Ski Tests are funny beasts, there are so many of them, and so much hype. And so many categories of skis. But we looked at the simple fact 90% of SnowAction readers ski overseas (from our biggest ever Reader Surveys last year with record response thanks to all those XTM giveaways!), so however good a ski goes in a Thredbo or Buller or whatever ski test at home, it’s no particular guide for you unless that’s the only place you ever ski. Also, pointing out the bleeding obvious here – most people can’t afford more than one pair of skis, or, even if they can, they can’t take them on the road thanks to airline luggage restrictions/logistics.
So all you really need is the best One Ski Quiver options that will work at home or internationally.
You won’t find more new skis ready to ski in one place than at the American Ski Industries Association Ski Tests at Copper Mountain, which is where we went to do the testing with a bunch of Australia’s leading ski shop owners and staff, who were on a mission to pick the best for their customers.
Copper is great to test skis as it offers a full range of terrain, and great snow.
Our criteria for the shop testers was simple, just review your top 5 best one ski quiver options. I picked mine, which overlapped in most cases with other testers – as theirs did themselves, a sign of broader agreement.
Most Snow Action readers already know the type of skis they like, so we didn’t muck around with a bloated array of categories (seriously, it’s worse than buying a litre of milk – fat, mid fat, skinny, A2 construction, imitation!). Sure, there are more carvy ones, more powder orientated ones etc, but the overriding principal is versatility. You can read the full test selection in the Southern Winter issue to check them all, or wait as we post them up here over the next few weeks.
Lets start with a couple of killer Kastles – the BMX 105 and FX 95.
kastle bmx 105 / 105 HP
l 173, 181, 189 p 134-105-123 r 21 @ 181 $AUD 1129 / 1279
“For a strong and powerful skier these may be the best one ski quiver ever! The BMX 105 HP features 45cm of tip rocker and two layers of Titanal for a unique balance of float and stability. In a 189cm length you can go as fast as you want without any chatter yet they pivot and drift surprisingly easily.” – Byron Dawson, Bumps
“If you don’t need the extra titanal beefiness the non HP version BMX 105s are snappy in the trees and an all round easier ride.” – Owain Price, Snow Action
kastle fx 95 / 95HP
l 165, 173, 181, 189 p 126-95-195 r 20 @ 181 $ 1179 / 1279
“The Kastle FX range is now in its 2nd generation, and we were lucky to get some advanced shipments in Australia last year, but now it’s readily available. With elongated tip and tail rocker it has taken all its predecessor’s performance and made it easier for mere mortals to ski, without sacrificing any of that performance. This is my pick for a one ski quiver, piste or powder. I ski the HP at 95 kgs, and my wife prefers the non-metal FX as she much lighter than me.” – David Emmerton, Snowbound
“Full tilt charge machines, they carve really well on hardpack, provide great float in soft snow, and plow through variable/chopped snow, being super solid and stable to ski at super speed. Not so turny in the tight trees at Copper, but the more powerful skier you are the more you will appreciate these.”
As you would expect, in the HP version beefed up with titanal layers that is even more true, as Chris Davenport demonstrates with regularity from Aspen to Antarctica.” – Owain Price, Snow Action