Winter has begun to show its face in North America, and instagram is full of “first days in the backcountry.” There are still lots of early season hazards: rocks, stumps, alders so most people are still skiing their old rock skis. There is nothing like the first day back to get you psyched for the season. Soon your rock skis will be shoved back into the corner and the season will be in full swing. If you are in the market for some new touring skis here are our top contenders of the 2018/2019 season. Skinnier and lighter are trends for this seasons skis. At Powder Guides we agree that light and skinny can help with the longer ski touring days to move faster and conserve more energy, BUT we also live in the interior of British Columbia. We don’t want to go too skinny because there is nothing more fun than floating through deep powder in the backcountry in BC. Here are the skis in no particular order:
DPS Wailer 106 Tour 1
We love these skis because they are a mid waist size, not too heavy, and have a great shape. The Tour 1 series is the newest touring series from DPS.
The Wailer 106 Tour1 is just 1440 grams per ski in the 178 length. They are wide enough that you can float through the deep powder,
but not too wide so that you can still get an edge in when the conditions are variable. This is a great versatile ski that is light on the uptrack, but is still fun and performs well on the downhill.
The ski comes in 168, 178, or a 185 length. The biggest drawback to this ski is the price point: it comes in at $1,099 USD.
Black Crows Camox Freebird
Black Crows is a great boutique ski company out of Chamonix, France. This is the skinniest ski we have on our list at 96 underfoot. Still considered a mid waist size especially to the super skinny skies found in the European Alps. This ski has just a few changes from last season: it is a bit stiffer, less rocker: meaning more ski contact with the snow, and a reduced weight of about 250 grams per ski. This ski is built to perform well in all conditions from icy traverses, steep couloirs, to open alpine powder slopes. The ski comes in a variety of different sizes: 160, 166, 172, 178, 183, and 188 and weighing in at 1,375 per ski at the 178 length. Black Crows has had limited numbers of skis in North America in the last couple of years so be sure to put your order in early.
- Dynafit Beast 108
While Dynafit has long been known for their backcountry skis. This is not the lightest ski on our list. Weighing in at 1650 grams per ski at the 173 length. Even though this ski is a bit heavier than the others it sure can rip. This is a ski that ski tours well, but was built for downhill performance and it does not disappoint. The full rocker and flat underfoot will have you floating on those deep days. Depending on the size the underfoot ranges from 106-109 and comes in lengths of 173, 181, 188, and 194. Sometimes it’s worth a little bit extra weight for the downhill performance!