These are hands down the best All-Mountain skis I've ever ridden.Ratings:
JSkis Masterblaster 181cm "The Scavenger" Graphic
â€œLovechild of an all-mountain carver and park ski, but raised in urban ski terrain."
â€œDirectional twin with two personalities...both tending toward rowdy antics.â€
JSkis Masterblaster (Left) and "The Metal" (Right)
Jason Levinthal founded JSkis in October 2013 and is generally acknowledged as starting the twin-tip ski phenomenon and related revolution with his first ski company called Line Skis in 1995 which quickly dominated its niche in the industry and literally changed the shape of skiing forever. Jason is also famous for launching the Full Tilt ski boot company from the original Raichle Flexon boot design, so he knows the industry and the evolution of ski design and ski company business models over the last several decades as an insider. Jason is one of the pioneers, and we have him right here in Vermont.
Jason (â€œJâ€) makes skis showing off his twin-tip shaping craft combining horizontal shaping with tip and tail rocker mated to various degrees of underfoot camber to produce his signature playful personality in his designs. The JSkis tend to be easy and fun to ride, with a loose and mischievous nature well suited to the younger, athletic crowd his brand appeals to so well. JSkis has one of the most well-crafted, â€œundergroundâ€ digital market presence campaigns in the business with prolific posting of ever-changing, but limited-edition graphic designs from many different artists on a wide variety of social media sites, email targets and evolving digital platforms. The audience for his announcements of new, exciting products is growing strategically, as are his sales each season. J knows a thing or two about marketing this type of product to specific demographic targets, and everyone would be wise to study this Vermonterâ€™s success in the direct-to-consumer ski sales business. JSkis are designed in Vermont and manufactured in Quebec.
â€œPowerful, ultra responsive precision on firm snow that's equally fun & playful beyond the groomers
The â€œMasterblasterâ€ is my newest ski, and has won awards from every magazine test it entered! I engineered it with ultra quick race-like handling and precision yet a unique split personality thatâ€™s also incredibly fun and playful when you get it in the powder. Unlike my other skis, it has a directional shape with a lower tail so there's more edge length in contact with the snow for the most grip possible on groomers. All of this is backed by my unique metal laminate construction for extra power and responsiveness when charging hard. If you liked the "Prophet" ski, think of this as it's new and improved mind blowing replacement! â€
Burlington, Vermont, United States
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
$699 usd (2016)
100% Satisfaction Money-Back Policy
(â€œI personally guarantee these are the best skis & you'll love them. If for any reason within your first 3 days of skiing on them at the mountain, you don't love them, you can literally send them back, & I'll refund your total product & shipping costs! If you don't like em', send them back & we'll ride them!â€)
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
7+ for boilerplate due to rockered tip and tail feel
8+ for packed powder groomers...most speeds up below warp nine.
8+ for mixed conditions...loose and playful feel, not a crud-busting dozer
Powder conditions unavailable for testing by press time
The Masterblaster is a fun and loose-handling direction twin tip all-mountain frontside ski with a relatively soft tip and tail and somewhat stiffer midbody allowing it to set very respectable carving trenches into groomed surfaces and packed powder materials with very little effort. Itâ€™s fun-loving design makes it very easy to ski anywhere on the hill, and the inclusion of a narrow Titanal metal strip along the center of the core quiets the behavior and lends an extra bit of authority to its chassis when under pressure without adding significant weight or handling penalties.
If you took a park+pipe twin tip ski and gave it some all-mountain personality to make it more stable at speed, handle mixed surface types and carve stronger than a typical twin, you would get the Masterblaster. This ski can make a large population of skiers very happy since it combines two distinct characteristics. The first is the playful, twin-tip ease of directional change and ability to butter the nose and tail through different kinds of terrain with very little effort and near-zero hangups. You can drift it, smear it, slarve it and pivot on demand. The second characteristic is the ability to set its edge into firm or soft snow under pressure through a turn and generate a satisfyingly well-executed carve in short or large radii, yet change your radius or direction by simply releasing the pressure and altering direction into a new arc.
The Masterblaster has a bias toward its freestyle personality rather than its carving prowess, but we think thatâ€™s the intent from Jason Levinthal. The Masterblaster bridges the gap between traditional freestyle twin tip and all-mountain ski nicely and displays both its personalities well. The only reservations we had were the boilerplate grip of the ski at high pressure or high speed situations, and the tendency to feel a bit loose at high speeds when running flat, but then again, that is not what the ski is intended for. Heavyweights or musclehead skiers might find the Masterblaster a bit soft. JSkis has created the bridge between the park+[pipe freestyle tool and the all-mountain terrain cruiser with an emphasis on easy handling and high fun factor, and thatâ€™s a great achievement. Plus, you can get free stickers just by asking J.
Technical Ski Data:
Titanal Metal Laminate
Maple Wood Core
Full Height Sidewalls
Quasi Isotropic Fiberglass
High Definition Digital Printing
Weight (measured) 2080 grams, 2104 grams
Bindings, Boots, Wax & Tune Used:
Marker Jester Alpine Demo Bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
Green Ice waxes, cold and warm
Skied as-is out of the box â€“ waxing only.
