Gear Up

Advances in skate-specific equipment match the sport's surging popularity. Here are two of the year's top systems for advanced and intermediate skiers (forget entry-level gear; you'll outgrow it fast).

Dec 26, 2006
Outside Magazine
Gear Up

Performance System

Fischer RCS Carbonlite Skating: This Olympic–level ski has an exceptionally low swing weight, for quick recovery (bringing the ski back after pushing off). The base, with a high graphite content and an aggressive diamond–ground structure, is best for humid conditions. Get the RCS Skating Cold for the Rockies and other dry–snow regions. $600;

Salomon S–Lab 3D Carbon Skate (pictured): For the ultimate in energy transfer, this heat–moldable boot has a carbon chassis that envelops your heel and sole. The upper's seamless construction means no pressure points or leaks. $450;

Exel Black Feather: Carbon–fiber shafts make the Black Feathers light and strong. The grips are angled backwards ten degrees, which provides more power and a quicker recovery. $300;

Value System

Atomic FX: Skate: This stable ski is softer and wider than racing models, letting you focus on stride rather than balance. But you won't need an upgrade next season: Power transfer and responsiveness are top–notch. $216;

Alpina SP40: Just a few years ago, the technology in this boot was the World Cup standard. It has the same asymmetric cuff design and heel–retention strap found in Alpina's RS racing boot. $199;

One Way DS920: A shaft made with 20 percent carbon fiber reduces weight and keeps price down. And there's nothing low–end about the poles' trim racing baskets and biting tungsten tips. $59;

Get perfect comfort from start to finish—whatever your experience or gear—with these layers: Patagonia Wind Tracker Top (pictured, $145;; Craft Flow Pants ($110;; Ibex Pico Zip T ($95;; Salomon Smart Windstopper Vest ($115;; Swix Race Hat ($26;; Pearl Izumi Gavia Gloves ($45;

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