Leading up to the SIA Snow Show, SNEWS is previewing new trends and products you’ll see at the trade show in Denver, Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Today, we take a look at the latest in alpine skis. All these stories also can be found in the print or digital flipbook edition of our Snow Show Preview.
For 2013-14, rocker is just another ski aspect, ascommon as sidecut or width underfoot. The news is in brand-proprietary combinations of camber, reverse camber, sidecut, construction, and even mounting placement, resulting in quicker skis that respond to all conditions. Says Mike Gutt, global marketing director forK2 Skis, “The blending of rocker and camber remains the biggest innovation in the last decade. Now, customizing the structural design of skis to maximize the benefits of rocker is the next evolution.”
In this vein, K2 introduces All-Terrain RoX, an expansion of existing camber profiles that increases torsional rigidity and stability in wide rockered skis via a carbon web and a combo of regular and reverse camber. The flagship AMP Rictor 90 XTi (132/90/115) is a frontside charger that won't get lost off-piste.
Salomon’s Quest series of rockered, resort backcountry-oriented skis stay stable on piste thanks to a five-point sidecut that tapers away from the widest part of the ski, eliminating edge grab in tough snow. The Q-90 (130/89/117) is a classic, quick frontside board, while the Q-115 (139/113/131) is capable of day-to-day riding in the West.
Atomic revamps its Nomad series with ARC technology, a mountain bike suspension–inspired design that places the binding in the middle of the ski for enhanced longitudinal flex and increased stability.
Fischer’s Bigstix 122 (145/122/136), available in 185 and 192cm lengths, has its heftiest waist yet, along with a full wood core, sandwich sidewall construction, and tip and tail rocker paired with a 18m radius.
Black Diamond’s newest version of the AMPerage, with a 115mm waist, now has sidewall construction to give this big board, with full tip and tail rocker, better edge control, as well as pre-preg construction for extra flex.
With an eye on the resort backcountry, Rossignol’s new 7 series focuses less on hard snow and more on making freeride skis quicker and lighter. Cores are 20 percent lighter than in Rossi’s popular S Series. The biggest, the Squad 7 (145/120/126 for 190-cm), stays stable on piste despite its massive girth.
Sister brand Dynastar went lighter in big-mountain skis with the Cham HM series (87 to 107mm underfoot), which combines rocker and sidecut with an ultralight wood core for freeskiers looking to take on varied terrain.
Völkl’s latest incarnation of its V-Werks technology, the Katana (143/112/132), is 15 percent lighter, due to carbon-fiber construction. The fiber’s stiff suppleness means that the designers could go even narrower in the tip and underfoot.
Nordica focuses on versatility with the new El Capo (137/107/125), a wood-core ski that finds the middle ground between the brand’s Enforcer and Patron models.
Classic Austrian brand Kästle also cashes in on resort backcountry cred with its new FX Chris Davenport pro line. Ash-and-silver-fir wood cores make these big boards light and supple, while early rise, rockered tips float through crud and ABS sidewall construction and standard camber underneath add stability.
Stöckli continues its Stormrider series, launched for the current season, which it touts as big-mountain shapes with all-mountain performance. Features include lightweight, vertically laminated wood cores, two layers of Titanal, and rocker with a longer, more gradual curve in the shovel.
The new Brahma (125/88/110) from Blizzard takes on big-mountain terrain with 2.5 sheets of metal inside.
Head adds the Rev 98 all-mountain ski, still nimble at 98mm underfoot, and the high-performing yet value-priced Rev 78, with a synthetic core and 78mm waist. The new, big-mountain-oriented Flight series combines soft-snow flotation with stability for harder snow, thanks to Head’s Independent Suspension and Tip and Tail Stabilizer systems.
Elan’s Amphibio series focuses on shape, with the proven, stable Wave Flex profile. Dedicated left and right rockered skis put camber on the uphill edge for easy turn initiation and rocker on the downhill edge for float. Models like the Amphibio 82 XTI Fusion (128/82/109) look sexy, too, thanks to a partnership with the Porsche Design Studio.
And getting glib about a ski that can handle it all, Scott’s The Ski is a rockered board that runs from 88 to 93mm underfoot. An elliptic sandwich construction gives it torsional rigidity while a wood core enables flex.
These are just a few of the new products to debut at the show. Be sure to check out many more new products and trends in the Snow Show Daily, published live at the show, and available digital format each following day of print on SNEWS.
— Doug Schnitzspahn