The Soul Rider 87 returns with a fresh graphic update, but remains the same fan-favorite ski as ever before. Built with a wood core and carbon stringers, there’s nothing terribly fancy or interesting about how this ski is built. It’s got a full sidewall, tip and tail rocker, and a twin-tip shape. At 87 mm underfoot, it’s in the in-between width of narrow versus wide, and with an 18.5-meter turn radius at 185 cm length, it’s neither here nor there in terms of its arc. So if there’s nothing special about the Soul Rider 87, how come it’s so much fun to ski? The turned-up tail has a lot to do with it, as it’s super easy to get out of the turn. That said, you can really lock yourself into the carve if you’re balanced and don’t mind a bit less stability. But overall, it carves really well for a wood core ski with a twin tip. Off-trail is where these things really shine. They’re super-quick in the bumps and woods. Being a twin-tip, one would think it’s best suited for park and pipe skiing, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong about that. However, this ski is more than that, and should be treated as such. The Soul Rider 87 surprised our testers again this year, with compliments and interesting takes coming at us from all angles.
Harrison Gorham skied the appropriately sized 185 and loved the stability, quickness, and maneuverability of the ski. His overall impression and versatility scores were 4’s out of 5, indicating a good time was had by Harrsion. He calls them “fast, stable, super maneuverable, snappy, great pop, not too soft. Not noodle-like.” So, can we infer from those comments that the skis are more than just their construction?
His brother Connor Gorham ripped a few on the 87 in the 185 and had 5’s out of 5 for stability, quickness, and edge hold. Edge hold? On a twin tip wood core ski? Guess so. “For an 87 waist, it shifted side to side with precise control. Quick jukes and triangle buttons were made easy. Overall a great ski.” Good comparison, that these skis are like playing a video game, and that they’re easy to control and tons of fun.
Evan Caha skied the 177 and found the size to be “okay-ish.” Probably a longer size for Evan. He had mostly 4’s out of 5 on his scorecard, including stability, maneuverability, and playfulness. These are all awesome qualities in an all-mountain twin tip, and it’s great seeing these skiers get surprised by skis like this. “Stable! Surprisingly no chatter. Likes all kinds of turns. Just as happy with tight twisties and big carvers.” Evan did note that even some skis have limits: “Topped out at speed. A little longer would be nice. Full ski edge contact. Pleasantly surprised overall.” Sounds like a Soul Rider 87 convert!
Matt McGinnis felt like he was a bit too powerful for the 177, and would most likely prefer the 185. His top scores of 4 out of 5 were for torsional stiffness and versatility. When a ski is under 90 mm underfoot, they tend to feel pretty stiff under you boot, so that’s probably what Matt was feeling here. He also touches on the freestyle aspect of the ski: “I think this could be a great option for beginner to intermediate park skiers—ideally 13-17 years old. It holds an edge well, I just felt like I was overpowering it.” Fair enough, especially coming from a freestyle-oriented skier like Matt who should probably be on the longer size.
Do not overlook this ski! Most all-mountain skiers would assume this is too soft or too park-oriented, and they’ll be missing out on one of the most versatile and fun skis out there on the market today.