The gear guides are out and so the coveting begins for me, well actually it started in January when I went to SIA. I have to say, this year’s crop of new skis boots and bindings is incredible. I don’t think since Atomic revamped their line in 2009/10 has there been so many great new stand-outs from large and small companies. This year brings us the Guardian/Tracker AT binding from Salmon/Atomic (16 din) and another 16 din touring binding from Tyrolia, the Adrenaline. There are also more hybrid alpine sidecountry boots from many major brands. Then there are this year’s skis from big and small manufacturers that make me wish I could ski more days and had a lot more money to spend. So I have narrowed my list to my top 3 picks for the 2012/13 season (one I may already have).
The first ski is the Atomic Automatic. Take two of the most stylish big mountain skiers (Sage and Dana Flahr) and let them design a ski. How can you go wrong? It combines the playfullness and style of the Benchetler with the charge ability of the Atlas. It balances this well, to create a ski that will rip big turns and charge hard but still is a blast to ski. From what I have heard this could be a one ski quiver out west. And yes… it has some metal in there for a smoother ride.
Next is the Dynastar Cham 107. The flat tail and metal are back, throw in some tip and tail taper and tip rocker – now you have something different. Ohh yea and it comes with a lot of green. I picked this ski because sometimes you don’t want tail rocker and it would make a great daily driver. It may not be the widest for pow but it will kill crud, rail groomers, and still float. I’m thinking charge like the XXL, but easier to turn in tight spaces.
This next ski I can say I have spent time on and I love it. It’s all black and will get attention for just being black. It’s the Nordica Helldorado. So take the great shape of the Nordica Patron and add two layers of metal, and you get the Helldorado. It’s stiff, but not XXL stiff. It’s still playful enough and floats well but this ski destroys crud and rails groomers. Probably the best ski over a 110 waist with rocker I have skied on groomers. It’s not light but that’s not the point of this ski. If you have wanted a rockered ski with more power this is a great choice.