Gear Up For Winter

by Ian Harding

With only a short amount of time left before winter officially hits, snow enthusiast have already begun their hunt for this year’s latest and greatest equipment and accessories. Skiers and boarders alike have their eyes fixed on the newest equipment made available by their favourite brands, but with so many new styles available, how are we all to choose?

In a series of articles, we here at R4NT want to help you make the right choice for this year’s season. The first article will showcase some awesome gear for skiers with a second article showcasing radical gear for this year’s snowboarders. The third an final in the series is for both sides of the pond, showcasing hot new apparel and accessories for both skiers and boarders alike.

We understand that there are litterally hundreds of items available on the market, so this is to merely give you a quick glimpse into whats new for this year. Looking to upgrade? Read on.


First up for you two-plankers are the boots. Arguably the most important piece of equipment for anyone planning to hit the slopes, boot manufacturers are constantly pushing forward trying to produce the ultimate, out-of-the-box fit for everyone. Unfortunately, that’s a hefty package to lift. With any boot, you want to find one that is both snug and aggressive with plenty of support, yet has a free-range of motion that fits your style of skiing.

When it comes to boot entry, there are three different types. Rear-entry boots, which are designed for ease of use, are slowly fading out as front-entry boots become more common. Mid-entry boots allow for easy entry and exit, while front-entry boots are the most common. Many sporting shiny, heavy duty buckles. Choosing which to go with is completely personal preference. When trying on boots, make sure you wear proper socks. Cotton socks absorb moisture and become damp, making your feet cold. Thin, synthetic or wool blend socks that cover the calf are the best. You don’t want to try to buy a boot that fit well with heavy socks and then turn around and find out that your brand new boots are too big when you’re at the slope base with your ski socks on.

Here are some hot new boots for 2007, each designed for specific styles of skiing.

Tecnica - Diablo Flame Ultrafit & Hotform

Diablo Magma Hotform

Brand: Tecnica


MSRP: $889.00 CAN, $795.00 USD, $626.00 EUR

Designed for racers and experts, this boot is incredibily responsive. With its strong magnesium buckles, the Magma Hotform is designed to assist a strong skier on any part of the mountain. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced boot, you may want to check out one of the other six in the Diablo family. Still, this boot will please anyone looking for a high performance boot that will last them years.

Nordica - Nitrous

Hot Rod Nitrous * Editors Choice

Brand: Nordica


MSRP: $669.00 CAN, $598.00 USD, $471.00 EUR

Designed for all-mountain and freeriders alike, the Nordica Hot Rod boot delivers both performance and power to its wearer. To help with all the shock and jarring a freeride skier experiences, the Hot Rod’s hook-and-loop-closure strap has an elastomer insert that offers a highly reactive rebound when flexing, making for a comfortable fit for your shin while maintaining a nice strong resistance to forward pressure.

Black Diamond - Scarpa Denali


Brand: BlackDiamond

Alpine Touring

MSRP: $669.00 CAN, $598.00 USD, $471.00 EUR

The Denali TT is probably one of the stiffest AT boots on the Market. But juxtaposed with a deep-lugged rocker sole and four alloy buckles that are easy to micro-adjust with gloves on, the Denali TT makes for an excellent mountaineering boot that allows for aggressive skiing and heightened performance on slopes that many skiers rarely experience. It has an easy access cuff release lever which allows for a significant range of motion, especially advantagous when walking on ice and ridges.

Salomon - X Wave 8

XWave 8

Brand: Salomon


MSRP: $536.00 CAN, $479.00 USD, $377.00 EUR

The XWave 8 has always been a common choice amongst recreational skiers. Providing quality for the moderate skier and performance for the more aggressive, it’s Softex insert makes this boot very comfortable. It is a front-entry boot with four titanium clasp buckles and also has a loop on the tongue to assist in entry. If your recreational style begs for something affordable yet durable, you’ll want to try out these Salomons.

Lange - FreeRide 120


Brand: Lange


MSRP: $702.00 CAN, $628.00 USD, $494.00 EUR

The Freeride 120 is no tame animal. Neither are people who wear them. Designed for freeriders who seek out adrenaline-packed skiing, these boots help defy the laws of gravity. They have cushioned soles built to absord strong vibrations on stiff landings and have excellent shin support to assist in stability. Always looking for that fresh untouched powder? The Freeride 120s are a fairly lightweight boot, allowing for excellent control in soft snow.


The piece that “binds” the boots and skis together and allows them to work in unison, filtering out vibrations and absorbing shock.

