2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22)

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
Article Navigation:  Intro //  Luke K. //  Kara W. //  Dylan W. //  David G. //  Kristin S. //  Eric F. //  Drew K. //  Sascha A. //  Paul F. //  Jonathan E.

Intro

We recently published several of our reviewers’ selections for 5-ski, 4-ski, and 3-ski quivers and now we’re really getting to the hard decisions, asking them to trim those down to two skis. 

To be clear, there is no single perfect quiver for everyone. It all depends very much on where you ski and how you ski. So our selections below should not be viewed as our answer to the question, “What are the best skis out there?” They aren’t even recommendations. Instead, these are our reviewers’ personal picks, and their rationale for why they would choose them. As always, we’re interested to hear what you’d pick for your own 2-ski quiver, so let us know in the Comments section at the bottom.

More Ski-Quiver Guidance

For more general suggestions — as opposed to what we personally would pick — check out our 21/22 Buyer’s Guide.

And if you’d like to get our recommendations for assembling your own ski quiver, then become a Blister Member, submit your question via the Blister Member Clubhouse page, and we’ll help you decide.

Six Questions

For each of our reviewers, we asked them to answer the following questions:

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

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

IV. What skis were 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?

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Luke Koppa

(5’8”, 155 lbs / 173 cm, 70 kg)

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

My ski year consists of daily laps at Crested Butte Mountain Resort during the winter, followed by lots of spring touring (and a few mid-winter tours thrown in). So I’ll need a do-everything touring ski, and a do-everything resort ski. I.e., I’m basically deciding on two 1-ski quivers:

Touring Ski: Line Vision 98, 186 cm + Moment Voyager XII

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Line Vision 98

I’ve already covered in my previous quiver selections why I like the idea of this setup as my do-everything touring combo, but to reiterate: the Vision 98 is light for its size, handles most terrain and conditions quite well, and it’s one of few lightweight skis in its class that caters to my more balanced, playful skiing style.

Resort Ski: DPS Foundation Koala 103, 184 cm

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
DPS Foundation Koala 103

Surprise! Haven’t seen this one yet, have ya?

I debated dozens of different skis for this slot, and there are so many close contenders — to the point that my choice might change by the time we get to 1-ski quivers.

But for now, I’m going with the Koala F103. It’s a solid “jack of all trades” ski that’s pretty stable, pretty playful, and reasonably capable across all the conditions and terrain I ski at Mt. CB over the course of a full season.

There are loads of skis that do certain (or multiple) things better, but I think I’d be pretty content using the Koala F103 for everything. It’d definitely limit my skiing style options — no hip dragging on early season groomers and no straight lines through deep chop — but any 1-resort-ski quiver is going to involve many compromises.

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

It would just be my two resort skis from my 3-ski quivers, for all the reasons listed in that article:

Playful Resort Ski: Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm

It makes mediocre conditions and slower speeds way more interesting than they should be.

Stable Resort Ski: Dynastar M-Free 108, 192 cm

It makes good conditions and high speeds way more fun and less scary.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

I’m not super hard on my gear, so I don’t think my choices would change based on worries about durability.

That said, I think I’d swap the Koala F103 for something that’s a bit better on super firm conditions — without seriously compromising fun in soft / deep snow. There are several skis that come to mind, but I think I’d go with the 186 cm Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105. It does a great job of digging into firm snow, while still being a fairly playful ski in soft conditions.

Luke Koppa reviews the Shaggy's Ahmeek 105 for Blister.
Luke Koppa on the Shaggy's Ahmeek 105, Crested Butte, CO (photo by Drew Kelly).

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

Soooooo many skis. Listing the rationale for all of them would turn this into a 1000-word submission, so I’ll just list some of the most notable contenders:

Touring ski: Majesty Superwolf, Salomon MTN Explore 95, Line Vision 108, Moment Wildcat Tour 108, WNDR Alpine Vital 100

Resort Ski: Whitedot Altum 104, Line Sir Francis Bacon, Rossignol Blackops Gamer (yeah, it did almost make the cut), Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, Salomon QST 98, Moment Deathwish, Dynastar M-Free 108, Sego Big Horn 106, Fischer Ranger 102 FR, K2 Reckoner 102, Season Nexus, RMU Apostle 3.0 106, J Skis Hotshot, J Skis Masterblaster.

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?

Thinking of something similar to the Koala 103, the RMU Apostle 3.0 106 is currently the ski with the most potential. It’s lighter and more playful than the Koala, but I need to figure out how hard I can ski it in chop and crud before giving it the crown. I’m really liking it overall so far, though.

And frankly, the Whitedot Altum 104 was so close to taking the place of the Koala 103 that I might just choose it for my 1-ski quiver, depending on my mood when writing that.

The Moment Deathwish 104 also seems like a very good potential replacement for the Koala 103, but we shall see.

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

I think I’d be pretty happy going with Line, opting for the Vision 98 and either the Sir Francis Bacon, Blade, or Sick Day 104 for my resort ski. I think the logical choice would be the Sick Day 104, but the other two are just so fun that I might have to make the silly decision and opt for one of them.

I’d also be pretty happy with Moment, opting for the Wildcat Tour 108 as my touring ski and probably the Deathwish (or, once we ski it, the Deathwish 104) for my resort ski.

DPS could also work, with the Pagoda Tour 100 RP being my touring ski and the Koala 103 sticking around as my resort ski.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Kara Williard

(5’9”, 153 lbs / 175 cm, 69.4 kg)

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

The 2-ski quiver is definitely tricky. I feel like a 3-ski quiver is pretty ideal for everything I want to accomplish, but the 2-ski quiver requires a bit of creativity and compromise.

Ski #1 Resort Ski – 4FRNT MSP 99, 181cm + Look Pivot 15

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER
4FRNT MSP 99

Both the 4FRNT MSP 99 and MSP CC are well-rounded, do-anything resort skis. While the women’s MSP CC has been a top contender for many of my quiver selections, it fell off the list here since I wanted to keep a more diversified set of options for resort skiing.

Here, it makes an appearance, though in the form of the men’s version, the MSP 99, solely so that I can get it in a longer length and maximize the stability I am looking for from a resort ski to cater to my skiing preferences. While it is a reasonably playful ski, the MSP 99 is primarily the damp and stable ski that I look for on many days, especially for the majority of days that consist of firm conditions, lots of moguls, and navigating steep and technical terrain here at Mt. Crested Butte.

