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Snowtrax is the largest independent ski and snowboard retailer in the UK. Come and visit us in our dedicated ski and snowboard shop in Christchurch, Dorset.

Our blog contains useful news plus reviews of all of our products to help you decide on the right gear!


 

 

The Volkl 90Eight Womens is back for 2018 with a few upgrades that make it a benchmark all-mountain ski for women who want to send it across the whole mountain. Touring, powder lines, tree skiing, piste bashing, the 90Eight W takes it all in its stride with the lightness of a bag of feathers and the stability of well-built mountain refuge. This year, the 90Eight W comes with Volkl’s game changing 3D.Glass technology, which is a layer of multiple, folded fibreglass layers running horizontally beneath the middle of the ski, as well as vertically up the sidewalls. This results in a multitude of advantages, including increased edge to edge rebound during turns, increased liveliness and agility, as well as improved edge grip in icy conditions and improved power transmission through the edges of the ski. For bonus points, it also means the 90Eight doesn’t rely on metal reinforcements, which keeps weight to a minimum. Well-loved features include carbon reinforcements to compliment the fibreglass and add a little bit more springiness when coupled with Volkl’s (also game changing) 3D.Ridge technology. This is the noticeably thicker section running down the length of the ski which cuts out loads of weight without sacrificing any stability or toughness. Not to mention the 98mm waist, which provides the perfect middle ground for on-piste performance and off-piste floatation. Whether you’re an intermediate skier looking to expand your horizons or an expert who wants one ski that does everything, the 90Eight will see you cruising your first resort powder runs through to hiking lines away from the crowds.

Purchase a pair of Volkl 90Eight Women‘s here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/volkl-90eight-w-ski-2018

 

Level: Intermediate – expert

Recommended use: 30% piste / 70% off-piste

 

 



The Atomic Cloud 12 takes Atomic’s high-end racing technology and applies it to a top-of-the range piste ski for confident female skiers who want to make the most of what the pistes have to offer. If you can’t get enough of railing those turns on hardpack or carving early morning groomers, the Atomic Cloud 12 is worth a look. Featuring race-winning additions like Servotec and a titanium stabiliser combined with a lightweight wood core, the Cloud 12 allows you to nail your turns without sacrificing weight or comfort, particularly when conditions get bumpy. Servotec is a particularly interesting addition; touted as power steering for skis, it consists of a visible rod along the front surface of the ski and elastomer under the binding. The elastomer and the rod work together, compressing before you turn and releasing while you’re turning to make the whole experience feel much more natural, lighter and less forced – just like power steering! It also helps dampen vibration from bumpy pistes, making skiing at high speeds smoother and a little more relaxing.

Added extras include a World Cup Race finish for extra speed points, as well as a strong but lightweight poplar wood core, which when combined with that titanium stabiliser creates a ski that feels light and nimble but solid and stable enough to run at high speeds on the steepest pistes.

Purchase a pair of 2018 Atomic Cloud 12‘s here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/atomic-cloud-12-womens-ski-with-x-12-tl-binding-2018

Level: Advanced – Expert

Recommended use: 100% piste

Bindings: Atomic X12 TL



Scott Slight 93 2018

Slight by name but beastly in nature, the 2018 Scott Slight 93 is aimed at advanced to expert skiers for all-mountain charging. Reviewers rave about its short turns, but it’s this ski’s ability to handle itself anywhere on the mountain that sets it apart from the crowd. If you love nothing more than lapping out your favourite bowl or tree line in the mornings and then blasting around the piste in the afternoon – or you simply can’t be doing with the hassle of owning more than one pair of skis – the Scott Slight is your perfect match. Based on Scott’s legendary Mission but with a bit more power behind it, the Slight features a 3Dimension sidecut, which sees the tip, tail and middle of the ski having their own separate radii, making for easy turn initiations and stability throughout your turns in all conditions. On the inside, a blend of woven carbon and aramid fibres sandwiched around a lightweight wood core make for reduced weight but high power, stability and edge hold.

