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First freeride/touring ski purchase

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Long time lurker but first time poster looking for some purchasing advice...

Over the last winter (pre-Covid), I managed to get my first bit of off piste and touring done (8 days off piste with a guide around Les Deux Alpes area, and a couple of days of basic touring, too). For that trip, I rented a pair of Black Crow Navis Freebirds, as my current piste ski (Volkl RTM 84) wasn’t really up to the task in hand!

Following on from that trip, I’m looking to purchase a second set of skis for cross-over off piste / touring duties. My long term ambition is to couple off piste skiing/ski touring with alpinism (which I do during the summers), but I think reaching a ski mountaineering level may be another year or two away yet...

My details: 172cm, 80 kg, fairly powerful skier. Prefer longer turns with speed.

I’ve been looking at various skis in the 100-110 mm waist width range, which I’m planning to pair with a Salomon Shift or Duke PT 12 binding to give me something suitable for off-piste skiing around a resort, but also some flexibility to do some touring here or there to gain more experience/fitness etc.

I found the Navis freebirds to be very good, but not overly floaty (granted, the snow back in March in the LDA area was amazing and super deep!), so I’ve also been looking at:

Volkl Blaze 106 (I’ve always loved Volkl skis - I’ve had several...)
Black Crow Atris
Black Crow Ferox FB (very curious about these....!)
Elan Ripstick 106

Any opinions on these skis as cross-over off piste / ski touring skis? I realise they are on the heavier side for touring, but given my current level and interest, I see myself doing more lift-assisted off piste than long tours over the next year or two... Plus, I would also consider buying something lighter and more touring specific in the long term if my skiing develops in that direction.

Any opinions on these skis? Or, are there any other skis I should be looking at....?
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Another great full weight ski is the Nordica Enforcer Free 104 or 110, it has more rocker than the standard Enforcer for more of a powder bias although it is also very good on piste. I have the 104s on a frame binding (Tracker/Guardian) and find it a great all rounder. The Atomic Bent Chetler 100 seems to get great reviews as well although I haven't demo'd it. I also have the much wider 120mm Bents also on the same touring binding and to be honest they are great at doing tours up to a couple of hours. My mate has the Atris with Shift bindings which keeps the weight down. I still haven't bothered going for a lighter touring ski as I only generally tour to access the runs down and much prefer a full weight ski for maximum fun.
ski holidays



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