WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2013/14 — The “One Kilo” Class


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 19, 2013      

If you’re branding as ski for “backcountry” or “ski touring” or “ski mountaineering,” make it lighter weight than average.

There, with that off my chest, now you know the bias of this year’s Ultimate Quiver. Yep, the world has changed. Companies such as DPS, G3, Dynafit and Trab have skewed reality. The cloud of unknowing has been pierced. Heaven may be closer than you think (see our weight charts). Our picks for this year (we narrowed the field compared to last year), in alpha order:

Black Diamond
Every quiver needs at least one “go big or go home” speed tool. Black Diamond’s Carbon Megawatt is it — 145-120-127.

Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt has new construction for 2013/14: super light.

Black Diamond Carbon Megawatt has new construction for 2013/14: super light.

Ride the Megawatt long in centimeters, go fast, and enjoy. I actually skied on these guns just to say I did, so don’t give me no guff. But I’m no tester of the gargantuan plank category. Instead, we got WildSnow production assistant Joe and a few other victims who were willing to be skied by the Megawatt. While these boards are surprisingly maneuverable due to copious rocker and smooth flex, they go where they want and most often pick a pretty sweet line. They ski you. It’s fun to watch. Photos are difficult because camera shutters have limits.

Megawatt brags that oh-so-old but oh-so-new sidewall construction that’s shouldering out cap-construction like a Top Chef winning a cookoff. By combining plentiful carbon with strong sidewalls, Mega’ is built with an exceptional dearth of material while maintaining a sweet flex. On our weight/surface chart, this ski scores 13th place, amazing for a big kahuna that requires loads of material just to span those 120+ millimeters from edge to edge. Still, compare weight to length and you’ll receive an explanation of why your adductor brevis feels like someone lit it on fire. In other words, be sure your style of skiing makes it worth hauling the biggies uphill, even if they’re some of the lightest weight biggies you can get.

(Note to shoppers, Black Diamond Current deserves honorable mention, as a “Euro classic” 87 mm waisted touring ski. Every quiver should have a pair of those. Also, if you can find a deal on them don’t hesitate to pick up a pair of Carbon Justice if you’re looking for a buy on a 111mm waist ski that will serve you well. But what would shopping be without a bit of challenge?)

Read one of our many Megawatt reviews.
Shop for the megatrip.

Shopper’s note: Black Diamond created an inconvenience in naming their new sidewall skis some of the same names as earlier versions. When considering a purchase, be sure you know what you’re getting. For example, if you look for a BD Current ski on backcountry.com, as of this writing you’ll see the old version rather than the 2013/2014 model we mentioned above. Adding to the confusion, you’ll see both versions of the Megawatt. If this drives you crazy, rest assured you’re not the only one.

DPS
After carbonizing a pair of DPS skis last autumn to appease the snow gods (didn’t work, we aparrently just angered the guys and gals and they sent our snow over to Tibet), we were keen to redeem and see if the religious heat on DPS reflects real life. I’m happy to say that yes, the DPS offerings deliver the goods, if not the occasional moment of the gods.

DPS Wailer 99 Pure Nano

The DPS Wailer 99 Pure Nano pair I skied last season; I'm not sure the color matches planks to be sold this season, as their website indicates color is somewhat different.

Wailer 99 Pure easily makes our cut. Narrow enough for touring (125/99/111) without the snowpack building a facsimile of Mount Everest on top of your planks. Wide enough to feel “wide.” Weight for my 176 cm testers is 52.3 oz, 1482 gr per ski. That is LIGHT for a fully performing 176 cm ski that’s 99 at the waist. Forgive me for repeating myself, but yep, another ski build with carbon to trim mass. I skied the 99 extensively last winter. They’re smooth like butter in the cream, but boast enough pop and beef to keep the more aggressive skier from crying “noodle.” Surprising edgehold on hard snow, but I’d still trend to a different ski for steep piste. That said, we found these planks to be fun on the hardpack — delightful on velvet corn or wind buff.

“Wailer” denotes a genetic strain of DPS skis, birthed from their wider 112-waist models (one that’s for speed and one with more sidecut.) “The Pure carbon/nano construction,” wrote one WildSnow guest blogger, “is DPS founder Stephan Drake’s goal to achieve the highest performance skis ‘on earth.’ The end result according to DPS is a lighter, torsionally stiffer, more powerful yet damp ski.”

The “Hybrid” strain of the Wailer seeks to achieve nearly equal performance at a better price and a bit more weight. Naturally, Ultimate Quiver requires the Pure versions. But don’t discount the Hybrid version — DPS claims a rather hubristic reputation (they do everything!) that every ski they make has to live up to, or else. We agree — every ski they make is worth considering.

