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​TGR Tested: WNDR Alpine Refines The Intention 108

WNDR's updated Intention 108 is a versatile big-mountain tool for skiing all the nooks and crannies in the Tetons. | Lily Krass photo.

When WNDR Alpine released their first ever ski, 2019’s Intention 110, the Utah-based ski company shook the industry with their algae-derived core. The original Intention was a ski that not only shifted what was possible with fewer petroleum-based chemicals, but it also performed as well as anything else on the market.

Three and a half years later, the company has made leaps and bounds for sustainable manufacturing in the industry, and they’ve rounded out their lineup to include three skis (six if you count the fact that each ski comes in two camber profiles) and two snowboards, all utilizing the signature Algal Tech that the brand is built on.

This year, the Intention was tweaked and reimagined as the Intention 108, a sleeker and slightly burlier hard-charging backcountry machine. I’ve been skiing the original Intention 110 since 2019, so I was excited to mount up a pair of the new 108s and enjoy all the early season snow the Tetons delivered.

The Tech

To start with the obvious, the Intention 108 is a slightly slimmed down version of the original 110, a tad narrower to make it a little more versatile throughout the season. The 108 features a slightly shorter turn radius (18.5m at the 176cm length compared to 20.5m at the previous 178cm length) as well as a stiffer flex, improving upon an already well-balanced ski.

Inside, WNDR’s signature Algal Tech includes Algal Core, made up of algae-derived PU (which essentially takes the place of carbon for quieting vibrations) and domestically sourced aspen, combined with Algal Walls, a bio-based sidewall that protects the core of the ski and contributes to the chatter-free ride WNDR skis have become known for.

All of WNDR Alpine’s skis come in both a cambered and reverse cambered version (I tested the reverse camber ski). The 176cm weighs in at about 1800 grams per ski, not the lightest touring ski out there but worth a few extra grams for the solid downhill performance. The 108 also has slightly different sizing options than the 110 did, including 164, 170, 176, 182, 188, and 194cm versions.

The Ride

I’ll first start by saying that the original Intention 110 has been my favorite ski of all time, so I went into this test with high expectations. I’ve tested dozens of skis since I first hopped on my 110s in 2019, but I just keep going back to those old beat-up workhorses, which have definitely changed my skiing for the better.

It was fun to hop on the new 108s, which float just as well as the 110s and simultaneously offer slightly quicker pivoting feel and more stability (a combo that should be an oxymoron, but WNDR somehow achieved this with the tweaked flex). So far, I’ve skied the 108s on a mix of short powder laps on Teton Pass, longer days in Grand Teton National Park, and of course the requisite icy Snow King laps to see how they handled on firm snow.

Despite the fact that it’s a reverse camber ski, the contact point is pretty long on the Intentions, which allowed me to feel really solid on occasional hardpack. And when conditions are soft (like they have been for most of this season) the pivot and smearing capability is unparalleled.

The moderately stiff flex and damp character of the Intention 108 allows for charging through anything the big mountains throw at you. | Sophia Schwartz photo.

The damp feel in cruddy snow that WNDR skis all seem to possess is something that I think really stands out. A ski that can keep its cool through mank and crud is a ski worth keeping around because the more powder you ski the more crap you inevitably have to work your way through.

While I usually prefer pretty soft skis, I really enjoyed the ability to drive the moderately stiff flex, which feels softer up front and supportive and springy underfoot and closer to the tails. Occasionally I felt the older 110s to get a little noodly or twitchy when I picked up the pace, but the 108s never wavered.

I’m 5’8” and tested the 176cm Intention 108, which felt a little long compared to the 171cm Intention 110 I’ve been skiing. Far more stable at speed than those original skis, I definitely enjoyed the longer length skiing in open terrain on Teton Pass, but less so in tight trees and out tracks. That’s just a personal preference though (I generally love short backcountry skis), and I think they generally ski pretty true to size.

The Bottom Line

In areas that see a fair amount of snowfall, the Intention 108 is an optimal all-around ski. Surfy and pivoty in powder and stable and quiet in cruddy snow, this ski is a reliable tool for the good, the bad, and the ugly. And at least for the Tetons, 108 underfoot is a real sweet spot.

WNDR’s products aren’t just “good for a bio-based ski”, they’re just flat out great skis, and it’s cool to see them pushing the industry forward in both directions. 

Get the Intention 108 here.

From The Column: TGR Tested

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