The early stages of our yearly fling with winter are always emotionally draining. Knowing if and when to fully commit to ski season is a losing battle of self-restraint. Winter is fickle and coy at first – showering us with attention some days, only to run off to the company of some other ski town the next. Winter knows how desperately we want it, and it plays hard to get.
But now, nearing the end of October, it’s safe to mentally commit to ski season. And since it’s finally that time of year, it’s also appropriate to start researching that new pair of skis you promised yourself at the end of last season.
Jans Hardgoods Buyer, George “Squid” Sideris, worked with fellow Jans Gear Testers to compile a list of reviews of this seasons top skis. Here, in the words of our ski experts, are some of our top picks for the 2013-2014 ski season.
K2 Amp Rictor 82X Ti:
“The K2 legacy continues with the all new Rictor built on a wider chassis. This ski is known for its ability to bust crud and handling at higher speeds in any conditions. K2’s all terrain rocker gets the turn initiated before you can say, ’yeehaawww’.”
– George ‘Squid’ Sideris, Jans Mountain Recreation Expert
“The MX 83 is the narrower brother of the MX 88, but has all the same Austrian heritage and experience of building all-mountain skis that just plain work. Ash and fir combine with Titanal to form the sandwich that makes for a predictable turn at any radius. Thank you Austria.”
“Volkl expanded its stable of women’s freeskiing skis with the new Yumi. Designed for the ladies that like to tackle the front and backside on a lightweight yet stable ski – the Yumi does it all.”
“Don’t let the top sheet deceive you. This ski may look like a softy, but it’s just a disguise.”
– Stephanie Humes, Jans Mountain Recreation Expert
Fischer Koa 80:
“Probably the most versatile in the KOA line-up is the Fischer KOA 80 which is known for a quick edge-to-edge reaction when skiing tight lines or on firm snow. This women’s specific ski is noticeably lighter than her sisters, giving the KOA 80 a clean turn shape with lots of rebound.”
Fischer Motive 86:
“Wow! Here is an awesome all-mountain tool that can handle speed, crud, bumps and even your technique flaws. Built like a sports car but handles like a Cadillac, the Motive 86 will give you one smooth ride while cornering on a dime.”
Head Rev 85 Pro:
“Breaking news! Head has brought you ERA 3.0 technology which incorporates Allride rocker, progressive radius and Intellirise rebound. All this technical mumbo jumbo means this is a REVolutionary design. The result – a board that hooks up instantly and powers into the truest arc that a ski can give. Skiing becomes effortless and fun for all.”
“Kastle returns to the US market once again to offer some awesome, Austrian hand-made skis. Our testers could not believe the way the Kastle MX88 skied.All I can say is that you have to ride a pair to see what we’re talking about. Good ol’ wood/titanium sandwich construction and Austrian know-how. It’s a beautiful thing.”
“The MX 88 is a really good all around, all-mountain ski. It’s lively, and stable. It’s pretty quick edge to edge, and it holds a good arc. It will make pretty much every turn shape in crud, on hard pack, and in powder. It handles chop, firm stuff, off-piste action, and groomers comfortably. In short, it’s very versatile, and lots of fun.”
– Mark Fischer, Jans Gear Analyst
“Finally, a big all-mountain ski for the aspiring lady rider that was built specifically for women and not a softer version of some guy’s ski. The Kenja is reinforced with titanium that gives it a totally smooth ride that has no speed limit. Powder and crud – look out!”
This list is just a sampling of the incredible lineup of skis we have brought in for the 2013/2014 ski season. Be sure to check out our entire fleet available from our online Ski Shop, or swing by one of our Park City, Utah locations and speak directly with our experts. Ski season is almost upon us, and it might just be time to start thinking about a new pair of planks.
Nate Tomlinson, Content Writer