I recently schussed up to Val Thorens for one of the best weeks of skiing weather I have ever had in 20-odd years. A massive dump of snow the week before and predicted blue skies set the week up perfectly. Things got even better when I was handed a pair of Salomon 2012’s to play with. I’m not the best off-piste or park skier, in fact I’m more of a GS racer than anything, so bear that in mind when you read this review.
VT and the Three Valleys have got one of the most extensive ski areas and with an abundance of fluffy, fresh powder, it would have been rude not to ride it. The 2012’s were in fact the first twin-tips I’ve ever ridden (I normally ride regular carvers) and the extra few inches at the tail of the skis took me a while to get used to. The powder itself was a good few feet deep (I even lost one of the skis for about 10 mins until I dug it out of the drift I’d landed in) and the skis handled superbly despite my inferior knowledge of deep snow. These skis are slightly wider than regular carvers, making them surf the powder like a champ. The 2012’s also handle like a dream on regular pisted runs; they’re disgustingly flexible giving you a tight turning arc and great power out of the turn. Carving with them is delightful. On the other hand, the 2012’s can be a bit shaky on longer and faster gliding sections…here they do not compete at all with racing skis. I also found that the skis have little or no grip on very icy patches, however this may have been to do with the edges and not the 2012’s themselves.
One of my dirty passions are moguls. Simply can’t get enough of the things. I wouldn’t recommend the Salomon 2012’s for an experienced mogul skier. The twin tips added length at the tail make it a little bit harder to get round those larger bumps. However as an all-terrain/all-mountain ski the 2012’s are great. Flawless on and off the piste and their reputation in the park with the twin-rocker speaks for itself (featured in this year’s X games). I’m no park skier but I was smashing out cheeky 180’s and doing boxes all day long. The perfect balance of the 2012’s really helps when doing those narrower rails. The freestyle element of the skis with its twin-rocker design was probably wasted on me but I would recommend them as an all-purpose, all mountain ski for intermediate-expert skiers.
- You can’t fit both skis into the holes on the sides of bubbles, but at an angle, one will go in a hole.
- Persevere with the twin tips if you haven’t rode with them before – these are great piste skis.
By Henry Miller