Model: Backland FR 109
If it’s big lines you seek, the Backland is your ski. A stiff flex pattern and high underfoot sidewalls let us open the throttle on steeps, while tapered ends and rocker (in the tip and tail) kept the skis floating on top of soft stuff. The sidewall height thins at each end for more forgiveness, which we appreciated on drops in the slackcountry around Solitude, Utah.
The Backland is the heaviest ski in this lineup, but it’s light and relatively responsive for its class, thanks to a carbon backbone. “Paired with low-bulk tech bindings, it had no problem handling day missions,” says an Alaska tester. At 109mm underfoot, the Backland is wide enough for powder without being unwieldy on hardpack.
“Best float in the test,” proclaimed one tester of the Backland, which has spoon-like, horizontal rocker in the tip to give it more surface area without adding weight. “I stayed on top of new snow in Big Cottonwood Canyon and barely sank in when skinning.”