5-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (19/20)

Intro

Well, it’s that time of year again. Some of us in the Northern Hemisphere are already skiing (looking at you Montana & BC), while the rest of us are champing at the bit. One of the most entertaining ways to fill time before ski season is thinking about your dream ski quiver. Assembling a ski quiver is certainly fun, and it’s a great way to procrastinate and make the hours at work just fly right by.

But it can also get a bit tricky — and cause the more obsessive among us to start going mad. So we get a lot of questions about whether ski X is too similar to ski Y to have both skis, and even more questions about how, in general, to think about putting together an effective quiver.

So the first things to figure out are:

(1) Whether for you, personally, it’s worth owning more than a single pair of skis. And then,

(2) How to put together a group of skis that will help you get the most out of every day on the mountain.

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 shouldn’t be viewed as our answer to the question, “What are the best skis out there?” Instead, these are our personal picks, and our rationale for why we’d choose them.

More Ski-Quiver Help

For more general suggestions — as opposed to what we personally would pick — check out our 19/20 Buyer’s Guide.

And if you’d like to get our recommendations for assembling your own ski quiver, then become a Blister Member, send us an email, and we’ll remove the guesswork.

1, 2, 3, 4, or 5-Ski Quiver?

This year we’re expanding our reviewer quiver selections all the way up to 5-ski quivers, partly because it’s just fun to think about this stuff, and partly because we do know a lot of people with some pretty expansive quivers.

So between the Buyer’s Guide and what we have here, we hope to help you figure out (a) whether you should look into a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5-ski quiver, and (b) give you a bit of direction on how to build your own quiver.

We’ll be starting with 5-ski quivers, then narrowing it down to our 4-, 3-, 2- and 1-ski quivers over the course of the coming week.

Four Questions

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

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?
II. What skis were the most difficult to leave off your list?
III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?
IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

Two Additional Notes
(1) For our quivers, we’re only including skis that we’ve actually spent time on, but we will allow some speculation regarding skis that we think might fit into our quiver once we get to ski them / ski them more.

(2) We will be updating this post with more options from some of our other reviewers in the near future, but we’d also love to hear your answers to some or all of our four questions, too, so please do so in the Comments section.

The Selections

  • Luke Koppa
  • Kristin Sinnott
  • Jonathan Ellsworth
  • Kara Williard
  • Sam Shaheen
  • Paul Forward
  • Cy Whitling
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Review Navigation:  Luke Koppa //  Kristin Sinnott //  Jonathan Ellsworth //  Kara Williard //  Sam Shaheen //  Paul Forward //  Cy Whitling

Luke Koppa

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

I split my time between Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the surrounding backcountry. So my 5-ski quiver would consist of two touring skis that would do a good job of covering the two types of touring I do (mid-winter powder hunting and longer spring days), and then three resort skis.

Ski #1: Spring Touring Ski — Salomon MTN Explore 95, 184 cm + ATK Raider 2.0 12

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

This is still my favorite narrow touring ski. The MTN Explore 95 is pretty light for its size, very stable for its low weight, holds an edge well, and extremely predictable for me. I still haven’t been on a ski on which I feel more comfortable in exposed, steep lines, and that’s light enough for all-day trips. This one is a pretty easy choice, and while I can get along will with basically all of the lightweight touring bindings I’ve used, the Raider 12 is probably my favorite.

Ski #2: Mid-Winter Touring Ski — Line Vision 108, 183 cm + Fritschi Tecton 12

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

There are a few skis that might unseat the Vision 108 this year, but for now, it’s the best ski I’ve used for my kinds of mid-winter touring days. It’s really light (~1620 g per ski for the 183 cm), but it doesn’t feel really harsh if I end up on some more variable snow. And most importantly, it’s really playful and forgiving, which is key for me since my mid-winter backcountry days tend to revolve around finding good snow and things off which I can jump / fall. I don’t want or need an ultra stable, super stiff ski for these days. Instead, I want a fun ski. I might wish I had a wider ski for truly epicly deep days, but those days will still be lots of fun on the Vision 108 and it’s more practical than most of the wider skis I’ve used for skiing less-deep conditions. As for bindings, I’m a big fan of the Fritschi Tecton for this type of ski — plenty powerful on the down, but lighter and better on the up than the Shift or CAST system.

Ski #3: Firm-Snow Resort Ski — J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm + Look Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

There are a lot of skis that could fill this role for me, but the Masterblaster is still my favorite. It’s quite damp and lets me ski basically as fast as I want to on firmer snow. But unlike most skis that are this damp and stable, the Masterblaster isn’t very punishing, is pretty easy to pivot, and retains just enough general playfulness to make it not feel one-dimensional like many other metal-laminate, narrower skis tend to feel (at least to me). I’m not that picky about my alpine bindings, but I like Pivots, particularly for firm-snow skis where ease of stepping in isn’t a big deal, so I’d slap Pivots on this ski.

Ski #4: Playful Softer-Snow Resort Ski — Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm + Salomon STH2 13

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

Again, there are tons of skis I could be pretty happy on for this slot, but since I have two very heavy, very stable skis at the narrower and wider ends of my quiver, I’d opt to go with somewhere very different for my middle ski. The new SFB is nowhere near as stable as the Masterblaster and Black Ops 118, but it is so much more playful. I’d be breaking out this ski on smaller storm days, the days following storms, or in the spring — all of which wouldn’t really require a super stable ski due to forgiving conditions, and would instead be when I’m more interested in throwing tricks and messing around. The SFB is ridiculously fun for that use, and would bring a nice contrast to my quiver and give me a much more playful option for when I’m not looking to charge. Bindings: I like stepping into the STH2, especially in deep snow, so that gets the nod here.

Ski #5: Powder Ski — Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm + Salomon STH2 13

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
Easiest choice on my list. The Black Ops 118 continues to blow me away every time I use it. It’s the most stable ski I’ve ever been on in this class, but it also has a nearly symmetrical shape & rocker profile and a forward mount, so it still feels balanced in the air, is forgiving, and easy to pivot in the tight terrain off Crested Butte’s High Lift & North Face Lift. On resort pow days, most of my time is spent skiing chop, and the Black Ops 118 makes skiing chop more fun than any other ski I’ve used. Aaaaannndd now I’m fantasizing about skiing it again…

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

Oh man, there are a ton of skis I would like to include.