Similar to how boots affect your skis responce, bindings are also important to ski control and safety. Binding technology is becoming more and more advanced each year and with new materials to work with, are becoming stronger and more lightweight. When looking for the right binding, first make sure you find a set that has the right brake width, especially if you have a ski with a wider waist. The brake should be wide enough to slip past the edges of the ski freely. Secondly, choose a binding that matches your style. Bindings can varry in weight and that can play an important role in your safetly and how you perform. Enjoy the terrain park? You’ll want a light-weight binding. Enjoy racing fast and hard? You’ll want a binding that is strong and reduces torque on your legs. Maybe look into a riser plate as well, as it will lift your center of gravity and give you more power when leaning in to turns.

Finally, you’ll want a binding with a proper DIN setting range. This is the part of the binding that sets the tension on the boot, resulting in how easily the boot can be released. DIN stands for Deutsche Industrie Normen, the German industrial organization that sets standards for binding release tensions. The lower the DIN setting, the more easily the binding releases from your boot. The higher the setting, the harder it is for the boot to release. Beginners fall more frequently than experts (not to say that experts don’t fall, because everyone falls), so a lower release tension is necessary for them to allow their boots to release easily and avoid injury. Experts are the opposite, requiring a higher DIN setting so that the vibrations and pressures of a fast downhill run don’t release the boots, which can result in a not-so-good experience called crashing.

Here are some bindings that will help you get the best out of your experiences on the hill.

LINE - Reactor 12 Ski Bindings

Reactor 12

Brand: Line

DIN: 4 – 12

Brake: 85mm – 100mm

MSRP: $398.00 CAN, $355.00 USD, $280.00 EUR

An excellent binding brought to you by Line, the Reactore 12 was designed to help reduce ACL injury. Unlike some other bindings on the market that have a single pivot point near the heel of the boot, the Reactor 12’s are the world’s first and only ski binding to feature dual pivot points. This dramatically reduces torque when someone falls or makes a wrong turn. Designed for easy transfer between Line skis, the Reactor 12 can still be a great addition to any ski. Powerful and consistent, these Line bindings have great pressure distribution to the center of the ski while allowing the ski to freely flex beneath them.

Marker - Titanium 12.0 Piston Control Turbo

Titanium 12.0 Piston Control Turbo

Brand: Marker

DIN: 3 – 12

Brake: 90mm – 105mm (wide)

MSRP: $380.00 CAN, $340.00 USD, $267.00 EUR

Developed from the same hydraulic oil piston system Marker World Cup Racers are using to win World Cup titles, these Marker bindings are designed for skiers who want aggressive high-performance reliability. Lightweight, they eliminate the negative vibrations and oscillations during the counter-flex of the ski making for a much smoother ride and allowing you to prepare for the next turn much quicker and with greater ease.

Look - PX 12 Ti Lifter Ski Bindings

PX 12 Ti Lifter

Brand: Look

DIN: 3.5 – 12

Brake: 85mm – 100mm

MSRP: $296.00 CAN, $265.00 USD, $208.00 EUR

Look has always been a primary player in the market of ski bindings. Developed for a wide variety of skiers ranging from intermediate to aggressive experts, the PX 12 Ti is great for recreational skiers who are looking for improved performance with their all-mountain and freeride skis. They add great leverage which helps you get on your edge without tweaking your ankles. This makes carving on both hard-packed snow and in gunk and slush much safer.

Salomon - Z12 Ti B85 Ski Binding

Z12 Ti B85 * Editors Choice

Brand: Salomon

DIN: 4 – 12

Brake: 85mm – 105mm (wide)

MSRP: $369.00 CAN, $330.00 USD, $259.00 EUR

Always setting its mark, Salomon consistently developes great bindings. In fact, I have a set myself. Last years Salomon 912 Ti bindings to be specific, which I must say, are the lightest and best performing binding that I have ever owned. Similar to the 912 Ti bindings, the Z12 Ti B85 are extremely reliable. Lightweight and easily adjustable, they making cutting through snow easier than cutting butter with a hot knife.

Rossignol - Scratch 140 TI WB Freeride

Scratch 140 TI WB Freeride

Brand: Rossignol

DIN: 5 – 14

Brake: 85mm – 100mm (wide)

MSRP: $390.00 CAN, $349.00 USD, $274.00 EUR

Another highly recommended binding comes to you from Rossignol. With a very strong and rigid case design, the Scratch 140 Ti bindings create a smooth balance between the boot and your skis. They are great at eliminating course vibrations and assist the boot in absorbing shock to your heel on strong landings. Designed for use with the Scratch series skis, these bindings are great for all skis and will work wonders for anyone who enjoys going off the trail in search of rugged terrain.


