Ski: 2021-2022 Folsom Rapture (custom), 192 cm
Available Lengths: 176, 178, 180, 182, 186, 192, 196 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 190.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2288 & 2301 grams
Stated Dimensions: 148-122-138 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 149.4-120.9-138.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (192 cm): 28 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay: 74 mm / 34.5 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: none
Core: poplar/bamboo + 70% fiberglass / 30% carbon laminate (custom options available)
Base: Sintered 4001 Durasurf
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.75 cm from center; 87.5 cm from tail
Early last season (19/20), I started chatting with the folks at Folsom Skis about having them build what we all hoped would be an ideal ski for the 12+ weeks I spend each year guiding heli skiing here in Alaska.
In my mind, a full season in the heli here is just about the ultimate test of a powder ski. It requires a ski that can handle high speeds in big, open terrain; nimble turns in steep, technical zones; ample float for very deep snow; and stability to handle all manner of crusts, debris, ice, corn, hot pow, and fast runouts across the bottom of the run that might include all of the above.
My biggest personal priority is finding the balance between stability at speed and power on edge with the ability to easily break the tails free to shed speed or redirect. I’ve written a lot on Blister over the years about the vast majority of >120mm-wide skis that have been on the market and have developed a sense of what works best for me, so I was excited to connect with Folsom to see what we could come up with.
The result of all this was a custom version of their 122mm-wide Rapture shape. I got a little bit of time on the ski last season but then Covid promptly shut everything down. This season I’ve been able to get much more time on the custom Rapture, and Blister Members can check out my Flash Review for some initial thoughts. I want to spend a bit more time on this ski before posting a full review and Deep Dive comparisons, so in the meantime, we’re going to dive deeper into the design.
What Folsom Says about the Rapture shape:
Your Weapon For The Apocalypse
- Aggressive and fast big-mountain powder tool
- Made for ripping the steep and deep with pop and agility
- Early tapered tips and tails designed for effortless smearability in soft snow
- Rockered tips and tails with variety of camber options provide endless versatility in a powder ski
When I connected with Folsom over the phone early in the process, we quickly settled on the Rapture as the shape of choice. At 122 mm underfoot, it is Folsom’s fattest ski and has a design intent (outlined above) that seemed close to what I look for in a heli ski.
It has relatively minimally tapered tips and tails (relative to similarly wide skis). In the past, I’ve associated that sort of shape with skis that have a long effective edge and are able to carve strong turns, but tend to be a little less loose and drifty across the fall line. That said, Mike McCabe at Folsom assured me that, with the right rocker profile, flex, and construction I would get a great combination of power / stability and looseness with the Rapture shape.
Folsom can build your skis with a variety of different rocker profiles and you can find details on the options on their site. For me, this choice was also pretty easy. While it’s true that one of the best all-around heli skis I’ve ever used, the DPS Alchemist Lotus 124, does have camber underfoot, I’ve always liked pow skis with a low, long, almost flat reverse-camber profile. Mike McCabe at Folsom strongly recommended their “Shallow Reverse Camber” profile for my purposes and commented that it would provide the best combination of powerful carving and stability with ease of breaking the tails free into drifted turns. Sounds perfect!
Looking at this Rapture, its rocker profile is quite similar to the Folsom Primary we had tested with their Subtle Reverse Camber profile, though the Rapture has a slightly lower, flatter tail. The Rapture’s rocker profile is a bit more, well, “subtle” than the reverse-camber profiles of the 4FRNT Renegade and Moment Chipotle Banana, with the Rapture having a profile that stays a bit more flat through more of the ski.
Construction — Composite
Folsom offers three standard composite options. The heaviest and most damp is the “90/10” which is 90% fiberglass and 10% carbon. The “70/30” with 30% carbon is a little lighter and not quite as damp, while the 100% carbon construction results in the lightest possible Folsom ski, but sacrifices damping. For my pair, we went with the 70/30 composite as I wasn’t planning on doing a ton of lift-served skiing with them but still want them reasonably damp for smashing through debris and crust while out heli skiing. At the same time, there are some benefits to lighter skis, particularly less swing weight when trying to be quick on my feet. It’s also nice to have a light pair of skis to lift out of the heli basket 10-15 times per day along with 4 other pairs for the guests!
Construction — Wood Core
In addition to composite options, you can also choose from 3 standard wood core options. Again, I wanted my skis reasonably damp but also responsive and light enough to be quick and nimble in tight and technical terrain. We settled on poplar & bamboo which Folsom says is “light and lively, our go-to for playful all-mountain skis.” The other two options include maple / poplar / bamboo, which is primarily intended for skinnier, damp, heavy inbounds skis, and then aspen / bamboo, which is the lightest and most touring-oriented core option.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever written about graphics in a ski review because I generally don’t care about them, but Folsom gave me the option to do a custom graphic with these, and I’m pretty psyched on the result.
My good friend, Charlie Renfro, is an amazing photographer who has taken many shots for Blister over the years and has done some incredible landscape shots of some of Alaska’s most dramatic mountains. Charlie was excited to work with a local graphic designer to come up with something special for these skis and I think he did an amazing job.
He decided to work with some black and white photos he took of a local zone that Chugach Powder Guides, where I work, heli skis. Folsom provided basic guidelines for the design and made the process of going from computer file to a beautiful top sheet pretty easy.
If you’re making a ski with Folsom, they have plenty of graphics too choose from, or you can go with your own custom one.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of this Folsom Rapture
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
I had the option of Folsom’s three general flex profiles, which include “Soft,” “Standard,” and “Stiff.” I’ve skied dozens of powder skis with flexes ranging from extremely soft to very, very stiff and have learned that all flexes can work if the shape and rocker profile matches up well.