(Honorable mention goes to Yvette 112RP, the fem version of Wailer that Lisa enjoyed last winter. Yvette skis well, comes in 9th out of about 40 skis for surface/weight ratio — that about knocks it out of the park.)

Our various DPS blog posts.

To buy DPS skis, shop through a dealer or the DPS website. I’m impressed by their factory demo program: receive your skis, ride for 3 days, return if not satisfied. Indeed, a melody we’ve hummed for years goes something like this: “demo your skis, you’ll be pleased…” Nice to see DPS helping keep that concept alive.

Dynafit
We were tempted to include Dynafit Huscaran in this year’s quiver, but it got honors last time so just know the “Land Fish” is still a player and receives honorable mention. (see several Huascaran reviews). Quiver pick from Dynafit for this year is the Cho Oyu. This “turny” plank suits the skier who likes incredibly light skis that suit a nimble style that emphasises turns over straighter arcs. They hold well on hardpack while still being fun in the powder — thus incurring a high rating for all-around performance. A possible “quiver of one” if you like this sort of ski.

Dynafit Cho Oyu 2013/14 in the 'one kilo' weight class and yes they ski.

Dynafit Cho Oyu 2013/14 in the 'one kilo' weight class and yes they ski.

I’ll admit I’m partial to these puppies. You do notice the sidecut, but once you get used to the somewhat waspy profile just tilt and enjoy the arc (though wider, less sidecutty skis can be more forgiving in conditions such as breakable crust). Cho’ holds well on hardpack and did me fine in the powder — thus being a ski I’m comfortable with as a single-pick in the luggage when heading to the mystery snowpacks of Europe. Per this year’s emphasis on performance to weight ratio, no problem there. Mass of my 174s is a scanty 1,183 grams per ski (124/88/110 profile). That places easily in our “one kilo weight class.”

As I wrote in my review: “Dynafit ski fans should note that Cho Oyu appears to be a replacement for the Seven Summits, which has been incredibly popular in Europe and gained a modest following here in the New World. Having skied both planks extensively I’d say that’s a fair take, though I can’t say for certain that if you like 7 Summits you’ll like the Cho — though the concept is the same: narrower touring ski with some sidecut, built specifically for human powered skiing in all conditions, lack of weight a priority…”

“Read our full Choodie” Review
Available this fall.

G3
You want a carbon feather-weight plank in modern dimensions? Look no farther than G3’s C3 Zen Oxide. At 131/105/123 widths and 1,500 grams for a 178 cm, these guys return serious surface to mass ratio. Indeed, on our surface/weight chart C3 holds its own at around 7th place — that’s about as light as you can get. How do they ski? Reviewer Louie Dawson wrote “In powder the C3 is fast, and also quite snappy. I had a blast popping off pillows and out of deep turns. That same day I also managed to take a few runs on icy groomers and crud. Being such a light ski, I was worried C3 would be chattery and get thrown around. Instead, they sliced nice rails on the groom…”

Enjoying the featherweight G3 Zenoxide C3's while setting the bootpack on Mt. Davidson, BC.

Zens

Louie skied on a pre-production pair of G3 Zenoxide C3's which had old graphics. Here's the new look for 2014.

Essentially, G3 took the proven dimensions and rocker of their admittedly heavy Zen Oxide, and simply upgraded to all carbon, minimal resin and a wood core. The result is a ski in the new weight class that rides like a chunkier plank.

Our review.
Shop for G3 C3 from BC

Trab
The Trabucchi boys from Bormio are known for producing skis with an insane performance/weight ratio. Watch the downhill part of a European rando race and observe maniacal contestants skidding their way down icy pistes, riding tiny toothpicks that are quite likely to have the word “Trab” printed on the topskin. Take that heritage, add carbon fiber, build a European style touring ski, and look what happened.

As Scott covered in his review, “we have on our hands the legendary, the elusive, the magical, the downright holy grail of the ONE KILO ski. Our Magico test planks come in at 1000 grams, 35.4 ounces, per ski (one of our testers weighed 998 grams, the other 1002, average was exactly 1000 per ski!). They easily boast a stunning weight/surface score of 64, and sit in the top of our weight/length scoring with a 5.90. For something that skis downhill ok, that is truly amazing.”

I’ll be brief. If you want a stick that gives you an unfair advantage in ski mountaineering, look no farther than the Magico. They feel like nothing on your feet or on your backpack. And they still feel like something on the down.

