SkiEssentials.com Bargain Basement – 6 2020 Men’s Freeride Skis: Lead Image

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SkiEssentials.com Bargain Basement – Six 2020 Men’s Freeride Skis

For our second 2020 Bargain Basement feature, we’ve identified some really good deals in the men’s freeride category. There’s more variety in freeride skis than the all-mountain category we looked at last time. You’ll find a bigger range in waist widths, more variety in shapes, and ultimately more specific applications depending on shape and construction. As always, if you still aren’t sure what’s right for you or are curious about other options, don’t hesitate to leave a comment right here or get in touch with us directly through chat, email, or that good ole fashion telephone.

AT A GLANCE


2020 Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

18 m at 180 cm

136 / 106 / 126 mm

Paulownia and Carbon Alloy Matrix

Flotation, Maneuverability, Forgiveness


Current Price: $449.95

Why We Like It:

The Soul 7 is an iconic ski now, and it’s officially been replaced for the 2021 season. We’ve talked at length about the new Sender and Sender Ti skis that essentially replace the Soul 7, and while those are great skis, they are different. The Soul 7 still boats incredible maneuverability in tight terrain and exceptional float for their width. They are quite easy to ski for a ski in this category, which makes them an excellent choice for someone who is still progressing their technique in off-piste terrain. On the other hand, put an expert skier on the Soul 7, and they’ll be darting around in tight, technical terrain like a mountain goat. As a bonus, they’re light enough to use as an alpine touring setup.

You’ll also find a great price on the 2020 Sky 7 HD, which provides similar performance, but in a narrower width. Some may find the Sky 7 works better for their day to day skiing, and we certainly wouldn’t fault you for deciding you need both.


AT A GLANCE


2020 Scott Scrapper 105 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

175, 183, 189 cm

22 m at 183 cm

138 / 103 / 126 mm

Wood with Carbon and Aramid

Playfulness, Lightweight, Maneuverability


Current Price: $419.95

Why We Like It:

The Scrapper 105 from Scott offers lightweight freeride performance and alpine touring capabilities, but in a twin tip shape. That sets it apart from most skis this wide and this lightweight, which makes it a fantastic choice if you’re looking to head into the backcountry or sidecountry and you want to do it with a freestyle/freeski mentality and style. Scott skis don’t get the attention they deserve. The brand doesn’t have a cult following and isn’t often in the spotlight, but the company has a long, strong history in winter sports and their skis are very high quality. The Scrapper 105 is a perfect example. It uses high-end construction with carbon and aramid additives and it’s a ton of fun to ski.

We’re lucky to have quite a lot of skis from Scott at discounted prices right now. If you’re looking for more of a dedicated touring ski, check out the Speedguide 95. 1220 grams feels like practically nothing on your feet. If you’re planning on doing a lot of touring this season, a lightweight ski goes a long way.


AT A GLANCE


2020 Elan Ripstick 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

167, 174, 181, 188 cm

18.1 m at 181 cm

140 / 106 / 122 mm

Wood Core and Carbon Tubes

Versatility, Maneuverability, Smoothness


Current Price: $489.99

Why We Like It:

Sure, the Ripstick line has been updated for 2021, but the 2020 versions are still really, really good. The Ripstick 106 is arguably the most versatile ski on this list. For many, it would be a super-fun resort powder/freeride ski. Slap a touring binding on it and all of a sudden you have a hybrid resort/AT ski. The Ripstick 106 is playful, maneuverable, compliant, yet also has strong edge grip and an exceptionally smooth feel thanks to their unique application of carbon. They are approachable for less aggressive skiers and upper-level intermediates, but are like a Swiss Army Knife for an expert skier, allowing for endless variety in turn shapes and styles.

Yeah, we know, we mentioned the Ripstick 106 Black in our last Bargain Basement list too, but it’s just too good to leave out. Take the fun performance of the Ripstick 106, add extra carbon, and you’ve got the Black Edition. These things perform better than they look, which is saying a lot because they look amazing.


AT A GLANCE


2020 Volkl Confession Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

179, 186, 193 cm

23.8 m @ 186 cm

144 / 117 / 133 mm

Titanal Band and Carbon Stringers

Power, Stability, Flotation


Current Price: $549.95

Why We Like It:

The Volkl Confession is a unique ski among this list. It’s designed more for high speed, big mountain performance than slow speed maneuverability, essentially making it the polar opposite of a ski like the Soul 7. Volkl’s Titanal Band construction has a relatively short run in their production models, which is somewhat of a bummer. By positioning metal along the middle of the ski, but not along the edges, you get a lot of longitudinal stability, but a little more edge to edge compliance than some skis with metal. That said, compliance doesn’t necessarily mean approachability. The Confession likes to go fast and likes to take direct lines down the fall line, which is reflected in its 24 m turn radius.

Titanal Band was also featured in the Volkl Kanjo, a much narrower ski that’s far more approachable than the Confession. The Kanjo is one of the best deals on our site right now and offers super versatile all-mountain performance for a wide range of skiers.


AT A GLANCE


2020 Black Crows Nocta Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

177, 185, 190 cm

26 m at 185 cm

140 / 122 / 132 mm

Poplar and Paulownia

Flotation, Playfulness, Smear-Factor


Current Price: $751.95

Why We Like It:

Don’t worry, we get it, $751 for a Bargain Basement list seems like a stretch. We agree, but Black Crows skis are in such high demand right now that we thought we would include the massive Nocta. If you’re looking for the ultimate float, it’s hard to do much better than the Nocta. Surfy maneuverability in even the deepest snow, the Nocta is a freeride powder skiers dream. As a bonus, the Nocta is unchanged for 2021, just a new topsheet graphic, so you’re still getting a current shape in their lineup, just at a discounted price. Did we mention it’s super surfy?

The Corvus is another example of a popular, iconic Black Crows model that’s unchanged for 2021. Get the same big mountain performance and charge-ability, but at a discount off the 2021 price. The Corvus is a closer comparison to the Confession than the Nocta in terms of performance.


AT A GLANCE


2020 Fischer Ranger 102 FR Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

170, 177, 184 cm

18 m at 177 cm

136 / 102 / 126 mm

Air Tec Ti

Playfulness, Maneuverability, Versatility


Current Price: $419.95

Why We Like It:

The Ranger 102 FR is going to get a lot of attention this season. Partly because it’s a great ski, but also because Fischer put that bold, bright pink graphic on the 2021 version. Pink skis are pretty darn cool, but you can get the same performance in this 2020 version with the classic black and blue graphic. The Ranger 102 is super playful and maneuverable, while still achieving impressive edge grip and pretty darn good stability too. It’s another ski that could double as an alpine touring ski. We’ve also seen skiers use them in the terrain park, we’ve had racers brushing their hips against the snow on the Ranger, and so much more. It’s an incredibly capable ski.

The Ranger 94 offers the same shape and construction, but in a narrower width. It’s a super versatile all-mountain ski that’s incredible nimble. It’s become a favorite among our staff for moguls and eastern trees.


Written by Jeff Neagle on 09/24/20

One thought on “SkiEssentials.com Bargain Basement – Six 2020 Men’s Freeride Skis

  1. Looking for a great all mountain ski that I can take into the glades and steeps all east coast skiing. I'm a 54 year old intermediate/advanced skier 205 pounds 5'10''. What would be the best ski and length for me. BLACKOPS Escaper / HolyShred / Sender or any of the other skis you have review RipStick, Fisher Ranger etc. ? Any help would be appreciated

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