It’s a notch down in flex from Nordica’s 130-flex Dobermann Pro, but it still has a powerful, racy feel, and it’s more versatile in terms of terrain preferences. As with all the 98-mm-lasted Dobermanns, its bootboard is bolted down and metal-reinforced for extra edge-power and stability. The Spitfire is a race-inspired performer that skis with surprising comfort.
Fischer’s widest ski features a subtly rockered forebody this year, along with Powder Hull Technology—a tip shaped like a boat prow, the better to part the snow in its path. Given the 114’s size, it still lacks quickness, but that’s not a problem at speed in bottomless powder, where it thrives with a loose, smeary feel. The rocker adds a dose of maneuverability, and powerful skiers will love its beefiness. The construction is a surprising blend of power in a lightweight frame—wood core, metal-free, but with carbon-beam reinforcement. “Solid, stable and purposeful, with nice flotation,” said Gleason.
It’s still a lot of ski, but tip-and-tail rocker and twin tips give the Huge a welcome measure of quickness and forgiveness. Testers preferred it over the Legend 115, a non-twin Dynastar of comparable shape but with a more demanding, unrockered tail. The Huge was snappier than testers expected for a ski with so much rocker. That’s a function of Dynastar’s interesting leaf spring core profile (stiff underfoot, progressively more supple tip and tail). In powder, it’s predictably fun and surfy. “Stiff and dynamic; light and floaty; a burly ski that doesn’t forget how to have fun,” said Malone.
If the Sidestash (left) is built for a modicum of variable-snow versatility, the massive Darkside prefers powdery chutes and north faces. This year’s version is rockered from just in front of the toepiece forward and cambered from there back. It’s metal-free for lightness and ultra-wide for flotation (No. 2). It barely tolerates hard snow and lacks quickness for typical inbounds conditions, but it’s surprisingly forgiving (No. 3) in deep powder. Like other big, rockered skis, it’s both a game-improvement tool for powder novices and an accomplished expert’s big mountain slayer. “Super sturdy, but skis easier than you expect,” said Preston.