(Honorable mention: Trab Volare still holds a place in our hearts, that special place reserved for non-rockered skis that still perform. Volare in last year’s quiver.)

Magico review 1
Magico review 2
Magico will be available this fall at selected retailers.

Voile
Let us be clear. With a decades long heritage of Wasatch powder informing their builds, the Salt Lake City powder plank perfectionists at Voile do it like they own it. In fact, they do own it. This year’s V8 model is case in point.

Voile V8 has a terrific performance-to-weight ratio, tail tips if you like that sort of thing.

Voile V8 has a terrific performance-to-weight ratio, tail tips if you like that sort of thing.

First, while these skis have had amazingly universal appeal in various media ski tests, including ours, Voile keeps the price at an earthly level. MSRP for under $625 means these sticks will sell well, and once they go on sale they’ll probably fly out the door of Backcountry.com so fast the warehouse manager’s forklift cab will look like a dartboard. Will the driver survive? Stay tuned.

We’d like to think our review last winter has much to do with the present excitement surrounding this ski. Read Tony’s take and form your own opinion: “Without naming names, I’ve been on over a dozen backcountry skis this season, and the V8 was the first that I simply had to have. I put it through its paces – on frozen hardpack, sun-baked mashed potatoes, day-old chunder, and in two feet of pristine, blower powder. The V8 never disappointed.”

Read the complete review here.
The V8 powder engine will be available soon.

Volkl
We set a policy this year of not including quiver skis from previous years. Now we’ll break our rule. As one of the most universally liked planks for human powered backcountry, let us encore the Volkl Nunataq (to be fair, Volkl did change the marked binding mount location and refreshed the graphics for 2014, so these are a “new” version).

Nunataq

Volkl Nunataq - not a WildSnow dog though the rider might require a leash. New graphics for 2013/14 but this award winning plank remains the same inside.

What is the magic of these rather persistent award winners? Think it through and the guesswork is easy. A firm platform of 139/107/123 gives you that modern confidence you only receive beyond about 100 millimeters. Radical rocker covers pretty much the entire ski. Mass of 1618 grams or 57 ounces per 170 cm stick is excellent for such width and construction that doesn’t break the bank (laminated low-mass core, minimal resin).

Nuna’ is universally liked by our testers, but Perl in particular seemed to want to use them as a sacrament. Indeed, I had to add an extra padlock to the WildSnow shop to be sure the Volkls would be there in the morning. “The real test came when a group of young, sponsored freeride athletes showed up to book the powder cat,” wrote Perl in his review. “I knew it would be a day of non stop, hard-charging hubris. In the afternoon I switched over to the Nunataqs. To my delight, they easily kept pace with the exuberant lads. When it came time to put the pedal to the metal, the Volkls didn’t let me down.”

Our first Nunataq ski review.
Read the complete latest Nunataq review.
Shop for the ski that won’t go away, but goes down easy.

Summary
After evaluating more than 50 ski models, we found one thing to be true: the theory that lighter skis are too much of a compromise for downhill performance is now exactly that; theory. Reality? A well designed lightweight ski can work well, and if you’re gaining vertical by your own muscle power could easily be your best choice. A couple of reminders: A look at our translation of the Alpin magazine ski reviews is always enlightening. And remember that most of the skis in our previous Ultimate Quiver (2012/2013) are still viable and may be terrific deals on sale (e.g., K2 Wayback, Gotback and Backup are super versitile). Enjoy whatever vintage you pick, and be sure to let us know how it goes for you this winter if you fly up the hill with carbon wings on your toes.

Oh, and a nod to our climbing skin sponsor. This is primarily human powered ski test. Thus, the climbing skins so graciously provided by G3 were just the ticket! We used both their regular Alpinist climbing skins as well as their High Traction version. In comparison to other skins we used, the Alpinist has terrific glide but a bit less traction. High Traction version sacrifices a tiny bit of glide for a lot of grip.

On high hazard days, we tested skis on mountains managed by Aspen Snowmass Ski Company. Thanks to them for comp tickets.



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Comments

52 Responses to “WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2013/14 — The “One Kilo” Class”

  1. josh August 19th, 2013 10:36 am

    It would be interesting to consider not just surface area vs. weight, but also attempt to compare skis that are meant for similar skier weights. For example, there’s often a significant jump in weight between the 170cm length range and the 180cm length range that’s not merely due to the extra ski length, but to additional material meant to make the ski stiffer for larger, heavier skiers. For example, when comparing the Voile V8 at 176cm (7 lbs) and the BD carbon mega at 188cm (8 lbs) you are potentially comparing skis for 2 different skiers. The voile V8 at 186 (7lbs 12oz.) would likely be a more realistc comparison to the 188 mega. Even the DPS Wailer 99 pure at 184cm is 7.5lbs. I realize that the ski length vs. weight gets at this issue, but I find that I keep wishing all the data could be crunched in 1 chart. I realize that surface area vs. weight normalizes for length, but not necessarily for what weight skier the ski is designed for (e.g. amount of material / stiffness / whatever). Maybe I’m just misinterpretting the charts?!

