New from Volkl for 2023 is a revamp of one of their most popular skis: the Mantra 102. In the second edition of this beloved ski, Volkl amplified its strong, stable, and maneuverable characteristics that make it so great, by bringing in some of the brand’s latest tech. Chief amongst these editions is the introduction of Volkl’s Tailored Titanal Frame which enables the ski to retain a heck of an edge despite it’s 102mm width. To be frank, we’re pretty excited about this new ski, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it in this full review of the 2023 Volkl Mantra 102!
Well skiers, there’s no way around it: today’s a big day for us here on Chairlift Chat. As you know, we’ve been putting out comprehensive ski reviews here on the blog for years now. Over the course of those years though, there’s been a glaring omission: a lack of women’s content. Starting today, we’re extremely excited to announce that we’ve started working with one of Mad River Glen’s Head Freeskiing coaches, Emily Crofton, to bring an equivalent caliber of review to women’s skis. To kick things off, she’s put together a review of the all new 2023 Salomon QST 98, a ski whose predecessor Emily has skied on for years. So, without further ado, we highly recommend clicking through to read her review of this exciting new ski! It’s a good one, we promise.
This week, we’re nervous but excited to bring you a full review of what’s likely to be one of the more controversial skis of the 2023 season. As you might already know, Fischer totally redesigned their beloved Ranger series this year (with at least a little input from us, might we add), and in doing so has changed the personality of some of their most popular skis. Personally, we think the changes make skis like the Fischer Ranger 96 and the Ranger 102 skis all around better, although there’s sure to be some discussion around that in the year ahead. We’ve already given the 102 the full review treatment, so this week, we’re excited to share with you our official review of the 2023 Fischer Ranger 96. Enjoy!
Looking for a twin tip ski that doesn’t ski quite like a twin tip? Something that’s a bit burlier than your average buttery park ski, but not as series as some of the more charge-ready freeride skis? If this sounds like your ticket to on snow success, the 2023 Liberty Origin 96 might just be the ride for you. With its freestyle inspired shape and flex zones, combined with singular metal strut, the Origin offers an uncommon blend of park influence and all mountain performance. Get all the details about what makes this ski so exceptional right here in our full review!
Since it’s inception, the Head Kore 99 has proven to be one of the more experimental freeride skis we’ve had the pleasure of testing. Since it’s birth in the 2018/2019 season, the Kore 99 has used everything from Koroyd, to Graphene, to even polyester fleece. Regardless of which iteration we’ve tested, we’ve always found the ski to offer a unique set of properties that have made it hard to pin point a specific skier type that it’s best suited for. For 2023, Head gives the ski another update, and to be honest, it’s our favorite one yet. While they remain hard to classify as a specialist in any one area, the 2023 Kore 99 is an incredibly fun option for the right skier. To find out if you fit the bill, click through and check out this comprehensive ski review!
For 2023, Nordica has blessed us with a whole slate of new skis, introducing both the Unlimited and Unleashed series. This week, Bob takes us through the new Nordica Unleashed 98, telling us all of the reasons why, as much as he loved the Soul Rider that it replaces, he's fallen head over heels for this new ski. Taking cues from a number of skis within Nordica's lineup, the new Unleashed 98 is a blend of traits that offers the perfect ride for skiers like Bob. Find out all of the details about this new ski in this official review!
Just about a month ago, when Fischer launched their new line of Ranger skis, we jumped right in with an overview of the entire series. Since then, we’ve received a number of questions and comments asking us to go more in depth with each of these skis, especially the Ranger 102. This ski, which replaces the Ranger 102 FR, or “the pink ski” as many might call it, has a decidedly different personality. That said, despite being different, we’ve found ourselves in love with it for a number of reasons. To learn more about what you can expect from the 2023 Fischer Ranger 102, check out this complete ski review.
