2-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (14/15)

Brett Carroll (see bio)

Last winter was my first season writing for Blister, so with only one season under my belt, I haven’t been on as many skis as some of our other reviewers, or achieved their wizard reviewer status.

[Editor’s Note: Whatever. Brett’s first review was probably the best initial review we’ve ever seen. He’s good.]

But I have ridden and reviewed a good variety of skis in the 100-110mm all-mountain category, and I think there are a few solid two-ski-quivers that can be put together from those options. So, without further ado:

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

Over the past few seasons, I’ve spent the vast majority of my inbounds days in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. While LCC is famous for the powder it often receives, that is only part of the story, and I want my two-ski quiver to be able to handle two types of days:

Ski #1: For those “Dry-Spell” Days

Rossignol Experience 100, 182cm

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Rossignol Experience 100

Even at Alta, sometimes it just doesn’t snow. When the Wasatch is in the middle of a multi-week dry spell, I want a ski that can (a) rail firm groomers and (b) provide a stable platform for skiing steep terrain in firm chop and variable conditions.

For me, this selection came down to a choice between the Experience 100 and the Line Supernatural 100. The Experience 100’s fat, powerful tails help them to feel stable and energetic arcing turns on firm groomers, while also providing excellent edgehold. The Supernatural 100 also performs well on groomers, but their subtly rockered tails make them a bit more prone to washing out as conditions move toward boilerplate.

The Supernatural 100’s tails do make them a little more playful in firm, off-piste conditions than the Experience 100. The Supernatural 100 feels comfortable breaking its tails free and smearing turns down the fall line, while the E100’s tails prefer to bite and force the skier to commit to the fall line.

So choosing between these two skis in these conditions is more or less a tradeoff between playfulness and edgehold / precision, but I’m going to go with the Experience 100’s top-notch groomer performance and edgehold for this round.

Ski #2: For those classic Wasatch days

Line Supernatural 108, 186cm

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Line Supernatural 108

Sometimes it doesn’t snow here, and then sometimes, it snows a lot. So I want a ski that floats in fresh powder, but that can also crush deep, soft chop.

The Supernatural 108 may seem a tad skinny to be the choice for a powder / soft-snow- specific ski in Little Cottonwood Canyon. There are two main reasons why I’m giving it the nod for this spot.

1) I’ve yet to review anything fatter.

2) It is still a damn good ski for these conditions, especially since…

Let’s get real. Even on the deepest powder days at Alta or Snowbird, how many laps of totally untouched snow can you make before you start skiing mainly soft chop? Two? Three? Four, if you’re lucky?

I found the Line Supernatural 108 to be quite capable in untouched powder. It may not float or surf as well as a more dedicated powder ski, but I would have no reservations about taking it out on the deepest days in the resort. Because once those laps of truly virgin powder have been replaced by small stashes separated by acres of soft chop, the Supernatural 108 really shines.

The Line Supernatural 108 is my favorite ski that I have ridden in soft, chopped-up conditions. It is stiff and damp enough that I have never had an issue with its tips getting deflected (even at some very high speeds), and fat enough to float up on top of deep, soft chop rather than getting bogged down in it.

These characteristics help the Supernatural 108 claim the distinction of the best ski that I have ridden in what Jonathan and I refer to as “deep-ass Alta chop.” This variety of chop seems to be an Alta specialty, and occurs when the two feet of blower pow that fell the night before gets pushed into large, heavy piles separated by deep troughs. These conditions can actually be quite difficult to ski, and they are a perfect proving ground for determining just how stable an all-mountain ski is.

The Supernatural 108 does very well in these conditions, too. I have never had an issue with the tips deflecting, folding, or getting stuck in these piles of snow.

So while the Supernatural 108 may not be the best ski for those first few powder runs of the day, their ability to crush soft chop makes me 100% comfortable selecting it as the second ski in my Alta quiver.

II.  What’s your two-ski quiver for Taos?

I’m going to stick with the same two selections for Taos, for the same reasons.

III.  What’s your two-ski quiver for the Canterbury Club Fields, New Zealand?

I have yet to make the pilgrimage to Canterbury, but these are the two skis I would take:

Ski #1: Line Supernatural 100, 186cm

Blister Gear Review's Best 2-Ski Quiver awards
Line Supernatural 100

While I picked the Experience 100 for firmer days in the Wasatch, I am going to go with the Supernatural 100 for firmer conditions at the club fields, since I will be spending very little time on groomers in Canterbury. So the Experience 100’s stellar groomer performance is a non-factor, and I would rather have the Supernatural 100’s ability to play with different turn shapes.

