Best of 2017 Colorado skis from Meier, Rocky Mountain Underground, Fat-ypus and more |

Best of 2017 Colorado skis from Meier, Rocky Mountain Underground, Fat-ypus and more

Phil Lindeman

Foot love, ski edition

Scarpa F1 touring boot, $699

A race-slash-tour hybrid from Scarpa? Get out of here. The revamped F1 is built for performance in the gates, high alpine and deep backcountry, with a carbon core shell and X-shaped cuff support for on-the-fly adjustment. Pair that with a lower BOA closure and upper buckle closure, and this boot is more comfortable than your slippers. U.S. men’s sizes 7.5 to 13.

Marker Schizo 14 binding, $339

It’s all about versatility these days and the Marker Schizo 14 has it in boatloads. The framed alpine binding switches from a setback powder stance to centered stance for park, powder and freeskiing. It’s the adjustability of a rental binding, only for experts. DIN ranges from 5.0 to 14.0 and comes with brake width from 90 to 120 millimeters. Unisex.

Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2.0 binding, $359.99-$549.95

The godfather of alpine touring has upped the game (again) with the frameless TLT Radical St 2.0. Released last season, the next generation of the AT original comes with step-in towers and a rotating toe piece in four brake sizes (90, 105, 120, 135 mm). Unisex.

Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part pre-season gear guide for skiers and snowboarders. Read on for 2017 men’s and women’s snowboards from Unity, Weston and Never Summer, plus splitboards from Jones, and 2017 goggles, hardshells and backpacks from Zeal Optics, Frisco’s Freeride Systems and Mile High Mountaineering.

It’s been a wild off-season for Colorado ski manufacturers.

A week or two ago, Meier Skis moved from its longtime home outside of Aspen — also home of production for Weston, Fat-ypus and other state-based brands at one point or another — to a new combo factory and showroom in Denver. The new space, found near Interstate 25 and 8th Avenue, recently opened for business, with retail, factory tours and, in the latest ski fad, an in-house bar

Here in Breckenridge, six-year-old Rocky Mountain Underground moved from its showroom on Park Avenue to a new showroom in the heart of Main Street. Production is still primarily in Canada, but the new locale will feature products, ski-press demonstrations and a full-service bar, complete with signature cocktails and tap beer. It opened in early 2017 and is already one of Breck’s newest hotspots.

But what about the skis? As Colorado’s hometown manufacturers grow older and wiser, their yearly collections have grown more robust. Gone are the days of experimental, niche-friendly models — remember the days of “fatter is better?” — and these days, they nearly rival big-name companies like Line, Head and Armada for selection and reliability. The real appeal: Most Colorado skis are still made right here in Colorado with (mostly) local materials. That means the price is higher, but the warm-fuzzy you get from supporting the ski bums who live, work and press down the street is priceless.


Meier Skis Big Hoss, $795

Sizes: 175 cm, 185 cm, 191 cm

Waist: 104 mm underfoot

After debuting last season, the big, bad Big Hoss men’s ski is back with a vengeance. Meier hasn’t changed much in terms of tech — it’s still made for larger skiers who charge a mix of powder and hardpack — but that’s just fine. The nose measures 144 mm and the tail measures 133 mm, with camber underfoot and reverse camber on the tip and tail. This one can be unforgiving for newbies, but for veterans of linebacker size, it’s one hell of a ride.

Find it: Copper Sports at Center Village in Copper and AMR Ski Shop next to City Market in Breckenridge. Also online at

RMU Apostle 98, $799

Sizes: 162 cm, 175 cm, 185 cm

Waist: 98 mm underfoot

There’s a reason the Apostle 98 is Rocky Mountain Underground’s most-awarded ski. It’s sleek, it’s sexy, it’s built to last, and it does everything the founders want it to do and then some, from groomers to touring and back again. It features RMU’s signature five-point design, which measures slightly larger at the mid-nose (121 mm) and mid-tail (116 mm) to give it a diamond shape. This pairs nicely with the poplar core and now-standard hybrid rocker design (camber underfoot, reverse camber at the tips). There’s an Apostle for everyone: try the Carbon Aspostle ($1,099) for lightweight touring and the Apostle 105 ($799) for more float in the deep stuff.

