Rating: / 5
Stability at speed: 2.68 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.13 / 5
Crud performance: 3.28 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.53 / 5
Pro No one ever complained about lack of edge-grip or precision in a Fischer, but who knew the Austrian manufacturer could have such a deft touch with skis made for surfing deep powder? Testers were pleasantly surprised by the agility and enthusiasm of such a big ski. The Watea gets a wood core, carbon reinforcement and vertical sidewalls, but there’s no metal, which gives it an agreeable nature. It’s well balanced in its skill set, effectively shaped and especially strong underfoot—yet never unmanageable. The Maori-inspired graphics are cool, too. "Nice feel in any terrain or conditions," said Preston. "It behaved beautifully in the tightest spots I could find, and it plunders powder like a thirsty pirate." Con Some testers worried it might be too stiff for the lightest powder.