The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

2014-2015 Two-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices

Skis, it turns out, are like beverages.

Sometimes, nothing can beat a cold glass of water. Other times, coffee. Only coffee. And sometimes you just really, really, really could use a beer. Hot chocolate is also nice. And sometimes, the moment calls for orange juice, or wine, or moonshine, or a Dairy Queen Blizzard (those are still a thing, right?).

In short, there are many wonderful beverages out there, and they all have their place. Same with skis.

Because of this, the only thing worse than limiting yourself to a 3-ski quiver is further limiting yourself to a 2-ski quiver.

(Spoiler alert: there is one worse thing, which we’ll talk about next week.)

Settling for a two-ski quiver is like deciding that, for the next year, you will only drink juice, coffee, or alcohol—pick two. Why would you limit yourself like that?

Well, probably for two reasons: (1) skis are more expensive than orange juice and beer, and (2) unlike orange juice and beer, you can’t store skis in refrigerators.

And that is why most of us don’t have dozens of different skis. So I guess we’ll get back to talking about quivers…

 •••

Picking a three-ski quiver is tricky and awful, and you’ll notice a fair amount of hand-wringing and second guessing in our three-ski quiver selections.

It’s a bit ironic that, while quivers appear to be about the refusal to compromise, what they really tease out are the compromises that we’re each willing to live with. It’s interesting to get a sense from fellow skiers of what “skiing” is to them, and thanks to all of you who wrote in to contribute your own thoughts on the matter.

When narrowing it down to two skis to do everything, a wide range of factors still come into play: your skiing style; the snow quantity and snow quality (heavier/wetter vs. lighter/drier) of the area you typically ski; the sort of terrain you ski most (tight trees? groomers? big faces?); and whether you travel much to ski elsewhere.

So, once again, we’ve asked our reviewers some quiver questions, to let you see  how they chop up these issues. And once again, we’re interested to hear how you do, too.

 

The Questions:

I.   What’s your two-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?

II.  What’s your two-ski quiver for Taos?

III. What’s your two-ski quiver for the Canterbury Club Fields?

IV. What’s your two-ski quiver for skiing around the east coast?

V.  What’s your two-ski quiver for the next 2 years, regardless of location?

VI. What ski was most difficult to leave off your list?

VII. What ski do you imagine has the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski it, or get to ski it more?

VIII. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 2-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

 

Reviewers’ Selections:

• Jonathan Ellsworth

• Will Brown

• Julia Van Raalte

• Scott Nelson

• Jason Hutchins

• Brett Carroll

Paul Forward

 

27 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Andrew October 27, 2014 Reply

    Since you asked:

    My two ski quiver includes the 12/13 Moment Belafonte 187 and the 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro 190. I have yet to encounter conditions that I can’t have fun in on one of these pairs of skis at any of Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Lake Louise and Whistler / Blackcomb, The Belafontes are good for everything from very hard pack / moguls and refrozen death chunder to a bit of pow. I’ve had lots of fun on the Bibby Pros (Blister Pros) in any conditions that are the least bit soft and found them to be great in pow (all kinds).

    My wife’s two ski quiver is the same, actually, just shorter (she’s on the 12/13 174 Moment Bibby Pro and 12/13 174 Moment Belafonte). She started on the 172 Moment Bella and moved to the Bibby + Belafonte combo for stability / versatility in the conditions we encounter up here and has had nothing but good things to say.

    If I were going to add a 3rd ski to the line-up, it would be a dedicated pow ski (the DPS Spoon, Moment Comi, Moment Chipotle Banana and ON3P Cease and Desist all sound very interesting…) but I’m quite happy with the 2 skis above, to be honest!

    • Author

      While the tweaked Belafonte is certainly a good ski, and some will certainly prefer it, I still love the 187cm, 12/13. If it were still around, then you’d be seeing a lot of the Belafonte + Blister Pro in my quiver picks.

      Also (and I’ve rewritten this sentence about eight times), I’d just like to say that your wife is clearly awesome.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew November 3, 2014 Reply

        Thanks Jonathan!

        I’m definitely keen to hear your guys’ thoughts on how skis like the Invictus and the Wailer 105 compare to the 12/13 187 Belafonte when you have a chance this season…

        Andrew

  2. Kevin October 27, 2014 Reply

    I’m an east coaster, but I try to get to the Kootenay’s once a year. I’m mostly in the park or tight tree runs. Jibbing and playful riding mostly, so I’m never way up at the speed limit. Right now my set up is a two ski quiver with Armada AR7s as my daily drivers and a pair of Rossi Sickles, which I’m really impressed with how quick I can bring them around in trees as well as press and spin. I’d probably stick with a similar set-up in the future – park ski plus a jibby 110ish ski. The Sickles are going strong, but I’m eyeing SFBs and Patrons as possible replacements.

