Based on a few runs last month...."The Ski} stood out among the 14 various boards we tested at the Stratton on-snow dealer show:
185cm 93mm waist r=18m/23m/15m (radius varies)
Scott has been producing some very highly acclaimed freeride skis over the last several years of partnership with the Fischer factory in Austria, and their adoption of “The Ski” brand name for a new frontside-oriented, all-mountain ski has brought a ton of attention to this company. There are a couole of interesting design and cosmetic aspects to “The Ski”, one being a rounded, dome-like core construction, and the peek-a-boo topsheet with “windows” showing off the woodcore laminations.
This is a very handsome, clean design, with a superb fit and finish. The handflex is moderate, yet torsionally strong with a moderate rebound and somewhat damp feel to it. There is nothing radical about this ski, other than the straight-underfoot geometry (the section under the binding mount area is essentially straight, with no sidecut curvature).
Looks can be deceiving, and “The Ski” is a great example. I managed to get this ski into some fresh and cut-up powder and packed powder conditions, as well as some good Eastern hardpack in spots. The first few turns indicated this was a smooth, elegant turning ski geared toward technical skiers or advancing skiers looking for a platform to get their technique up several notches. If I had to make a category for this ski, it would be “Luxury Technical”. This is not a fluffy luxury ski with a pretty topsheet, but a highly efficient and precise all-mountain highl-functioning tool with a huge performance envelope and impeccable manners.
Cutting through the skied-out and bumped-up terrain, The Ski sliced a smooth and powerful arc through the surfaces, holding its line with zero deflection or deviations, taking as much or as little pressure as delivered by the pilot with composure and integrity. The immediate feeling is one of damp precision, yet the forebody design will rise up through soft surfaces, bringing the ski to the surface gradually and controllably, allowing you to pivot and change directions will very little effort. The sensation is more like a floatable carving ski than a carving soft-snow ski.
The remarkable thing about The Ski is its ability to adjust to subtle changes in turn shapes and pressures cleanly and predictably. It has a composed, but playful personality, capable of producing a really fun level of acceleration out of a turn if you load it up and release it, yet never pops or zings your feet out from under you.
Bumps are absorbed consistently and gradually, never beating on the skier, yet you can bounce your way through in a lively manner, never deflecting off-line. Again, “Composed” is a good word to describe this ski. Powder was handled smoothly and cleanly, yet because of its dimensions, The Ski is not a floaty, surfy powder tool for porpoising through three dimensional snow, but it carries you through powder with a smooth and controlled ride, letting you adjust your depth as you go. More directional than darty, The Ski delivers an easy-handling powder experience like a good all-mountain ski...being totally capable, yet not specialized. Transitions to the hardpack show the great manners of this ski. As the ski goes from soft to hard snow surfaces, you feel a transition from float-to-grip along the body of the ski, and excellent feedback underfoot telling you exactly when you need to move the ski's body from banking to carving mode. What this allows you to do is go from cut up, skied-out surfaces to the scraped-off hardpack in between without missing a beat, appearing to ski the same line and same surface as you traverse the different snow types as if they did not exist. This is a huge plus for people looking for an all-mountain ski.
I immediately thought the ideal customers for this ski would be instructors, experts looking to ride, rather than drive their skis, intermediates who are ready to step up from mid-range skis to real performance skis, and resort skiers who would want a high-performance, one-ski solution for some frontside-oriented fresh snow in the morning, then a day-long outing on the lift-serviced trails until it's time for refreshments on the deck in the afternoon.
The Ski can lay down some impressively silky and intense carving turns when pressured, with a very nice engagement and finish. Experts will love the carving behavior of The Ski on hardpack and packed powder. Damp and quiet arcs are always available, and a great variety of short to long radius turns are supported without changing technique. “Expert Recreational” is another category I would use to describe The Ski. This is a great ski for resort frontside usage, and delivers a huge width of performance at very high levels with very little effort. There is a lot of chatter about this ski in various ski magazines and Internet forums, and for good reason. Scott has delivered a frontside-oriented, all-mountain design with really nice, expert-pleasing behaviors in a wide variety of surface types.
“The Ski” is a great example of a refined, elegant, technical ski for all-mountain, all-terrain usage. It offers a huge envelope of high-performance capabilities with a relatively easy-to-ski personality, yet will make experts happy with its agility, carving prowess and composed, controlled feel under pressure and in variable conditions.
High performance with easy-handling and wide bandwith of competence. Responsive and smooth.
Sells out quickly. Prefers frontside resort usage rather than off-piste freeride terrain.