2017/18 Ski Sneak Peek
We’re back from SIA, where the gear overfloweth and the stoke was high. There are some amazing new products in store for the 17/18 season, and we’re here to tease you with some of our favorites!
The big news coming from Armada is the all-new Tracer line. The longstanding TST and Norwalk were due for a refresh, so Armada developed the directional Tracer line, featuring their proprietary Xrystal Mesh laminate and a concave sidewall to sidewall shape. The Tracers are designed for big mountain riding and off-piste skiing, ranging from the hard-charging Todd Ligare influenced 118 CHX to the ultra-lightweight Tracer 88.
The other major update is the arrival of the 3rd generation JJ, called the ARV 116 JJ. An updated taper/rocker interface and a 3D “spoon” base shape means the JJ will continue its legacy of lethal backcountry freestyle domination with more consistent turn initiation and mixed-snow performance. Sammy Carlson approved.
Black Crows skis rip, but they also have an amazing aesthetic. Subtle details like the chevron graphics that fade out as you move from camber to rocker highlight Black Crows’s devotion to design and practicality. From all mountain and big mountain skis to their women’s Birdie and touring Freebird skis, Black Crows presents a unified lineup of skis for aggressive top-to-bottom riding.
Blizzard has made some major changes to their lineup for 17/18, updating or replacing several key models while also taking a very modern topsheet design approach we have not seen from them before. While many manufacturers continue to pursue ways of making skis easier and more accommodating to a greater audience, Blizzard seems to have taken the opposite tack for 17/18, aiming squarely for the hard charging crowd.
The versatile twin-shaped Gunsmoke and Peacemaker are out, and the Rustler 11 and 10 are in. Although the Rustlers might resemble their predecessors at first glance, a closer look reveals a very different ski. The playful twin-tip shape is no more, replaced by a semi-flat tail and a full sheet of Titanal for a burlier, more directional ride.
Other major updates include a totally revamped Spur that takes design queues from surfing (an asymmetrical shape with a longer inside sidecut) and a return to the double Titanal layer, full woodcore OG Bodacious honoring Arne Backstrom.
For 17/18, DPS introduces the next evolution in carbon ski construction called Alchemist. Alchemist continues Pure3’s best-in-class carbon layup tradition and combines it with a notable improvement in “supporting materials” (wood? fiberglass? Ti? It’s a secret!) for superior dampening power on hard and mixed snow.
Head comes out swinging in 17/18 with a brand-new, built from the ground up line of freeride skis called Kore. In classic Head fashion, these skis are packed to the gills with tech, featuring a core makeup of Graphene, Koroyd, Carbon and Karuba wood along with a “Topless Tech” polyester fleece top laminate.
With the success of Pep Fujas’ asymmetrical pro-model Marksman, K2 takes it one step further with the Catamaran. Sean Pettit’s re-signing was the perfect segue into a new pro model, and this thing looks mean. The combination of retro graphics and a 120 underfoot asym platform with typical K2 power and dampness has us drooling to take these out for a rip.
The best-selling 7-series from Rossignol returns with a futuristic look and an improved construction. Building off of the Carbon Alloy Matrix that was added last year, the 7-Series now features a new Air Tip 2.0 construction that is fully integrated into the ski structure. Did we mention these look even more amazing in person?
That’s it for now! We’ve got lots more to show you, so stay tuned for snowboard, backcountry and outerwear sneak peek blogs, along with more in-depth coverage and reviews through the spring and summer.