    Adding in a third ski is interesting – it’s hard to justify a dedicated full-on powder ski given my location and travel plans. And I’m very used to riding my park skis around resorts, despite the center-mounting and dull-ish edges. It’s the funniest feeling when they slide out on east coast ice. So I could see a dedicated directional 95-100 ski getting used on too icy days where the grip of the AR7s isn’t enough. Liberty Variant 97 and Line Supernatural 100 are tempting options from the sounds of things.

    The single brand question is interesting – I could see going Line Chronic and SFB. Maybe Nordica for OMW and Patron? As much as I love the AR7s, Armada doesn’t give me an option in the playful 110. I’m eager to hear something about the Transfers from local park kids, so maybe Liberty Transfer and Helix?

  3. Brian October 28, 2014 Reply

    This is exactly why I’m a fan of the 10 ski quiver.

  4. swissiphic October 29, 2014 Reply

    185 Armada old school JJ with custom tip extenders for elimination of tip dive in bottomless
    184 Armada Declivity

    …if having to pare down from my 9 ski quiver. ;)

  5. L. October 30, 2014 Reply

    K2 obsethed 189cm and Volkl Shiro 203cm combind with Rossignol alltrack 110 and black diamond quadrant 120 boots. A killer combo!

  6. Denny October 30, 2014 Reply

    In bounds, Mammoth:
    2013-14 Volkl Mantra and the 2013-15 Faction 3Zero
    Given Mammoth’s maching groomers/cut crud then big dumps that setup quick, these two winners are damn hard to beat.

  7. Mario October 31, 2014 Reply

    @ Jason: Man, you’re really stoked on Sickle, which I have to admit is impressive and I totally respect that. I’m sure I am not the only one noticing this… Keep up and stay away from bad trouble!

  8. Michal October 31, 2014 Reply

    Hi Brett,

    blister has an interesting review of Scott Punisher. Could you comment or someone from the redaction who have skied both Punisher and Supernatural 108 how do these two ski compare?

    Tank you Michal

    • Author

      Brett hasn’t been on the Punisher, so I’ll field this one – though I don’t have as much time on it as I’d like.

      I’d have to say that the 108 felt completely intuitive, right out of the gate, in a way that the Punisher did not. I also think that the oversized shovels of the Punisher would make me much less inclined to go rip bumps all day on it, while I had a great time skiing bumps on the 108s. I wouldn’t call the 189cm Punisher a quick ski – at all, really. Garrett’s review of the Punisher matters a whole lot more than these few comments from me, however. So I’d still put a lot more stock in his review than in what I’ve said here.

  9. Tom November 1, 2014 Reply

    FWIW, I think two and four ski quivers are a lot easier to pick than any three ski quiver. Four is probably the ideal for resort skis (so, not counting AT or tele skis in this). 1. Race/Carving ski for groomers or a park ski, depending on your preference, 2. ~90mm hard-snow all-mountain ski (E88, Kendo Steadfast/NRGy, etc…), 3. ~110mm soft-snow all-mountain ski(Cochise, Sidestash/Annex108, Zealot, etc…) and 4. 115+ powder specific ski. Any more than this, you’re either a pro or have way too much money lying around.

    Two-ski quivers are easy because you can eliminate 1 and 4 and just go with hard and soft snow all-mountain skis. Adding the third ski into the mix and you start playing with Murphys law. If you buy a pow ski, it won’t snow at all that year, but of course if you buy a race or carving ski, then you know it will be a record breaking snow year.

    I left out the ever popular ~100mm all-mountain skis like Bonafides and Mantras for a reason. They are great 1-ski quiver skis, or skis to bring if you travel a lot, but for everyday use at your home resort never going to be the best ski to chose from.

    • Author

      Interesting thoughts, Tom, and I think I’d agree in large part. Except for maybe the ~100mm ski part. There were definitely days at Taos where the now deceased Rossi Scimitar were a ton of fun. And the 13/14 Mantra was absolutely the best ski imaginable for me for a number of days. But since it no longer exists either … maybe you’re right after all….

