I got to ski a bunch of next year's skis at a retailer demo trade show this week.
Conditions were somewhat spring-like the first two days with lots of hardpack, and then up to 6" of fresh in spots on the last day from a small overnight storm.
K2 Public Enemy
I've never actually skied a PE before, but hand flexing has always given me the idea that the flex on this ski is a bit weird. This is supposed to be one of K2's "park" skis, but I feel like it's too stiff to be a true park stick, except for heavier individuals. With that said, I also think they want this to be an all-mountain ski, which it does somewhat well, but the flex is weird when it comes to carving, especially in crud. Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of this ski. I couldn't seem to find a sweet spot on it, and it just felt a little unstable at times.
Same ski as the original 1080. Pretty good in the park, poppy and nimble. All mountain it wasn't very good, but I expected this. Not insanely soft, but still plenty soft to be fun in the park and jibbing around. Carved pretty well, and I think it would be a good ski for the trendy kids who are just getting into skiing, as it's easy to turn, and still has the twin tips for park radness.
Armada Pipe Cleaner
This was actually quite a fun ski. I feel like they slimmed it a bit, but apparently it's still the same dimension as this year. I didn't notice the race base as much as I would have thought, but it could have been a bad tune. Initially the ski was VERY hookey, but a quick detune and they became very predictable. This ski is nuts light, and spins really well in the park. The pop was good, but not amazing. I really liked this ski as a park ski, but because of the soft race base, I dont know how well it would hold up to rails and jibs.
I will say right now, I will be buying this ski next year. Yeah, this is the ski that at one point had no edge underfoot, but it sure has matured. Best comparison I can give is this years AR6, and its like a stiffer AR6 with a touch more shovel. Good in the park, but surprisingly good all mountain as well. This was just one of the skis you can't exactly say why, but it was just fun. Carved well, scrubbed well, nimble, poppy, it was just the whole package, atleast for me. Again, considering my height/weight, bigger guys may have differing opinions, but this ski was the ticket for me.
Another favorite of mine. A great park stick, but compliments to Salomon for making this better all mountain. It's still a bit weird with the salomon freestyle reccomended mount point, but held an edge well, and handled the variable conditions with good results. It wouldn't be a good dedicated all mountain stick, but for the park/all mountain combo, it was a good bet. I liked it better than the Thruster and the 1080 foil for all mountain use, even though it's skinnier than the foil.
This ski, along with the Bridge, combine to replace the karma for 07/08. The wall is a mid 80s underfoot symmetrical shape. I was skeptical when I has handed a center mounted demo, as I've never been a fan of volkl skis in the park. The center mount took a bit to get used to, but this ski carved VERY well. It had an easy to find sweet spot, and railed an edge. In the park, I just couldn't really get comfy on it. I did a few drops on it, and it stomped landings well with a very solid feel underfoot. A fun ski, but I think the jury will be out for a while on the symmetrical shape and it's applications outside the park.
Rossignol Scratch Ghetto and Scratch Brigade
I'm combining these two as my thoughts on them are very similar. These replace the Scratch FS and BC for next year. I've never been much of a Rossi guy, but I wanted to try these to see if my opinion would change. Not really. Never really felt like I could get these skis to carve well, and they felt all over the place off-piste. Not the ski for me, but I heard many good reviews of the Scratch Ghetto.
Stiffer than I remembered it, and it was a good all mountain stick. Charged the crud, and was pretty good in the park. Super stable on the landings, and good pop off of lips. I didnt get to ski this one for two long as it got ass cold and windy after one run, so that's all I can offer.