Dimensions (mm): 133-115-122
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.66cm
Sidecut Radius: Progressive (41m)
BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,296 grams & 2,317 grams
Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester Demo (DIN at 10)
Mount Location: Factory recommended line
Test Locations: Las Leñas Ski Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird
Days skied: 6
I logged some time on the Countdown 3 in Las Leñas this past August, and was able to get the ski in a wide range of conditions over a four day period. My First Look of the Down Skis Countdown 3 covers those findings.
I had the chance to make some wide-open, very fast turns on the Countdown 3 in 3-4” of light chalk in Las Leñas. I knew it provided some great stability and a nice, directional, tracking feel at speed (like a big-mountain ski would), but I also noticed a willingness to pivot, surf, and smear that seemed consistent with Down’s design of a “fun charging ski.”
But given the shallow, denser fresh snow we skied in Las Leñas, I didn’t have a great chance to assess the playful side of the CD3. To do this, I needed to get the ski in some deeper fresh powder in both wide-open bowls and trees. Once back in the States, a 18-20” powday in Little Cottonwood Canyon finally let me do that.
The first three runs of the day were fast, untracked laps off Snowbird’s Cirque. I started by cutting big, fast turns straight down the fall-line. The snow was super light, so the skis’ remained submerged the whole way down, but I could tell the Countdown’s tip rocker and slightly tapered tail were helping the skis track and float smoothly under the snow.
There was zero tip dive to speak of, and I was able to take a normal, aggressive forward stance with speed. Just like in the shallower powder in Las Leñas, the shovels of the skis felt like they were happy to run straight down the fall line, never wanting to hook or bite in the fresh snow. In heavier, deep snow, I don’t think the sensation would change much. Charging big turns in deep, untracked pow is something the Countdown 3 definitely does well.
Now for its playful side.
Moving to more sheltered terrain, still in lots of fresh snow, I started to smear the skis into shorter-radius pow turns. Compared to how easily this ski will arc big turns, feathering the tail out does take a little input—by no means does the Countdown have a super surfy, pivot-y feel right away. Initially it feels rather directional (which, again, is nice to have when you’re ripping big turns), but when I deliberately threw the ski fully sideways in patches of fresh snow, the tails would smear out and I could ride out a long, stable slash. It never felt like the tail was fighting back at me, trying to break out of that shorter radius and point the tips back down the fall line.
As you can read a little about in the First Look to the Countdown 3, the ski has a very straight shape to it. This means it doesn’t feel like it’s going to hook or grab from the tip or tail through a turn, while the short effective edge means you can still pivot the ski on demand when things are just a little soft—it’s just not going to do this without you telling it to.