The 179 cm Line Vision 98 is the one ski that could replace the MTN Explore 95, but I think I’d prefer the slightly better edge hold and more damp construction of the MTN Explore 95 for the days when I don’t time things right and arrive a little early to the corn-skiing party. But if I was, for some reason, hitting booters that were a long way from the trailhead … then I’d be missing the Vision’s more playful shape, flex, rocker profile, and forward mount point.

The 184 cm Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 186 cm Nordica Enforcer Free 104, 184 cm Moment Deathwish, 184 cm Moment Wildcat 108, and 187 cm ON3P Woodsman 108 could all potentially replace the Sir Francis Bacon, but they’re all a bit (or a lot) more stable and a bit (or a lot) less playful, and would therefore overlap more with the Masterblaster and Black Ops 118 than I’d prefer.

The 184 cm Moment Wildcat, 191 cm Icelantic Nomad 115, 186 cm Line Outline, 189 cm Dynastar Menace Proto, and 184 cm Volkl Revolt 121 could all potentially replace the Black Ops 118, but they don’t quite match the vague “fun factor” that the Black Ops 118 has (again, at least for me).

And then the 186 cm Line Sick Day 104 is one of my all-time favorite skis, but I like that ski most as a 50/50 ski, and I don’t have a need for that in a giant 5-ski quiver.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

Again, lots of potential options here. I think the Moment Wildcat Tour 108 has a good chance of taking the place of the Vision 108, given the skis’ similarities in weight, shape, rocker profile, and mount point. I’m also very curious about the WNDR Alpine Intention 110, though I think it might be a bit heavy for my dedicated soft-snow touring ski in a quiver this big.

The 19/20 Moment Commander 98 looks like it could give the Masterblaster a run for its money, but I haven’t spent enough time on the new Commander 98 to confirm whether it comes close enough to the Masterblaster’s combo of damping & playfulness for me to swap the two.

I’ve really enjoyed my time so far on the Moment Deathwish and Moment Wildcat 108, and I think the Deathwish is probably the ski that has the most potential to replace the Sir Francis Bacon in my quiver.

And then I’m really excited to spend more time on the Prior Northwest 110, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, and Folsom Blister Pro 104, but I’ll need to ski those at Crested Butte before they get a place in my quiver.

We don’t have any of these skis, but the Black Crows Atris, Ferox Freebird, and Nocta all look like they could mesh well with my skiing style. We’re hoping to get them from Black Crows this season.

Finally, I’m extremely intrigued by the Kye Shapes Numinous and Metamorph, both of which look like pretty hefty, burly skis with very playful shapes and rocker profiles — basically what I look for in a resort ski. We should be getting on some skis from Kye Shapes and Foon this year, so we’re hoping to see how they stack up.

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

I think Line and Moment would be best for me, and I’d be pretty happy with a 5-ski quiver from either of them.

Line: Vision 98, Vision 108, Sakana, Sir Francis Bacon, Sick Day 114

The only real thing I’d be missing here is a super damp firm-snow ski, though the Sakana is so fun on firm snow in different ways (i.e., it’s not damp, it’s just fun) that I’d be quite happy with this quiver.

Moment: Deathwish Tour, Commander 98, Deathwish, Wildcat, Commander 118

For Moment, I’d opt for a single touring ski and do 4 resort skis since they don’t make any narrower skis that I’d want to haul up big lines. While I haven’t skied the Deathwish Tour, based on my time on the standard Deathwish and what Cy has said about the Deathwish Tour, I think I’d be totally fine on it as a single ski for touring. And since I’d get an extra inbounds ski in this case, I think I’d like to try the new Commander 118, since it would bring something very different to my quiver and let me have (what at least appears to be on paper) a full-on, big-mountain charger.

Kristin Sinnott

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

While I wish I logged as many ski days as Sam and Luke, it’s just not in the cards for me right now. The days I do get are primarily inbounds at Taos Ski Valley and uphill travel (with my son) at Ski Santa Fe. I tour as much as possible in the spring but with the addition of our son, my big long tours have turned into low-angle explorations. With that said, my 5-ski quiver is resort focused with one touring setup.

Ski #1: DPS Alchemist Uschi 94 C2, 171 cm + Tyrolia AAAttack2 11

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I love skiing steep, tight chutes — it’s the main reason my husband and I live in New Mexico — and these skis have been the biggest game changer for me on my favorite terrain. Lightweight and exceptionally easy to hop turn, I’d be sad to not have these skis in my quiver. For those that don’t know me or my ski style, I love carving and making precise turns. These skis aren’t ideal for sliding turns but for steeps and groomers and anywhere else you want to set an edge, these are great.

Ski #2 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 169 cm + Tyrolia AAAttack2 11

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I’ve spent some great and memorable days on the Santa Ana 93. One of those days was at Telluride when I hopped on the lift with Jonathan, Luke, and Sam and they all had chosen 100mm+ waisted skis and my little 93 seemed so skinny. Then we found some untracked powder and I really started to reconsider my ski choice. But the Santa Ana 93 pleasantly surprised me. Even with their two sheets of metal, I found them to be nimble enough to make quick turns through the chop and somehow they didn’t auger in when skiing powder.

Ski #3 DPS Alchemist Zelda 106 C2, 168 cm + Tyrolia AAAttack2 11

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

One friend recently commented that these skis were “easy,” in that you could hop on them and the turns were fairly effortless. This is a fairly apt impression as you don’t need big, strong, powerful legs to make these skis do what you want. But being described as an ‘easy’ ski in no way detracts from what this ski is capable of.

