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. The NS gear reviewers get together, and between us figure out which skis we want to put our names behind.
Powder skis are for those dream days but, in my opinion at least, it's nice when they do still have some versatility. There's not much I hate more than taking my pow skis up and then hating life for the rest of the day when the snow gets tracked or just isn't as good as hoped. These skis all do a decent job of performing in mixed conditions and can hold their own on the groomers that all but the luckiest of us still have to deal with on powder days. But of course, they all excel on the powder side of things. This being Newschoolers, they are all skis you can slash, butter, surf and even land switch in deep snow on.
The Prodigy 3.0 is pretty close to a perfect powder ski to me. I don't often need a ton of width when I'm riding in Europe. Most storms tend to dump a foot or so and I'm not the biggest guy, so something between 104-108 underfoot is more than enough. I considered the Sir Francis Bacon as my pick here too, but while they are super fun and great in pow, I'd argue they lose out in versatility by being pretty soft and I'm not sure I'm sold on the concave tips. The Prodigy shape is also super conducive to good float and good times in powder but still skis pretty well in other conditions too. I don't really need to size up to the 4.0 but for those of you who are bigger or ski bigger storms, I think it's a great option without going into the super-fat bracket.
For our full, in-depth Prodigy 3.0 review: Click Here
For our full, in-depth Prodigy 4.0 review: Click Here
"Despite the relatively narrow width, these are more of a pow/all-mountain ski than anything else. They are fun in the park, but their float is probably their most impressive attribute. As a pure pow ski, I’d probably choose the Prodigy 4.0 over these, but as a viable pow option that isn’t too fat, I’d say these reign supreme above all others I've tried." - Twig
An ideal ski for: Those who ski somewhere it doesn't snow that much enough to merit one of the fatter skis. Or those looking for a pow ski that can also be a daily driver.
Dylan is a new addition to our gear editor squad and he crushed it this year. Despite skiing the Vision 108 in a huge for his size 189, he loved it and picked it as his editors' pick for the powder/touring combo. Zorko and I both skied these at demos this year and both wanted a pair, these skis were the most desired review ski of the year, simply because you can do it all. They can jib, they can charge and they float well too. And they are a reasonable weight for touring. I'd probably steer clear of parks on them thanks to the lightweight construction, but Dylan didn't do them much damage and he skis far harder than me.
For Dylan's full, in-depth Vision 108 review: Click Here
"The Vision 108 floats about as good as any 108 underfoot skis could, and even better than some wider skis I've been on. It represents the perfect freeride touring ski, balancing low weight for the uphills with maneuverability, as well as an almost unheard of dampness for a ski this light. For someone who doesn’t care about skiing as fast as possible inbounds, this could make a great one ski quiver combined with a burlier touring binding like the Cast set up or a shift." - Dylan
An ideal ski for: Those who tour, but ski hard and still want a ski you can play around on.
Lib Tech crushed it with the UFO collection this year. All three made it into our Editor's picks. The 115 can be seen used to its limit on the feet of Lucas Wachs (that 7 in Romance blows my mind every time) but is also an easy ski to ski if you're taking it easy. The ability to ski these comfortably at both low and high speeds blew me away at the on-snow test. Erica and Dylan took these on for a full review last winter and charged all over Jackson Hole. They've kept them in the quiver for the season and you can't give a better recommendation than that.
For Erica's full, in-depth Lib Tech UFO 115 review: Click Here
This ski is an exceptional addition to someone's quiver as a sidecountry ski to take on open pow fields, pillow lines and but still handles couloirs and icy bumpy traverses back to the resort. On those icy traverses was one of the only times we noticed the Magne-Traction and it was in a good way, it made it easier to hold higher lines than ski partners which saved us some sidestepping. Overall, we would highly recommend these and will be keeping them in our quiver for those deeper, softer days.- Erica
An ideal ski for: Those looking for a semi-directional pow ski for jibbing around but also skiing some steeper lines.
The Völkl Revolt 121 has to be one of the most hyped ski launches for some time, with a whole movie dedicated to showing them off. In my 'old-age', I don't often like super-fat skis but I enjoyed skiing these for their blend of stability and playfulness. They're more solid than skis like the Bentchetler and Line Magnum Opus, so they give you maximum float but still work fairly well in choppy snow, etc.
For our full, in-depth Völkl Revolt 121 review, check back in this Thursday
"The Revolt 121 allows you to do far more than most huge pow skis. I wouldn’t want to be on many 115+ skis on anything particularly steep, especially if the snow is anything less than perfect (not that I ever want to be on anything steep if the snow is less than perfect). But the Revolt 121 will handle mixed conditions and higher speeds no problem. For me, it sits somewhere between the pure jibby pow skis and the more directional fat chargers. It gives you a lot of the good sides of both without too many downsides." - Twig
An ideal ski for: Ultimate float. Big enough for the biggest days but still solid enough for when conditions aren't that great.
Check out our Park Ski Editors' Picks: Click Here
Check out our All-Mountain Ski Editors' Picks: Click Here