Park Ski Road Tests 2012-2013

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No limits here: today’s next level is yesterday’s news. So over to those who know how to handle the latest park boards.

Armada Pipecleaner

1. by Charlie Timmins

“ I like the pipe cleaner. They’ve used a really fast base material in this ski which is always nice. Also it has a good flex pattern, and is still stiff enough to ride in slope despite being a pipe specific ski. For me it has been the most durable ski I use, I think the sandwich construction now with the capped walls helps here, making for a tougher and more responsive ski. They’re just a good all round ski with a lot of pop and a nice subtle graphic.”

2. by Torin Yater-Wallace

“My ski of choice from Armada is the Pipe Cleaner. They are the best pipe ski I have ever skied. I’ve skied them at X-Games, Euro X, and Dew Tour and have never gone bigger on any ski. The first time I skied them, I went the biggest I have ever gone in the pipe.”

In brief: comp bred pipe tools – Tanner has won X-Games on these – so they’ll eat any pipe in the Southern Hemisphere for breakfast – but with race base and traditional camber they provide plenty of edge grip, so they work as hard charging all mountain skis too. Just remember they’re not meant for rails.

l 166-171-176-181 p 118-85-108 @ 176 r 19m @ 176

Elan Puzzle by Jodan Cook

“It took me about 2 full days of skiing to get used to the way they skied due to their extremely solid feel under foot. I’m used to skis feeling washy on rails and going to wobbles on high-speed hot laps, but the Puzzle feels so solid that you almost can’t believe you’re on a park/jib specific ski. Stands up to heavy impacts like over shoots, has a mean edge grip when you take it out of the park even if you have railed edges. In the park on 80 foot booters, or just looking for an all around highly responsive performer, the Puzzle has the ability to stand up to anything you can throw at it.”

In brief: Elan’s popular flagship park model gets updated with the company’s innovative patented new ‘TBT’ rocker – rocker on the sides of tip and tail, flat in the centre, with low camber in between, so your margin of error and scope for tricks is increased, plus edge control enhanced making turns between hits or all over.

l 156-166-171-176-181 p 121-87-113 r 17.2 @ 176

Faction Wednesday by Sam Perry

“ The Wednesday is a great all mountain ski. Unlike other skis of the 92mm category trending towards rocker or reverse camber, this ski has traditional camber and for good reason. Coupled with the fact that this is a stiffer ski this makes it perfect for stomping with confidence big hits in the terrain park, stability on rails, getting your carve on the groomed with the 19m side cut radius, or smashing up the fresh in the early mornings. Australian slush is no enemy to this ski either, it just plows through everything put in front of it, making the mountain your terrain park, and it still has enough forgiveness to smash short quick turns and butter around the mountain.”

In Brief: park to piste to wherever – Faction’s original model works all over, with traditional camber, 90mm waist and tough anti-chip sidewalls so you can go from early morning freshies or flat chat on the corduroy to an afternoon park session with ease, unlike more park specific boards that lose a lot elsewhere.

l 168-174-178-184 p 126-92-116 r 19m @ 178

 
K2 Domain by Conrad Lucas

“ The new K2 Domain encompasses all areas ski technology innovation to bring you the ultimate park riding experience. A symmetrical side cut in conjunction with ‘Jib Rocker’ profiling gives you a stable landing platform underfoot, and buttery tips and tails for those focused on tech rail-trickery, as well as an identical turn radius when riding backwards or forwards. From switch lips and hardway on’s to 4-pretz-2s, the Domain lets you mash out your tailpresses, butters, banged-out manuals, and shuffles. If you’re still reading and comprehending this, you may have just found your perfect ski.”

In Brief: Fully symmetrical park boards with ‘Jib Rocker’ – an elevated tip/tail plus flat camber – and park specific flex softer in the tip/tail makes for smooth butters and presses, plus plenty of pop. Tough 3.5mm edges, built for the hammering you will give them.

l 154-169-174-179 p 109-90-109 r 28m @ 188

Line Step-Up by Huw Dowdall

“ ‘Skiing switch these days has become the norm’ – LJ Strenio. This quote pretty much sums up the Step Up. Skate deck technology allows you to get way more pop on to high street style rails and money booters. The Step Up has a sexy skinny waist at 86mm, it makes for a very playful and easy to move ski when it comes to rails. It’s reborn with a slippery fast race base that helps you gain that extra speed for the bigger jumps. The old Step Up used to live it up like it was the 70’s – no protection baby – whereas the new Step Up never shows up to a party without packing the new rubber side wall .. means chipping your skis is a thing of the past. If you have trouble skiing switch, have no fear Step Up is here, with its equal tip to tail it makes for a more balanced ride when taking off those big jumps. All round a great ski for all aspects of park riding, with its sick new graphic and stealth black base you will definitely be noticed.”