  10. Frame November 2, 2014 Reply

    Fun and interesting read. I’d be interested to hear re this post or the one ski quiver to come, if you have suggestions for those skiers who tend to keep the ski’s on the snow and aren’t experts. Something for the intermediate/advanced keen skiers amongst us.

    • Author

      We’re going to be addressing this topic in more detail soon, Frame. But for now, I’ll say that it would be a big mistake to assume that all / many of the skis we’ve named are merely for “expert” skiers. If you read our full reviews of these skis (e.g., Line Sir Francis Bacon & Pandora & Sick Day 110 & Supernatural 100 & 108; Rossi Soul 7; Blizzard Bonafide and the new Cochise), these are not super demanding skis that will punish intermediates. We always try to make clear when skis are either on the forgiving side of things or the more demanding side of things. A truly “advanced” skier would do just fine – if the ski suited his or her style – on any of the skis I’ve just named. And a true intermediate would, too – it’s much more a matter of selecting the ski that’s best suited for the particular person, and less about whether this person is “expert” or “advanced” or “intermediate.”

      • Frame November 9, 2014 Reply

        Cheers Jonathan, will read more closely. Am glad that a couple of ski’s you named are ones I have in mind.

  11. Blister Member
    Alex Tz November 2, 2014 Reply

    Anybody on blister gear’s testing panel skied one of the newer generation stockli storm riders? i am on the SR 100 in a tele set up (yeah i know, nobody cares…) and the ski rips. early rise, low camber, moderate flex, big old school tails. snake-like grip, damp and light. doesn’t flatter me when i’m feeling old and tired however; not the best for “lolly gagging about on my heels” to paraphrase somebody on the internet who caught my attention once.
    my other ski is a soul 7: not much gap between the two in waist width but an entirely different design brief.

    interested in your thoughts on this rarely reviewed ski.

    • Author

      Hey, Alex – we’ve been told several different times that skis we’re being sent, then nothing shows up. Very odd. We’re ready whenever Stockli is.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew February 1, 2015 Reply

        How about some more kastle skis as well? I know you tested a couple, but curious your thought on mx88vs storm rider 88 vs kendo vs brahma. I agree with someone else’s thoughts above that around 100 is a good one ski quiver, but in a 3-4 ski quiver, it’s not neccessary. I’m going to replace by hell and back with something around 88 that rips groomers and bumps. If there’s snow my SN108 or influence 115 is all I need. Thanks for the great reviews!

  12. Alex November 3, 2014 Reply

    From this review and several others (notably Powder’s review) I’m highly tempted to get a pair of the Al Dente’s. The fun factor sounds out the roof.

    The two ski set-up I ran on last year:
    Line Sick Day 95
    Rossignol Soul 7

    I purchased a pair of Candide 4.0 at a great price towards the season’s end and I can’t wait to take it cat skiing and/or on deep resort days. It’s a bit too specialist to enter a 2 quiver conversation but might make a decent 3 quiver candidate.

  13. David November 12, 2014 Reply

    Jonathan – your website is the single best outdoor product review site in existence, and your staff’s product knowledge is second to none. I was hoping to tap your knowledge for my own selfish personal benefit.

    I currently ski Rossi S3 as my every day ski. In super deep I ski S7 which is great but has its own issues (tips tend to fold when going gets tough.) I’m an east coast skier but use the S3 on the west coast unless days are really deep. I’m an expert skier with a racing background. I now ski mostly all bumps, trees, etc… in Vermont and anything I can get my hands on out west. I will huck a little cliff here or there (nothing more than 10ft ever) and never ski switch. I need new skis and was wondering if you have any recommendations. The S3 is great all around, and Ok in real deal east coast bumps. Was thinking maybe one of the K2 Shreditor’s might be good or the Rossi Slat but hoping to tap some of your insight.

    I’m also looking to replace my S7’s with something that’s still sooo fun and easy to ski in pow but that when the going gets a little tough, the tips don’t give up on me. I was looking at the new Rossi Super 7’s and some others but really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • Author

      Thank you, David, really appreciate it.

      For someone looking for a S3 and S7 replacement, it’s awfully hard not to think of Rossi’s new iterations of both of those skis: the Sin 7 and the Super 7. While I think the S3 is excellent for the uses you describe, I will be shocked if I can’t tell a very similar story about the Sin 7. And for a directional skier, the new shape may be better. We are supposed to be getting on the Sin 7 very soon, so hopefully I can confirm these thoughts soon after Taos opens.