Ski #4: Nordica Santa Ana 110, 177 cm + Marker Griffon

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

For ski vacations calling for lots of powder and / or chop, I want these in my ski bag. But they’re also fun to bring out when you want to mach down groomers, regardless of whether those groomers are pristine or choppy. A heavy ski that has just enough rebound to make them playful. Of the given skis, these would be the ones I brought out for big powder days. I’ve found that I’ve never skied faster than when I’m on these and while I don’t believe there are “no friends on a powder day” I do think my friends appreciate it when they don’t need to wait.

Ski #5: Armada Trace 98, 172 cm + Marker Kingpin

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

The Trace 98 has been my backcountry setup for the past 2 seasons. For me, they don’t stand out as a ski that does one thing really well — instead they seem to do everything pretty well. Kind of the jack of all trades for skis. And for me, that makes for a great backcountry ski. From spring corn to dawn-patrol corduroy to an occasional mid-winter powder lap, the skis perform well and are always predictable.

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

5 skis is a lot and before testing skis for Blister, my 5-ski quiver would have consisted of two pairs of Nordic skis, a pair of tele, an AT setup, and a pair of dedicated alpine skis. Times have changed, but I still love jumping on my favorite skis and knowing exactly how they’re going to perform. Occasionally I get frustrated when I need to ski something else — definitely a first world problem. So all that is to say, I’m pretty content with this quiver.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

Nordica Santa Ana 100. I’m a big fan of the Santa Ana 110 and 93 and I imagine the 100 will be no different. I’m also eager to try a shorter length in the Santa Ana 110 since the 177 cm can feel overwhelming in tight terrain and they exhaust the legs pretty quickly.

Embarrassingly, I’ve never skied any Moment skis. But I hope to fix that this season, and would love to get on the Moment Sierra. I’ve heard great things about them and I’m eager to see how the ski performs.

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

DPS: Alchemist Uschi 94, Foundation Yvette 100RP, Alchemist Zelda 106C2, Foundation Yvette 112RP, Tour1 Nina 99

I haven’t skied all of these, but based on my experience with the ones I have skied, I have a feeling that I’ll like them all. As it stands, I love their current lineup, and think there’s enough variety to keep me happy any day I’m in the mountains. (I certainly would miss the Santa Ana’s, though.)

Jonathan Ellsworth

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

1) 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm + SHIFT MNC 13

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

Fact is, when the chairlifts are spinning, I’m usually in the resort skiing pow, not touring. (I got skis to test, yo!) So most of my touring happens in the spring, and / or during the winter when it hasn’t snowed in a while and the conditions in the resort are beat. Therefore, for the time being, I don’t need the fattest touring ski, and I still just absolutely love the Raven. And I’m going with the 184 cm ski because I didn’t find the 190 cm length to add much additional stability, so I believe that people skiing on the 190 cm Raven are just clearly compensating for something. (Just kidding, I don’t really think that. At least, not all the time.)

2) HEAD Supershape i.Titan, 177 cm + system binding

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

If I get a 5-ski quiver, then I want one straight-up carver for absolutely brutal-awful-horrible-bulletproof days inbounds … and the i.Titan is just so, so much fun to carve.

3) J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm + Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

This is still one of the most fun ~96mm-wide skis that I’ve been on. And I particularly like it for off-piste use in firm or funky conditions. There are better / more precise skis of this width for carving up very firm groomers, but I’ve already got an i.Titan for groomers, and if the groomed snow is even a little bit soft, the Masterblaster is an extremely fun carver.

4) Folsom Blister Pro 104 or Nordica Enforcer Free 104 + Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I cheated this answer. Because I have skied the Enforcer 104 at CB and really liked it. But given that we literally conceived of the Folsom Blister Pro as a stiffer Enforcer 104 / heavier Fischer Ranger 102 … and I think we got the last iteration of the Blister Pro very near the bulls eye … I can’t not list it here.

5) Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm + Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

It’s really good. Like, really really good.

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

#1: Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm

It’s such a good ski.

#2-3: HEAD Monster 83 Ti and Fischer RC4 The Curv

Both are sooo good. But ultimately, putting them in ahead of the iTitan just made me feel like I was cheating on the i.Titan, and I felt a lot of guilt. So I went back and put the i.Titan in again.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

Moment Blister Pro, 190 cm

Sometimes, I just like heavy things. And for me personally … the lighter 190 Blister Pro … has to take a backseat to the incredibly good (and heavy) Rossi Black Ops 118.

That said … stay tuned….

ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm

Mostly, I just want time on it in CB. But you may or may not find me mentioning this ski again….

Volkl Mantra 102, 184 and 177 cm

I’m already sure that these are excellent skis, I just want some more alone time with the 184s, and I’m admittedly curious about the 177s.

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

K2

For a 5-ski quiver … this was a shockingly easy choice for me, actually:

1) K2 Wayback 106, 184 cm – touring ski, either with the SHIFT MNC or G3 ION
2) K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, 177 cm – For the infrequent ‘Groomers-Only’ days
3) K2 Mindbender 99 Ti, 177 cm – for firm / very-firm off-piste skiing
4) K2 Mindbender 108 Ti, 186 cm – I’d be spending a lot of time on these
5) K2 Mindbender 116, 186 cm – would only break out for the deepest days

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Kara Williard

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

I spend most of my time skiing in the resort at Taos Ski Valley, as well as 20-30% backcountry in the springtime, including trips to Colorado and beyond. My quiver is comprised of 3 resort-oriented skis that cover everything from low-coverage, early-season snow to deep resort days. For the backcountry, I want one lighter, longer-day ski and one that’s more stable for more aggressive skiing in good snow. While I wish I could stick to a 100% women’s-specific quiver, there are a few unisex skis in the mix, based upon my preferred constructions / lengths available.

Ski #1: Carving / Low-Snow Ski — Blizzard Brahma 88, 180 cm + Tyrolia Attack2 13

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

A couple seasons ago I learned that this is a really beneficial and fun ski to keep in the quiver. A ski that offers good carving performance and impressive stability on firm and low-snow days is imperative to me. This ski would be the 180 cm Blizzard Brahma. This ski is stable, snappy, smooth, and gives me the confidence to refine my skills and charge on groomers, before the snow has stacked up.

