New School Ski Review 2007
New School Ski Review 2007by Rob de Luca & Annie Aschim
Hey, new school crew. We know you can’t decide. There are so many reviews and opinions out there—from pros who rip to gapers who’ve never seen the inside of a pipe—that it’s easy to find a glowing review and a trash-talking flame fest about nearly every ski coming out this year. That’s why Tramdock.com has your back.
We didn’t write the book on new school skiing—you did. But the truth is we have some serious ballers on staff, some sponsored park and pipe heads, and some pro ladies, too. Even so, we’re not going to lay down some patter and call it gospel. We’ve skied many of this year’s skis, and we’ve also spent a lot of time looking at magazine reviews, asking the companies what’s up, and lurking in the forums to see what you all have to say. Before we get started, though, we want to stress that the BEST way to decide on skis is to get out there on a demo day and try ’em yourself. Then you won’t ever have to read a stupid ski review article ever again.
Men’s New School SkisBy: Rob de Luca
Pure park skiers have a lot of options, but jib-focused skis need to rock rails and manmade hits day in and day out, so look for tough construction to take all that metal-to-metal punishment. Other key elements include:
- Softer flex to absorb jarring rail impacts, forgive off-center spin landings and get the most spring out of slow-speed ollies.
- Symmetrical sidecut and center mounting for switch takeoffs and natural spins.
- Wider underfoot widths for added stability and deflection when you rail or press.
Take a look at these jib sticks and see what you think:
Perfecting your 9 is fine, but a little time spent in the trees, maching groomers, scaring the pants off snow bunnies, and ducking the ropes never hurt anyone (well… not many people, at least). All-mountain twintips can handle the variety because of a few key attributes:
- Slightly directional sidecut for forward-riding stability
- More beef underfoot to float soft snow and plow crud
- Stiffer flex for stability at cruising speed
You might sacrifice some technical jibbing proficiency, but the payback outside the park will be well worth the tradeoff. These are the Jacks-of-all-trades of the ski world; it’s no mistake that they find their way into the hearts of reviewers on both the old school and progressive sides of the scene. Here are some examples of skis that play nice in the pow and hardpack, yet remain fairly park-friendly:
Volkl Bridge (Freeskier Editor’s Pick)
Armada ARV (POWDER Shop Rat Pick)
Park & Pipe Competition
If going huge and grabbing medals is your deal, you’ll be needing some superhero skis to make it happen and to back up the hype you’re spraying all over the mountain. Flex might be nice for yoga, but Dumont and Candide aren’t cranking 20 feet out without some high-caliber weaponry. Here are the main points required for a podium ski:
- Stiffness throughout for launching massive tables and getting maximum amplitude in the pipe
- Light, centered weighting for blazing fast rotations
- Personal preference
How can personal preference be an attribute? Well, at the top no one can tell you what feels best or which ski will be your perfect match. If you aren’t trying every ski you can get your hands on to find out on your own, you probably aren’t competing with the big guns yet. Here are the ones WE liked:
As you probably know, most of the folks here at Tramdock have a certain obsession regarding powder. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s because we live in Utah. In any case, we love it and we tear it up every chance we get. These skis are all FAT (100mm or more) underfoot and twinned-up to rip it and stick it switch in pow, but many have the balls to lay it down all over the mountain and can even get nasty in the park. Conjure up sumo wrestlers in ballet slippers and you’ll have the right idea about this year’s crop of freestyle heavies. Get hot on these Tramdock favorites:
Scott P4 (POWDER Shop Rat’s Pick)
K2 Seth (Freeskier Editor’s Pick)
Women’s New School SkisBy: Annie Aschim
Hey ladies! I know it seems like we get the short end of the stick when it comes to ski gear. Most of us have all but given up on riding “women’s specific” skis, and for good reason. In the past, the only women’s specific skis available to us were weak, floppy, and covered in pink hibiscus flowers. Those wimpy noodles didn’t cut it, and we were getting mad as hell. Well, ski companies have taken notice and are actually putting some real effort into making chick sticks that rip. In fact, this is probably the best year yet to pick up a pair of ladies-only skis. That said, don’t hesitate to broaden your scope beyond “women’s specific” models. Since companies are experimenting with different widths, flexes, shapes and sizes, you’re sure to find a combo that will work best for you and your style of skiing—so forget about gender. The key to finding your perfect ski? Riding ’em. Demo as many skis as you can to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Regardless of our own advice, we’ll suggest some new skis that are sure to put a smile on your face.
Take a lap through any terrain park and you’ll find girls out in packs hitting jumps and sliding rails. The newest women’s specific park skis let you pop off hips, boost tabletops and butter your little heart out with ease. Look for these key elements when choosing a park & pipe specific ski:
- Lightweight core and low swing-weight for easy spinning off jumps
- Extra flex for pop
- More give for a forgiving landing on man-made jumps
Don’t be stubborn: give the women’s specific park skis a try and feel the benefits. Some of the guys skis made for smaller dudes might get you stoked as well. Here are some models to get jib-tastic on:
Armada ARW (POWDER Shop Rat’s Pick) (Freeskier Editor’s Pick)
You know what sucks? Letting your skis decide where to ride when conditions rule. You can take back your free will by choosing a setup that performs well anywhere. All-mountain freestyle skis are the Jills-of-all-trades that’ll saw through the trees, schralp the steeps, prance through pow, and even pirouette in the park. If you want the simplicity of a one-ski quiver, make sure you choose a twintip model that is:
- Mid-fat (90-95mm) underfoot for all-terrain versatility
- Slightly stiffer for less chatter at higher speeds
- Directionally sidecut for forward-riding stability and quicker initiation
Like you, these girls defy categorization. Let the boys follow you all over the mountain on these do-it-all skis:
Seriously, who doesn’t love deep powder days? We know you love over-your-head fluff as much as we do. This year’s crop of backcountry freestyle skis has gotten fatter than ever and we’re super stoked. These über-wide (95mm+) twintips put wind-lip 360s, switch powder lines, and pillow drops on your to-do list. Keep in mind that many of the guys’ models come in softer, shorter lengths that let you bring your park and pipe A-game to the backcountry kickers.
K2 Nancy (Freeskier Editor’s Pick)