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All Mountain

Volkl Secret 102

The new Secret 102 take the much-loved titanal frame construction from the 92 waisted release last year and widens it up for a more versatile, powder-ready setup! While it maintains the lightweight feel and quick initiation of the 92, the extra width adds stability and confidence for tracked out conditions and steeper terrain. I skied this on day-old West coast powder, and it handled the wet cement pockets and floated in what was left of fresh snow. This would make an ideal Western do-it-all or an East Coast powder machine, while still maintaining the control you need when conditions aren’t top notch.

Salomon QST 106

This ski is flat-out awesome. The QST 106 excels in many different ways, making it a great everyday ski, plus they’re light enough to be a nice touring ski, or put the Shift on them, and get the best of both worlds. On harder snow, they can lay a great edge - they track well and don't deflect through variable or uneven snow, especially in the 188cm length. They also remain nimble enough to throw sideways, or change the shape of the turn. Even if you're locked in to a turn, you can pivot out the tails to slash off some speed, or avoid an obstacle. The 106mm width is also great for nearly everything but the deepest of days. At my size, I like the 188cm for inbounds, and more wide-open ski areas, and the 181cm for touring and tighter areas where you’ll be in the trees a lot.

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Rossignol Black Ops 98

Parker White? Yeah, I used to think that the guy was talented -- that is until I got on the Black Ops skis myself and quickly discovered the secret to his sauce... Sketchy straightlines? Check. Easy to maneuver through tight trees? Yup! Side hit trickery? You betcha! Stiff and stable yet playful and quick from edge to edge, Rossignol has truly struck all-mountain gold with the Black Ops 98. Combine these daily drivers with the Black Ops 118 for storm days and you’ll never reach for any other skis again. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom.

Armada ARV 96 UL

My ski of choice for this season is the Armada ARV 96 UL (UltraLight). The flex pattern is consistent throughout the ski giving it stability at high speeds but also allowing it to be very playful. It is also very light. Last season I skied on the ARV 96 and the new 96 UL is even better. It being 96mm underfoot puts it in between an all mountain and park ski. It’s my go to ski out of the Armada line.

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Big Mountain

K2 Mindbender 115 C Alliance

Risking the cliche, this ski is mind blowing! A carbon fat ski designed with torsional stiffness towards the front, it drives aggressively and maintains incredible stability. Whether freeriding pillow lines on a pow day or cruising full mountain laps, this ski does it. Made for float and playfulness in freshies, it can charge through crud and slash those groomers, too. Trust the K2 Women's Alliance - you want the Mindbender in your quiver!

Atomic Vantage 107ti

Did someone say daily driver? The Vantage 107ti has serious quiver killer potential for anyone needing a directional ski with a little extra muscle. Whether you’re testing your speed limit on puckering steeps, zipping through tight trees or simply carving cord like a Thanksgiving turkey; this sucker delivers. I found the Titanal construction particularly noticeable in end-of-the-day pow, allowing the ski to confidently slice through crud with zero deflection. Stronger skiers will no doubt appreciate the damp, powerful feel.

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Tecnica/Blizzard Zero G Collection

The combination of lightness, precision and power in the Zero G skis and boots has amazed me since their introduction. I’ve been touring since the winter of ‘99, when I first saw people doing it in Chamonix, and I never dreamed we’d see an evolution in gear like we have with the Zero G line. I’m currently using the Zero G Tour Pro boot, both generations of the Zero G 95 ski (171), and the new Zero G 105 (180), and they have me grinning every time I hit the skintrack.

Black Crows Ferox Freebird

I love these skis! Mounted with a touring binding like the Salomon Shift or something even lighter, the new Ferox Freebird makes for a supremely competent setup both in and out of bounds. Slotting in where the Anima Freebird left off last season, this big mountain, deep snow Freebird isn’t the stiffest ski out there, but it certainly does not shy away from fast, sweeping turns down consequential faces. And when the skiing gets tight and dicey, you can push it into shorter turns at a moment's notice. If your winter plans consist of self-powered pow missions and backcountry hut adventures, look to the Ferox Freebird for a ski that will take you up and down in style.

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