Despite the fact that ski news is tough to come by this time of year, we think we’ve put together a pretty interesting group of articles this week. Amongst them is news from the FIS, where two new North American World Cup venues have been announced ahead of this week’s annual congress, the jaw dropping cost of keeping Utah’s roads clear this winter, local opinions on the privatization of Tahoe’s Homewood ski area, and efforts to change the perception of mountain safety teams at at least one Colorado resort. Find out all about these highlights, and check out the best edits of the week, in this edition of Top Five Fridays!
Well, now that we’re into the thick of May, it’s become that time for every seasonal business that thrives in the winter to start marking down their gear to make room for next year’s supply. As such, Jeff and Bob have taken the time to sift through the entirety of our site and call out 12 of the best deals we currently have on skis. From powder skis like the 2023 Volkl Revolt 121, which is currently available for under $500, to frontside rippers like the 2023 Volkl Deacon 84, which comes in at under $700, including a binding. If you’re looking for a hot deal on skis, this one’s for you!
It’s a big day for us here on Chairlift Chat! Not only because we’re reviewing the 2024 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, but also it’s because we get to welcome Matt Stromecki to the blog! Matt joined our customer service team this winter, and we quickly learned that his prowess extended far beyond answering phone calls and writing really nicely worded Emails. With a diverse skiing background, skills on the hill, and a desire to ski as many skis as he can, we thought it was only right to give him the chance to join the team here on Chairlift Chat. Today marks his big debut as he brings us his thoughts and feelings on the 2024 Armada Declivity 92 Ti. Despite not being a ski that was on his radar prior to the start of the season, it took less than a day for him to fall head over heels for it (not literally, of course. He skied great.). To find out more and to read Matt’s first entry for Chairlift Chat, click on through!
Over the years, as our ski reviews have gained traction and become a highly trusted source of information regarding the details and personalities of a wide swath of skis, more and more of our audience has been asking us to review skis that we don’t necessarily sell. While we’ve always been open to and excited by the idea, the fact of the matter is, it can be tough to find a situation in which a ski brand will let us review their skis just for the heck of it. Fortunately, earlier this year we were able to connect with the good folks over at 4FRNT who were just as excited as we were about the idea of reviewing some of their skis here on Chairlift Chat, even though we don’t sell them on SkiEssentials. So with that backstory in mind, we’ll simply say that we’re particularly excited to be bringing you this review of the 4FRNT Switch, a super fun twin tip ski with excellent all mountain capabilities. Click through to learn more about this super fun ski, and to read our first ever ski review featuring a brand we don’t sell! Enjoy!
It’s a big week here for us ski news reporters for one specific reason: the NSAA has released their annual report of this season’s ski visitation statistics. This year, just like last year, we’ve collectively broken the record once again as more of us took to the slopes this season than ever before. We’ll share those details and connect some dots with other industry themes, before moving onto a trio of other interesting headlines. On that list is the introduction of tolls to Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons, an exciting new resort being planned for Valdez, Alaska, and a recap of the Level 1’s 20th annual SuperUnknown Contest. We’ll share all the details as well as our favorite edits from this week in this edition of Top Five Fridays. Enjoy!
Every time we review a Stockli ski, we find ourselves harping on two things: quality and precision. This week, we revisit that theme as Bob brings us his review of the freshly updated 2024 Stockli Stormrider 95. After making some subtle changes to the previous model, Stockli has created a ski that’s even more of what the former version aimed to be. It’s smoother than ever. More playful than ever. Lighter than ever. Easier to ski than ever. The list goes on. Ultimately the takeaway here should be this: while the Stockli Stormrider 95 is comparable to some of its mid-90’s freeride peers, it’s arguably the smoothest, most silent option on the market. If you’ve ever skied a Stockli ski before, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, click through to this full review and let Bob do his best to explain it to you!
For 2024, Head skis has opted to expand its Oblivion twin tip series, adding both a 116 and 102 widths to the product range. With these new skis, Head is making a concerted effort to produce twin tip skis that excel well beyond the terrain park. Whether that’s because they recognize a growing market for former park skiers who still crave the twin tip experience across the mountain, or because they’ve simply realized that there’s a market for really good all mountain twin tips, the fact of the matter is that Head has created a ski that’s incredibly talented no matter where you take it in the 2024 Oblivion 102. This week, Bob dives in a bit deeper as he shares his thoughts on their new eco-friendly build as well as their all mountain performance. If this sounds like it could be the ski for you next year, click through and get learned!
Another week, another round of ski news being delivered right to your web browser! This time around, we kick things off in mid-winter fashion by highlighting some updates from the world of FIS ski racing. From there, we’ll share a story in which 99.7% of respondents agreed: Alterra has no right to develop in OIympic Valley. Once we get those heavy hitting topics taken care of, we’ll bring you an update from the 2023 Kimbo Sessions, a cool interview from a duo of filmmakers shining a light on climate change’s impact on ski mountaineering, as well as a number of excellent ski edits. Find out all you need to know from this week in ski news, in this edition of Top Five Fridays!
