You finally booked your heli ski adventure for the 2018 season (presumably through Powder Guides), and now it is all you can think about! You begin dreaming about the days you will spent floating through the 30 cm + of fresh snow. The helicopter comes to bring you back to the top of the mountain for seemingly endless fresh turns. A smile begins to form in anticipation of this trip. Your mind then begins to turn to the details of this much anticipated heli ski adventure like: “What skis am I going to bring?” or “Am I going bring skis with me at all?” It is true that heli ski lodges have a fleet of powder skis tuned up and ready to ski. Personally I am a little too particular with the skis I like to ski. There’s nothing like knowing exactly how your skis will feel underneath your feet. No getting used to a different pair of skis, just full enjoyment of the pristine snow. The only thing you have to concentrate on is how much your thighs are burning from deep powder turns all day! There are so many options for powder skis out there today. From small boutique brands to giant corporate brands, and everything in between. The beginning of the season is flooded with reviews of new skis, and boots, and outerwear. Sometimes it’s seems like an overload of information. At Powder Guides we spend our winters heli skiing, from the Coast Mountains of British Columbia to the steeps of Iceland, and everywhere in between. We are here to give you a little insight on our favorite skis for the 2017/2018 heli skiing season. These are our favorites in no particular order.
Elan Ripstick 116
The Elan Skis have been a longtime household name in the ski industry and we love what they have done with their Freeride line. The Ripstick 116 floats like a dream in deep powder and slashes through tree runs. Elan’s unique Amphibio profile adds stability and performance to the ski, which is perfect for ripping steep lines in the backcountry. The wood core technology makes the Ripstick a lightweight ski, but the carbon stringers provide stabilization to limit the high speed chattering. The name says it all this ski is meant to be ripping down the mountain, and that is why it is one of top skis for the season.
Ski Lengths 185, 193
Turn Radius 20 or 23
Ski Dimensions 143-116-132
The Blizzard Bodacious ski is going back to its roots and we love it! This ski was the late Arne Backstrom’s pro model first released in 2009. Throughout the last couple of years it has gone through various changes, but this year due to popular demand the Bodacious is back in its original form! This is one fun ski to have in the backcountry. It has a 118 mm waist with rocker in the tip and tail and camber in the underfoot. It is built with two sheets of metal to provide extra stability. The combination of the width and metal make it perfect for aggressive steep lines as well as floating through endless cms of fresh powder. You can’t help but have a great time with this ski! Unfortunately, for the smaller skiers out there this ski only comes in a 186 or a 196 lengths.
Ski Lengths 186, 196
Turn Radius 27 or 31
Ski Dimensions 142-118-122
Black Crows Nocta
In the last couple of years Black Crows skis have been expanding from Europe have started to become a household name in North America. This small independent french brand designs and tests skis in the legendary Chamonix. The 2018 Nocta Black Crows is one of our favorites for heli skiing. The Nocta has been redesigned for the 2018 season and is the first Black Crows ski to be designed with full reverse camber and flat edges. The reverse camber and 122 mm waist is built so that the ski will float effortlessly through deep snow. This year the Nocta is a bit more rigid providing a stable and easy to turn ski whether you are in big alpine bowls or tree skiing. This ski was designed for those deep heli skiing days. It is a fun, playful ski that does not disappoint!
Ski Lengths 177.6, 185.5, 190.6
Turn Radius 26
Ski Dimensions 140-122-132
If you are looking for a ski that is great in the pow, but also has a great price tag to match 4Front has it all. The 4Front Massif, formally known as the Kye 120 is stiffer powder ski that was built with the deep snowfalls of British Columbia in mind. The rocker in the tip and tail with a 120mm waist allows this ski to really shine during those deep powder days. The camber in the underfoot makes this ski a bit more playful, and easier to hit those pillow lines you have been eyeing! With a price of $499 USD you can’t go wrong with this ski.
Ski Lengths 182 or 189
Turn Radius 25 / 27
Ski Dimensions 133-118-128 (182cm)
Hope this helps you get ready for your epic heli ski adventure! To check out a few of our upcoming heli ski trips checkout www.powderguides.com