Ski #2 50/50 and Powder Ski – Santa Ana 104 Free, 179 cm + Salomon Shift MNC

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free

I need this ski to both be an awesome option for soft days on the resort, while also being a ski I can trust on pretty much any backcountry condition or terrain. The Santa Ana 104 Free is a pretty straightforward pick, as I know it can do all of the above, and it’s reasonably lightweight.

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

For a resort-specific quiver, I would look for a bigger difference between my two skis, mostly separated by waist width. This makes me want to bring the Volkl Secret 96 back into this mix, and then contrast that with a reliable and fun resort-powder ski such as the Nordica Santa Ana 110, or the Blizzard Sheeva 11. The powder choices here are both ones that offer some good suspension to handle some chop and crud.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

If I am looking for uncompromising durability and versatility, I would bring the Blizzard Sheeva 10 back into the mix. This ski has handled a lot of days, many of which featured a lot of rocks, and the ski has proven durable in my experience.

Regardless of location is tricky, but in this case, I would likely complement the Sheeva 10 either with a Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free … or a stiff and stable directional ski, such as the Blizzard Black Pearl 97 or even the Black Pearl 88.

Kara Williard reviews the Blizzard Black Pearl 97 for Blister
Kara Williard on the Blizzard Black Pearl 97, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Of course, if I was looking anywhere in the East, I would migrate towards a narrower ski, but since it’s regardless of location, that could mean either some ice on the East Coast, or daily skiing in Japan… This is always a tough question and I don’t think I have a clear answer this year.

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

I already mentioned above, but it was hard to pick the one resort ski. I considered the Volkl Secret 96, the Blizzard Sheeva 10, and the Santa Ana 98 as the daily resort choice. I also considered the K2 Mindbender 106C for my powder/touring ski because it’s on the lighter side of things, but when it comes down to the 2-ski quiver I am not really thinking about weight quite as much (for the skiing I am doing, which is primarily on resort most of the year).

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?

Looking for a versatile all-mountain ski, there are several skis I am intrigued by. I have been having a lot of fun on the Salomon Stance 88 W, and this makes me want to spend some more time on the Stance 94 W, and then compare it to the QST Lumen 99.

I’m still interested in how I can lighten up my touring setup, though as we narrow down to a 2-ski quiver, I am willing to stay on the heavier side if it means more versatility. Mostly, I really want to spend time on the Nordica Santa Ana Unlimited series.

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

4FRNT:
MSP 99 + Look Pivot 15
MSP 107 + Salomon Shift MNC

While I only spent a bit of time on the MSP 107 at the Blister Summit last year, I was impressed by the skis’ ability to handle a vast array of conditions and terrain. Some more time would be ideal on this ski, especially in powder, but in the meantime, I think this could still create a fun quiver based on my preferences.

Nordica:
Santa Ana 98 + Look Pivot 15
Santa Ana 104 Free + Salomon Shift MNC

Blizzard:
Black Pearl 97 + Look Pivot 15
Sheeva 10 + Salomon Shift MNC

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Dylan Wood

(5’11”, 155 lbs / 180 cm, 70 kg)

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

Okay, this is where I really start to feel spoiled by how much ski selection freedom I’ve had. Picking this 2-ski quiver was tough.

Ski #1 (Do-it-all Resort): Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm + Look Pivot 15 + Cast Freetour System

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
Sego Big Horn 106

The Big Horn 106 is a ski that I was really impressed by last season. It is very playful, carves impressively well, and is damp and stable enough to be skied quite hard.

Given that this would be my only dedicated resort ski, I would need it to do a lot of things, from cruising early season groomers, to puckered laps off the North Face Lift at Mt. CB, to slushy spring laps through the park. The Big Horn is fun to mess around with on groomers, whether that be digging some trenches on edge or trying to butter and jib every roller in sight. It is also really maneuverable in tight, steep spots, but stays composed quite well in high-speed runouts. I really enjoyed it last season, and I think I’d be quite content with it as my daily driver at Mt. CB.

Given that I’m restricted to two skis here (world’s smallest violin begins to play), I need a lot of versatility out of my quiver. This is why I’ve elected to mount the Big Horn with the Cast Freetour System and Look Pivot 15 (Forza, duh). The Big Horn is light enough for me to justify dragging uphill and very freestyle-friendly, making it a superb choice as a backcountry jump session ski. I’ve opted for the Cast Freetour binding system here because it has more metal and fewer moving parts than a Duke PT or a Shift (and the CAST system has been around for longer). I’d probably be using it inbounds 95% of the time, and I want less of a chance of breaking anything, just to be safe.

Ski #2 (Do-it-all Touring): 4FRNT Raven 4-lock, 184 cm + Marker Kingpin 13

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
4FRNT Raven

The Raven is excellent, and for my style, the best option I’ve been on for a do-it-all touring ski. I found myself reaching for the Raven when I wasn’t sure what I was going to be getting into that day, or if the snow conditions were unknown and could be anywhere between bulletproof ice and blower pow.

I’ve opted for the Marker Kingpin 13 here because, in my experience, it’s easy to use, holds up to abuse well, and I’d be getting more days on this setup than in the scenario where the Raven was not my only touring ski and I had a Moment Voyager XII on it. I don’t have anything against the Voyager, I’d just prefer the Kingpin’s alpine-style heel and extra bulk here.

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

Incoming boring answer: my 3-ski quiver minus the touring ski — Sego Comp 110 and K2 Reckoner 102.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

Another boring answer: exactly what I wrote above, the Big Horn and Raven. I already had versatility and durability in mind, since I like to mix up my skiing style a lot, and one season at CB puts about three seasons’ worth of damage on a pair of skis.

I could definitely see an ON3P ski working its way into my answer here due to their bomber construction, but I need to get on their latest offerings first. 

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

I’ll truly miss the Sego Comp 110 here, especially when I am in try-hard mode and going fast at the resort. But they just aren’t as easy-going or playful as I’d like for those days when I don’t feel like hucking my meat.