Ski #2: Line Supernatural 108, 186cm

Blister Gear Review's 2-Ski Quiver awards
Line Supernatural 108

Once again, I’ll go with the Supernatural 108 for my softer snow selection. In addition to what I’ve already said about the Supernatural 108’s soft chop and powder performance, it also does very well in more firm, variable snow.

I was impressed with how well the 108s can charge through firmer bumps at high speeds, while also working through bumps with more finesse at moderate speeds. Given that the conditions in New Zealand can be quite variable, the Supernatural 108 is very deserving of a spot in my Kiwi quiver.

IV.  What’s your two-ski quiver for skiing around the East Coast?

This category hits home for me, since I spent the first 16 years of my skiing life on the East Coast, racing and trying to hold an edge on solid ice of various colors: white, gray, blue—even brown. And when I wasn’t racing, I was bushwhacking through “glades” when we were lucky enough to get natural snow in the hills of Southern New England.

Ski #1: Atomic GS Skis, 184cm

I’m going with a pair of skis that can rail turns on icy, East Coast groomers. These fit the bill.

I could have chosen and been happy with the Rossi Experience 100, as they do perform exceptionally well on groomers for an all-mountain ski. But if I’m choosing a ski specifically to rail icy groomers, might as well just stick with the race skis.

Ski #2: Line Supernatural 100, 186cm

When southern New England does get snow, it comes in an unimaginably wide variety of forms. I’ve skied 12+” of sleet; 24” of about 12%-density cement; 6” of blower dust on crust; and, occasionally, 12-18” of smooth, lower-density powder. (And we won’t go into things like extreme winds, temperature changes, etc.)

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I want the second ski in my quiver to be able to handle soft chop, moguls, dust on crust, and powder. It also needs to be nimble enough to maneuver through tight East Coast trees, and carve groomers back to the lift. I think the Supernatural 100 makes sense here. I can imagine having a really good time riding these skis through the tight trees at my home ski area, Berkshire East.

The Supernatural 100 also performs well in soft chop and bumps, which tend to be the predominant conditions within a few hours of the lifts spinning on a powder day.

If I was picking a soft-snow ski specifically for northern New England (northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and inland Maine), where natural snow and powder days are more common, I might opt for the Supernatural 108. But for a general East-Coast quiver, I like the Supernatural 100.

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

Ski #1: Rossignol Experience 100, 182cm

Ski #2: Line Supernatural 108, 186cm

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

The Line Influence 105. It has been a couple years since Line produced this ski, so I had to leave it off the list by default. If it was still in production, I would have chosen it as my soft snow ski for the East Coast, and it would have been in contention for my soft snow ski at the Canterbury club fields, too.

VII.  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?

Ski #1: Blizzard Cochise, 185cm

Everyone and their mothers have told me that I need to try this ski. Friends and fellow reviewers alike keep urging me that, given my skiing style and the other skis I like, I would love this thing. Maybe this will be the year…

Ski #2: Blizzard Scout, 185cm

None of my quivers included a dedicated touring ski, mostly because I’ve been touring on a pretty heavy ski for the past couple of years—I’ve logged well over 100 touring days on the Line Influence 105.

But I am curious about a ski like the Scout, designed to be a lighter touring ski without sacrificing too much on the downhill.

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

Given my selections, the obvious choice here would be Line. As I get on a lot more skis this season, it will be interesting to see whether that answer stays the same.

Next: Paul Forward’s Selections 

27 comments on “2-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (14/15)”

  1. Since you asked:

    My two ski quiver includes the 12/13 Moment Belafonte 187 and the 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro 190. I have yet to encounter conditions that I can’t have fun in on one of these pairs of skis at any of Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Lake Louise and Whistler / Blackcomb, The Belafontes are good for everything from very hard pack / moguls and refrozen death chunder to a bit of pow. I’ve had lots of fun on the Bibby Pros (Blister Pros) in any conditions that are the least bit soft and found them to be great in pow (all kinds).

    My wife’s two ski quiver is the same, actually, just shorter (she’s on the 12/13 174 Moment Bibby Pro and 12/13 174 Moment Belafonte). She started on the 172 Moment Bella and moved to the Bibby + Belafonte combo for stability / versatility in the conditions we encounter up here and has had nothing but good things to say.

