The Reason 120 only launched to the public a month ago, but to us, it already feels like a longstanding companion. Part of that feeling is due to the process through which this ski came to be. The truth is, this purpose built powder ski has been in our hearts and minds since the beginning.
To uncover more, we chatted with a few of the people on the inside for a look into their relationship with our latest ski.
Tell us about the vision for creating a wider platform than what was previously offered. In your mind, how does the Reason fit in with the rest of WNDR Alpine’s lineup?
Matt: Throughout testing, what got me most excited about the Reason was its generous dimensions. Not specifically for surfing deep snow, which it does well as others in this width do, but for how seamless it was in transitioning between wind press and unsettled soft snow. It's rare that a ski like this can be so maneuverable, yet surfy. I like light-weighting in narrower skis, but for the full flavor I opt for a heavier, wider ski when the conditions are all time. The Intentions held me over, but now I gravitate to the Reason for bigger days.
Would it be fair to say that the Reason was born in Japan?
Pep: Yeah I’d say that’s a reasonable assumption. Pun very much intended. While the initial conception can be traced back to many days wandering around powder playgrounds the world over, it came into being on the drafting board of our Anchorage-based FOW Logan Imlach, who translated our internal musings into an initial shape for the first prototype. Their first turns were made in Japan while shooting for Oyuki, and it was deep.
I noticed right away that we hadn’t given them quite enough rocker for both breaking trail and planing at slower speeds. Additionally, when I got on piste they were a little slow to respond due to their longer turn radius. Both of those observations allowed us to make the changes necessary to turn an adequate ski into ripping pow ski!
With that feedback in mind we worked on the final product over the course of the 20/21 winter. We simultaneously made lots of progress with our latest Algal Wall formulation, boosting both damping performance for greater stability at speed, and increasing the ski’s overall biobased content. Ample time on snow also helped to provoke some subtle changes to the ski’s profile, as well as a slightly longer turn radius that we initially prototyped with.
Watch carefully and you'll be able to spot our first 120 prototype, featuring a repurposed 2020 Intention 110 topsheet. Hokkaido, Japan. FOW: Pep Fujas // Video : Oyuki (@oyuki_japan) in his element.
How else did that prototype ski get vetted in its second winter?
Xan: FOWs Katie Arnis, Dan Corn, Harrison Brickman, Ben Schmitt, and of course all of our employees in SLC had a hand in providing us with a wealth of feedback. We went on an early morning tour in Little Cottonwood with our entire team sometime in January, and I distinctly remember our product developer Dane Weister dropping into his line with a grin, aboard a fresh pair of prototypes he had literally pulled out of the press and mounted the night before. Definitely a lot of good vibes that day, with all of us reaping the fruits of our labor together as a team.
February got us an additional round of valuable feedback, when we packed up the van and headed to Crested Butte for the first annual Blister Summit. We brought a new generation of Reason 120 prototypes with us and were lucky enough to get feedback from Blister’s highly discerning crew of reviewers and ski consumers alike. Initial postings from Blister have highlighted the playful yet stable feel of the ski, so I’m already getting excited for a more in depth review.
With a fresh prototype hot out of the press, the stoke was palpable. Wasatch Range, UT. Skier: Dane Weister // Photo: Xan Marshland (@xanmarshland)
What did FOWs think of the prototypes?
“I was lucky enough to have a pair of these to take to Alaska in the spring and the Reason turned into my daily ski. It performed exactly as one could hope whether in the deep or on firm hard snow. A nice predictable turn and plenty stable at speed. This will be my go to ski for the winter of 2022.” - Dan Corn on the Camber Reason 120
“Calling the Reason 120 just a powder ski does it a disservice. The ski handles superbly in mixed snow conditions and I’m happy to have it under my feet for just about anything short of a giant slalom race. The ski is very stable at speed but retains that playful WNDR feel found in the Intention.” - Harrison Brickman on the Reverse Camber Reason 120
Morning turns with Hop Turn Harry. Wasatch Range, UT. FOW: Harrison Brickman // Photo: Adam Clark (@acpictures)
Is the Reason right for you? Or perhaps something else is more suited to your terrain and snowpack inclinations? Now is the time to get an expert recommendation on model, length, camber profile and more with our Ski Finder tool. Make this season your best yet!