Top Five Fridays: January 8, 2021

This week, we try to maintain some sense of normalcy even as the world around us continues to grow ever more chaotic. We’ll begin that effort by recapping last weekend’s World Cup Ski racing action, followed by touching base on the latest news from the ski industry in North America as it continues to maintain a normal ski season amidst a pandemic. From there we’ll also bring you some exciting news from Washington’s Mount Spokane before finally rounding the week out with an excellent editorial from the New York Times highlighting Kai Jones, as well as a number of excellent edits from the week. As always, find out what you need to know from this week in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

2022 Volkl M6 Mantra Ski Review

Well, now that it’s the first week of 2021, it feels only right that we play along with the ski industry and immediately jump into reviews of 2022 skis! This week, we’re extremely excited to finally be able to share with you a review that we’ve been secretly working on for a few weeks now: a comprehensive review of the all new 2022 Volkl M6 Mantra. Building off what they’ve learned through the first five iterations of the Mantra, Volk has improved upon a classic once again with subtle updates that make the M6 the most fun Mantra yet. You can learn all about it right here, in this review of the 2022 Volk M6 Mantra.

Top Five Fridays: January 1, 2021

Well, congratulations everybody, we’ve all officially made it through what has to be arguably the worst year of any of our lifetimes! While the simple changing of the calendar is unlikely to be a total game changer, we’re at least excited to be able to kick the year off on a high note as the U.S. Men’s and Women’s ski teams are both on something of a hot streak. Will fill you in on those details before discussing a handful of topics from the current state of the European ski industry, before ultimately wrapping things up with some very exciting news from one of our favorite skiers, Candide Thovex. Find out all you need from the last two weeks in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

Annual Local Youth Ski Program Fundraiser Recap

Each year, just before the season kicks off, SkiEssentials and or retail location, Pinnacle Ski and Sports, hosts a fundraising event to raise money for local ski groups. This year, unfortunately, we were unable to host our typically raucous, in person event. But, that doesn’t mean we gave up. Instead, we followed the Covid-19 induced trend of bringing our efforts online, and despite the unfavorable change in plans, we had yet another successful fundraising campaign! Click through to read our recap!

2021 Elan Wingman 86 CTI Ski Review

Oftentimes in the world of skiing, the competitive nature of business results in brands feeling compelled to make strong marketing claims regarding their skis. Each year it seems that numerous brands all claim to be the “best” at the same things- an impossible paradox. It’s with that in mind that we’re here to describe the 2021 Elan Wingman 86 CTI as simply, “fun.” This is a ski that doesn’t get caught up in taking itself too seriously, and instead just provides and exceptionally fun ride on snow. To find out what makes this ski so remarkable, check out this review of the 2021 Elan Wingman 86 CTI!

2021 Fischer Ranger 92 Ti Ski Review

This week on Chairlift Chat, we’re taking a closer look at a ski that many of our employees have come to love, but is often overlooked by both industry insiders and consumers alike. The ski we’re referring to here, is the 2021 Fischer Ranger 92 Ti. Not a particularly narrow ski, and not a particularly wide ski either, the Ranger 92 Ti’s perfectly mid-range width is likely the cause of both it’s elusiveness and versatility. In this ski review, we’ll give the 2021 Ranger 92 Ti the full attention that it deserves, and tell you what makes this ski one of the most versatile all mountain skis of the year. Click through to find out more!

2021 Ski Binding Comparison

You’ve been asking for it, so here it is: our first ever ski binding comparison article! Despite being an absolutely critical piece of equipment, ski bindings often get a bit overlooked when it comes to dialing in that perfect new setup. It’s understandable. After all, every pair of bindings is more than capable of accomplishing the primary objective of keeping your skis on your feet until they need to come off. Despite that commonality though, there are actually quite a few considerations that should go into making your next binding purchase, especially now that Alpine / AT hybrid bindings are on the market. Find out what you need to know when buying your next pair of bindings in our 2021Ski Binding Comparison!

