OLYMPI­CLEVEL GEAR

FREESKI­ING MAKES ITS OLYMPIC DE­BUT IN SOCHI. HERE’S A LOOK AT THE GEAR TOP COM­PETI­TORS WILL BE ROCK­ING THIS SEA­SON.

Skiing - - Gear Room -

1 » SMITH MAZE

Be­cause of its min­i­mal­ist styling and im­pres­sive set of tech­ni­cal fea­tures—nine vents, in­te­grated audio, beanie com­pat­i­bil­ity, and a self-ad­just­ing fit sys­tem—the Maze is the brain bucket of choice for Den­ver na­tive and freeski­ing wun­derkind Bobby Brown. It’s safe to as­sume it will work well for you too. Of course, be­cause of Rule 40 (see page 16), Bobby won’t be sport­ing the graphic of his long­time spon­sor Red Bull if he makes the Games. He’ll be in a sub­tler matte-black ver­sion.

[$100; smithop­tics.com]

2 » FULL TILT DROP­KICK

Last width: 99 mm Flex: 6 Ex­pect to see the Drop­kicks with this flashy lime-green paint job on sev­eral Olympians com­pet­ing in slopestyle, half­pipe, moguls, and aeri­als. They swear by this boot be­cause of a smooth fore-aft flex that isn’t too stiff and pun­ish­ing, and a shock­ab­sorb­ing boot board that helps with firm land­ings. The 99-mil­lime­ter last makes for a snug but not crush­ing fit that’s re­spon­sive but still com­fort­able. And if freeski­ing is about style points, we give this boot a 10. [$600; fulltilt­boots.com]

3 » OAK­LEY A-FRAME

Seems like the A-Frame has been around for­ever. That’s be­cause it fits smaller faces well, ven­ti­lates beau­ti­fully, is treated with an an­tifog coat­ing, and of­fers in­cred­i­bly sharp vi­sion. In short, it does ex­actly what a gog­gle should do. For th­ese rea­sons, Cana­dian slopestyle hope­ful Kaya Turski trusts it. [from $100; oak­ley.com]

4 » AR­MADA ARW

117/84/107 Lengths: 161, 166 Ra­dius: 18.5 Ver­mont na­tive Devin Lo­gan has her sights set on both half­pipe and slopestyle at Sochi. For both events she’s cho­sen the ARW, a tra­di­tion­ally cam­bered, women-spe­cific park ski. It’s de­signed to pro­vide edg­ing strength and pop for high-level freestyle ski­ing, while its sem­i­cap con­struc­tion—side­walls un­der­foot and a more flex­i­ble cap at the tip and tail—lends a lit­tle play­ful­ness. [$650;

ar­madaskis.com]

5 » SCOTT JIB TW

114/86/108 Lengths: 158, 168, 178, 184

Ra­dius: “3D”

Built with an in­ter­est­ing “3D side­cut pro­file”—in­creased ra­dius

to­ward the tips and tails and almost no side­cut un­der­foot—the Jib

TW is de­signed to hold a sturdy carve while still pro­vid­ing an easy cen­tral pivot point. It’s the pro model of Olympic hope­ful Tom Wal­lisch (see page 24), and it but­ters and presses just the way T.W.

likes. Cana­dian half­pipe fa­vorite Ros­alind Groe­newoud will also be rid­ing a sim­i­lar ver­sion of this ski.

[$650; scott-sports.com]

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