WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2015-2016

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 7, 2015      

Editor’s note:Please bear in mind this is NOT an industry-wide product survey. We leave that up to publications with more resources and more Prosecco. Skialper in Italy for example (which you should read, by the way, or you are shopping while impaired.) The skis are rated with a seat-of-pants take that considers everything from weight to price. More, I did this year’s Quiver as an overview of excellent skis rather than a restrictive pick list. Choose any one of these planks if it sounds compatible with your style and the type of snow you tend to ski, and you’ll be delighted. Perhaps next year we’ll have fun and do a Quiver with only three skis. But not this time.

Mikaela makes her own powder, and probably doesn't need any rocker.

Mikaela makes her own powder, and probably doesn’t need any rocker. Art Burrows painting.

This year we included more skis that have doubtless all-mountain performance, yet we still bias our selection to the planks with less mass, often the narrower version of a multi-width offering. (For example, we included the excellent Voile V6 instead of the plumper V8). Also note that last season I wasn’t as involved in ski testing as during previous seasons, due to extensive traveling. Thus, our format this year is to weight our choices towards what our blog contributors and favor — though my own bias is certainly represented. After all, this is an opinionated blog, not the utterly impartial and unbiased New York Times.

Some of you will notice I did not include much in the way of weight information. I was fiddling around with that, trying to be sure all the skis were in our weight comparo chart, and simply did not get around to it yet due to winter traveling schedule intruding (I’m in Vancouver BC at the moment). I’ll get all the skis into the chart eventually, rest assured. Meanwhile, I do attempt to allude to what’s lighter and what is not, and many of the skis (or their brothers and sisters) are indeed in our charts.

In alpha order by brand:

Atomic, Backland 85 (125/85/110 average)
My Editor’s Choice for the CLASSIC yet MODERN European touring ski. I liked these before I read Skialper Magazine, and was delighted to see they got a 2016 Editor’s Choice for “Ski Touring” category from the Italian Stallions. Backlands pretty much work in any conditions, albeit in a “traditional” sort of way. I’d travel the world with these. What’s funny is the Backland reminds me of an amped up version of what I was skiing on around twenty years ago, when “80 mm” skis were what myself and others considered to be the sweet spot. Things change. Things stay the same. A bit of carbon, nice wood core, somewhat of an early rise tip. Boards like Backland 85 just work.

Shop for Backland 85 Atomic Skis.

(By the way, Skialper chose the incredibly lightweight Movement Vertex X-Series as their Ski Touring Ski of the Year. We did not get to test this one-kilo class ski, so I thought I’d mention my mistake. Apologies. It sounds like this is a one-kilo wonder that skis like, well, like a Swiss engineer intended it to ski. We did ski the Response X-Series ski from Movement. They’re a cool lightweight offering, but I couldn’t see them in the quiver.)

DPS, Wailer 99 Pure 3 (125/99/111) & Yvette 112RP2 — Pure 3 (141/112/128)
Nothing new here, but since DPS is still retailing some of the finest skis ever made we’re including them for the umpteenth time. Breaking our own rule if you will (we attempt to only review newer skis). Thing is, you want to ski “modern?” Mystic DPS skis have some sort of paranormal inculcation that causes the rider to widen their turns, slarve at will, smile, and do it again.

Wailer and Yvette are not for ripping hardpack, and not for extreme steep skiing. Powder, crud; enjoy. Weight/performance ratio isn’t “one-kilo” but is totally functional. Louie keeps going back to his Wailers. Lisa won’t ski on her Yevette’s until there is zero chance of even a grain of sand scratching the bases, as she doesn’t want to let the ski out of her sight even for a base repair. Me, if it wasn’t my job to keep mostly new planks around I’d still include my Wailer 99 Pures as the ski I’d tend to travel with worldwide during mid-winter. So, the Yvette is one of the few specific Women’s skis in this review, and it deserves that spot.

We can talk about the time winners all day long. But well known alpinist Hayden Kennedy came in with the sartorial splendor award. He and partner Anders Nordblom were the only streakers, and rocked the race on full touring gear in just over 9 hours. Yes Virginia those are the WildSnow test DPS Tour 1 Wailer 99s, we had no idea Hayden had snagged them for the day till we heard it on the grapevine.

DPS is not known for skimo race planks. But. Well known alpinist Hayden Kennedy came in with the sartorial splendor award last year at the Grand Traverse race in Colorado, sporting a big honking pair of DPS Tour 1 Wailer 99. We were impressed, those skis are light for a touring plank but rather massive for skimo.

I know some of you are going to ask “What about the Wailer Tour 1 skis?” Well, they’re light in weight but they’re not a DPS Wailer. They’re okay, better in powder. Perhaps if compared to other brands they’d stand out, but hey, we had to compare them to “real” Wailers. That seemed fair. We do have a new pair of the blue Wailer 106 Tour One here to give another go, perhaps my opinion will change. I’ll do the work. I can barely stand the obligation.

