weston-summit-skis-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – Weston Summit Skis

In the land of quiver-of-one backcountry skis, the Weston Summit is a worthy contender. Its arrival was perfectly timed, because March and April here at Crystal Mountain, Washington gifted us with a melange of conditions, from pow to breakable crust.

**For this review, both Cori (176cm length) and Reid (186cm length) will be detailing their experience. They switch back and forth within the review for maxium information about how the skis perform.

Weston Summit Skis

Product Description: The Summit is our every day backcountry touring ski. The combination of paulownia wood, aluminum stringers, and a carbon topsheet create for a responsive, lightweight and damp ride.

Offer price: MSRP: $849.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (4)
  • Durability
    (4)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (4)

Summary

In the land of quiver-of-one backcountry skis, the Weston Summit is a worthy contender. Its arrival was perfectly timed, because March and April here at Crystal Mountain, Washington gifted us with a melange of conditions, from pow to breakable crust.

Overall
4.4

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Razor-sharp out of the box
  • Sidewall art isn’t durable

Cori

My helpless obsession with skiing means I spend my winters living, working, and skiing daily at Crystal Mountain ski area in Washington state. While riding lifts is a delight, my first love is backcountry skiing, to which I have incredible access from my front door. For backcountry endeavors, I like to have at least 3 pairs of skis – one for deep powder days, one for long mountaineering days, and one for variable days that don’t quite fit either of those categories. The Summit ski appeared to be a good fit for variable condition days, and spring delivered: I tested the Summit on deep pow, shallow pow, corn, icy groomers, perfect groomers, breakable crust, and miscellaneous crud.

Reid

For 14 years I’ve lived and worked at Crystal Mountain Ski Area in Washington with one of those cushy evening jobs that allows me to ski or snowboard half the day. While it makes for long days at times, the reward is pretty amazing. I didn’t learn proper skiing techniques until adulthood, but I took to the sport with enthusiasm. The Weston Summit skis filled a void in my ski quiver of giant powder skis and skimo race sticks. 

Fit/Setup

Cori

For my 5’9” and 165lbs, Weston’s size chart recommends the 176cm length. At 105mm underfoot, the Summit is in the sweet spot for an all-around ski that can both carve and float. The 176 skied a bit short for my taste in deeper new snow, but was perfect for steep skiing in shallow snow, shredding groomers, backcountry corn, and controlling amidst trap crust. I mounted my Summits with Salomon Shift bindings (as recommended) and ski/tour using the Lange XT3 110 and Kohla Freeride Mix skins.

Reid

At 6’2” and 190lbs I went with the 186cm. The 105mm waist combined with a shorter turn radius and a proven recipe of tip and tail rocker meant this ski was going to be a nimble powder seeking missile. At 186cm long, it’s right in my go-to size range for freeride and powder skis without being too cumbersome. I’ve mounted the Weston Summits with Atomic Backland (same as Salomon MTN) bindings, ski in Dynafit Hoji Free 130 boots and used Contour Hybrid skins.

Look/Style/Features

For the 21/22 Artist Series Summit, Weston hired Brooklyn Bell, an artist and rippin’ mountain biker and skier out of Bellingham, WA. The 21/22 Summit will also be available in red by artist Henry Lai. 

Cori

To each their own aesthetics, but I dig Brooklyn’s dreamy mountainscape topsheets. I am delighted by the bonus sidewall text that commands you to “go forth and slaw pow.” Sadly, the text does not hold up well – within a few rides it began to scratch away. The tail notch is a favorite low-key feature, perfect for retaining your tail clip while you jab your tail into the snow on steep kick turns. 

Reid

I’ll admit to being a bit jealous of the lovely work of Brooklyn Bell, but the red top sheets allow me to pursue another passion of mine: STICKERS! I always felt weird covering up artistic top sheets so the red suits me and pops beautifully in photos. The color has another perk of reflecting off some UV rays, unlike dark topsheets that can “clump” with fresh snow when breaking trail and make the skis heavy. While the sidewalls are durable the printed text did begin chipping off after a few days. I too am a big fan of the tail notch that matches perfectly with my skin’s tail clip. 

Downhill Performance 

Cori

Step 1: detune. I detuned my tips and tails to within a few inches of the binding and was pleased with the resulting handling. The Summit is a veritable breeze to throw around. It edges delightfully in corn and on groomers, swings effortlessly for jump turns down narrow chutes, and glides through a few inches of pow with ease. Like many lightweight skis, the Summit feels chattery on ice or in heavy chop, but no more than expected. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to bring the Summit back under control in trap crust. The one snow condition that was more challenging than I expected was 6”+ of powder. When I drove the ski aggressively, the tips would dip under the snow and I’d end up backseat trying to lift them out again. The 176 Summit is shorter than my other (180cm) pow skis, so I suspect that I would either prefer the 186 in pow or would like the 176 more with the mounting point 1cm back from the recommended point at which they’re currently mounted. 

