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Whether you’re in the market for new skis or just looking to keep with up the newest technologies, the 2014-15 season brings with it some of the most innovative gear yet! We’ve put together this list of our top picks for the best new skis of 2014/15. Check out Backcountry.com’s Winter Guide to get full reviews on these products, plus even more gear selects.

10. Armada Al Dente

Category: Freestyle

Top 10 New Skis: Armada Al Dente

Armada’s Al Dente Ski is damn delicious. Made of wood, carbon, and Kevlar, it’s cooked just long enough to give it the perfect soft-but-firm flex, smooth and buttery flavor, and spin-happy swing weight that you expect from Henrik Harlaut’s pro model. Henrik’s known for his buttering, so it comes as no surprise that the Al Dente’s the softest ski in Armada’s lineup, perfect for all those nose-butter double-corks and presses that you can’t stop casually tossing down.

 

9. Volkl Mantra

Category: All Mountain

Top 10 New Skis: Volkl Mantra

For years, the Volkl Mantra has been the gold standard for all-mountain edge grip. The combo of power, precision, and width was made for a wonderfully versatile quiver-of-one ski, but always left a niggling feeling that you were missing out on some of the powder-munching, turn-smearing fun of surfier, more forgiving boards.

This year? Not so much. Kiss those hangups goodbye and say hello to the new Mantra, a slightly fatter, fully rockered all-mountain animal that has all the aggressive, hard-charging instincts of the original, tempered with a dose of pure pow lovin’.

 

8. Blizzard Bonafide

Category: All Mountain

Top 10 New Skis: Blizzard Bonafide

The Blizzard Bonafide Ski has no problem ripping the mountain from top to bottom, regardless of whether it’s a storm day with two feet of powder, wind-buffed chalk, a thin layer of corn, or hardpack.

Giving it a 98mm waist, Blizzard designed the Bonafide to be the most versatile ski in its freeride lineup. Its mid-fat waist and rockered tip and tail offer excellent floatation in the steep and deep, and easy turn initiation wherever you are on the mountain. Dual metal sheets combine with underfoot camber to offer superior stability on hard snow and at high speeds. This is one solid, stable, snow-loving board.

 

7. BD Carbon Convert

Category: Free Tour

Top 10 New Skis: BD Carbon Convert

Maybe it’s called the Convert because once you ski this rockered mid-fatty, you’ll never set eyes on another ski for as long as you live. This versatile backcountry ski has it all: pow-friendly waist, rockered tip and tail, traditional camber underfoot, and sandwich/sidewall construction. It has pre-preg fiberglass weaved laminate for stability and torsional stiffness edge-to-edge. It even has a stainless steel SkinLock clip to keep you skinned and speedy on the hike. The Formula One 3D Light construction sheds weight compared to the big-mountain line, which helps not only with the ascent but also when your feet leave the snow off a backcountry kicker.

 

6. Volkl V-Werks BMT 109

Category: Free Tour

Top 10 New Skis: Volkl V-Werks BMT 109

With a multi-layer wood core bundled up inside a carbon-fiber jacket, the BMT 109 weighs in at under eight pounds a pair, helping it cruise on the skin track, but has plenty of Volkl’s aggressive DNA to slay any conditions you hit on the way down. It’s fully rockered, the better to slash big turns through powder. It employs poplar wood in the tip and tail for a fun, poppy ride and ash underfoot for a solid, powerful platform to help you rail turns and blast through crud, chop, and chunder. The tip is also tapered, making it easier to throw your skis sideways and skid out those loose, surfy turns.

At 109mm underfoot, the BMT (Big-Mountain Touring, if you were wondering) is quite possibly the most versatile, well, big-mountain touring ski on the planet, wide enough to float through the deep but slim enough to maintain an edge on alpine hardpack and frontside groomers.

 

5. Dynafit Denali

Category: Free Tour

Top 10 New Skis: Dynafit Denali

The Dynafit Denali Ski was designed for big days in big terrain. With both scoop rocker and tail rocker, as well as a waist width of about 100mm, depending on size, the Denali floats effortlessly so you can make big turns look good. The paulownia core with carbon fiber stringers keeps the ski ultra-stiff without turning it into a boat anchor on the skin trip up, and titanal plates at the binding interface area add multi-season durability.

 

4. Blizzard Black Pearl

Category: Women’s All Mountain

Top 10 New Skis: Blizzard Black Pearl

You may not be a pirate, but when you ride the Blizzard Women’s Black Pearl Ski, you can pillage any terrain on the mountain. The most versatile women’s ski in Blizzard’s lineup, the Black Pearl caters to intermediate to advanced skiers who equally love carving up the groomers, getting frisky in backside powder, and exploring places on the mountain where the snow isn’t so pretty. With 88mm underfoot, the Black Pearl has enough width to float in powder and cruise over crud without bogging you down when you open it up on the blue cruisers.

 

3. Armada VJJ 2.0

Category: Women’s Powder

Top 10 New Skis: Armada VJJ 2

Ripping chicks loved the old VJJ Women’s Ski for its floatation, easy handling, and surfy feel. Armada felt like they’d love it even more with a few tweaks, so it redesigned the sidecut to add a more gradual taper in the tip and tail, making the VJJ 2.0 even lighter, more stable, and easier to control than the original.

It still floats over pow with that loose feel you’d expect, courtesy of the rockered tip and tail and 115mm waist, but the decreased taper gives it slightly more stability at speed and increased edge contact for easier turns in pow and on hardpack, letting you hit the throttle without sketching out. The 2.0 also keeps the underfoot camber of the original VJJ, letting you hammer groomers, charge through crud, and rip chop on your way back to the lift.

 

2. Blizzard Spur

Category: Big Mountain Freeride

Top 10 New Skis: Blizzard Spur

Fatty powder skis are a dime a dozen these days, and it seems like they’re all pretty much slightly modified versions of the same thing: big rocker, soft tips, and a loose and surfy feel. Blizzard’s down with the trend, but it’s also ready to throw down some changes with the new Spur Ski. It still features a pow-crushing 125mm waist and full rocker profile to surf, float, and pivot through waist-deep creamy goodness, but has a super-progressive sidecut and tapered tips and tails that make it easy to vary your turn shapes at speed, providing a ridiculously smooth and forgiving ride. But best of all, they bite into turns like a beast when you get up on edge.

 

 

1. Volkl 3

Category: Big Mountain Freeride

Top 10 New Skis: Volkl 3

The ideas behind the Volkl Three Ski are pretty simple—make it wide, make it straight, make it surfy, and make it fun. At 135mm underfoot, the first point’s been accomplished. The second? In the 186cm length, the Three has a turning radius of nearly 51m—that long enough for you? Surfy? Sure, thanks, to the fully rockered profile and tapered tip that smears, slides, floats, and slashes through the deepest powder you can find. Is all this fun? That’s down to preference, but if you’re into blower pow, big open lines, and massive mountains, it’s hard to imagine it’s not going to be your weapon of choice.

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