The idea behind Roofbox Reviews, our in-depth review program, is to make sure our readers have access to the most honest and comprehensive reviews we can produce. They are open to all brands, big or small, whether they work with Newschoolers or otherwise. Our editors' picks are exactly the same, but being truly comprehensive is harder to pull off. Unlike other outlets, I want to put our cards on the table. We haven't skied everything. ON3P for example, who based on my experience of an old version of the Magnus make some of the best skis out, wouldn't (or couldn't) send us any skis to review. Vishnu brought out stiffer 'plus' versions of both their skis, and a stiffer Wet would have had a great shot of being my own pick. But in both cases, we haven't skied them, so they can't make the cut.
Of course, trying to define the best park skis is very much a matter of personal preference. A couple of years ago, we split our best park skis into categories (Comp, Jib, and Fat) but we ended up picking skis that we weren't really all that stoked on ourselves. Since then we've eschewed that approach, and instead, picked the skis we actually chose to spend our own riding time on, the ones we kept riding even though the review period had come to an end. These are the skis we'd choose to ride, and that's the best endorsement we can give.
I was surprised to see how much Mark loved these skis because he's typically a guy who likes stiffer skis in the K2 Poacher/Liberty Helix mold. The fact that he does is a testament to the combination of butteriness and stability that they offer. These are certainly the softest of our picks overall. In fact, and they come pretty close to the Vishnu Wet in terms of what you can do with the flex in the tips and tails. That they offer so much more of a stable platform overall than the Wet, the Blend and the like is a testament to what Phil and Armada's engineers have done with this ski.
For our full, in-depth Armada BDog review: Click Here
"While this ski excels in the park, where you can easily take your butter game to the next level, it does most other things well too. I would say the number one factor for me with this ski is the durability. They don't really have an upper limit, level-wise, either. They work for anyone, of any level who is getting after it many days of the week, both on the mountain and in the streets" - Mark
An ideal ski for: Those who like to flex, butter, and jib, but still want a landing platform for jumps.
Armada EDollo - Twig
The other two skis in this Editors' Picks were shoe-ins because of how much other gear editors have loved them. I had some real difficulties nailing down my own pick. I really enjoyed the Vishnu Wet, but ultimately found them too loose for daily use. The Faction Prodigy 1.0s do it all well, but I found them hard to love. I also loved the Lib Tech UFO 95, but that was more for its all-mountain versatility than its park pedigree. I skied the BDog too and loved the flex pattern but couldn't get along with the super-tight sidecut, so for me, nothing beats my pick from last year, the EDollo.
For our full, in-depth Armada EDollo review: Click Here
Not that much has changed with the EDollo over the years, but I prefer the slightly softer tail featured on the most recent versions. It gives the ski a more balanced feel despite the ski having rockered tips and cambered tails. Durability has also improved and the new core with its full-length ash stringers, provides more energy on takeoffs and on the exit of butters. They are at their heart, a soft, buttery ski but thanks to the cambered tail they are superior on jumps and groomers to heavily tail rockered skis like the Wet/Magnus and even their surprisingly stable brother the BDog. It's hard to pin down exactly what it is about these skis, they just work for a bit of everything and I love the feeling of skiing them. So for now, they remain my pick for park days.
An ideal ski for: Those who like soft skis, playful skis, but still want a ski that performs decently outside of the park.
This year the Helix 98 is Peter's pick. Last year it was Mark's. I've skied it too and it really is a standout ski. It's a similar in shape to the EDollo but far stiffer making it much more of a charger's sk. As a stiffer park ski, we rate it narrowly above the K2 Poacher, which Mark is also a big fan of (as am I). The Poacher is a great ski, but ultimately it was the durability Mark has experienced on the Libertys that tipped the balance. Mark is our resident ski killer. So when he says a ski is super durable, we take notice. Peter likes to gap off rails, ski fast and stomp hard, and these are a perfect fit for that style.
For our full, in-depth review of the Liberty Helix 98: Click Here
"I personally loved the Helix for my aggressive ski style, mostly hitting large jumps and rails. What I really enjoyed is the wider 98mm platform because it gave me more ski to work with on rails. The stiff camber section allowed me to charge jumps, with the super low swingweight making it easy to go big & spin fast. The slight tip rocker felt great too when initiating turns on trails and skiing slushy days." - Mark
An ideal ski for: Park skiers who like a wider platform but don't want a softer, less stable ski. Those who like to go big.
Next week: All-mountain Skis