We’re not spoiled.
Powder7 staffers just try out current and popular skis every week, embark on company powder missions, crush sunny groomers en masse, and talk about skis for a living. We also go to an industry demo event every November at Loveland Ski Area to stay on top of our craft.
Ok, maybe we are spoiled. But our ski fever comes from a good place—we want to try as many products as we can in order to help you get on the right pair of skis.
So here are some of our favorites from last month’s Loveland demo, just in time for you to blow through that holiday check from your mother-in-law.
Allegra: DPS Nina A99 Alchemist
Ski style: “I’m on skis, they’re sliding me downhill, and I’m having a freaking blast. I’ll ski anything except overcrowded cat tracks. Just got safe with my AIARE Level 1 avalanche safety course, so looking to explore the backcountry a bit this year, too.”
“The Nina is playful and responsive, and it matches the color of my jacket—a huge plus, because 80% of skiing is looking good, right?? They’re light, so I can whip ’em around in bumps or stupid-tight trees. Perfect for soft turns and the proper vehicle for escaping hardpack and weird conditions. Look good, ski good!”
Brian: Atomic Bent Chetler 100
Ski style: “Lovin’ life. Being outside with good people on the mountain, with a tasty beverage to follow—what could be better? Currently trying to channel my inner mogul skier.”
“This is a super well-rounded ski. Anything you want to do with this ski, you can, from ripping groomers to zipperlining bumps…even if the latter is more aspirational. For a do-everything, fun skiing product, what could be better? Oh by the way, the reasonable price gives you more money to spend on boots—or beer.”
Ski style: “When I get into the mountains, I’m really excited. And I ski like it.”
“Sometimes the hype surrounding a ski is just that, hype. You won’t find that disappointment in the Black Pearl 98. As someone who tends to gravitate towards stiffer skis, I was pleased to find that the Black Pearl 98 could actually keep up. Don’t let the glittery topsheet deter you, this ski is a hard charging unicorn—just like you.”
Justin: Liberty Helix 98
Ski style: “Northern Vermont hack. I cram as many turns as possible into every run for no reason, and look like trash most of the time. But drop me into some steep, icy, bumpy, stupidly tight trees and I’m your huckleberry.”
“The old, fatter Helix was a Colorado classic–and this new Helix 98 is almost as versatile. You give up a bit of powder performance by shaving 7mm from the waist, but it’s super lively, stable when you’re hauling, nimble in tight spaces, and an absurd deal at $499. You’ll never find me in a terrain park, but I’ve been told by reliable park rats that the Helix 98 shines there, too.”
JP: Kastle FX95 HP
Ski style: “Mach-Loony. Pedal to the metal. My boots are smaller, my skis are longer, and I’m waiting for you at the bottom. But really…I ski like a has-been/never-was.”
“This ski makes its own gravy. It’s easy to use, super stable at speed, smooth, fast, versatile—there’s a lot to love.”
Morgan: Icelantic Maiden 91
Ski style: “I like to snowboard…but sometimes two is better than one.”
“I wasn’t shakin’ in my boots when I was on the Maiden 91. It was only my second day of the season on skis, and the Maiden made me feel like I was in mid-season form. At the demo, it rivaled the DPS Nina for smoothness. I grew up surfing, so I love the surfy, playful feel. The Maidens check that box. But they’re stable enough to not buck you into shark-infested water.”
Andrew: Nordica Enforcer 93
Ski style: “I’m a newfound lover of speed. My skiing used to be more playful. But these days, I enjoy crushing hot laps from top to bottom.”
“There’s a reason so many people love the Enforcer. It’s a stiff ski and it rolled from edge to edge with ease. It’s the return of the turn! When you ski at top speed, it feels incredibly stable. I didn’t feel like I would max it out. It’s not a playful ski—it’s a charging ski. It wants to be driven. Give it what it wants!”
Chris: Line Sakana
Ski style: “I’ve only been skiing since 2013 so I’m still progressing in my ability and confidence every year. Advanced and slightly aggressive skier. I love ripping the groomers, playing in the trees and hitting the terrain park with my 7 year old son. I enjoy skiing and love getting my kids out there to learn while young. I’m sure in about 5 to 10 years both of my kids will be out-skiing me.”
“I was reluctant to try the Line Sakana with a 105mm waist and 150mm shovel on a hard-packed groomer day. Immediately however I was amazed at how quick it turned and how stable it was at higher speeds. The ski is fairly light for it’s size and quite playful, which I would say Line is known for. I only got a few runs in at the Demo but took the ski out for a full day at Winter Park where it did well in both hard and soft snow. I’ve still never been on a Line Ski I didn’t like, and the Sakana kept that streak going.”
Emily: Icelantic Oracle 100
Ski style: “Just like with everything in life, I’m all over the place. But dang do I love playful skiing—hitting side hits, smearin’ turns, and so on. My next goal is to be able to stomp a 180.”
“Golden-made Icelantic strikes again! These skis are really easy to maneuver and turn in tight spots. They’re not the poppiest, especially compared to some other Iceys. On a groomer-licious day, the Oracle’s edge hold is impressive.”
Cody: Faction Prodigy 3.0
Ski style: “I like to go fast and ski aggressively, finding any little or big jump I can. Mix things up. Don’t take the same run twice. Live a little!”
“The Prodigy is playful but serious. It’s ready to stomp the side hits and huck some cliffs into deep pow.
Derek: Volkl Mantra M5
Ski style: “Ex-ski instructor who loves big steep lines. I did some park and pipe in my day too so I can throw it down on a handrail when I need to.”
“The M5 is one of those rare skis where you can hit the gas and know that the ski won’t let go even when you’re dialed up to 11 on pucker factor. From wide open-parallel turns to huge carving lines at full speed, it’s stable as a table and always ready to take on more. The titanal frame in the construction really damps out any vibration and you’re left with a silky smooth ride. Highly recommended for anyone who craves a ski that can carve, smarve and scarve.”
Jackson: Armada ARV 96
Ski style: “Might ski half the run switch. Also anyone want to ski the bumps??”
“New dog, old tricks…is that how the saying goes? The ARV 96’s pimped out dachshund topsheet says it all. Poppy, smeary, fun, and sexy, the ARV 96 will butter off any roller and still hold an edge when you lay it down. Spraying middle age Jerrys never felt so good.”