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Gear

Rossignol Viper X 9.3

Gear

1998 All-Mountain Expert-Gold Medal Winner

Size: 177-201 cm
Price: $679
Details: Athletic, aggressive skiers who are wary of the big-shape hype should run, not walk, directly to the rack holding the Rossignol Viper X 9.3. This go-everywhere rocket, with its narrower profile (93mm wide at the tip) and shock-absorbing microcell core, is by no means an old-style ski. But its moderate curves let you make all the choices about turn shape-even when you hit Mach 3. Because it’s beefy and enjoys an authoritative rider, Thys recommends giving the 9.3 “the spurs” to start the turn. “Provides a rock-solid platform and tons of energy, as long as you work it,” said Morgan.

Positives: Cruise control through everything
Negatives: Must be pushed to get springy Rebounds