Ski #2: All-Mountain Daily Driver — Nordica Enforcer Free 104, 179 cm or Nordica Santa Ana 100, 177cm + Look Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

This is a major toss-up between the two, mostly because I would like to spend more time on the Enforcer Free 104. I have been a huge fan of the Santa Ana 100 as a daily driver for two seasons now, because it is exactly the stable, versatile, and fairly playful ski I seek for most days in the resort. For me, the balance between stability and playfulness / forgiveness has always been the winning factor in the Santa Ana 100. The Enforcer Free 104 leans a bit more toward the playful side, and I could see this having tremendous benefit in the chutes at Taos, and when I need to resort to quicker and tighter turns.

Ski #3: Playful All-Mountain Powder Ski – K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance, 179 cm + Look Pivot 14

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

After spending considerable time on the K2 Mindbender 115C, I was consistently impressed by the versatility of this ski in any type of soft-snow conditions. It is my ski of choice for any powder day, it’s not super demanding to ski, and it maintains impressive stability when conditions aren’t perfect. It feels like the hard-charging women’s powder ski that I have been dreaming of for some time.

That said, time on the 180 cm Dynastar Menace Proto made it a close second after I skied it on some phenomenal powder days through all the nooks and crannies of Taos, though I would like to spend more time on it before putting it in my quiver. The Proto definitely feels a bit more playful and maneuverable vs. the Mindbender 115C, which could be a plus when I’ve got tired legs at the end of a powder day.

Ski #4: Lightweight Touring Setup – Atomic Backland 107, 175 cm, + Marker Kingpin

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I spent some isothermal spring days skiing the Backland 107 last year in Alaska, and I was stoked on the weight-to-performance ratio of this ski. It was easy to move around in rough and variable backcountry conditions, and its low weight was great for long and strenuous ascents. That said, I have several skis in this category I would like to get on, but I was intrigued by such a lightweight option for some of the bigger and more questionable spring objectives.

Ski #5: Burlier Touring Ski — Salomon QST Stella 106, 174 cm, + Salomon Shift MNC

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
I am a big fan of the new QST Stella 106, though I only got to ski it a couple days last year. Overall, it offered a much smoother and more damp ride than previous iterations, while still being nimble and quick to respond to inputs. And it’s still light enough that I wouldn’t mind bringing it out on shorter backcountry days.

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

I had a hard time not putting the Nordica Santa Ana 110 in 1-3 different slots. It was my one-ski-quiver pick for last season, and it stays at the top of my list as one of the most versatile and stable women’s skis available. However, I do find this ski to be a better candidate for smaller quivers, because it fulfills so many needs.

I always have a hard time leaving off the Blizzard Bonafide, because it is the ski I have skied the most in the last couple years. Also, the K2 Mindbender 106C Alliance was a really fun and versatile ski that I would consider as my daily resort ski, but it is a bit wide for an everyday ski at Taos, and I do prefer the damp feel of metal-laminate skis for most of my resort days.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

Dang, I really want to ski the Rossignol Black Ops 98W, in a 182 cm. I am also curious how the Head Kore 105 would situate itself as a touring ski.

I would like to spend some time on the women’s Line Pandora 104, or some of the Armada Trace series that my fellow female reviewers have enjoyed.

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

I would likely to stick to Blizzard for this one. I would start with the 180 cm Brahma as my groomer ski, use the 180 cm Bonafide as my daily driver, the 172 cm Sheeva 10 as my “lightweight” touring setup, the 180 cm Rustler 11 as my resort pow ski, and the 172 cm Sheeva 11 as my heftier or more winter-oriented touring setup.

That said, Nordica could come very close, with the Santa Ana 93, Santa Ana 100, Enforcer Free 104, Santa Ana 110, and, though I haven’t skied it, the Enforcer Free 115.

Sam Shaheen

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

Wow. Five skis is so many. I split my time almost 50/50 between touring and resort skiing, nearly entirely in Colorado. I tend to be much less picky about my touring skis (probably because I just don’t ever get in that much skiing when I’m touring) so I think I’ll set this up with two touring skis and three resort skis. Though, I could easily break it up to have three touring skis instead — if I still lived in the Alps, then I would be much more inclined to set up my quiver that way.

Ski #1: Powder Touring Ski — Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm + ATK Raider 2.0 12

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

To anyone who has read our reviews of this ski, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. This ski is super lightweight and so much fun. It is intuitive and forgiving while still strong enough to be pushed pretty hard. This would be my daily driver on touring days from November through March in Colorado and it really isn’t a tough decision at all. This ski is rad.

Ski #2: Mountaineering Ski — Salomon MTN Explore 95, 184 cm + ATK Raider 2.0 12 

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

Another very predictable choice. This ski strikes such a good balance of power, edge hold, suspension, and forgiveness for its weight that it is almost impossible to leave off any quiver selection (as you’ll see when I publish my other quivers). This is my daily uphill driver for skiing steep lines, harvesting corn, and everything in between from late March through June.

Ski #3: Dry conditions resort ski — Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm + Marker Jester

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

For resort days when it hasn’t snowed in a while or I know I’ll be spending more time on groomers than I usually would, the Mantra M5 is just so much fun. It has a unique combination of great energy and suspension without being punishing. This ski is dialed and might be my favorite ski on the market right now.

Ski #4: Everyday resort ski — Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm + Marker Jester

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I won’t beat a dead horse here. If you’ve read much on Blister, or listened to many of our GEAR:30 podcasts, then you know how much I like this ski. It’s got huge amounts of energy, can be pushed extremely hard, but is still forgiving and very happy at slow speeds. Easy choice.

Ski #5: Pow resort ski — Prior CBC, 184 cm + Marker Jester

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
This was the hardest slot to fill on this list. There are so many fun pow skis on the market right now, but I love the CBC for its powerful and solid flex pattern (I really like landing on the CBC). It’s got a very progressive mount point and allows me to channel my inner park rat but can still be driven and pushed hard in variable snow.

