to handle blasting the groomers? Does the width underfoot inhibit its performance on groomers? Im basically after a super fun/aggressive do it all ski!

    Love all your guys publications and reviews – by far the most helpful site when it comes to looking at new skis to buy and for general ski nerdiness.

    Al

  2. I always look forward to the quiver discussions every year. I just had a question on comparing the ‘new’ Rustler 11 with the now ‘classic’ Deathwish. Is the Moment getting a little dated as the gold standard for a versatile wide ski? Thanks

  3. Send some love for the East Coast. Not everyone can ski out west or in BC. Would enjoy seeing what an East Coat quiver would look like.

    • These are reviewers personal picks. Since they are based out west, that’s what you get. However, in the Buyers guide, they list suggested quivers, for different conditions and skiers.

  4. Thank you guys, I’m loving those quivers.

    My 3-ski quiver:

    – Salomon MTN 95 with Kingping for light/fast touring
    – Moment Commander 108 with Salomon Shift for resort skiing and sidecountry when there is fresh snow (maybe 98mm under foot would have been a
    better choice. Commander won against J Ski Masterblaster and Metal, and Commander 98. I couldn’t wait for your review :-)
    – Bibby Tour with Kingpin for powder powder touring

    Plus:
    Stöckli SL for hard corderoy ripping
    Völkl Kuro (not used often anymore because it dumms down everything so much that you get bored soon)

  5. 1) Blizzard Brahma – up to a couple new inches on the whole front side.
    2) Atomic Bent Chetler – for all days over a couple inches for the tree skiing.
    BOOM!

  6. Bent Chetler 120, 184 or 192?cm, with Tecton.
    Pinnacle 95Ti, 184cm, with Shift.
    I like loose, surfy skis.
    I am just getting started touring and fly to tour and ski mountains, so keeping my options in the 50/50 camp.
    The Bent Chetler is light enough to tour, yet still supposedly skis ok inbounds. If it’s to firm and hard for the Bent Chetler, the Pinnacle 95 comes out. Conversely, the Pinnacle 95 does really wel in deep snow for it’s width, and once it gets out of it’s depth, the BC is in it’s element.
    My thought is that if it’s soft and deep enough inbounds for the Bent Chetler, the Tecton will perform just as well as an alpine binding.
    Conversely, if it’s firm enough in the backcountry to want to take the Pinnacle 95, the added control of the Shift binding will be nice, as well as performing as a full-alpine binding for day to day resort skiing, at home in MN as well as out west.

    A lighter, ~90mm wide touring set-up would be nice(Backland 95 ski and binding?), but I live in MN, so for day to day skiing at home, I want something narrower than the B.Chetler, hence the Pinnacle+Shift combo: a full-on alpine combo that only gives away anything to a similar width touring set-up in weight.(And probably skis even better in tough conditions).

  7. Volkl V-Werks Katana + Kingpin – deep/soft + sidecountry touring
    Volkl BMT 96 + Kingpin – touring/ski mountaineering
    Volkl Bridge + alpine binding – everything else

  8. Having a hard time picking my second ski for a 2-ski quiver. Please help!

    I’m 5’7 and 145lbs so not a big guy, but I’m a former racer so I do tend to ski fast and have good form (at least on flat firm snow). Last few years I was not skiing as much, so just used my old slalom race skis (stiff and heavy with a race plate and all-camber, but only 155cm with 11-12m turn radius).

    Last season I moved back to New England so am skiing more now. I wanted an all mountain ski with a lot more versatility than race skis, but still wanted to be able to rip high-speed carves. I got the Blizzard Brahma (173cm) and think its a ton of fun for that purpose.

    But now I’m looking for a second ski to use when the Brahma just isnt that much fun. It feels like the Brahma always wants to hold an edge and go-go-go, but sometimes I want to back off a bit, slide more, drive my weight forward less, slow the speed down a bit, be more playful (whatever that means).

    On the other hand, I don’t go in the park or ski switch and I’ve grown up on stiff race skis, so I do worry that a very soft ski will be too unstable for me (not sure if that’s a fair concern or not).

    Primarily I plan to use this 2nd ski in some or all of the following situations:
    (A) warm, slushy spring days
    (B) fresh powder day on the east coast (rare), which will quickly get tracked out in the resort to soft choppy snow (more common).
    (C) my 1x per year trip out west to CO or UT (roll of the dice on conditions).
    (D) afternoon after a big lunch and beer, when I’m just kind of chilling and definitely skiing less aggressive.
    (E) skiing with some of my buddies who are more intermediate (so something more fun at slower speeds).
    (F) skiing with my other buddies who always are looking for side-country opportunities, in various conditions.
    (G) bonus if the ski makes moguls more fun – I want to improve here.

    Open to any suggestions but have been eyeing the J Skis Metal or Vacation, 4frnt MSP 107, Enforcer 104 Free, ON3P Woodsman 108 and Black Crow Atris.

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