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The SKI Magazine SKI Test is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive and in-depth magazine test in the U.S. We recruit 26 testers from around the country, all of whom have unique skiing backgrounds and experience testing skis. With credentials ranging from PSIA Alpine Team Coach to Former U.S. Ski Team Tech, they arrive at Taos with one objective: Determine the best skis for SKI Magazine’s readers.
Like in every competition, there are some products at are, quite simply, better than all the rest. These are the best skis. Why? Because they earned the highest overall scores in the 2020 SKI Test in their respective categories.
Men’s All-Mountain Ski: Head Kore 93
The narrowest member of Head’s Kore family has proved to be the complete all-mountain package yet again. The ski’s construction is a perfectly blended combination of a karuba wood core with Koroyd plus carbon and graphene built into the tip and tail. Altogether, this provides best in class versatility, best overall impression, and the top score of the entire SKI Test. According to tester Jon Sexauer: “The best ski from the test. Can make you a better skier without forcing you to be a better skier.”
Our Best in Test ski is available on Amazon: 2020 Head Kore 93
See the Head Kore 93’s category scores
See all of 2020’s best all-mountain skis for men
Women’s All-Mountain Ski: Fischer My Ranger 96 TI
Blizzard Black Pearl, step aside—there’s a new queen of the hill. The My Ranger 96 TI earned top scores in the two most telling skill departments of all-mountain skis—balance of skills and crud performance. A beefy core of poplar wood and Titanal makes the ski damp and predictable at speed on groomers, but a carbon inlay in the rockered shovel lightens the ski’s load, making it easy to turn and floaty in everything from chop to pow. Said tester Robin Barnes: “Right out of the silk market in Beijing—silky and smooth.”
Men’s All-Mountain Wide Ski: Nordica Enforcer 104 Free
The all-new Enforcer 104 Free blends the playful versatility of the Enforcer 110 Free and the do-anything assertiveness of the Enforcer 100. The result is smile-inducing magic. With a lightweight wood core sandwiched between two layers of metal and stout ABS sidewalls, the Enforcer 104 Free is capable everywhere. The tail rocker provides a versatile platform that allows the ski to release from turns more easily and adds a newfound level of pop. Sexauer: “Powerful, balanced, and ready for anything.”
Buy it on Amazon: 2020 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free
See the Enforcer 104 Free’s other scores
See the full list of 2020’s best all-mountain wide skis for men
Women’s All-Mountain Wide Ski: Head Kore 99 W
The new Kore 99 W made our lady shredders feel things—good things. As one tester put it: “This ski has some special sauce that blends a feathery, lightweight feel with a strong backbone.” That special sauce is Head’s winning combination of incredibly light graphene in the tip and tail to reduce weight, a honeycomb-shaped material known as Koroyd that adds elasticity and flexibility to the ski, and a karuba wood core that’s dense yet light and incredibly responsive. Said tester Kristi Lovell Brown: Brown: “Head-turning, mind-opening, the new Kore 99 W gets best in show. What a surprise to have a debut ski come to life.”
Read the full review of the Head Kore 99 W
Men’s Frontside Ski: Fischer RC One 86 GT
The Austrian-built RC One 86 GT integrates BAFATEX—a high-tensile, lightweight scrim used primarily in sails—in the tip and tail to reduce swing weight and increase edge-to-edge quickness. With two sheets of Titanal sandwiching a wood core to increase torsional rigidity and damp vibrations at high speeds, the RC One 86 GT earned the highest category scores for quickness, stability at speed, and balance of skills. Add in three different turn radii built into the noticeably unique sidecut, and the latest resort tool from Fischer goes down smoother than a pint of coffee stout on nitro. Said tester Michael Rogan: “If your heart is in racing, but your lifestyle is now in cruising, this is your ski.”
Buy our Gear of Year men’s ski on Amazon: 2020 Fischer RC One 86 GT
See all of 2020’s best frontside skis for men
Women’s Frontside Ski: Head Total Joy
The Total Joy touts much of the same technology as Head’s KORE series—a karuba wood core, Allride Rocker, and graphene in the tip and tail to lighten the load. That said, the Total Joy is an entirely different ride. With an 85mm waist, she’s more at home carving corduroy at speed than smearing turns in bumps and crud. And while the KORE 93W will gladly help an intermediate skier break through, the Total Joy prefers already confident skiers who like to get edgy with it. Geary: “Super snappy.”
Buy SKI’s Best in Test women’s ski on Amazon: 2020 Head Total Joy
See all of the top-ranking 2020 women’s frontside skis
Men’s Performance Carving Ski: Blizzard Firebird HRC
Using C-Armor and C-Spine technologies, the newest, wide-bodied addition to the Firebird family reigned supreme in the carving category for 2020. Testers gushed about the HRC’s dominant stability at speed and hard snow performance while appreciating the relatively wide 76mm waist in crud and the HRC’s multi-radius sidecut. Gleason: “This is a renaissance carving ski: The crisp, quiet sensation is at a new level, there is no harshness in the edge grip and it’s invitingly gentle with ultimate precision.”
Check out more great perfomance carving skis for men
Women’s Performance Carving Ski: Blizzard Firebird Competition 76
Hold on to your bloomers, gals—this ski is going places, with or without you. The new Firebird Competition 76 is designed to be a tad more forgiving and user-friendly than the more seriously race-oriented Firebirds—but just a tad. With a moderate shovel and multi-radius sidecut, the Competition 76 lets you rip short or long turns and caters to ex-racers who aren’t hurling themselves down gates anymore, but still ski like they’re trying to beat the clock. Brown: “Powerhouse of a ski demanding a fit driver.
Buy it on Amazon: 2020 Blizzard Firebird Competition 76
Check out all of the top performance carving skis for women