Given the 93mm waist, the Scott Slight will perform best after a light dump of fresh snow, although the Pro Tip Rocker 300 means it can hold its own in the deeper stuff, too. And let’s not forget about that high torsional stiffness that means you’ll also be able to bash through crud, make mincemeat of bumpy pistes and hammer past your friends while the snow’s falling.

Purchase a pair of 2018 Scott Slight 93‘s here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/scott-slight-93-ski-2018

Level: Advanced – expert

Recommended use: 60% piste / 40% off-piste



 

The Nordica Enforcer 100 is back and as punch-packing as ever. Since its release three years ago, this ski has been topping out tester polls and scooping up awards like they’re going out of style. Now available in four different widths from 93mm to 115mm, the Enforcer 100 provides the best of both worlds. It’s fat enough for powder laps while still being nimble enough to allow fast edge changes on piste, and is built to handle everything in between. The Nordica Enforcer 100 is the ideal ski for anyone ranging from confident, curious intermediates to seasoned experts who want a resort ski that does everything, the Enforcer 100 is a versatile weapon like no other. Made up of a solid wood core sandwiched between two sheets of titanal, with a friendly shape designed for easy turn initiation, here is a ski that expertly combines the stiffness to blast through chop, crud, powder and wind buffs with a shape that allows you to mellow out when you want to cruise the pistes.

The versatile profile of the Enforcer 100, features a solid camber underfoot, with a light tip rocker and barely-there tail rocker that makes softer snow feel light and floaty (as well as making the ski easy to manage) whether you need to make a quick turn or hold an edge in. The ultimate ski for optimal performance all over the mountain.

Purchase a pair of 2018 Nordica Enforcer 100‘s here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/nordica-enforcer-100-ski-2018

Level: Intermediate – expert

Recommended use: 50% piste / 50% off-piste


Blizzard Brahma 2018 | SKI REVIEW

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December 11th, 2017

 

The Blizzard Brahma is the ultimate weapon for advanced skiers who’re there at first lifts, charging on the groomers, but don’t want to be put off by the thought of variable conditions and snowy days. After all, you can’t have sunshine, perfect pistes and optimum snow all the time. Featuring some updates for 2018, the standout feature of the Blizzard Brahma is that it remains easy to handle despite its stiffness and solidity. This is mainly down to Blizzard’s secret weapon, Flipcore Technology, where the skis wood core is naturally moulded into the desired shape without having to be artificially bent or shaped in a press. The Brahma features Carbon Flipcore Technology, where two sheets of titanal sandwich the core and carbon fibre reinforcements are added to the tip and tail, culminating in Blizzard’s trademark solid charginess, but in a smoother, more manoeuvrable and less juddery package.

This year’s Brahma features an updated sidecut and rocker profile, which makes it that much more versatile and easier to ski in changeable conditions at high or low speeds. Get this ski if you love charging around resort but need to take it down a notch sometimes, for example, when you’re skiing with your kids. It’ll slice through crud, stay smooth and grippy on the hardpack and hold its own in deeper snow, however much you want to rail it.

You can Buy the Blizzard Brahma Ski here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/blizzard-brahma-ski-2018

 

Level: Advanced

Recommended use: 50% piste / 50% off-piste

 


Armada ARV 96 2018 | SKI REVIEW

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December 4th, 2017

 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The Armada ARV 96 is a tried and tested all-mountain freestyle ski that’s proving to stand the test of time year after year. If you’re a confident skier who wants to hone their park skills and make the most of what the whole resort has to offer, the Armada ARV 96 is a bombproof, versatile ski that’s perfect for bump hopping, park shredding and piste cruising alike.  The 96mm waist will float over jumps, feel nimble on rails and hold its own on your standard resort powder day, whether you’re really going for it or having a chilled ski around resort. To use an often-written cliché, it’ll allow you to turn the whole mountain into a snowpark, for real. However, thanks to its slightly directional shape, medium radius and lightly rockered tip and tail, you’ll be able to navigate through late afternoon chop, bumps and hardpack just as easily as slushy park jumps. Whether you’re just getting started in the park or you like to throw down on a regular basis, the medium flex and lightweight tip and tail are perfect for hopping around on side hits and bumps, learning how to press and butter or progressing to bigger features. The perfect ski for first-time seasonaires, the ARV 96 will take you from nights at the snowdome to unleashing your inner Candide Thovex everywhere in resort.

