• KÄSTLE

    BMX115

    $1,049.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    I took the Kastle BMX 115 to the Challenger terrain at Big Skysteep, rocky, chalky with some wind buff my go-to testing area during Powder Week this year. The terrain was varied and with the way the wind blew and deposited snow in places I haven’t seen in 20 years, I was able to playfully ski through technical sections as well as point steep chutes and see how the tails of the different skis would respond at very high speed.

    The BMX 115 skied smooth as velvet and it was exactly what I wanted and needed underfoot. It was lightweight and had a very surprising quickness edge to edge for a ski that is 115-millimeters underfoot. In the 185-centimeter length, I could go as fast as I wanted, but it is far more forgiving than its bigger brother in the 195-centimeter length. It has a stiff tail that keeps you from dropping into the backseat when arcing out of fast turns, but is still forgiving enough to lay trenches on a blue groomer.

    Built with a traditional sandwich construction fiberglass, silver fir, and beech wood core between two layers of titania with slight early rise in the tip and an elliptical radius sidecut, this ski will hold an edge in any condition and will float in the deepest of powder. This is a ski that I need in my quiver, because I would only need this one ski.
    —Dave Stergar

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    KÄSTLE

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    141-115-130

    Lengths

    177, 185, 193

    Radius

    24

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • BLACK DIAMOND

    Boundary Pro 115

    $750.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    Since its inception, Black Diamond has always stuck to what it knows: how to make sleek, lightweight, and super athletic products to go up and down any mountain.

    The Boundary Pro 115 is a departure from the sleek and lightweight products that have dominated the Black Diamond brand. This is the burliest ski that Black Diamond has ever made, born of athlete influence and input.

    The skis’ strength is made possible by a triaxial pre-preg fiberglass construction and under-binding reinforcement. The maneuverability is retained with only a moderate amount of sidecut and a poplar wood core, while still having a great sense of underfoot stability and predictable feel.

    The float is great to excellent depending on how centered you are in your stance, as the Boundary Pro 115 has a fully rockered tip and tail. (See Black Diamond’s previous MegaWatt and GigaWatt skis for historical comparison.) These three components come together to make a solid big mountain ski that can both float and charge. It feels like a radical new product from an old favorite. Bottom line, this is a no-excuses, no-nonsense, big mountain charger like Black Diamond has never made before.

    This ski requires a perception change as most folks are used to using Black Diamond’s skis in a skin-track setting, which may not suit the Boundary 115 Pro as much as a tram, cat, or heli. Also, these are going to be in a limited run at the moment, so if my above description is akin to whispers of sweet nothings in your ear, I would get on the horn to your local Black Diamond ski retailer ASAP.
    —Wally Phillips

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    BLACK DIAMOND

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    142-115-124

    Lengths

    185

    Radius

    22

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • VÖLKL

    Confession

    $875.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    The Volkl Confession is a big mountain ski that won’t punish you for skiing like a normal human being on normal terrain, and also instills confidence on shitty snow when the only choice is to ski fast.

    I’ve found that, for me, stiff skis like the Confession ski better mounted a little forward of recommended. A more forward stance allows me to make more than one kind of turn with less effort, and get away from the stance and turn shape confinements that stiff, directional skis usually come with. The Confession’s sweet spot is at plus-2 of recommended. Having these 117-millimeter underfoot, metal skis hanging from my feet got me fired up to haul ass at Big Sky. The Confession responded to my every wish above treeline, which consisted of medium-to-long radius turns through “hurry up and get through this shit” snow.

    The Confession’s long tip and tail rocker profile minimizes ski-to-snow contact in hard-snow conditions, which makes it very nimble in tight, bumpy trees. Meanwhile, the ski’s metal construction stabilizes it, virtually eliminating the wandering feeling I’ve experienced in many other full-reverse-camber skis.

    Though not an obvious first choice for skiing rutty bumps, with a little style change, I was able to have fun. I was mashing through sets instead of finding the troughs, airing into less than smooth landings with relative confidence, and not getting my quads worked in the process. The Confession isn’t going to be the first choice for folks that like skis to flex into a turn, nor is it a one-ski-quiver for anybody other than true big-mountain jocks. But it won’t limit the average skier to any particular type of skiing, which can’t be said about many directional, metal, big mountain charger skis available this year. —Alex Buecking

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    VÖLKL

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    144-117-133

    Lengths

    179, 186, 193

    Radius

    23.8

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • HEAD

    Kore 117

    $800.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    An important aspect of any powder ski is a good strength-to-weight ratio. You want the ski to be light enough that it is easy to turn in deeper snow, but you still want it to be strong enough to be able to power through your turns. With this in mind, Head has created the Kore 117. At a length of 189 centimeters, and 117 millimeters underfoot, the Kore is incredibly light for being such a large ski.

