Freeride touring 2018 ski reviews
Designed with uphill glides on skins in mind (more or less ambitious depending on their weight) to extend the scope of freeride exploration, they are still great fun in descent skiing. The review criteria are the same as for all mountain/freeride skis, as is the weight, the main performance yardstick for gliding uphill. The skis are relatively wide (from 92 to 100 mm underfoot) to give good float in the powder and fluidity in spring snow. The shape is similar to that of All-mountain skis, but they're far lighter (between 1300 gr and 1900 gr for the ski alone).
Since the brand’s Kendo, Mantra and Cochise regularly score high in the PROSKILAB reviews, we were curious to see how Völkl’s 90Eight (for "98") behaves in this category where we’re also looking for lightness. It was no surprise that the 90Eight is a bit heavier and stiffer than its playmates, with more emphasis on performance. It behaves well and is efficient both on and off piste. Its... Read on
Elan’s Ripstick 96 is very impressive in this "All Mountain light - Freerando" category, and just missed the top of the podium. Good (no more, no less) weight distribution, versatile, happy on all terrains, it scored well for its great responsiveness that makes it incredibly playful underfoot and great fun in the powder and soft snow. The ski is remarkably accessible, especially off-piste where its flotation,... Read on
The Wayback 96 from K2 is a Swiss knife that will wow riders who love to explore the virgin slopes. More of a "Freerando" than an "All Moutain", it’s a bit less playful on the piste, especially for carving/slicing clean arcs. In freeride, on the other hand, it performs extremely well. The ski is user-friendly and comfortable overall. The easy rotation, consistent skid turns and flotation in powder make the rider’s work a whole lot easier. The ski will go anywhere effortlessly, without dampening in tricky snow, and... Read on
The Camox Freebird from Black Crows puts the focus on accessibility and comfort. The ski is very easy to steer, enjoyable in soft snow, and agile. The highly present tip lets you glide effortlessly on deep snow, even at low speeds. Its behaviour on the piste is good up to medium speeds, even if the ski is not the most incisive on the market. At high speed and on uneven snow or crud, you can feel the lack of rigidity, which hampers performance. The Camox Freebird is recommended for all riders looking above all for accessibility, especially anyone... Read on
True, it came last in a demanding preselection for the best skis on the market, but the Rossignol Sky HD has kept its predecessors’ character. Very flexible, especially at the tip, it’s remarkably easy to handle and will even go slightly into overdrive, with great float in deep snow up to intermediary speeds. But when we step up the pace, this flexibility makes it much more difficult to steer. It’s nonetheless a good ski that will suit a less sporty public looking for a very accessible leisure ski that will help them to tackle... Read on
The UBAC 95 scored high for its lightness and great accessibility. It's really very easy to steer and to handle, and great fun for its rider. With 1413 grams underfoot (ski only), it will help take you uphill and is a joy to ride down. However, it lacks the stiffness and character needed for the "all mountain" segment. Its behaviour on piste and through choppy snow falls a little short due to the somewhat damp ski tip. Recommended for all riders looking for a versatile but more freerando-oriented ski.
Measured weight of... Read on