The world wide web is filled with skis that claim to be "the best skis for park," "the best skis for powder," and "the best skis for after-dinner anecdotes." It's tempting of course, when faced with such a cacophony of plank-hype, to just bury your head in the snow and purchase the first skis you point at (obviously you'd need a spotter in this scenario to tell you which skis you'd pointed at, but let's not get distracted).
What we're trying to say is that buying skis, buying the powder skis that are right for you, can be a proper mind-melt. There's so many things to consider, so so many, that people have been known to wake up in the middle of the night mumbling the benefits of twin rocker skis and talking up the virtues of a decent sidecut. Heck, it's stressing us out just thinking about all the people out there right now who are getting stressed out thinking about which ski to buy. So. Much. Stress.
This, we're delighted to tell you, is the point at the film in which Mpora flies down wearing a red cape and blue lycra bodysuit and saves the day. We don't, you'll be disappointed to hear, save the day by shooting lasers from our eyes or by throwing a firetruck into a burning building. We do it by presenting to you this list we've concocted. The list is entitled '10 of the Best Skis For Powder', and it goes a little something like this.
Black Crows - Anima Skis
The Black Crows Anima doesn't mess about. It's a ski with proper guts, a fierce and ferocious bruiser that somehow manages to moonlight as a beautiful ballet dancer. The Anima is, as the Black Crows website states, a ski that's both animated and animalistic. It possesses crud-blasting power in the makeup of its construction, but also offers delicacy and paintbrush-esque manoeuvrability with its "receding sidecut" and double rocker profile.
Testers of these skis have described how clicking into the Animas is like catching up with an old friend, and feeling instantly at ease in their company. Whether this is down to the popping poplar core, the trustworthy bet-your-mortgage-on-it flex, or something else entirely unquantifiable; if you want your skis to respond to the mountain like a highly adaptable sentient being then a pair of these Black Crows might be what you're after.
Bring on the pow!
Line Skis - Magnum Opus
When buying yourself a pair of powder skis, there's so many different things to consider that turning the whole process into a beauty contest and just picking a pair because they've got a cool graphic on them is usually a recipe for disaster Bolognese. Usually. Usually, but not always. Take Line's Magnum Opus, as a case in point.
Not only is the Magnum Opus ski, designed by Eric Pollard, an absolute dream to look at it's also one of the finest winter toys that money can be. From a distance, if you squinted your eyes while looking at it, you'd be forgiven for labelling the Magnum Opus as a heavy and unyielding beast not suitable for the amateur skier. It's got a chunk to it in the width that might make the average Joe hesitate before the cash-splashing begun.
However, the futuristic materials (super-light Cloud Core™) used in the construction of the Magnum Opus means it regularly flips logic on its head by floating like a feather in those moments when you'd expect to see it sink like a stone. This technology, combined with the Early Rise™ and Early Taper™ features, will make you a master of powder in ways so easy you'll repeatedly pinch yourself in the face to make sure you're not dreaming.
Whitedot Skis - The Preacher
We don't particularly like the idea of putting skis on a pedestal and worshiping them as religious icons, it feels wrong. However, when the ski in question is called The Preacher and that ski happens to be one of the loveliest ones ever conceived...it does start to feel rather fitting. Ah, to heck with it. Meet your new favourite omnipotent being. Meet the Whitedot Preacher. Amen.
The Preacher is designed in such a way that the skiers who use it will find themselves floating across deep powder like Jesus did when he walked on water. Not only that, but the positive camber and full-length torsional stiffness (that's what she said) guarantees incredible hold on even the most unforgiving of pistes.
Labelled as an "over-sized" all-mountain ski, The Preacher has won independent ski tests, Freeride World Tour podium spots, and the love and affection of numerous professional athletes. Whether you're a Jedi-level master of off-piste skiing or only just ditching the comfort of the groomed blues for the first time, the Whitedot Preacher has something to offer all you powder-pursuing skiers.
Faction Skis - Candide 4.0
If the skis you're looking to purchase have anything to do with internet-melting ski legend Candide Thovex, you can bet your bottom dollar that they're a pair of half-decent planks.
The Candide 4.0 from Faction were designed to be as versatile and playful as the wild Frenchman they were named for. These backcountry freestylers are a match made in the upper echelons of Valhalla for any skier who enjoys cliff-dropping, pillow-popping, and powder-slaying.
In terms of design, the enormous rocker in the tip and tail should ensure that digging-in and the face-plants that come as a result of this are kept to a minimum. The 4.0's hybrid, light as a feather, core combined with its substantial 122mm waist and totally flat camber make these skis the ultimate toy for when the white stuff gets nice and deep.
Black Diamond - Boundary 115 Ski
When it's dumped it down, and I mean properly dumped it down, you want a pair of skis at hand that aren't just going to curl up by the fire and cower inside the chalet. You need skis with cutting edge design; skis that relish the chance to go playing in the aftermath of extremely heavy snowfall. And this, we're happy to report, is where Black Diamond's Boundary 115 comes in.
