This is still the category that most manufacturers are striving to be the leader in and almost all have one that is best at something. Now what is that something you are looking for? Power? Finesse? Off piste? Big frontside charger? Your ski is here.
Atomic Vantage 100 180cm (New):
Review upcoming from Mammoth.
Blizzard Bonafide 180cm (revised):
This is the ski that I started the show with. Why, because I always start a demo with a reference ski to test the conditions. I have as much time on a Bonafide in the past 4 years as almost all other skis combined so I using this as my benchmark works well. Now, new for 2016, Blizzard added carbon to the tip and the tail which not only reduces swing weight at the extremities which many manufacturers have done this year and yes that does help that aspect but adding the carbon smooths out the Bonafide at speed and dampens the tip and tail which quiets the ski increasing the top end. The difference is subtle but there is a nice evolution to a ski and Blizzard did a good job here keeping the nest attributes of the Bonafide yet evolving it. Bonafide is on the power end of the scale.
Fischer Ranger 98 180cm (all new):
This was another surprise of the testing for me. Light, nimble and playful without being nervous skitty or chattery. The gradual tip design that Fischer incorporates in there design makes the initiation so easy yet there vast experience with working with lightweight materials like carbon allow them to just make so much out of so little (weight). With a new leader at Fischer, Willy Booker, I expect a lot more good things coming from them. A long term test will be upcoming. Powerful finesse skiers will rejoice
Head Monster 98 177cm(all new):
No more Rev85, 90, 98 and 108. Don’t bother shedding a tear, don't bother looking back, just be happy that Head got back to their roots and made an honest to goodness Monster series. The Monster 98 is the ski most skis can only dream of being. It moves to the front of the pack in being the ever so slight frontside biased big mountain ski. Power ski for sure.
Nordica Enforcer 177cm (all new):
Like the Bonafide, I have had a few days on the new Enforcer and even being a newbie, the Enforcer has moved to the front of the 100m line. Yes, the Enforcer name was resurrected but unlike some manufacturers, Nordica doesn't go into the closet and bring out names just for the sake of bringing a name back, the ski has to be worthy and this new Enforcer is damn worthy. I have already written a few words on this ski so just go read my review HERE and check out @FairToMiddlin’s, @Drahtguy review of the Enforcer along with @Trekchicks, @segbrown’s review of the women’s Santa Ana. Power…Finesse…Ease…making this a Magic Bullet? I will not confirm nor deny.
Scott The Ski Sagebrush 178cm (all new):
I will start by saying that i am biased to anything that is associated with The Ski. Now if you have skied and of the other Sun Valley Collection skis, you know even though I I am biased, they are great skis. So with my disclaimer out of the way…Bobbie Burns knows how to design a ski, even though he isn’t pressing them himself, he skis knows what makes a ski fun. The Sagebrush with it’s gradual early rise tip and 3D sidecut makes this ski rocket across the hill without being nervous doing it. Stay tuned for a long term test of these. Slight edger to the finesse side of the scale.
2015 Carry over skis reviewed last season from THIS thread:
Kastle MX98 184cm-
Big boy ski that actually skied easier than its' 184cm length and 27M sidecut would suggest yet it is a ski that goes to 11. Quite frankly, at $1349.00, it better be. For those who want the best and are willing to pay...get out your checkbook. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.
Line Supernatural 100 179cm-
Replaces the Prophet 98, the new SN100 is a much more balanced ski in flex and while it lost a bit of it's hard snow prowess, in soft snow, crud and bumps, it is much better. This is a very good evolution of this series. Edge to the power side
Nordica NRGy100 177cm-
This is a ski that was polarizing, I really like it but a few testers found it either vague or unresponsive. With the tip shape, the ski responds well to pressuring the front of the boot. Finesse and ease.
Rossignol E100 180cm-
All new. The new Experience 100 is better than the 98 is every manner (except name). The E100 is still the hard snow king of the 98-100mm range but with a slightly softer and more balanced flex along with a more gradual tip profile it has matured and is not as nervous getting it onto edge angle. Power like a GS ski
Volkl Mantra 177cm-
All new for 2015. Check out my review HERE
Check out my 2016 95mm thumbnails HERE.
Edited by Philpug - 2/8/15 at 3:53pm