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All-Mountain Skis

You Don’t Need Skinny Skis to Rail on Groomers

Looking for an all-mountain ski that can also slice up the frontside? Try these on for size.

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All-mountain skis should, by definition, be able to handle any terrain and snow conditions you encounter at the resort. That means everything from the bulletproof groomers you find early in the day, to an overnight dusting of 3 to 6 inches, to the mashed potatoes of late spring afternoons. In theory, the very best all-mountain skis can not only handle it all, but handle it all equally well.

Related: The best men’s all-mountain skis of 2021

Alas, ski design is still an imperfect science, and we have yet to find such a unicorn in the all-mountain category. But some skis are getting there, and the ones that really impress us at our annual ski test are those that excel in categories that should, by default, be their weak point.

We expect all-mountain skis to score high in the versatility and crud performance categories, but when it comes to the Hard-Snow Integrity department, we learned when these rockered skis were first introduced not to expect too much.

But that has changed over the years, and there are now all-mountain skis that, despite their rocker profiles and lighter core materials, still rail on hard snow. These skis happen to be some of our favorites in the all-mountain category, because, at the end of the day, all-mountain skiers still need a ski that will grip on groomers (and don’t let any skiers out West tell you otherwise).

On that topic: How wide is too wide for resort skis?

If you’re in the market for an all-mountain ski that doesn’t sacrifice performance on groomers in the name of versatility, check out these skis that ranked highest in the Hard-Snow Integrity category in our 2020-’21 SKI Test. Want brand new skis hot off the presses?  Check out SKI’s 2022 ski reviews, which will be available in our October Gear Guide this fall.

Join Outside+ to get early access to next season’s ski reviews

Best 2021 Men’s All-Mountain Skis for Hard Snow

2021 Nordica Enforcer 100

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.5/5
  • Overall Score: 4.14/5
  • Overall Rank: #1
Nordica Enforcer 100

Tester comment: “The Enforcer 100 is a great all-mountain, everyday ski for strong advanced skiers. The ski holds an edge with confidence and allows you to charge at any speed, but it demands you pay attention. Not the most playful ski, but will reward you for pushing it to its limit. If you get in the backseat it will take off on you, but harnessing that energy to exit the turn is oh so fun. For a strong advanced skier it will push them to improve all over the mountain, but it might require a little more input than a strong intermediate has the skills for.” —Jon Sexauer

Get all the details here: 2021 Nordica Enforcer 100 Full Review

2021 Stöckli Stormrider 95

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.4/5
  • Overall Score: 3.76/5
  • Overall Rank: #7
Stöckli Stormrider 95

Tester comment: “I was surprised how easy the Stöckli was to ski in the bumps. It’s quick enough edge to edge and light enough to pivot the ski virtually effortlessly. It’s super damp and feels locked in on edge, with no concern about carrying speed. You definitely have to stay on top of them, so they might be a little much for a more timid skier. I was shocked how much fun they were all over the hill.” —Jon Sexauer

Read all about it: 2021 Stöckli Stormrider 95

2021 Blizzard Bonafide 97

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.34/5
  • Overall Score: 4/5
  • Overall Rank: #3
Blizzard Bonafide 97

Tester comment: “The Bonafide has an unrivaled blend of power and ease of use. On edge it is a surgical instrument. Adjust the pressure and it can fit any contour the mountain presents. It is the definition of an all mountain performance ski.” —Bob Gleason

Read more here: 2021 Blzzard Bonafide 97 Full Review

2021 Head Kore 93

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.3/5
  • Overall Score: 4.02/5
  • Overall Rank: #2
Head Kore 93

Tester comment: “A very stable and damp ski with phenomenal edge hold at speed on hard snow. Not quite as versatile going from fast groomers to tighter turns. I tended to get bucked in bumps. For the strong athlete and expert skier.” —Mike Britt

Learn why testers love it: 2021 Head Kore 93 Full Review

2021 Rossignol Black Ops Holyshred

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.17/5
  • Overall Score: 3.98/5
  • Overall Rank: #4
Rossignol Black Ops Holyshred

Tester comment: “This thing is like a Cuisinart—it slices, dices, and purees. Nothing I threw at this ski fazed it. Even ripping groomers on this ski was fun. The Holyshred definitely has that magic sauce. Two thumbs up.” —Luke Larsson

Read more: 2021 Rossignol Black Ops Holyshred Full Review

Best 2021 Women’s All-Mountain Skis for Hard Snow

2021 Blizzard Black Pearl 97

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.44/5
  • Overall Score: 4.01/5
  • Overall Rank: #6
Blizzard Black Pearl 97

Tester comment: “A thing of exquisite energy on the groomers. Felt I could carve as if I had rocket launchers smoothly powering me through each turn. Able to let go and enter the next turn on command and with speed that was alarmingly comfortable. In the bumps they release tip and tail beautifully. My only criticism is when I got going a little too fast I felt forced into the backseat. Maybe if I had skied the shorter length they would have been more manageable in the bumps. But when it’s soft out I much prefer the extra length.” —Georgie Bremner

See how it stacked up: The best women’s all-mountain skis of the year

2021 Elan Ripstick 94 W

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.3/5
  • Overall Score: 4.17/5
  • Overall Rank: #2
Elan Ripstick 94 W

Tester comment: “Carves like a sharp knife on groomers and prefers higher edge angles. The more technically proficient skier will appreciate the precision.” —Tracy Gibbons

Read more: 2021 Elan Ripstick 94 W Full Review

2021 Atomic Vantage 90 Ti W

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.28/5
  • Overall Score: 3.91/5
  • Overall Rank: #8
Atomic Vantage 90 Ti W

Tester comment: “This ski is balanced and deliberately handles arcing groomers and bashing bumps. Exactly what this category should be about! It entered the turn with ease and scribed beautiful arcs with little effort.” —Robin Barnes

Learn more about it: 2021 Atomic Vantage 90 Ti W

2021 Head Kore 93W

  • Hard-Snow Integrity Score: 4.22/5
  • Overall Score: 4.2/5
  • Overall Rank: #1
Head Kore 93W

Tester comment: “Carving maniacs with a solid feel underfoot. Make tight, wide, and all the turns in between. Maybe too narrow for a go-to all-mountain ski but perfect for the frontside and popping through bumps. If you’re a skier who loves to lay down an edge, these are good. Not super burly and can charge hard through variable conditions. Great for groomers and bumps.” —Jessi Hackett

Find out why it won Best in Test: 2021 Head Kore 93 W 

 

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