We often associate Italy’s Ski Trab with skinny-waisted and lightweight skis. With the introduction of the Neve, Ski Trab deviates a bit and presents a 93mm width 1400g ski.
After an ongoing love affair with Ski Trab’s brilliant little bindings, the Gara Titan, I’ve finally got my hands on a pair of their skis. Coming from the same “powder-mountaineering” culture that Adam described so well here. The small waist widths and weights have always tempered my intrigue with Ski Trab’s ski line. Their racing and mountaineering skis have often been touted as some of the best-made and best-performing skis of the genre, so I was psyched to see the announcement of a freeride ski last spring.
The freeride ski definition is relative here, Ski Trab didn’t make a Blizzard Rustler or a Volkl Revolt competitor. What they did make is a 93mm, ~1400g, very robust feeling ski that I suspect will excel in steep and technical terrain while handling powder and higher speeds well relative to similar skis like the Blizzard Zero G 95 and the Salomon MTN 95.
Without diving too deep into the rabbit hole of Ski Trab’s 14-Layer Construction (maybe in the final review), I’ll start by acknowledging the complexity and fine-tuned engineering that went into designing this ski. It appears Ski Trab went to great lengths to perfect their build process and get exactly the performance they were looking for in this ski: The Neve feels substantial in hand, and the build quality appears flawless – they have a bit of Italian flair, and an artisanal, artistic quality that stands out relative to other high quality, highly engineered skis with a more industrial design and feel such as Blizzard or Kaestle.
The profile is very similar to the likes of a Blizzard Zero G 95, with a nearly identical moderate length, low splay tip rocker, a bit of camber underfoot (a few mm more for the Trab), and subtle tail rocker (a touch longer tail rocker for the Trab). Combined with a similar radius (23.7m for the Trab in a 174 and 22m for the Zero G in a 171) and little taper. I reckon there will be a lot of similarities with my beloved Zero G 95s.
In weight and construction, the Neve differs pretty substantially from other skis in the category. Coming in at 1400g for the 174cm, they are almost 200g heavier than the Zero G 95 – which I view as a benchmark, middle-of-the-road weight for a 95mm lightweight touring ski. More similar in this category is the Salomon MTN Explore 95, which was discontinued last year but boasted similar weights, lots of damping features, and excellent reviews from hard-charging skiers. I’m hopeful that the Neve will bring some added damping and stability to a similar shape as the Zero G 95, my all-time favorite ski for steep terrain.
I have been out only a few times on the Neves. The reality is I’ve mostly been on powder skis on account of the deep winter. The skis arrived mounted with Ski Trab’s Vario.2 bindings, which I’m excited to try after a few seasons mostly skiing the Gara Titan and Vario.1, and loving them. They also arrived with Ski Trab skins, which are made by Contour. I’ve used their skin material off the roll in the past and had good experiences, but the real treat is the Attivo attachment system; which allows for ripping skins from the tip and has a clever tail “clip” that wedges into the swallow tail slot and seems secure and low profile.
For boots, I will likely spend most of the testing time using the new Zero G Peak boot from Tecnica, but with the adjustment plates, I’m psyched to try them with the Zero G Tour Pro as well as the Dynafit DNA to get the full spectrum of boot combination experiences.
Ski Trab Neve Specs
Available lengths (cm): 174 (Tested), 181, 188
Weight verified (174cm): 1400g
Side cut: 123-93-113
Turn radius: 23.7 , 24.5 , 27.2 
Core: Liwood Air core
Build Comments: 14- Layer Construction with carbon, fiberglass, and basalt reinforcements as well as elastomer inserts, carbon tubes, and so much more – there is a lot going on under the cap here.
Shape: Moderate tip rocker and subtle tail rocker, lots of resting camber, subtle swallow tail
Mount Point: -7.5cm (approx. with some quick n’ dirty tape measure work)
Cosmetics: Matte White topsheets and the swallow tail definitely stand out
Testing Setup: Ski Trab Vario.2 bindings, Tecnica Zero G Peak, Dynafit DNA, or Zero G Tour Pro boots, Ski Trab Skins
Gavin is a mountain guide and gear fanatic based in Jackson, WY. His endless pursuit of gear perfection led to starting a pack company, Apocalypse Equipment in 2019. He has a degree in Nordic skiing and mechanical engineering from the University of New Hampshire and worked as a ski shop tech prior to getting his dream job as a WildSnow contributor.
That’s a good looking ski at first glance. What does ski trab claim are the advantages of the swallow tail design?
The swallow tail is how their proprietary skin fixation attaches, I don’t think they make any claim to a change in skiability
They do not claim, but actually insist that the split tail aids with finishing the turn, having a mor flexible tail, while keeping the full length of the ski. I would say, it works. The skins tail fixing is just an “afterthought”, they used it also for that, but it is not the primary reason of this design.
In the past SkiTrab made a “fat” ski, the Volare, which was 129/99/116 and1480 gms in 178 cm.
Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but this ski seems perplexingly skinny for a “powder mountaineering” ski.
Although I may be spoiled with typically soft snow all winter, I never find a reason (in winter) to ski something skinnier than Dynastar Mythic @97mm waist and with the huge tips that let them ski powder way above any other ski in that waist size.
Older SkiTrab FreeRando Lights come out in April/May and they ski OK for the weight (80 waist, 1440g @ 178cm with bindings).
Perhaps this requires a bit of clarification of my intentions- I’m not suggesting that this is a powder mountaineering ski, rather that culture of bigger/heavier skis around here has tempered my interest in Trabs more narrow, lightweight options of the past few years.
My intent with the Neve is as a damp, stable mountaineering ski for firm or technical skiing. If I’m expecting more than a skiff of powder, I’m reaching for something different.