Downhill Suspects (Cont.)

Speed

    Photo: Dan Winters

Skiercross and boardercross competitions may be manic spectacles, but take note of this no-hype hardware: These quick and edgy boards and skis also handle speed, making them the perfect sticks for fast days at Killington or—when the snow sets up—Big Bear. THE SKI: Salomon Crossmax 10 Pilot ($1,195, including binding). To make it as stable as an old-school GS race ski, but ten times as nimble, Salomon strategically tuned the Pilot's performance by adding and removing materials throughout, then used inverted leaf springs on the top sheet to absorb vibration and hold the ski to the snow. THE BINDING: Pilot S912ti. Another next-generation system binding, the S912ti runs two titanium axles across the ski under the toe and heel to serve as points of attachment. For you this means enhanced energy transfer; elastomer dampers keep the ride quiet.
THE BOARD: Völkl Cross ($550). Boards built to lay trenches in frozen corduroy need to be stiff or they'll chatter out of control. With its full-length wood core, the Cross soaks up vibrations and explodes out of turns, and it won't buck too hard when the snow softens in the afternoon—a problem endemic to superstiff alpine racing boards. THE BINDING: V-Flex Plate ($125) and Conquer Force binding ($200). With the V-Flex Plate, you benefit from the damping effects of rubber and the increased leverage of a lifter. Compatible with straps (like Völkl's Conquer Force, shown here) and step-in bindings, this lift's a must-have on bony hills.

Where to Find It: Salomon, 877-272-5666, www.salomonski.com; Völkl Sport America, 800-264-4579, www.volkl.com;

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