Dylan Wood and Luke Koppa review the Sego Comp 110 for Blister
Dylan Wood on the Sego Comp 110, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

I also went back and forth for a while, trying to decide between the DPS Foundation Koala 103 and Big Horn 106. I ultimately found myself preferring the more damp ride of the Big Horn, but the Koala would be a good pick if I was going for a slightly more nimble ride but still wanted something playful that can be pushed impressively hard. I also found myself in between the 184 and 189 cm lengths of the Koala 103, whereas the 187 cm Big Horn feels right on the money.

I also thought about the J Skis Hotshot as a potential daily driver. It is damp, fun, and versatile, but I ended up wanting something more freestyle-oriented.

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?

Hmm, the Moment Deathwish 104 could be serious competition to the Big Horn 106. I wonder if I will still find myself preferring the (assumed) heavier Big Horn, or end up liking the new Deathwish and its unique triple-camber rocker profile.

Again, the ON3P Woodsman has potential to make it back into my quiver, and I’d probably opt for the narrower 102 model. I also might just have to get that new “Trash Can” Jeffrey 102 just based on how it looks, cause … wow.

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

1. Sego: Big Horn 106 and Wave BC 104

The Big Horn feels like the foundation of my 2-ski quiver, so this is only right. No clue how the Wave BC 104 skis, though.

2. Moment: Deathwish 104 and Wildcat Tour 108

I think I’d be pretty happy with this.

3. J Skis: Hotshot and Slacker

This one would be fun.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

David Golay

(6′, 165 lb / 183 cm, 74.8 kg)

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

Now that we’re down to two skis, it’s time to really maximize versatility. But that said, I’m not going for a 50/50 ski just yet. Instead, I’ll opt for one dedicated touring ski and one dedicated resort option.

Ski #1: 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm + G3 ZED 12

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
4FRNT Raven

For all the reasons I’ve been including it in the bigger quivers, too.

Ski #2: K2 Mindbender 108 Ti, 186 cm + Look Pivot 15

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
K2 Mindbender 108Ti

Now that I’m down to a single resort ski, the Mindbender 108 Ti is a pretty easy choice. It carves great for its width, floats well in deeper snow, and has decent suspension when things start to get chopped up and rough. It’s not the most ideal heavy chop charger, but I can’t think of anything that is both much better in that area, and also still nearly as fun on piste. So the Mindbender 108 Ti it is.

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

My three-ski quiver consisted of one touring ski and two dedicated resort options, so I’ll drop the 4FRNT Raven from the three and go with the Volkl M6 Mantra and Prior Husume, for all the reasons I brought up in that article.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

This one’s tricky. The good news is that I tend to like pretty heavy, stout skis in general, and that tends to work in my favor on the durability side of things. So I’m actually tempted to just stick with the same answer as my standard two ski quiver. The Raven is definitely not some mega-burly ski, but I’m also never going to ski it inbounds in this scenario, and the pair I own in real life has held up to a few seasons of touring use so far. I haven’t spent enough days on a single pair of the Mindbender 108 Ti to have any real idea one way or another about their durability, but I wouldn’t be super worried about them.

That said, if we’re really putting an emphasis on durability, one brand in particular comes to mind for me as having a well-earned reputation for making tough skis — ON3P. I still regularly ski a 10-year-old pair of ON3P Wrenegades, and they’re holding up remarkably well. So I’m tempted to swap something from them into my resort slot. My home mountain has a lot of open terrain with room to let big skis run, so if we take location out of the question I’d be inclined to take a flyer on the Wrenegade 110 Pro, but I suspect it’ll be more of a handful in tighter spots and big moguls and so on. So my real inclination is to try a Woodsman 102. Granted, I’ve only skied the older 108, but if the 102 feels like a slightly narrower 108 — and on paper it seems like there’s a good chance of that — I’d be quite happy with it.

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

I thought about subbing a 188 cm Blizzard Rustler 11 for the Mindbender 108 Ti, but the K2 is definitely a more energetic and entertaining carver, and that won out. And basically ditto (to an even bigger degree) for the Prior Husume, though the Husume is definitely my favorite variable conditions charger of the three.

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 don’t expect it to be as energetic a carver as the Mindbender 108 Ti, especially at speeds below mach-looney, but I could definitely see the ON3P Wrenegade 110 Pro unseating the Mindbender if it really clicks.

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

I have to do a lot of guessing here — I don’t have a great answer where I’ve actually skied the current versions of both skis. But with that (large) caveat out of the way, I’ve got a few ideas. All of these are built around one touring ski and one dedicated resort option.

(1) ON3P: Billy Goat 110 Tour and Wrenegade 110 Pro. I’ve got very high hopes for the BG110 Tour as an alternative to the Raven as my do-it-all touring ski, especially for mid-winter conditions. I’m sure I’d wish I had something narrower and stronger on edge when things firm up in the spring, but that’s kind of true for the Raven, too.

(2) K2: Wayback 106 and Mindbender 108 Ti. I know I’d be pretty happy with the Mindbender 108 Ti as my resort ski, but haven’t skied the Wayback 106.

(3) Blizzard: Zero G 105 and Rustler 11. Once again, I’m guessing on the Zero G, but wouldn’t be mad about the Rustler, at all.

Part Two:

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Kristin Sinnott

(5’8”, 125 lbs / 172 cm, 56.7 kg)

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

For reference, I currently ski almost exclusively in the resort. I recently moved and, between my new location, workload, and my toddler, I’ll have fewer opportunities for uphill travel than I’ve had in the last 15 years. I plan to do some spring touring (and if the stars align, maybe some mid-winter touring or resort uphill travel) so I will mount 1 pair of skis for touring. But I will use a Shift binding so I can use both pairs in the resort fairly comfortably.

As far as my skiing goes, I’m a very directional skier and my skiing wouldn’t be described as playful. I keep my skis on the ground 99% of the time but I am an all-mountain skier (with the exception of the park) and I enjoy just about every type of snow condition.

With that in mind, I picked 2 pairs of skis that I always look forward to skiing. Both are among the most intuitive skis I’ve tried and they are also versatile for what I like to ski.

