The industry demo season is in full swing and every manufacturer is bringing their best for the 2012/2013 season. As I ski around from one brand's tent to the next, I realize how far ski construction and design has come. Every company has a ski model or model line with a particular story that you gravitate toward. Unique shapes, different rocker/camber combos and new constructions give an amazing energy to the 2013 demo season. All the ski companies seem to be firing on all cylinders, so here are some brands/products that have stood out to me thus far...
Atomic skis across the board are ridiculous! They have introduced various new models with all-mountain and deep snow capabilities. The Atomic Alibi, The Atomic Ritual and The Atomic Automatic are all new and absolutely rip! The Atomic Automatic is one of my personal favorites. The ski was designed for pow, but has an identity crisis on groomers because it can shred hardpack without breaking a sweat.
They return next season with the same Free Mountain series... but who cares?!? Their Bull line-up is killing it right now! The Blizzard Bonafide and Blizzard Cochise are sure to get the same fantastic test results. Flipcore Rocker and Blizzard's beefy construction make these skis unstoppable. I'm glad to see them back unchanged.
Das Germans came to the table with a ton of new offerings. The Volkl Kink was an awesome mid-fat all-mountain set up, and The Volkl Shiro was redesigned with an insane amount of rocker and neon orange sidewalls for style points. The Volkl Katana, Volkl Mantra and Volkl Kendo are all built with rocker and were given a serious graphic make over. Volkl stayed with the Japanese theme, but instead of its typical samurai warrior they dropped a giant dragon on all three skis. Wunderbar!
The Nordica Helldorado is a brand new ski that looks legendary. It's a beefed up blacked out version of the Nordica Patron... That Shit Cray! The Nordica Soul Rider also skied extremely well and was a top choice from our group.
Sean Pettit's new pro model the K2 Pettitor was outstanding. The ski shreds anything. The rocker and waist width provide the Pettitor with superior float in softer stuff, and the sidecut and meaty construction give it no speed limit. Seth Morrison's new pro model the K2 SideSeth was also extremely entertaining all over the mountain. Killer graphics on both of these new models.
Line skis brings it with the Line Opus and the Line Sir Francis Bacon. The Line Opus is an absolute beast. The Opus is bred for steeps and deeps, but is also ridiculously stable on east coast hardpack. Graphically Line stays with the same theme, with an added twist for serious steeze. The 2013 Line Opus comes as a color-swapped version of this years model. The top sheet has a matte black base with a white and red Japanese Bonsai tree... In my opinion it's the best looking ski out of all manufacturers for the 2012/2013 season.
Bottom line is... Everything were skiing on shreddds! It's almost laughable when your ripping a groomer and you realize you have 120mm underfoot!!! The 2012/2013 demo season has just begun and more models and full reviews will follow.