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Skis To Get Excited About In 2023

Skis To Get Excited About In 2023

Published by Sam Greshin on 26th Sep 2022

With the temperatures starting to drop and the leaves changing color, we can’t help but think about this season’s skis! With brands coming out with some big changes and new lines, there's a lot to be excited about. The Alpine Shop is here to help you with your exciting quest for the perfect quiver.

What’s new for Nordica this year?

The Enforcer and Santa Ana lines have been yearly best sellers but two newer skis in the Nordica quiver to check out are the Unlimited and Unleashed Series. The Enforcer and Santa Ana Unlimited is Nordica’s new backcountry-oriented ski line that removes the sheet of terrain specific metal and instead utilizes a proprietary blend of carbon to compliment the wood core. The width options mirror the Enforcer and Santa Ana line ups, and their shape and profile are similar to their counterparts. The Unleashed series replaces the well-loved Soul Rider Collection as Nordica’s new all mountain twin tip. The Unleashed has a sheet of terrain specific metal to provide stability and good edge hold. It also has deeper rocker lines, and increased tip and tail taper relative to the Soul Rider’s. The Unleashed comes in a variety of waist widths but for here on the east coast we recommend the 98 and 98 W for an everyday stick.

What’s new for Blizzard?

All new for 2023, Blizzard is building off the success of their Rustler, Sheeva and Zero G collections by adding a ski designed to combine the best of both. Straight from the mouth of Blizzard’s sales manager, Justin Heanue, “The Hustle is a lineup of backcountry skis moving into the find-and-explore adventure segment of the sport. It is less of a Rustler Light or Diet Rustler and is more geared towards someone skiing a Zero G that needs a little more gas.” It’s a Unisex line with the same waist width options and similar geometry to the Rustlers and Sheevas. In the core of the Hustle, Blizzard employs their TrueBlend Free wood core with poplar, beach and paulownia stringers, and their signature Carbon D.R.T blend of fiberglass and carbon. This means around 200 grams of weight loss per pair, and a great backcountry ski option for those looking to push it on the way down the hill.

BACKCOUNTRY Men

What’s new for Volkl?

New in the Volkl line up this year is the expansion of their Tailored Technologies. Volkl’s Tailored Titanal Frame is well established in their line ups and continues to provide varying torsional stiffness and dampening effects based on the length and performance orientation of the ski. The longer the ski, the more titanal it possesses. Their Tailored Carbon Tips on the other hand, which were previously only inserted in the M6 Mantra and Secret 96, permeate further into the Kendo 88, Kenja 88, and Mantra 102. The Tailored Carbon Tips, constructed with Tailored Fiber Placement, allowed the engineers at Volkl to control the curvature of the skis more precisely. What does all this mean to you the skier? It means easier and more precise turn initiation, quicker edge to edge, forgiveness when needed, and better performance without additional weight. Also new for the Kendo, Kenja and Mantra is a one-meter shorter turn radius.

M6Mantra-Secret96 | Experience Völkl | Völkl

What’s new for Armada?

Brand new in 2023 Armada released their new touring line, the Locator. The Locator is a light haul on the way up the hill but still provides great performance on the descent. So, how did Armada produce such a lightweight ski without compromising on downhill performance? The ski’s construction includes a titanal reinforced binding plate and carbon stringers that run the length of the ski. This new line up comes in a variety of waists widths including: 88 (1225 grams), 96 (1350 grams), 104 (1425 grams), and 112 (1500 grams). The 88cm waist width is geared towards hard pack conditions, and the lineup increasingly favors soft snow performance as the underfoot width increases. Here on the east coast, we recommend the Locator 96 as a great option for your backcountry quiver. While Armada’s well-loved ARV and ARW series return unchanged in their construction and profile, you won’t want to miss the new art for the 86, 96, and 106.

What’s new for K2?

K2 is coming out with some major changes in 2023 including new construction on the Mindbender collection, and their brand-new Dispatch line up. The Dispatch features K2’s new technology, the titanal hex beam, that provides precise power and stability. The titanal hex beam sits on top of an additional sheet of metal, paulownia wood, and K2’s patented dampening technology, Vibradeck, underfoot. The Dispatch 101 only weighs in at 1695 grams per ski at 182cm, which is shocking for a ski with two sheets of metal. In the Mindbender series, K2 released their exciting new Y-Beam 2.0 technology, in an effort to shift more mass away from the mount point of the ski and provide better edge control and stability. The new Y-Beam 2.0 is employed in our personal favorites for everyday here on the east coast, the Mindbender 99 TI and 99 TI W. They also made the rocker profile of the Mindbender’s a little deeper to allow skiers to release the tails of the skis more easily. Make no mistake though, these skis are still very capable carvers. The Mindbenders, along with the rest of the K2 line up including the Reckoner also receive new graphics for 2023.

What’s new for Atomic?