With a ski this special and expensive we think shopping a specialty retailer is key. The boys at our local shop CrippleCreekBC.com are special-t,
harass them.

Dynafit Chugach.

Dynafit Chugach is a funny offering from the Snow Leopard in that they’re not particularly lightweight. But hey, no reason to get in a rut, they ski good so we include as our full-on alpine-like gun.

Dynafit, Chugach (130/107/125)
I have to admit I’d rather be yammering about some of Dynafit’s lightweight touring skis, but the Dynathing that caught our fancy this year is the Chugach, which is pretty much an alpine ski in weight though it does save a few grams. Thing is, if there is any one ski in this review that’s the full-rocker charger of the future, this is our example. Interestingly, Skialper Magazine gives this a “Beginner Choice” trophy. We beg to differ, though we’d agree it’s stronger on soft snow as most full rocker skis tend to be. (Which is why Mikaela Shiffrin — I bow! — doesn’t use full rocker skis to win slalom races, in case you need an inarguable reference point.)

IMGA guide Mike Arnold can ski. I repeat. He can ski. Check his Chugach review. And shop for ’em here.

Dynastar Mythic (133/97/113)
Dynastar does not fool around. They have to build good skis or the thousands of top riders who depend on their gear will immediately migrate like the geese of Gore, flying to another brand quicker than you can say “I’m shopping for pro deals.” The Dynafit Cham varietals have become somewhat of a cult ski. We know dozens of skiers who swear by the planks of the “chamoniard,” so don’t discount. But for inclusion in our quiver we’re going for the Cham’ in its anorexic version, Mythic. These guys are one of the lightest skis made, and they go downhill just fine. Has a speed limit. But who really needs to ski at 65 mph?
Perl’s review.
Shop it.

Fischer, Hannibal 100 (131/100/117)
I truly do enjoy these skis, having been on them quite a bit last winter and now with a few days this season. They’re different. Not as solid feeling on the down as our full-on alpine skis that tour (Chugach & BMT, for example). But they have a cool silky feel that actually reminds me of Fishers I skied on decades ago. Perhaps that’s caused by more metal in the ski, or perhaps just the particular culture at Fischer, (or perhaps I’m imagining things?) but these guys are nice. You’ll find them to perform well as a wider plank for powder touring. They’re playful on hardpack though as with many touring oriented skis you’re not going to be entering any slalom races. A 180 cm version weighs around 1300 grams, good.

Fisher’s Profoil mechanical pattern skins should be mentioned in the same review. I’ve done more testing. They do grip quite well in conditions such as packed powder and firm slush, with traction diminishing the icier the skin track gets. Main thing, Profoils glide like crazy. Perhaps a quiver skin? Worth a demo of you can take a test pair out for a spin.

Check out our Hannibal coverage.

Our website supporter 8K Peak sells Fisher skis, so I’ll put the shopping link over to them.

G3, Synapse Carbon 101 (130/101/118)
Hail our only North American “full vertical” ski touring company. Or almost. Though they don’t make boots, G3 can claim to “make” everything in the skis/bindings/skins triad that gives them the cred. We are inCREDibly impressed by the ION this year. What is more, we’re amazed these guys still make and sell four different telemark bindings! They deserve a perseverance award for that — or perhaps just a loud expression of “so-what?” Or do Canadians really tele ski all that much?

On the G3 side our Ultimate Quiver pick would be the Synapse Carbon 101W. That be the women’s version, which is said to be “fine tuned for women and lighter riders.” In other words it’s a uni-sex version of the G3 Synapse Carbon 101, only with what in our opinion appeared to be a more supple flex that suits those of us who keep our body weight below BMI 27. We like that, as in our experience most G3 skis seem to be built stiff, and suit heavier or more aggressive riders rather than the average ski tourer. We had three reviewers on these so we really gave them a go. Lisa was ambivalent, Perl was happy with all but their hard-snow performance, and Doug liked them overall. The mostly good marks combined with low weight and North America heritage ramps the score up to Ultimate.

We’re of course incredibly biased here at WildSnow so reviews of G3 skis are hard to find. Enter Google.

Shop for G3 Synapse Carbon.

K2, Coomback 104 (136/104/123)
We’re including the recent incarnation of Coomback. Not particularly super-light in weight, but man-oh-man these are real with what might be the best performance/weight ratio in the solar system. We’ve reviewed and used Coomback for so many years I fear a search engine penalty from Google for duplicate content. I thus won’t go on at length and bore you with oft repeated accolaids. Main thing, if you like a beefy feeling ski that holds up to expert technique and has the width, keep the Doug Coomb’s honor plank in mind. Skialper Magazine: Freetouring Ski of the Year! Said again, amazing performance/weight ratio.

