I was lucky enough to attend the Powder Magazine ski test a couple weeks ago, and got to check out some of the new 2011 gear from Volkl and Marker. The most exciting new piece of gear is the Marker Tour F12 binding. Based on the same design as the Duke, but over 30% lighter, the Tour F12 is a beefy alpine style binding with ski touring capabilities. The Tour F12 features a max DIN of 12 and weighs in at 1790 grams, about 12% lighter than the current Fritschi Freeride binding. Marker is also making the lighter weight, 1685 gram, F10 model, which features a DIN of 10. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to test the bindings, but stay tuned, I hope to have a full product test and review posted soon.
Volkl Nanuq touring ski with Marker Tour F12 Bindings.
I did get to test out the the new Kendo ski from Volkl, pictured below. With a sidecut of 127-88-109 and wood core construction, the Kendo skied a lot like the Volkl Mantra, with more versatility. The Kendo had a racy feel, turned on a dime, and was the perfect weapon on hard pack, groomers and in tight chutes. The Kendo will be available in 163, 170, 177, 184, and 191cm lengths.
The rest of the Volkl freeride line up is the same for 2011, though all the skis feature new graphics. Below is the 2011 Katana, my powder ski of choice for Jackson Hole.
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