• KÄSTLE

    FX95 HP

    $1,199.00

    Manufacturer's Description

    My affinity for Kastle skis began with a faded poster of Swiss ski racing legend Pirmin Zurbriggen and a pair of RX12’s in 1989. Since their resurrection as a brand in 2007, this storied Austrian company continues to be synonymous with quality.

    One of the company’s best and most versatile frontside skis is the FX95 HP. This is a burly ski that’s well-suited for firm snow. The HP has no speed limit. The ski is stable and handles predictably with a balanced swing weight. A relatively stiff flex pattern available in sizes 159-189 centimeters (with a 22-meter turning radius in the 189-centimeter length) should provide an option for almost any skier out there, so long as it’s not deep pow they’re after.

    The HP model differentiates itself from the standard FX95 by including two sheets of Titanal in addition to fiberglass in the layup. Low camber, dual rocker, semi-cap/sidewall construction combined with a precision milled silver fir and beech core (machined to within 1/10 millimeters) are the ingredients in the 95’s success. The contact points on the tip and tail have been moved toward the ski center, which dramatically reduces the hooky sensation that often accompanies skis designed with on-piste endeavors in mind.

    A long, smooth rocker profile on the tip provides additional versatility in soft snow and an ever-so-subtle pintail aids in the ski releasing from a turn. Another key features in the Kastle line are their Hollowtech inserts. Excess material removed from the tip, which reduces swing weight, allows the shovel to absorb an impact and recover to the natural profile quicker without deflection and increases torsional rigidity. Hollowtech 2.0 in the new iteration of skis changes the size of the insert to correspond with each model depending upon length and width. —Sam Cox

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    KÄSTLE

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    126-95-115

    Lengths

    157, 165, 173, 181, 189

    Radius

    18

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • HEAD

    Kore 93

    $750.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    This season, Head cut the fat on their new line of freeride skis by stripping the Head Kore 93 of its traditional plastic top sheet and leaving the polyester fleece top layer exposed and making it the lightest ski in the line.

    Graphene in the tips and tails provides a thin profile that the Union skiers fell for hard. “High level performance inbounds on hardpack, crud, and soft old pow,‰” said Crystal Sagan. “I would love to ski this with tech bindings on the uphill.‰” On the downhill, the Head Kore 93 railed on corduroy and shocked the Union when it didn’t chatter at high speeds thanks to the use of a thermally welded honeycomb material called Koroyd. The lightweight, but strong material gives the Head Kore 93 a notable dampness that isn’t typical of skis at this weight.

    “This is an exciting new ski,‰” said Abigail Barronian, noting the ski uses the same honeycomb core that is typically found in helmets. “It carves amazingly on groomers, is responsive and I felt really confident on it right away. It rips.‰”

    The Karuba wood core keeps the Kore 93 poppy and playful, and ski instructor Kelsey Barnes said as hard as she tried to push this ski to wobble and bounce, it remained stable. For deeper days, the Union collectively agreed they’d rather opt for a wider ski underfoot, like the similarly constructed Head Kore 105. —Sierra Davis

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    HEAD

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    133-93-115

    Lengths

    153, 162, 171, 180, 189

    Radius

    16.4

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • J SKIS

    Masterblaster

    $666.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    The J Skis Masterblaster is made with a maple core sandwiched between two sheets of Titanal, making it an incredibly damp ride. The sidecut matches the rocker profile, which means it has a long effective edge. Top that off with durability in the form of full sidewalls and an extra thick base, and the Masterblaster is the definition of an all-mountain ski.

    When I hopped on the Masterblaster at Powder Week, it was immediately clear that I was the one driving. This ski is easy to control and steer. It whips around turns fast, or it can hold a long, fast edge. (That effective edge also means it skis long for its size.) It’ll stay glued to the ground, but it can also catch air and smear. Some skiers may find the speed limit on the Masterblaster, but the majority of us will enjoy many days and many seasons on this ski. Which shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Jason Levinthal, the founder of J Skis, has been making skis for more than 20 years. When he designs a ski, he designs it specifically with a skier in mind. In this case, the Masterblaster is for the inbounds resort skier who likes to bang out top-to-bottom laps covering the gamut of bumps, chalk, pow, corn, and corduroy. They like to ski fast, but also to pop off a feature or two and have fun in the park. Wherever they go, the J Skis Masterblaster will keep up. —Julie Brown

