This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Crud Performance: 7
- Responsiveness: 7.25
- Stability at Speed: 7.25
- Flotation: 6.75
- Playfulness: 8.5
- Forgiveness: 7.75
- Versatility: 8
- Quickness: 7.25
- Price: $800
- Lengths: 172, 179, 186
- Dimensions: 131-98-119
- Radius: 18 (179cm)
- Weight: 1,515g
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Playfulness, Versatility
- Cons: Crud Performance, Flotation
For those skiers who prioritize the descent over powering uphill, the Vision 98 lets you bring resort playfulness and agility to the backcountry. “There’s not much this ski doesn’t like,” said tester Luke Larsen, who grew up racing in Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons. “If you’re willing to add a little weight to your backcountry setup to have a ski that drives like your resort ski, this is your machine.”
This ski had the highest playfulness rating of any contender in the backcountry group and the second-highest score for forgiveness.
While the Vision 98 is on the heavier side for this category, owing to its maple core, the stacked aramid (similar to Kevlar), carbon fiber, and fiberglass build give it enough damping to save some energy in your legs on long, chunky exits in variable conditions. Skiers looking to get into more-severe mountaineering lines, with no intention of resort or sidecountry skiing, may want to look for a lighter setup.
According to testers, the social backcountry enthusiast who is more about chasing fun snow with a relaxed group than ticking off extreme lines or mega-big days will appreciate a Vision quest the most. The majority of testers said they wouldn’t think twice about taking this ski to the resort regularly as well.
Overall, we were impressed by how smoothly the Vision 98 skis, which is the added benefit of that extra weight. It punches up, and we’d ski this on just about any terrain or snow that wasn’t excessively steep or deep.