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

First, I want to say that there are lots of different ways that I could have structured this 5-ski quiver — 5 skis is a lot. I tried to balance between playful and more directional options and skis that let me ski with a lot of different styles (e.g., compare the mount points of the CBC vs. Soul 7 or Bent Chetler 120 vs. MTN Explore 95).

That said, there are so many great skis on the market that could fit into this 5-ski quiver. The Line Outline and the Moment Wildcat were two of the hardest to leave off the list. Both skis are so fun, but I decided to stick with the CBC for my resort pow ski because of its heavier weight compared to the Soul 7 (in order to diversify my quiver). I would probably be equally happy trading the CBC and Soul 7 for the K2 Mindbender 108Ti and Outline, for example, in order to go lighter on the pow ski and heavier on the daily driver.

Another ski that was hard to leave off was the G3 SENDr 112. I love that ski but it’s just a bit too game-on for me to want to take it out for most of the winter in Colorado — we just get too much weird, funky snow for me to justify a ski that stiff as a daily driver.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

I have a feeling I’m going to really like the Line Vision 108 as an everyday touring ski — the BC 120’s width is a bit overkill for most touring days in CO. I think a 108mm-wide ski with a playful shape at that weight might be perfect for me.

I’m also excited to get more time on the ON3P Woodsman 108. I think it could make for an interesting argument for a narrower pow ski and allow the rest of the resort quiver to get a bit narrower, too. We’ll see…

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

5 skis? One brand? Impossible. That’s way too many skis. Do any brands even make that many skis?

In all seriousness, I would probably go with Line or Salomon.

Line: Sick Day 94, Sick Day 104, Vision 108, Outline, Blend

Salomon: MTN Explore 95, QST 99, QST 106, QST 118 , NFX? (I’ve never skied it, I might hate it…)

Paul Forward

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

Ski #1: Volkl Mantra M5, 184 cm + Marker Jester:

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I haven’t skied a ton of skis in this class but of those that I have, the M5 strikes a nice balance between carving performance and off-piste stability. I can let them run in chop to a reasonable degree, but still do some hip dragging on the way back to the lift. I also really like the 191 cm version of the M5, but the 184 cm is probably a little more fun overall, especially when things get a bit bumpy.

Ski #2: Moment Blister Pro (OG version), 190 cm + Marker Jester or Salomon STH2 16

Blister Gear Review's 3-Ski Quiver awards

This is my inbounds pow day ski of choice unless it’s crazy deep out there. Many of us at Blister have written ad nauseum about this ski, but for good reason. I’ve skied most of the current offerings in this class and when I really want to go have a great day on the hill and it’s snowed a bit recently, I’ll grab these playful yet stable boars most of the time.

Ski #3: Black Diamond Helio 105, 185 cm + Dynafit Superlite 2.0 12 (or something similar):

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

For my skinny(ish) touring ski, my emphasis is on light weight. I spend too much time heli skiing these days so when I go on a long-distance mission, whether for a single day or many, I’m almost inevitably going to be with friends who are out touring all winter while I’m sitting in an A-Star. The Helio 105 isn’t the best-skiing touring ski I’ve ever used but it provides the best downhill performance for its very low weight. I’ll take the most minimal binding with the best retention I can get, and I’ve been pretty happy with the Dynafit Superlite 2.0 12. I’m tempted to go skinnier to work better in spring snow, but the Helio 105 is still very light, holds a decent edge in hard snow, and the extra width is nice when the snow gets weird.

Ski #4: Black Diamond Helio 116, 186 cm + G3 Zed (or something similar)

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

For my mid-winter pow touring ski I similarly put a priority on low weight for big days with potentially fitter, faster friends, but the Helio 116 actually does ski quite well in a variety of backcountry soft snow conditions and even hold their own when things get firm. They’re not a “stable charger” but I’ve skied some big, sluffy, high-consequence lines more than a few times on a pair of these and find them reliable and intuitive when it counts. Would I be skiing faster on a pair of longer and heavier skis? Yep, but most of the time the Helio 116 does quite well. I’ve skied mine with Tectons and lighter bindings and could go either way. For most of my touring, however, I’d stick with something light but still with some elasticity like the G3 Zed or Marker Alpinist.

Ski #5: DPS Alchemist Lotus 124, 191cm + Marker Jester or Salomon STH2 16

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections
If you’ve read any of my many pow-ski reviews, you know that the Lotus A124 is still the ski that I hold as the standard for big-mountain Alaskan skiing. Despite having access to dozens of powder skis every winter, these live on the rack at Chugach Powder Guides and end up in the basket most of the time — especially when I know things are lining up for a day with truly big lines. For me and the heli skiing around the Chugach, these skis just provide the perfect balance between stability, agility, floatation, and predictability.

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

When I used to go to Japan every year it would be hard to imagine not having the DPS Spoon in the quiver. Those skis are just ridiculous in that environment. On the other end of the spectrum, I would like to complement the Helio 105 with something skinnier. I love the Salomon MTN Explore 95 for just about every backcountry snow type as long as it’s not too deep. On the extreme end of the touring spectrum, I’ve been enjoying playing with really light gear recently and it’s fun to have a pair of skis like the 180 cm Volkl VTA 88Lite, which is probably as close as I’ll ever get to a rando race ski, and it skis surprisingly well.

The last ski that I’ve absolutely loved is my Rossignol Hero FIS Athlete SL’s. I’ve learned so much from these wicked little slalom boards and skied them a bunch the last two winters. I’m nowhere close to a good enough skier to fully take advantage of these, but it sure is fun trying to rail these things!

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

I’m really excited to check out the new 4FRNT Renegade. On paper, the Renegade has always been a dream ski for me but I’ve had a few pairs and haven’t quite clicked with previous versions. The new Moment Commander series, especially the 118 and 124, look quite good to me as well. And while I’m thinking about Moment, I’ve been dying to try the Chipotle Banana for approximately forever.

I would also love to find a better versatile but still light touring ski than the Helio 105, and the new Blizzard Zero G 105 looks interesting (I’ll be getting on it this year, along with the Renegade and Commander 118).

