Again in 2015 Icelantic has created the SKNY (Skinny) line-up for several of their models. The Icelantic Keeper SKNY is the little brother to Icelantics big mountain, powder ski, the Keeper. The Icelantic Keeper SKNY has the same shape and sidecut, but as the name suggests is skinnier. Overall, it is a super fun, forgiving, and versatile ski that can be used anywhere on the mountain. With a rocker tip and tail and 95mm underfoot it can handle the powder and crud with ease, while the traditional camber underfoot provides stability when on the hardpack.
Conditions: Hard Pack, Soft Snow, Bumps, Crud
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Marker Griffon
Set Up: Default mounting position just behind center
On Snow Feel: This is a versatile ski that allows you to be aggressive on the soft snow and groomers, and have fun playing in the pow. It’s a relatively stable ski, yet it can be playful when you want it to be. It is really responsive, and also very forgiving. My first impression when I first got on the ski was just how easy it made everything seem. It was effortless to turn, and very responsive. I felt confident whether I was on soft snow, in the crud, or on hardpack.
Powder: At 95mm underfoot, the Icelantic Keeper SKNY isn’t a powder specialist, but with 350mm of rocker in the tip it still provides good flotation. The 250mm of rocker in the tail helps to keep the ski playful in the powder. Although this ski isn’t a pow slayer like it’s bigger brother, most people will find it more than enough for everyday riding.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Icelantic Keeper SKNY is one of those skis that just makes turning easy. It has pretty significant rocker in the tip and a tapered design that make the ski easy to turn. At 95mm underfoot, it doesn’t take a lot to get it on edge. It has traditional camber underfoot, giving you a stable platform and lots of power when transitioning from edge to edge. The taper in the tail will give you better edge hold, but releases quickly when you need to scrub speed, or transition into the next turn.
Speed: The ski has a light and flexible poplar core, but it is overlaid with fiberglass making it more stiff. It’s light, but has the rigidity to help keep it damp at higher speeds. It won’t be as stable as something like Icelantic’s big mountain Seeker, but it doesn’t feel unstable either. It is easy to turn sideways and scrub speed if necessary, helping to give you the confidence to ski fast, knowing you can stop quickly if you get in trouble. The ski also has a sintered P-Tex base which is more porous to wax, and allows the ski to be faster.
Uneven Terrain: The Icelantic Keeper SKNY does a pretty good job of crushing through the crud. It has 95mm underneath helping to keep you on top, while the 350mm of tip rocker, and 250mm of tail help to keep you from catching an edge. The ski is also very responsive helping you to turn quickly to avoid crud if you want.
Edge Hold: The Icelantic Keeper SKNY has great grip in soft snow, and does okay when conditions harden up. Like all of Icelantics skis, the Keeper SKNY has steel edges that run the base of the ski. When on edge, the steel cuts the snow, helping to keep you more stable. The Keeper has a decent amount of taper in the tip and tail, but still has a long effective edge. This allows more of the ski to be in contact with the snow when on edge, again helping to increase edge hold and stability.
Flex: The Icelantic Keeper SKNY has a poplar core that is overlaid with fiberglass, making it lightweight, but quite stiff.
Switch: The keeper has a directional twin shape that allows the skier to ride backward in most situations, but this ski is definitely better going forward.
All in all I would say that the Icelantic Keeper SKNY is a great all around tool to have in your arsenal. It can be a great addition to a big mountain powder ski, or it can stand all on its own as a do-it-all ski in any conditions. Of course with most all-mountain skis you give up specific performance in any one category for all-around versatility, but the Keeper shows us that you don’t have to sacrifice a lot.