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Gear of the Year: 2014 Nominations!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

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?
post #2 of 9

Although a nomination is a valid concept, the idea of a winner will be pure BS, no matter what. hope it doesn't go that far. otherwise, fun thread.


Edited by davluri - 3/12/13 at 4:35pm
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Although a nomination is a valid concept, the idea of a winner will be pure BS, no matter what. hope it doesn't go that far. otherwise, fun thread.

 

Excellent contribution to what is going to be an exciting thread, Dave!  Sure, He never mentioned winner, but don't let that get in the way of a good buzzkill.  Keep working on that reading comprehension, it'll come!

 

+1 (since we are compiling) to the MX88, I still can't give up the pair Dawg sold me, it does so many narrow-ski-in-the-quiver things so well...

 

Nordica Vagabond: Its existence led me to sell my 112RPs and not seek a fattie replacement (yet...); For what I need (wider-yet-versatile ski for a long distance traveler that has a double ski bag and can't time my trips for when it is dumping) to compliment something like the MX88, it is an incredible jack of all trades.

 

TheSki:  While not direct competition to the MX88, it's own flavor of goodness in a narrow slot for a western 2SQ is crazygood; less grip, but very stable and excellent in the bumps, a ski that puts a grin on my face.

 

Atomic Automatic, Solomon Quest 115:  While certainly not a tie (we're not trying to pick just one winner, you'll recall), they are very similar in how they feel and what they accomplish in the 'versatile pow ski' category.  They are both incredibly nimble and playful for their width, but with enough stability to keep you engaged all day long in bounds when things get tracked out.  Plus, their cred for 2014 vice 2013 only goes up as both get a bump in topsheet beauty, particularly the Auto.

post #4 of 9

I like the idea of this thread.  But just to clarify: I assume only those with industry connections will be able to usefully contribute, correct?  It's my understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) that only they currently have access to the '13-'14 skis for demo.  Yes, some skis are unchanged for '13-'14 (e.g., the Kastle MX series), but it seems that even someone that loves, e.g., the '12-'13-'14 MX78, should not be nominating it for '13'-14 ski of the year unless he or she has had a chance to see how it fares against the other '13 -'14 skis for comparison. Otherwise, I suspect this thread will lose its clarity, and thus its usefulness.

And for those that are contributing, IMHO these would be helpful:

 

1) Please tell us the other (non-favorite) '13-14' skis you were on; that way we know the pool from which your favorites were selected.

2) Please also tell us your height and weight, and let us know the length of each model you skied! wink.gif

3) If you happen to know this info. off the top of your head, it would be helpful if you could specify if the model is new or unchanged (cosmetics aside) for '13-'14.  Specifically, if you review a mix of skis that are changed and unchanged, and a particular model is unchanged,and we've skied it, that gives us a baseline by which to assess how our reactions to some of the new skis (to which we as consumers don't yet have access) might compare to yours.  Thanks!


Edited by chemist - 3/12/13 at 6:55pm
post #5 of 9
I will add a few of my stand out skis for next year...

* Blizzard Bonafide . IMHO, still the bench mark that all the 98mm skis are measured against

* Blizzard Brahma. The new 88mm ski derived from the above mentioned Bonafide.

* Head iRally. A great hard snow technical tool that rill reward even the most demanding skiers on the hill

* Head Rev85. A carry over ski from last season, with its lower price point makes a great argument for being the foundation ski for a two ski quiver

* Nordica Vagabond, El Capo & Wildfire. These triplets could very well define the One-Oh-Something segment

* Nordica Firearrow 84 Pro. The little brother to the stellar 84 EDT mentioned previously...at $400 less. Tough to pass up

...stay tuned...more nominations to come...
post #6 of 9

My additions

 

Atomic Ritual:  not new but a really excellent ride on just about any soft snow conditions.

Volkl RTM 84:  also not new, but having seriously hated the only other full rocker skis I had been on I was prepared to hate this one as well and found myself really enjoying it.  Very capable ski and a fun ride.

Elan SL Waveflex Fusion:  at least I think that's what it was, different graphics than on the Elan website.  Slalom race ski that was just pure fun for ripping the groomers, but don't bring anything less than your "A" game for these.

Salomon Quest 90:  a very good, stable 90mm ski that should be considered a standout for skis in this width range

 

And I'll second nominating the FA 84 EDT, simply an amazing ski.

post #7 of 9

+3 on the Nordica Vagabond.  I swore to myself I wouldn't get any new skis before next season, but it was so much fun to ski I'll probably give in by mid-summer.

 

My bet is this and/or it's metal sheet twin the El Capo will win some magazine awards.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

My additions

 

Atomic Ritual:  not new but a really excellent ride on just about any soft snow conditions.

Volkl RTM 84:  also not new, but having seriously hated the only other full rocker skis I had been on I was prepared to hate this one as well and found myself really enjoying it.  Very capable ski and a fun ride.

Elan SL Waveflex Fusion:  at least I think that's what it was, different graphics than on the Elan website.  Slalom race ski that was just pure fun for ripping the groomers, but don't bring anything less than your "A" game for these.

Salomon Quest 90:  a very good, stable 90mm ski that should be considered a standout for skis in this width range

 

And I'll second nominating the FA 84 EDT, simply an amazing ski.

I had an SLX WF Fusion 165cm in my posession for a few weeks this winter.  Wow!  If only it was a 170, it would have been the best frontside ski ever.  165cm a little demanding out of the gates.  New RIPstick was pretty sweet, too!  Up there with the Fire Arrow EDT 84 Pro, I just forgot to mention it! 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

+3 on the Nordica Vagabond.  I swore to myself I wouldn't get any new skis before next season, but it was so much fun to ski I'll probably give in by mid-summer.

 

My bet is this and/or it's metal sheet twin the El Capo will win some magazine awards.

I will have to try it again on softer snow.  Hard to get a read on it in steep bumps, it obviously isn't really designed for that. 

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