50/50 All Mountain Ski — Elan Ripstick 94W, 170 cm + Shift binding

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Elan Ripstick 94 W

When narrowing down my selection to 2-skis, I knew I still wanted a pair of fairly narrow skis (a 94 mm waist is fairly narrow for where I ski, but I recognize it isn’t the case everywhere). I wanted these narrower skis to hold up well on firm / icy groomers (early-season conditions where I ski) but still be fun when bumps, chutes, and trees come into play later in the season. I also knew one pair of skis would need to be reasonably lightweight so that it wouldn’t feel like a huge burden when I do get to go out skinning. And my current backcountry opportunities tend to be spring-oriented with corn more likely than powder.

For the past few seasons, I’ve really been enjoying several skis that are 93-96 mm underfoot. The Nordica Santa Ana 93 was one of my favorites in previous quivers and this year I’ve kept the Ripstick 94W and Volkl Secret 96 around up until now. For my 2-ski quiver, I knew I had to drop one of these.

Ultimately, the Ripstick 94W made the cut because it’s lightweight enough to fit comfortably into the 50/50 position I was looking for. It is also a fun ski and handles most terrain well. It’s intuitive and quick. It definitely can get bumped around in crud, but it’s extremely predictable and it doesn’t fight me on anything.

Wider All-Mountain Ski — Wagner Summit 106, 172 cm

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Wagner Summit 106

Honestly, I could have also mounted these with the Shifts and been fine, but I didn’t want or need 2 pairs of 50/50 skis. The Wagner Summit 106 was made specifically for the Blister Summit and was based on previous Wagner skis built with both resort and backcountry skiing in mind. In my 2-ski quiver, the Summit 106 will be an inbounds all-mountain ski. I would grab these when snow conditions are good and when there is more terrain to ski than groomers. They would also serve as my powder ski.

For quite a few years, my ski of choice, and my only ski, was the Line Pandora 110 (the old, pre-20/21 version). I skied all over my home mountain with it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since getting rid of the Pandora 110, the Summit 106 is the first ski in the 105–110 mm waist range that I would be happy to ski daily. I’ve enjoyed skiing other skis in that width range, like the Nordica Santa Ana 110 (old version) and the Salomon QST Stella 106, but neither of those feels quite as versatile as the Summit 106. This isn’t to say that the Pandora 110 and Summit 106 are similar in any way, but rather that I thought I was over skiing a wide all-mountain ski.

With all of that said, I do have a hard time describing the Summit 106. This is something I will be working on in the near future, but what I can say is that from my first few turns on it, I knew this was my ski. It made skiing easier. From groomers to bumps to chutes, the Summit 106 is easy to turn, predictable, and the most intuitive ski I’ve been on in a long time.

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

I’m pretty happy with my choices but if there was zero chance of backcountry skiing, I might switch the Ripstick 94W for the Volkl Secret 96 in a 163 cm length. Both skis worked well for me but I ultimately chose the Ripstick 94W in my 2-ski quiver because of its lighter weight.

I generally gravitate toward skis around 170 cm, but I think I’d be happier with the shorter length in the Secret 96 if I only had 2 pairs of skis for the season. The reason for the choice is mostly that the 163 cm length ski felt more playful than the 170 cm. I know I mentioned that my skiing was not playful, but it’s not due to a lack of trying. If I was to sub it in for the Elan Ripstick 94W, I’d want to have a ski that provided me the opportunity to try to get out of my current skiing rut. So for my inbounds-only 2-ski quiver, it would be the Volkl Secret 96 163 cm and the Summit 106, 172 cm.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

I don’t think I’d run into issues with either pair of skis if I’m looking long-term. I don’t have any big ski trips planned in the near future. If I was heading to Revelstoke or Japan in the next 3-4 years, I’d regret not putting Shifts on the Summit 106 but I think I could be pretty happy skiing anywhere with these 2 skis.

I usually get a few days of skiing in the back east and at Sun Valley over the holidays. I think the Ripstick 94W would work well for those conditions. For other travel, wherever it may be, I feel like I’d be covered for most conditions and terrain.

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

The skis in my 3-ski and 4-ski quivers (Blizzard Black Pearl 88, Volkl Secret 96) were both there for a reason, so it was hard to remove them. But I am happy with my choices.

I am still questioning the lack of any Nordica Santa Anas in my quiver this year. I love that series of skis but for some reason, they didn’t make the cut this year. This has definitely left me second-guessing my choices, but I can’t think of a reason to include them over any of my other picks.

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
Kristin Sinnott on the Nordica Santa Ana 93 (Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado)

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 Nordica Santa Ana Unlimited 93. On paper, it looks good and I have them in my possession but have yet to get on them. The standard version was a top choice of mine in previous years, so a lighter version might be a contender for my 50/50 ski in my 2-ski quiver in the future.

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

I think I could happily go with Elan or Nordica. For Elan, I’d pick the Ripstick 94W and 102W. I haven’t been on the Ripstick 102W but I’ve heard great things about it. Based on how much I like the Ripstick 94W, I think I’d get along well with the 102W.

For Nordica, I’d go with the Santa Ana Unlimited 93 and the Santa Ana 104. As I mentioned above, I have yet to ski the Unlimited and I’ve also never skied the Santa Ana 104 Free. But based on my experience with other Santa Ana skis, I think I could make this pair work.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Eric Freson

(5’10”, ~175 lbs / 178 cm, 79 kg)

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

I spend more of my time in the backcountry than the resort, so my 2-ski quiver choices would reflect lots of days spent walking uphill. As we drop to two skis, this becomes a problem for me more with bindings than skis, since I want to minimize weight on the ascent but also do not want to hold back on the descent (especially for my resort days). The Marker Duke PT does offer a bit of a cheater option (though I’d still want to have a dedicated touring boot and dedicated alpine boot). The 2-ski scenario also begins to expose just how specialized many of the pieces of equipment we use are, and how your intended use plays a huge factor in gear selection.

Ski #1: Do-Everything Ski — 4FRNT Raven, 190 cm + Marker Duke PT 16

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
4FRNT Raven

The Raven continues to be a ski that I can trust anywhere I might find myself. It is light for its size, predictable on firm snow, and loose in soft snow. In a 2-ski quiver, I would move up to the 190 cm length over the 184 cm in an effort to get more stability at higher speeds and on the firmer snow often encountered at a resort. The Raven’s lighter weight and deep rocker lines make it less ideal for super firm days in the resort, compared to other potential choices, but it’s going to get the job done just about anywhere, and is a ski I’d consider “easy” to ski on days when I’m trying to be mellow. And if conditions are super firm in the resort, I’m probably going to be out in the backcountry anyway.

