Reviewer: Kate Hourihan
Age: 26 | Vitals: 5’6” | Years skiing: 23 | Current Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah | (See complete bio)
One-Ski Quiver Selections:
1st Choice: Surface One Time, 173cm
This ski seems ideal for maneuvering through technical terrain, trees, and steeps. Thanks to a short turning radius, it remains fun and playful yet stiff enough underfoot to give you a lot of control and power when you need it. This is probably my favorite ski for navigating techy terrain, and the dramatic rocker keeps me floating if I should encounter new snow.
1st Choice: DPS Yvette, 178cm
The Yvette will handle any conditions that Alta may throw your way, with ease. On those deep powder days we’re always hopeful for, its early rise tip and decent girth underfoot keep you afloat. When its not dumping, the Yvette still rips smooth, long turns through Alta’s more open terrain yet doesn’t mind a quick turn through the trees or getting thrown on edge when facing a more technical line.
Runner-Up: Black Diamond Amperage, 175cm
Maybe it is because I know the subtleties of the terrain so well, but for me Alta is the ultimate playground. I never get bored with its varied terrain, great snow, and plentiful secret stashes, cliffs, hits, etc. And after a few days on the Amperage, I was so happy that Black Diamond made such a fun ski! But this runner-up is definitely geared more toward deep snow than hardpack, for those days when all I want to do is play, surf pow, slash turns, sneak through my favorite tree spots, and have a blast doing it.
1st Choice: 4FRNT Turbo, 175cm
When I think of Jackson, I think of challenging terrain and lots of vert. The 4FRNT Turbo charges hard and is an excellent tool to handle a multitude of terrain quickly and effortlessly. It is a reliable ski for big lines; bumps; chunks; and long, long runs; but will keep you having fun all the while.
1st Choice: Armada JJ, 176cm
I have dreams of making it to Niseko, and when I do this ski will be at the top of my list to take with me. It always seems to be snowing in NIseko, and the Armada JJ is my powder ski of choice. The JJ surfs turns gracefully through deep snow and is nimble enough to manage quicker turns through trees.
1st Choice: Black Diamond Justice, 175cm
The Black Diamond Justice charges hard through crud and variable snow, floats in powder, and likes big, long turns. I imagine it would feel at home in the vastness of Las Leñas’ terrain.
Q: What skis were the most difficult to leave off your list?
A: I couldn’t quite find a spot on the list for one of my favorite backcountry skis, The Voile Charger. I have only had limited time skiing it inbounds, but if I were to ski mostly or only in the backcountry, this ski would be at the top of my list.
Q: 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)?
A: I have a huge wish list of skis I would like to try, including the Armada TST as a nimble, smaller alternative at a place like Taos or Alta on a day without new snow.
I’m also really eager to try Ski Logik Howitzer and/or Rockstar to rip anywhere and everywhere. It has ideal dimensions to handle everything (110 and 113 underfoot, comes in a mid-170cm length and has a nice amount of early rise in the tip. Lately, this seems to be my ideal recipe). The fact that it has a cool handmade look definitely wins bonus points, too…
Q: If over the next three seasons you had to ski one ski, every day, regardless of location, what would you choose?
A: My first response would be the DPS Yvette because its dimensions and specs make it the ideal tool to handle everything. This ski hits the sweet spot between a powder ski and an all-mountain ski and still works fine on groomers and in the backcountry.
But I have to also name the ski that actually ended up becoming my one-ski quiver this past winter, the Surface One Time. This ski became my go-to ski pretty much every day. Its dramatic rocker complemented its stiffness underfoot. I even enjoyed it on deep powder days, although this was definitely its weakest spot. But where it occasionally felt small on the deepest of days, the One Time made up for it in the spring and park, where it popped off jumps and spun with ease.
Next: Andrew Gregovich’s Selections