The best new skis for this winter

2nd November 2017, by Dave Watts

The Head Supershape Magnum (left) and Head Strong Instinct Ti

The Head Supershape Magnum (left) and Head Strong Instinct Ti

Last March I spent a week testing lots of the new skis that are now 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) and there were around 900 pairs of skis from 19 manufacturers.

The categories of ski available covered the whole range from those aimed at people who stick to the pistes, through all-mountain skis which perform well on and off-piste, to freeride and big mountain skis which are designed primarily for skiing off-piste, to park and pipe skis.

I concentrated on on-piste and all-mountain skis – those are the categories that most UK-based skiers are interested in. Here are my favourites.

On Piste
For expert skier

I’d skied the Head Supershape Magnum a couple of times before and loved it. Yet again it stood out from the pack for its great smooth ride and ability to make long and short turns perfectly at both high and low speeds.

The other stand-out ski is new for the coming season – Fischer’s The Curv GT, loosely based on its World Cup race skis. It worked brilliantly well, turning easily and powerfully and giving you a very stable platform for the whole ride.

Both these skis worked quite well off-piste too, despite being flagged as piste-specific.

For first time buyers/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.

All Mountain
For expert skiers

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 these powered easily through the deep chopped up wet snow I tested them in and gave a great stable platform. The Nordica, which I tested in good conditions earlier in the week as well had superb edge grip too, even on the icy patches that had developed.

For advanced skiers
Out of the 17 skis in the group , 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.

First time buyers/intermediates
Out of the 10 skis in the group, many punched above their weight and would allow progression up to advanced skier standard. These included the Volkl Kenjo which was easy to ski and gave excellent performance on- and off-piste.

But my stand-out ski in the group was the Head Strong Instinct Ti. This was super-easy to ski and turn both on- and off-piste and gave you a very smooth ride and a solid platform which will give any intermediate confidence to progress and ski better and faster.





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