The Devil Rides Prada: The 2008 Luxury Ski Test

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The Devil Rides Prada

Wally Magic
$1,500; dimensions: 121/74/108
Along with the art of seducing 20-year-old runaways, Italian yachtsman can add building skis to their resumes. Like his lavish sailboats, Luca Bassani's Wally Magic boards are handmade by a team of shipbuilders familiar with high-end carbon-fiber construction. Gripes: Carbon graphics don't jibe with a chinchilla-fur coat. Props: Looks superb slung over shoulder of white one-piece. Tester's Take: "Check out the core shot on my starboard ski. Or is it my port ski? I can never remember."

Chanel Quilted-Leather
$2,535; dimensions: anorexic
Yes, these skis have quilted-leather top sheets. Coming next from this confused fashion house: sequined surfboards and velour mountain bikes. Gripes: Stack you edges and the leather shreds like a worn-out sofa. Props: Seeing that no one will actually ski on these, that's nothing to worry about. Tester's Take: "They remind me of the leather chair at therapy. I hate you, Dad!"

Kneissl Crystal Edition
$2,673; dimensions: gaudy
Layered with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, these downhill divas rip corduroy and support diamond mining. Gripes: Snow blindness is nothing compared to Swarovski crystal glare. Props: Carves through hardpack and your savings. Tester's Take: "They were stolen immediately."

Ferrari Race Carve GS
$2,994; dimensions: 116/66/101
Midlife Crisis? Strap on a pair of Ferrari racing skis. With just 149 pairs in production, you'll run only minuscule chance of sharing a chair with someone as bald and rich as you. Gripes: You're constantly getting pulled over by patrollers. Props: Carbon-steel edges bite icy corduroy like a scorned mistress. Tester's Take: "Sure they're fast, but where the hell are you going to get them serviced"



Skiing Magazine's 2008-09 Backcountry Gear Guide

Last March, our two dozen testers hammered laps on Crested Butte’s bony steeps for two days, filling out evaluation cards after each run. The results are listed here. “AT” means the gear was reviewed by alpine-touring skiers. “Tele” means tested by telemark skiers. Some skis were tested by both groups. Our goal: to help you find your perfect backcountry setup.