Top Five Fridays: December 18, 2020

This week in ski news, we start out with a bang, particularly if you’re a fan of ski racing, Mikaela Shiffrin, or both. We’ll tell you why you should be excited about last weekend’s results, before shifting gears to take a closer look at how the ongoing pandemic is affecting the ski industry in different ways, in different places. From there we’ll share some alarming news regarding avalanches in Colorado and make our case for avalanche awareness. Finally, we round things out this week with an excellent article from Forbes highlighting the rising career of freeskier Alex Hall before finally sharing our favorite edits from the week. Find out all you need to know from this week in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

2021 Kastle MX88 Ski Review

Sometimes, annual updates to skis can be nothing more than a new top sheet graphic. Other times, they can be deceptively drastic. As it turns out, it’s the latter of these two scenarios that applies to the 2021 Kastle MX88. Replacing last year’s MX89, it would be reasonable for you to expect a similar ski with a mere millimeter trimmed from its waist. But, that’s not at all the case. New for 2021, the Kastle MX88 is significantly more all mountain friendly than its predecessor was, thanks in no small part to the addition of tip rocker. If you’re someone who found themself wishing Kastle had an all mountain ski in the 85-90mm range that’s not an absolute racecar, then be sure to check out this full review of the 2021 Kastle MX88!

Top Five Fridays: December 11, 2020

This week in ski news, we once again find ourselves unable to escape Covid-19’s ongoing influence on skiing. That said, we do manage to start the week by focusing on FIS race results, which brings good news for the men’s team. From there we’ll focus on updates from Lake Tahoe and Vail, as well as France where ski resorts are suing the government in an effort to win the right to operate their lifts during the holiday season. Finally, we round things out with an update from the X Games as well as a number of high quality edits. Find out what you need to know from this week in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

2021 Black Crows Justis Ski Review

Let’s be honest, in 2021, there are a ton of new skis to choose from. Amongst the slew of new models, one that’s drawn an exceptional amount of our attention is the 2021 Black Crows Justis. At first glance this ski reads like many others: 100mm wide, two sheets of metal, and a rocker/camber/rocker profile. What’s missing from that exceptionally brief description though are two key details that give the Justis a unique feel: full length sidecut and a higher than expected rocker profile. So what does that do for the ski? In just a few words: it makes it fun. For a more thorough explanation, click through to check out the full review!

Top Five Fridays: December 4, 2020

This week in ski news, we have plenty to talk about as the first ever pandemic ski season is officially few weeks old. We’ll start things off as we always do this time of year, with a recap of last weekend’s World Cup Ski Racing action. From there, we’ll bring you a number of articles that look at how the pandemic is affecting ski resorts in Europe, as well as the political impact it’s having on nations in the EU. Then, we’ll circle back to North America where we’re beginning to see the coronavirus have diverse, regionally focused impacts on the ski industry. Finally, we manage to end the week on a high note as a tandem of ski racing related stories popped up that we think you’ll be excited to learn about. Find out all you need to know from this week in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 Ski Review

After many months of waiting, the lifts have finally started spinning again at Stowe, our home mountain. While we’re obviously extremely excited for the season ahead for a number of reasons, one of the favorite things about this time of year is that we can finally return to on-snow ski reviews. Wasting no time in that regard, we’re very pleased to share with you our first ski review of the 2020-2021 season: the 2021 Volkl Kanjo 84. Built to satisfy a wide range of skiers and conditions, the 2021 Volkl Kanjo 84 will quite possibly prove to be one of the most popular skis this season. To find out exactly why, look no further than this comprehensive ski review!

Top Five Fridays: November 27, 2020

This week in skiing, the news took a turn for the regular as we were blessed with a cycle that felt almost normal for this time of year. We’ll start, as per usual in November, with a recap of the latest FIS World Cup Ski Racing. From there we’ll briefly check in on the latest Covid-19 news by focusing on a pair of stories coming out of Colorado, before turning our attention to two University of Utah scientists who think they know how to make powder. Finally we’ll round out this week with an amusing story from the New York Times that deals with ski patrollers, facial hair, and sacrifice. Find out all the stories you need to know from this week in skiing in this edition of Top 5 Fridays!

Top Five Fridays: November 20, 2020

This week’s ski news brings a bit of a mixed bag, as we cover some exciting, worrisome, and downright interesting news. For starters, we’ll preview this weekend’s upcoming races in Levi, Finland, where Mikaela Shiffirn is set to return to competition after exactly 300 days away. From there, we have the unfortunate task of keeping you up to date with the latest in ski resort operating procedures, as well as how the pandemic is affecting ski town economies. Finally, we’ll round things out with the story of Cimarron Ski Resort in Colorado, where the final seven memberships were just sold within a matter of weeks, with a price tag of $3 million a piece. Find out all you need to know from the world of skiing in this week’s Top 5 Fridays!