For these skis, I wanted both stability / power but also excellent floatation in the deepest snow. I was a little worried that combining Shallow Reverse Camber with a stiff flex might create a ski that didn’t float quite as well and also one that might require more work to ski for repeated 20-30k vert days of heli skiing. Folsom assured me that the “Standard” flex would be plenty supportive for my size and skiing style and would match my desires for the performance of the ski, so we went that route.
Hand-flexing this ski, I think “standard” is a pretty good way to describe its flex pattern. The tips and tails are relatively easy to bend, but there’s a smooth and relatively quick ramp-up in stiffness as you move to the middle of the ski, with a strong platform around the bindings. The tail is also not drastically stiffer than the tips.
Folsom’s site lists the length options for the Rapture as 182, 186, 192, and 196 cm, though after talking to Mike, he said this ski can also be pressed in 176, 180, and 182 cm lengths. I spend most of my time on skis in the 188-195 cm range so it was pretty easy to settle on the 192 cm Rapture as the right length for me. I’ll go more into this in my full review, but I think it would be cool to see some shorter length options since there are plenty of smaller skiers who might enjoy this shape, in my opinion. That said, Folsom does make other models of powder-oriented skis in shorter lengths, and the currently available length options for the Rapture are certainly not out of the ordinary for a 120mm+ wide ski (i.e., this is more of a general note on the category of fat skis, rather than the Rapture in particular).
The 192 cm Rapture has a stated sidecut radius of 28 meters, which puts it slightly on the longer end of the spectrum when compared to skis with similar design intents, like the 191 cm DPS Lotus A124 (23 m) and the 4FRNT Renegade (30 m).
That 28 meters seemed about perfect to me on paper; short enough to make reasonable-sized turns through crust but big enough to allow for big fast, down-the-fall-line skiing and not be too hooky or grabby in weird snow. I was also curious to see how this longer sidecut radius would work in combination with the relatively minimally tapered, more traditional tip and tail shape (I most often see longer sidecut radii on skis with pretty tapered tips and tails).
At a recommended -7.75 cm from the true center of the ski (with length measured via straight-tape pull), the Rapture is, again, right in line with many of the skis I’ve really liked in the past, and identical to the DPS Lotus A124. I’ve typically found that this sort of “not super centered, not super rearward” mount point results in a ski that feels balanced for quick turns and drifts / slarves but still has enough tip out front to push into, even in deep snow. I’ll talk about this a lot more in the full review.
With the poplar / bamboo core and 70/30 fiberglass / carbon build, these 192 cm Raptures came out to around 2295 grams per ski. This is pretty average for a ski with these dimensions and intended use.
This Rapture is notably heavier than the 191 cm DPS Lotus A124 and 191 cm 4FRNT Renegade, about the same as the 193 cm Moment Chipotle Banana, and notably lighter than some other options like the 189 cm Kye Shapes Numinous. I’m pretty happy where the Rapture came out in this regard and suspected this weight would result in a ski that has enough stability and dampness while not being overly cumbersome. I do suspect that the more traditional tip shape yields a slightly higher swing weight than more tapered skis of a similar width, but so far that hasn’t been a significant issue.
For reference, here are our measured weights for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples to apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (16/17–20/21)
1873 & 1878 Line Vision 118, 183 cm (20/21)
1870 & 1895 Faction La Machine, 186 cm (20/21)
1895 & 1906 Folsom Trophy Carbon, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1897 & 1913 Majesty Vanguard, 188 cm (20/21)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–20/21)
2006 & 2063 Elan Ripstick 116, 193 cm (20/21)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2027 & 2052 K2 Reckoner 112, 184 cm (20/21)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
2062 & 2080 Whitedot Ragnarok ASYM, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2081 & 2115 Faction Candide 5.0, 183 cm (18/19–20/21)
2104 & 2108 Hinterland Maul 121, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2125 & 2134 Kye Shapes Metamorph, 185 cm (19/20–20/21)
2136 & 2174 K2 Reckoner 122, 184 cm (20/21)
2149 & 2158 DPS Alchemist Lotus 124, 191 cm (17/18–20/21)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2181 & 2190 Parlor McFellon Pro, 185 cm (19/20–20/21)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–20/21)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–20/21)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20–20/21)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2250 & 2280 Movement Fly Two 115, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2259 & 2279 Black Crows Anima, 189.2 cm (20/21)
2280 & 2286 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2288 & 2301 Folsom Rapture (Custom), 192 cm
2323 & 2352 Moment Chipotle Banana, 193 cm (14/15; 19/20–20/21)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar M-Free 118, 189 cm (18/19–20/21)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer 115 Free, 191 cm (17/18–20/21)
2416 & 2468 Liberty Genome, 187 cm (17/18–20/21)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol BLACKOPS Gamer, 186 cm (16/17–20/21)
2561 & 2585 Kye Shapes Numinous, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2700 & 2703 Armada ARG II, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
Bottom Line (For Now)
This custom Folsom Rapture is an intriguing ski that we had purpose-built to serve my needs as a full-time heli-ski guide in Alaska. While the shape was predetermined, we had a lot of flexibility when it came to flex and construction to dial it in to my precise needs and desires. I’ve now had them out in the heli for over 20 days of Alaskan skiing and an additional few days of riding them around Alyeska Resort. Blister Members can check out my Flash Review linked below, and then stay tuned for the full review on these beautiful custom powder skis.
Blister Members can read our Flash Review of the Rapture for our initial on-snow impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.