With its 115mm waist, the Boundary 115 is Black Diamond's widest freeride ski. The rocking rockered profile, combined with a playful and modern shape, means powder will soon be begging you for mercy as you slay it over and over again.
The poplar core and fibreglass layup of the Boundary 115 optimises the robust transmission of power, and ensures that the skis "engine" won't let you down when you really start to kick things up a gear out in the backcountry.
These skis also feature a nifty little thing called a Sidewall Dampening System. And while a Sidewall Dampener might sound like something you'd argue about with your landlord, it's actually a multi-density sidewall panel located just behind the ski's contact point that's engineered to create an ultra-damp vibration barrier between the tips and bindings.
Get these skis, and brace yourself for a ride that's as smooth as silk.
Rossignol - SQUAD 7
If you're so committed to backcountry powder skiing that you're genuinely thinking about getting down on one knee and proposing to it, then the Rossignol SQUAD 7 might just be exactly the ski you're looking for. The construction of the ski, that's been given a big thumbs up by the top-level athletes who've used it, serves up a fusion of backcountry innovation and progressive freeride performance in one award-winning package.
Featuring Rossignol's patented Air Tip technology, a Powder Turn Rocker profile, chunky sandwich layering, and well-sized 120mm waist width, the SQUAD 7 is a Swiss Army knife for powder-loving skiers. This brilliant ski allows skiers to float through the deep stuff with minimal effort, steer through the deep stuff with minimal effort, and control speed through the deep stuff with, you've guessed it, minimal effort.
Rossingnol claim this ski is the "future of freeride." We're inclined to agree with them.
K2 - Pon2oon Ski
Question. Why did the surfer cross the road to buy a pair of skis? Answer. Because the surfer in question discovered that the K2 Pon2oon's lengthy and extremely well-elevated rocker meant it was a ski with a "surfy" feel ideal for turning powder days into really really good days.
The K2 Pon2oon is designed to ski white stuff easily, quickly, and with less effort on the part of the skier. The powder-specific taper will help you to build confidence up in the deepest sections of snow, and give you the ability to hit turns at will. The ski's camber, despite its minimal nature, exists to ensure that you don't lose your edge on the firmer stuff. The K2 Pon2oon is 1won really gr8 ski (see what we did there...).
Völkl - V-Werks Katana
If you've got a thick wad of cash burning a fiery hole in your pocket, as well an insatiable appetite to ski powder like a total boss, the 2015-2016 edition of Völkl's V-Werks Katana ski could be right up your street. With bindings included, you're looking at a pair of skis priced at £1,010. That's less expensive than the cost of a brand new car but, on the flip-side, it's also a tad more pricey than the standard Boots meal deal.
Why so expensive? Well, it's part of Völkl's V-Werks collection of super-premium skis. These skis are effectively built with the same no-expense-spared mindset of a strip club in Dubai. So rather than traditional fibreglass, for example, these lightweight wonders have a carbon focused construction. They also have channels in the wood core that have been milled and left empty, heightening that floating ghostlike quality.
A fully rockered powder ski that's built like a racer, this 112mm wide plank has a raised ridge right down the centre of it. This allows the ski to be paper thin and sensitive on the edges, ensuring control for the skier as a result, without sacrificing all-important muscle longitudinally. Named after the legendary samurai sword, the Katana ski is ready to slice up the snow on your behalf. Time to start saving? You better believe it.
Liberty - Origin Skis 2016
Thought bamboo was only good for BMX bike frames, and distracting pandas from their procreating responsibilities? Think again. As the Liberty Origin Skis demonstrate, bamboo can be also used to make one hell of a good ski.
The Origin's bamboo core, that's laminated with poplar, ensures that it's lightweight, lively, and durable in equal measure. Throw the ski's 116mm width into the boiling pot, and you've got yourself a recipe for powder-stomping success. With this innovative plank, Liberty have delivered a bonafide floater that's as adept at shooting through crud as it is at carving picturesque turns on the groomers.
A spoonful of camber underfoot, combined with the ski's full rockered tip and tail, means that those looking for versatility in their ski won't be left disappointed by Liberty's Origin. Here at Mpora, we're also a real sucker for a nice graphic. And that, my friends, is a really nice graphic (look at it again, up above these three paragraphs - go on, look how nice it is).
Salomon - Rocker² 108
If you're looking for a fun powder-loving ski, that's not going to get up in your grill if you do something weird and unexpected, you'll love the Salomon Rocker² 108. The Rocker² 108 is a seriously versatile plank, as comfortable in knee deep powder as it is in mere centimetres of fresh snow. In a nutshell, it's a playful off-piste ski that's practical for everyday use.
The carefully-considered profile of the Salomon Rocker² 108, with its twin rocker (tip and tail), makes turning in powder an absolute cakewalk. Whether you're hitting park, pow, or pistes; this ski will do the job...and it'll do it well.