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

Volkl:

For everything except for my main pow ski (my most important ski!) I’d be happy on Volkl for everything I do. The VTA and BMT skis cover touring needs from the VTA88Lite I mentioned above to the super fun (but unfortunately, now discontinued) BMT 122. The skinnier metal construction lineup of the Kanjo, Kendo, and Mantra M5 series are truly excellent for inbounds use, and the RTM skis are a hoot on the firm. I could make do with the Confession for an inbounds pow charger, and I have yet to ski the Revolt 121, but if the 191 cm serves as a good heli ski, Volkl could easily be my go-to.

Cy Whitling

I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own 5-ski quiver?

Ski #1: Do-Everything Resort Ski: Moment Deathwish, 184 cm + Look Pivot 18

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

Here we go, another year of Cy gushing about how much he loves the Deathwish. Is it really that good? Yes. It is. I can’t imagine a world where I don’t get to ski a Deathwish. It does everything I want it to, smoothly and intuitively. It makes me feel like a better skier than I am, every time I get on it. I don’t care how big of a hypothetical quiver you give me, this ski will always be number one.

Ski #2: Do-Everything Touring Ski: Moment Deathwish Tour, 184 cm + Fritschi Vipec Evo

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I spent way too long touring on skis that weren’t the Deathwish, and then ended up hauling the old inbounds Deathwish way into the backcountry. Finally, Moment came out with the new Deathwish Tour and I love it almost as much as the original. Moment does a lot of things well, but I’m most impressed by how they translate their inbounds skis to a touring layup. They maintain everything you love about the inbounds ski, while shedding a bunch of weight. It’s really cool to be able to get to know a ski well inbounds, and then have a seamless transition to touring really big days on it. The Deathwish Tour is fun enough in pow for deep days on Teton Pass, and has the weight and edge hold for big scary days in Grand Teton National Park.

Pow Ski: Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm + Atomic Shift MNC 13

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

Skis like the Bent Chetler have always come with a heavy dose of aspirational marketing. We buy Pollard, Fujas, and Benchetler skis because we want to spin and jib like those guys. The BC 120 does the best job of delivering on that promise I’ve found. It’s so light and easy to spin, it’s a butter machine, and it floats as well as anything I’ve been on. I’d whip this setup out for the deepest days inbounds, and whenever I want to build a booter or session a pillow line in the backcountry. The 184 cm is awesome, but something tells me that once I get on the 192 cm version I won’t go back to the shorter ski. We should be getting on that ski later this winter, so stay tuned.

Jib Ski: Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm + Tyrolia AAAttack2 16

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I had a blast skiing the BC 100 on low-tide days last year. It’s as close to a park ski as I’ll ever need, and holds up well anywhere on the mountain. It’s easy to spin, and helps make the most of days with mediocre conditions, but still holds up fine on sleeper pow days.

Sego Wizard .5

Blister's 2019-2020 Reviewer Quiver Selections

I really want a good pair of touring ski blades this season, and the old Sego Wizard .5 seems like the best option out there. I’ve only ever skied them briefly, on an ill-fated snowmachine tow-in fence gap jump in a parking lot, but I loved them there. They’re wider and stiffer than most blades, a perfect candidate for the big-mountain blading missions I have in mind for this year.

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

Five pairs of skis is a lot, so I’m not complaining about having to leave a few skis off my list. But here are a few options I wouldn’t mind having. I really like skiing the J Skis Metal when conditions are terrible. It would be nice to have that option. And the K2 Catamaran is really fun in some conditions, but the BC 120 beats it out in almost every way. So I’m pretty happy with these five.

III. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?

I think there’s a good chance the Armada ARV 116 Zero UL will give the BC 120 a run for its money. It seems like basically the same ski, so I’m stoked to ski them back to back. The same goes for the longer BC 120. It will be interesting to see how much flickability it sacrifices over the 184 cm version.

It’s about time for K2 to rework their freestyle line. If they take some of what’s awesome about the Mindbender series and put it in a more playful shape, I’m sold. Finally, I’m pretty sure the Moment PB&J will beat out the BC 100 as my park-ish ski, if I ever get the chance to try it.

IV. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 5-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

Moment, hands down. The Deathwish has my heart. You could tell me that its magic comes from the blood of baby sea otters sacrificed to the Dark Lord and I would keep schilling for that ski. A PB&J, Deathwish, Deathwish Tour, Wildcat Tour, and Commander 108 quiver would be sweet. If you forced me to skip Moment, I’m sure I could be happy on a fully Atomic quiver (BC 120, BC 100, Backland 107), or a full Armada quiver (ARV 106, 106Ti, 116 Zero). But man, the Deathwish is so great…

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23 comments on “5-Ski Quivers: Reviewers’ Selections (19/20)”

  1. Clearly you guys ski different snow to here and are far too focused on riding 100mm skis beside soft pistes. But I applaud the inclusion of a few piste skis.

    Picking 5 skis from my cellar gives this:
    1 Stöckli Laser GS 180 or pretty much any of their piste skis for arcing turns on boilerplate. Your pick of Head Titans is like choosing Ford when you can drive a Ferrari.
    2. Völkl Mantra 180ish or Blizzard Cochise 185 Mk1 for Euro off piste, chop, groomers, whatever lift served. We agree on these.
    3. Dynastar mythic 97 176 with Vipecs for as above but touring focus. We get icy skin tracks and edging a wide heavy ski up 1000m sucks. These also work downhill.
    4. Völkl Two (but should really have bought BMT 122) for Pow lift (and self powered and trips to Japan)
    5. Something random for having fun. Can include Dynastar straight skis for 80s retro day, skate Langlauf skis, 175 The Skis with Tele binding…

    You guys are missing out here. Try some Lasers. Have fun in season 2020.

