Deep Pow to Hard-Pack: 2013 Ski Preview

It’s time to gear up for the 2013 ski season. Here’s a quick look at a dozen new ski models, from fat powder boards to jack-of-all-trade sticks built for resort bumps and cruisers. —Sean McCoy

Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus — “The most versatile powder ski on the planet.” That’s the company line from Line, which touts its Mr. Pollard ski as having a design that can float well going forward and, for the tricksters, backward as well. Plus, it has “over 20% active edge” for hard-pack snow, the company cites, making the ski able to get a good bite on non-pow surfaces to boot. $699.95, http://lineskis.com

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Salomon 122 — As the widest and most versatile deep-powder ski in its line, Salomon touts the 122’s twin-tip rocker design and light tips and tails to surf the pow. A full wood core transmits power without too much vibration, Salomon states. With a profile of 142-122-132mm at 184cm in length, these are Salomon’s fattest skis to date. $749.95, www.salomon.com

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Ski Logik Uller’s Chariot — There’s no doubt Ski Logik boards are among the prettiest wood-face skis on the mountain. They also have a reputation for solid performance and unique engineering. Uller’s Chariot is a carbon/fiberglass stick, 101mm underfoot, and designed for deep snow. The company claims they won’t skid out on hard groomers when you duck back into the resort to grab a chair. $750, http://skilogik.com

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Atomic Automatic — A 117mm waist and powder rocker profile make this an apt ski for deep days. Atomic incorporates strips of titanium into the full-length wood core for reduced swing weight and purportedly “plenty of pop” in the pow (the brand calls the feature the Sprocket Power Booster. . . sounds fun!). $749, http://www.atomic.com

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Ramp Peacepipe 2013 — We’re excited about this up-and-coming Park City, Utah, brand. Like all Ramp skis, the Peacepipe is handmade in the USA on patent-pending technology that the brand says makes new product development fast and less expensive than traditional molds. The result is a ski like the Peacepipe, a big-mountain powder board with rocker and a reverse-cut tip. A fat 146-115-134 profile ensures float in the deep stuff, and Ramp claims excellent handling on groomers and windblown hard sections as well. $699, http://www.rampsports.com

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Rossignol Experience 98 — Designed with experts in mind, these skis are dialed for “60% off-trail, 40% on,” according to Rossignol. They have a 139-98-128 profile and features like auto-turn rocker, extended sidecut, and a traditional camber underfoot for optimal edge grip that should make for a playful ski that’s usable from powder to bumps to groomers. $699.95, http://store.rossignol.com

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Volkl RTM 84 — Expert-only skis. The all-mountain RTMs work best on packed snow and fast, hard-charging descents. But the 129-84-111 profile offers float if you head off-piste. (Volkl cites the ski as optimal for 70% on-trail, 30% off). starts at $999 (includes bindings), http://www.volkl.com

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Volkl Nanuq — So they may not be new for 2013, but we had a chance to try these out for one day linked up with Marker AT bindings and Garmont Cosmos boots for a climb and descent of Mount Hood. These featherweight fighters worked great in terrible conditions and climb with ease at just 1650 grams for a 177cm ski. I dream to try them out in powder this year. $699, http://volkl.shptron.com

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Ski Trab Freerando Light — With two early-season trips to Arapaho Basin this month on these amazingly light skis, I’m already digging on the Freerando design. Coupled with Scarpa’s ultra-light Alien boots, the combo climbs like a goat. I cheated and rode the lifts one day, and on hard, groomed snow these rando-racing skis performed like champs. I can’t wait to test them out in powder and backcountry in their natural habitat. $798, http://skitrab.com

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Black Diamond Revert — A new design from the backcountry giant, the Revert mixes traditional camber with rockered tips and tails for a nimble but still-buoyant ski. The 120-95-108 cut looks to be a good profile compromise, and at about 7 pounds per pair they are easy to haul up the mountain. $649, http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com

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K2 Coomback — K2 calls them “Adventure Skis,” and by that the brand refers to the Coomback’s propensity to thrive in steep landscapes and crush from crud to powder. But at 1,720 grams the ski won’t crush your legs on the climb up. Bonus: A “snow-phobic” topsheet has a treatment that’s said to keep snow from sticking to the boards, eliminating that extra frozen-on weight you might otherwise have to inadvertently haul up the mountain. $649.95, http://k2skis.com

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Dynafit Huascaran — With a Peruvian “snow leopard fish” motif the Huascaran is a unique backcountry-touring ski made for all terrain types. It has a scoop rocker tip, “micro” sidewalls, and cut-outs for climbing skins. At 1780 grams, the ski is extra light for the ascent. $899.95, http://www.dynafit.com

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—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor based in Denver.

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