    If I were going to add a 3rd ski to the line-up, it would be a dedicated pow ski (the DPS Spoon, Moment Comi, Moment Chipotle Banana and ON3P Cease and Desist all sound very interesting…) but I’m quite happy with the 2 skis above, to be honest!

      • Thanks Jonathan!

        I’m definitely keen to hear your guys’ thoughts on how skis like the Invictus and the Wailer 105 compare to the 12/13 187 Belafonte when you have a chance this season…


  2. I’m an east coaster, but I try to get to the Kootenay’s once a year. I’m mostly in the park or tight tree runs. Jibbing and playful riding mostly, so I’m never way up at the speed limit. Right now my set up is a two ski quiver with Armada AR7s as my daily drivers and a pair of Rossi Sickles, which I’m really impressed with how quick I can bring them around in trees as well as press and spin. I’d probably stick with a similar set-up in the future – park ski plus a jibby 110ish ski. The Sickles are going strong, but I’m eyeing SFBs and Patrons as possible replacements.

    Adding in a third ski is interesting – it’s hard to justify a dedicated full-on powder ski given my location and travel plans. And I’m very used to riding my park skis around resorts, despite the center-mounting and dull-ish edges. It’s the funniest feeling when they slide out on east coast ice. So I could see a dedicated directional 95-100 ski getting used on too icy days where the grip of the AR7s isn’t enough. Liberty Variant 97 and Line Supernatural 100 are tempting options from the sounds of things.

    The single brand question is interesting – I could see going Line Chronic and SFB. Maybe Nordica for OMW and Patron? As much as I love the AR7s, Armada doesn’t give me an option in the playful 110. I’m eager to hear something about the Transfers from local park kids, so maybe Liberty Transfer and Helix?

  3. 185 Armada old school JJ with custom tip extenders for elimination of tip dive in bottomless
    184 Armada Declivity

    …if having to pare down from my 9 ski quiver. ;)

  4. In bounds, Mammoth:
    2013-14 Volkl Mantra and the 2013-15 Faction 3Zero
    Given Mammoth’s maching groomers/cut crud then big dumps that setup quick, these two winners are damn hard to beat.

  5. @ Jason: Man, you’re really stoked on Sickle, which I have to admit is impressive and I totally respect that. I’m sure I am not the only one noticing this… Keep up and stay away from bad trouble!

  6. Hi Brett,

    blister has an interesting review of Scott Punisher. Could you comment or someone from the redaction who have skied both Punisher and Supernatural 108 how do these two ski compare?

    Tank you Michal

    • Brett hasn’t been on the Punisher, so I’ll field this one – though I don’t have as much time on it as I’d like.

      I’d have to say that the 108 felt completely intuitive, right out of the gate, in a way that the Punisher did not. I also think that the oversized shovels of the Punisher would make me much less inclined to go rip bumps all day on it, while I had a great time skiing bumps on the 108s. I wouldn’t call the 189cm Punisher a quick ski – at all, really. Garrett’s review of the Punisher matters a whole lot more than these few comments from me, however. So I’d still put a lot more stock in his review than in what I’ve said here.

  7. FWIW, I think two and four ski quivers are a lot easier to pick than any three ski quiver. Four is probably the ideal for resort skis (so, not counting AT or tele skis in this). 1. Race/Carving ski for groomers or a park ski, depending on your preference, 2. ~90mm hard-snow all-mountain ski (E88, Kendo Steadfast/NRGy, etc…), 3. ~110mm soft-snow all-mountain ski(Cochise, Sidestash/Annex108, Zealot, etc…) and 4. 115+ powder specific ski. Any more than this, you’re either a pro or have way too much money lying around.

    Two-ski quivers are easy because you can eliminate 1 and 4 and just go with hard and soft snow all-mountain skis. Adding the third ski into the mix and you start playing with Murphys law. If you buy a pow ski, it won’t snow at all that year, but of course if you buy a race or carving ski, then you know it will be a record breaking snow year.

    I left out the ever popular ~100mm all-mountain skis like Bonafides and Mantras for a reason. They are great 1-ski quiver skis, or skis to bring if you travel a lot, but for everyday use at your home resort never going to be the best ski to chose from.