In Brief: the fully symmetrical Step Ups up the ante in the new version with sidewall protection and new race base for serious speed into big jumps, while retaining the super poppy skate deck construction. The man who almost single-handedly saved NSW’s State of Origin Airtime bacon last year has the full rap below.

l 166-171-176-181 p 113-86-113 r 20.6m @ 181

 
Liberty LTE by Thomas Waddell

“Probably the best ski I have ever been on. It is super light, super easy to control, quick response with turning and a good amount of flex within the ski. It also carves awesome just around the mountain when I’m not in the park. This ski is perfect to take just about anywhere on the mountain. It’s perfect for an all round skier or park and pipe specific skier. I had heaps of fun on this ski this season and can’t wait to be shredding on them again overseas this summer, and next season back home in Australia.”

In Brief: performance park boards don’t mind carving up hardpack either. The 2013 model adds 25% more bamboo for even more snap. Tough and durable, backed by Liberty’s 3 year warranty and features like the UHMW sidewalls, which are tougher than ABS and repairable if you do manage to gouge a hole in them.

l 157-164-171-178 p 116-83-105 @ 171 r 18.5m @ 171

 
Volk Wall by Ryan Cooke

“The wall is an awesome ski. It’s designed so that I can easily cover and shred all terrain in the mountain as well as far outshine any other park ski that I have skied on before. It’s solid enough to hit the bigger jumps, while at the same time soft enough to be able to do butters and rails with ease. Really it’s the perfect mix of both worlds.”

In Brief: Volkl’s top end fully symmetrical park boards continue to deliver results for Pros like Russ Henshaw and local heroes at a hill near you. Full camber for classic ride quality and acceleration, snappy carbon sheathed ‘Tough Box’ construction, you can throw down anything on these.

l 161-169-177-185 p 115-87-115 r 22.3m @ 185

Armada ARW by Annabelle Blake (señoritas)

“Being a girl that is some what vertically challenged and who doesn’t weigh as much as the guys, finding a ski that’s just right for me has been a constant challenge. It seemed impossible to find a ski that fit without sacrificing performance and durability, until I found the ARW. This ski is super playful, versatile and perfect for the lady skier. This year’s has a capped tip and tail, making them poppier than before whilst simultaneously keeping the swing weight down. The softer tip and tail makes them great for girls of all abilities who are keen to rip the park, whilst the ABS sidewall construction gives gutsy edge control and unmatched durability, versatility and stability.”

Classic award winning park boards get updated with Armada’s combo AR50 sidewall underfoot plus cap tip/tail construction for lower swing weight and more durability – no more chipping! Regular camber and profile means they rip all over too.

l 161-166 p 117-84-167 @ 166 r 18.5m @ 166

K2 MissConduct by Anna Segal (señoritas)

“My ski of choice for shredding park would have to be the Missconduct. It’s the slimmest of the K2 women’s twin-tips, which makes it light, agile and perfect for spinning on and off whatever features come your way. The camber underfoot not only gives this ski a powerful pop but also enables amazing edge control. It also has a slightly rockered tip and tail which is great when you come across a lucky pow stash and even better when the weather warms and you find yourself ploughing through spring slush. This ski is perfect for any girl who wants to get into the park, whether she be a first timer or a well-seasoned pro.”

In Brief: Get on the same ski Anna Segal rides to X-Games glory – light and snappy, stable for pipe, women’s specific core for low swing weight and high amplitude. Tough ‘twin-tech’ sidewall construction perfect for all over or the park. Very affordable, so stop renting, start improving girls.

l 149-159-169 p 118-85-109 r 15m @ 159

K2 MissDemeanour by  Anna Segal (señoritas)

“The MissDemeanor is a progressive female all mountain ski. It’s 90cm waist makes it light enough for girls to use while throwing down in the park, but also stable enough to hold at high speeds while carving on groomers and plowing through pow. It’s slightly rockered which makes it ideal for skiing soft snow, but it also has camber underfoot, which gives it a snappy pop when jumping onto rails and off of jumps. This ski would be best for any female who loves ripping the whole mountain in all conditions, but also wants to progress her park skills after the fresh snow has been tracked out.” – Anna Segal

In Brief: boards that sum up why we call this the park and play category – with all terrain rocker tip/tail and camber underfoot they can take you out for freshies or a rip round the frontside in the morning and back for a park session in the afternoon. Stable for gnarly stuff, poppy for rails and jumps, great for getting better on.

l 149-159-169 p 121-90-115 r 15m @ 159