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G-POWER FS 123-72-105@174 cm | R 15.5 | $1,600 w/b You already work hard enough. You’ve already got plenty of stress in your life. Skiing should be no more laborious or stressful than relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship. That’s where a ski like the G-Power FS comes in. “A perfect ski for the Sunday driver,” commented one tester; another called it “easy” and “silky.” Aggro types might want more oomph, but laid-back fellas will appreciate the G-Power’s buttery performance on blue and black groomers. Leave the hard work at the office.

VIVA SONIC iQ

G-FORCE SUPERSONIC IQ

119-68-103@160 cm | R 12.5 | $1,080 w/b

123-72-105@174 cm | R 15.5 | $1,400 w/b A better name for the G-Force might be the Phantom, a ski so airy and easy to turn that it almost feels like there is nothing there. One tester, who rated it tops in the category, felt an instant, anatomical connection, as if it were “an extension of my leg.” Across the board, the ski earned solid marks — hence, the high praise for its versatility. Just be gentle; a light touch is heavily rewarded.

A powder ski in carving-ski clothing? The Viva Sonic may be only 68 mm underfoot, but as a light softie, it floats nicely through crud and deeper snow. “The perfect ski for a smaller, lighter skier,” wrote a tester who, as the lightweight of the team, should know. Blizzard designed this high-end carver also to be “remarkably manageable when you don’t feel like proving anything.” In other words, a ski that won’t punish you if you don’t want to punish the mountain.

R-POWER FS

VIVA MAGNUM 8.1 121-81-106@158 cm | R 14 | $1,100 w/b

113-68-97@174 cm | R 17.5 | $1,600 w/b Hard to believe that the R-Power is a stablemate of the G-Force Supersonic. This is a muscular stallion that needs a forceful jockey to maintain discipline. For those who like powering down the mountain like GS blast-aholics, may the R-Power’s force be with you. “Born to be ridden by an aggressive and fast driver,” was one tester’s assessment. And born to be a big-turn bomber, a ski that can be a bit sluggish when the turn radius tightens up. In short: a real racehorse.

Warning: Be alert. Testers found that if you don’t stay on top of the Viva Magnum 8.1, the ski likes to wander off on its own. But keep the tips engaged, and, as one tester raved, “Wow! So much fun!” In fact, she scored the ski with perfect 10s across the board. At 112 pounds, her small stature seemed just what the ski was looking for, and clearly the feeling was mutual. A great, all-terrain vehicle, especially for smaller women.

MAGNUM 8.1 IQ MAX

VIVA MAGNUM 7.4 119-74-102@156 cm | R 13 | $700 w/b

123-81-108@172 cm | R 17 | $1,100 w/b A stiff, forgiving ski? Nah — not possible, at least not until the Magnum 8.1 came along. This ski casts a big shadow over a broad section of the skier population. Friendly to intermediates while tough enough for experts, it can be driven hard or ridden easy, producing positive results either way. “At first, I thought it was stiff and tough, but I found it very agile and surprisingly easy to maneuver,” wrote one tester. What a great, high-end combo.

You cute, skinny beauty-queen types — this one’s for you. Lighter testers were especially enamoured, and elegant good looks — one tester compared it to an evening gown — closed the deal. The ski has the muscle to handle hard stuff at higher speeds, but it doesn’t necessarily ski like a big, bruising board. Put another way, it turns easily like a short ski but holds its turn shape like a long ski. “Very versatile and alert in all conditions,” wrote one tester of this all-mountain beauty.

G-FORCE SONIC IQ

VIVA PRO IQ 123-72-105@160 cm | R 12 | $1,000 w/b

121-68-105@167 cm | R 13 | $1,100 w/b Zap! Zing! Boing! Pop! The G-Force Sonic has a puppy-like energy that just won’t quit. That can make for an exciting, powerful ride, but it also means you’ve got to have your wits about you. Slack off, and the ski is apt to run away from you. “Don’t let these skis off the leash,” wrote one tester. “They will run away.” But like training a frisky puppy, you can reap great rewards if a quiet, firm discipline is applied.

Sometimes you’ve just got to step it up and take command of the situation. Be forceful with this ski and it becomes, according to one tester, “very agile and easy to turn, gliding so well you almost forget you have skis on.” But wimp out and it can become, as another tester wrote, “the unruly stepsister you can’t relate to.” This is a powerful board with enough gusto to carry an intermediate into expert wonderland — if force is applied.

G-FORCE PRO IQ

VIVA MAGNUM 7.6 122-76-105@156 cm | R 14 | $900 w/b

120-71-104@167 cm | R 14.5 | $1,050 w/b Think of a slingshot — you pull back and release the elastic band, and it can be great sport. But if you aren’t in complete control of what you’re doing, things can get ugly. One tester liked the ski because it had “lots of energy,” but another tester worried that it was “jumpy.” If you like a ski with snappy rebound, the G-Force Pro is for you, especially for bigger turn shapes. Otherwise, you might want to jump onto another ski.

You know the look of a racer in the start gate: eyes intense, teeth grinding, legs twitching in anticipation of the race ahead. That’s the kind of game intensity that will serve you well on the Viva Magnum 7.6. “Stronger skier required,” cautioned one tester. This is also a ski that feels most at home in firmer, racecourse-like conditions. If you’re someone who uses skiing as an outlet for pent-up aggressions, jump into the start gate and get your game face on.

MAGNUM 7.6 IQ 124-76-107@170 cm | R 15 | $900 w/b The best dessert is often just a plain old bowl of vanilla ice cream. Nothing special jumps out at you — it’s simply sweet, predictable, familiar and satisfying. The Magnum 7.6 was pure vanilla for lighter testers under 165 pounds. At least one tester felt that it was at its happiest in softer snow, especially when making bigger turns at moderate speeds. Nouvelle cuisine? Hardly. Like good, old-fashioned comfort food, this ski might not excite you, but it won’t let you down either.

5 | SkiPress Ski Test’ 11

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