Can great ski gear get any better? You bet it can, and it has.
Turnamic Binding/new Boot Sole Salomon S-race Classic Boot Atomic Redster Skate Ski Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado following
Fisher and Rossignol have collaborated, and introduced the new Turnamic binding system. One of the main benefits is that it is a very easyto-use binding for all levels of skiers. On snow it was easy to get in and out of, and the turn-lock-unlock mechanism is very intuitive. Speaking from a ski-instructor point of view, our first thought was "no more getting on your hands and knees to help students into their skis."
The effectiveness of the new boot-binding system was felt immediately as the two-piece binding allowed for improved flexion in the wax pocket while Classic skiing. Turnamic's low-profile binding is light and also has great snow feel because the boot-sole sits close to the ski and snow.
In conjunction with the new binding system Fischer and Rossignol created a new boot sole as well and now manufacture the entire system in-house allowing for more control over the entire interface and fit of their respective boots with the Turnamic system. The new soles are low profile and perfectly compatible with the binding. While the boots are not necessarily new, all offered a more snug, contoured fit, with a very stable sole. The new boot sole offers optimal weight and pressure distribution along the first and fifth metatarsals and onto the heel for increased precision and power.
We really liked that all adjustments can be done "tool-free," which means skiers can easily do it themselves. Every Classic, skate and kid's boot that Rossignol and Fischer produce is designed to work with any of the nine models of the new Turnamic binding. Any boot system that uses NNN or Prolink will also work. This year, Salomon is introducing a new line called the S-race. This Classic boot has the same comfortable quality that has been associated with Salomon gear for years! It has a snug fit for optimal power transfer from foot to boot to ski. This is a warm boot to entice those who live in the colder climates throughout North America. The lacing system is slightly different as well, without the plastic eyelets, which may be more comfortable for skiers who wear smaller boot sizes. Similar to the skate-boot counterpart, the heel strap is externally adjustable without having to remove the boot, a great advantage to have right on the snow. The sole is of a lower profile and fits with the Prolink system, which offers excellent snow feel. The folks at Atomic were thrilled to launch the new Atomic Redster skate ski. With its full-carbon chassis and a narrow tip, this is now the lightest skate ski on the market. This ski was very stable, and able to powerfully and efficiently climb up the hills. This well-balanced ski allows a skier to link parallel turns together smoothly and engage the edges on the snow with a very easy touch. The skis corner aggressively in fast step and skate turns. Its lightness under foot was like having access to another gear up the steep climbs. This was an easy-to-ski product that allows one to gain time on the uphills and the downhills – a great ski for a variety of skier levels and for those who want to experience acceleration, lightness and power in a stable ski.
Rossignol R-skin Race Ski
With the Rossignol R-skin Race ski, finally, a skin on a racing ski! Rossignol is introducing a skin on its X-ium line, a higher-performance option. We enjoyed the lightness of the ski. The skin offered a reliable, positive kick on various terrain and was less “grabby” when turning. On the downhills, the release of the skin allows for increased acceleration. These features are probably due to the shortened skin length, as it does not extend into the glide zones of the ski. Although this is a racing ski, it is a great option for a variety of skiers who enjoy a higher-end experience with consistent kick in nearly all snow conditions.
Fischer Twin Skin Carbon Classic Ski
Who doesn't already love the Fischer Carbon Classic ski, right? So we were excited to get going on the Twin Skin version of this ski. We really appreciated the true race camber and lightness of the ski, as it is essentially a Carbonlite ski with twin skins. The skins themselves have shorter hairs, offering improved glide and the ability to double-pole quite well. They climbed very well in the tracks – no need to herringbone! It was a great ski to both train and play on. It functioned well in a wide variety of snow conditions, including very wet conditions, as it can be adjusted to these by sliding the Turnamic binding back or forward on the plate.
Swix Sw Triac 3.0 Pole
As A if the Swix Triac pole wasn't light enough, the company has done it again and given us an a even lighter pole, the Triac 3.0. We enjoyed how light and stiff the pole is, thanks to the lighter li strap material, its aluminum spike and fewer layers of paint on the shaft. We felt that the th strap itself was more comfortable, with mesh inserts that replace some of the neoprene. Notably, the strap is now inserted into the top of the pole instead of the side, making for an interesting new feel. The power transfer into the top of the pole and down the shaft was noticed, rather than it coming in from the side and back. At the demo, this was confirmed by the principals of Swix from Norway. This strap position is the most exciting new feature of the pole. The strap is not adjustable, but comes in various sizes and is easy to attach and detach from the pole, so you can attach whichever size works with your glove for that day. Not to worry about a questionable strap-pole interface while you ski – the strap attachment to the pole was described as “bulletproof,” and we definitely felt how tightly it inserted into the pole. It will improve how skiers use their poles for sure!
Salomon S-lab Blue Carbon Skate Ski
Salomon is offering an S-lab ski with a slightly different construction. It is still an S-lab full-carbon ski, which means the Salomon S-lab Blue Carbon Skate ski is light, powerful and responsive. There is full-pressure distribution through the skis, making it easy to stay on top of them, especially while climbing. They skied fast, probably due to the Zeolite base. These were fun to ski and light, quick and powerful. These skis also provided excellent feedback of just minor changes in body position, which means you can swiftly change your body position to a more effective place for improved performance.