You can Buy the Armada ARV 96 Ski here:  snowtraxstore.co.uk/armada-arv-96-ski-2018

Level: Intermediate – advanced

Recommended use: 50% park / 30% off-piste / 20% piste

 



The Black Crows Daemon is a ski that becomes exactly what you need it to be wherever you are on the mountain. Designed for higher level intermediate and advanced skiers who want a resort ski that does it all, the Daemon is so versatile that you can ski it anywhere on the hill and it will feel more natural than walking. At 99mm underfoot, it’s just wide enough to float gracefully through powder, but slim enough for quick and easy edge changes on hardpack. The profile is what really sets the Black Crow Daemon apart though; not-so-long-forgotten reverse camber keeps the profile flat through the middle of the ski for lightweight, easy manoeuvrability whether you’re in late-afternoon chop or blasting fresh morning groomers. It also has the added bonus of giving the ski a nice bouncy feeling. A directional shape with a wide, rockered tip and lightly rockered tail make for extra nimbleness in deep snow, while titanal reinforcements mean when you want to really open it up on piste you won’t get that juddery underfoot feeling. If you’re looking for a slightly more aggressive upgrade that performs everywhere in resort – whether you’re chilling or charging – these are definitely worth a look.

You can Buy the Black Crows Daemon Ski here:  snowtraxstore.co.uk/black-crows-daemon-ski-2018

 

Level: Intermediate – advanced

Recommended use:  50% piste / 50% off-piste

 



 

The Salomon XDR 80 Ti was made for skiers who want to make the most of everything inbounds terrain has to offer. Groomers, bumps, trees, powder, wet snow, hard snow, choppy snow, soft snow; if it’s lift-accessed the uber-versatile XDR 80 Ti is designed to handle it the with smoothness and solidity of about five different skis rolled into one. While it’s a ski designed to be primarily skied on the piste, Salomon have moved away from the classic piste-ski look and taken design inspiration from their freeride range. And not just the topsheet. Powder-friendly features include a slightly wider, all-mountain inspired shape with an all-terrain rocker profile and a fatter, three-point tip that’ll keep you afloat in deeper snow. And if you like to spend the majority of your time on the pistes you’ll be happy to hear the Salomon XDR 80 Ti also has plenty of provisions for hard and variable snow. Carbon and flax stringers, a rubber Pulse Pad and single-layer titanium reinforcements, all make for the same torsional stiffness, solidity and power you’d expect from a carving ski but without the associated weight and bulk. Slice through chop, slay the pistes and play off to the side – this is the perfect ski for anyone who wants to mix up their piste skiing.

You can Buy the 2018 Salomon XDR 80Ti Ski here: snowtraxstore.co.uk/salomon-xdr-80-ti-ski-with-xt12-binding-2018 

 

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Recommended use: 80% piste / 20% off-piste


Head Kore 93 2018 | Ski Review

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November 13th, 2017

 

Brand new for winter 2018, the Head Kore 93 is the ultimate upgrade from your old piste skis, to a versatile all-mountain ski. If you feel like your racey on-piste skis are limiting your mountain exploring capabilities, give these lightweight Kore 93’s a try. Head have made use of the latest materials and technologies available to create a ski that’s not only lighter than a low-fat yoghurt (reportedly only 1.61kg per ski at 180cm), but also smooth and stable on the piste and ultra-floaty in the powder. What’s more, the Head Kore 93 is so light, you can just whack some touring bindings on it (Head-approved only, mind) and you’ve got yourself a ski that you can literally take anywhere while avoiding that, “why didn’t I bring a different ski today?” scenario.

