As we dust off the ski goggles and polish the skis, it’s that time of year again when we begin to see what ski equipment we have that needs upgrading. Technology for ski gear has gone to new heights over the last decade. While we aren’t quite at the point where we’re riding with electric skies (that would take all the fun out of it anyway!), there’s still plenty of new technology to geek out about. New Year, New Gear. Here are a bunch of our favourite pieces of gear that are new and improved for 2018.
Dragon Luma Lens Technology
Dragon Alliance recently introduced a range of lenses that aim to improve colour perception. They claim to ‘enhance colour vividness, increase contrast, provide precise depth perception, and reduce eye fatigue for optimal performance.’ While this sounds like their marketing team has had a field day spewing hot air, the new lenses are every bit exciting as they sound.
This year they have released two lenses, the Optimised Flash Blue for low-light conditions and the Optimised Flash Green for sunny conditions, and are available in a ton of models. We have Luma Lens Options in the NFX2, X2, X2s, X1, and X1s.
All new for 2018 is the XDR Range from Salomon – a collection of versatile, high-performance skis that will tackle any type of terrain or snow condition found in-bounds.
To deliver this versatility the R&D team at Salomon’s Annecy Design Center sourced innovative materials and technologies. They combined wood and titanium in the core for maximum control when arcing turns, and optimised the construction in the ski’s extremities to make it light, playful and easy to manoeuvre in any conditions the mountain throws your way.
Then they added their patented C/FX Superfiber reinforcement layer that combines all-natural Flax and Carbon Fiber to sustainably provide dampening and vibration absorption for skiing both on and off-piste as a true all-mountain ski.
“Our goal is to let skiers have more fun on the mountain. We took our patented C/FX technology to a new level to provide the power that you need for groomed slopes and the dampening needed when skiing in mixed snow.” says Scott Lumsden, Salomon product marketing manager, Alpine Skis & Bindings.
Check out this video to see for yourself.
Learn more about the process from the Salomon Engineers and Innovators.
Nordica Astrals, Santa Anas, and Navigators
Nordica have dropped a full rework of their all mountain womens lineup, replacing the Belle with the Astral, and beefing up the Santa Ana into its true form, an off-piste destroyer.
As pretty as they look, the Astral range of skis are definitely not lightweights. Available in 3 widths: 78mm, 84mm and 88mm these will be the skis to have if you want performance in Australian conditions. The Titanal layer within this range has hexagonal cutouts, giving the benefits of a metal sheet sans the cumbersome weight. Combine this with an ultralight balsa core makes for a high performing lightweight ski. Also, did we mention these things are beautiful?
Their off-piste counterpart, the Santa Ana range got an upgrade consisting of two sheets of metal. The original balsa core remains and is the basis of the lightweight chassis and the metal gives it the power that it has been begging for. Ladies, if you want a ski that charges, the Santa Ana twins now sit comfortably at the top of their classes.
The guys range has seen some work, just not the eye-catching and beautiful work the women’s range got. The NRGY series has been canned, replaced with the Navigator which have also been given more oomph. Aimed at amazing piste performance without sacrificing the option of jumping off the beaten track.
Salomon EPS 4D Helmet Technology
Salomon believe that increased safety shouldn’t come with a severely inflated price tag. Introducing the EPS 4D Foam, helmets with this technology aim to manage both vertical impacts and glancing impacts. This improved style of design is included in the majority of their helmets, including the Men’s Ranger2 and Women’s Icon2 Series, as well as all of their MTN series helmets.
Their video shows you more details.
Formed in Chamonix in 2006 by professional skiers Bruno Compagnet and Camille Jaccoux, Black Crows are a smooth ski, with a damp but not dull feeling and solid without being crazy stiff. Overall an excellent balance for on and off-piste skiing with no nasty surprises.
Over the past 11 years they’ve grown become a significant independent brand, and when you’re in the line for the tram to the Aiguille du Midi or Grands Montets you will see many of the local rippers with their trusty Crows.
Bio: Richard Ross loves to ski and is founder of AussieSkier.com where he gets to live and breathe his passion everyday. He’s an APSI Level IV accredited ski instructor, trainer and examiner.