Check out our infinite Coomback coverage.

Shop for Coomback. (By the way, don’t get sucked into buying the green Coomback precut skins, they glide like steel wool. Get some nylon/mohair mix skins instead, or straight mohair if you can afford to replace when they wear out sooner.

La Sportiva, Vapor Svelte (126/96/113)
We’ve been hip to the tiny nano world for a while, a world where materials can be incredibly strong — and weird. La Sportiva’s Nano offerings are weird, in a good way. They’re weirdly light.

Last season we touted the Sportiva Vapor Nano, a 103 mm semi-wide powder board that is truly a fluff harvester’s delight (1215 grams, 180 mm). Vapor is a bit fragile according to consumer reports, and they’re not the most versatile ski when it comes to conditions such as piste or crust. I’ll keep a pair ready to rock Colorado fluff events. Enter the Vapor Svelte. While remaining incredibly light at (1154 grams, 178 cm), the 96 mm waisted Svelte simply had in my opinion an overall more buttery and forgiving feel than the Nano. Thus, we give them the edge for this year’s quiver pick. Still more of a powder ski than anything, but with versatility. Would I travel with them around the world as my quiver-of-one? Probably not as this ski is still a bit nervous and has a lower speed limit, but I definitely like having a pair around here and I use them often. Best for pure powder, corn or piste — lots of edge hold on hard snow.

Check our Svelte coverage.
Shop for the no-mass ski.

Voile, V6 (121/98/107)
We continue to question the need to do human powered ski touring on excessively gordo planks. Sure, we like Voile’s wide body V8 and it’s been an Ultimate Quiver choice. Sure, if you can show me you really do need 120 cm under your feet to do what you do then I rest my case. But Voile’s 98 mm waist V6 ski is terrific, affordable, and weighs on the light side. Indeed, one of the best values in the biz. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg could buy a hundred thousand pair of these and hand them out to all the needy backcountry skiers living in snowcaves and 1974 Volkswagen vans, thus solving global warming as well as ski resort housing problems all in one swoop.

From what I hear, Voile is already used to scaling up their production as they’ve been quite successful with all their planks, so getting up to 300,000 skis a month shouldn’t be too tough. IMHO V6 gets it’s performance from geometry rather than construction. The aspen wood core and fiber layup no doubt contribute, but they’ve got a shape (rocker, sidecut) that appears to be on its way to becoming what I’d call the “western powder slarver.” So, go me hearties, and slarve the planet.

Check our V6 reviews.
Shop for the ‘6.

Sashimi knife thin non existent sidewalls dominate the BMT.

Sashimi knife thin non existent sidewalls dominate the BMT. We’re not sure this makes the ski ride any better, but they can be used to slice tasty treats.

Volkl, BMT 94 (122/94/112)
Ok kids, if I knew I was required to ski resorts, sidecountry, and tour all in the same two days I could see hauling this guy. They’re a bit heavy for my style (1432 grams, single 178 cm ski), but stick a lightweight binding on top and they’re reasonable. The full rocker makes the BMT a bit interesting on pure hardpack unless you’re dynamic enough to really lay them over, but anywhere else you’ll love the “camber of the future.”

BMT binding mount options are limited by the inane “H” pattern mount plate, that’s our only real con. If you’re a skier of moderate body weight and not overly aggressive, in my opinion you can mount any binding if you take care and use epoxy, but for insurance you can simply put in a few inserts (e.g., Quiver Killer) for insurance.

I’ve skied this plank extensively, resulting in an interesting series of experiments with boot position. With my boot on the factory mark, I love the hardpack carve as well as the arc on supportive powder. On the other hand, in deep soft powder the BMT felt too “forward,” as if my ski tails were not dropping, with the tips tending to bury. I mounted 2 centimeters back from the factory position and it’s like night and day. They’d now one of my top five favorite powder skis of all time. I take something lighter when I’m doing much vertical human powered, but when I simply want my most performance oriented ski, I grab the BMT from my Ultimate Quiver.

The BMT feels silky, smooth, and real. If you want words. Oh, and though a certain famous pro skier says they actually ice up less than white skis, here in Colorado the black topskin does ice more than the pale colors. Such is probably climate dependent. Despite the ice occasionally obscuring the hip graphics these will not disappoint, though I’d call them a ski for experts. (one other thing, you’ll notice “Vacuum” pre-cut skins being sold alongside BMT. Vacuum skins handle nicely at warmer temps but we do not recommend for low 20s fahrenheit or lower.)

Check out our BMT coverage.
Shop for BMT.

That’s it you guys. Let the following questions number 1 through 5 commence and don’t forget our previous Ultimate Quiver reviews — they’re still useful.

