Just looking through the list of 2015 gear offerings I noticed a new changes that could have fallen through the cracks for the naked ski eye.
Blizzard had a pure died in wool winner when they introduced the Cochise 4 years ago, a ski so good it was Ski of the Year by Skiing Magazine. Times have changed and the market has evolved, particularly the “One Oh Something” category. The Cochise has evolved too. Blizzard made the Coshise a little softer this season but more importantly, they added some camber, not marketing camber but actual camber, it is now closer to being a 108mm Bonafide..and to me, that is a good thing.
For many female testers. the Samba has become the reference ski in the 98-100mm category. For this season, Blizzard has lowered the street price from $699.00, where it was a top seller, to a lower new lower $649.00. The Samba has sold very well at the higher price since it’s introduction, we expect it to sell out even quicker now.
K2 Potion Series
First the Luv, then Super, now Potion. Yes, it can get confusing but the K2 ladies frontside skis are now Portion. Some of the sizes remain the same, there are some that are added on the wider end like the Potion 90 and Potion 98 while most of the names have changed, there are still the same skis that women have come to love. If you are still confused, K2 is offering a Remedy for that in 92,102 and 112mm widths.
Well, we asked for it, Kastle made it. Kastle’s most respected skis since their reintroduction have been the MX series, the 70/78/83/88. Some might not have remembered the short lived MX98. The 98 was a big boy ski when Kastle first returned, it was a sandwich construction with full camber and a 98mm with sizes up to a 194. Most mortals couldn't ski it and thats where and why it created a cult following. I recall skiing Griffin Post’s 194’s down Palli that first year..it felt like it took 3 runs of energy just to make it down. Sizes of this ski will be 174, 184 and 194. I have oft referred to Kastles as Porsches, the MX98 is the Panamera Turbo S Executive, both in performance and in price.
Look Pivot12/Rossignol FKS120
New? well, really reintroduced. Up to a few years ago a 4-12DIN Pivot was a part of Look/Rossignol’s offerings on their junior race skis but with the PX/AXL2 series taking over on the race skis, the 12DIN Pivot was removed from product mix. With the 14DIN Pivot12 and FKS140 versions begin $299 and at the top of the price range, sales were good, not great and most other 12-13DIN bindings were outselling it. Now with the reintroduction of the 12DIN versions at $249, Look and Rossignol hope that people will be more willing to pony up the extra $20-50 over the other 12/13DIN counterparts for the new Pivot12/FKS120. Keep in mind here, you are not just getting any 12DIN binding, you are getting a 14DIN binding with a 12DIN spring, there is value to be said there. Hence why I had these two bindings in my “Steals & Deals for 2015. Now, Look & Rossignol. just bring back the 15DIN versions.
The PX and AXL2 went to Crossfit, they got stronger, slimmer and more buff. The new heel design allows easier step in and smoother release, all at a lighter weight. The new design also has a lower ramp angle for a more modern upright design. All good things. The proven multi directional toe returns unchanged.
Scott The Ski
Last year Scott introduced The Ski and old time freestyle aficionados went wild. Downfall of the offerings was that they were only offered in 10cm increments. With the average man wanting a 180cm in this type of ski, they were in-between sizes with having to go to a 175 or 185. Bobbie Burns and Scott solved that problem by bringing in a 180 in the traditional TRS red. There is now no excuse for the freestylers from the 70/80’s now to have a piece of their youth in a fun all mountain ski. Being a traditionalist myself, I would combine these with the fore mentioned Look/Rossi turntables.
Stockli Laser AX
The Stockli Laser collection can be a bit confusing with all the models and getting the names and the players straight. Well Stockli is not making it any easier for you, they replaced one of the most popular names from last year, the Laser AR and for 2015, it is now the Laser AX. Where the AR was white, black and red, the AX is white, black and yellow. Don’t fret, the AX is just as much fun as the AX was, why not, it is the same ski.
Tecnica 110 9.3
A true 93mm race derived boot at under $600 street price? Surely you jest. I am not jesting and don't call me Shirley. Tecnica has bright their rear race derived shell down to a 110 flex for lighter racers and stronger recreational skiers that have very low volume feet yet desire the top level of performance and efficiency. Tecnica waw a market that was being overlooked, junior racers and strong women and smaller guys with narrow feet that are looking for a highly technical and efficient boot.
One of the worst kept secrets coming into this season, Volkls halo brother/sister combo, the Mantra and Aura increasing in waist width from 98 to 100 but more importantly going from the previous camber/early rise design to adopting Volkl’s new full rocker design. This is the most revolutionary change for these two skis since their introduction 4 generations ago. These new skis perform great and could very well be the most versatile Manta/Aura’s that were ever offered.
Edited by Philpug - 10/28/14 at 9:06am