The Marker Duke PT looks like it could similarly be a great compromise for a ski used everywhere. I’m looking forward to spending more time on it this season, but I know that I would much prefer the Duke PT over a traditional tech binding or even something like the Kingpin when skiing the resort in firm conditions, and the increased confidence inbounds would be worth the weight and transition compromises in the backcountry. The CAST system is also a strong contender, but so far, the Duke PT seems a bit less finicky during transitions and less prone to snow / ice buildup.

Ski #2: Pow Ski — 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm + Marker Duke PT 16

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
4FRNT Renegade

Another year, and I still haven’t found anything to displace the Renegade as my go-to “soft snow, big days” ski.

At 122 mm underfoot, I will never feel short-changed on deep days, but with a stiff flex pattern both underfoot and torsionally, I have skied Renegades in some truly heinous conditions without too much drama, either. It’s quick to get on top of the snow, very easy to pivot, and you can shut it down in a moment.

Pairing the Renegade with the Marker Duke PT really does feel like what this binding was intended for. The Renegade is a soft-snow tool designed with aggressive skiing in mind, and not something I’d likely use for exceptionally long backcountry days or hardpack-resort-hucking, so a burly AT binding like the Duke PT seems like an easy choice here.

[Editor’s Note: We’ll finally be posting our full review of the Renegade in the coming weeks; apologies for the delay.]

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

Ski #1: Everyday Resort Ski — Salomon Stance 102, 182 cm + Salomon STH2 16

While I knew on paper that I would probably like this Salomon before ever skiing it, its construction, flat tail, camber underfoot, and torsional stiffness on snow nonetheless had me impressed with the Stance 102 in the 182 cm size we tested. This ski does require good form, consistent forward pressure in your boots, and its tail is what I would call “high energy,” but all this leads to a strong directional charger. Its ample tip rocker helps it to ski shorter than its stout tail would suggest in steep and tight terrain, yet with plenty of camber underfoot, it’s still able to carve impressively well on groomers

Not as loose or smeary as some of the other all-mountain chargers I tend to enjoy, the Stance 102’s ability to find edge hold and traction in truly firm snow conditions helped to make it a more practical everyday choice during our low-tide season, and I wound up spending more days on it even after the review process was complete (full review to come this season, once we get some photos).

Ski #2: Big Day Resort Ski — Rossignol Blackops Sender Squad, 194 cm + Salomon STH2 16

The Sender Squad is 194 cm long, very, very damp, yet is relatively approachable with its forward mount point and not overly crazy stiff flex pattern. It’s fun in soft snow, but more importantly and more special (to me) is its top-shelf ability to soak up shitty runouts.

The Sender Squad is a versatile ski for the technically proficient skier looking for power and a big sweet spot. I appreciate its high ceiling of stability and it also feels comfortable handling frequent starts and stops and speed fluctuations, pushing through piles of soft snow, crossing other skiers’ tracks, and slashing untouched pockets of pow. The Sender Squad doesn’t exhibit any particularly surprising or erratic behavior, and this consistency helped me quickly get comfortable and in a rhythm with it quickly.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

Just to mix things up a bit — if I was going to be skiing with just two skis for the next 3 years, it would be the Folsom Blister Pro 104 and the 4FRNT Hoji.

The Blister Pro 104 is a loose, damp, fun ski that I would be happy to ski as a resort quiver of one, but more than anything, it has proven itself to be absolutely bomb-proof skiing at CBMR, something that really does make it stand out. This ski has been flogged by all of our reviewers in Crested Butte (and now Paul in AK) and is frankly still holding up exceptionally well for the number of rocks and amount of general abuse it has seen in that time. I’d trust it to last 3 seasons anywhere.

The Hoji would be one of my first choices as a powder tool if I didn’t know where I was going to be skiing powder. Floaty, surfy, pivoty, without being overly wide underfoot, this would be a ski I’d reach for as a powder specific tool on the East Coast, soft snow daily driver in the Rockies, and fun and capable in the more set-up powder of the PNW where its rocker would help it stay smooth and consistent.

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

The Blizzard Cochise 106 and Folsom Blister Pro 104 are both skis that I could very easily have on my 2-ski quiver list. Especially my resort quiver. The Salomon Stance 102 gets the nod ultimately because I do feel it has slightly better performance on truly firm and set-up snow, but I’d be very content with any of these choices, and they will be prime candidates for a quiver-of-one choice.

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 WNDR Alpine Vital 100 Reverse Camber is a ski I’d really like to have on my list (we may be getting on it this spring). Its smaller waist and reverse-camber profile make it very interesting to me as a potential Raven replacement. I got to ski the Vital 100 Camber at CBMR last season during the Blister Summit and was impressed by its stability and power for its weight and size class. Given my penchant for enjoying rockered skis in powder and variable snow conditions in the backcountry, I think the Reverse Cambered version of the Vital 100 is very intriguing, but with no time on the reverse cambered version, it can’t displace the Raven just yet.

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

I’m nothing if not consistent…

Between the 4FRNT MSP 99, MSP 107, Raven, Hoji, and Renegade, I could find an appropriate 2-ski quiver for any living and skiing situation I might find myself in. Those models cover the range of what I might be skiing, and I’d have a lot of fun doing it. For now, I’d just stick with my 2-ski quiver above: the Raven and Renegade.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Drew Kelly

(5’11”, 165 lbs / 180 cm, 75 kg)

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

My goal here is to get the most out of each of these skis. To accomplish that, I’ve chosen a ski for resort skiing, and another for backcountry touring. I don’t have these skis doing double duty, partly due to binding systems I haven’t spent enough time on (CAST, Duke PT) and partly because I can’t think of any skis that would be appropriate for both firm snow melee at CBMR and also tranquil powder surfing and smooth corn skiing in the backcountry.

Touring Ski — Rossignol Blackops Sender, 186 cm + Marker Duke PT 16

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
Rossignol Blackops Sender

This selection carries over from my 3-ski quiver. The Sender holds an edge well, has been stable in the various backcountry conditions I’ve skied on it, and impressed me in powder. The one set of conditions I find this ski restricting in is minigolf lines with lots of features, in which case I’d prefer something with slightly more tail splay and more length.