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    J SKIS

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    125-96-114

    Lengths

    168, 175, 181, 187

    Radius

    17

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • ELAN

    Ripstick 96

    $800.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    The Elan RipStick 96 emerged last winter as a nimble, feisty model from the founders of the Amphibio technology—an asymmetrical rockered outer edge and cambered inner edge—that shines when arcing big turns in the wide-open spaces found at Big Sky. To take advantage of the Amphibio tech, make sure you have your skis on the right feet: there’s a left and a right. The Ripstick 96—a Skier’s Choice pick last year—remains unchanged from its first iteration. Built with bamboo, poplar, and carbon fiber, it is an agile, sporty resort ski. The Amphibio technology helps improve turns by increasing grip and stability with its elongated edge contact. The TubeLite wood core ski moves fast and charges like a metal-made ski and handled the chunder in the steep Dictator chutes.

    While the 188 felt too long to maneuver in tight trees and tracked out bumps (I felt a bit sloppy and in the backseat here) the Elan Ripstick 96 holds a strong edge on hard packthe terrain it’s made for. —Sierra Davis

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    ELAN

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    134-96-113

    Lengths

    167, 174, 181, 188

    Radius

    18

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • STÖCKLI

    Stormrider 95

    $1,099.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    I didn’t grow up skiing racing, and it’s only in recent years that I’ve come to recognize a former racer arcing turns down the mountain. There’s an unmistakable confidence, body positioning, strength, and beauty in the way racers ski, and I felt like I could tap into that power when skiing on the Stockli Stormrider 95.

    Sțockli reinforced the super light core with two sheets of Titanal, making the Stormrider 95 a strong, stable ski in a variety of conditions. Naturally, it is most at home on long, steep groomers, where it rails with seemingly no speed limit. Incredibly easy to roll over, making turns on the Stormrider 95 is graceful and fluid—like driving a very high-end car that just wants to be set free.

    I couldn’t stop smiling as a linked turned down the steep and chalky Headwaters behind a slew of former gate-chasers. I knew I wasn’t one of them, but the Stormrider 95 made me feel like I could be. Because of the stiffness, I got a bit of bounce in the crud, and this is not the ski for someone looking to spread a little butter. When I took the Sțockli Stormrider 95 front to back and back to front at Big Sky, however, I couldn’t find any terrain or snow type this ski didn’t handle well.

    The Stormrider 95 skis wider than it is, which isn’t a point against Sțockli for me, but worth noting for a skier expecting something narrower underfoot. —Sierra Davis

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    STÖCKLI

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    131-95-120

    Lengths

    157, 166, 175, 184

    Radius

    17.2

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • ATOMIC

    Vantage 100 CTi

    $850.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    As skiers, it’s easy for the rare alignment of perfect conditions, skis, and terrain to captivate your imagination. A solid daily-driver is often overlooked, but crucial during the season. The Atomic Vantage 100CTi is one such companion.

    Atomic skis are crafted in their legendary factory in Altenmarkt, Austria, where skiing is the lifeblood of the town—it’s been this way since the company was founded in 1955.

    In the Bowl at Big Sky, where the ever-present wind had buffed the entire surface to optimal chalk conditions, the Vantage 100CTi proved to be snappy and smooth. Turn initiation is effortless thanks to ample tip and tail rocker, while camber underfoot provides energy and edge hold as your speed increases. As the day continued, I became increasingly impressed with how well the ski adapted to variations in snow consistency and terrain features. I would be completely confident and content on these as my daily ski.

    Atomic blends a poplar and ash core woven with a carbon tank mesh that reduces weight, provides dampening qualities, and optimizes torsional rigidity. A titanium insert runs the length of the ski and is the secret to the power under the hood of 100CTi. The profile is 15 percent tip rocker, 75 percent camber underfoot, and 10 percent tail rocker. The Atomic Vantage 100CTi is a good choice for anyone looking to have a killer whip that dominates in nearly all conditions. —Sam Cox

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    ATOMIC

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    136.5-100-123.5

    Lengths

    172, 180, 188

    Radius

    18

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Skis for Carving of the Year

    Product-type

    skis