Five Skis Tested for 2015-16

The #TMS Crew headed to Mt. Rose Ski Area for the WWSRA (Western Winter Sports Rep Association) Demo Days. FIVE AWESOME SKIS FROM THE FUTURE WERE TESTED. 

READ MORE IF YOU LIKE COOL SKIS…

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AB and KS at Mt. Rose

Nik Somers, Kevin Snow and I got out and tested new skis on what was the first major storm cycle to hit the Tahoe area since the first part of the season. Mt. Rose received around 40″ of new snow and 15-25″ at its base. Then, the wind came in and made things interesting. We skied every conceivable type of snow condition (powder, blown powder, ice pellets, crust and groomed runs).

Five skis were reviewed and tested.

One ski will likely make a return to the wall, while four others might make a grand entrance next fall…

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Blizzard Zero G 108 and Zero G 98 Skis

SKI TEST #1: Blizzard Zero G 108

Test Size and Weight: Length – 185cm, Weight 1,750 grams (per ski)
Binding: Marker Kingpin
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
Beta: Lengths: 171, 178, 185 cm | Sidecut: 136-108-122mm | Radius: [185 cm] 27.0m  | Construction: Sandwich Compound | Sidewall; Carbon Drive Technology.

From the Blizzard Skis 2015-2016 Catalog…ZeroG-108Diagram

Carbon Drive is the integration of a 3D unidirectional carbon fiber frame with an ultra-lightweight palowina woodcore construction. The carbon frame’s 3D geometry guarantees optimal flex and torsional rigidity. The end result is industry leading lightweight products that deliver a level of downhill performance that is unprecedented in the world of alpine touring and backcountry skiing.

REVIEW: The major buzz words in ski technology have included carbon. While carbon offers great rigidity and stiffness, it often doesn’t give with each turn as much, which translates into a ski that needs to really be driven (read: BUCKLE UP). The new Blizzard Zero G is a good mix of both playfulness and a hard-charger. A super nimble and lightweight option for the backcountry enthusiast, this ski is a true testament to the advanced technology and construction found in many ski options today.With a mixed bag of conditions to ski in on the demo day at Mt. Rose, the Blizzard Zero G really shined. The one con in the ski I tested was that you really need to stay on it. Just like most of Blizzard’s great line-up of skis, this new beauty needs attention. Drive it and stay on the gas and you’ll have a great day.

Final word: A solid winner and “go to” ski for any conditions. Look for them on the TMS ski wall in 2016.

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Salomon Q-BC Lab Skis (2015 Top-Sheet Graphic)

SKI TEST #2: Salomon Q-BC Lab

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight 1,800 grams (per ski)
Binding: Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2 AT Ski Binding
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
Beta: Lengths: 176, 184 cm | Sidecut: 140-114-128mm | Radius: [176cm] 21m, [184cm] 24m | Construction: Sandwich ABS, SidewallAn exception balance of touring efficiency and downhill performance, the Salomon Q BC Lab Skis are a full wood core with ultra-light CFX Superfiber reinforcement for the ultimate ski experience. The perfect balance of downhill performance and touring efficiency.  Salomon’s revolutionary, ultra light CFX Superfiber reinforcement and a full woodcore combine for stability, control and response not found on other lightweight touring skis.

*Editor’s note: This ski is not changing for the 2015-16 ski season (just the top-sheet). If you’d like to seize the day and grab a pair of your own, click HERE to purchase a pair!

REVIEW: This ski is the epitome of Salomon’s commitment to being a pure mountain company. A great soft snow (and powder) ski, the Q-BC Lab shines when used in variable to ideal conditions. Although it has a 114mm waist, this ski is surprisingly nimble. The full-length wood laminates combined with the inherent backcountry ski features such as “free hook taper” (diminishing hooking up in powder) and the built in skin tail clips make this ski a machine to not only easily climb mountains, but have the confidence to ski like you want to on the ride down.

Final word: A great backcountry option, the Salomon Q-BC Lab is a great decision for those in need of a lightweight 4×4 ski.

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K2 Pinnacle 105 Skis

SKI TEST #3: K2 Pinnacle 105

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
Binding: Marker Griffon
Boot: K2 Pinnacle 130
Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 137-105-121mm | Radius: [184cm]19 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

The Pinnacle 105 is positioned in the middle of the new Freeride series as the do-anything, go-anywhere, ski everything, quiver of one. Even the most confident skiers will benefit from the lightweight Nanolite core. Helping navigate through trees or floating in power, as much as the solid and supportive wood cores with metal laminate over the edges when charging firmer, variable snow.

REVIEW: The many technologies that K2 has seamlessly blended into this new ski are evident in that you never really need to think about it when arcing turns, bashing bumps or smearing soft snow! The diminished swing weight and torsional stiffness allow this ski to effortlessly turn, glide and rule the entire mountain. I would recommend this ski for anyone that loves to ski the whole mountain with confidence.

Final Word: The Pinnacle 105 is your quiver killer for 2015-16!

K2-Pinnacle-95

SKI TEST #4: K2 Pinnacle 95

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
Binding: Marker Griffon
Boot: K2 Spyne
Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 132-95-115mm | Radius: [184cm]17 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

Attack the resort in any snow condition. The Pinnacle 95 incorporates the new K2 Konic Technology with a high performance, lightweight Nanolite center core for added ease and control, while the wood core and metal laminate along the perimeter of the ski engages all the power, strength and stability needed for all mountain dominance.

REVIEW: The K2 Pinnacle 95 is nearly the same as the larger 105, but much more nimble. Grab a pair of these if you prefer a Ginsu knife over a machete. 

Final word: Rinse. Lather. Repeat. This ski does it all!

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SKI TEST #5: Volkl 100 Eight

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
Binding: Marker Griffon
Boot: K2 Spyne 130
Beta: Lengths: 173, 181, 189 cm | Sidecut: 141-108-124mm | Radius: [173cm] 19.7m, [181cm] 22m, [189cm] 24.5m | Construction: 3D Ridge, Tough Box | Core: Multi Layer Wood

An all time favorite ski, the Volkl Gotama is being replaced this upcoming winter season (2015-16) with a similar yet very new ski, the 100 Eight. This ski features a new construction from Volkl called the 3D Ridge. This layup offers a lightweight, lively ski feel – 141-108-124mm shape, flat tail design, Full Rocker, Smart Early Taper and an open (20 to 22m) radius combine for a smooth, playful ride for a variety of conditions, from deep powder to groomers.

REVIEW: Although I am sad to see the heralded Volkl Gotama become extinct, the future is always brighter in regards to new technology in ski construction, shape, camber profile and rocker. The 100 Eight is no exception to progression. Out with the old, in with the NEW. This ski does EVERYTHING (well,  maybe not ski moguls that well). I can’t wait to rip up the in-bounds terrain, drop cliffs, ski powder and even take this versatile ski into the backcountry. 

Final word: A lightweight, 4×4 machine, the Volkl 100 Eight is yet another great option to slim your ski quiver to ONE.

 




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