What exactly makes the Head Kore 93 so light? A combination of carbon, lightweight shock absorbing material-of-the-moment, Koroyd, and Nobel Prize winning mega-element, graphene, that’s what. Instead of writing an essay about it, I’ll just tell you that when these materials are combined, they provide a staggering strength to weight ratio and incredible dampening properties. This means you can step up to freeride ski length without worrying about excessive tip and tail chatter or uncomfortable juddering when you really want to get the edges in. The 93mm waist of the Head Kore 93, combined with a mid-sized radius will also ease the piste to freeride transition by providing optimal float and easy pivot-ability whether you’re spending the day charging with the boys or playing on the piste with your kids.

You can Buy the 2018 Head Kore 93 Ski here: https://www.snowtraxstore.co.uk/head-kore-93-ski-2018

 

Level: Advanced

Use: 30% piste / 70% off-piste

 

Checkout our video review, all about the Head Kore 93 below. #WeTestWeKnow



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One way to get a gauge on the type or level of ski equipment and clothing you need for a winter holiday, is to look at what type of kit full time Ski Instructors use. After all, a ski instructor that spends almost every waking moment teaching people of all abilities, how to ski, is going to have more than your fair share of experience on the cold alpine slopes. To answer this question – we spoke to Giles Lewis a Ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isere Tignes and the Three Valleys, France. It’s worth baring in mind that Giles’ kit list is a personal choice – and not necessarily something a first-time-skier HAS to imitate.

 

“As a snowsports instructor, I spend almost every day of winter on the slopes. I am outside no matter the weather. I spend so much time using my equipment that I’m very picky about a few items. This list is particular to me, what are your essential pieces of kit?

 

Skis and Boots

Ski Instructors always have favourite skis, but I treasure my boots the most. A well fitted pair of ski boots is essential and I wouldn’t ski in anything but my own, high performance ski boots. You cannot get the fit and adjustment that you need by shopping online, you need an experienced boot fitter to help you to narrow down what boots perfectly fit your ability and needs, before making any adjustments or customisation to finish off. Book an Expert Boot fitting appointment today, at The Boot Lab – Snowtrax

My Boots: Lange XT 130 for touring and off piste or Lange RS130 for the groomed slopes.

 

Clothing

Most mountain clothing is pretty good in your standard cold and dry conditions. However when the wind is high, or it’s very humid (raining) or it’s too warm, you really need a highly breathable fabric that protects from the cold but allows you to stay cool in the spring. Also for me, a jacket with a snow-skirt is a must, otherwise I won’t wear it. Check out the Arcteryx Sabre Jacket 

 

Ski Poles

It is all about the handle and the strap. Rental poles with slippery plastic handles just don’t cut it. I like a rubber handle with finger mouldings. I use alloy poles, which don’t flex much (unlike carbon fibre poles) and the basket needs to match the day’s snow conditions. Small basket fitted when on the piste, large basket for the deep snow. Check out the Scott Team Issue pole

 

Avalanche Transceiver

I train a lot with a transceiver. Sometimes you can borrow one from the ski school, but ski instructors prefer to have their own and know it’s been looked after. All modern transceivers work in a similar way, but each model will have its own quirks and features. It is much better to have your own transceiver and know how to use it. The same applies to inflatable avalanche packs, shovels and probes.” Check out our range of Avalanche trackers and backcountry equipment.

 

This Blog was written by Giles Lewis for Snowtrax. Giles is an ambassador for Dynastar skis and Lange boots. He is a Ski Instructor with the development centre, who operate in val d’isere Tignes and the Three Valleys, France.  He is a trainer and examiner of Instructors for BASI and a member of the British Demo team.

 

tdcski.com #tdcski #basi #valdisere #dynastar #lange