Obewhanskinoobie sits in the lotus posture in his high Himalayan cave, munching on fluorescent fungus (opens the third eye), awaiting your queries:

1. What about Uberplank from BestSkisMade in Brazil?
3. Can you compare the DPS Wailer 112 to Atomic Backland 85?
4. The lighter a ski, the worse it skis, right?
5. I’m 182.567890 centimeters tall, weigh 72.5748 kilos, ski 7.4589 percent resort and the rest backcountry, mostly in Norway but some at La Grave and am traveling to Chile this summer. Should I buy the Volkl BMT 94 or Dynastar Cham? And what bindings?


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


70 Responses to “WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2015-2016”

  1. Kristian December 7th, 2015 2:11 pm

    Tested any of the Black Crows Freebird skis? Any thoughts?

  2. Wave December 7th, 2015 2:45 pm

    I have been skiing on the BMT 94 or 3 seasons ( Australia and Japan) and they are fantastic in all conditions. I have NTN Freedom mounted on mine and they ski telemark and alpine beautifully…

  3. scott December 7th, 2015 2:49 pm

    off topic-Just wondering if anyone knows the actual weight of 177cm Armada Kufos.

    thank you

  4. Lenka K. December 7th, 2015 2:57 pm

    @Scott Which Kufos? 103 or 108?

    Armada Kufo 108 weighs 3550g/pair @177cm.

    Lenka K.

  5. afox December 7th, 2015 3:13 pm

    No BD carbon converts! Really happy the skis I bought last season (G3 synapse 101) made the list. I think the carbon convert 101 is a great all conditions BC ski!

  6. Matus December 7th, 2015 3:26 pm

    Lou, I seem to see that you consider full rocker skis good choice. Having listed through she Skialper guide, it seems that the companies are going back in time – lots of camber, barely noticable rocker.

    I own full rockered Nunataqs (with sweet ATK Raider 12 mounted) and to date, I have not find the terrain where they would really fail. Yes, I even skied resorts on them. So what is that camber good for except for carving the ice?

  7. scott December 7th, 2015 3:38 pm

    @ Lenka – 103 cm ? Thank you

  8. Andy December 7th, 2015 3:43 pm

    The 5 questions made me laugh.

  9. scott December 7th, 2015 3:46 pm

    Lou – do you know or have any info about Movement’s Speed Tracks or Free tracks tech bindings?


  10. swissiphic December 7th, 2015 5:56 pm

    Scott: on the plain old non precise non digital kitchen scale my kufo 102mm waisted 177cm weighs 1900 grams after drilling two sets of dynafit binding holes.

  11. swissiphic December 7th, 2015 6:02 pm

    …that’s last year’s model, checking weights of this years kufo, backcountry magazine states wieght as substantially less…7 pounds or 3175 grams/pair…so, my kitchen scale might be a bit off.

  12. Thom Mackris December 7th, 2015 6:45 pm

    My take on why you “need” wider boards is that you might be less tempted to go into sketchy terrain when avy conditions are questionable, because you can more easily meadow skip on wide boards.

    In a way, it’s parallel to the argument made about airbag packs – that you’re more inclined to take more risks when wearing one.

    Note that I’m not anti-airbag, but am rather trying to draw parallels between gear selection and resulting shifts in risk tolerance.


  13. See December 7th, 2015 6:50 pm

    6. Maybe it’s the season, but I feel like making my annual suggestion that (imo) it would be really interesting if you good folks at Wildsnow could get your hands on some trashed super light skis, take a saw to them, and show us some pictures. Judging by the graphics, I bet the cores in those Svelte’s have a lot more to do with their weight than nano-anything. The DPS Tours are also probably pretty interesting, and the Fischers.

  14. GeorgeT December 7th, 2015 7:00 pm

    No argument on the K2 Coomback! My favorite ski since the tele version K2 Anti Piste, which I skied yesterday.

  15. Greg Louie December 7th, 2015 7:55 pm

    @scott: Kufo 103 = 1479 (168), 1599 (177), 1694 (186), single ski, not averaged. My weights.

  16. afox December 7th, 2015 9:57 pm

    Hey See,
    When i mounted my G3 carbon synapses I was surprised to find that the core of the skis was not in fact carbon….it is wood. As best I could tell there may be a thin layer of carbon between the wood core and plastic topsheet. Perhaps the cores are carbon in the tips and tails and cores are wood in sections of the ski that receive binding screws? Id love to know. The skis have definitely gotten lighter and lots of companies are claiming to use carbon, nano, and other high technology methods and materials but is the use of those materials just pure marketing genious?