      And I absolutely prefer the shape of the new Super 7 to the old S7. It is not a burly ski, but I expect it to exhibit less folding up than the kinked-up tips of the old S7. The other skis that come to mind are the Atomic Automatic and the (narrower) DPS Wailer 112RP. These are quick, softer skis like the old S7, so they will not charge harder than your S7s, but that doesn’t really sound like what you’re looking for. I think you’re looking for a better shape, and I think the new Super 7, the Automatic, or Wailer 112RP would all provide that. That’s about as specific as I can be for now – I really need to get on the updated versions of all of these skis before I can be more helpful.

  14. Chris February 25, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jonathan…I must reiterate much that has been said about your reviews and your site in general: well written, well researched and incredibly helpful. I have a question that I hope you might have time to answer.

    I live in Nelson BC and ski Whitewater. It’s amazing. 40 feet of snow a year…well not this year but we have more white than most places. I currently own tow pairs of skis. I purchased a pair of 2012/13 195 Super 7’s based on way too many “one run and done” reviews…then I got last years PB and J’s in 188. I am 6’3″ and 195 to 200 pounds…I am an advanced/expert skier. I ski everything and like to mess around a lot…I’m not much of a top to bottom charger which is why I’m not super stoked on my Super 7’s…they’re great in deep pow and not much fun the rest of the time. What I want is a dump day/deep day ski that’s just a blast to mess around in tight trees, drops, just messing about. I don’t need a lot of speed but I want float and fun. I have been looking at the Bibby and Blister Pros and…well…I don’t really know what else to look at. I’m very lucky in that our gear shops carry everything except some of the more esoteric microbrews. If you can give me a few options to check out I’d be eternally grateful.

    Cheers and keep up Ullr’s work amigo!!!

  15. Anthony DeLeo November 24, 2016 Reply

    Hey All,

    First of all, thank you guys. This site is a blessing and a curse. On one hand I’m so happy to find a website that provides such thoughtful, in-depth reviews that don’t seem like corporate quid-quo-pro puff pieces. On the other, I’ve never studied something so intensely and obsessively in my life. It’s literally keeping me up at night. My every day driver is a Kastle FX94 which I absolutely love, but want to pick up a ski that will really shine in fresh deep snow. Ideally this new ski, is one I would take out in the morning to charge a bit in un-tracked bowls, but could also finish the rest of the day in the trees. Currently considering Moment Bibby’s, Blizzard Gunsmokes, Atomic Backland FR117, or the ON3P Billygoat. I suppose I’m looking more for a hard charger that would be manageable in the trees than the other way around. The terrain will vary as I will be road tripping 11 resorts on the mountain collective pass this January :D Thanks again!

  16. Paddy September 21, 2017 Reply

    David …
    … Funny you say that, my wife woke up this morning and said

    ” what time did you come to bed last night?”

    I said laughing “midnight” – she’d seen me on the iPad before she went to bed at 8:30pm ….. truth be told it was more like 4am… now it’s 9:30am and I’m back searching again

    I’ve been looking for about 12 months now for my next ski quiver to satisfy the thirst ( I get 6 weeks holidays a year – blow it all at once in WY and I don’t want to waste a day on the wrong gear).

    I got the lib wreckreate 100 and 115 last year but they ended up being too burly for me. – ( bumbed – I had the libtech fully functional five 2014 and loved it )

    I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find blister- I found it this week .. what a site..

    I live on the Gold Coast Australia with some of the best waves going, and am lucky enough to be buffed out with a garage full of boards – it wasn’t until then… that I realised a surfboard is not just a surfboard…. and you can’t just have 1

    … look at the conditions.. grab the best board .., throw it in the ute, and hit it.

    It does have a down side thou…. skiing is exactly the same…

    and Unfortunately….I’m not as fortunate on the ski front as I am on the surfboard front….. (I’m restricted to 2 skis)

    which brings me to the point….

    you got to be on the right gear and it takes a long time to work that out… hole lotta of time…. $ ….. trial and error

    Jonathan …. This site is an absolute cracker, the info is all there, eveything you want to know, its honest, unbiased, detailed and straight to the point….. something that I have not found anywhere else….. it cuts thru the shit of the free skier “editors pick” and other gear guides which I’ve been blindly following for the last few years… can’t believe it took me that long to work it out….

    Love the site, its awesome …. I’ll be supporting it for sure and can’t wait to get my hands on your guide in october keep it up

    Looking forward to see what I can replace my 2014 lib FF5 (185) / sick day 95 (185)… didn’t have any luck last year with the wreckreate and I’ve been trying to find info on the lib wunderstick but no ones got anything for me

    Cheers

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