Good fit and finish, Subdued, stealthy â€œThe Scavengerâ€ limited edition black graphic (all JSkis graphics are â€œlimited editionâ€...itâ€™s part of the marketing effort to generate some sparcity of different editions and always bringing something new and fresh to market on a frequent basis...). Softer tips and tails and a fairly stout, straightened midsection. (Some people call this a â€˜hingedâ€ flex when observed from the side under pressure)
Eastern corduroy, man-made dry packed powder, shallow powder (6 inches max), Spring-like corn and refrozen man-made hardpack boilerplate in places.
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The Masterblaster can lay down some really nice carves into packed powder surfaces and most hardpack with a quiet, calm authority thanks to the sidecut shaping, camber underfoot and the Titanal metal strip laid down the center of the chassis and tapered at the tip and tail to reduce swing weight and promote flexibility at the extreme ends of the ski. Vibrations are controlled nicely and you can crank out some GS-radius turns or quicker hit-and-run SL-like directional changes with very little effort on hardpack materials, but be aware this is a rockered twin tip ski and its edge contact length is somewhat shorter than the body of the ski, so the front and rear ends of the ski are not as glued into the surface as a race-carver or a non twin-tip all-mountain ski, so you can get some breakaway at the front or rear of the ski if you get off dead-center under pressure on the hardest boilerplate surfaces. This ski wants to be run dead-center in its sweet spot underfoot on hardpack to get the best results, and if you get too far forward, or back, or mess up your edge set weighting through the lifecycle of the carve on boilerplate, you can experience some loss of grip. Thatâ€™s the trade-off to get the freewheeling, loose feel of the Masterblaster in softer snow conditions. If you want an intensely psychotic deathgrip on ice, pick a different ski. If you want a ski that can sink its edge into some hardpacked powder and generate a great ride under pressure and still play like a bird dog off the hardpack, the Masterblaster is a fun tool.
Riding through mixed suface conditions is really fun with the Masterblaster since itâ€™s twin tip design and rockered geometry lets the ski feel loose and playful at its extreme ends front and rear, yet has a damp, controlled feel and plenty of pop underfoot to direct your trajectory and hold a line through the junk. The soft tip and tail can sometimes get knocked around a bit if there is choppy material under the surface, but the Masterblasterâ€™s compliant personality means you can get it back on track without being thrown to the side or back seat. The metal in the layup means there is a decent amount of dampening along the ski as you traverse mixed surface types, but itâ€™s built in such a way as to minimize the planky feel of some metal-infused designs from other companies. The Masterblaster is not a stiff, hard-charging monster crud-crusher, but its more playful, loose and fun to mess around with than many single-purpose skis and can definitely be a ski to grab no matter what the conditions might be if you prefer loose to stiff, and want a compliant tip and tail instead of some strictly-business, weaponized ski designs.
Bumps and Powder:
We didnâ€™t get a chance to take the Masterblasters into serious bumps since it was too early in the season to find snow deep enough to support big bump formation, but we did get into bumps a little less than knee-high, both tightly spaced and widely spaced, and the Masterblasters were a really fun ride, soaking up the initial hits with the soft twin tip, firming-up along the midbody with a nice punch of energy, and slithering down the backsides with the softish tails, never catching or hooking. The metal-infused construction seemed to add a bit of civility and â€œpop-controlâ€ to the Masterblasters, so you never felt like you had an ever-increasing rebound frequency building up in a series of bumps, threatening to unsettle your rhythm. Hard-core bump skiers love the high-energy, intense pop feel of a true bump ski with lots of unbridled fiberglass storing and releasing tension, but for most folks skiing all day all over the mountain, the controlling effect of the metal components in these skis makes them an all-day, all-fun option when bumps are everywhere.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
A playful bird dog with a serious heart to dig deep when needed, but never gets too serious.
Vermont Beverage Most Like This Ski:
Silo Distillery Cacao Vodka â€“ split personality mixing light and dark...but always fun and not too serious. http://www.silodistillery.com/cacao/
Things We Would Change About This Ski:
Maybe make a version with a flat tail to get it to really rail at the end of hardpack turns. Maybe try a version with full-width metal sheet.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
The Masterblaster is a playfully loose freestyle-bred twin with a solid midsection to dig in and carve packed surfaces when asked. It has an upper speed limit, but is super friendly and easy to ski if you like twin tip handling and low effort skiing all day. â€œEase over Effortâ€
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Consider a slightly longer length than you might normally order since the rocker and soft forebody will make it feel shorter than it measures. If youâ€™re looking for a race-carver all-mountain design, you might not like the feel of the loose twin-tip personality.
Who and What Are These Good For?
Rowdy, mischievous skiers who would rather have a looser, more playful ski for the frontside and occasional trips into fresh snow, but want to dig into groomers when needed to lay down some tracks under pressure, but not too seriously. Good for park-rats who are looking for a more all-purpose design than a true park+pipe ski, but still want to jump into the park features every few laps on the mountain.