Madshus Red Line Skate Ski
We enjoyed Madshus Red Line skate skis so much that we kept the demos and skied around on them for a long time, and didn't want to take them off! What a lively, responsive ski! This is a very light ski, especially when paired with its high-end boots. This ski has a lighter construction towards the heel, and the stiffest points of the camber were placed more forward to help avoid plowing of the tips. These features also allowed for a longer glide period. Who wouldn't appreciate that? The ski's geometry makes it feel fast and explosive. In various flexes, it features different pressure points towards the tip to acc commodate different snow conditions and snow temperatures. This ski also c comes in longer ski lengths for heavier and taller skiers.
One Way Mag Point Grip System
New magnetic technology will be available on a variety of One Way poles. The magnetic strap on the Premio carbon pole renders the entire set-up lightweight. The quick-release is easily accessible and convenient. The magnetic ball on the strap practically pulls you back into the pole, giving a snug fit. The straps themselves were wide around the hand, yet comfortable, providing a large surface area for power transfer. Skiers who enjoy the option of releasing from the pole while still keeping gloves and straps on will appreciate this. This will be an excellent pole for coaches, ski instructors, parents and biathletes, essentially anyone who needs to get out of the pole quickly or often.
Madshus Nano Carbon Skate Boot
We skied the Madshus Nano Carbon skate boot with the Red Line skate ski, and the combination made for a very light set-up, with stiffness and excellent power transfer, especially in the V2 technique. Madshus has brought its one-piece base technology from its World-cup-winning boot to this boot. This boot offers complete torsional control, similar to its World-cup-winning boot, but at a more affordable price point. The boot was comfortable, with a slightly wider toe box and snug contouring around the ankle.
One Way Premio 9 HD Skate Ski
New for this year is the fun One Way Premio 9 HD ski, of a softer camber than the 10 HD, but still with the same top-quality base. It was easy to ski, light, flexible and fast, yet very stable. The optimal glide offered by the 9 HD is impressive, as this ski runs the same World Cup racing base as the 10 HD. An added bonus is its distinctive bright graphics, which are apparently attractive to high school racers all over. This is an excellent option for intermediate- to advanced-level skiers, high school racers and people looking to purchase within a certain price point, while still enjoying some of the higher-end aspects of the 10 HD.
Salomon S-race Skin Ski
Salomon's answer to the need for a racing skin ski is here! The S-race Skin ski is lightweight and modeled after its successful S-lab series. It has its signature Zeolite base and features an upgraded skin section based on AT climbing-skin technology that offers an improved gliding surface. A true racing ski, we had to work to stay on top due to its more slippery skin, but were delighted with the reward of speed. They also turned well, which is probably due to the combination of being a racing ski and the fact that the skin hairs are shorter, so they grabbed less down the hills. These were really fun to make parallel turns and hockey stops on. This is a ski that must be fitted precisely to the skier's weight, height and skiing ability to ensure success, however once this is achieved, this will be an excellent addition to one's quiver!
Salomon S-race Skate Boot
The Salomon S-race Skate boot no longer has a power strap across the top of the foot as the boot is light and powerful on its own. The improved snug fit also allowed for excellent power transfer, so again, no need for the strap. It was comfortable and supportive, especially considering how light and sleek the boot is. This boot is an excellent complement to the Prolink system, giving superb snow feel with its low-profile-boot-to-binding fit. The forward free-flexing cuff allowed excellent foot positioning, and the zipper and lacing were comfortable. It now has external heel adjustment, so the boot can be tightened while out skiing, no longer requiring removal to create a customized fit. Having skied on the hard-to-get S-lab Carbon Skate boot for a while now, we noted that much of the technology from that high-end boot has been passed onto this high-performance boot.
Alpina RSK Skate Boot
With the Alpina RSK Skate boot on, we appreciated the comfort of the inner part of the boot. There were no stiff parts digging into our feet or ankles. The simple lacing system snugs the boot around the foot. It features a heel-grip stabilizer, giving a customized fit around the back of the boot. On snow, it was a very warm boot, ideal for someone who typically gets cold when skiing or spends a long time outside, such as coaches. This is an excellent choice for the junior racer with one boot for skating, one for Classic and a Combi version as well. All models provide the optimal balance between performance and comfort. Another nice feature of Alpina boots is its NNN binding system, making the boot compatible with the new binding options now available, as well as the Rottefella system.
Atomic Redster C9 Skintec Ski
Atomic has introduced a racing-skin ski this season, the Redster C9 Skintec ski. Immediately recognizable from its narrow-tip profile, it is similar to the Redster Carbon Classic ski, introduced last year. Featuring the ultralight Nomex core of the Redster Carbon Classic ski, it has a similar profile and is lighter than other Skintec skis we've tried, making for an excellent marathon ski. This is definitely a high-performance skin ski. It had the good glide and reliable kick expected of a Skintec ski. If you are in the market for a racing skin ski, consider this one!