Olin Catalyst

Gear
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1998 Newcomer-Gold Medal Winner

Size: 140-190 cm
Price: $400
Details: Of the top Newcomer skis, the Olin Catalyst is well-suited to handle unexpected condition changes. "It feels safe and stable," said Thys. "The wider waist makes the Catalyst feel like it's ready to catch you if you stumble." In fact, the waist width is a stout 70 mm, which means bigger surface area under your foot, and more flotation through powder and crud. "It's like a shaped cloud," said Palmer. A big, solid-feeling easy-turner that can take you to the next level quickly, the Catalyst is just right for the cautious but determined Newcomer.

Positives: Completely stable in varying conditions
Negatives: Short, energetic turns require effort