  17. Thom Mackris December 7th, 2015 10:05 pm

    Standard construction, @afox. You are not being cheated by false claims 😀

    Check out this FAQ for details: http://www.backcountry.com/explore/ski-construction-explained

    … Thom

  18. See December 7th, 2015 10:36 pm

    Currently (as far as I know), carbon fiber is primarily used in thin strips within the glass laminate around the core to add stiffness and decrease weight. Most skis are basically made of fiberglass around a wood core, with or without sidewalls. This construction is hard to beat in terms of skiing performance, durability, cost… everything but weight (note that I’m just some guy on the internet, not an industry insider). Serious weight savings can be achieved by replacing the glass with carbon, and replacing the wood with lower density materials like foam/balsa(yeah, I know)/honeycomb. It remains to be seen if this sort of construction will succeed in the marketplace given performance, durability and cost issues.

  19. See December 7th, 2015 11:04 pm

    Even more far out construction– eliminating the core altogether (Volkl V-Werks?).

  20. Lou Dawson 2 December 7th, 2015 11:28 pm

    See, both V-Werks and Fisher eliminate a bunch of core with that tapered no-sidewall profile. For sure, interesting. Lou

  21. David December 8th, 2015 9:04 am

    Backland 85 seems a little weighty for a skinny ski these days (atomic website lists 1320 in a 158cm).
    Any comparison or thoughts on performance vs atomic ultimate 85, blizzard zero g 85 or fischer transalp 80??

  22. Lou Dawson 2 December 8th, 2015 9:23 am

    Hey David, I’d agree it’s more of an average weight ski, I just think it skis downhill pretty well so I threw it in to the mix. Our testers like the Transalp 80, though from what I recall it seemed a little sensitive to where your boot is located on the ski, probably because of the tip rocker, which can in my opinion cause a funny sort of “diving forward” feeling in fluffy unsupported powder if your boot is just a hair too far forward. Lou

  23. Mase December 8th, 2015 9:29 am

    See, I believe your explanation of the use of carbon fiber in skis is fairly accurate but I don’t think this is where they’re(ski makers) are saving lots of weight. Carbon fiber in itself isn’t “lighter” than other composite fabrics. It’s strength (tensile,modulus, etc) allows for LESS to be used to gain the same stiffness as with some fiberglass fabrics. In something the size of a ski your not talking about pounds being saved. If I had to guess it MIGHT be a couple ounces..at best. It’s all in how the ski maker utilizes the material. If I recall DPS uses what’s called a pre-preg material. Meaning it’s pre empregnated with resin. The resin percentage in the fabric is therefore very controlled. This makes for a lighter product as the resin weight is significant and hand layups (wetting fabric with a brush and some resin) is very inefficient in terms of weight saving. Some latest techniques include vacuum bag resin infusion; a kind of a higher tech home method of producing something as light by perfectly controlling and Distributing the resin throughout the fabric. That’s my 2¢. I agree with some other posters that the majority of weight savings being gained is coming from unique cores.

  24. See December 8th, 2015 10:30 am

    Mase, thanks for pointing out that “replacing the glass with carbon” involves a lot more than simply using the black cloth instead of the white cloth. The skis in this season’s Ultimate Quiver list represent a variety of different approaches to making an excellent bc ski at a price people will pay. But it’s interesting how most of them are still built around a wood core with a significant amount of glass fiber.

  25. RDE December 9th, 2015 3:05 pm

    Now if you really wanted to make a ski weightless you’d wrap pre-preg carbon skins around a nomex honeycomb core and build a tech binding from carbon with a flat under surface that could be bonded on instead of screwed down.

    Of course it would ski like s—–t, with no internal vibration dampening and no mass to slow reaction to the snow surface. 😈

    If you are an alpine skier of sufficient vintage you might recall the Hexcell aluminum honeycomb core ski?

    So far rocket scientists haven’t invented a material better than natural honeycomb (aka wood) for long term flexion combined with vibration dampening as required in a ski.

  26. swissiphic December 9th, 2015 6:31 pm

    re: binding bonded to ski: four successful days skiing on dynafits screwed onto plastic mounting plates (6 buck 9mm thick plastic cutting board) attached with two layers of double sided carpet tape onto ski topsheets in what i’m speculating as ‘worst case scenario’ testing conditions….warm spring ski touring days. Plates/tape were heated and clamped with c clamps overnight. f.y.i. ski at own risk. 😉 For me, it was a game changer in expanding the envelope of what’s possible.

  27. See December 9th, 2015 6:57 pm

    Re. mass and ski performance, see question 4. Re. pre-preg/honeycomb construction, I suspect that’s basically what the Sportiva’s are, and the DPS Tours are pre-preg/balsa(?). Damping is probably the secret sauce (which is one reason why I’d like to have a look inside). I think the DPS approach is flax fiber core stringers. I wonder if those Sveltes should be mounted with epoxy and then turned deck side down while it cures?

  28. ted December 9th, 2015 6:58 pm

    If you’re into taping things together, looking into 3M VHB tape.
    Supposedly strong enough to replace rivets on sheet metal jobs!
    Expensive, but I’d use VHHB before carpet tape on a binding mount.
    Although I too have been amazed by carpet tape. i have a pair of resort skis I love but when pushed a little too fast the tip flaps a little. Carpet tape/rubber gasket/carpet tape/piece of 1″ aluminum strip quieted them right down. Stayed on all season!

