Jason Hutchins (see bio)
I. What’s your one-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?
I need a ski that can cover a very wide range of snow conditions and terrain here in Utah.
My personal preference tends toward skis that are both confidence-inspiring and forgiving when I’m playing around, regardless of conditions.
All of this points directly to one ski: the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus. I’ve skied the Opus in Japan in neck-deep powder, at PCMR in the park, on Whitefish Mountain’s playful rolling terrain, and at Moonlight Basin on steep, exposed, and wind scoured slopes. Regardless of location, the Opus is always a pleasure to ride. While it definitely isn’t a charger, this ski is fun, inspiring, and easy to ride, so I really don’t mind.
II. What’s your one-ski quiver for Taos?
When I lived in Taos, my former one-ski quiver was first, the original Line Sir Francis Bacon, and then, the original K2 Hellbent. So clearly, I’ve never felt the need to have a burly ski at Taos.
My pick for Taos is the most difficult for me to make, and one that would be a no-brainer if the Rossignol Sickle were still available.
But with the winter forecast looking good for the southern US this season, I’d stick with the 185cm Opus.
I want something quick that can also float over thin spots, and keep me from punching in too deep on shallow landings. So that keeps me from picking the Line Sir Francis Bacon or the Blizzard Peacemaker.
Because I feel pretty balanced on my skis, I am fine with riding a soft ski like the Opus on steeps when it’s firm. If I wasn’t comfortable doing this and wanted a ski that offers more stability while still being playful, I’d pick the Peacemaker.
It’s a tie between the 188cm Rossignol Soul 7, 184cm Line Sir Francis Bacon, & 184cm K2 Shreditor 102. All require good balance when it’s firm, but their quickness and playfulness are well suited for Taos. The Shreditor 102 would be a little narrow if the snow gods treat Taos really well this winter, but I’d make do. The reality is, I could be sent to Taos for the season on any of these four skis and have a fantastic time.
III. What’s your one-ski quiver for the Canterbury Club Fields, New Zealand?
Since I might encounter some longer periods of more firm, variable conditions than Utah or Taos, I’d want a ski that offers a bit more stability while still being playful. That ski would definitely be the Blizzard Peacemaker.
IV. What’s your one-ski quiver for skiing around the East Coast?
I don’t really think any of the skis I have ridden lately would be optimal as my only ski for the East Coast, but if I were to pick one, it would probably be the K2 Shreditor 102. I could hammer moguls, whip through tight glades, play in the park and on the sides of trails, and carve up the groomers.
V. What’s your one-ski quiver for the next 2 years, regardless of location?
Opus, no question.
It would be my pick for both resort and backcountry use, paired with the CAST binding system.
VI. What ski was most difficult to leave off your list?
The 188cm Rossignol Soul 7 for Utah and Taos. The more skis I rode back-to-back in nasty conditions against the Soul 7, the more impressed I became with this ski. It’s super easy to ride and has a very playful side. Yet with a soft touch, it can absolutely be rallied in soft-ish snow.
VII. What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski it, or get to ski it more?
• K2 Shreditor 112 for Taos
• Faction Candide 2.0 or 3.0
• Praxis GPO for Taos
• 184cm 4Frnt Devastator for Taos
Next: Scott Nelson’s Selections