So the ISPO had begun and we only had a days time to go around, have a look, and even party a little. The previous day had taken it`s toll but we were eager to see the latest and greatest. As you guys know I had the unplanned pleasure of testing a pair of Icelantic Gypsy skis back at the Kauntertal “powder” opening, so I meet up Yves to see what our friends from Colorado had in store for 2014/15.
And as it turns out quiet a lot. Icelantic is well known for producing a very specialized palette of powder skis. High quality, handmade in Colorado, extreme powder machines. That said you won`t get them for 100 bucks on a season off sale! And that is good. You get what you pay for. Very rugged, extremely fun to ride and the top-sheet designs are so nice that people even order prints of them. I`d get one too if I had a house 😛 Without getting to technical the sidewalls are made out of P-Tex Material and they are constructed for abuse. So if you hit a rock on the side that won`t mean bye bye…ironically a friend of mine had that problem last week on Vogel…if it would have been one of these babies he would still be riding them. So whats new shapewise:
First off it`s the RANGER. This is a completely new model in the lineup. It is aimed at the skier who tours but also charges on the way down. So it`s not intended for the guys who just love to run up the hill and ride down snowplow. A lot lighter then the rest of the lineup thnx to Icelantics Octachroma core and “Bombproof” P-Tex sidewalls. These allow for extreme abuse. Also the graphic is pretty sick too. Also has an early rise tip.
Icelandics park ski got quite the treatment for 2014-15. Now with a rocker-camber profile and broader under foot I would say that it goes more into the direction of the more classical park skis with more in mind that just hitting your first rail. I haven`t tested these yet but I think they would fall somewhere in between what something classic like the Salomon Foil would have been if it had a wood-core and more of the modern camber tech. Comes with the proven “Nollie Flex” core that allows for tons of abuse. Should also prove to be more stable then the too “urbanized” park skis.
SKNY Versions of the skis
Another new thing that you will see next season is the expansion of the Skny series. For this or last season, depending how you look at it :P, Icelantic tried to bring some of the fun of it`s superpowderskis to the lesser pow days and the riders that are not used to ride skis with big underfoot width. So they set out and created variations of the base 4 models that went up to 99 underfoot. They are intended for the riders that don`t ride uber-pow yet but would see themselves transition, or those who really like good skis that have “bigger” ski characteristics and also ride nice on groomed tracks. Since the series was so successful they decided to expand them to the rest of the main line so you get them for the scout, pilgrim, nomad rkr, keeper and the gypsy.
And as for the rest the skis remain what they are my favorites being the Gypsy and the Nomad. The Gypsy being a full reverse camber ski allowing a super-smooth and fun ride even at high speeds.
Talking to Yves, Rico and Annelise it was clear that this brand is definitely here to stay. Icelantic is proud to be able to produce such high quality products at home in Colorado. They know what it means to develop there own know-how and that they simply do it because they love skiing. In a market that is so cut throat and so over-saturated I think that that is the right recipe for success being a core brand and maintaining your uniqueness. Also the uncompromising attitude towards quality and love of detail with this brand are nice. No big business BS here my friends.
The brand itself is managed for Europe form Switzerland so don`t worry if you can`t yet find them in your local Slovenian shop 😛 Just hit up there webpage and they will help you out.
Next up well head up to Ferrino. Our Italian freinds have a lot of new freeride stuff ready for you to take to the mountain 🙂