Kalen Thorien is a professional skier, adventurer, writer, and photographer based out of Salt Lake City, UT. She has been placed on the covers of Ski Magazine and Powder Magazine among many other publications. Until recently, to support her skiing, Kalen held jobs in construction, as a dock hand, and as a firefighter. Contrary to what some might think, Kalen didn't start seriously skiing until 16. Photo Credit: Grayson Schaffer
I wake up with a smile everyday, and to me, that’s more important than a full bank account.
Powerful yet nimble, the V8 has a wide shovel and tapered tail for effortless, agile float, with a shortened running length and tighter turn radius to keep it playful when you want it, and stable when you need it. This is true next-gen hybrid rocker, as much at home in the trees as it is on the ridgeline. All hail the V8, the one true king of the big mountain backcountry.
The Radical FT for descent-oriented ski mountaineers and freeriders that leaves no room for doubt about the frameless binding: All other systems pale in comparison to its performance-to-weight ratio. When the shock absorber is slid forward into the locked position, the carbon plate stiffens. The rear rubber shock absorbers provide cushioning in the "lock" position. The ski thus is stiffer. At the same time, you remove torsional interaction between the carbon plate and toe piece, achieving more torsional rigidity. In the "unlock" position the ski retains its natural flex.
Dynafit's always been know for super-light boots that crush the skin track, but it has stepped up its downhill game in recent years, without sacrificing the touring performance that made it famous. Crowning the freeride-oriented end of its line is the Mercury TF Women's Alpine Touring Boot, a softer and lower-profile version of the men's Mercury, designed to drive freeride skis in any terrain without turning the skinner into a slog-fest.