Model: Superguide Freetour
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At the end of the day, touring skis are made to do one thing: get you up and down the mountain while having as much fun—and, yes, being as safe—as possible. Given that metric, the Superguide Freetour is a welcome new addition for backcountry aficionados. We drove it on ice, slush, and breakable crust, down steep chutes, and through soft corn snow, and it remained stable and responsive through it all.
Foremost among the Superguide Freetour’s attributes is its stability-to-weight ratio. While it’s not the lightest ski in its class, it offers one of the best rides, especially on harder or cruddy snow. Credit that performance to good construction: It has a core made from paulownia (less weight) and beech (which adds a dampening effect), with carbon-and-aramid overlays that impart stiffness but don’t make it too jittery at speed. We let the Superguide rip on the flanks of Mont Blanc and in the Rockies and appreciated the extra oomph and confidence it provided.
A triple-radius sidecut—in which the shape of the ski varies along its length for three distinct turning radii—also facilitates increased edge contact in all the conditions above, a dash of versatility that makes the Superguide a good option for skiers of multiple skill levels. (It does take some muscle to lean into that perfect turn, though, so advanced riders will get the most out of it.)
At 104 millimeters underfoot this ski plays best in the West, and more lengths than the two currently offered are on our wish list. But if you do make the Superguide your new day-in, day-out backcountry ski you’ll be glad you took the plunge.
$850; 6 lbs. 14 oz. (178); 178, 185