Next Year's Indie Skis - Ski Mag

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Ski Tech Justin Hewitt adjusting Dynafit bindings on Dynafit Manaslu skis

Next Year's AT Skis and Bindings

This week we're at Aspen Highlands testing next year's AT skis and bindings. Here's a look behind the scenes at the ski test, and a peek at some 2011-12 goods.

126)/136/115/133/(123) | $900 The new shape of powder skiing debuted in 2008–09: camber and sidecut underfoot; rocker and reverse sidecut tip and tail. The result: loose, slashy, floaty, get-after-it goodness—fresh as ever as the JJ heads into its fourth season. Testers still love it. Everyone loves it.  Lengths: 165, 175, 185 Turn Radius: 14 at 185ABOUT ARMADAHe weighed only about 140 pounds, but when seven-time ESPN Winter X Games gold medalist Tanner Hall stomped his landing on the burgeoning new-school scene, the ski world shook. The Montana-bred Hall, never comfortable with authority, promptly ditched Rossignol and banded with other luminary park skiers to form Armada in 2002. The concept was brilliant: Star athletes would run the show, pimp the brand, design the skis they wanted, and control the message. Sales immediately took off, and now Armada, the giant of indies, rivals some of the mainstream brands for U.S. market share.

The Best Indie Skis

Dozens of new ski companies have sprouted in the last decade. Are they making good skis? Last spring, we went to Aspen to find out. The answer is yes, and here are our favorites.

Weighing in at 13 oz., the Super Cell is an excellent choice for the backpacker or outdoors person that wants a super light Gore-Tex waterproof jacket.  The jacket is helmet compatible, and provides the classic Patagonia styling and quality that we have come to love over the years.  $249

Next Year's Summer Gear

Last week, gear companies were all at the Outdoor Retailer trade show showing off the summer gear they'll be releasing a year from now. Our guy on the floor got a sneak peek at the coolest gear coming out in 2012. Take a look.