There’s no shortage of best-in-class gear options when it comes to winter hardgoods, and the technology keeps getting better year after year. The first person to stand on a piece of wood and slide down a snow-covered hillside definitely had the right idea, and centuries later, a booming ski industry remains, having transitioned from a utilitarian-based form of transportation to a beloved winter sport. From cross-country skiing to alpine touring to resort shredding, here are three set-ups fit for anyone who still loves playing in the snow.
In the backcountry
Touring the once forbidden terrain of the backcountry has, in recent years, become par for the course for anyone looking to get after it and earn their turns. In today’s ski culture, exploring the unknown is no longer just for patrollers on a search and rescue mission. Escape those lift lines and find your perfectly untouched, first track turns with this gear.
Blizzard Zero G Skis
Super lightweight skis with excellent downhill performance, the Zero G Collection is where it’s at. It’s well-known that, at least in the past, having a good pair of skis for touring the backcountry didn’t necessarily equate to good performance while on the downhill, but luckily that’s no longer the case. Thanks to Carbon Drive, the market’s first 3D unidirectional carbon frame construction, Blizzard’s Zero G Skis won’t let you down on the way up and will keep up on the way down.
Tecnica Cochise Ski Boot
Designed and made in Italy, Tecnica’s Cochise collection offers comfort without sacrificing performance, flexibility without sacrificing stability, and mobility to get you where you want to go. The Cochise features CAS liners (Custom Adaptive Shape), anatomical fit, walk mode/mobility cuff, power lock buckle, shock absorbing heel, and is DIN/TECH-compatible.
Black Diamond Fritschi-Swiss Diamir Freeride Pro Binding
The Fritschi-Swiss Diamir Freeride Pro Binding is designed to help you split time on the resort with time in the backcountry, all while needing only this binding as your one quiver. With the ability to easily transition to tour mode, the Fritschi is equipped to handle your DIN soles without needing to get a pair of Tech-compatible boots. This binding allows skiers to pack a powerful punch on the descent, and experience smooth, natural strides on the ascent, thanks to the new Gliding Technology.
At the resort
Whether it’s 50 degrees and sunny out or dumping snow, access to pitched steeps, open bowls, and corduroy groomers can always be found at the resort. And when you’re chasing after the best in-bounds terrain, you want to have the best gear to make sure you find it.
Kastle MX 78 Skis
There’s no doubt Kastle makes the granddaddy of on-piste ripping machines, and the MX78 doesn’t fall far from the tree. With a .5 titanal base sheet and a .5 mm titanal top shop, along with the HALLOWTECH at the shovel, weight is significantly reduced throughout. Coined as “The Master,” the MX78 leaves no doubt its performance on the frontside is equally matched with that of backside turns.
When it comes to what you’ve got on your feet in the ski industry, experts will tell you that your boots are the most important factor in the entire process. With racing roots and loads of street cred, Nordica makes some of the most revered boots in the biz. Claiming to be the new standard in top line ski boots, the NRGy PRO 1 is geared toward hard-charging, no time for B.S. kind of rippers, and features moldable CORK Fit liner technology, dual canting and comfortable liner and toe box.
The folks at Marker know what their strength is, and that’s bindings that deliver maximum performance when you need it most. One of the mainstays in their lineup, the Jester 16 is considered a standard for the high-performance minded freeskier looking for a secure binding.
On the track
Cross-country skiing is one of the most peaceful activities you can do in the winter months. Affording you the chance to experience the true beauty of winter wonderland-like settings, you can breathe in stunning views and get in a great workout at the same time.
Fischer Nordic Set-Up
One of Fischer Sports’s specialties is Nordic equipment, and its Superlite Crown is perfect for anyone looking for something that’s super light, glides smoothly, and, most importantly, allows you to enjoy the journey. And while you’re at it, do your feet a favor and grab the XC Control Boots, too, which offer climate control and a newly modified Ankle Support Cuff.