    • Interesting thoughts, Tom, and I think I’d agree in large part. Except for maybe the ~100mm ski part. There were definitely days at Taos where the now deceased Rossi Scimitar were a ton of fun. And the 13/14 Mantra was absolutely the best ski imaginable for me for a number of days. But since it no longer exists either … maybe you’re right after all….

  8. Fun and interesting read. I’d be interested to hear re this post or the one ski quiver to come, if you have suggestions for those skiers who tend to keep the ski’s on the snow and aren’t experts. Something for the intermediate/advanced keen skiers amongst us.

    • We’re going to be addressing this topic in more detail soon, Frame. But for now, I’ll say that it would be a big mistake to assume that all / many of the skis we’ve named are merely for “expert” skiers. If you read our full reviews of these skis (e.g., Line Sir Francis Bacon & Pandora & Sick Day 110 & Supernatural 100 & 108; Rossi Soul 7; Blizzard Bonafide and the new Cochise), these are not super demanding skis that will punish intermediates. We always try to make clear when skis are either on the forgiving side of things or the more demanding side of things. A truly “advanced” skier would do just fine – if the ski suited his or her style – on any of the skis I’ve just named. And a true intermediate would, too – it’s much more a matter of selecting the ski that’s best suited for the particular person, and less about whether this person is “expert” or “advanced” or “intermediate.”

  9. Anybody on blister gear’s testing panel skied one of the newer generation stockli storm riders? i am on the SR 100 in a tele set up (yeah i know, nobody cares…) and the ski rips. early rise, low camber, moderate flex, big old school tails. snake-like grip, damp and light. doesn’t flatter me when i’m feeling old and tired however; not the best for “lolly gagging about on my heels” to paraphrase somebody on the internet who caught my attention once.
    my other ski is a soul 7: not much gap between the two in waist width but an entirely different design brief.

    interested in your thoughts on this rarely reviewed ski.

      • How about some more kastle skis as well? I know you tested a couple, but curious your thought on mx88vs storm rider 88 vs kendo vs brahma. I agree with someone else’s thoughts above that around 100 is a good one ski quiver, but in a 3-4 ski quiver, it’s not neccessary. I’m going to replace by hell and back with something around 88 that rips groomers and bumps. If there’s snow my SN108 or influence 115 is all I need. Thanks for the great reviews!

  10. From this review and several others (notably Powder’s review) I’m highly tempted to get a pair of the Al Dente’s. The fun factor sounds out the roof.

    The two ski set-up I ran on last year:
    Line Sick Day 95
    Rossignol Soul 7

    I purchased a pair of Candide 4.0 at a great price towards the season’s end and I can’t wait to take it cat skiing and/or on deep resort days. It’s a bit too specialist to enter a 2 quiver conversation but might make a decent 3 quiver candidate.

  11. Jonathan – your website is the single best outdoor product review site in existence, and your staff’s product knowledge is second to none. I was hoping to tap your knowledge for my own selfish personal benefit.

    I currently ski Rossi S3 as my every day ski. In super deep I ski S7 which is great but has its own issues (tips tend to fold when going gets tough.) I’m an east coast skier but use the S3 on the west coast unless days are really deep. I’m an expert skier with a racing background. I now ski mostly all bumps, trees, etc… in Vermont and anything I can get my hands on out west. I will huck a little cliff here or there (nothing more than 10ft ever) and never ski switch. I need new skis and was wondering if you have any recommendations. The S3 is great all around, and Ok in real deal east coast bumps. Was thinking maybe one of the K2 Shreditor’s might be good or the Rossi Slat but hoping to tap some of your insight.

    I’m also looking to replace my S7’s with something that’s still sooo fun and easy to ski in pow but that when the going gets a little tough, the tips don’t give up on me. I was looking at the new Rossi Super 7’s and some others but really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • Thank you, David, really appreciate it.

      For someone looking for a S3 and S7 replacement, it’s awfully hard not to think of Rossi’s new iterations of both of those skis: the Sin 7 and the Super 7. While I think the S3 is excellent for the uses you describe, I will be shocked if I can’t tell a very similar story about the Sin 7. And for a directional skier, the new shape may be better. We are supposed to be getting on the Sin 7 very soon, so hopefully I can confirm these thoughts soon after Taos opens.