    Head uses karuba wood, which is very lightweight and capable of maintaining its stiffness, unlike balsa wood, which is also light but relatively weaker. Another way the Kore sheds weight but not performance is the lack of a traditional topsheet. Instead of a hard poly or fiberglass, the Kore incorporates a fleece fabric topsheet that is then pressed in the heating process. Surprisingly, it is still strong and resistant to wear. Furthering the solid strength-to-weight ratio is the use of a carbon sandwich construction. Head uses Graphene throughout the entire length of the ski to help keep it consistently rigid.

    Other skis that incorporate a carbon structure tend to have dead spots where the carbon ends, but because it runs the entire length of the Kore, you are left with a much more lively ski. Despite the presence of so much carbon, the Kore is still easy to turn and you will not find yourself being overpowered by the ski. Overall, the Kore 117 is best suited for someone looking for a powder-specific ski. Whether you ski the heavier snow of the East and Pacific Northwest, or the lighter snow found in the Rockies, you would absolutely have fun on the Kore. It is light enough to be used on an every day basis, but the waist width combined with the sidecut can be very noticeable when you get the ski up on edge on a groomer. —Dane Weister

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    HEAD

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    145-117-129

    Lengths

    180, 189

    Radius

    24.6

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • K2

    Pinnacle 118

    $1,000.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    Utilizing a fir and aspen core, K2 brings back the Pinnacle 118 for skiers looking for big, carving ski for big, deep days. While a ski with this much surface area is bound to float on powder, the Union was most impressed with the easy turn initiation that comes from the ski’s tapered tip and tail with Hybritech sidewalls. By blending the sidewall construction underfoot with a full cap construction, the Pinnacle 118 maintains accuracy and power, while the overall ski weight stays at 2330 grams.

    “A 118 that carves? Awesome! The Pinnacle 118 has a great float, it’s poppy and fun, and super easy to pivot,” said Wally Phillips, who can’t wait to take this ski to Trenchtown.

    The Union was impressed with the ski’s ability to hold a strong edge in the turn and cut through chop and crud, while some felt its light weight was the reason they got bounced around in firm snow. While the K2 Pinnacle 118 can hang with the all-mountain crew, this is a powder ski through and through. “I couldn’t see shit off the tram, but was glad to have this ski underfoot,” said Matt Hansen. “With low visibility and variable snow, I put my trust in this big ski and it made me feel at home. It was so good that we went back for another lap.” —Sierra Davis

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    K2

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    145-118-135

    Lengths

    177, 184, 191

    Radius

    23

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • SALOMON

    QST 118

    $900.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    The widest ski in Salomon’s lineup, the QST 118 will make you wish the snow is deeper. Always, deeper. The full twin rocker is designed to help you float in the deepest powder. The Spaceframe construction uses carbon and flax to give the QST 118 the stiffness and strength of a metal ski, but not the weight. Essentially, at 1980 grams per ski, it’s a light ski that doesn’t actually ski like a light ski. “The ride is smooth and damp, while a more forward mount point allows easy maneuvering and the early rise prevents the tip from getting buried without making me feel like I was doing a wheely,” said Kade Krichko, who took the QST 118 down Big Sky’s Big Couloir. “I was kind of gripped, but my first two or three turns were quick and they handled just fine in a lot of different conditions, and I didn’t feel tip chatter at all, even though I could see it.”

    The Union found the sporty sidecut a bit hooky, and with a 26 meter radius, the QST 118 needs room for big turns—exactly the kind you want to make on the deepest day of the year, and not so much though tight couloirs or trees. —Sierra Davis

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    SALOMON

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    142-118-129

    Lengths

    171, 178, 185, 192

    Radius

    26

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • Fischer

    Ranger 115

    $900.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    At 115 underfoot, the Fischer Ranger 115 is a smooth ride that shows its pedigree. Fischer’s Air Tec Ti wood core with sandwich sidewall construction makes the ski light and nimble, but doesn’t compromise on the stability of the ski.

    A bit of taper and rocker in the tail gives the skier more agility in deep turns, but carbon in the tip keeps the ski damp. The result is a ski stiff enough to feel powerful, but light enough to feel maneuverable. It has edge-to-edge strength to cut turns through sketchy crud, and a perfect ratio of rocker to camber to plane through fields of pow.

    The Fischer Ranger 115 is the ski you want in Alaska, or when you’re standing on top of a big, untracked bowl full of powder. If you’re looking for this kind of excellence in an everyday package, pick up the Ranger 108. The Ranger series made Fischer the dad-brand-turned-hip. Like how acid-wash mom jeans are en vogue in Brooklyn.

