Day 2 is a stormy, windy, wet mess. The guys at the base hand out skis with one hand while holding down their tent with the other. The day progresses from white-out and dumping sideways snow at the top with wet snow at the bottom to even whiter white out up top and rain at the bottom. It’s still totally fun. All of the that day’s skis get tested in 3, then 4 then 5 inches of fresh as well as wet-snow bottom-of-the-mountain-glop. The bumps and trees get really good and help a lot with visibility, becoming a nice test for float and quickness in the wind-blown powder. We stay with our theme and focus on the 90 to 105 waisted skis, sometimes indulging in skis we’d liked on day one to see how they’d perform in some fresh. We discover that yes, fun skis are even funner in powder. Who knew?
I like to go fast and mix long arcing turns with quick edge to edge slalomy ones. For me, I came away loving the skis that were powerful under foot (that usually meant sidewall construction in the middle of the ski), had a full, non-rockered tail, and were light and quick in the tip (moderate rocker, cap construction and a tapered shape with the wide point back a bit). If you favor crud-busting, or more smeary turns, or longer radius turns, or skiing at slower-than-stupid speeds, or are some other gender than me, a different flavor of ski will, no doubt, be the one for you. After this demo and after getting feedback from Kathy and Chris (as well as the other guys in the shop who attended the Mission Ridge demo), I think we’re all much better positioned to help you find the perfect ski.
Here’s a compilation of some of our impressions of the skis. Keep in mind that for every ski we tried, there were ten more we wished we’d had time to try. While we focused on vendors we knew and skis that we have in the shop but have never skied, there was a random element to the whole thing too. If one tent looked really busy at the moment we came through, we’d give them a break and move on to another.
MEN’S REVIEWS: Men’s skis, John and Chris
WOMEN’S REVIEWS: Women’s skis, Kathy