Year after year, the Patron is one of the best powder skis we test. The reason for its success? Extreme versatility. Whether we run it in bottomless blower—where ample rocker floats it to the surface—or six inches of fresh snow on top of chunder—where you can power it up in a big arc—it doesn’t bog down or wash out. After the formal tests, this reviewer chased an upslope storm to the steep trees at Eldora with the Patrons. It was two-feet-deep, but he found himself engaging the edges and laying out big turns instead of slashing and pivoting all day. Both are fun ways to ski powder, it’s nice to have options.
Swami gripe: In horrid wind crusted crud, you’ll want more rocker.
Swami like: No metal keeps it light, but you can still leave a trench in soft corduroy.
Overall: 4.8 Float: 4.7 Firm Snow Survival: 4.8 Dimensions: 143/113/135