Skiers are just as unique as hikers: Some are heavy, some aren’t; some like to go fast, some don’t; some like to go far, some won’t. But in the backcountry ski market, you just don’t have as many choices—which is why we loved our experience with Romp. The only custom ski company that trends backcountry, Romp specializes in building skis unique to each customer, using the lightest materials (like carbon and paulownia). Better yet? Romp skis are cheaper than most non-custom skis, thanks to onsite construction in Crested Butte, Colorado, and a direct- to-consumer business model.
Though Romp offers an array of ski widths, we loved the 106mm waist for all-around backcountry use. Stiffness, core material, and camber/rocker profile are customizable; we made ours as ultralight as possible, plus stiffer underfoot and slightly softer at the tip and tail for better release (this suited our aggressive, 175-pound skier just fine). An easy phone consultation with the company’s resident ski nerds will yield a formula to your liking.
“The Romp 106 skis with a paulownia-and- carbon core were light and fat enough to float in 3 feet of week-old powder on the east side of Colorado’s Gothic Mountain, while still being sturdy enough to plow through old snow inbounds,” one tester says.
See more of the best Skis for Winter 2018
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