Testing skis so you don't have to.
- Mar 5, 2017
Length tested: 168 cm
Location tested: Aspen Snowmass/Alpine Meadows
Conditions: Cold chalky snow/boot top powder
This is one of the most referenced ski widths in the industry for a very good reason. It's narrow enough to be a daily driver, and wide enough to venture off piste. In the case of the Peak 88, the referenced width happens to be listed in the 168 length which is an ideal length for me.
When the Peak 88 was first made available to test, I had been skiing another 88 mm waisted ski in this coveted category which made for an ideal test environment. First, I was impressed with the finish on the Peak, but it was time to click in and take it to the snow. Peak Skis does not publish their turning radius, which is something they take pride in. The first few turns revealed a slightly longer turn radius than I was experiencing with the previous ski that I was on, but that wasn't the only difference. The Peak 88 has a nice balance between smooth and playful that isn't often found in a ski. When I had a chance to talk to Bode about the KeyHole™ technology it gave me a better understanding of where these attributes come from, and I quickly found myself playing in the moguls, and letting these beauties run on the long groomers that Snowmass serves up.
The second day I got on the Peak 88 was a surprise powder day when we returned to Alpine Meadows, which is where they showed me yet another place to shine: charging through the Sierra powder and chopped leftovers.
- Insider tip: Don't dismiss this new brand.
Length Tested: 184
Location tested: Snowmass
Conditions: Old chalky snow
I have been on almost every other 88-90 mm ski that will be offered both all new and carry over and I can say with confidence that the Peak 88 is a top performing option. Most of the 88's I have been on have been in the 178-180 mm length and the Peak 88's were a bit longer at 184 but honestly the Peak offering was one of the compliant 88's I tested in recent memory. it was smooth, agile and extremely quiet.
The shape of the Peak 88 might sound or look familiar to some, the mold is shared with another Elan which makes a bit of sense because the Peak 88 is produced in the Elan factory. That will be the question, then why spend about $150 more for the Peak than the Elan? Well there are a few reasons. The obvious first one is that the Peak integrates Bodes' Keyhole design. The KeyHole™ is a cut out in the top layer of titanal just in front of the toe piece. The KeyHole™ is something Bode has been working in since his days with Rossignol. The KeyHole™ allows the ski to flex a bit more naturally both longitudinally and torsionally to create a smoother transition into the turn. The other design aspect of the Peak that differentiates itself from the Elan is the lack of Amphibio in the design. The additional uphill inside edge control of not have Amphibio combined with the keyhole creates a great combination of control and power.
- Insider tip: No need to wait for Bode's next project, this is his last stop.
- Who is it for?
- Skiers avoiding the "me too" typical ski offerings and looking for a daily driver with the ability to charge.
- Who is it not for?
- The skeptical and someone who doesn't like to step outside the box.
- Skier ability
- Ski category
- All Mountain
- Ski attributes
- Off Piste