Find it: RMU showroom at 114 S. Main Street in Breck and Gorsuch LTD in Keystone. Also online at

Fat-ypus M5, $790

Sizes: 165 cm, 177 cm, 188 cm

Waist: 106 mm underfoot

True to its name, Breck’s own Fat-ypus hasn’t given up on the fat-ski phenomenon. The company is still handcrafting thick and meaty skis for those of you who charge powder day after day, and the men’s M5 (as in five-point) is a highlight of this season’s all-mountain collection. It comes in two varieties — one hybrid rocker and one flat tail, both made with poplar core — and measures a beefy 131 mm at the widest point on the nose. It made the “best of” gear lists for Skiing and Backcountry Magazine last season and returns with new graphics and little more. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Find it: Lone Star Sports at 110 S. Park Avenue in Breck, Alpine Sports at 610 S. Ridge Street in Breck and AMR Ski Rentals next to City Market in Breck. Also online at


Meier Big Nose Kate, $695

Sizes: 147 cm, 155 cm, 165 cm

Waist: 92 mm underfoot

You know this ski is made in Colorado when it’s named for Doc Holliday’s girlfriend. The redisigned Big Nose Kate is a skier’s ode to Mary Katherine Horony Cummings, an “ornery cuss” like her Western boyfriend, according to Meier, that’s built to be just as burly as anything from the company’s men’s line. The measurements are standard — 125 mm at the tip and 112 mm at the tail — but the construction is fine-tuned for females, with a forgiving wood-core laminate, camber underfoot and a camber-rocker “kick point” on the nose. The idea: It floats like reverse camber in powder and whips like traditional camber in the crud.

Find it: Copper Sports at Center Village in Copper and AMR Ski Shop next to City Market in Breckenridge. Also online at

RMU Valhalla, $799

Sizes: 152 cm, 162 cm, 172 cm, 182 cm

Waist: 104 mm

Breck locals have spoken and Powder Magazine listened: the Valhalla is one of this season’s best women’s skis. A few years ago, RMU tapped hardcore gals in Colorado and across the West to design a powder ski with power, tech and control in mind. The result was the Valhalla, which measures 128 cm at the widest point and features hybrid rocker to move from crust to face shots with ease.

“It is not ‘shrinked and pinked,’” the RMU website claims, “But rather designed by a wide range of women athletes, pros and patrollers.”

The folks at Powder Mag agree.

Find it: RMU showroom at 114 S. Main Street in Breck and Gorsuch LTD in Keystone. Also online at

Icelantic Maiden, $699

Sizes: 155 cm, 162 cm, 169 cm

Waist: 101 mm

Made in the same factory as Never Summer snowboards, Icelantic skis are some of the coolest around. Sure, it’s not all about topsheet graphics with the Maiden — the women’s version of the flagship Nomad model — but at least a part of the battle is looking good on the mountain, and this ski looks damn good. This season, the ethereal watercolor-and-pen graphic is paired with hybrid rocker and a powder-friendly profile (136 mm on the nose and 126 mm on the tail). It’s also paired with a cause: Proceeds from all ski sales are donated to She Lift, a national nonprofit that pairs adventurous girls with mentors like snowboard pro Jen Hudak.

Find it: Mountain Sports Outlet off U.S. Highway 6 in Silverthorne, Epic Mountain Gear at 223 Lusher Court in Frisco, Copper Mountain Sports in Center Village in Copper, Slope Style ski shop at 110 S. Main Street in Breck, Mountain Wave at 600 S. Park Avenue in Breck and Alpine Sports at 610 S. Ridge Street in Breck.

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