We and the rest of the ski community are very excited to see Atomic add on to their almost 15-year-old Bent Chetler line up. The Bent Chetler series, previously only offered in 100 and 120cm waist widths, is a versatile all mountain twin tip designed by pro skier, Chris Benchetler. This fun but capable line up adds 90 and 110cm widths to cater to more specific use cases and conditions. The Bent Chetler 110 is designed to strike the sweet spot between the performance of the 100 and 120. The Bent Chetler 90 has a narrower waist and more camber, so it'll be a better carver and hard pack performer. For our readers that were big fans of the Atomic Backland, the 98 W100, and 107 come back for 2023 without any major changes other than new graphics.

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THE BENT FAMILYTHE BENT FAMILYWhat’s new for Salomon?

Salomon’s QST 106 gets a big revamp including a new shape, lighter weight, new sidewall construction, and a size range from 157-189, making it a unisex ski. Starting with the profile of the ski, the widest points of the tips and tails are closer to the mount point to allow for more playfulness, agility and better float through crud and fresh snow. Along with increased taper, the tips and tails see increased rocker. The edges receive Salomon’s Double Sidewall technology to promote strong edge hold and ensure that you can still lay some trenches when you want to put the ski on edge. The QST 92LumenLux and QST 98 have similar changes to the l06, and the popular utility all mountain Stance collection comes back in 2023 with no significant changes other than a new top sheet.

What’s new for Line?

New for Line in 2023 is their Blade Optic series. The Blade Optic is a fun all mountain twin tip coming in a variety of waists widths including 92, 96, 104, and 114. The construction of this ski includes an aspen veneer wood core, and a sheet of titanal underfoot, that extends out from center to add stability and edge hold. While this ski does have metal and is capable of confidence inspiring performance on big mountain terrain, this is still a Line ski, so it'll absolutely still be one of the most fun skis out on the slopes. The Line Vision comes back this year mostly unchanged other than a new top sheet, and the Pandora 8494, and popular Sir Francis Bacon return with some new graphics that'll turn some heads in the lift lines. 

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What's new for Black Crows? 

Black Crows released some exciting new changes to their popular freeride all mountain twin tips, the Atris and Atris Birdie. With the waist shrinking from 108 to 105, the new Atris is quicker edge to edge than the previous model, and the new rocker profile provides a boost in resort and hard pack performance. The Camox Freebird and Camox Birdie see a drop in weight and softer flex patterns to make these skis more backcountry oriented. While they're still capable light weight resort skis, the Camox Freebird and Birdie are great backcountry options for those looking to fill this gap in their quiver.  

Camox Birdie • Skis | Black Crows

What's new for Head?

Head's popular freeride and all mountain Kore line up returns largely unchanged, and this isn't a bad thing. The Head Kore is an impressively engineered ski that accomplishes the elusive combination of light weight and stable performance, through impressive ingenuity. The construction of the Kore combines karuba-poplar and graphene. It's worth noting that graphene is documented as pound for pound the strongest material on the planet. The result is a ski that's ready to charge at the highest speeds at the resort, but also light enough to go uphill. The 97 and 99s will be your east coast quiver killers, and when the snow gods deliver, break out the 105s for an absolute blast in the pow. The top sheets of the Kore get new graphics and add plastic to increase durability.  

What's new for Stockli? 

The Stockli Stormrider and Nela line ups come back for 2023 mostly unchanged. For some line ups this might be a source of disappointment, but for the Stormriders' and Nela's, this is exciting. As described by the head of service here at The Alpine Shop, Steve Nelson, "The Stormrider's had the most buttery turns. Sometimes, I wake up at night thinking about them." Both the Nela and Stormrider's provide unrivaled performance and construction, and we are happy to see them back. The Montero AR and AX replace the popular on piste oriented carving ski, the Laser. This new series' keeps many aspects of the Laser but gets added chops in variable conditions. The Montero AX has what Stockli is calling "wave shaped slits" in the titanal that help the skis respond differently depending on the conditions. The added tip and tail rocker help to provide better performance on off piste conditions. For hard pack, groomers, bumps and woods here on the east coast, you may have to carry a permit to ski the Montero AX, because they'll be a lethal weapon. The Montero AR is slightly wider and more off piste oriented at 84mm underfoot. 

Stöckli Ski Montero AX >> All Mountain Ski

What's new for Rossignol?

According to Rossignol's Alpine Category Manager, Jake Stevens, the aim this year was to consolidate and reorganize the Rossi fleet, to make it easier to identify the ski you're looking for. The Black Ops collection now features only the Black Ops 98 and Black Ops 118, and drops the Gamer and Holyshred. Both the 118 and 98 receive new top sheets and graphics. The 98 is a shop favorite for everyday skiing here on the east coast because of its' playful nature, yet impressive stability and carving capabilities. The Sender and Escaper consolidated into the Sender 104 Ti and Sender 106 Ti+. The Rallybird and Stargazer were condensed into the Rallybird 102, Rallybird 104 Ti and Our east coast favorite, the Rallybird 92. The Rallybird line continues to wow us with its versatility and performance.     

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If you’re looking for a bargain, check out our sales loft for some 2022 gear!