Testing next season’s skis in Austria

8th March 2017, by Dave Watts

Dave with his favourite all mountain advanced ski the Rossignol Experience 84

Dave with his favourite all mountain advanced ski the Rossignol Experience 84

I’m currently in Kühtai in Austria testing all the new skis that will be available in the shops for the 2017/18 season. The test was organized by the Snowsports Industry of Great Britain (a trade body made up of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and the media).

First up on my test rota were all mountain skis aimed at advanced rather than expert skiers – a big part of the British market.

It snowed overnight and until 10am on both the first and second days of testing and then the sun came out. So conditions were pretty much ideal for testing all mountain skis, which are supposed to work well both on- and off-piste, with powder on hardpack and some ice on the pistes and untracked powder off it.

Out of the 17 skis in the group , all nominated by different manufacturers, four stood out for me. The Blizzard Brahma Ti and Volkl Kendo were both solid skis that performed well both on and off piste.

So did the Fischer Pro Mountain 80 Ti; this ski surprised me because I had expected a typical technically great Fischer ski with excellent edge grip but a ski that you had to work hard to get the best out of. Far from it, it was very easy and a delight to ski and it gave a great solid platform underfoot.

But the standout ski in the group for me was the Rossignol Experience 84. It is 84mm wide under your boot and gives you a beautifully smooth and powerful ride which is hugely confidence inducing. It powered through the powder and was great fun in both long and short turns on the piste. If I was buying one ski in the group it would be the Experience 84 and I’ll be skiing on a pair throughout my week’s holiday in Zermatt later this month.

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