  2. Super fun read so I’ve gotta throw down my 5-ski quiver

    1. Volkl Brahma, 180cm + Salomon STH 2. Great mix of front side carver that works backside on low snow days.
    2. Nordica Enforcer 100, 185cm + Salomon STH 2. Does it all and does it without beating you up. The ultimate 1 ski quiver.
    3. Kye Shapes Numinou, 189 + Salomon STH 2. What can I say about a ski that hasn’t yet been produced? They just looked right, which to me means a playful charger with an emphasis on charger. If they don’t work out I’m getting the Rossignol Black-Ops 118.
    4. Salomon MTN Explore 95, 184 + ATK Raider 2.0 12. I don’t own them yet but will be buying a pair this season based solely on Blisters ridiculously overwhelmingly praise. They’re coming with me to Svalbard in May. :)
    5. Volkl Nunataq, 178 + Dynafit TLT Radical FT. I’ve been skiing these for years and love them. I snapped a pair in a season ending stupid fucking crash a few years ago and went right out and bought another pair.

    Skis I’m most curious to try, other than my pre-orderd Kye Shapes, is the WNDER Intention 110. Obviously Sterbenz builds a great product and I love that they’re pushing the boundaries with experimental enviro-friendly materials.

    • Ah, that reminds me — we’ve been in touch with the folks at Kye Shapes and Foon, so we should be reviewing some of their skis this year. I’m in the same boat as you re: the Numinous — looks like it could be an awesome playful charger.

  3. So in the Blister Spirit of going on a tangent, and with the outside chance of creating an edgy vibe, while making fun of reviewers, can I ask why the Editor in Chief (best title after Moment Chief Commander), allows ‘of’ in the following sentence: ¨…me since my mid-winter backcountry days tend to revolve around finding good snow and things to jump off of.¨?

    Jonathan, given you have studied in England, isn’t this a no no?
    Is there a grammatical explanation for it?

    I hope its not mild xenophopia, i have been able to come to terms with your odd American way of spelling realise with a ´z’ (zed), am almost there in understanding the need for F350’s, and I did thoroughly enjoy my time working and skiing for two seasons in the States’ but this ´of’ is killing me.

    Anyway, when you get to two ski quivers, am on K2 ModX, bought when working at Park City for the olympics and skis I made on a ski making course.

    Cheers,
    Old dude

    PS props to making fun of Sam dropping the ´t’ in mountain.
    PPS what does ´props’ derive from?

    • Ha, that most egregious error is solely my fault, not Jonathan’s, and I’ve removed it from the article. I don’t think it’s a regional thing, rather a less-formal way of phrasing it.

      As for “props,” my understanding is that it originally came from something along the lines of “proper respects.”

      Thanks for keeping the vibes edgy.

      • A similarly picky grammarian might dislike your use of “chomping” as opposed to “champing.” Champing is the correct idiom in a formal setting.

  4. This type of article is one of the most enjoyable forms of content out there — I love spending time reading/thinking about this stuff. Here’s my actual 5-ski quiver for this season (all with Look Pivots).

    P.S. I don’t tour.

    1. Head Monster 88 (178)—These are the ones from 2-3 years ago which are red and black and just like the skis I grew up on skiing out here in the East. They only come out in VT on those days when the conditions are bulletproof and more desirable for DH racing than recreational skiing (i.e., bulletproof ice). They carve and hold on ice great and I love them on days that make me want my old Volkl P3s back!!

    2. J Skis Masterblaster (181)—These are the the boards that I grab every day that it’s not bulletproof out here, and I always take them with me early season out West. I just love these skis. They can carve and suit my directional style, but also are fun enough (for me) to play around on trail edges and side hits. I just love these things, and they make a day on the hill on the EC fun.

    3. Moment Wildcat 108 (184)—I haven’t had any time on this ski yet, but given how much I like my Bibbys, I had to pull the trigger on these for 19/20 season. Hoping to get some time on them early season December at Alta if they ever get any snow!!

    4. Moment Bibby (190)—These are my “go to” skis in AK whenever the day is going to be on a larger face and/or difficult to tell the conditions from the base. They are awesome in powder, and I trust them when things are variable, crusty or manky. There was a day last year when I stepped out of the heli into light that was so flat it was concave, the conditions were wind blown moonscape, and I literally was thanking God that I had a ski with camber as opposed to full rocker. It was super sketch getting down and these skis were a huge part in aiding my descent. I love these things around Squaw/Kirkwood on a pow day where you can open them up and just have a ton of fun.

    5. Black Crows Nocta (185)—These are my pow skis for those days when it’s all about fun, not pucker factor. Low angle tree skiing around Girdwood or in BC on days when it’s dumped, and I know we’ll be staying “low” and the conditions are not challenging, but wonderful. I prefer full rocker on these days (opposed to the Bibbys) when I know it’s just going to be smiles all day. I had a pair of Moment Chipotle Bananas that I sold a couple years ago because I found them a little too much ski for me on days like this (read as, a tad stiff). The Noctas ride a bit easier IMO and are just a fun ski for deep days.

    Another P.S.: I spent most of last season on a pair of Deathwishes, and I loved them just as much as I love the Masterblaster. In fact, if I was being completely honest with myself—and wasn’t such a gear junky who makes questionable discretionary purchases—I could have an absolutely awesome time on a two-ski quiver of Masterblaster/Deathwish and never need more than that. However, I can’t control myself so I ended up selling my DWs to finance my purchase of my Wildcat 108s which I hope was a good decision because the Moment Deathwish is one of the most fun skis out there that does everything well (IMO). The Deathwish is definitely in my pantheon of skis category, so here’s hoping the Wildcat can holds its own this season . . .

    • Joey & Scott are still helping us (mostly on the park side), and you’ll be seeing contributions from them in some of the smaller quiver articles, and also some upcoming park-ski reviews.

  5. Love these articles. Upping the ante to 5 this year? Nice one!

    From one Chris to another, very envious of Chrisc70’s actual quiver above. Mine will be a bit more speculative as I don’t have time on as many skis as you guys and many of your readers it seems

    1. Frontside carver: AK Green. Small Swiss ski maker, use this as my baseline at the annual ski test, just love it, carves beautifully. A close second would be the Stoeckli AX78, great ski
    2. All mountain, frontside focused: Blizzard Brahma – not skied it but plan to this season. Enforcer 88 or 93 could replace this. Really want to try Masterblasters
    3. All mountain, soft snow: Line Sakana, bought these on impulse last season based solely upon the Blister reviews. Due to surgery not skied them too much yet (maybe 8 days) but they are a lot of fun. Definitely no regrets
    4. All mountain, off piste: Salomon QST106 bought last season, some fun days on these too
    5. Powder: currently debating a long list (as Luke can confirm!) Line Sick Day 114, Mindbender 116, Icelantic Nomad 115, J Skis Friend, Wildcat/Blister Pro, Deathwish etc. Big plan this year is to actually get on some of them. Would love to think Black Ops and Koala should be on that list but ‘know thyself’….

