Salomon Axendo 7

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1998 Aspiring Carver-Gold Medal Winner

Size: 158-189 cm
Price: $465
Details: "With a light touch and an easy initiation, this ski is perfect for this category," said Carmichael. All the testers agreed-the Salomon Axendo 7, with the same dimensions as the upper-end Axendos, is an incredibly easy ski; it can take a timid but determined intermediate from hesitation to celebration in a few turns. "This ski is more performance-oriented than any other in the category," said Moscarella, "but it's still forgiving." McKinney agreed: "A confidence-building ski if there ever was one. This ski will move you up from intermediate territory." Thibeault's advice: "Don't try too hard. The Axendo does the work for you."

Positives: High performance with forgiveness
Negatives: Can be overpowered