Reid

Like many new skis, a file and brick of wax are key to an enjoyable first day! The sintered bases drank up two hot waxes before settling into a perfect glide. The ski handles predictably without having a mind of its own. The short turn radius shines on hardpack and corn snow, making fun short turns with little effort to roll the edges over. It’s not uncommon for lightweight skis with tech touring bindings to feel chattery on very firm snow, so it wasn’t a surprise that I had to control my speed over refrozen slush. Personally, I feel like these skis excel in denser powder (all we get here in the PNW) and spring corn! The float is perfect in soft stuff until it’s over some more of that refrozen stuff. 

Uphill Performance

Cori

The Summit is a skinning machine, as designed. It has enough camber to inspire confidence even on steep skin tracks, and the weight is a hip flexor’s dream… especially if you opt for any number of lightweight bindings that are not a Shift, which makes my current Summit setup 11.7lb. Not heavy, but certainly not feather-light. 

Reid

The Summit mounted with Salomon MTN brakeless bindings tour amazingly. This is another area the ski really shines! With good early rise in the tip and camber underfoot, the ski broke trail with little effort and resisted the “submarine” feeling when it got really deep. Even at 186cm, making kick turns felt as easy as my 159cm splitboard. This ski will be my go-to for long days over variable terrain. The skis feel light even when strapped to a backpack for steep boot packing. 

Weight/Durability/Construction 

Cori

On my kitchen scale, the 176 weighed in at 3056g/6.74lb for the pair, (unmounted), contrasting with Weston’s reported weight of 1590g/3.5lb per ski. Either I got lucky with this pair or my scale is not the appropriate tool for weighing skis. The skis are shaped with tip/tail rocker and camber underfoot. The Summit ski features carbon weave for lightweight torsional stiffness and dampening, lightweight, springy paulownia for keeping swing weight light and poppy, and UHMW PE sidewalls and binding plates for stability. To back up their gear, Weston offers a 4-year warranty against manufacturer defects. AND for user-caused destruction, they have their “Ski Slayer” program which gives you 30% off replacements for skis that met an untimely end.

Friendliness to the Earth

Weston reports Carbon Neutral Manufacturing, VOC Free Inks and Epoxies, Recyclable Packaging (the skis arrived wrapped with plastic film, in a plain cardboard box). They also contribute portions of their sales to 1% for the Planet, the National Forest Foundation, and AIARE education.

The Final Word 

Cori

Weston claims that the Summit excels in couloirs, open bowls, and long ascents and I would have to agree. It certainly meets my criteria for a solid all-around backcountry ski. If you’re in the market for a user-friendly, mid-light-weight, quiver-of-one backcountry ski from an independent company untethered to corporate overlordship, the Weston Summit is your jam. 

Reid

Weston prides themselves on making tools to access the backcountry without flashy graphics, catchy marketing gimmicks, or big budget films. The Summit ski is that tool: a mid-fat lightweight build with a tried and true freeride shape. The Goldilocks width between a big ski (>110mm) is too big and a skinny ski (<95mm), the Summit is perfectly proportioned to make it a go-to for any mission.

Shop the Weston Summit Skis on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Reid Pitman
Athlete Ambassador
Reid was a late bloomer to the outdoors but dived right in. His work as a chef for the Snorting Elk Cellar at Crystal Mountain ski area allows him to spend time on the mountain every day. During the off-seasons Reid fills his time building splitboard bindings, guiding mountain bike tours, and chasing adventures in the mountains. He's the co-founder of the Cascadia Splitfest and an athlete ambassador for Arc'teryx Seattle, Karakoram bindings, Darn Tough socks, and Chimera snowboards. This is his 14th year of sobriety and 14th year crafting his passion for the outdoors. Follow his adventures at el_reido on IG
Outdoor Prolink Pro
Cori Bucherl
Crystal Mountain

In 2014 Cori diverged from an engineering career to pursue her passion of adventuring in the mountains. She spends her winters living, working, and skiing at Crystal Mountain, WA, and her summers riding bikes and slinging guidance at a bike shop in Hood River, OR. Shoulder seasons are for exploring the West on skis and bikes out of her 97 Astro Van, Gladys. When she’s not playing outside, you’ll find her baking, reading, and building a tiny house on wheels. You can follow her on IG @corilives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.