If you’re one of those who would rather see the movie than read the book, you can skip the introductory remarks and cut to https://realskiers.com/realskiers-tv/powder-skis/ where I’ll regale you with a brief tour of the genre. The rest of you, please read on.
Because the Powder ski genre is not particularly remunerative for suppliers, there’s little motive for them to refresh the contents of this category. There’s only one all-new model, K2’s Mindbender 116C, a change mandated by the launch of the Mindbender series. Dynastar moved production of its Proto Factory out of the race room and tied it to the Menace family of twin-tips. That’s it. The rest of the Powder population returns intact.
Also unchanged is my peculiar protocol where Powder skis are concerned. Trying to connect Powder skis to powder days is a tough game to play, so I’ve given up chasing a hopeless cause. I report on every Powder ski I can get on and don’t worry about collecting corroborating data. As the statistical relevance of this exercise is at or below zero, I don’t register scores or rank the field in some sort of hierarchy.
What I do instead is segregate the field into three families:
- Finesse models fulfill the primary mission of making powder simple to ski. They’re ideal for anyone for whom powder poses problems.
- Power skis are for experts who don’t need any help, as they plan to charge the fall line with all engines firing.
- Naturals aren’t as beastly to bend as the Power picks, nor are they as loose as the Finesse faves. They feel like normal all-terrain skis, just a helluva lot wider.
Every model I tried is Recommended as all are well adapted to parting their way through new snow. As all are equal in our eyes, they’re presented here in random order.