You know the words. It’s okay. “Please Santa.” We won’t judge. The jolly old elf in the red suit is going to be making his rounds in just a couple of weeks, and that means it’s crunch time on your wish list. Grab a pen and paper, address an envelope to The North Pole, and enjoy dreams of marshmallow pow for the next couple of weeks. Or, you could just go out and buy your favorites, because let’s be honest: you really don’t want your new shred sticks getting scratched on their way down the chimney. Ho ho ho.
Street-cred Disclaimer: I compiled these lists using recommendations from the industry experts at Powder, Ski Magazine, Snowboard Magazine and TRANSworld Snowboarding. I am not a gear expert in the snowboard circuit by any means, so that’s where the big guys come in. I do, however, drool over the pages of Ski and Powder every year when the gear guide comes out and fantasize about what to add to my own quiver.
Since I’m a two-planker, skis are up first. No offense, snowboarders. You’ll get your turn in just a minute.
The Top Ranked Skis for 2016-17:
- Nordica Enforcer 93 – Acclaimed for their rocker technology and epic edge contact. This skinny ski with 93mm under foot was a favorite among testers on steep, technical terrain. You like to go fast? This is your stick.
- Salomon QST106 – Touted for its all-mountain capabilities, this ski provides stability at high speeds. There’s a reason Salomon finds their way onto this list year after year after year. Women: Check out the Stella 106 for a ladies-specific ski of similar caliber.
- Moment Meridian – I was stoked to see these guys on the list this year, as Moment was launched just down the street from my old Tahoe stomping grounds. Not trying to play favorites (okay, maybe a little). But if you’re unfamiliar with Moment, you should get savvy on the brand. Fast. They’re growing at an exponential pace and the dudes are known for creating ripping all-mountain and powder sticks which slay it on the big mountains out here in Colorado. Back to the lecture at hand: In this case, Moment’s Meridian is a fully rockered powder weapon that bends in all the right places. Sounds sexy. Rawr.
- Elan Ripstick – All I can say about these skis is: WHOA. You want to see something cool? The Ripsticks are asymmetrical. The inside edge has camber. The outside edge is rockered. And they’re lefty-righty specific. Testers were psyched on the ability of these skis to handle it all with stability and class, performing well even in the bumps.
The moral of the story this year: powder and technology make you a happy skier.
Snowboarders, It’s Your Turn
Pay attention: Here are your top picks from the industry experts as analyzed by the peeps at TRANSworld and Snowboard magazines.
The Top Ranked Snowboards for 2016-17:
- Men’s All Mountain: Burton Skeleton Key – No surprises here, folks. The guys at Burton have done it again. The Skeleton Key is bringing back the retro vibe and amps up your carving with prime Burton technology.
- Men’s Park: Arbor Westmark Camber – Touted by the experts for a stable ride on hard pack, responsiveness and the ability to do, well basically, whatever you darn well please.
- Women’s All Mountain: Gnu Klassy – A center rockered, underfoot camber board add up to make this stiff all-mountain beauty a blast on corduroy.
- Women’s Park: Dinosaurs Will Die Bogart – This pro model was celebrated for being maneuverable and fun on a variety of features in the park, with solid takeoffs and landings.
There you have it, folks. The top skis and boards for 2017. For further details on the gear outlined above, check out a few of these pages:
Searching for slopestyle fashion that won’t make you stand out in the lift line for all the wrong reasons? Check back soon for results on this year’s fashion trends for the mountain. We’ll make sure you look cool while staying toasty warm on the slopes.
If you have any thoughts/tips on hot new gear this season, please leave them in the "Comments" section below!