• The “Dying to Try It” Award •
You might notice a pattern here:
We’ll say more about the Santa Ana’s in Part 2.
– Armada ARV 116 JJ
Armada took the JJ 2.0 and tweaked it a bit, moving the taper slightly forward and decreased the taper angle. They also slightly increased the sidecut radius, and added a beveled nose to increase playfulness. In theory, they took a very popular powder ski whose most common complaints were a lack of stability and too much taper, addressed these issues, and claim to have made the ski even more playful. Interesting.
– Fischer Ranger 115
We’ll stop saying this, I promise, but … we’ll say more about the Ranger 115 in part 2.
– K2 Cool Bean & K2 Split Bean Snowboards
K2’ Cool Bean (solid board) and Split Bean (split board) were born from the shortboard movement, making boards shorter and fatter. From the K2 site: “These attributes give the K2 Cool Bean and Split Bean a surf-inspired flow, glide on all types of snow and effortless glory on the groomers.”
We’ve already begun testing the two boards, with the Cool Bean currently in Japan, and the Split Bean currently in Alaska. Short & Fat never looked so fun.
• The “Extreme Makeover” Award •
– Blizzard Spur
Whoa, what the…
Asymmetrical tips and tail shapes are now everywhere, and our beloved Spur went under the knife and is now basically unrecognizable.
The current Spur has blown us away for being far more comfortable across a range of conditions (good and bad) than a ski this big and fat should.
The 17/18 Spur gets a rather wild new tip and tail shape, and it cuts weight, too. According to Blizzard, “The new Spur is a total modernization of the traditional powder ski and is unlike anything we have ever done before.”
You don’t say.
Blizzard engineer, Michele Botteon, also adds this: We approached the Spur design using inspiration from surfboard shapes because true powder is, in many ways, similar to water. So much of what you see is based on Hydro-Dynamics.”
Well we look forward to surfing snow on the new Spur, because on the face of it, this ski is going to ride very, very different from its predecessor.
• The “We’re Finally Going to Review It!” Award •
– Fischer Pro Mtn 95 Ti
We’d been trying to get on this ski for a while, along with the Pro Mtn 86 Ti.
The good news is that we now already have a couple days on the 95 Ti, so stay tuned for a First Look and a full review soon.
• The “Good Idea” Award •
– Black Crows Vertis
You know what’s fun? Carving. But not everyone thinks that carving skis look cool. So why not make a cool-looking ski that doesn’t make you look like you’re trying to go win a FIS world cup event? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we just think there’s room for some skinnier skis with a different vibe that were designed to kick ass on-piste.
Black Crows agrees, and new for 17/18 is the 85mm-wide Vertis.
And yes, we do wonder exactly how well it will hold up to its racier-looking counterparts. (Also worth noting: the shape of the Vertis is such that it looks like it will feel more comfortable zipperlining moguls than some of those more race-inspired skis. Is it possible that we are moving into Fischer Motiv 86 Ti territory here?)
• The “A Picture’s Worth a 1000 Words” Award •
Non-stop meetings sometimes mean that your very first food of the day comes at 6 pm, and in the form of two chocolate chip cookies and a macro brew. (Thanks, Icelantic Skis, for the cookies. The beer I found in a corner.) I don’t even know whether this counts as cookies and beer for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
NEXT: Part II, which includes classic Blister Awards like “Gear we were most tempted to Steal,” Good Trends / Bad Trends, and one of our favorites, the “Swagger” Award…