  2. Lou Dawson August 19th, 2013 10:49 am

    Josh, you have a point, thanks for thinking it through. I did some evaluation some time ago of different ski lengths and discovered that some skis are heavier-per-centimeter when shorter, and some are heavier-per-centimeter when longer! Some are nearly exactly the same (G3 C3, for example) It got too confusing. I think our charts make the point. As I’ve said, the main thing if you want lightweight skis with width is pick models in the lower third or so of the spectrum, regardless of length. If you want to simply get the lightest, pick from the weight/length chart.

    Also, one of the reasons I published these charts is to cut through some of the PR BS you’ll see describing certain skis to be exceptionally lightweight, when in reality they’re average in mass, or even weigh a fricking ton. Again, to use the charts for that simply pick skis in the better half or best 1/3 of the range.

    Don’t take the charts too seriously in terms of being super fine grained, skis next to each other on the chart are essentially the same in terms of weight due to the fact that most brand/model skis vary by a few grams from one to the other, and the method we use to figure surface area doesn’t do it exactly but rather uses a couple of trapezoids based on tip/waist/tail dimensions. Some day we’ll scan the skis and figure surface area down to the nearest 1/1000 of a square millimeter. Till then…?

  3. Harpo August 19th, 2013 10:55 am

    Hi Lou, the weight charts u linked to at the top of the blog aren’t coming up on my iPhone (the text in the linked blog is coming up but not the chart).

    Also, does Movement have a US distributor now? Last season they didn’t.

  4. Lou Dawson August 19th, 2013 11:27 am

    Harpo, sorry but the charts are in an iFrame which Apple products have trouble with. There are some solutions out there, Google it.

    Last I heard, Movement still did not have a real U.S. distro, but I could be wrong. Let us know what you find out.

    ‘best, Lou

  5. TimZ August 19th, 2013 1:25 pm

    Have you guys/gals had a chance to ski the BD Convert yet?

    Also, no Sportiva made it into the ultimate quiver? I guess no changes to the ski line up this year might nix them.

  6. Lou Dawson August 19th, 2013 1:37 pm

    Tim, insider tidbit is Sportiva is working on what sounds like some amazingly light and performance oriented skis for next season. While still being good skis, this season’s stuff was too heavy for our bias. As for Convert, if it’s on the weight chart (which it is), we skied it. I’d recommend giving Convert a try if you’re in the market for “105” waist type of ski, Dynastar Cham, and others in that class… But the G3 C3 is what made the Quiver… Personally, I find a big dilemma in that I like the way the 100 mm skis go uphill, but I really like an extra 5 to 10 mm waist width on the down. Perhaps I should have different skis on my left and right feet? Lou

  7. TimZ August 19th, 2013 3:01 pm

    Yes, feeling the desire for a 105 ski this year. I’d like to go for the C3, but am limiting myself to BD, Sportiva, Trab and Dynafit this year. I’ve skied the Hi5, and like it, but would like something a bit lighter. Convert seems the best pick, though Grand Teton could be in the running as well, I haven’t heard much about it. Though if I was willing to drop 5mm off the waist, the Trab Volare draws my eye.
    Thanks for the insight

  8. Dave Johnson August 19th, 2013 6:21 pm

    The Convert is sitting by my fireplace as I write this…I’m just staring at them, daydreaming about skiing during a CA hot spell. Should be the Tahoe-area’s go-to ski this winter.

  9. ty August 19th, 2013 7:17 pm

    i’d love to see your take on touring skis that are real beefy. Just because they aren’t marketed as “touring” or “mountaineering” doesn’t mean you cant slap dynafits on them and go relatively fast…on the way up and down….I have an 8 lb and an 11 lb pair. No carbon in the 11 lb pair, but they go uphill fine. I’ve taken them for big vert multiple times, and i feel like im only sacrificing 1000′ or so that i could have done with my lighter sticks. Maybe i’m underestimating, but the trade-off for me is well worth a little bit more effort to lug the heavy skis….and fly thru mank, cliffs, pillows and variable runouts.

