New skis? Who needs them! Rock hoppers rule ..

snow action team 06.08.2016

New skis, new skis, new skis .. the industry keeps screaming at us that we need new skis. Ooopsie, yep, guess that includes us every Buyer’s Guide pre-season issue (though we do keep that in limits – you’ll get no junk-mail catalogue full of endless new skis from SnowAction). But is it true? Do you really need new skis that often?
An extended session on my 2009 vintage Fat-ypus D-Senders – which for the past 6 years I have only used briefly as rock hoppers – got me thinking about this. Consistent bursts of 20 – 40cm powder dumps on a sketchy to non-existent base in Argentina over the past 3 weeks have meant leaving the new boards in the shed and sticking with the Fat-ypus.

And the longer I ski on them the more I remember why I loved them 7 years ago.

They are bullet proof, taking the daily pounding from lurking rocks and stones in their stride, and they smash the powder so well I’m wondering why I left them behind.
Oh, yes, I remember now, around 2010 – 2011 rocker exploded everywhere and if you weren’t on rockered skis you weren’t in the game. Or so the hype and peer pressure had it.
Actually you don’t really miss it. Maybe when we get a metre dump I will, but some of my recent sessions have found plenty more than the headline snowfall collecting in the stillness of the old forest at Cerro Catedral (check our story on that here).
And on the shittier days with no fresh snow and sketchy groomed runs or bump lines as the daily diet the D-senders rock them too. So the upshot is after skiing maybe 14 days over the past 3 weeks on the 2009 skis I have forgotten about switching back to the new boards, even though there’s enough snow to avoid the rocks most places now.
As an exercise I dug out the Buyer’s Bible write up for them from our 2010 issue – which made mention of the new rockered model available in the longest 194 length only then.
On the same page of our “Wide Bunch” selection (essentially 110mm underfoot or more) back then were the likes of the K2 Kung Fujas, Dynastar Legend Pro, Line Prophet 115, Kastle MX 108, Faction Royale, and Volkl Gotama. I don’t think you would have a bad day skiing any of those either.
Of course we get plenty of skis sent our way to test and use and do get spoilt, able to update pretty much free whenever we get onto something we really like.
But out there in the real world a new set of skis is a big purchase and not to be made lightly – you could pick up an airfare to North America or 2 to Japan for the price of a quality set of skis and bindings, and maybe squeeze another year or two out of the old boards.
Qbviously the less you ski the more that applies – a couple of full tilt 100 day plus seasons will take the spring out of any ski, but an average punter workload of 20 – 30 days a year won’t.
I’m sure glad I never sold my “Rock-Hoppers”, which are back in action doing a lot more than hopping rocks this southern winter.

You could still get on any of these skis from our 2010 Buyer's Guide and have a ball

You could still get on any of these skis from our 2010 Buyer’s Guide and have a ball