October 23, 2020

Zag Adret 88 2020 – 2021 | Review

3 min read
The Zag Adret 88 are an extremely nimble and powerful pair of ski touring planks...

The Zag Adret 88 are an extremely nimble and powerful pair of ski touring planks

Why we chose the Zag Adret 88: Lightweight, eco-conscious, touring-specific 

Lengths (cm): 169, 174 & 182
Sidecut (mm): 124.5 / 88 / 111.5 (180 cm)
Radius: 20m (182 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,114g
Price: £730

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If there’s any company that you could rely on to make a high performance touring ski, it’d be Chamonix-based Zag skis. The Adret 88 ski underlines this perfectly.

Nestled down in Argentiere at the bottom end of the Chamonix valley, Zag skis have been creating skis in the valley for the past 15 years. Just like the Aosta valley locals keeping their fine wine to themselves, however, the local Chamoniarde have kept Zag skis a bit of a secret with the brand rarely appearing outside of those “in the know”.

“Zag skis have been creating skis in the valley for the past 15 years”

The Zag range of skis consists of four different lineups, all of which have off-piste skiing at the heart of their construction. The Adret 88 sits in the Adret (touring) range of skis. These are lightning quick on the skin track, while still making use of that exceptional Zag freeride spirit.

Zag Adret 88 Build

A 100% Paulownia wood core has been paired with multiaxial carbon and kevlar fibres to create a nice blend of low weight and responsive flex. The sheets of carbon and kevlar laminates sit above and below the wood core to create a relatively stiff flex underfoot thanks to the carbon, while the kevlar is there to help absorb vibrations and reduce the chatter typically found in carbon skis.

A ‘3D’ structure has been contoured out of the top sheet, with the thickest point sitting at the centre of the ski. This design saves on weight in the areas excess material isn’t needed, while further helping to adjust the flex pattern. This results in relatively soft tip and tail, and a stout section underfoot. The contoured design continues down to the sidewall, where a cap construction has been used in an effort to strip weight.

Finally, a binding reinforcement sheet made from Phenol sits directly underfoot in order to prevent screws from stripping from the skis – particularly useful if you plan on using a pair of lightweight tech bindings with a narrow mount pattern.

Zag Adret 88 Shaping

On the shaping front, a wide nose has been paired with a fair bit of tapering in order to keep the Adret 88 performing well in mixed conditions. Zag draws on an elliptical radius – meaning there are different turn radii in the tips, underfoot and tails – which helps the versatility of the skis during low speed short turns, to high speed longs. Being a ski designed in close proximity to the steep ski mountaineering terrain that encircles Chamonix, the Adret 88 features a good deal of camber pressed into them. This’ll help keep the bite over firm snow.

“If you’ve never heard of Zag skis before, then it’s certainly time to get them on your radar”

All of this is rounded off nicely with Zag’s ‘Zagreen’ certification, which features carefully selected materials, all of which originate from Europe, and resins that are 33% bio-sourced produced from oil plants. While the cynics out there might claim there’s still another 67% left there, we’re always psyched to see brands consciously reducing their carbon footprint. It’s a step in the right direction, and that’s important. 

Who Is The Zag Adret 88 For?

If you’ve never heard of Zag skis before, then it’s certainly time to get them on your radar. The Adret 88 is a great example of the well-considered, freeride-focused and environmentally conscious approach the brand likes to take in designing and constructing their skis.

Thanks to its bevelled design and lightweight construction, the Adret 88 is going to be a rocket on the skin tracks. The carbon stringers and elliptical sidecut, meanwhile, will help to see you right on the descent.

What Is The Zag Adret 88 Good At?

Touring: 9/10
Firm Snow: 8/10
Weight: 9/10

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