  6. I had a question for Sam:
    Why did you pick a park ski for your 5th ski in the 5 skis from one brand section but didn’t include one in your main selection?
    Also is there anything silly (like Cy’s sego blades) that you were tempted to thrown in?

    • Hey Jacob,

      If I have the option for 5 whole skis, I’m definitely going to want to throw in something I can ski in the park. In the official quiver, that would be the CBC, but in the single brand versions, I just went with the park oriented ski that looks the most fun for the given brands (though I understand that the Blend and the NFX are VERY different skis).

      As far as weird stuff goes… these quivers are serious business, no room for weird stuff! I don’t know what Cy is thinking.

  7. Maritime snowpack here:
    3 Touring/2 Resort
    1) Salomon MTN Explore 95/MTN Binding (spring eastern sierra/volcano).
    2) Praxis BC/MTN binding (Any day that’s not a 1-3ft storm day)
    3) Line Pescado/Ion LT (Storm day pow ski) – I really wanted to stick the Lotus 138 on here but sometimes it can get a little thrown around heading back to the car in heavy chop.
    4) Moment Meridian/Shift (most all resort days and/travel ski where light touring could be involved)
    5) Anything around 100 underfoot and more directional but still playful that I don’t mind hitting rocks with as an early/late season resort ski.

  8. I’m close to Luke Koppa.

    1) Salomont MTN 95 with King Ping (could go lighter with the binding now). I like the Line Vision 98 here.
    2) Moment Bibby Tour with King Ping (powder tour)
    3) Stöckli Laser SC (slope)
    4) Moment Commander 108 with Salomon Shift (for soft resort snow, side country powder and traveling)
    5) Völkl Revolt 121 with Salomon Shift (resort and side country pow, and traveling). Replacing a Völkl Kuro.
    [6) Völkl Kuro, still in the garage and always ready for combat]

    There is room for a 98 resort skie (J-Ski Masterblaster or Commander 98) and for a 105 Touring ski :-)
    Brands to cover everything: Moment Skis (missing a very light touring ski); Völkl, Black Crows, DPS, Salomon (missing a really fat pow ski)

    Not many brands make fat pow skis (broader than 120) anymore.

    What do we care about light touring skis? I was hauling approx. 500g of snow on each Bibby Tour while skinning uphill this week-end :-(

  9. Five ski quiver ? Try a mix of used with a ‘fresh grind’ -and previous year’s New… with a ‘fresh grind’. And a 120+ day season.
    170 Head Supershape Magnum – perhaps 6 years old -fresh grind/structure – My season openers ’cause i don’t care. $20.
    193 Fischer GS WC Sharp. 23m and 80K is verrry smooth. Gotta work my way up to non-civilian plan-ahead skiing. $Coffee.
    178 Salomon Xwings – my warm snow pow-day in the old growth. $35.
    176 Nordica GSR 21m A $100 whim a couple o’ ski swaps ago… couldn’t resist. Decent.
    180 Head Monster 88 Graphene’s – a man’s GS for thigh-deep cold snow. $400.
    176 Atomic Double Deck GS = easy for semi-serious GS. $40
    165 Atomicdoubledeck SL’s = easy 65mm SL for just about Everywhere… loves soft off-piste/steep alpine bowls.$40
    168 Nordica Dobermann Spitfire -even better 74mm, for knee-deep cold snow days… and very clean on-piste. $300 skiswap
    175 Fischer RC4 WC 17m race-carver… Really clean and decent -up to their limit… Love that 68mm waist. $500
    182 Nordica GSR EDT 23m I’ll stack this 2012 model up against Any current master’s GS. $110Cdn from Nordica Outlet last season. OH: I forgot my latest: Rossi WC GS 170cm =Gymkhana units bl/wh/orange with a nice race-tune. $8.00
    A groomed Catskinner+Lower Gear-Jammer or Fisheye+ Lower Franz’ for 4,000′ vert or PeaktoCreek = 5,000′ vert of Real GS; you don’t want no stinking FAT. When it is cold/dry in the bumps in Saudan, or new knee-deep in Cockalorum or when Diamond/Ruby is effortless- you don’t want no FAT. So my fats aren’t – but the trees need ’em ‘specially when it is warm. Hence the Xwings or Monsters ( they are ‘demanding’ ) I might consider a Brahma. And I know something is wrong with my sport when I go into the mainstream shops and see a wall full of head-high semi-FATS w/ double camber: that skiing has been reduced to an ‘entertainment’: something to do between lunch and another mediocre dinner with ambivalent friends. These peeps ‘ski’ on Soul 7’s.

  10. Mostly tour, some resort. All skis quiver killed for Tecton or Shift, with ZGTP boots.

    1 – Blizzard Rustler 11 (descent-focused powder ski)
    2- Wildcat Tour (longer powder touring days)
    3- Blizzard ZG105 (general use touring ski, better than Mtn Ex 95 in my experience)
    4- Black Crows Corvus (resort and backcountry when I want a bit more for the descent)
    5- Black Crows Solis (purpose built steep ski)

    Single Brand – Black Crows (Nocta, Ferox, Corvus, Camox Freebird, Solis) or Blizzard (Rustler 11, ZG105, Rustler 10, ZG95, Brahma)

  11. MTN 95 is the worst ski i ever skied. IT works ON spring slush but everything does that. If IT is close to mixed snow or windblown, IT catshes an teows you of balance. IT is the only real bad ski i can think of out there at the moment. Chek out Moonlight for spring and Extrem skis for everything else.

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