      And I absolutely prefer the shape of the new Super 7 to the old S7. It is not a burly ski, but I expect it to exhibit less folding up than the kinked-up tips of the old S7. The other skis that come to mind are the Atomic Automatic and the (narrower) DPS Wailer 112RP. These are quick, softer skis like the old S7, so they will not charge harder than your S7s, but that doesn’t really sound like what you’re looking for. I think you’re looking for a better shape, and I think the new Super 7, the Automatic, or Wailer 112RP would all provide that. That’s about as specific as I can be for now – I really need to get on the updated versions of all of these skis before I can be more helpful.

  12. Hi Jonathan…I must reiterate much that has been said about your reviews and your site in general: well written, well researched and incredibly helpful. I have a question that I hope you might have time to answer.

    I live in Nelson BC and ski Whitewater. It’s amazing. 40 feet of snow a year…well not this year but we have more white than most places. I currently own tow pairs of skis. I purchased a pair of 2012/13 195 Super 7’s based on way too many “one run and done” reviews…then I got last years PB and J’s in 188. I am 6’3″ and 195 to 200 pounds…I am an advanced/expert skier. I ski everything and like to mess around a lot…I’m not much of a top to bottom charger which is why I’m not super stoked on my Super 7’s…they’re great in deep pow and not much fun the rest of the time. What I want is a dump day/deep day ski that’s just a blast to mess around in tight trees, drops, just messing about. I don’t need a lot of speed but I want float and fun. I have been looking at the Bibby and Blister Pros and…well…I don’t really know what else to look at. I’m very lucky in that our gear shops carry everything except some of the more esoteric microbrews. If you can give me a few options to check out I’d be eternally grateful.

    Cheers and keep up Ullr’s work amigo!!!

  13. Hey All,

    First of all, thank you guys. This site is a blessing and a curse. On one hand I’m so happy to find a website that provides such thoughtful, in-depth reviews that don’t seem like corporate quid-quo-pro puff pieces. On the other, I’ve never studied something so intensely and obsessively in my life. It’s literally keeping me up at night. My every day driver is a Kastle FX94 which I absolutely love, but want to pick up a ski that will really shine in fresh deep snow. Ideally this new ski, is one I would take out in the morning to charge a bit in un-tracked bowls, but could also finish the rest of the day in the trees. Currently considering Moment Bibby’s, Blizzard Gunsmokes, Atomic Backland FR117, or the ON3P Billygoat. I suppose I’m looking more for a hard charger that would be manageable in the trees than the other way around. The terrain will vary as I will be road tripping 11 resorts on the mountain collective pass this January :D Thanks again!

  14. David …
    … Funny you say that, my wife woke up this morning and said

    ” what time did you come to bed last night?”

    I said laughing “midnight” – she’d seen me on the iPad before she went to bed at 8:30pm ….. truth be told it was more like 4am… now it’s 9:30am and I’m back searching again

    I’ve been looking for about 12 months now for my next ski quiver to satisfy the thirst ( I get 6 weeks holidays a year – blow it all at once in WY and I don’t want to waste a day on the wrong gear).

    I got the lib wreckreate 100 and 115 last year but they ended up being too burly for me. – ( bumbed – I had the libtech fully functional five 2014 and loved it )

    I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find blister- I found it this week .. what a site..

    I live on the Gold Coast Australia with some of the best waves going, and am lucky enough to be buffed out with a garage full of boards – it wasn’t until then… that I realised a surfboard is not just a surfboard…. and you can’t just have 1

    … look at the conditions.. grab the best board .., throw it in the ute, and hit it.

    It does have a down side thou…. skiing is exactly the same…

    and Unfortunately….I’m not as fortunate on the ski front as I am on the surfboard front….. (I’m restricted to 2 skis)

    which brings me to the point….

    you got to be on the right gear and it takes a long time to work that out… hole lotta of time…. $ ….. trial and error

    Jonathan …. This site is an absolute cracker, the info is all there, eveything you want to know, its honest, unbiased, detailed and straight to the point….. something that I have not found anywhere else….. it cuts thru the shit of the free skier “editors pick” and other gear guides which I’ve been blindly following for the last few years… can’t believe it took me that long to work it out….

    Love the site, its awesome …. I’ll be supporting it for sure and can’t wait to get my hands on your guide in october keep it up

    Looking forward to see what I can replace my 2014 lib FF5 (185) / sick day 95 (185)… didn’t have any luck last year with the wreckreate and I’ve been trying to find info on the lib wunderstick but no ones got anything for me


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