The All-Star Ski Gear of the 2022 Freeride World Tour
Ski Expert Michael Dobson reveals a behind-the-scenes look at the winning gear of your favorite skiers on the 2022 Freeride World Tour.
Watching the Freeride World Tour each season, I’m always blown away by the riders. There are always moments where I’m left thinking, “how the $*&# did they just do that?” Invariably the answer is immense amounts of talent and skill practiced over a lifetime, starting as children with race, freestyle, and freeride programs at legendary resorts. The riders are so gifted that they could probably ski these same faces on a pair of your grandparents' straight skis from the ‘70s. Folks aren’t just trying to make it down the mountain these days—instead, we’re talking full speed and full send in massive terrain and cruddy snow.
In order to perform at this level, let alone progress the sport year after year, you gotta have top-of-the-line, high-performance gear that won’t let you down. For all you aspiring freeriders and gear heads out there, today, we’re gonna give you a rundown of some of the skis and bindings behind some of your favorite riders in the 2022 Freeride World Tour.
Jess and Hedvig are a couple of folks who know their way around a pair of skis. They are absolute rippers and two of the top riders on the tour, with the former being the current tour leader for the women’s side and the latter being last year’s runner-up. They are both currently sponsored by Head who makes high-quality skis across all disciplines as well as some of the best freeride skis on the market. That said, it’s no surprise that they also have one of the most stacked lineups in the sport including fellow FWT legend Reine Barkered.
On competition day you can catch Jess, Hedvig, and even Reine on the 22/23 Head Kore 111 mounted with Tyrolia Attack 14 GW bindings for Jess and Tyrolia Attack 17 GW bindings for Hedvig. The Kore 111 is a strong, stiff, mid-fat ski on a surprisingly light platform for its size. It allows for an excellent balance of edge hold on firm snow and flotation in soft (this will be a common point throughout the article), making it a top choice for freeride athletes.
Owned by Head Skis, Tyrolia’s Attack 14 GW is the workhorse of the binding lineup. It’s a durable binding with a great balance of weight and performance that feels solid when locking in, and releases when you need it to. Larger and heavier freeriders can bump to the Attack 17 for higher DIN ratings.
Olivia is another hard-charging rider with zero compromise. She gets after it no matter the conditions and needs a setup that can stand up to the challenge. Olivia is sponsored by her local Canadian independent ski and snowboard company Prior Snow. Prior is known for making high-performance skis and snowboards with a complete list of customizable options from topsheet and base graphics, to the nitty-gritty of specific tip and tail shape and width, construction, flex, radii, you name it!
This season, Olivia is competing on a custom ski based on Prior’s Flute shape and design. The Flute is a mid-fat ski with a 105 waist width with wide, tapered tips that float well in soft snow, provide excellent edge hold when conditions are less optimal, and avoid being twitchy or hooky.
Olivia mounts her custom Flutes with the all-metal Look Pivot 15 GW binding, probably the most trusted binding in the professional ski world. If a rider doesn’t have a binding sponsorship, nine times out of ten, they’re on the Look Pivot. With top-of-the-line elasticity in the toe and heel, their signature rotating heel piece for lateral release, and a low stack height, the Look Pivot provides an excellent blend of stability, safety, and performance.
FWT rookie standout Lily Bradley has been making a name for herself this season with her playful line selection and approach to the mountains. Lily’s ride of choice is the Moment Commander 108. Based out of Reno, Nevada, Moment has a penchant for making hard-charging durable skis injected with freeride and freestyle DNA, all made in the USA. The Commanders definitely fall on the freeride side of the spectrum—they’re a pretty stiff and heavy ski with plenty of camber underfoot, a fairly large turn radius, lots of effective edge, and rocker in the tips with a splash in the tail. This all adds up to a freeride ski that loves to go fast and straight but can still slash sideways and get playful when you want it to.
Lily mounts her Commanders with the Salomon STH2 13 WTR binding. The STH series is a favorite among many riders and features industry-leading elasticity in the toe, said to increase binding retention to avoid pre-release and provide stability when running through variable snow conditions.
Elisabeth is the reigning FWT champ and an all-around talented professional skier sponsored by Faction Skis, whose team lineup reads like a who’s who list of the best freeride, freestyle, and big mountain riders in the world. Elisabeth’s tool of choice for FWT competitions is the Faction Dictator 3.0X mounted with the Look Pivot 14 GW binding. The Dictator 3.0X is a women’s-specific freeride ski that is fairly heavy given its length with a mid-fat waist width, camber underfoot, a stiff flex pattern, wide shovels, and rocker in the tip and a touch in the tail (notice a trend?). This all adds up to a platform that prioritizes stability in a plurality of conditions without sacrificing performance.
