PlanetSKI Tests The New Wedze Skis From Decathalon
7th February 2020 | James Cove, Chamonix Valley, France
Last modified on May 22nd, 2020
We’ve been putting them through their paces on the steeps of Argentière. They’re now competing with the big boys at a fraction of the price.
Decathlon has been selling skis for decades, but six years or so ago it decided to put in some proper research and development.
It wanted to produce skis that were affordable AND good.
Able to compete with the best.
I have been testing them with other skiers for a few years now and am more impressed each time.
We were shown the new offerings at the head design office in Passy near Chamonix this week.
If looks were anything to go by they had gone up a gear:
The main test venue this year for the skis is the legendary north-face of Argentière in the Chamonix Valley.
A place for serious mountain folk.
This time though I was going to do the tests in a slightly different way:
And first up it was the 950+.
They were firm, fast and furious.
Mine was 177cm in length, 83mm underfoot with a radius of 16.7.
Next at the other end of the spectrum: the 150s.
Not much more expensive than renting for a week in high season.
And it was time for the all-mountain, freeride skis:
Bindings set on the 500 Patrol 95s:
So, what did I make of it?
And the 980 lived up to expectations:
I have skied on better slalom skis – the Atomic Redster and Rossignol Hero Short Turn spring immediately to mind.
But the 980 can be compared.
It is 66mm underfoot, 166cm in length with a radius of 11.5.
It has a full sidewall, a wood core and is double titanium.
I found it fine at normal speed, but if you really cranked it over it didn’t quite have that feeling of grip and stability you get with the top of the range slalom skis.
It was though a lovely and fun ski to play with.
I decided to head back to the freeride/all mountain skis.
For me it is the freeride skis from Wedze that have seen the most improvement in recent years, and I believe they can be compared to the range of offerings from other manufacturers.
The company has put in a huge amount of research and development with extensive testing and they have listed to feedback from the experts.
One such man is the French freeride enthusiast, Adrian Accorsini.
Some people collect stamps or china tea-sets… he collects freeride skis and has more than 250 pairs.
65 of them were on display for us.
Recognise any of these legendary skis?
His involvement kind of sums up the new approach by Wedze: involve the experts, ask for their opinion and listen to them.
And lest not forget the touring skis offered by Wedze.
But, why go walking up hill in the first place?
To answer the question I turned to Elodie Billard, the Wedze Product Manager for ski touring equipment.
Here on PlanetSKI we recently posted an extensive test of them, so check out this article:
One touring ski I did test was the latest touring model that I took for a little night-tour in the ski area of Combloux above the Decathlon HQ in Passy.
Very good it was too, perhaps a bit light for the ski down in my opinion, but good on the walk up.
But back at the daytime ski tests in Argentiere I surveyed the number of skis that I hadn’t tested as the day drew towards a close.
There were a few.
But I decided to have a play again with my new lady friends.
They didn’t disappoint on our second date and I’m looking forward to a more long-term relationship.