Ah yes, the skis. With hundreds of skis on the market all with their own specific performance specs, how is one to choose? Well, you first need to think about how you like to ski. Do you enjoy going fast on open groomed runs? Do you enjoy gliding through powder while drawing a line through the trees? Or are you the kind of person who takes pleasure in flying off of kickers and sliding on rails in the terrain park? All of these styles of skiing require a different type of ski. Some ski makers have been trying to cover all of the bases with their all-mountain styles. These can perform well on both hard-packed runs and in fluffy powder. It’s important to choose the style of ski that best fits your style. Once you know your style, your selection can be greatly reduced.

In this day and age, hot and radical graphics are the norm on most skis, especially freeride and park skis. Generally much wider or “fatter” than other skis, these offer a much larger surface area to for ski designers to to work with. Brands such as Line, Armada, 4Front, Rossignol, and Bumtribe all take advantage of the larger surface area. Similar to buying a car, choosing a ski that represents you can be tough. Here are some radical new models that you’ll be seeing in stores this winter. All I can say is, I wish there were a store that sold blank surface skis and the service of silk-screening them, so you could design your own graphics and have your very own custom ski designs.

Human Steack Haché

Brand: Bumtribe

Dimensions (mm): 123 / 95 / 112 (tip / waist / tale)

Sizes (cm): 167

MSRP: $793.00 CAN, $709.00 USD, $558.00 EUR

Bumtribe - Steack Haché

With its 95mm waist, the Bumtribe Human Steack Haché is an ideal ski for backcountry slopes. Also great for touring, this fat ski is perfect for skiers who love to ride powder. It’s sandwich construction features ashwood and fiber which give the ski great flex and reaction. Finding a set of Bumtribe skis may not be as easy as one might think, so keep your eyes open if your on the market for these stellar beauties.

XW Tornado (shown with Z12 Ti bindings)

Brand: Salomon

Dimensions (mm): 124 / 73 / 105

Sizes (cm): 146 , 154, 162, 170

MSRP: $783.00 CAN, $700.00 USD, $551.00 EUR

Salomon - X Wing Tornado

Designed for more of an all-mountain rider, the X Wing Tornado features woodcore and pulse pad technology that offers a highly stable ride on runs with a harder packed snow. One of the strongest skis in the Salomon X Wing collection, this ski plays all the right cards if you want to be able to cover all the elements on the hill. Oh and did I mention they are fast? Very fast!

JP vs. Julien * Editors Choice

Brand: Armada

Dimensions (mm): 126 / 103 / 116

Sizes (cm): 178, 188

MSRP: $699.00 CAN, $625.00 USD, $492.00 EUR

Armada - JP vs. Julien

Ah yes, another great ski brought to you by the fine craftsmen at Armada. The JP vs. Julien Signature Model is the newest addition to Armada’s arsenal and is the ultimate ski for those who want to elevate their backcountry experience as well as increase their fun in the park. With very little sidecut, the JP vs. Julien makes stomping landings a breeze and with it’s 126mm wide tip, gliding through powder couldn’t be easier. Probably one of the lightest skis on the market, it was introduced to the public when Tanner Hall soared over Chad’s Gap. For all you non-skiers out there, Chad’s Gap is a Michigan City Mine, located somewhere in the avalanche-prone Wasatch backcountry in Utah. To clear the gap from the 14-foot takeoff, you need at least 100 feet of airtime distance.

Scratch BC WRS

Brand: Rossignol

Dimensions (mm): 128 / 98 / 121

Sizes (cm): 171 , 185

MSRP: $800.00 CAN, $716.00 USD, $563.00 EUR

Available at

Rossignol - Scratch

Somewhat of a mystery is the new Scratch BC WRS, as finding information on it has proven to be difficult. From what I can tell, this is going to be the needle in the haystack on the hill this year, turning heads wherever it goes. The entire Rossignol Scratch series has been awesome to date, so I can imagine that the new BC WRS looks like it will make skiing quite an adventure. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for these in the terrain park too, as their super-wide 128mm tip will surely make park jibbing more fun that it has ever been.

Super Stinx Telemark

Brand: K2

Dimensions (mm): 112 / 70 / 97

Sizes (cm): 167, 174, 181

MSRP: $499.00 CAN, $446.00 USD, $351.00 EUR

K2 - Super Stinx Telemark

Attention tele-skiers! Yes, we’re making sure to cover the bases in this article. If you’re a telemarker looking to step up for gameplay, definitely check out the K2 Super Stinx. They have dual row inserts that let you choose between a forward mount binding position which allows for quicker handling, or back position for more stability when your tearing up the hill. The Super Stinx are also a very accurate on-piste ski, so be sure to at least check them out.

There you have it kiddies. This was just a brief overview into some of the many new toys that snow-junkies will be looking for this winter season. Stay tuned for the second addition of this article where we’ll be giving you a close-up look at some new gear for all your boarders out there.

  • Gear Up For Winter
  • by Ian Harding
  • Published on October 18th, 2006
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