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Movement – Ultimate
Movement have been making high quality, dodgily-painted skis with a penchant for freeride excellence for a decade or so. Their classics to date are the Jam, Gambler and Buzz – the former are wide-tipped, short radius mega-flickable all-mountain skis with a ravenous appetite for hardpack and crud. The latter is a classic freeride ski in the ‘you’ll be doing most of the work, laddie’ feel to it. They’ve had some fine women’s skis through the years but in general the brand has been fairly unisex – one where only decent skiers need apply to get the best from it.
So when we first saw the Ultimate it was so far off our radar that it had to be pushed into our hands. The Ultimate is a lightweight, lightly rockered ski sitting at the wide side of the women’s all-mountain bracket. It has semi cap construction, which keeps a bit of punch in the cambered zone of the ski. We stood at the stand and bent it, like you do, wondering why the Movement guys were so enthused (maybe it was because we were holding the first decent Movement women’s graphic ever?), and then went for a ski. The guess was that it would flatter to a point, have a bit of typical Movement liveliness and then get a bit floppy once the pressure increased.
Well, all of the gentler skiers loved it, so spot on so far. And then we started winding it up a couple of notches and the scream team started to take notice. From this point on we hoarded the single demonstrator model, passing it between the testers with a ‘see what you think’ nod. The winning trait was turn initiation – the overall stiffness isn’t epic but the Ultimate whips in as hard as you want to drive it and hangs on to hardpack so much more vigorously than we expected. It’s so easy to weave around; like a freeride ski which carves.
Once in the soft snow it planes fast and feels super-playful. Soft snow is just too easy; poppy with a light swing weight to set up those perfect powder 8s. The light tail rocker sucked down the rear as the pace built, making it track sweetly as the pace built. And, it turned out, 88mm underfoot seems to generate the same float for lighter skiers as a 10mm wider unisex ski. Get a pair about your height and you’ll find the perfect mix.