  10. Greg Louie August 19th, 2013 8:26 pm

    Nice overview, Lou. I might have to add more than one of those to the collection.
    PS The Trabucchi boys are from Bormio, even if they are wild men.

  11. Rod georgiu August 19th, 2013 9:20 pm

    ty, +1

  12. Bill August 20th, 2013 11:00 am

    Wildsnow reviews and assistance are truly exceptional. I have loved skiing K2 Waybacks but now want to try something additional and different (also that are better when I open them up – the K2s become skittish at longer, faster turns in powder) and I dream of an easier time in crust! But as Lou showed me, there is a bit more innuendo so how would you pick for the following conditions:

    A. Rockies: day trips with highly variable conditions: wind blown crust; depth hoar; powder; above treeline and in trees.
    B. Selkirks and Monashees: multi-day trips staying at huts in mid-winter.

    Only backcountry; 5’9″ 160 pounds bare; decades experience slalom, gs and skinny telemark backcountry. I was thinking Zenoxide (oh so light), Nunatak (just seems right), V8 (does it all!) – and was also looking at DPS Wailer 112 (whew the reviews) or maybe Voile Charger BC (love the fishscale for long days but sounds too hard charging).

  13. Michael August 20th, 2013 12:35 pm

    Bill,

    I’ve skied the 181 Voile Charger quite a bit and it’s a very good BC ski IMO. I’m 5’10 175 lbs and I definitely don’t find it too hard charging at all. It’s not a wimpy ski, but certainly not too demanding.

    It’s great in powder, pretty light for the up, easy to maneuver, and is good for opening it up as you say. I skied it last year for a week in BC during a hut trip and it was perfect for these conditions. Light, skis pow great, and good for variable soft snow. It’s adequate on hard pack but there are better skis for hard pack. I have never skied the fishscale version but I personally don’t see much need for scales on a big pow ski.

  14. Bill August 20th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Michael, Would you pick the Charger over the V8?

    p.s. I know one person who is now totally committed to fishscale – and it sure hurts to watch him sail off while I’m fiddling for some uphill that is just long enough to be a pain without skins. Wax was ok but still not as good, and I suspect it will be less use on wider skis.

  15. Bill August 20th, 2013 4:41 pm

    I’m on a roll here. There were comments about length and weight of ski that would be picked versus looking at generic weight/area – so I looked at some skis I was interested in, picked a length (based on manufacturer recommendations, web site or reviews) and then looked at weight – here’s the summary:

    DPS Wailer 112: 184 cm is 3600 gms
    Voile Charger: 181 is 3690 gms
    Voile V8: 186 is 3520 gms
    Nunatak: 178 is 3570 gms
    G3 Zenoxide C3: 178 is 3000 gms.

    So on the feet, the only standout for weight is the Zenoxide.

  16. Lou Dawson August 20th, 2013 5:00 pm

    Bill, good job illustrating this. One way to look at it… Add waist width to your list for it to be more illustrative. And yes, C3 is a standout. Lou

  17. Bill August 20th, 2013 5:15 pm

    DPS Wailer 112: 184 cm is 3600 gms 141 / 112 / 128
    Voile Charger: 181 is 3690 gms 137 / 112 / 126
    Voile V8: 186 is 3520 gms 146 / 115 / 126
    Nunatak: 178 is 3570 gms 139 / 107 / 123
    G3 Zenoxide C3: 178 is 3000 gms. 131 / 105 / 123

    (spreadsheets are good …)

  18. Lou Dawson August 20th, 2013 6:33 pm

    Indeed, and our weight chart shows exactly the same thing:

    DPS scores 79
    V8 (176) — 81
    Nunataq — 81
    G3 — 73

    In other words, G3 is a standout that is much lighter for what you get.

    Lou

  19. Richard Elder August 20th, 2013 6:35 pm

    Hey Lou,
    I’ve a weird technical problem unique to WildSnow. It is the only site on the web that has this glitch or interaction with my software.

    I use Ghostery for ad blocking. It allows whitelisting of individual sites which I have done for WildSnow. (only site on the web I had to do that for in order to get it to function). That allows your home page to load and view normally, but every link, whether internal or top-of-page is still blocked and would have to be whitelisted individually. And this is the only way I can access your email. Looks like you have a unique tracking software or virus operating. Any ideas?

  20. Lou Dawson August 20th, 2013 6:51 pm

    Hi Richard, that is indeed weird and NO I don’t intentionally have any tracking software that’s any different than what any server records for statistics. As for viri, believe me, if there was a virus on our high-end (expensive) web server I’d know about it, as the folks who manage the server are fanatics about that sort of thing.