Resort Ski — Folsom Cash 106, 188 cm

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
Folsom Cash 106

The Cash 106 can handle it all at Crested Butte. I would like to spend a little more time on groomers with it, am curious about the longevity of this ski, and ideally want a length closer to 192 centimeters, but otherwise, I’m very happy with this selection, based on my time skiing a pair at last year’s Blister Summit.

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

Early Season — K2 Mindbender 99 Ti, 184 cm

Early season conditions last a long time at CBMR. Good thing I love carving groomers and slamming bumps. These are the conditions closest to my heart, and so this ski really has to allow me to express myself fully without any consideration. For my skiing style, that’s the Mindbender 99 Ti.

Mid-Late Season — Volkl Katana 108, 191 cm

The big shovels will give me plenty of flotation on the rare powder day, the length will serve as a big landing pad, and the superb edge hold and long rocker lines will provide agility and confidence in all types of terrain.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

In this case, I would stay with the Blackops Sender for backcountry skiing — I’ve hit a lot of rock and wood and dirt over the past 40ish days I have been skiing it and so far it seems to be holding up well.

I am changing my resort ski choice to a 191 centimeter Katana 108 simply due to the fact that I’ve skied many Volkls over the years and they have held up well. I have not skied many Folsom skis, and so I just can’t personally speak to their durability as of yet (though, as Eric noted, our pair of the Folsom Blister Pro 104 held up really well).

Jonathan Ellsworth, Luke Koppa, & Drew Kelly review the Volkl Katana 108 for Blister
Drew Kelly on the Volkl Katana 108, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

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

With a 2-ski quiver, the skis that are staring at me in the rearview mirror are ones that I know will do better zipper-lining bumps and perhaps have a slightly higher speed limit — mainly the Volkl Mantra 102 and Rossignol Blackops Sender Ti. I never hit 75 mph on the Cash 106 during my time on it (it’s also just not easy to do that at Mt. CB), and the Katana 108 starts to chatter a little at more dramatic edge angles and higher-speed turns and deflects some in firm bumps, so maybe I’ll find something that will replace them next year?

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 K2 Mindbender 108 Ti in the 193 cm length and Dynastar M-Free 108 in a 192 cm length both seem like viable options for replacing the Cash 106. The ski with the best combination of carve-ability and agility wins.

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

Rossignol: Blackops Sender Ti, 187 cm & Blackops Sender, 186 cm

The main question here is whether to go with the 187 or 194 Sender Ti.

Volkl: Katana 108, 191 cm & Blaze 106, 186 cm

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Sascha Anastas

(5’1”, 100 lbs / 155 cm, 45.3 kg)

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

#1 All Mountain Resort Ski: Liberty Genesis 101, 165 cm + Marker Griffon

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
Liberty Genesis 101

Since I mostly ski in Colorado and most of the time I am riding lifts, I would choose the Liberty Genesis 101 for my all-mountain resort ski. For me, this ski is as fun to maneuver in between moguls as it is to carve. I find this ski to be plenty stable and energetic when carving on groomers. For the most part, it feels pretty comparable to the old Liberty Genesis 96, but I found that the 101 was slightly more stable at higher speeds. As for length, I was torn between the 171 cm and the 165 cm but choose the 165 cm since it was the length I spent time on last season, and I really enjoyed the ski.

#2 Powder / Backcountry Ski: Armada Trace 108, 164 cm + Salomon Shift

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER
19/20 Armada Trace 108

Since I opted for a slightly wider all-mountain ski than in years past, I decided to choose a ski a little wider than I did for my 50/50 option in my 3-ski quiver. This ski would need to handle powder days on the resort, sidecountry runs, and backcountry excursions. The Armada Trace 108 is pretty lightweight, making it nice for uphill slugs and easy for me to maneuver, but is damp for its weight and doesn’t feel out of place in the resort. As I mentioned in the 3-ski quiver, I need my backcountry ski to be reliable and am willing to compromise weight for stability, but with the Trace 108, I don’t feel like I am giving up any stability so it’s a win-win here. This inclusion comes with the caveat that I haven’t skied the latest version, which is reportedly a bit lighter than the older Trace 108 I skied, but based on what our reviewers have said about the men’s Tracer 108 (same construction), it sounds like the update was pretty minor.

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

For a narrower inbounds-only ski, I’d opt for a more directional, more stable ski like the Blizzard Black Pearl 97 or possibly the narrower Black Pearl 88. The Black Pearl 88 would be a blast on groomers, quick on moguls, and would be plenty stable and damp for steep terrain and chalky conditions. Given how demanding the Black Pearl 97 is, I think I’m leaning toward the more accessible Black Pearl 88.

For a wider ski, I think it would be a tie between the Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free and Line Pandora 104. If I lived in a region like the PNW, I’d likely choose an even wider ski, such as the Pandora 110. But for Colorado, the Santa Ana 104 and Pandora 104 both perform well as soft-snow skis for me.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

I probably would have to include the Line Pandora 104 for one of the options since I don’t think I could commit to three seasons without this ski in my quiver (I just like it that much). I would probably choose it for my All-Mountain Resort Ski and keep the Armada Trace 108 as my 50/50 ski.

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

Line Pandora 104 and Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free. I think I had the same answer last year, too. I have a hard time committing to a quiver that does not include either of these skis. I had a really hard time deciding what width to commit to for my wider ski since I tend to gravitate toward skis in the 104-106 mm width, but with two skis I can go a bit more specialized with skis on the narrower and wider end of that range. I also think the Liberty Genesis 106 cm would have been another great option here.

Sascha Anastas reviews the Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free for Blister
Sascha Anastas on the Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

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?

Icelantic Nia Pro. I got to spend some time on this ski during the Blister Summit and was impressed by its stability, despite being a fully rockered, surfy ski. And at 105 mm underfoot, this ski falls right into my sweet spot for width selection so I think this ski could be a great option for my 50/50 ski.