    And Fischer knows how to make skis. They are a legacy ski company founded in 1924 in Austria and one of the largest manufacturers of ski equipment in the world. Fischer is repeatedly on the podium of the World Cup and the Olympics. —Julie Brown

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    Fischer

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    144-115-134

    Lengths

    178, 188, 196

    Radius

    20

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • Line Skis

    Sick Day 114

    $850.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    Line’s Sick Day series has developed a bit of a cult following of skiers looking to blur the line between something they can get playful with but still drive without being battered around too much. The new Sick Day 114 makes me think Line is moving toward a stiffer and directional feel, as this ski is burly as all hell. This is a welcome update made possible by an aspen core that provides the best strength-to-weight ratio along with some carbon filaments for added dampness and rebound out of the turn. This construction, along with a just below 24-meter radius sidecut, gives this ski a lighter feel with added responsiveness.

    In short, this ski does not sacrifice all mountain performance to cut weight in the pow. Instead, it is the glorious combination of both light and sturdy. That being said, there are skis that go lighter than that 2000-gram mark that perform similarly, so I wouldn’t go throwing a lightweight tech binding on this ski unless you have the boot to push it properly.

    In addition, while there is no question that at speed the Sick Day 114 will elicit Cheshire cat grins, one needs to maintain that speed or the ski gets bogged down and can react slowly. The rocker amount in the tip and tail seems right for the width, and it translates pretty well to softer snow conditions in all but nipple-deep days with a shovel that reaches 140 millimeters of width. This was evident off the South Bowl reaching the Yeti Traverse on to Lenin as about three to six inches had blown in the night before. The cloud cover had socked in a bit but the ski pushed me to go harder when conditions got tougher.

    If you are looking for a directional, powder oriented ski that you can push the speed limit on that wants you to push it even more after that, then the Sick Day 114 from Line is your ticket to a good time. —Wally Phillips

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    Line Skis

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    140-114-126

    Lengths

    180, 190

    Radius

    23.9

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • STÖCKLI

    Stormrider 115

    $1,299.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    The conditions during Powder Week were not as variable as in years past, so I was able to ski the Stockli Stormrider 115 on groomers, crud, and wind buff. In the 195-centimeter length, this ski was a top performer for me. However, due to its sheer size, this ski might not be ideal for everyone. (Editor’s Note: Dave Stergar is one of the strongest skiers on the Powder Union. Let’s just say he knows how to drive a ski.)

    The Stormrider 115 has a GS race-factory feel. It needs (and loves) to go fast in order to arc turns. Stockli has maintained its traditional look, only slightly updating the graphic over year’s past. Their titanium top sheet maintains the traditional look of the Swiss ski company. I felt the top sheet also added some torsional stiffness. Like models in years past, the ski still features a laminate construction with lightweight durable woods and a fiberglass layer that makes this ski incredibly damp. When you get it up to speed, it will pop you from turn to turn.

    What many skiers will really like about this ski, especially if they have a race background, is traditional camber with a very slight early rise tip for ripping powder. The straight tail allows for completing turns on hard snow and groomers. With this construction, you know you will be able to hold high-speed turns down steep faces. The Stormrider 115 felt a bit heavier than some of the other skis in this category, something for which Sțckli makes no apologies. —Dave Stergar

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    STÖCKLI

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    137-115-128

    Lengths

    159, 168, 177, 186

    Radius

    19.3

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis

  • J SKIS

    The Friend

    $749.00

    BUY NOW

    Manufacturer's Description

    I skied the J Skis The Friend in a variety of terrain where it performed admirably. The Friend’s construction incorporates a rubber laminate layer that is paired with carbon fiber stringers. These design features help to give The Friend a surprising amount of pop and energy. The ski’s waist width and rocker profile were the perfect combination for making aggressive big turns through soft/mixed snow conditions.

    Although the skis aren’t completely one dimensional, they thrive in the wide-open, bowl-type environments. When the terrain levels up, the skis become a little more difficult to manage. Its 115-millimeter waist feels slightly clumsy in tight trees, and in more complex situations they aren’t the easiest to maneuver around natural obstacles. On groomers, The Friend comfortably initiated turns and felt stable enough while carving at high speed.

    These powder boards were more than adequate when faced with hard pack snow. The Friend wants to live in wide-open terrain, however, and dominate big deep turns. It is exactly what you want on a powder day: a trusted companion with a bond of mutual affection for the steep and deep. —Eric Gerrmann

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    J SKIS

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Dimensions

    136-115-125

    Lengths

    173, 180, 186

    Radius

    19.5

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Powder Skis of the Year

    Product-type

    skis