Vist is a small Italian manufacturer known by its exclusive designs, which are very different from what the more generalist brands do. They stand out in hard gear with their plates and binding systems, besides building an excellent collection of high end skis. Speaking of soft gear, the designs catch our eyes for their simplicity and elegance. Some models go beyond the common criteria, as for example the Leopard designs. The complements line follows that pattern too, and the helmets are remarkable because of their panoramic and retractable visor.
I had the opportunity to test almost all Vist skis. So let’s see what’s the Vist collection about.
Vist skis have two main characteristics worth to mention. The first and very distinctive is the plates system, because of the simple and effective Speed-Lock System and the Step Concept. Other manufacturers made their bet in order to “help” the skiers by slightly rising the rear end of their plates, leaving them slightly inclined forwards. That’s been done to help skiers maintaining a more favorable position on the skis.
Vist has gone the other direction. They chose plates with a floating screws system (4 are fixed to sustain the system + 6 flotaing), which allows the skis to make a more natural and progressive flexion. Vist hasn’t either inclined the plate (the boot’s bed is flat in relation to the ski’s sole). The result is a more neutral behaviour, more maneuvrable skis and a better transmission of orders from the skier to the gear, as well as a better sensibility under the foot. On top of this there’s the Speed-Lock system, which allows us to adjust the binding to all kind of boot sizes but not only that. It also allows us to do it fast and only having to open and close two small flanges on the sides. This system also lets you “play” with the ski’s center putting it forward or backwards (this is a feature only for expert skimans).
A constant behaviour I have observed in all Vist skis is their neutrality and good balance. I’ll explain it better. Both concepts, balance and neutrality, are intimately linked to each other. If we made a car analogy, we would be speaking about understeer (the front goes straight, this is typical in front-wheel drive cars), oversteer (the back wants to overtake us, which is typical from rear-wheel drive cars) or neutrality (it does what you want it to, a good example would be an Audi R8).
When talking about skis, we would be mentioning stiff shovels that don’t want to get into the turn, or so carved that they start the turns even if that wasn’t our intention. Footbets so hard to bend as steel, tails with a mastodontic feel also belong in this group of unbalanced skis. The opposite is neutrality. And all the Vists I have tested are well balanced. They do what you ask them to, straight away with no interefences, hassles, etc. You want it, you have it.
Aesthetically as it happens with any Vist, the simple fact of wearing one tells everyone we are not only wearing one, we’re dressed with a Vist. This brand and some others in Europe are investing a remarkable amount of effort into their designs, not just to be good tools but to look good, call our attention to the point we can consider them small and practical pieces of art.
Another detail worth to mention is the ABS plastic which covers the ski and lets us see the serigraphy. It comes with little marks on it. Those are small letters which form the brand’s name “Vist” and, depending on the light’s incidence, we can see them or they remain hidden. This is another detail that makes all Vist skis special.
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