We love kit, gadgets and other snow related stuff here at Source Magazine, so much so that we’ve dedicated an entire section of our winter 16/17 issue to our #Trending gear guide. First up, who better to round up the very best ski hardware on the mountain and in the shops this winter than Fall-Line SkiingMagazine’s Editor Nicola Iseard.
Rossignol Soul 7 HD
The ever-popular Soul 7 is back – with some major tweaks. It’s been given a protein shake diet in the form of a race-derived carbon matrix frame to reinforce the ultra-light Paulownia wood core, creating a stiffer ski that is now capable of riding faster and going bigger. According to Rossignol, this new construction has also improved shock absorption, stability and edge grip, but, with all these improvements, it has still retained the pop and playfulness that the Soul has become known for. The versatile 106mm waist and mellow rocker – with Rossi’s patented Air Tip technology (the tip and tail are filled with air bubbles; looks a lot like a honeycomb) – mean it floats like a dream in pow and is super-nimble through tight trees.
Lange XT 130 Freetour
Is this the closest thing we’ve found to being a true do-it-all boot for the harder chargers out there? Quite possibly. The XT 130 Freetour is injected with Grilamid – a weird name for Lange’s new wonder plastic that is stiff yet lightweight. Click it into walk mode and thanks to the generous cuff articulation and grippy soles, you’ll be scampering up to that tasty-looking line quicker than you can say “send it!”. When you do (send it), the stiff 130 flex means it will power through the gnarliest heavily-sluffing terrain. The mouldable Ultralon liner can accommodate those pesky bunions, too. Available in 97mm and less toe-numbing 100mm width lasts, and a softer flexing, women’s specific version – the XT 110 LV Freetour W.
Arc’teryx Voltair avalanche airbag
Big news: Arc’teryx have entered the avalanche airbag market this season with their new Voltair backpack. The concept, not too dissimilar from Black Diamond’s Jet Force pack, is simple: pull the trigger and a battery-powered centrifugal blower inflates a 150-litre balloon in less than five seconds. This is where things get clever – the balloon inflates continuously, even if small punctures result from colliding with, say, a tree or rock. But what we’re most stoked about is that the balloon can be deployed up to eight times on a fully charged battery – so no worries practising at home in your pjs; and, most significantly, there’ll be no hesitation pulling the trigger should you get caught in a slide. Available in 20L and 30L versions. It ain’t cheap but it’s very, very good.
Salomon XT-One goggles
Salomon bagged an ISPO (industry) award for their XT-One goggles. Why the big accolade? Well, the goggles use a three-piece frame that features a new fit technology – dubbed Custom ID-Fit –that is designed to automatically adjust and conform to different face shapes, so every skier gets a unique fit. The result? Super-comfy goggs and no unwanted drafts, huzzah! Add to that a super-thin frame and spherical lens for maximum field of vision (photochromic version available), plus an airflow system that prevents fogging up in steamy cable cars, and these might be the finest pair of goggles your face experiences this season.
Marker Phoenix Carbon OTIS helmet
Helmets are important people, especially if you like going big, or fast. Loaded with clever tech –and also scooping a 2016 ISPO award – is Marker’s new Phoenix Carbon OTIS helmet. The big story here is the helmet’s use of MAP technology: cushy-soft but extreme shock-absorbing pads positioned at critical areas (back of the head, forehead and temples) that protects up to 22% more effectively compared with a regular EPS helmet. So far Marker is the only helmet maker to implement this innovative material. What else? A network of vents ensure good air flow during spring park sessions (you can whip out the ear pads, too) and you can spin the adjustment dial to get the perfect fit. Snug as a bug.