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EpicSki › Buying Guides › Big Mountain Skis Guide

Big Mountain Skis Guide


This category consists of skis that have straighter sidecut, minimal rocker and designed for hard and mixed snow charging. These skis are wider than what you would expect in the All Mountain 50/50 category and stiffer than bigger powder specific skis. This category might be considered an "all mountain" ski for the bigger skiers and those who like to "charge" the mountain.
Lengths: 177, 185, 193
Dimensions: 143-113-133
Nordica is taking their HELL theme up a notch. There are so many things you can say about an all black ski, and if a product chooses to be offered with this type of appearance, it better ski damn well. The Helldorado does not disappoint. While the other skis that are derived from the same mold, the Patron, Unleashed Hell and upcoming La Ninia, ski super playful for that resort powder type skier, the Helldorado has, dare I say, a dark side. The Helldorado skis with tremendous power, yet does has a playfulness to it, thanks to its shape and fantastic early rise tip and tail design as well as being cambered underfoot.

Lord Vader...your skis...they are here.
Lengths: 170, 177, 185, 193
Dimensions: 135-108-123
As from last year...Arnie was right, Flipcore works. Period. How could such a simple idea be so effective in redefining how a ski is made? Amazing. The 108mm flat underfoot with an early rise tip and tail makes the sweet spot very well the largest in this segment.  If you have a tendency to get thrown around in heavy crud and muck conditions, the Cochise needs to be on your short list of skis. After spending more time on the Coshise, one of the characteristics that I discovered is that the ski likes steeps. The steeper, the better the ski performs. The Coshise is much more of a charging ski than a finesse ski, it wants to be going big and going fast. The Cochise seeks out one thing...gravity. If this ski only had some camber underfoot, I think it would be a bit more playful without losing what we like about it.

Nothing will faze this big mountain charger.
Lengths: 164, 174, 184
Dimensions: 133-104-123
I skied this right after a BMX108, a very nimble ski. The FX104 is NOT nimble. Where some skis can ski shorter than their dimensions, the FX104 with a 26M TR skis like a much bigger ski than it is. Unlike the FX014's little brothers FX84 and 94, which are finesse skis, the 104 is a hulk of a ski. This ski is NOT for the meek.

A charging ski for those who miss the old MX98.
Lengths: 190
Dimensions: 145-120-126
The S7 has been the benchmark that most powder skis have been compared to, and rightfully so. It is very well one of the easiest powder skis ever built. Over the years the S7 never lost it's playfulness, but others have caught up to the S7 on playfulness but surpassed it in versatility. Enter the Squad7. The Squad7 takes the personality of the S7 in off snow finesse attributes and adds some muscle by lowering the elfish tip and tail profiles. This gives the Squad7 more of a connection to the snow and a new ability to be charge on mixed conditions with being fluttered like the S7. Not that there is anything wrong with the S7 in the conditions it was designed for: soft, deep fluffy powder. But the Squad picks up to conquer mank, crud and other clever names for mixed snow. What does all this mean? The Squad could be the most versatile powder/crud ski that Rossignol has offered.

The S7 went to the gym, toned up, and worked out.
Lengths: 171, 181, 191
Dimensions: 144-105-131
One of the more playful 105 waisted skis. If you love the Cochise/Katana type skis, this is not the ski for you. But if you don't like the (minimum) speed limits that those skis require, try the REV. The REV 105 is a great, playful big mountain ski for those who don't want a charging ski or a big floppy town tip. I think Head will do very well with this ski and a lot of people will enjoy it.

One of the most playful 100+mm wide skis.
Lengths: 156, 166
Dimensions: 166-100-120
To start with, the conditions for this ski were not ideal, but the sensations and performance I got out of it were enough to give me a good idea what she likes to do. The Century has an early rise tip and tail which makes for a ton of fun in the skied out area of the resort, and gives you enough inspiration to put them over on edge on the groomers.  In fact I was a little surprised how much this ski gripped when I was on firm groomers. I'd really like to take them out in some spring corn. I get a feeling she'd really shine in those conditions! This is a ski that performs well for a skier who wants to take charge, so click in and show the slopes you mean business.

This Century really shines for a skier who is ready to take charge.
Lengths: 170, 177
Dimensions: 134-108-122
My First turns off the top of KT22 (Squaw Valley) heading toward the Saddle on firm groomers, it was pretty clear that the Dakota was going to be stable, hold an edge and get me where I wanted to go without a problem. But this is not where she would really shine. Second run, off the top of Headwall Chair, we headed to North Bowl, which has a fairly steep entrance, but goes into some moderate size bumps with a little crunchy snow on top. That would begin putting the Dakotas through their paces.

Women have been asking for real skis and Blizzard is delivering with the Dakota.



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