Here’s some exciting news for you: Armada has redesigned and introduced three new ARV & ARW skis to their 2024 lineup. New for 2024 are the ARV/ARW 88, 94, and 100. Along with these new widths also comes a new build, featuring new core materials and adjustments to the shape of the skis themselves. Perhaps one of the most exciting things about these skis however, is the fact that they’re identical from both male and female models- right down to the lengths offered. This week, Jeff dives in a bit deeper to the all new ARV 94, while Emily joins him on camera to discuss her thoughts on its counterpart, the ARW 94. As you’ll see, whether these skis are on groomers, in the park, taking on freeride elements across the hill, or even playing in the powder, both Jeff and Emily held one common underlying opinion: these skis rip. Click through to learn all about the exciting new 2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94!
New from Dynastar in 2024 are the exciting M-Cross and E-Cross lines. Focused on daily, all mountain versatility, not only are the skis in this line extremely fun to ski on, but they're also built with environmental friendless as a top priority. We've been seeing this trend grow in recent years, with all categories within the ski industry attempting to make more sustainable products, and we have to say, we're very excited about what Dynastar has produced here. Despite having a smaller environmental footprint than the average ski, the M-Cross ranks right up there with the best of them in terms of build and fun. This week, Bob dives in a bit deeper with the 2024 Dynstar M-Cross 88, and excellent all mountain performer. Enjoy!
This week in ski news, we do Jeff and Bob the courtesy of bringing them some just for fun, light hearted news to recap, highlighted by a trio of Red Bull events from the realm of freeskiing. Amongst the three are two events we previously previewed: Bobby Brown’s Cascade event which is more or less a 2 mile all mountain slopestyle event, as well as the Swatch Nine’s event, which is an annual celebration of synchronization and style. Adding onto these two highlights, we’ll also recap Jesper Tjader’s first ever “Unrailistic” contest, which showcased some of the most elite talent in rail skiing. Finally, so as not to bore those of you who lack an interest in freeskiing, we round out our coverage of ski news this week by sharing an announcement from Beartooth Basin, as well as a number of other ski areas where you can continue skiing in North America in the coming months. Find out all the details from this week in ski news in this edition of Top Five Fridays!
Next up on Chairlift Chat is a review of a ski we're particularly excited to see hit the market next year: the 2024 Volkl Blaze 82 & 82 W. In recent years, Volkl's emerged as one of the highest value brands, meaning they're offering really impressive skis at a really impressive price. New for 2024, the Blaze 82 and 82 W are two skis that intermediate skiers will immediately feel comfortable on, but offer enough technology and quality to enable type II skiers to hone their skills as they make their way into type III territory. The best part? These skis come in at under $500. In this review, Jeff'll share his thoughts on the men's version of the ski, while Emily dishes the details on the women's version- both of which left very positive impressions. To learn all about these exciting new 2024 skis, click through and read the review!
Back in the 2021/2022 season, Kastle boots started making their way onto the professional ski racing scene. Designed to be an ultra high performance match for their high end carving skis, Kastle started their boot journey by crafting ski boots for the highest level athletes in the sport. This year, they began rolling out their "P" series - a recreational ski boot that takes its cues from their race models, bringing world class performance to every day users. Bob was lucky enough to stick his feet in a pair of the 2024 Kastle K130P's about 50 times this season, so naturally we asked him to write up an official review. This week, we're excited to share those thoughts in this comprehensive review of the 2024 Kastle K130P Ski Boots. Enjoy!
The 2024 Black Crows Mirus Cor is a super interesting ski. Not only because it’s a bit of a unicorn in terms of its shape and personality, but also because it distorts and stresses one of our core beliefs here on SkiEssentials: there is no best ski, only a best ski for you. Here’s the thing about the Mirus Cor: it’s an absolutely amazing ski. Once you wrap your ahead around what it is and what it wants to do, you unlock an entirely different world of skiing. One that’s likely unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. But here’s the other thing: if you’re looking for a one ski quiver, there’s a strong chance this isn’t your best option in any singular category. As such, it’s likely never the absolute, singular best ski for any given skier- while also maintaining its status as one of the best skis we’ve ever skied. It’s a mind boggler to be honest. Fortunately we have Jeff and Bob on hand to try and walk us through this one. Take it away boys.
With warmer weather moving into North America, and a number of ski resorts settling up operations for the year, we’re in an annual period in which ski news slows considerably before ramping up again with off season news. Still, the ski news never truly stops, and therefore neither do we. This week, we bring you news of a new ultra-luxury resort being developed in Utah, an update from Loveland’s recently unionized ski patrol, and interesting findings from a new consumer insights case study focusing on the ski industry. Unfortunately, we also have to report on the passing of ski legend Jeremy Nobis, and hope our words do his legacy justice. To read about these topics and to catch our favorite edits from the week, click into this week’s edition of Top Five Fridays.