Last season Elisabeth gave an in-depth rundown of all the gear she uses throughout the season, from skis to gloves. Check it out for more info!
Maxime is one of the many rookies who’ve taken the Freeride World Tour by storm this season with two big wins already under his belt heading into the finals. He is also a professional kitesurfer and brings a strong freestyle background to his runs. Maxime is sponsored by Swiss-based indy ski brand Movement Skis whose designs focus on shapes geared towards the freeride and freestyle skiing community. Maxime’s go-to ski on the FWT has been the Movement Fly Two 105. This ski has a much more symmetrical and freestyle-geared design than many of the others featured on the tour. It has a near-center mount point, full-twinned tail with a good amount of tip and tail rocker, and medium-radius sidecut, all paired with a fairly stiff flex pattern for a freestyle ski and a decent bit of weight at around 2100g per ski. Despite its freestyle intentions, this ski provides a stable platform that is more than at home on the feet of a freerider.
Maxime mounts his skis with the Marker Griffon 13 ID. This is a lightweight binding option more geared towards younger or lightweight freeriders, but the binding clearly seems to work well for him!
The FWT legend himself rides for the renowned French ski company Black Crows, based in Chamonix. Turdell is riding the unreleased 2023 Black Crows Anima with a lengthened sidecut radius at 21m (the normal sidecut radius on Anima is 19m). The Anima is Black Crow's powder-oriented ski and the second widest in their lineup at 115mm underfoot. It features a full-twinned tail with generous tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot, a moderate-stiff flex pattern, and comes in at around 2250g per ski. Like the other skis mentioned, it’s a quite stable platform for a majority of soft snow conditions but can still keep an edge when things get firm. Turdell uses the Tyrolia Attack 17 GW bindings.
Max is another rookie who’s had a breakout season, being the first rider to land a double backflip in the history of the tour. Max is sponsored by Rossignol and frequently rides the Sender TI and Sender Squad. For FWT competitions Max seems to be riding a blank prototype of next year’s 2023 Rossignol Sender 106 TI Plus—2200g of burly metal-laminate freeride ski with a mid-fat waist, fairly wide tip and tail, and camber underfoot. As I’m sure you guessed, this ski is designed to run the gamut of snow conditions and do so at top speed. Max has them mounted up with the all-metal, gold-colored Look Pivot 15 GW bindings.
Andrew has gained a lot of notoriety in his short stint on the FWT with his smooth high-speed style, drawing frequent comparisons to FWT legend Drew Tabke. Pollard, like Elisabeth Gerritzen, is a member of the stacked Faction Skis team. Pollard rides Faction’s Dictator 4.0—a strong metal-laminate ski designed for riding big mountain lines at high speeds. It has a 116mm waist width, but it’s paired with a large amount of effective edge for what would seem to be a powder ski, along with a decent weight (2200g) and a stiff flex pattern. This is the ski you reach for when you want to go top speed down a massive steep slope and need everything to go smoothly. Pollard mounts them with the Look Pivot 18 GW, the highest DIN all-metal cousin of the Pivot 15.
Ross’ sophomore year on the tour has been slightly overshadowed by some of the rookies this season, and he has yet to stand atop the podium. However, if last season’s showdown with Turdell taught us anything, it’s that this young freerider has everything it takes to win in the Freeride World Tour. Ross is sponsored by ski industry conglomerate MDV sports or Marker, Dalbello, and Volkl.
Ross rides the 2023 version of the Volkl Revolt 121, Volkl’s powder-oriented freestyle ski. It features a 121mm waist width, a progressive mount point, fairly tapered tips/tails, a twinned tail, tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot, a fairly stiff flex pattern, and comes in around 2200g mark. This is a freestyle ski designed to smooth out rough conditions while still keeping it easy to playfully slash and pivot.
Ross has his Revolts mounted with Marker’s new alpine touring binding, the Duke Pt 16. This binding has a removable toe piece that converts into a pin-style toe for touring purposes. When it’s time to go downhill, you simply re-attach the toe piece and you get all the benefits of a DIN-certified alpine binding, making it an excellent option for folks charging hard in the backcountry or a one ski quiver for resort and BC days.
If you’d like more info on any of the gear listed in this article or you’ve got your eyes on a setup and you’re itching to pull the trigger, give a shout to one of Curated’s Ski Gear Experts like myself, and we’ll help you find the gear you need for the lowest possible price. Be sure to keep your eyes out for our ski and snowboard ‘watch to watch’ articles for the upcoming event in Fieberbrunn and follow along with all the action at Freeride World Tour.