DECATHLON SKI TESTS
27th March 2018 | Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Last modified on February 22nd, 2020
It’s not just value ski gear that Decathlon is developing; it has skis & touring equipment for next season & we’ve been seeing what they’re like.
French brand Decathlon has long produced clothing and equipment for outdoor and adventure sports.
Now, it is concentrating on developing and improving the snowsport collections under its own brand, Wed’ze.
This winter saw some high-tech and well designed ski and snowboard wear (see below our videos testing reports on the slopes in the Pyrenees).
And Winter18/19 will introduce Wed’ze ski equipment: adjustable ski poles, ski boots, brand new piste ski models, all mountain skis, freerides and, it’s proudest range, four new ski touring sets.
Here at PlanetSKI we have had a preview of next season’s kit and have been out testing them in the French Alps – myself and PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove.
The sport of touring is undoubtedly on the up, with more and more experienced skiers and adventurous snowsporters giving up the chairlift for the satisfaction of earning their turns.
Decathlon’s team believes that touring should be accessible for all.
It shouldn’t just be for those looking for a new challenge in the mountains but open for all to try as a sociable sport.
Introducing the new season touring skis:
The four new Wed’ze touring skis come in a package that includes skis, pre-cut skins and bindings (so no fuss having to take the ski to store to be drilled and set).
The first two sets are designed for ‘resort touring’ – for those new to touring or those just wanting to dip in.
Resort touring is looking at using tracks made by the resort especially for skinning up, and descending on the piste.
Touring Set #1
The XLander 500 ski is actually from the piste ski collection.
It has a hybrid binding, meaning you can use a classic alpine ski boot, and you unclip the back to release into hiking mode.
It’s a versatile ski aimed at skiers that want to do a morning’s tour on a week-long holiday.
Great value for an intermediate skier who knows what they want from their week; resort skiing, a little up and initial ventures into the backcountry.
The skis I found we quite heavy underfoot, slightly stiffer than expected for an all-mountain ski (they are but We really are a fan of these duo bindings that allow you to ski and tour in your alpine boots.
All you have to do is put on the skins, flip your ski boots into walk mode, release the bindings into backcountry mode and go…
- 80% Piste performance / 20% off-piste / 20% ski touring
- Size: 158/166/174 cm
- Construction: SW – Woodcore / Fibre
- Weight flat: 1420g / Pack: 2510g (166cm)
- Bindings Tyrolia Ambition 12
The full set: €420
Touring Set #2
The next model is, first off, super light.
It makes all the difference on the ascent, leaving you wondering if you have even clipped in.
It includes pin bindings for a classic touring boot;
A ski adapted to uphill skiing on marked trails near the groomers.
Hike a little further for a little longer (than the combined ski above) but within the resort’s reaches.
We skied this ultra-light ski on a bullet-proof piste and they were a little rattly on the descent.
However, they held up at speed better than expected, being so light.
The benefits were that they made the skinning up much more enjoyable and easy;
These are made for skiers all about the uphill workout and who’ll take a gentle run down on the piste.
- 50% Piste performance / 50% ski touring
- Size: 158/166/174 cm
- Construction: SW – Light Woodcore / Fibre
- Weight flat: 1315g / Pack: 1705g (166cm)
- Bindings tour light
The full set: €500
Touring Set #3
The x2 higher end Wed’ze new season ski tour models are designed for ‘mountain touring’ – the more authentic ski touring experience.
The MT 500 is a ski that is taken from the all mountain Wed’ze range.
85mm underfoot and designed for all conditions and for skiing different kinds of snow: ice – powder.
It has a pin binding, requiring touring boots.
Aimed to attract people who know the mountain who want to discover new terrain, a new spot, a new valley and to ride off the beaten track.
Holiday skiers from the UK usually have to travel a little further to get their turns.
I would assume that a lot of us looking to put a bit more into the adventure side of skiing by moving deeper into the backcountry would also be seeking first lines and powder, and probably confident off piste.
An experienced alpine skier, an occasional but interested tourer, the skinning up I do tends to be longer hikes away from the ski hills and resort groomers to get some air, head space and quiet exercise (Of course, fresh tracks are always an incentive).
And for this kind of sport in mind, these are the skis I got on best with.
Pin bindings are comfortable for the uphill hike with softer boots, lighter legs and a mellow descent somewhere quiet (to really take in the mountain surroundings).
The price is more than decent for this ski, skin and binding set.
- 30% piste performance : 70% touring performance
- Size: 163/170/177 cm
- Construction: SW Woodcore / Fibre
- Weight flat: 1645g / pack: 2035g (170cm)
- Bindings tour light
The full set: €600
Touring Set #4
This set uses a freeride ski that moves the rider more into the powder, and so needing a wider ski.
It’s aimed at skiers more into the practice who want to do more than just ride when there’s fresh snow, but switch to hiking to get the best of it.
The ski has a carbon construction for lightness, pin bindings and brakes.
It’s 90mm underfoot, with a twin tip and double rocker, with an 18m turning radius.
There is energy from the ski on the downhill and is designed to carve on groomed snow.
For the more experienced skier looking to get a lot out of their pair for a very reasonable price.
It’ll allow you to get higher or further than the lifts allow while still giving performance on the more easily accessible terrain.
I can imagine this ski suiting the British market well; We are, after all, known internationally for being powder hunters.
An of course we want to ski it all when taking our precious holidays in the Alps.
- 50% off-piste / 20% piste performance / 30% ski touring
- Size: 170/178 cm
- Construction: SW – Light Woodcore / Carbon / Fibre
- Weight flat: 1575g / Pack: 2130g (178cm)
- Bindings tour free
The full set: €650
Katie Bamber on the Wed’ze ski test site at Megeve, France:
Wed’ze has dedicated itself to designing and tweaking its whole range of skis for Winter 18/19.
PlanetSKI Editor James Cove puts the new season piste skis through their paces.
See what he thinks direct from the slopes:
“You certainly can’t fault them at their value for money and price.”
From the Wed’ze design and development studios in Passy, France:
We speak to James who heads the development of skis and snowboards for the Wed’ze brand.
As well as developing equipment for ski touring, piste skiing, freeriding and snowboarding, clothing to match each discipline has also been designed by Wed’ze.
We tried out some of the women’s ski wear for Winter 17/18.
We took it to the snowy slopes of Soldeu in Andorra:
And to Ax les Thermes in the French Pyrenees to see how it held up:
Check back from more ranges tested by us to come…
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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