Coalition Snow is…well, we’ll let them describe themselves: “We’re a bunch of ladies hailing from Lake Tahoe who believe that women’s skis and snowboards shouldn’t suck. Rather than wait around for someone else to design the gear we actually want to ride, we did it ourselves. It’s that simple.” Coalition was kind enough to send a set of their freestyle ski, the Bliss, for Engearment’s long-term test fleet. Read on for our initial impressions.
I’ve had truly three gorgeous days on snow on Bliss at Loveland Ski Area and had lots of fun. Now, the ski is marketed as a freestyle ski and I am not true freestyler, but I appreciate good jumps and bumps on the mountain. I have not tested the skis in the park yet and I am not sure that that is going to happen this season. But here is what I absolutely loved: with the 17 m radius these skis are fast on the groomers (this is a secret, but I was faster on them than my husband, and he was surprised). They skied with the awesome GS feel to them, but were quick to change edges and quick to turn with true twin tips shape to them. I skied the 168 cm model and this is in line with what I usually ski on an average day.
The Coalition Snow Bliss is very light, so I took them for a short hike to the top of the Golden Bear Peak in Loveland’s side country terrain. The hike was a breeze and as I hiked I was enjoying how light the skis were and how easy it was to hike up with them even without a pack, just carrying skis on my shoulder. The day was beautiful and sunny and the snow at the top was windblown and somewhat baked in. Even though the skis are on the narrow side compared to the others out there (83 mm underfoot) they performed beautifully as long as there was some crust. At the lower elevations, as I was coming down to the areas that were south facing and already getting slushy it was a different story – I definitely wanted to have more ski underfoot and bigger platform to make my turns from. So I learned that my terrain choice was not entirely appropriate for these skis.
Later in the day I took the skis to the bump runs at Loveland and was not disappointed. They were so much fun – turning around the bumps with caress and ease, letting me vary the speed and the line, offering a very reliable tool for the steep bumps as well as mild bump runs. I liked the ability to keep them on the snow as well as make little jumps without thinking twice about it. The skis were playful, agile, easy to turn around, easy to turn on the top of the bumps and had enough softness to them as well as a very stable feel.
Next couple of days I stayed on the groomed runs and enjoyed the speed and the agility that the skis offered. The advantage there was that after making beautiful turns I could ski close to the side of the run and enjoy jumping and jibbing alongside the run on the brims. Definitely scored some points with my 14 year old son and 12 year old daughter. The true twin tips (tips and tails) offered the ability to make the jumps just perfect and the landing very smooth without thinking of catching the tails or the tips.
In summary – Bliss is not the ski for the average skier out there, but for the one who enjoys adventure and playing in the snow. The skis would be perfect if you are just trying to get into a little jumping – these skis will be the perfect tool. They are not your most versatile pair, as they are difficult to turn in the slush and deep baked spring snow. But on a gorgeous sunny day in the mountains, when others thinking and waiting for that deep powder – you can take Bliss with you and enjoy a perfect day having fun playing around with all the features that the mountain has to offer starting with long groomers and ending with adventurous bump runs! You can trust the skis with speed, control, different turn shapes and jumps – they take care of you thanks to the reliable construction.
Head on over to Coalition Snow to buy them! And, Coalition’s pre-sale for 2016-2017 skis starts on April 25, so get your wallets ready!
SPECS: LENGTHS: 168 cm / 175 cm
TIP: 112 mm / 117 mm
WAIST: 83 mm / 87 mm
TAIL: 112 mm / 117 mm
RADIUS: 17 m / 18 m
CONSTRUCTION: Full birch wood core absorbs vibrations and provides a solid flex that will hold up at high speeds and variable conditions. Slanted ABS sidewalls lower swing weight, allow for quicker turn initiation, and provide a solid edge grip. These things turn on a dime. Rebound and energy created through sandwich construction.