October means your mind is beginning to wander. Your summer centric life is coming to its annual end and your skin begins to sense the morning cold, your eyes pick up less daylight, and your taste buds enjoy a lot of pumpkin beer. Your bike seems less inviting and you squabble with yourself over a lack of motivation to ride. Your dreams switch from tacky dirt to endless powder fields. It is time to prioritize your garage and get that wax bench out. You pull down your skis to scope them out. They are a little dinged up, the top sheet has some gouges, and that moment is when you realize these skis just won’t do anymore. Yup, you’ve waited too long, it’s time to buy new skis. So what are the best skis of 2013?
For winter 2013/14, we’re excited about all the new skis. Powder, park, carving corduroy, backcountry, all mountain slaying, and ski racing alike; if there is a ski discipline out there, at least one of our Experts does it. We’ve spent a lot of time on skis but we think it still isn’t enough. So from the groomers of Deer Valley to the steeps of Snowbasin, I’d like to share with you what we think are the best skis of 2013.
Best Powder Skis of 2013
Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of Atomic skis. Their commitment to developing and producing a quality product the last few years has been unprecedented. Their Step-Down sidewall technology provides a solid edge and low swing weight. The Atomic Access won’t be the widest ski in your quiver, but its playfulness and rockered tip and tail make for one hell of a tree ski. And its bigger brother, the Atomic Automatic, is a hard charging powder ski not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to push yourself with a wide ski like the Automatic.
And for women who like to search out the deep, the women’s Atomic Century powder skis feature a fat waist and powder rocker to keep you on top of the snow. Underfoot is a good amount of camber and sidecut to get you back to the lift with ease. If you’re an intermediate to expert skier and like to bomb tree lines, the Century skis are just for you.
Best Carving Skis of 2013
For those of you who like to get your skis on edge, the Fischer Motive 80 has a 17m radius and subtle all mountain rocker for a quick edge-to-edge ride. Seriously fast, the Fischer Motive is ideal for advanced skiers looking to carve some serious turns. I took these out last year with a Rennstall race tune last year and these skis seriously rip. Making big, fast turns was such a blast.
On the women’s side, the Atomic Cloud 9 is a lightweight carving option that have been designed to give female skiers the ability to make fast, predictable turns. And if you find yourself off the groomers, Piste Rocker technology on the Cloud 9 will get you through soft snow and bumps with confidence.
Best All Mountain Skis of 2013
Get nomadic with the Atomic Blackeye Ti. These all mountain skis are on the level of a sports car. Smooth, fun, and powerful, the Blackeye Ti skis are a venerable front-side machine with a bit of supportive rocker that keeps your tips up in powder and over bumps. A full wood core and a sheet of overlaid titanal creates a solid feel with almost no chatter. If you’re into carving but find yourself off-piste on deeper days, the Blackeye Ti skis are probably for you.
And for all the ladies out there, the Scott Luna is your carving machine that finds its way just fine in deep and choppy snow. Unique to the Luna is Venturi technology. The tip of the ski actually channels snow underneath the base to provide more float without the wider base. What you get is a hard charging intermediate and expert level ski that calls the groomers home but is fine adventuring into the trees.
Try Before You Buy
As much as I would like for you to just take my word for it, regarding the best skis of 2013-2014. Buying skis can be as meticulous a process as you want it to be. And finding the right pair for your skiing style is very important. I encourage you to browse the Jans.com ski shop and manufacturer sites around the web for information about the brand and model of skis you’re considering.
Now, TRY THEM. You aren’t going to know how a ski really skis from a short description on a website or in one of the annual gear guides. You could even have some fun with the whole process. Come to Park City and stop by one of our stores and pick and choose from our ski demo center. You’ll get some real expertise from our Expert staff and then you get to go skiing. And that, my friends, is the best part.
Paul Boyle, Marketing Specialist