Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Freeskiing [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Updated: June 10, 11:50 AM ET
Salomon Rocker 2 ($935)


The Rocker 2: The best sequel since Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom.

Sometimes, making a sequel to an already-good thing isn't the best idea (exhibit A: Hangover 2). But in the case of Salomon's Rocker 2, based on their already-popular Rocker powder ski and due out this fall, the second incarnation is actually better than the first. Salomon reached out to its athletes, including Mike Douglas, Dane Tudor and Sammy Carlson, to design what they are calling the smoothest, most playful big powder ski on the market.

WHAT IT IS:
The Rocker 2 is a technically advanced powder ski that incorporates a balance of tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot. Thanks to its lightweight construction and some sidecut, the ski offers a stable, surfy ride. "When we started really pushing the limits of switch landings and radical tricks in the backcountry, the team wanted a ski that could spin, land backwards, and still maintain the solid feel that we all love about Rocker," says Tudor. "The Rocker 2 is everything we asked for." The Rocker 2 comes in lengths of 170, 180, 184 and 192 centimeters. The 170 and 180 are 115 millimeters underfoot and the 184 and 192 are 122 millimeters underfoot.

WHY IT RULES:
Salomon athletes communicated three key objectives when designing the Rocker 2: reduce the overall weight of the ski, reduce the tip and tail vibration, and make sure the ski can rip on-piste. The ski is manufactured with a full wood core with a superlight honeycomb insert placed in the tip and tail, which makes the skis easy to swing and pivot. Salomon also eliminated the steel edges from the ends of the ski, further reducing the weight. To reduce vibration, they designed the tip and tail with just enough rise to provide flotation. Finally, they placed the sidecut underfoot enabling the ski to maintain on-piste performance. The result? "It's the combination of being super fat underfoot but still having rocker, camber and sidecut that makes this ski so delicious," said North American Junior Freeskiing World Champion Leo Ahrens. "It's perfect for spreading butter on the creamiest of days."

WHERE TO FIND IT:
The Rocker 2 will be available this fall at Salomon dealers worldwide. You will also be able to pick up the Rocker 2 online at Backcountry.com and Evo.com.