If you are reading this review in North America you may not (yet) be that familiar with Movement Skis. They have been around since 1980 when they started creating snowboards and then in 1999, the company pivoted to making skis. Movement designs their skis in Puidoux, Switzerland which is mid-way between Geneva and Verbier and their manufacturing facility is in Tunisia.
Movement also creates Freetouring boots as well as branded skins, poles, helmets, in addition to their Freetouring, Freeride, Freestyle, Backcountry, Piste, and Skimo/Race Skis. They currently offer a total of 10 different models and 36 different skis which is a lot of skis to choose from, so you can rest assured there is something for everyone. They craft their skis with that infamous Swiss ingenuity, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, and thanks to the company’s relaunch this year in North America we can now enjoy them.
Having already reviewed Movement’s fattest Premium Free Touring Ski, the Alp Tracks 106, we thought it was only fitting that we took a closer look at their Session 95 Skis which are touted as all-mountain, free touring, and classic touring ski for advanced/expert skiers.
Movement’s Session line of skis comes in 85, 89, and 95 versions for both men and women and are said to be the most versatile skis they make. For this season the Session family of skis has been completely redesigned to ensure that the skis now offer a greater versatility for those skiers looking for one ski that can excel in all kinds of snow and terrain. They are primarily designed for touring and free touring so Movement placed a huge emphasis on lightweight to ensure that they climb as well as they ski.
Movement uses a new dynamic 5-axis carbon construction in the Session Skis to increases performance on hard snow, where most light touring skis generally encounter difficulties. A full carbon laminate is wrapped around the ski’s Karuba wood core with carbon fibres running along many different axes to help increases the ski’s longitudinal and torsional rigidity. The use of lightweight Karuba wood and carbon ensures the Session Skis remain lighter than traditional fibreglass laminate skis.
To help minimize unwanted vibrations in the skis, Movement has placed an ABS shock absorber underfoot (along with a titanal binding double reinforcement plate) and rubber-infused fibreglass in the tips. These vibration-absorbing materials help keep tip chatter to a minimum when skiing firmer snow conditions. Movement also used their “touring edges” in order to further help reduce overall weight. While these edges are not as thin as Movement’s race edges they are definitely thinner than your average ski’s edges.
With a rocker/camber profile, the Session Skis are made to float in powder while still being competent on firmer snow. A large shovel upfront ensures that they float well in fresh snow even though they are not that fat underfoot (at least for a powder ski). In the rear, the tails have no rocker which ensures that skin track kick turns are easy and in bounds turns are finished crisply.
Underfoot the Session 95’s have a generous camber that extends from where the tip rocker ends all the way to the tails. This makes the Session 95’s effective edge massive, providing rebound from turn to turn and a long contact area with the snow for better grip. Their 19m radius adds to their ability to turn quickly and provide a fun snap to the skis.
I chose the 95’s in the Session line since they are the widest on offer and given the amount of snow typically found in the backcountry around here I figured these would be the most fun. I also chose the 185cm length which is my ideal ski length given my 6’1” 180lb frame. The skis came pre-mounted with Kingpin 13 Bindings which is an ideal pairing for in and out of bounds use on a ski such as this.
The Sessions 95 Skis are a versatile all-around ski that is light enough for touring but with enough shape and camber for fun in-bounds at the resort. After testing these skis in all types of terrain and snow conditions I’d have to say that they performed better on soft consistent snow rather than in broken chop and hardback, not unlike Movement Alp Tracks 106 Ski that we reviewed here.
With a 95mm waist the Sessions 95 Skis are fairly narrow for really deep powder days but this also means that they are crazy light on the up—which is always a good thing. If you live on the west coast or in the interior where a super deep snowpack is the norm you may find 95 underfoot a little narrow but if you ski mainly in the Rockies or out east, then this width ski is more than enough for the snow you’ll typically find in the backcountry. For where I live 105 underfoot is optimal but the Sessions 95 Skis were still a lot of fun on the days I toured and they provided adequate float.
On hardback snow it took some resolve to keep the tips of the Session 95's tracking well in a turn, the tips had some chatter to them but also did not have as much purchase and driving power as I would have liked. Edge-to-edge transitions were quick enough but the edges did not have a great amount of bite in the snow on hard carves. Groomers should be more fun given the dimensions of this ski but I found the skis to be skittish and even more difficult to drive through chop as they simply do not have the mass to follow through with my intentions. Perhaps mounting the bindings more forward of center or a fatter tip design would settle these skis down and facilitate more fluidity in the turns.
On the plus side, the flat non-rocketed tails finished turns more effectively than the tips initiate them. I’m not saying that this ski isn’t competent on groomers, it just takes more diligence as it is not as forgiving as one would like. You need to stay over these skis and really drive them in order to get the response you are looking for and even then they can be challenging to truly rail on firmer snow.
This is a ski designed for backcountry laps with a weight that makes big days a non-issue, they can handle varied terrain and snow conditions but be sure to stay on them, or else you may have a challenging time.
Price: $1,225CAN / $925US
Weight: 3.08kg / 6.8lb (pair of 185cm length skis)
Sizes: 161, 169, 177, 185
Dimensions: 134 / 95 / 118 (185cm length skis)
|Powder Performance 1.5/2
Groomer Performance 1.5/2
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