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

Nordica, with a Santa Ana 93 and Santa Ana 104 Free.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Paul Forward

(6’, 200 lbs / 183 cm, 90.7 kg)

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

Heli Guide & Resort Ski: DPS Foundation Koala 118 (119), 189 cm + Marker Jester Pro

Blister's 2021-2022 ski quiver selections
DPS Foundation Koala 118

This is a bit of stretch because I still haven’t skied the updated Koala 118 that replaced my beloved Koala 119, but based on what Luke (I’m putting a lot of faith in you here, Luke!) has said, the 189 cm 118 is likely to float at least as well as the 119 in pow without losing too much of the awesome stability on and off edge of the heavier and stiffer 119.

Of all the skis I’ve used in the past few years, the Koala F119 is the ski that best bridges the gap between floatation and ease of use on big runs I’ll encounter heli skiing and on deep lift-served days while still feeling stable and quick enough for inbounds skiing in just about any snow conditions. For me, nothing else has really come close to the Koala 119 in this regard. Yeah, I’d much prefer a skinnier ski for firm inbounds conditions and groomers, but I could make it through a whole season at Alyeska on this ski and I wouldn’t be sad about it. (Especially this year when we opened with over 270” of snow!)

Touring Ski: Blizzard Zero G 105 + Moment Voyager XVI

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Blizzard Zero G 105

I keep listing this ski as my touring ski of choice and I want to clarify that it’s not because I think it’s particularly awesome, it’s just that I haven’t yet been on another current-model ski that feels as versatile for human-powered touring. It’s light enough for big days, stable enough for rough conditions, and has just enough float that I don’t miss bigger skis too badly on deep days. After spending a lot of time on more forward-mounted skis, the more traditional mount point of the Zero G does feel a little awkward at first, but after the first few turns of the day, they start to feel intuitive and balanced.

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

DPS Koala 119 (118) with Jester Pro for all of the reasons mentioned above

Volkl Mantra 102 with Jester Pro for all of the reasons I’ve written about in earlier quivers.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

Based on my experience so far, I think I’d probably stick with the above. So far, I don’t have any good reason to doubt the durability of the Koala, Mantra 102, or the Zero G 105. They’ve all held up well to lots of days and all have met at least a few rocks.

From a versatility standpoint, I might consider dropping to a skinnier ski for lift-served / mechanized skiing if the possibility existed of going someplace without much snow. But for most places I’ve been around the world, I’d be okay with the big DPS.

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

From current-model skis, the Moment Chipotle Banana is the best big pow ski I’ve used for smashing around under the lifts. I didn’t love it as a heli ski because of its mediocre (for a fat ski) float in deep snow.

Paul Forward reviews the Moment Chipotle Banana for Blister
Paul Forward on the Moment Chipotle Banana, Chugach Powder Guides, Alaska.

The other current-model ski that would fit that niche is the Blizzard Rustler 11. I’ve only skied it in the 188 cm version so far and it wasn’t quite enough ski for my preferences both inbounds and out of a heli, but I suspect the 192 cm version, which I should get to ski soon, will be better in that regard.

La Machine from Faction was the standout surprise ski of 20/21 for me and strikes me as an overall remarkable and surprisingly versatile powder ski. I’ve never had a day on that ski (mounted with touring binding or alpine) that I didn’t enjoy. It’s almost as good as my all-time favorite skis for big days in the heli, but at a weight that makes it compelling for pow-touring. It can even handle inbounds days as long as it’s not too firm and bumpy.

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?

Increasingly, “light is right” for my personal touring gear and I’m really excited to get out on this pair of Movement Alp Tracks 106 that I’ll be mounting up this week. They save a lot of weight over the Zero G 105, have a more progressive mount, and the shape looks good for pow. We’ll see how they hold up in the “not pow.”

I had to stop listing the Moment Wildcat after I learned that it got lighter a few years back. If the current version is more true to the original recipe it will be a contender for the all-round inbounds / mechanized ski, although I’ve never been blown away by that platform’s floatation in deep snow.

My recent experience with Folsom skis and my excellent Raptures also have me thinking a lot about what I could do with a pair of the new Cash 117 to rival the DPS Koala or a light pair of Cash 106’s as a 50/50 or even touring ski, if they can be built light enough.

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

Based on skis I’ve actually used, I’d have to go with Blizzard on this one, despite not yet having skied the 192 cm Rustler 11. I think that 192 cm Rustler plus the Zero G 105 would make a fine quiver for what I do.

DPS would also be a good choice with the Koala 119 (118) and Pagoda Tour 106, but the 106’s longest length is 184 cm and that’s just too short for me in pow.

I think Folsom could fill this niche with custom skis as well but, again, that feels like cheating.

2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22), BLISTER

Jonathan Ellsworth

(5’10”, ~175 lbs / 178 cm, 79 kg)

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

The fewer the skis, the more compromises you’re going to have to make. And for whatever reason, with my quiver selections this year, I am skewing more toward the lower-snow side of things than optimizing for deep days.

But I’m not a storm chaser, and I don’t (yet?) own a sled — which my friends still harass me about constantly.

And so consider this my quiver for modest conditions, lower-snow resort riding, and backcountry touring. This would neither be my ideal quiver for bulletproof conditions nor for the deepest days, but for 85-90% of my days out, I predict that I’ll be having a very good time on one of these two skis.

Customized Folsom Spar 88, 182 cm

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Folsom Spar 88

See my 4-ski quiver article for more on the small tweaks I’d make to the stock version.

For those of you who have been reading Blister for several years, you know that this is the position that the previous pre-20/21 Blizzard Brahma (180 cm) used to occupy. And since the Brahma is a different ski now, the Spar 88 is the most versatile sub-90mm-wide ski (for truly all-mountain use) that I’ve been on. It carves well, it’s very good in moguls, and it’s compliant on chalky steeps and even steeper lines with (smaller amounts of) punchy snow.

I’ll take it.

Stock Wagner Summit 106, 186 cm + Shift binding

Blister's 2021-2022 reviewer ski quiver selections
Wagner Summit 106

The thing that impressed me the most about the Summit 106 is how good its suspension felt for weighing just over 2000 g per ski. We have only skied the Summit 106 inbounds at Crested Butte, with a dedicated alpine binding, and I have only skied it in a dedicated alpine ski boot (HEAD Raptor 140 RS and Atomic Hawx Ultra Professional). And I really enjoyed how maneuverable, solid, and plush this ski felt in mixed-conditions moguls, which means this is a ski that I already know I like using inbounds.

