Skis that make it easy
Skiers who have mastered the technique of rolling their knees into a turn and using them to drive their weight forward onto the tip of the ski will find there are very few skis on the market today that aren’t eager to turn.
However, some skis make it easier to achieve the joy of carving, and some skis are more willing than others to give back to their masters.
Cases in point are a pair of new skis from cult Euro manufacturer Blizzard, a new value model ski from Atomic and the Dynastar Omecarve 10, which proved to be the thoroughbred of the bunch.
Blizzard, with a racing pedigree, has moved in and out of the American market as it has changed distributors.
Blizzard is back in American specialty ski shops and it is back with some worthy entries into the intermediate market that also will make plenty of advanced skiers happy.
One Stop Ski Shop in downtown Steamboat Springs is the only local shop carrying the Blizzards this winter.
Blizzard has produced a pair of very precise and remarkably easy to turn skis in the FXP-T1 and the SXP. The former, with a turning radius of 19 meters, is meant for freeriders and all-around cruising. The SXP has a narrower waist (65 mm), which produces a turning radius of 14 meters. It’s the ski for athletes who enjoy citizen racing.
During a Friday afternoon when the manmade snow on Howelsen Hill was only moderately hard, both skis demonstrated that they were exceedingly stable and easily hold to an edge on steep pitches.
One Stop’s Andy Hogrefe, who says he has seen it all in the past 25 years, said the Blizzards are exceptionally easy to turn. However, skiers who are prone to skidding their turns may not immediately unlock the secret.
“You still need to put them on edge,” Hogrefe said. “We get some people who come back and say a ski was squirrelly or hard to turn. That tells us they aren’t edging their skis.”
With their radical sidecuts (narrow in the waist and flared at tip and tail) modern mid-fat skis are designed to turn, but skiers who leave their skis flat on the snow and attempt to skid their turns will find those wide tails are a hindrance.
“If you skid your turns, you’ve still got that big beaver tail out there,” Hogrefe said.
One Stop owner John Kole said Atomic’s new SX7 will help many skiers advance their technique.
“Aggressive beginners can drive that ski comfortably,” Kole said.
Priced at $549, including a set of bindings, the SX7 is a good value in today’s world of skis that cost $800 before you purchase a binding.
Kole says the beauty of today’s skis is that different skiers are able to take them to varying levels.
“I think they can be whatever ski you want them to be, by the pressure you put on them, and how long you pressure them,” Kole said.
One ski that definitely can take the pressure is the Dynastar Omecarve 10.
“When I get on that ski, I feel the explosion you felt,” Kole said. “Whatever you put into it, it just snaps back.”
The Omecarve provides the confidence skiers need to really throw themselves at Howelsen’s steep face and the torsional stiffness to effortlessly hold an edge on hard snow. Yet, Hogrefe said, the ski has the longitudinal flex needed to handle powder and suck up small variations in terrain.
Aggressive skiers will want to take this little monster out for a test drive.
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