2020 Testers’ Choice: Hans von Briesen’s Picks

The 17 inches of powder that fell on Powder Mountain, Utah this past March didn’t distract testers at the 2020 Gear Test Week from logging hours on this coming season’s newest skis, splitboards and boots to find the standouts across crud, corduroy and deep blower fresh. From bell to bell, each tester buckled down to tally at least eight reviews per day, providing a final count of more than 1,000 individual reviews over the course of the week. This data transferred into the 218 reviews comprising the 2020 Gear Guide, on newsstands now.

After the week’s end, each tester was asked to nominate their personal favorites for skis, boots, bindings and splitboards. Here are their bios and top picks—take note to know what fresh products might be best for you.

Hans von Briesen soaks in the rays at Gear Test Week 2020.

AGE 33, 6 FEET, 165 LBS.

Waterbury, Vermont

Atomic Drifter Ski, Dalbello Lupo Boot, Dynafit Speed Binding or Barnboy Custom ski and Cast Touring binding


“It all depends on the objective and type of skiing available. I use my Drifter for straightforward spring corn harvest and my Cast setup for anything when I’m actually hoping to charge.”


$699– 4frnt.com | SIZES (cm): 184, 191 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 137/122/130 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 8.4 lbs. (184)

“A wide ski with creativity and playfulness as a top priority. Smear a wind lip into a tight pocket or just open it up. The Renegade is a ski for the touring shredder looking for a ski that steps away from the mold.”

Best For: “Deep snow or jibby laps at your favorite backcountry spot.”


$1,499- renoun.com | SIZES (cm): 171, 178, 184, 191 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 136/106/126 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 7.4 lbs. (178)

“The versatility of this ski is unparalleled; a descender that’s light enough for all day adventures and confident in chop but floats in pow as well and is at home in the air.”

Best For: “The person looking for a balance between SHRED and uphill skinability. As close to a unicorn as I’ve come to since finding my wife.”


  1. Mark Stevens says:

    Skiers are the winners in the all out fight for light!.
    Ski technology is now catching up with mtn. bike tech, in my mind, at least.
    Being 72 I love the transition to simple elegance in the gear line-up that focuses on lightness and useability. It helps to keep me in the game with the youngsters.
    And my favorite— goes to Peter Turner of DPS for INNOVATION. Shape, baby, Shape!

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