    What happens when you simply do not use Ghostery? Is life really that bad when you see banner ads on a website?

    Also, you can contact me on Facebook if all else fails.

    thanks, Lou

  21. geek August 20th, 2013 7:06 pm

    Lou is being too nice. With all due respect Richard, this website is just a basic WordPress site, perhaps with a bit more security and hotlink blocking than hobby sites. I’d guess the problem is your software or you web hosting, or Lou’s managed server, not wildsnow.com. But one never knows, it’ll be interesting to see what Lou comes up with. On the other hand, the advertisers pay for the website including some pretty steep hosting charges so all you guys can read the site without it crashing when traffic gets heavy. So I doubt Lou is going to break his back getting an ad blocker to work.

  22. Lou August 20th, 2013 7:13 pm

    I think what Richard is saying is that he’s willing to see the ads on WildSnow, but the site isn’t fully functional when he’s doing even that… right Richard?

    At any rate, Richard, please contact me on Facebook so we can do this in private. If we discover something important, I’ll do a blog post about it. Otherwise, I’m suspecting Ghostery needs to be more robust so it can handle the Wild in WildSnow (grin).

    Lou

  23. Michael August 21st, 2013 10:12 am

    Bill,

    I haven’t skied the V8 so I can’t say if I’d pick it over the charger. The V8 is getting good reviews. I’m sure they’d both work well. V8 looks a little lighter and probably a touch softer. A bit more rocker I believe.

  24. harpo August 21st, 2013 11:09 am

    I have just heard from Movement, they still don’t have a NA distributor.

    Also, I just used Google Chrome on my laptop to look at the weight charts on the blog page you link to at the top of this blog page and the result is the same as on my I phone. I get the text above and below the chart but the chart itself is blank with the white words “request timed out” in a small red box.

    Since I can’t bring up the weight charts, can someone tell me here what the weight of the Movement Response X is? Also I have been comparing the dimensions and the turn radius of the Response X to that of the Dyna Cho Oyu. The Response has a bit more side cut but its turn radius is also greater. Is this because its side cut is spread out over a greater length. Has anyone skied the Response or seen any reviews of it? I am wondering how the Cho Oyu and the Response compare in terms of skiing funky snow (breakable crust). I am thinking about about this in terms of their side cut, turn radius and rocker but obviously a real world review would be much more useful.

  25. Eric Delaperriere August 21st, 2013 11:34 am

    I do not know about the Cho Oyu but I was lucky to test the X response for a french magazine, and I found that these skis were excellent, and more, considering their weight (2250 g in 177 cm). They handle everything at middle speeds, while the front rocker make the ski move a litlle on high speed turns… An outstanding all around touring ski, as efficient as my Waybacks, only with 800 g less on the feet. Too bad they will be so expensive (around 700 or 800 € from what I was told ?)
    The Movement Response, is mostly the same, just with 200 g more per pair, and probably a few hundred euros less also ! Probably a better deal still lightweight 🙂

  26. Lou Dawson August 21st, 2013 11:43 am

    Movement is the new DPS, in terms of WildSnow gear reviews… greener grass and all that…

  27. Billy October 13th, 2013 12:56 am

    Lou and Louie,

    How does the 105 C3 and Wailer 99 compare on the down?

    I don’t have many points of reference but I have skied both the 2011/2012 Manaslu and the DPS 112RP. If you can relate to either of these, it would be much appreciated!

  28. Billy October 13th, 2013 12:58 am

    Forgot to mention that the DPS 112RP were the hybrid version from 2012/2013

  29. bill October 21st, 2013 12:54 pm

    Decided that nunataqs best fit for my current desires – but not sure of length. 160 lb., Midwinter Rockies and monashees, up to gs speeds on open slopes, slower in trees. Bob P liked 170 but is much lighter while others sound like they prefer 178 and l am not nearly as aggressive as Anton. I have decades of experience but have never used a fully rockered ski. How do you pick?

  30. Rob S. December 14th, 2013 11:02 am

    Lou – I know Wildsnow has been very enthusiastic about the Carbon Megawatt…any thoughts on how it compares to the 11/12 Megawatt, aside from the obvious weight difference? The older Megawatts are going for fire sale prices, and seems like a great buy for a side country addition to the quiver.

  31. Lou Dawson December 14th, 2013 12:13 pm

    Hi Rob, my impression was they were equally as fun. But I don’t use skis that big and the real “testers” were Louie and Joe. Louie has skied both versions quite a bit. Louie?

