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Indie Skis: Vision Quester

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  MSRP: $790.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 158-126-148  Lengths: 176, 186“Perfect,” said one tester. “Fat-ypus has done its homework.” That’s an especially…

MSRP: $790.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 158-126-148

Lengths: 176, 186

“Perfect,” said one tester. “Fat-ypus has done its homework.” That’s an especially telling response considering we skied this 126-millimeter fatty on a dust-on-crust day. Unlike many in its size range, this supremely versatile powder ski is perfectly happy—and has a talent for—carving on groomed snow. And we can vouch for its powder chops too, having previously skied it in the megadeep when its rocker and surface area provided unreal maneuverability and float. We tested the version with rockered tip and tail, but the 186 length also comes in a straight-tail version for chargers who want a directional ski with a more supportive backseat.

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  MSRP: $779.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 150-121-140  Lengths: 174, 182, 190One of our Eastern testers hopped on the Double Helix for his first run. The…

MSRP: $779.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 150-121-140

Lengths: 174, 182, 190

One of our Eastern testers hopped on the Double Helix for his first run. The night before, a storm had dropped eight inches of fresh on top of frozen spring corn. He bombed off the groomer into powder-covered, granite-hard bumps and thanked the forgiving DH for saving his ass. Along with other testers, he noted that this nimble, smeary board cruised comfortably everywhere. Its no-think skiability extends across all terrain and conditions.

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  MSRP: $850.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 151-126-146  Lengths: 173, 180, 187, 194Klint, now in its second year of U.S. availability, offers a full line of…

MSRP: $850.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 151-126-146

Lengths: 173, 180, 187, 194

Klint, now in its second year of U.S. availability, offers a full line of skis from frontsiders to fatties. The Krypto, part of Klint’s big-mountain series, is “wide, loose, and surfy,” said one tester, and “it busted through chop and gripped the hard snow beneath.” Stay centered and it will carve nicely on groomers thanks to a turn radius that’s tighter underfoot than at the ends.

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  MSRP: $749.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 152-125-148  Lengths: 170, 180, 190A playful, buttery powder ski and surprisingly supportive carver, the Gypsy uses…

MSRP: $749.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 152-125-148

Lengths: 170, 180, 190

A playful, buttery powder ski and surprisingly supportive carver, the Gypsy uses a friendly flex, round tip, elongated sidecut, and reverse camber to achieve a smooth, flowy turn shape. You can ride it from a forward position, but the tail—which is nearly as wide as the tip—can be fully utilized only from a centered stance. Back off the front of your boot a bit and you’ll finish full, satisfying turns.

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  MSRP: $890.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 133-115-123  Lengths: 183, 185One of two interesting new Colorado ski builders (Grace is the other), Meier builds…

MSRP: $890.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 133-115-123

Lengths: 183, 185

One of two interesting new Colorado ski builders (Grace is the other), Meier builds its skis from Colorado aspen and beetle-killed pine. The Heritage, like many successful contemporary freeride models, features underfoot camber for edge grip and control and rockered, tapered ends for handling and float. We found it easy to smear and pivot, with a definite soft-snow bias.

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  MSRP: $999.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 142-120-132  Lengths: 166, 176, 186, 196Founder David Liechty named his young brand after his grandmother Grace,…

MSRP: $999.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 142-120-132

Lengths: 166, 176, 186, 196

Founder David Liechty named his young brand after his grandmother Grace, whom he describes as “a beautiful, classic, hardworking woman.” Those same adjectives accurately describe his Colorado-built skis. The Kylie sports a simple, pretty wood-veneer topsheet and employs a modern but proven freeride design concept: underfoot camber paired with rockered, tapered ends. Testers found the Kylie nimble and easy to smear and pivot through trees, bumps, and broken snow.

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  MSRP: $829.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 142-112-132  Lengths: 167, 175, 183, 191Like many other powder-oriented freeride boards, the 3.Zero blends underfoot…

MSRP: $829.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 142-112-132

Lengths: 167, 175, 183, 191

Like many other powder-oriented freeride boards, the 3.Zero blends underfoot camber with tip and tail rocker to provide grip and responsiveness on firm snow plus float and maneuverability in powder. It definitely prefers softer snow, and its smeary agility and twin-tip design make it a great choice for creative off-piste jibbers. The Candide Thovex pro version comes with a superlight core made of recycled polyethylene and natural flax fiber.

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  MSRP: $880.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-112-129  Lengths: 164, 174, 184, 190A fun, surfy, versatile floater, the Deathwish is far from one. It has a…

MSRP: $880.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-112-129

Lengths: 164, 174, 184, 190

A fun, surfy, versatile floater, the Deathwish is far from one. It has a unique profile the brand calls Dirty Mustache Rocker: three distinct pockets of camber, four contact points, and rockered ends. In theory, weight is concentrated on the four points, providing better edge grip than you’d get from even pressure distribution. Does it work? Yes. While its arcs weren’t elliptical, the ski never washed out.

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  MSRP: $479.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-118-131  Lengths: 195, 189, 178, 169While it can be coaxed into relatively quick and stable carves on firm snow,…

MSRP: $479.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-118-131

Lengths: 195, 189, 178, 169

While it can be coaxed into relatively quick and stable carves on firm snow, the Maestro shines in crud, powder, trees, and any arrhythmic situation that requires steering facility. The tapered and hugely rockered tip is a fearless masher in chop. Add in a rockered tail and you’ve got a ski that effortlessly smears and spins through variable terrain. With a good tune, this ski would no doubt slice up groomers too.

Find this ski and more in our online gearfinder.