Final report from the UK industry ski test

13th March 2017, by Dave Watts

The test centre in Kühtai

The test centre in Kühtai

In the final two days of the annual UK industry ski test last week, I tried out a lot more of next season’s new skis that will be on sale this autumn.

The test was held in Kühtai in Austria and organised by the Snowsports Industry of Great Britain (a trade body made up of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and the media).

Wednesday was a lovely sunny day with ideal testing conditions. First I tried on-piste skis aimed at first-time buyer intermediates. There were some excellent skis in this group that will give buyers several years of enjoyment while their skiing improves.

Among those were the Atomic Redster X5, Blizzard Quattro 7.7 and Fischer Progressor F17. All these turned easily, gave a stable platform and worked well when put on their edge and skied hard.

But the easiest ski to ride was the Rossignol Pursuit 500. This is ideal for early intermediates who prefer to skid their turns rather than carve them. They gave a relaxing ride and would be a great confidence builder.

Then I moved on to all-mountain skis aimed at expert skiers. Testing these took up Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Conditions on Thursday were challenging to say the least, with heavy wet snow and poor visibility. But I still managed to get a good idea of how each ski performed.

The Fischer Pro Mountain 86Ti was very nimble and easy to turn but had surprisingly poor edge grip. The K2 Ikonic 84Ti was a good all round ski that did everything well.

But my three favourites were the Head Monster 88, Rossignol Experience 88 and Nordica Enforcer 93. All of this powered easily through the deep chopped up wet snow and gave a great stable platform. The Nordica, which I tested in good conditions on the Wednesday had superb edge grip too, even on the icy patches that had developed.

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