Last year while I was in Aspen I was hanging out with a 6’7 loud ass Texan named Ben who was working at Snowmass, Colorado for the season as a ski instructor. After a few cocktails in the Snowmass village he brought my buddy and I around and showed us the innards of some of the mountains facilities, including the ski and snowboard instructors HQ which included an area on a stairwell where employees could display their skis and snowboards they wished to pass along for the right price. Among these items on this stairwell was a pair of Icelantics. They immediately stuck out to me and Ben started to tell us all about the skis, the company and their loyal Colorado following. For the rest of my trip I started to see the skis pop up everywhere and couldn’t wait to get back to the east to drop the news the rest of the guys of my new discovery.
My next encounter with the skis was at the industry demo during a massive snow storm in VT. Ironically the skis we carry are the skis we skied. Lets start with the Icelantic Shaman, a ski boasting a front end of 160mm, if that doesn’t make you float on the white and fluffy it’s time to find a new sport. As skis have gotten wider they have gotten more deceiving to the general public. The usual concensus is that a fat ski will not want to turn and will be less responsive, this is not true. As the ski world has moved into fatter, wider skis, companies have adapted their skis to have more side cut and Icelantic does anything but fall short of this with a difference of 50 mm from tip to tail, for the mathematically challenged that’s 110mm under foot and boasts a tail width of 130mm. This allows for a shorter turn radius and for powder turns with extreme forward lean, allowing the skier to feel the full energy from the ski and deliver it right to the snow. Rumor has it this bad boy also rips on the groomers too.
The next ski I really liked was the Icelantic Nomad, which the best all in one ski from Icelantic. The ski has extremely similar characteristics to a Gotama but is a phenomenal alternative for the expert skier who wants to be different, likes a conversation piece and wants to rip turns at lightening fast speeds on hard pack and surf when the conditions allow, this ski is a rocket ship.
What I like best about Icelantics description of the next ski in the line up, the Icelantic Pilgrim, is the first thing they mention about it, “It’s a twin tip”. Twin tip is another horribly misunderstood term in the ski world. Just because a ski has a twin tip does not mean it’s not stable and will not hold up on hard pack because its exactly what this ski was built to do. This does not mean the ski does not boast the playful aspects of a softer tail which makes shredding the trees and bumps a breeze.
Icelantic is not your usual ski company. This is a company which takes pride in its handmade product, built in the heart of ski country in Colorado. They stand firmly behind their skis which maintain a two year warranty, nearly unheard of in the ski industry which means these things are meant to be used, loved and abused, built for skiers who are passionate about the sport and their gear. I have an older skier friend who is always saying, “such and such a ski is such a cult classic”. Every ski Icelantic turns out is a cult classic because of the product they have developed and the cult like customer base they have created. Buy your pair and let the witchcraft run rampant on the slopes.
Icelantis Ski Reviews aka Bottom Line: Beautifully designed, extremely solid construction and hand-made in the U.S.A.