  32. RT December 17th, 2013 9:06 am

    Hi Lou,
    Orientating on new quiver. Like the V8, Yes, Yes!.
    Short question on mounting Dynafit Speed Radical them. I see you are a fan of this binding as well, even if the ski is over 110mm. I am still somewhat hestant. Will it work fine and steer the ski nicely? Or you recommend using a ‘beefier’ binding.
    Asume the 176cm will be okay for me. I am a ‘Euro-type’ skier, 178cm, 74kg. Used to ski on traditional ski’s around 175cm length. What you recon?
    Br, RT

  33. Lou Dawson December 17th, 2013 9:36 am

    Hi RT. you are falling into the illusion trap. Tech bindings drive skis just as well as anything else. They provide a very ridgid connection. Speed Radical has exactly the same beef as a regular Radical FT or ST. Lou

  34. Brian A December 21st, 2013 5:24 am
  35. Shawn February 3rd, 2014 2:04 pm

    Question for Lou et al. I’m headed for the Haute Route next month and might buy new skis for the trip. For this trip and future spring ski mountaineering in CO which would you recommend:

    K2 way back ($600)
    Dynafit Cho Oyu ($700)
    Ski Trab Ripido ($400, 2012 model)

    Something else?

  36. Lou Dawson February 3rd, 2014 2:54 pm

    I’d just go with the lightest one, the Cho, isn’t it? Why did you list price? Are you hinting that you’d favor the $400 option and need an excuse for it? In that case, you can’t go wrong with Trab. Lou

  37. Will S February 19th, 2014 9:21 am

    got a pair of 2014-2015 carbon converts last week. 180cm 1405 grams. lighter than my 178 manaslu. climb great. very fun in 6 inches of heavy fresh. poppy and responsive. inspiring at speed. very stiff compared to this years model. about 22mm of camber. I’m 6ft. 170 lbs. non agro skiier.

  38. Will S February 20th, 2014 1:43 pm

    ref. BD carbon converts.
    In the interest of science 🙂 1405 grams seemed a little low, so I weighed a manaslu, a wayback and a vertical st to check my scale. They all weighed about 27 grams less than Lou’s published weights. I also checked the converts on a different scale. 1432 grams.

  39. Lou Dawson February 20th, 2014 3:20 pm

    Will I check my scale using nickles for weight and it looks good, but perhaps at the higher weights it’s off. Main thing is I always use the same scale, so since the most important thing is comparison, I’m good with that. Probably best would be to use two calibrated scales and 6 pairs of skis, and average everything. Bear in mind that skis can vary quite a bit in weight among the same model/length, and pre-production skis can be very different than those put into retail.

    In any case, I’ll take your comment under advisement and buy another scale. I’m always aiming to improve.

    Lou

  40. Will S February 20th, 2014 8:32 pm

    Lou, your scale and the second one I weighed the Converts on both seem to say my scale measures 27 grams low. So, I think you’re good. By the way, the review you did on the Carbon Megawatts was similar to what I felt on the Converts. Like they were riding me. A wild ride, but still in control. Things were just happennig a lot faster.

  41. Lou Dawson February 20th, 2014 8:38 pm
  42. Will S February 20th, 2014 8:54 pm

    Thanks a lot Lou.
    Just checked it out and will definitely recalibrate. I’m a machinist and measuring things is in my blood.
    And thanks for creating such a great site, I reference constantly. Especially since I live in Colorado.

  43. Brad March 6th, 2014 10:35 am

    Hey Will, how are you liking the carbon converts?

    Does anyone have any thoughts on the BD carbon Converts vs. G3 zenoxide 105s?

    I’m a splitboarder (who used to ski 15 years ago) looking to make the jump to a ligther weight backcountry rig for Selkirk / Purcell / Lizard / Rockies type of terrain.

    Further at 6′, 170 lbs what length of ski generally would I go for? Thanks!

  44. Lou Dawson March 6th, 2014 10:39 am

    Brad, unlike magazine and trade show ski testing, we take the skis out for multiple days, try to avoid groomers, and do quite a bit of the testing under human power instead of electricity. Takes time. Well have some takes eventually. Sorry about the time involved. Good to have some other folks here on the comments who are getting out on the skis.

  45. Carlos March 9th, 2014 6:51 pm

    First off, i´ve got to admit i´m spending much more time on the internet thanks to your website – so you could come to say i’m a big fan. The fact is i need major help choosing a one ski touring quiver for the following winters in South America (i’m from Chile) and frankly, i’ve run into major problems. After nearly 10 years of ONLY off-piste skiing in resorts (no more groomers as long as i live) I realized i was wasting time and money and have therefore decided to open up to the backcountry. Sure, i’ve done my fair share of bootpacking (think Portillo’s Super C Couloir) but the freedom of the backcountry is truly unparalled,

    So I come to you Lou, for some desperate advice on a single ski quiver for BC. Unfortunately for me, the ski culture here is light years behind anything in the northern hemisphere (when i went to a local ski shop asking for dynafits, the clerk did a double take and said Qué chucha?). As this is the case, i’m forced to all my shopping online, from skis to boots, meaning that the cost of a mistake is pretty damn high.

