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ISPO 2016 Part 1: The Skis

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The hallowed halls of ISPO are open again to provide a glimpse of all the new gear! Up first: the ski brands.

The doors of the ISPO trade show in Munich are open again, and of course the Downdays team is there. As always, well-known brands like Völkl, K2, Line and many more are here to give us a glimpse of their new products. Those who’ve been here before know the extent of the madness—brands and booths as far as the eye can see! Particularly exciting this year is the continuing development of women’s lines from many companies.


Line is back with several interesting new developments. The Tom Wallisch Pro Model, the Sir Francis Bacon and the Mordecai now feature a narrower tip. The new profile and weight reduction is intended to allow better buttering.


  • Line’s collaboration with Tom Wallisch has resulted in a pro-model park ski that’s designed to dominate big kickers.
  • To keep the touring crowd happy, Line has packed their new Cloud Core technology into the Sick Day Tourist to reduce weight.



  • New in the lineup and the most eye-catching ski in the crowd is the Honey Badger. Why’d they pick this color? Perhaps because the core and sidewall of the ski are made of bamboo, which in addition to being a renewable resource, also helps create a responsive and flexible all-mountain ski.


  • The same bamboo sidewalls are built into the new Pescado ski as well. Probably the most obvious feature of this ski is the swallowtail. Designer Eric Pollard took influence from the surf community for this ski.




  • For buoyancy and boost in deep snow, look no further than Chris Benchetler’s redesigned pro model, the Bent Chetler. Meanwhile, Atomic’s new Backland FR series replaces the well-known Automatic Line for charging big- and all-mountain skis.




  • The ladies can also get excited about a new Backland FR line just for women. Lighter and shorter versions of the Backland FR models are available for women, replacing the old Century line.



  • Armada’s also got some attractive new highlights this year. The new VCTR line is targeted specifically for the Touring / Freeskiing crowd. Alongside color-matched clothes and skis, there are also several cool extras, for example the new Sampson Down Vest.




  • The ARV lineup is also new, directed towards those interested in all-mountain platforms. The slightly wider ARV 106 leans more towards all-mountain/freeride, while the ARV 96 and 86 are more oriented for all-mountain/park.



black crows

  • In addition to an awesome new collaboration with Downdays in the Innsbruck area (check out the Noctouring Society!), the crew from black crows also have some cool new skis to show off.
  • New in the lineup is a true powder banana, the nocta 2. This black crow’s first full reverse-camber ski, which is lighter than the nocta air, and supposedly the lightest ski on the market in the category of 120mm+ underfoot.
  • With the new double-rocker all-mountain ski called the captis, black crows has created a platform that feels at home everywhere. The captis also has a little sister, the captis birdie. This model promises a slightly lighter ski in shorter lengths that should appeal to the women’s market.




  • The new ski for big terrain is the anima freebird. This double-rocker leightweight with alpine character was designed specifically for launching big cliffs and the modern freeride style, and nicely rounds out the black crows offering.





  • When you think of Faction, you might think of Candide Thovex, and so it’s no surprise that this exciting brand has conjured up some cool new things.



  • The bestsellers from past years are back again: the CT 2.0 is back with a new design and speaks to the all-mountain public who might find their way into the park now and again. The counterpart is the CT 3.0, which is also at home all over the mountain, though it’s more targeted towards the needs of freeriders.




  • Candide’s backcountry favorite, the CT 4, has received several updates including a new sidecut shape.




  • There’s good news on the women’s side of things as well. The ladies can get excited about the new Prodigy line, a freeride twin tip designed for women. The well-known Heroine line has also received several updates in the all-mountain category.




  • The well-known Standard Series was overworked like the rest, and redesigned for high speeds.





  • With their new Head-to-Toe concept, Scott’s got several new ideas in the works that offer unified designs across several product categories.




  • Scott’s freeride ski, the Scrapper, now has a little brother. The new Scrapper 115 is markedly lighter than the previous model.





  • K2 has expanded its freeride sortiment with two new models. The 106mm-wide Marksman designed by Pep Fujas and the 96mm Poacher build the core of the brand’s freeski series; both feature Double Barrel Core technology. The All-Terrain Rocker Marksman also has an asymmetrical tip and tail designed to make buttering easier.




  • The park-oriented Poacher is significantly more robust thanks to its Carbon Boost Braid, with even more pop than before.




  • There’s also good news for female K2 fans: the new All-Mountain Luv Sick 80 Ti now features metal-reinforced sidewalls that provide better energy transfer to the edges. And of course, don’t forget the Pinnacle.





  • This year Völkl presents the new Confession ski. This “made in Germany” ski is a 117mm-wide freeride platform with tip & tail rocker.






  • For the women there’s the new 90Eight W. The new model features carbon stringers in addition to Völkl’s 3D Ridge Technology.
  • For the big-mountain tourers among us, Völkl offers the BMT 109. The new ICE.OFF topsheet surface promises no more ice and snow sticking to your skis. Like the 90Eight W, the BMT also includes the weight-reducing 3D Ridge Technology. This big-mountain lightweight stands out due to its carbon sheathing, which makes the ski as stiff as it is stable.




  • The 100Eight lineup has been expanded with several new sizes.



  • What’s new from Head? The Flight Star series offers a wide spectrum of freeride models.




  • The widest of all is the A-star with a 120mm waist. If you don’t like it quite as fat, you can take your pick of models down to 95mm underfoot. Softer material in the tips allows for flotation whether you’re heading up or down the mountain.




  • In the freeskiing line, Head offers the Caddy as a halfpipe specialist, with specialized bindings to boot.




  • The Framewall was developed as a rental ski — with its special sheathing, this ski positively beams with longevity.
  • If you’re looking for an all-mountain ski, look no further than the Monster series. The specialized Graphene Technology allows for better energy transfer, saving weight with the help of a carbon lattice.






  • Fischer’s well-known Ranger line receives several new carbon variants. If you’re looking for a carbon-equipped freeride model, you’ll find several options to choose from.





  • For the park rats Fischer’s got the Nightstick, while the Hannibal is oriented more towards the freeride & touring market.



  • Dynafit has continued to develop its freetouring models, the Hokkaido and Chugach, while bringing out two new models in the same field.




  • Now available are the Meteorite for men, and the Sphinx for women. Both models were designed with the downhill in mind, then optimized to reduce weight to improve touring performance.




  • Another new model is the Dhaulagri. This ski is a touring-specific model that’s the lightweight of the Dynafit lineup.




January 28, 2016

2016, armada, Atomic

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