  29. Matt Kinney December 10th, 2015 11:04 am

    Wagner Skis(CO) put out this nice video on ski construction last week.


  30. Rob December 11th, 2015 5:57 am

    Must say I am very impressed by your website, blogs and articles. Wonderful tales of experience and also sometime scientific approach to subjects. Wonderful reading. Thanks for your effort, I’m hooked!

    I do have one observation that baffles me sometimes. As I live in the Netherlands we get by on the metric system for measuring distance and weight as many people do in Europe. Your blogs frequently contains subjects like height of ski’ s and skiers. I do not understand why the height of a skier frequently goes in feet and inches while the ski’ s invariably note in cm’s.
    I always have to do some calculating to compare them both. Is there a reason for this? Is there any hope of a choice between metric and inches?
    The same goes to a lesser extend to weight. Is a pound 500 grams like it is over here? What is the weight of one stone? How about choosing one system?
    Thans for explaining!!

  31. Lou Dawson 2 December 11th, 2015 8:03 am

    Hi Rob, we probably should simply give all measurements in feet-inches and metric, but it’s a blog so we are relaxed. I’ll keep your comment in mind. Meanwhile, remember Google calculate. In the Google search bar just type in something like “5 feet 6 inches = ? cm” and it gives a quick answer. Lou

  32. Matus December 11th, 2015 11:31 am

    For me, the imperial units are very refreshing and remind me of old times of kings and queens. Who would measure in inches, feet and stones? Only the oldchool lovers. Cool.

    But yes, your units would be PITA without Google 🙂

  33. Jim Milstein December 11th, 2015 12:25 pm

    Caution, Rob! A pound is 454 g. 500 g is off by ten percent. That may make a big difference.

    Converting between measurement systems makes your brain stronger. You want a strong brain, don’t you? Stones vary, however. Pick your favorite stone and weigh it. Then you will know how much a stone weighs.

  34. Jeremy C December 11th, 2015 1:09 pm

    In the UK I was 7 when the metric system of weights and measures was introduced. However, it was not an overnight switch, and anyone over 40-50 will be quite happy switching between the 2 systems. In the UK at least a pound (lb) weight is 16 ozs, and a stone 14 pounds. Most items related to the body are imperial, so 6ft tall, 32″ waist, 30″ leg, 12 stone weight etc.

    I tend to mix and match, so I might estimate in feet or yards, but I will measure in metric, as hardware and materials are sold in metric.

    Bizarrely, the temperature tends to be a mixture as well, with high temperatures being Fahrenheit (its a nice day its 75), and low temperatures being Celsius (its cold its 2).

    And don’t get me started on Mountain Bikes……..

  35. Michael December 16th, 2015 8:47 am

    The Movement’s Speed Tracks or Free tracks tech bindings are just rebadged Dynafits – Speed Track = Speed Radical and Free Track = ST 2.0

  36. Lou Dawson 2 December 22nd, 2015 7:01 am

    All, see edits above on the Volkl BMT quiver pick. I discovered that mounting 2 centimeters back from factory boot position made them just about my favorite deep pow ski of all time.

    In other words, If you ski your BMTs in deep pow and feel like you’re too forward, you probably are. If they feel ok, don’t fix what works, but keep my observations in mind. I mounted the skis three different times to figure this out, so you don’t have to (grin).

  37. See December 22nd, 2015 9:46 pm

    Maybe 94 is not what the average (heavy) skier considers a powder ski.

  38. Mark L December 23rd, 2015 12:07 am

    In the Cascades we have generally heavier snow, and a lot of natural crud from tree bombs, warming and refreezing, etc. In trying to find that balance between weight (uphill performance), float when it is deep, and handling heavy/crappy snow, what does your quiver recommend? From what I’ve read, top contenders include Hannibal 94, Zero G 95 (Blizzard), Mythic, Wayback 96 in the narrower range, and the Hannibal 100, and Faction Agent 100 in the wider.

    There are a couple that are intriguing that are hard to find much info about (in English anyway): Hagan Y-Boost, Scott Superguide 95. And the Movement Shift seems next to impossible to find.

    Thoughts on any of these?

  39. Mark L December 23rd, 2015 12:08 am

    Oh, yeah. We ski in the rain, too. :/

  40. Lou Dawson 2 December 23rd, 2015 7:15 am

    Mark, from what I know about Cascades, the quiver ski would be the Coomback, or Wayback. For some weird reason the K2 stuff comes to my mind when the PNW is mentioned (grin). I know Louie likes his DPS Wailers up there… Lou

  41. Patrick December 23rd, 2015 9:33 am

    Hey Lou – the Waybacks. Bought some last season for skiing Whitewater (front-country). Easy to ski/enjoy, and if we’d had ANY powder, I’m confident they would have been fun in it.
    On the hardback, for me, I sensed the Waybacks had a ‘speed-limit’. Couple of times, on steep-ish hardback at higher speeds, they surprised me when they seemed out of my control. Made me very nervous. (I need to reign-in my 31-yo spirit to more closely match my 71-yo body.)
    Any others who indicate that the Waybacks have a speed limit?
    With respect to this speed issue, would it help to alter the bindings either fwd or back?

