It is that time of year again, time to announce the best steals and deals while they are still fresh on the racks. As a gear tester I get to try over a hundred skis & boots every year and here are a few of the products that performed well above their price point. I tried to keep a "cap" on prices of $599.00 MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) and even though these products are entry-level in price, it is not at the cost of performance.
Que the drum roll...
Philpug's 2013 Steals & Deals Winners
122/80/107 (length dependent)
Blizzard has expanded it's flip core construction from the rodeo themed backside slayers to the front of the mountain. These 80mm brother and sister are the most versatile frontside biased all mountain skis that Blizzard has ever offered. On the men's side, the Magnum 8.0CA is $100.00 less than it's Titanium infused brother, the 8.0TI making it a great value. The Viva 8.0 is no one trick pony, it will satisfy the Y chromosome crowd who demand performance and versatility,
Blizzard Black Pearl
Our first return winner. The Blizzard flip core skis have continued to turn the ski world upside down. Even though the value priced Black Pearl has lost it's purple bull in the graphics but has not lost its RAWR in performance. The Black Pearl is a winner no matter what it's price is.
130/89/117 (length dependent)
When I skied the Salomon Rocker2 90 at the demo last year I was shocked how well it skied, I expected it to be a $599.00 ski but when I found that it was just $499.00, I was blown away. The Rocker2 and the Rockette 90 are skis that perform WELL above their price point.
The Atomic Access is another repeat winner from last season, again the Access is a lot of ski for little forint (forint is Hungarian for peso), the 2013 Access returns with it's traditional camber underfoot and early rise tip which gives the peso impaired a great ski to ski the whole mountain with and still have some change left to buy a Corona after a powder day.
Dynastar Legend Paradise
Off piste performance, light weight and playfulness make the Paradise a great choice ay any price but where most other 98mm wide women's skis are in the $649-700.00 range, the $599.00 Paradise is a steal.
127/82/109 and 133/92/116
When is a ski that costs a "grand" a value? When it is a Kastle LX. I have continually praised the under appreciated LX series, I have referred to them as skis that suffers from "Middle Child Syndrome", the MX's, BMX's, XX's and other Kastle get all the press but overall balance of the LX82 and LX92's make these two skis the best value on the Premium segment.
Tecnica Inferno 110
Tecnica dropped the price of the 2012 Inferno by $100.00 bringing the price down to a more competitive price point of $599.00 which makes the Inferno 110 not only a great race derived boot, which it was already last year, but now it is a great value too.
Nordica Spitfire 100
Nordica has taken their highly successful Dobermann shell and brought it down to a palatable price point of under 6 bills making the Spitfire 100 one of the best performing race inspired boots for the ladies. So ladies, if you want an snug fitting 98mm performance boot this might be the boot for you.
Lange has taken their stellar RS/RX line of boots and added a releasable cuff making the XT100 one of the best fitting boots in the highly contested sliver sized side country segments of boots. The XT100 is offered in both 97 and 100mm lasts along with both a mens and women's model. Lange has kept the performance of their RS/RX's and made them more hike friendly...what's not to like?
Look Pivot 14
High elasticity, low swing weight, short mounting distance along with a laterally rigid housing makes the Look Pivot one of the top choices of aggressive skiers everywhere. You have a choice of traditional Chrome or the awesome Kiwi Green.
The Sth12 Oversized is the least expensive way to get into Salomon's laterally rigid "worm heel", all for under 2 bills. You can also step up to the Sth12 Driver with the single pivot toe for only $40.00 more.
Edited by Philpug - 9/23/14 at 1:37pm