Saturday, March 27, 2010

SIA Demo Days.

This post is somewhat delayed. I actually tried all these skis back in February at the Snowsports Industry Demo Day at Stratton, Vermont, and then, well, I got busy skiing, living, etc., and neglected to post. My apologies.

The SIA Industry Demo Days is a fantastic event. Equipment manufacturers come together to display their gear for next season. And retailers and people from the press (that’s me!) get to try them out.

Unfortunately, I only got to attend for one day. A monster snow storm made driving to Stratton impossible for day #2. So sadly, there were a lot of skis that I wasn't able to try. A clear case of too many skis, not enough time.

SO. Here's my reaction to a few of the skis that I had the privilege of trying. Not all of them are new for next season, but they were new to me, so I guess that counts.

Salomon Diamond: This is the female version of the Tornado, and the highest end women's ski that Salomon has to offer. It's designed by Wendy Fisher, former Olympic skier and member of the US Ski Team. I found it very stable and easy to turn; a versatile ski that can take you all over the mountain.

Volkl Kenja: This is similar to the Aura but with an 88 waist, making it more of an All Mountain Ski. Unlike the Aura, the Kenja features the Biologic profile. This means that the tail is a bit more tapered so it can snap out of the turns more easily. This ski does it all – it skis the ice like it’s on rails, and it'll bust through powder, too. If you're looking for a ski that can take you everywhere, the Kenja will do it.

Dynastar Active: Even though the Active isn't new, I thought I’d try it, anyway. An intermediate ski with a 70 waist, the Active features Autodrive-W technology to concentrate pressure over the tips for better turn initiation, and under the foot for maximum edgehold. A definite recommend for an intermediate skier. It's lightweight, easy to turn, quick, and fun.

Blizzard Viva Magnum 7.6 and 8.1: Blizzard has a great line-up of women’s skis: the Blizzard Magnum 7.4, 7.6, and the 8.1. I skied the 7.6 last year and took it out again because, well, I could. I'm not sorry I did. The 7.6 is a fantastic ski. Blizzard hasn’t changed this at all from last year, which in this case, is a very good thing. The 7.6 will everywhere, do anything you want. However, they did change the 8.1; they removed some of the metal from it to make it a little less stiff. Nonetheless, it’s still a strong, expert level ski with terrific energy. Highly recommend.

Nordica Infinite: This was one my favs of the day. The Infinite replaces the Nordica Victory. It’s a little wider underfoot and has a new profile. I found this ski extremely energetic with great rebound, yet very stable, too. The Infinite is a little wider underfoot than the Victory and features a more modern sidecut profile.

Nordica Nemesis: These are great on powder, ice, crap, you name it. It's a terrific great all mountain ski. If I didn't have the Auras already (not that I'm unhappy with them), I'd get this in a heartbeat.

K2: News flash -- ALL the K2 skis for 2011 are rockered. This means the skis bend up a bit fore and aft of the binding. The result is supposed to be better performance in powder and a smoother ride in crud. The Lotta Luv is included it this. I've been hearing a lot about the Lottas from the women on TheSkiDiva.com, though I didn't have a chance to give them a try. These are definitely on my list, though.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

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