  42. Lou Dawson 2 December 23rd, 2015 10:07 am

    Hi Patrick, this is a ski touring website, not a resort website. Ski touring skis often have a speed limit.

    Getting higher speed out of a ski involves many factors, most of which involve using a different ski (grin).


  43. Patrick December 23rd, 2015 7:18 pm

    Thanks Lou. In the backcountry, I love my Solomon Guns — they’re so much fun and quick turning, so they’re excellent, even in tight trees. I’m sure the Waybacks will be fun in the BC too.
    Ha, ha, Whitewater considered a resort – hope it never gets that way. But, resorts have a way of happening, especially if real estate can be developed/sold.

  44. Mark L December 23rd, 2015 11:38 pm

    Appreciate the thoughts. Yeah, pretty hard to get away from K2 up here. 🙂 Never having skied a rockered ski or any ski over 73mm waist, I am trying to figure out whether the 100-105 range of ski is too much. Some people seem to think with our heavier snow the 95-range skis are a little weak, but I believe versatility is key. I’ll likely be driving with a medium flex boot (Meastrale 1.0 or similar).

  45. Aaron December 29th, 2015 2:00 pm

    Sounds like you’re laying down some serious praise on the V6 for a do everything quiver-of-one. I’m in the Northeast, which right now would be better served with a mountain bike than skis. But under typical conditions, would you recommend the V6 for daytrips plus a few hut trips out West and overseas (i.e. Haute Route)? Been eyeing the Blizzard Zero G 95 & 108. I’m 5’11”, 160lbs, aggressive expert skier.

  46. Cedrik January 6th, 2016 12:51 pm

    Hannibal 100: Anyone know what the differences are between the 14/15 and 15/16 models? Other than graphics.

  47. Bob January 15th, 2016 5:58 am

    Hey Lou, have you had a chance to ski those DPS Wailer 106 Tour that you mentioned? I know that they just released them and I was wondering about the mounting position. DPS says that you should mount them at center instead of the +1 that most people have been doing with the 99 and 112.

  48. Ryan Atwell February 5th, 2016 9:01 am

    Hi Lou and others,

    Any thoughts on mounting the Vapor Svelte? Would your advice about mounting the Vapor Nano 2 cm back apply here?


  49. Lou Dawson 2 April 6th, 2016 5:44 pm

    Hey everyone, Bob P and I have both skied the Wailer 106 Tour1 quite a bit. Bob’s review is here:


  50. Travis May 16th, 2016 3:54 pm

    I saw some people discuss the weight of the Kufo, but does anyone have any feedback on how they ski? I took them out for a demo day at the resort and found them to be way more fun than expected. Would love info from someone who has skied them in a wider range of conditions.

  51. Jan December 2nd, 2016 11:19 am

    Hi Lou.

    May I ask you a question please ?

    Imagine you have a choice betweeen Dynafit Baltoro 2 and Atomic Backland 85 for alpine touring including skiing something difficult from time to time ? What would be your choice and why ? I’ve seen that you have good opinion about both of these of course.

  52. Lou Dawson 2 December 2nd, 2016 11:59 am

    Hi Jan, what do you mean by “difficult?” Getting up to the summit of Denali and skiing down, or doing a descent of the North Face of the Pain de Sucre? Let me know, and I’ll look at specs on both skis. Thanks, Lou

  53. Jan December 2nd, 2016 2:12 pm

    Difficult for me is a terrain where you must not fall. Let’s say 5th + grade in the European scale, or significantly above 40 degrees. Especially my question concerns the behaviour of these skis on hard or icy windblown snow.

  54. Dan December 3rd, 2016 12:31 pm

    It must be getting close to that time for an Ultimate Quiver for this year…

    @ Jan – I’d go with the Atomic Backland UL 85. I ski the Blizzard Zero G 85, and they are good too. A friend has the normal Backlands in the 85 and loves them. Any of the above are great choices for the type of skiing you are talking about.

  55. Lou Dawson 2 December 3rd, 2016 6:53 pm

    Thanks for the support Dan, I’m working on it. Lou

  56. Jan December 9th, 2016 4:52 pm

    Thank you for you help.

  57. GeorgeT December 16th, 2016 5:13 pm

    Lou: I look forward to your Ultimate Quiver 2016/2017.

