Every year ski companies adjust, tweak their current fleet and update and innovate new technology for what’s next. They try to out-do and one-up each other; all the while the skier reaps the benefits of industry competition, skiing on lighter, faster, better equipment. 2019 is no different, today’s skier craves a ski experience with a wider range. One day of zipper lining bumps, one day of carving up groomers, one day of tree exploration, and the omnipresent and never-ending search for the soul-enriching untracked powder line. The all-mountain desire has been greatly addressed by the ski industry over the last few years and 2019 is seeing those creative efforts with an explosion of new gear and refined classics. We here at The House have determined our “Top Ten Ski Brands” industry leaders. Here they are in no particular order:
K2 continues to be at the forefront of design and technology in 2019, focusing on the all-mountain experience. Their lineage of innovation started with the introduction of fiberglass technology in the 60s and moves forward today with skis that can multitask. Their new K2 Konic Technology is incorporated in their Pinnacle releases. For 2019 the men have got a few impressive skis to choose from, such as the Press and the Poacher. The Empress skis are a fantastic park option for the ladies, while the Missconduct skis are a well-rounded, all-mountain pair. They have also created ski boots that help to reduce dead space and jittery rides, with the innovative Synchro Interlock Technology, which is engineered to be more energetic and efficient.
This more than 100-year-old French ski company might be leading the pack as far as innovation goes in 2019. The new, highly anticipated, and award-winning 7-Series features never before seen Air Tip Technology which is a honeycomb design that reduces the ski weight by 20% without sacrificing strength. The most notable among the series is the Soul 7 skis with a 106mm waist and an aggressive sidecut making it 4 skis in 1, and equally impressive ski was also created for women. New for 2019, the popular Experience series has been redesigned to be even better, if that’s possible. Rossignol skis fuse backcountry, big mountain, freeride, and on-piste. Pick your poison.
Line began as a park only ski company but has expanded into the freeride big mountain area. In 2019, they continue to offer the diverse “Sick Day” series that are light, poppy, and very stable powder skis. Follow in the footsteps of the great, on the Tom Wallisch Pro Skis that never fail the dedicated freestyle skier. The Blend Skis are your park conquerors, ready to help you master the rails and achieve freestyle fame. Go Line and get your slopestyle on.
Traditionally a race oriented company, over the years Fischer has reached from the race gates further into the mountain. The downhill speed and GS turns can still be had by such Fischer classics, but on days when the Nastar course is covered with 8-12 inches of fresh reach for the Big Stix. These big mountain twin tips carve like a traditional box tail and the thick 120mm waist combined with rocker camber let the rider float light and free. For 2019, the Ranger 98 skis feature an all-mountain profile and a 98mm waist allowing the rider more versatility and an all-terrain ski experience. The Ranger series has impressed many by conquering much of the mountain and thriving in the deep stuff. Fischer skis and boots are known for their lightweight, lively feel and this year is no different.
Volkl has been pushing the ski industry since the dawn of the sport. Their skis are engineered with German precision and they can boast being the only company in the country still developing and manufacturing skis. The skier gets the benefit of this lineage with Volkl’s fusion of performance and fun. Become the ultimate park destroyer on the Bash 86 skis, that have great pop a incredible agility for all-mountain carving. Its multi-layer wood core, carbon stringer, and light construction deliver solid edge grip and loads of stability, no matter how firm the snow gets. While the Revolt 95 skis are affordable deep snow destroyers that are sure to be loads of fun.
The French Alps gave rise to Salomon in 1947 and is considered by many to be the epicenter of the mountain experience. Salomon has many branches in mountain sports but the ski department is the heart of this industry leader. Salomon has impressed many with their reliable QST series. Starting with a Spaceframe core and adding a wood, flax, and carbon sandwich, this twin rocker series is light and rigid. The series is made up of four skis but the leader of the pack is the QST 106. If you’re searching far and wide for a pro or competition level park and pipe ski, then look no further than the impressive NFX skis. They’ll help you achieve your shredding dreams!
This skier-owned and operated company, founded in part by Tanner Hall and JP Auclair, works closely with world renowned skiers to change the perception of skiing as an upper class bourgeois old man sport to a rootsy, gritty form of self-expression within a natural medium. They push the limits of the sport with creativity and progressive riding techniques which are integrated into their inventive ski design. Building out what originally started as one impressive ski, the ARV series comes in a whopping four different waist widths, to accommodate any kind of rider, in any terrain. Looking to go big? Phil Casabon’s new B-Dog from Armada is your street smart, rail ski. Its lightweight fleet wood core, combined with a stiffer species in a horizontal laminate, makes it perfect for presses and jibs in the park or to give a tame run a little flavor. Now, if there were one park ski to rule them all, it might just be the Edollo. Henrik Harlaut’s prized pro model delivers the finest that park skiing has to offer. Armada will get you in touch with your inner Soul Bro.
A relatively young company, Icelantic skis have gained notoriety for their insane graphics and jaw-dropping design. Handmade in Colorado, these skis have a boutique feel without the added cost. Their performance is undeniable, pure, and fun. The signature risers at the tip and tail, combined with traditional camber underfoot allows for float in the deep and great edge control and fluidity from turn to turn on the groomers. The Pioneer skis are designed to be an all-mountain skier’s best friend, build to do well just about anywhere these skis will make sure you have the best time possible on the mountain. It has a stiffer flex which gives it power and strength. For those who prefer to spend their days ripping through the park, the Nomad 105 skis are a freestyle rider’s best choice from Icelantic. As always, the Icelantic top sheet art will make heads turn and jaws drop while crushing a line.
An Austrian ski company that knows what they’re doing. Atomic strives to “make every skier a better skier.” With 50 plus years of experience making high-quality skis, there’s no denying this pioneer in the industry. These Olympic quality skis are made to impress with the extremely popular Vantage series. New for 2019, the Bent Chetler 100 skis are designed to give the skier the best feel and maximum float in deep snow conditions. Sure to give the rider the days on the mountain that won’t soon be forgotten. With skis, packages, boots, poles, bags and more to choose from, you can rep Atomic on just about all your gear!
Exploding onto the scene with a dosage of high-quality products, Lib Tech boasts some characteristics that few other companies can. Manufactured in the USA, these skis are made in a zero hazardous waste facility. A unique feature to Lib Tech skis is the Magne-Traction technology that provides excellent edge hold and grip on icy or groomed conditions, providing the skier with an extremely confident ride. Made to last you a lifetime these skis are as durable and long-lasting as possible. Those looking to master the park will feel confident on the Backwards skis, designed to make the most of any park experience. Those looking for something that will thrive in the backcountry, deep snow, powder dream days, look no further than the Wreckcreate 100 skis. These bad boys will not only thrive in the deep stuff but carve like a dream and work wonders on the groomers.
Updating your quiver or picking your first pair of skis is a highly personal endeavor. Plunge into the expanse of your riding spirit to determine your goals and expectations for the 2019 season. Think hard on where you are going to ski, when you are going to ski, and why you are going to ski. Whether you are a backcountry bro or betty, a saggy pants butter loving park rat, a groomer killer, a sidecountry soldier, or a big mountain freestyle freerider; we at The House wish you a most triumphant and most excellent season. Ski hard and rip mountain crumbling slashes. In Ullr we trust.
For a complete lineup of skis, ski gear, ski bindings, ski boots, and clothing, visit our men’s and women’s online ski shop. Also, don’t forget to complete your setup with a helmet, goggles, poles, mitts or gloves, and ski socks!