Affordable, easygoing skis for intermediates. Key attributes: Easy-turning, lightweight, medium sidecut. These can be tough for our young racers to test.
"You have to think and ski like an intermediate," says Bobby. Testers hit the easy trails and put the skis through the wash: skidding, snowplowing and paralleling. These skis, as well as the bindingsaffixed to them, must be lightweight.
Dynastar Team Carve 64
Here's everything you want in a ski for beginners: easy to turn, lightweight and effortless to control. The deeply shaped Carve 64 is a ski that can stay with the skier as he or she progresses to higher levels.
"I told it what to do and it would make the turn nice and smoothly. It's very easy to control." -Suzi
"You could start with this ski and it will take you to being a racer." -Staige
Rossignol Bandit Jr.
The Bandit Jr. helps beginners first gain control, then push their limits. It obeys commands and helps boost confidence. When skiers are ready, the energetic Bandit will take them faster, farther, higher.
"It holds like duct tape and is easy to maneuver." -Staige
"I think this ski would grow with you. It likes to go fast." -Blaire
Salomon Crossmax 10T
The Crossmax 10T puts beginners and intermediates on track to success. It makes going from snowplow to parallel easy. If the beginner takes the initiative, this ski will take you where you want to go. Having this ski on your foot makes you look like you know what you are doing.
"Very good at helping skiers progress. You'll get better after one run." -David
"Wedges well. Does not shake. Awesome edge control." -Bobby
Blizzard RXK Jr.
The easygoing RXK obeys commands. It's light and easy to handle in all terrain, with great energy that pops you from turn to turn. As easy to parallel as it is to wedge.
"It's like a machine: Tell it to do something and it does." -Bobby
"It turns so easily. It's happy!" -Blaire
Atomic Race:6 J
The Race:6 resembles its heavy-duty race-circuit cousins, but it's tame and easy to control. It's heavier than others in the category, so it stays on the snow and cuts through all kinds of snow conditions.
"Plenty of control. Beginners wouldn't like it; they'd love it!" -Hedda
"This ski gives you a lesson." -Blaire
(* Dimensions vary by length; these are for 130 cm.)