  58. Nick N February 26th, 2017 6:12 pm

    Lou – You’ve spoken a few times about both the Wailer99 Pure3 and the Vapor Svelte. I’ve been contemplating either for some time – which would you choose, if you were located on the British Columbia coast primarily doing multi-day ski tours/traverses? Or perhaps you would go for something else entirely? Thanks for your thoughts.

  59. Michael February 26th, 2017 7:18 pm

    Nick N,

    Pure3 Wailer 99 and Vapor Svelte will be pretty different skis. The 99 Pure3, although still kinda light, is much heavier than the Svelte. It will ski variable snow and firm snow much better. I’ve skied it and found it to be a nice all around touring ski if you like the more modern rockered/tapered shape. Heavier coastal snow would favor the 99. I’ve not skied the Svelte, but I’ve been on the Nano, and I thought it skied poorly in variable snow. Of course the Svelte is much, much lighter and weight is a huge factor on multi-day traverses.

    Maybe consider splitting the difference and getting something in the mid-weight category? Dynastar Mythic and Salomon MTN Explore 95 are options. 1400 gram range per ski, fat enough for pow, light enough for traverses, will stand up better to firm and variable snow.

  60. JCoates February 26th, 2017 7:56 pm

    Speaking of do-it-all skis…anyone hear rumors of a SuperVector? Will it be same dimensions but lighter or slightly longer/wider? I love my vectors but wish they were just a few mm wider and a few cm wider.

  61. Lou Dawson 2 February 27th, 2017 8:40 am

    JCoats, it’s the Ultra Vector, we have a pair of 178 cm here, they measure 129/95/112 weigh 1644 grams each. Lou

  62. JCoates February 27th, 2017 8:59 am

    Thanks Lou. I meant a few cms longer–which after searching for “ultra” rather than “super” gave me a little more info. Sounds like they’ll go up to 184cm. Really interested to hear if you or one of your testers (Anton again?) think they ski as well as their predecessors. Thanks!

  63. Bob Perlmutter February 27th, 2017 1:53 pm

    Hi, Nick N., you might consider the Wailer 99 in the Tour1 construction vs. the Pure construction. Noticeable weight savings and still get the same profile and dimensions as the Pure. You do give up some of the power and torsion of the Pure but as long as it’s intended for a pure backcountry application then you should be good to go.

  64. Nick N February 27th, 2017 6:02 pm

    Michael, Bob – thanks for the input on the Wailer 99’s and alternatives. I will have a look at those proposed. Indeed I will have to choose my trade offs eventually! Cheers

  65. KristianB March 6th, 2017 1:11 am

    Hi. Anybody who had possibility to compere the Backland 85 to Wayback//Talkback 88 ecore ?

  66. Dan March 6th, 2017 2:22 pm

    @ KristianB

    Got a friend on the Backlands…he loves em. Great ski for spring touring and even some resort use. It seems to cater to a wide range of ability levels too, whether beginner or expert.

    I’ve got the Backland 85 UL. Will be skiing them next month. No experience with K2 skis.

  67. Allan April 26th, 2017 9:13 am

    HI Lou,
    Is there any chance you have or will be testing and reviewing the Scott Super Guide 105, 95 and 88? They are not as light as the Zero G’s or LaSportiva Svelte, Nano, Float but it sounds like they ski very well.
    Thanks for you input and reviews!

  68. Allan April 26th, 2017 9:32 am

    Oh yeah, Skialper really liked the Scott SG88 and gave it ski of the year in ski toouring

  69. Lou Dawson 2 April 26th, 2017 10:53 am

    Scott SG 88 is one of the best skis we have. Yeah, we’ll review at some point, but that gives you an idea of our bias. Lou

  70. Allan April 26th, 2017 12:00 pm

    Thanks Lou! I still have a Blizzard made169cm Dynafit FR10 (1440g) as my harder snow biased BC ski with click clack A/R modded Comforts. I may look at selling those FR10 and getting some of the SG 88’s in a 168 to replace them. The SG 88 has a bigger shovel/ tail more sidecut and are 200g lighter than my FR10’s.

    I also own the ZG 95 that I bought last year which I love. I pulled the trigger (VIP card) for the 175 SG 105 instead of the ZG 108. I think it’s going to be a better ski overall for me at 5’7″ 150 lbs. than the Blizzard ZG108. I’m really impressed with the quality of the SG 105 and hand bench flexing them feel’s great, nice smooth flex good shovel and plenty of tail and they look great showing all the tech in them! With the lighter color scheme than the ZG 108 they should deal better with snow collecting on the top sheet.

    I was offered a ZG 108 this winter but I passed, then decided I wanted one after I sold my Chargers but they had already sold out of them in 171 . I’m definitely curious to get y’all’s take on the all three skis in the Superguide series but i like what I see.
    Thanks for all the work you do!

Anti-Spam Quiz:

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version