Skis and things

Ok, the season is nearing its end, so now is a good time to pick up some dribs and drabs. The good news is that the tremendous innovation in skiing seems to be ending. There are now all kinds of reverse camber skis out there, so seems like a good time to buy. Also for those of us with 12 year old boots, its not a bad to see what has improved.
as skinet says the skis haved settled with rockering at the tips and tails and then camber at the middle. You can now have a one ski quiver powder ski like the Armada JJ, Blizzard Gunsmoke or the monster Bent Chetler. As a note skis are getting longer too so a 183cm rocker ski is like a 167cm ski of the 2000s which is like the older school 178s of before.
Finally the innovation in boots is finally happening. With these new three buckle designs like the Nordics firestorm. Much more control and power.
So here is a list of various magazines and what they like
Skiing Magazine
I’ve traditionally used Skiing Magazine’s detailed reviews to buy previous skis (including the Gotoma, Six Star and K2 Axis XP over the years), so here is what they are saying. They use a rating system out of 5 and have it all online:

  1. Blizzard Cochise. Ski of 2012. It’s a one quiver ski handling both groomers and powder. 108mm underfoot and comes in 177/185 and 193 with a 28.5 meter turning radious at 185.
  2. Volkl Kenja. Woman specific. An experts’ ski at 85mm
  3. Nordica Steadfast. 90mm. 170/178/186 turning 18 at 178. It’s rockered and is a one quiver but particular good in narrow spots being “just” 90mm
  4. Kastle BMX 118. Big and stiff, perfect for experts and the big powder
  5. Blizzard Bodacious
  6. Nordica Hell and Back. 

In terms of absolute ratings, the awards are a little different. And at least on this list, Blizzard and Nordica sure comes out on top.

  1. Rossignol S7. 3.77 overall
  2. Blizzard Bodacious. 3.77
  3. Blizzard Cochise. 3.55 (but was one quiver and ski of the year)
  4. Nordica Unleashed Hell. 3.55.
  5. Nordica Hell and Back. 3.53.
  6. Blizzard Bushwacker. 3.50.
  7. Nordica Steadfast. 3.50.
  8. Armada JJ. 3.45
  9. Nordica Radic. 3.44.
  10. Kastle LX92. 3.43

Free Skier
They have a pretty good list and use a numeric score out of 20 . For all-mountain

  1. K2 Missdemeanor. 17.5
  2. Salomon Twenty Twelve. 16.2
  3. Volkl Mantra. 16.2.
  4. Nordica Nemesis. 16.1
  5. Fischer Koa 98. 16.0
  6. Kastle FX 94. 15.7
  7. Atomic Theory. 15.6
  8. Nordica Soulrider. 15.5
  9. Nordica Hell and Back. 15.4
  10. Blizzard Bushwhacker. 15.3

Then for big mountain (not sure how this is different from powder, but sounds like 100mm to 120mm underfoot):

  1. K2 Kung Fujas. 17.3
  2. Nordica Patron. 17.0
  3. Blizzard Cochise. 16.6
  4. Moment PB&J. 16.6
  5. Volkl Kiku. 16.6
  6. Scott Dozer. 16.4
  7. Armada TST. 16.3
  8. Blizzard The Crush. 16.2
  9. Kastle FX 104. 16.1
  10. Volkl Gotoma. 16.1

The fattest skis at 120MM for powder but with the double rocker, they are not bad on groomers

  1. K2 Missdirected. 18.0
  2. Armada JJ. 18.0
  3. Salomon Rocker 2. 17.4
  4. Line Mr Pollard’s Opus. 17.3
  5. Atomic Bent Chetler. 17.3
  6. Rossignol Super 7. 17.1
  7. K2 Hellbent. 17.1
  8. Volkl Shiro. 17.0
  9. Line Pandora. 17.0
  10. Fat-ypus I-rock. 16.8

Conclusions
The all mountain ski is the one thing that has really changed. These skis have gotten much wider (The original all mountain skis I had, the K2 Axis XP was 78mm under foot and really long at 180cm plus) and my last all mountains were 84mm so that it is not uncommon to see a 100mm plus as all mountain ski. The way they work is that while wider, they are rockered so that neither the front not the back touch the groomed, but work well when you are in crud or in powder.
Armada JJ was one of the first like this and they are light and fast. The cons are that being lighter, they don’t power through the crud quite as well and chatter more. For me, that’s fine, the lightness is good on things like the inevitable bumps. They are a very fat 115mm but can carve. Cool! It streets at $675 without bindings. (4/5 on SkierRealm, FreeSkier.com rated it 18/20). They also like the generality at Freeskier with the lowest rating being not surprisingly 4.1/5 for carving. It comes in 165, 175, 185 lengths. It turns at a remarkable 12 meters at 165/175.
Atomic Bent Chetworth. These are made in the same factory as the Armada JJ and have a very similar shape. They are heavier though so better for bombing down at speed.
Rossignol S7. This and the Armada JJ are quite similar
Blizzard Cochise.

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