Throw a Shift binding on it, and it still comes in at a weight that I’m comfortable with for the ski touring I do, and the backcountry conditions I use it in will typically be less demanding than the ones I’ve already skied the Summit 106 in inbounds.

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

For the reasons I’ve just laid out … I could actually stick with the Folsom Spar 88 and the Wagner Summit 106. But …

I was back on the Volkl M6 Mantra on Sunday, and I was reminded again how good of a ski it is. Excellent suspension, excellent turn initiation, compliant in moguls. But I still prefer the Mantra 102 for all-mountain skiing (whereas the M6 gets the nod for carving groomers).

So I could do something like 184 cm Volkl Mantra 102 + 186 cm Rossignol Blackops Gamer … but I don’t love the spread here, and would rather my narrower ski be in the ~85-88mm-wide range, with the 2nd ski being in the ~108-110 mm range.

Or, with more time on it, maybe I’d be willing to go with the J Skis Fastforward (92 mm wide) plus the 186 cm Rossi Gamer. I don’t know, I’m going to stop for now. Reread my first sentence, and check in with me again next year.

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) versatility and (b) durability — these skis need to hold up for at least 3-4 years.)

I feel less sure about my answer here than in years past, and honestly, I don’t have reservations about my current selections. But it is definitely not an inexpensive quiver.

And in the event that I do happen to break a ski via pilot error rather than something that could be warrantied, I might be tempted to go for the 181 cm J Skis Fastforward, since it is heavier at about 2117 g per ski for our pair (when it comes to durability, I still tend to place faith in weight) and it is less expensive.

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

See my above answers to the second question.

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 clearly struggling to name a ski for inbounds use that will work well as a pow ski, but also works really well on scraped-off sections or on end-of-day runs where all the pow has been beat into better or worse chop and crud.

And this has me thinking that we need to get on the tweaked ON3P Woodsman 110 asap.

It also makes me think that it might be time to get back on the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free. Maybe I’ve been sleeping on this ski and focusing my affection too much on the Enforcer 104 Free? And maybe there will be a few new skis coming down the pike this year that will perfectly fit the bill.

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

Black Crows Serpo, 180.1 cm + alpine binding
Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm + Shift binding

Well this might come as a bit of surprise, since I haven’t talked about either of these skis yet. But having thought about this for weeks, I keep coming back to the thought that these two skis are the best solutions to what I’ve said I’m looking for out of my 2-ski quiver.

12 comments on “2-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (21/22)”

  1. Thanks for keeping up the great work Blister! Consumer Reports for mountain folk

    My only request would be the employment of a Clydesdale for your crew. I’m 6’3” 205 and am frequently left wondering if all of this “flex/playful/charger” chat loses something in translation to us larger folks

    Keep up the great work…I’m a new member but I will be lifelong for myself/wife/kids and really believe in your mission!

    A

  2. Hi.
    The ski selections for women. Are they always women’s skis to give an indication for readers?
    I would have thought a lot of good women skiers would ski the unisex models I.e men’s skis.
    How about an article on women skiing women’s skis then trying the male equivalent, even if any different construction means going down a length?

    • Hey Alan, I think a lot of it depends on the model and brand of ski. Some just have a different top sheet/offered length and some are a different construction. Although your assumption that good skiers should ski mens skis doesn’t track for me. Being a good skier doesn’t mean you need to pick a ski that is stiffer or longer than average. Also lots of women’s skis go pretty hard.

  3. The Raven keeps hanging strong! I’ve turned over my quiver for this season and with the rest of the new quiver still pending me mounting em up, I have just had my Raven’s (w/ pin-tech binders) for early season bc + resort, and I’m reminded how fun and versatile it is – even though groomers are not where I’d otherwise take them out. They also punch way above their weight in powder given the shape. I wish the Renegade was just a big Raven

  4. For the future, I would be really interested in the ONLY-touring version of the quivers! I know that’s not necessarily the focus for many of the reviewers, but just an idea.

  5. I want to echo this comment. 225+, 5’11” here. (Think rugby player physique that enjoys a beer or 12.) I agree the Blister squad largely does a good job of reviewing for everyone, and that there’s no one better. However the closest reviewer size wise is Paul F and very few of us are spending significant time in AK, not that I don’t love Paul’s reviews.
    I get I’m personally an outlier. But ~30+lbs differential to even get to 200 on a lot of the men’s ski reviewers is no small difference when talking about flex rating/patterns and what floats or doesn’t. 100mm is an on piste only ski in the 2 Bills(200lbs) department.
    I skied a 184 Deathwish as my daily driver for 75% of my days in New England last year.

  6. Getting close to the end of the yearly quiver selections…how about a bonus five ski pick “if time was not a reality” (I.e. any ski from history was available). That would be entertaining!

    I know I’d have some Green Dragon Katanas and snorting bull Cochise on there somewhere.

  7. I think you all need to remember basic ski sizing when applying these reviews to your personal needs. Keeping in mind that they’re all highly proficient skiers. Sure, you have 30 lbs on someone, but you probably won’t be as demanding of a ski. As a 5’10, 175 lb female, I’ve always used men’s skis. That’s a barefoot measurement too, not like some of you cheating in your shoes or imaginations lol. Bottom line, it’s still a very appropriate way to research equipment. How would they sell personalized gear recommendations if they didn’t stick to their personal experiences? Suck it up and buy one, or just trust whoever is selling you gear…

  8. I would ask that as you add new quivers, from other reviewers, you add from the top, slotting in above the already posted ones.

    A few times now I have clicked on it, seen the first one, and thought: ‘yep, already read that’. Once I figured it out it, I knew to scroll down, but it still means I am scrolling, reading a line or two, scrolling some more, trying to hit the spot where the new quiver is added.
    I imagine for people reading on phones this is even more annoying.

  9. It’s interesting to see some new skis in your lineups as the tweaks hit former mainstays. A couple slow starting seasons and half of my days with a little learner make me want something a bit skinnier than Enforcer 100s to compliment my Enforcer 110s. Has anyone been on the Mindbender 90Ti? Doubtful it’d have edge grip to rival a Brahma 88 or Enforcer 88, but looks like a good option on paper, especially during those midseason dry spells when the whole mountain is open.

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