When K2 launched the Mindbender series a few years back, they took a huge stride forward towards establishing themselves as a serious player in the all mountain free ride category. With this line of skis, K2 proved to many that they were capable of making a line of ridiculously high performing freeride skis that offered a perfect blend of playful and seriousness. This year, K2 has revamped the serious side of their line, launching a revamp of every Mindbender with metal in it. While we were always fans of Mindbender Ti skis, we’re head over heels for this latest revision. We’ll highlight a few of these skis in the months to come, but to kick off our reviews of the redesigned K2 Mindbenders, we’re starting with one that we think is going to make quite a few people very, very happy: the 2023 K2 Mindbender 89Ti. Click through to read our full review!
So far for 2023, we’ve seen a lot of brands expand their product line, introducing new skis and lines to satisfy growing segments within the sport. Rossignol however, has gone a different route. Rather than continue to diversify through expansion, they’ve simplified their lines, adding key models and constructions to hit a bring a stronger focus for each ski. One of the highlights of this reorganization is the new Sender / Rallybird line, which each feature three models ranging from mid-90’s to mid-100’s in width, offering a variety of stiffnesses to perfectly satisfy a wide range of free ride oriented skiers. After putting these new lines to the test, we have to say, we’re quite impressed. For the skiers they’re intended for, the 2023 Rossignol Sender and Rallybird skis have proven to be incredible options. Click through to read our full review of these exciting new skis.
This week on Chairlift Chat, we're continuing our series of reviews covering the all new 2023 Atomic Bent line of skis. Previously, we've covered both the series as a whole, and given an in depth review of the Bent 110. This week, we're back with a review of the Bent 90, and it's something of a combo-review as Bob and Jeff both had distinctly different perspectives on the ski thanks to substantially different mount points. Despite their differences, our two highly esteemed reviewers each found themselves falling in love with the Bent 90. Click through to read all about this exciting new ski!
This week, we’re quite excited to bring you a review of the newly updated 2023 Salomon QST 106. Last season, Salomon introduced some subtle yet significant updates to the QST 98 and the QST Blank, leaving us wondering if they would decide to bring those changes into the 106 for 2023. As it turns out, they did, and the results are spectacular. This right here is just the preview copy, so we won’t give away too many details, but we encourage you to give this review a full read to learn all there is to know about these exciting changes to an incredible ski!
A few weeks back we had the pleasure of previewing the updated 2023 Atomic Bent (Chetler) line of skis. Amongst this expanded lineup are an all new Bent 85, Bent 90, and Bent 110. Obviously, given the pedigree of the line, the 110 has received the most interest both within the walls of SkiEssentials and on message boards across the internet. Thankfully, we recently got hit with a 16” 48-hour period here at Stowe, setting up the perfect testing conditions for this exciting new ski. If this ski caught your attention when it was first released, we highly recommend giving this review a read!
This week on Chairlift Chat, we're bringing you a preview of the very exciting, all new 2023 Blizzard Hustle Skis. Following a theme that exploded in popularity this year, Blizzard has taken their highly regarded line of Rustler skis and modified their construction to create a more tour-friendly version. As we found out in testing these skis however, just because they're lighter doesn't necessarily mean they should be relegated to touring setups. Click through to learn all about this exciting new line up, right here on Chairlift Chat!
Back in November, we shared with you an overview of the new 2023 Nordica Unlimited skis. This week, we're excited to say that we're back with an overview of a second brand new series from Nordica: the 2023 Unleashed skis. Borrowing traits from the Enforcer Frees, Santa Ana, and Soul Rider series, the new Nordica Unleashed ski is the mash-up we never knew we needed. Available in 98 and 108 widths for advanced skiers, as well as in a 90 for more intermediate skiers, the Unleashed series takes a "best of both worlds" approach to offering a mix of freestyle and freeride capabilities. We have plenty of things to say about these exciting new skis, and we highly recommend clicking in to give this comprehensive overview a full read!
This week we have a very, very special ski preview here on Chairlift Chat. Over the course of the last two years, we've had the chance to work with Fischer, alongside a number of other talented athletes, to provide direct feedback into their redesign of their incredibly popular Ranger line. Already huge fans of the Ranger series, being asked to get involved with the development of the ski was a huge honor for us, and we couldn't be more excited to share with you this complete overview of the 2023 Fischer series. We promise we'll be objective, but we've gotta say, we're pretty impressed with how well Fischer turned our feedback into reality. Click through to check out this exciting new line of Fischer skis!