SB's Industry Demo Day Recap

Our staff's favorite picks from the 2023 lineup

By Phil Gor, with Jen Cheung, Thomas Allie & Jared Williams 

It was another awesome event at Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierras. A week of bluebird days and warming temperatures made for classic Mammoth spring skiing. Combine that with the legendary Mammoth windbuffed snow and you get perfect conditions to test 2023 skis and boards! This year we had 30 of our staff from Sports Basement attend this massive industry event - normally we just send about 5-6 folks, so it was even more fun than usual. There are always great vibes with all our vendor reps and fellow industry folks, so even though it's a long drive, (much further than Tahoe, as we have to drive through South Lake Tahoe because all the other passes are closed in the winter) it's worth the trip and then some.  

Let's get right to it: here are some of our staff's most memorable rides from the event!


Kore 99

"The Kore 99 was just as light and easy to maneuver as I expected. It carves really nicely and the tip doesn’t deflect very much, which made it a really enjoyable ski. Added bonus: it's super lightweight, so your legs won't be worn out at the end of the day." - Jared Williams

Volkl Kendo 88

"Oh my god, edge grip for days! You can really feel that 3D turn radius when you want to feel the ski come across the fall line. It's plenty stable and has a nice low swing weight. All in all, this is gonna be a great option for a narrow all mountain ski." - Jared Williams

Nordica Unleashed 108

"The Unleashed has a bit of the Enforcer feel to it, but with a looser ski. It's only got one sheet of metal, so it's not quite as burly, but the tail rocker makes it fun to slash around while the metal keeps the ski there when you need it to be." - Jared Williams

Atomic Bent Chetler 100

"The Bent 100 is still as versatile as the 2022 version. Nothing has changed except for the top sheet. Plain and simple, it’s perfect for groomed runs, going through the trees, in the powder, in the park, or in the backcountry, this ski will handle anything you throw at it. Being a wood core, this ski does have less stability at super fast speeds, but where it shines is in its control and versatility anywhere on the mountain." - Thomas Allie

Blizzard Hustle 10

"It's positioned as a non-metal, lightweight, all mountain/touring ski. Usually these skis are very easy to throw around and fun to ski in deeper snow, but they lack stability and edge hold at higher speeds and on steeper terrain. Not the Hustle 10 though. I was surprised by its poppy feel out of the turn, strong edge hold and fun playful nature overall. The longer effective edge creates a big sweet spot that allowed me to move back and forth on the skis and really drive it in and out of each turn. Its biggest drawback, which is true to all lighter weight skis, is in crud, heavier snow and uneven terrain where it (at times) is not heavy enough to plow through the snow - it's a small price to pay, given all it's advantages." - Philip Holenstein



Hel Yes

"I tried the YES Hel Yes for the first time at Demo Day. My favorite board has historically been a GNU Ladies Choice, and it really reminded me of it, maybe even better overall, but especially great for hard pack or icier conditions. Both would be my favorite picks for all-around or changing conditions and you have to pick just one from your quiver for the day. It'll perform perfect on a spring day with firmer conditions in the morning and softer conditions in the afternoon, and you can play a little in the park and still bomb down on firmer groomers and feel confident. It's the perfect Tahoe board." - Jennifer Cheung

Bataleon Feel Better & Funkink

"I demoed some boards from Bataleon; a new brand for us, coming in this winter. Both of the boards I tried hold their edges decently while at speed on harder pack, while still having enough flex to be playful for someone more intermediate and forgiving in choppier conditions (hi, skied out runs or spring slush) or someone learning how to carve or fine-tuning their turns. No one likes to catch edge (ouch) and the edge-to-edge transitions are quite easy with their unique design." - Jennifer Cheung

Salomon Assassin Pro

"This is the board I connected with the most. While I'm more of a freerider (Assassin Pro is a Freestyle/All Mountain shape), I felt right at home after the first turns. The board's unique Sidecut and Camber profile made for very easy carving. I immediately was digging trenches with this board and felt very in control. I was riding it a size down (that's all they had to test), thus the higher speeds felt a bit less stable, but once I scrubbed some speed I fell back into the sweet spot of the board and it was super lively and fun to ride." - Philip Holenstein

Nitro Drop & Optisym

"An honorary mention for Nitro for those trying to learn how to link their turns/carve. The Drop and Optisym boards are not as confidence-inspiring at speed or on harder pack or ice compared to the GNU and YES boards I tried, and they're also not as playful, but what I was really amazed by was the ease of turn initiation. These are amazing boards for someone who is learning to carve or fine-tuning their turns. They felt very nimble without exerting much effort. Abrupt steering and changes are also very effortless." - Jennifer Cheung

Jennifer Cheung also spent a few days at Palisades after the demo. "There were hardly any lines, even on both weekend days. I think a lot of people are put off by the lack of snow and the warm weather, but there are some really fun and fast groomers to enjoy. Having the right kit for the conditions makes a huge difference. For me, this means full camber in the morning, then switch out at lunch time! For the mogul lovers, lunchtime and afternoons are the perfect time."

Speaking of Palisades, this is our official announcement that we're having our own Demo Day event at Palisades Tahoe on Saturday, March 26th - and you're invited! Unlike the big Mammoth demo event, ours is open to the public, so if you wanna test drive some 2023 skis and boards, save the date! We'll be sending out RSVP info very soon.

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