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Our Favorite Ski Gear for 2021


Armada Stranger Skis

The best thing to come from 2020 is a slew of experimental skis aimed at having fun on the not-so-epic days, and the Armada Stranger is my favorite of these down-day rippers. It’s truly unique with a 139mm-wide rockered edgeless tip for getting buttery, tight 15.8m turn radius for quick snappy carves, and a funky squared-off springboard tail for popping off side hits and riding “wheelies” over natural mounds. There are plenty of skis out there that are amazing in deep pow or for charging hard, but I am all about the Stranger for carving around on some skied-up in-bounds or for goofing off while riding with my kids.

Blizzard Black Pearl 97 Skis

The Blizzard Black Pearl is the stuff of ski-shop lore. It’s been one of the industry’s best-selling skis for years because of its ability to provide a ripping fun time for a wide variety of female skiers. ’Cause, surprise! We’re not all the same. Also not a surprise, this ski is designed by a fantastic team of ladies. This year they added a new width to the traditional 88mm model, and the Black Pearl 97 steps up the options for ladies looking for a wider, directional all-mountain friend. Blizzard uses a technology called Trueblend in the core of the Black Pearl 97s to make each size specifically designed for the type of skier most likely to ride that length. I normally stick to a mid-170s ski, and the 177 was perfection: hefty enough to deal with afternoon leftover powder, but so quick in the trees and stable on skied-off groomers. I then jumped on the 165 and could instantly feel how the adjusted core caters to a smaller skier or someone who isn’t putting as much force into their turns. This means you can be a beginner or the best skier on the mountain, no matter your size, and the Black Pearl 97 will match you where you’re at, then make you better.

Season Forma Skis

I have never been one for purely directional skis, let alone skis that look more like they belong on waves. However, I have been a long-time admirer of Eric Pollard’s art and design and figured he had discovered something unique with his previous models of fish-tailed skis. And I can assure you, the Season Forma Skis hit different. Strapped with a hybrid touring binding and skins in the pack, I find myself needing no other setup. Solid and confident on firm surfaces yet itching for a soft, white canvas to do with what I please. Hike, surf, straight line, and repeat. These things never get old.

Line Skis Vision 108 Skis

The Vision 108 is Line’s lightweight (1,605g) all-mountain freeride ski and my everyday tour rig. Line’s combination of Aramid–a strong synthetic common in aerospace and marine applications–carbon fiber and fiberglass, dubbed THC construction, complemented with a paulownia and maple core, creates a damp, yet lively ski. This ski excels in all conditions but where it really shines is its ability to handle variable conditions with ease. Crud, ice, crust, or our favorite here in the PNW, that Cascade concrete—the Vision 108 tames it all effortlessly. Lastly, and in true Line fashion, this ski is just plain fun to ride. Pop, slash, or trench a turn in the cord. The Line Vision 108 should be high on your list for a do-it-all tour ski.


Full Tilt Soul Sister 90 Ski Boots

Full transparency, I am primarily a snowboarder, but I love being able to mix it up on the mountain by skiing as well. As a snowboarder, I know how it feels to have cozy feet all day long in my snowboard boots but when you think of ski boots, you don’t think of comfort. You are usually thinking of pain and cannot wait for that overwhelming sensation of relief when you get to finally take them off. Well ladies, the Full Tilt Soul Sister 90 has changed my life. The classic tongue liner and forgiving flex make for a slipper-like feel (think, UGGS!). The 90 flex is perfect for me in that I like to play around the entire mountain but not get too serious. These boots won’t disappoint you. You’ll be walking into après ski not even realizing you still have your boots on!

Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro Ski Boots

It wasn’t really close last year and it’s still no contest. The Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro rules the hybrid tech boot category going both up and down. At 1,350 grams, it’s as light as many pure touring boots, but the unique dual-locking lever system produces outstanding power and precision on the descent. This boot is my go-to touring tool for the bulk of the winter season and if you can find one to buy, you should.


Tyrolia Attack² 13 GW Bindings

It’s easy to be excited about shiny new skis and boots—but bindings need some love, too! Bindings are such an important part of a functional and fun setup. There are so many solid bindings on the market, but one to keep in mind is the Tyrolia Attack. When I get to the lifts, the last thing I want to do is fuss with my bindings and I have found that the Attacks are extremely user friendly. Because of this, I feel like it makes the binding more approachable and good for all different levels of skiers. I have Attacks on my Line Sakanas and they pair perfectly! Plus, they have awesome colorways and even an evo-exclusive color!

Salomon S​/Lab Shift MNC 13 Bindings

When thinking about what pair of bindings to write about, I really didn’t have much choice. The Salomon Shift has been my everyday binding, touring or otherwise, for the past several years. Mine are mounted on a pair of Black Crows Corvus Freebirds and they’re my go-to for most days, even at the resort. This makes it incredibly easy to make game-time decisions based on conditions. Whether I decide to ski inbounds all day, go for an all-day tour, or land somewhere in the middle, the Shifts have the solid ski-feel and consistent release of an alpine binding and the walk-ability of a tech binding that makes them perfect for my approach to skiing.

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