Spring (or rather, summer) skiing is here! That means two things, corn snow and long days.
Corn competes with pow as my favorite ski surface. It has distinct advantages that may even pull it ahead. Not only is corn snow supremely rippable with nonexistent avy danger, but lugging big pow skis to the top isn’t necessary to have a good time. On a lovely ripe corn slope almost any skier, with any kind of skis, can have supreme fun.
The lighter weight and consistent edge-hold of skinnier skis is perfect for corn season. I remember eight or so years ago, I got my first pair of 88 underfoot skis. I thought “Boy, these will be great pow skis.” Recently I’ve been using 88 wide ski as my main corn touring ski. How times have changed!
However, for many summer ski days even 88 millimeters is unnecessary. It’s nice to have a pair of skis that are even skinnier, both for superior edge hold and weight savings. Of course wider skis work just fine, but after a few long days last year and with regretfully icy descents, I decided I needed to find slightly skinnier planks.
Ski Trab is well known for their lightweight, skinny skis designed to move like an Italian sports car. (at least on the uphill). The company’s skis are primarily targeted for rando racing and fitness uphilling, sacrificing some downhill performance for svelte weight. The 82 underfoot ski weighs in at 1,000 grams, per Ski Trab’s reputation. Checking out the Magico at this year’s OR show with steep summer descents in mind, I was also impressed by the how stable the ski looked. The Magicos incorporate a variety of technologies to lower weight and maintain stability. Incorporating carbon fiber and Aramid, it’s obvious they put work and expense into making these planks perform. Also, in contrast to every other ski in my quiver, the Magicos have a completely traditional camber profile.
I’ve been out on a few trips recently with the 171 cm Magicos. I haven’t encountered much steep hard snow, but on everything I’ve skied the Trabs have performed beautifully. I’ve been finding a lot of slush lately, and even in that they perform well, not getting hung up and turning easily. On corn and other hard snow they carve like a champ.
Of course the uphill is where the Magicos are truly magic. They are the lightest skis I’ve ever been on, and I can tell. Both on the pack and on the feet, the lightweight is a distinct advantage. The skinny waist also helps hold an edge while skinning on early morning corn. Skinning on frozen corn has got to be one of the more efficient modes of human transportation. Being able to keep the skis on, as opposed to booting, always makes the approach go faster.
I haven’t found much to dislike about the skis. Of course certain lycra-clad skiers may beg to differ, but they definitely have their place. I doubt they would be much fun on a ski area, or a deep pow day. Also, as with any lightweight ski, it remains to be seen how durable they are. I was sure to mount the bindings with plenty of epoxy, and of course without stripping any screws. The paint scheme and plethora of names is excessive, but such is the norm for many euro skis. At least they match my boots.
Although I’m feeling the pull of warm summer rock, I’ll surely get out on a few more ski trips and test the Magicos in a greater variety to conditions. It’s truly a blessing to have the phenomenal summer skiing we do in this corner of the country. A skinnier lighter ski is a the tool to enjoy it.
(Our 171 cm Magicos 115/81/103 weigh 1,000 grams each; they’re the lightest ski per unit length in this years test group. See our weight charts.
Also check out guest blogger Scott Nelson’s Magico review
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.