Updated: Jan 25
Best Price Available: Powder 7 $749
Length Tested: 184cm
Width Tested: 112mm
Test Bindings: Dynafit Rotation 12
Test Boots: Dynafit Hoji PT
Locations: Vail CO, Eagle County CO, Galena Pass ID, Rocky Mountain National Park CO
Variable Backcountry Conditions: 8
Resort Capabilities: 7
The Deathwish Tour was designed to handle all types of terrain you may encounter in the backcountry. Modeled after their popular on-piste model, the Deathwish, but coming in at a much lighter weight; these things are perfect for long uphill treks, without compromise in the powder. Additionally, the 'triple cambered' construction provides plenty of edge hold and control on when things start getting hairy.
When you first click-in to the Deathwish tours, you will immediately notice how lightweight they are (if paired with the correct bindings). This drastically effected the overall feel of the skis. I'm not going to lie the first three runs on these things I went ass over tea-kettle a couple of times. This was due to the light-weight construction providing a much more sensitive reaction than I am used to. However, after a couple wipeouts I was quickly able to adjust to the skis and man I love them. Overall these skis are fast and flexible creating a surfy sensation with no sacrifice to maneuverability.
When I go touring, its typically to try and find some better snow, and as a result I tend to gravitate towards wider platforms that will allow me to get some great turns. Typically a wider width will create some issues when going uphill. First there is often a weight issue associated with the extra material of wider skis, however the Deathwishes only weigh 3.5lbs per ski (~1600g) making them as light as many 100 underfoot touring models. Additionally, many wider skis also have shovels and tails with significant curvature, often resulting in the skis clipping each other in passing. However, the death wishes have a long taper into their tips and tails rather than a sharp curve making this a non issue. One thing to consider is that due to the larger width of this ski, it requires a beefier binding to prevent prerelease which is why I opted for the Dynafit rotation 12. Some other suggestions would be: G3 ION 10/12, Dynafit ST Radical , Marker Kingpins, or Black Diamond Helio 350s. Despite this, the Deathwish is a breeze given its size on long uphill treks.
In the powder, the Deathwish provides unparalleled float and performance. This is in large part due to their wide stature, but also their triple camber construction. The 'triple camber' refers to the extra camber height added in the tips and tails just before the rocker begins. While in the powder, this allows the tips to naturally rise to the surface of the snow for superior floatation. Additionally the aggressive curvature of the tails allows for easy exits from turns without any sort of hooking.
Variable Backcountry Conditions:
As much as we hate to admit it, touring isn't as glorious as it looks in the movies. As a result, performance in variable conditions is crucial for any touring skis. The Moment Deathwishes truly are confidence inspiring in these types of conditions. They bust through crud and slice through ice with ease making it appear as if you might actually have a death wish flying down the mountain. Not to mention, these skis handle technical terrain with ease. Pivoting between obstacles is a non issue, and sketchy no fall zones suddenly become a breeze.
While the Deathwish shines brightly in the backcountry, it does not perform quite as well as a resort favored ski. This is in large part due to the lightweight construction not providing quite as much stability/feel as heavier resort focused skis. Additionally, since I have these skis setup with dynafit rotations and Hoji boots, this setup doesn't perform up to the standards of my resort setup, so I prefer to just bring these out when I'm planning to skin. If you were to mount a more resort friendly binding like the Atomic Shifts, or Marker Kingpins, the resort capabilities could greatly increase, but your uphill performance will suffer. If you want a ski that performs well at the resort and only plan to tour occasionally, we might recommend the normal Deathwish instead.
The Moment Deathwish Tour is a ski that is for someone looking for a dedicated touring ski to get great surfy turns in the powder, responsive and powerful performance in variable conditions all in a lightweight construction to make the uphills easier. I have found these skis to be really enjoyable and I always like getting them into any kind of terrain.