2023 Icelantic Mystic 97 Review
We challenge you to find a more playful and responsive backcountry ski than this
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Crud Performance: 5.67
- Responsiveness: 7
- Stability at Speed: 4.67
- Flotation: 5.67
- Playfulness: 7.67
- Forgiveness: 8
- Versatility: 6.33
- Quickness: 7
- Price: $899
- Lengths: 155, 162, 169
- Dimensions: 128-97-113 (162)
- Radius: 16 (162cm)
- Weight: 1,444g (162cm)
- Level: Intermediate, Advanced
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Playfulness, Responsiveness
- Cons: Stability at Speed, Floatation
It’s impossible to look at an Icelantic ski and not break out in a smile. The indy brand out of Colorado is always doing something fun with their topsheets, but it’s more than just looks that drew us to the Icelantic Mystic 97. Playful and pivoty, the Mystic 97 is a forgiving backcountry ski that can handle chop, hot pow, and silky smooth corn with ease. It’s a colorful bundle of fun, built for skiers who don’t take the sport too seriously (we need more of you).
The rockered design and short turn radius make it easy to throw these colorful sticks sideways while navigating tight trees and narrow chutes, earning the Mystic 97 top points from testers in Forgiveness and Responsiveness. Whether you’re an advanced skier looking for a mellow day or newer to the backcountry and looking for a friendly ticket into the club, the Mystic 97s are an exceedingly approachable option.
“This is a fantastic entry-level backcountry ski,” exclaimed tester Jordan Garrett. “It’s forgiving enough, so it won’t take you on a ride you aren’t ready for, but it’s easy to initiate turns on varying slope angles. It also caters to a playful skier looking to find little features to get little pops of air off.”
Icelantic’s signature Feather-Weight Wood Core, a sustainably-sourced layup of crosshatched balsa wood grains, creates a light and strong ski with a snappy and responsive feel. It’s ready to drive through turns if you’re feeling it, but also easy-going enough to let off the gas and cruise on the final lap of the day. The Mystic 97 is the narrowest plank in Icelantic’s Mystic backcountry lineup, ideal for days where you see a mix of chalk, light powder, and crud. Testers agreed the Mystic 97 comes to life in soft snow, and felt its limitations in anything firm and steep.
“The rockered tips make turn initiation a breeze. This ski pivots on a dime and finds the fall line effortlessly,” added Garrett, although she warns skiers to keep speed in check as you transition from soft snow to hardpack, otherwise get ready for a wild ride.
If you’ve got a race background and you’re looking to really feel your edges—even in the backcountry— this isn’t the ski for you. But if your style could be defined as cruisy, fun-loving, and Hawaiian shirt-wearing, step right up.
“Buttery, smooth and forgiving in soft snow and chunder,” said tester Lily Krass, who heads for the Jackson Hole backcountry every chance she gets. “This is definitely a hero ski in mellow to moderate terrain thanks to the playful feel and easy steering.”
Lily Krass is a freelance ski journalist based in Jackson, Wyoming with work featured in SKI Magazine, Powder Magazine, Freeskier, Teton Gravity Research, and Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal. She spends winters backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park and riding lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with the occasional trip to the Alps (for the food, obviously). While she’s been in ski boots since she learned to walk, Lily has been professionally writing about skiing, gear, and all things outdoors for the past seven years. In addition to an all-consuming addiction to powder skiing mixed with heavy doses of Type II fun, Lily takes snacking seriously, and when she’s not writing or sliding on snow, she’s likely deep into a baking project in her tiny kitchen. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by life in a mountain town.