So, since many of us have been talking about new skis coming out for the coming year, and people are logging early-season miles on the new stuff, I thought we should start a thread for "2014 Gear of the Year" award nominations. Maybe Epicski's admin team can take some of the more useful contributions and compile them for a "Reader's Choice" article next fall.
Please post what you think should be nominated, and why. Maybe both items that are innovative and may change what is happening with gear design in the sport, as well as useful refinements on current gear that just work very, very well. Even carryover gear that was overlooked this past year.
I will start with some of my favorites for 2014. There is a lot of stuff out there I haven't skied: after all, I have a job, a 2-year old, and 18-hour base weeks to log on my bike. Hoping to get a couple more demo days in this spring.
- Blizzard Scout: super powerful big-mountain ski, not as beefy as the Cochise, a little easier to handle for us smaller guys or for those bigger guys who want something on the lighter and more nimble side of the Cochise.
- Blizzard Kabookie: already reviewed, this is basically a re-set for 2014, as they were hard to find last year. One of the best skis going for a Western workhorse ski.
- Kastle FX94: maybe the best mid-width off-piste ski I have ever been on. Does everything really well
- Kastle MX88: Perhaps still the best ski to own, if you could only have one. This is that ski.
- Stockli Stormrider 95: superb frontside performance, rips bumps, smooth as silk. Probably a better groomer ski than the FX94, but will it be as good in the junk snow?
- Stockli Stormrider 100/107: Stockli is making some great skis. If you drive a ski from the tip, and love responsiveness in your skis, worth a serious look
- Nordica Soul Rider: I have no idea why this hasn't been on the radar of more skiers. Loads of energy and snap, super playful. Not the last word in stability, but hard to think of a better EC soft snow tree ski
- Nordica Fire Arrow 84 PRO EDT: What a superb ride! Up there with the MX83 in terms of hard snow energy, grip, and fun.
- ON3P Vicik: skis narrow for a 105mm ski, superbly confident in weird off-piste snow and wind pack. I could see this being a great go-to ski for bigger mountains, at least when bumps aren't in the picture.
- Atomic Crimson Ti: they really nailed this one. Powerful, responsive, rewarding for good skiing, yet really versatile
- Head REV 98: finally got to ski a 177cm in this: if you need light, nimble, yet stable in crappy snow, it is a unique and excellent ski.
- Rossignol E88: still one of the best 90mm do-it-all rides on the market. If it works, why change?