Will Brown (see bio)
I. Which currently available skis would you pick for your own three-ski quiver?
While waist width was part of my consideration here, I was thinking more about skiing style—how I might want to approach the mountain on a given day.
Ski #1: a fun, freestyle-oriented all mountain ski
When it hasn’t snowed in a while, I like to have a fun, snappy ski that caters to a playful style. I still want the ski to provide enough edge hold to let me lay down some carves on groomers, but I also want it to be great for hitting ramps/mini-kickers on the sides of runs and jib off catwalks.
It also needs to be relatively narrow (less than 100mm underfoot), and quick edge-to-edge, so I won’t feel limited if I want to spend a good portion of the day skiing bumps.
The Nordica Soul Rider is a poppy, energetic ski that fills this role really well.
Ski #2: a directional all-mountain charger
If it hasn’t snowed in a week or more and I’m not out jibbing around, then I’m usually hiking to higher terrain, looking for steeper, less bumped-up lines.
I’ll usually be skiing in chutes or steep tree runs, scrubbing fast, aggressive turns in variable conditions. I’m no longer looking to ski a ton of bumps, and if I do find myself on a mogul run, I’ll be searching for more spacious lines that allow for bigger, faster turns. I’ll also break this ski out when things are a little softer, or if the mountain has gotten a few new inches on top of variable snow.
There are three skis that are very well suited to do what I’ve just described—the 13/14 187cm Moment Belafonte, the 186cm Line Supernatural 108, and the 185cm Blizzard Cochise—and I enjoy skiing all of them.
In past seasons, I’ve picked both the Belafonte and the Cochise for my one and two-ski quiver selections, and I still think they’re great all-mountain chargers. But the new Supernatural 108 is currently my favorite.
I’m a lighter guy (~160 lbs), and while I can hammer out some fast laps in variable conditions on the old Belafonte, its flex is a little stiffer than the 108s and it feels like more ski than I need. I feel like I can ski as hard and fast on the Supernatural 108 as the Belafonte, but the Supernatural 108 is a bit less demanding, making things a touch easier in tight spots.
I absolutely need to put time on the new 14/15 Moment Belafonte, which Jonathan found to be a bit more forgiving than the previous version. It may be more like the Supernatural 108, but I can’t say until I’ve skied it.
The Supernatural 108 is also a blast when it comes to making big, fast turns on groomers, where I’ll take it over the Cochise.
Ski #3: a pow ski wide enough for deep days, yet capable in chopped-up resort conditions
Truth be told, I haven’t spent that much time on skis in the ~120mm underfoot class in the last two seasons. And there are several pow skis that I’m very curious about, (e.g., the ON3P Jeffrey 122, the Volkl One and Two, and the Faction Chapter), but until I’ve skied them, I’m going to have to go with what I know.
The 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro, now the Moment Blister Pro, provides a combination of playfulness and stability that works very well for my skiing style. If I want to open things up and charge through fresh pow or chop, I can do that well on the Blister Pro. And if I want to slow things down, make some slash turns, and throw a few spins, I can do that relatively easily, too.
II. What ski was the most difficult to leave off your list?
• 185cm Blizzard Cochise – I think the Cochise is a fantastic ski, and if you told me I couldn’t have the Supernatural 108 as my more directional all-mountain charger for variable conditions, I’d be fine with the Cochise. It may not be quite as exciting as the 108 carving on groomers, but the Cochise’s longer 28.5m radius and gradually rockered profile let you make any number of turn shapes for fast, slarvy, big-mountain style skiing. Damn is it fun.
III. What ski do you think has the greatest likelihood of making your 3-ski quiver list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more?
• 186cm Blizzard Peacemaker – I’ve put two days on the Peacemaker so far, and I’ve been pretty impressed with it as a versatile, freestyle-oriented all-mountain ski. It’s definitely stiffer, a little wider, and isn’t quite as light as the Soul Rider, though, so it doesn’t seem quite as easy to jib around on. And I’m not sure how much heavier / slower the Peacemaker feels in bumps.
At the moment I’m not sure that I would include the Peacemaker in this three-ski quiver lineup, but you might see me talking about it again very soon.
IV. Bonus Question: If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 3-ski quiver, which company would you pick?
While LINE and Armada both have very intriguing offerings to fill the 3-ski-quiver space, given what I’ve skied, I’m going with Blizzard.
186cm Peacemaker: As I say above, I’d take a bit of a hit when it comes to bump performance on the Peacemaker, but I could make this ski work as the narrowest in my quiver. (I’m wondering about the 94mm underfoot Regulator from Blizzard, essentially a narrower Peacemaker, but I haven’t skied it.)
185cm Cochise: For all the reasons listed above.
186cm Gunsmoke: The degree to which the Gunsmoke maintains good performance in chop, while being quite capable in pow is impressive. At 114mm underfoot, it functions as more of a wide, all-mountain jib ski than a powder ski, but I could still use the Gunsmoke on the deepest days of the season and have a good time.
NEXT: Julia Van Raalte’s Three-Ski Quiver Selections