    I’ll try to stick to the basics here: i consider myself an advanced to expert skier, i don’t tend to charge so hard and require a ski which shall excell in overall variable conditions (and the eventual powder day). I’m going for dynafits to keep the weight down (unless you consider it unwise considering i’ve only just started to tour). I’m nearly 183 cm tall but quite light, tipping the scales at around 67 kg.

    What all this means is i’m looking for a ski in the 95-110 mm range underfoot, with camber and rocker. I’ve studied reviews on a number of skis (Line sick day 110, Black Diamond Zealots, volkl’s. etc) and still haven’t made up my mind. At first, the volkl Nunataq seemed like the obvious choice (Anton Sponar is my regular guide at SkiArpa, and he knows his stuff) but i feel that maybe my style doesn’t match what the ski was meant for (plus the durability issues).

    Currently, i’m skiing on Fischer Watea 94’s, which are quite decent on crud (pretty damn good on Arpa’s crust) and hardpack, but are quite difficult in deeper conditions (the tip seems to be more at home under the snow).

    In the end, what would you be inclined to go for? It is not an easy question (the fellows at Blisterreview.com were quite baffled). Thanks Lou.

  46. Will S March 9th, 2014 7:03 pm

    Brad, My carbon converts are a riot! Great in open powder, breakable crust, stable at speed and good edge hold on hard pack. In trees you have to be a bit aggressive, but they can make tight turns. They are replacing my original version manaslus and except for trees they are better at everything, even climbing. Even though the combination of skis and skins is virtually the same, they seem to climb way better. May be the extra camber and stiffness.

  47. Lou Dawson March 10th, 2014 8:27 am

    Carlos, the best way to get a ski recommendation from us (meaning all WildSnow commenters) is to come up with a short list, rather than just asking for us to pick from the hundreds of choices. But if someone wants to take a stab at it, then by all means…

    Me, I’d say one consistently reliable selection to pick from would be the K2 Backside models. I know we have not covered those much lately what with all the lightweight hype, but they tend to be very consistent in terms of performance, so they’re a good choice when you can’t get out and demo stuff.

    Lou

  48. Rodney March 10th, 2014 9:31 am

    I have Volkl Nunataq 186s and find them fab. I ski them when conditions are a but softer and Scott Crusairs for long tours.

    I have been amazed by the Volkl’s and find myself skiing with them more and more. However, if you could only have one ski, the the Nanuq’s get a great write up and I believe are based on the Mantras and may be a better all terrain width.

    I would only go dynafits for bindings. Anything else and you may well end up buying twice.

  49. tyler beck April 29th, 2014 1:28 pm

    Hey Lou,
    Thanks for the writeups and feedback on the DPS. I love the Voile Vector and am looking for something that tours and skis even bertter….if it exists:)

    I just got off the phone with DPS and it sounds like you are reviewing the Pure2 and now the latest is the Pure3. Pure3 should ski all conditions better but weighs another 125 grams per ski. Any experience with the Pure3? Curious if it is worth the weight penalty and higher cost of the latest iteration.

    Thanks.

  50. Enrique August 31st, 2014 5:22 am

    hi there!

    I was trying to find the Ultimate Ski Quiver for 2014/15, but couldn’t find it. I am really looking forward to it as I am planning on buying my next pair soon 🙂

  51. Lou Dawson 2 August 31st, 2014 3:01 pm

    Enrique, I’m working on it. Less skis than last year but I’ll have some good ones in there. Look for it in a few weeks. Thanks for asking. ‘best, Lou

  52. Andre October 5th, 2014 12:12 am

    Hi Lou.
    Patiently awaiting you invaluable WildSnow Ultimate Ski Quiver 2014/15 as my wife and I have some new skis to buy. From LaSportiva Hi5 and Dynafit Grant Teton to what’s nest for us (DPS Wailer 99, 105,112 RP2 or Dynafit Denali or G3 or Rossi Soul 7, hmmm)?
    Also, how is the fit of the Dynafit One compare to the Neo, Mercury and Vulcan, i.e. same fit just progressively stiffer?
    Cheers. Andre

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  • 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.

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