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Ski Reviews

The Top 10 Best in Test Skis of 2022

Introducing this year's crop of SKI Test category winners. Chances are, they'll be at the top of your list, too.

Testing skis isn’t easy. Especially when there are 22 brands, 27 testers, and over 200 pairs of skis that need a fair shake. But, when the powder cloud settles and the scores are tallied, there can only be one group of skis at the top of the pile. And these are the skis that survived every turn, mogul, and test card in order to earn the distinction of Best in Test in their respective categories.

With that being said, just because our SKI Test crew thought these were the best this year doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best skis for you. Dig below the surface and check out the detailed scores for each ski, the reviews and scores of other skis in each category, and remember the basics of how to buy skis in order to determine what pair is right for you this winter. And if it’s one of these beauties, well, hate to say we told you so…

Looking for more in-depth ski gear coverage? Join Outside+  to read extended ski reviews, compare ski test scores, and get more insight from SKI’s veteran gear testers. 

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Men’s Carving: Stöckli Laser AR

  • Overall Score: 4.10/5
  • Strengths: Versatility, Quickness
  • Weaknesses: Playfulness, Stability at Speed
  • Dimensions: 130-83-112mm
  • Available lengths : 154, 161, 168, 175, 182cm
  • Radius: 16.5m
  • Price: $1,249
2022 STOCKLI LASER AR

Testers loved the Stöckli Laser AR for how easy it is to ski and yet still holds its own when they put the pedal to the metal. The ski has some rocker in the tip and tail, but Stöckli incorporates its Adaptive Contact Length technology into the ski, which increases effective edge contact when the edge angle increases. It’s a ski that gets better as the user improves. Says tester Mike Britt: “Stable as a table! GS turns are as smooth as glass, and they flow downhill like a mountain stream.” See how the 2022 Stöckli Laser AR scored in every skill category in the extended review.

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Women’s Carving: Stöckli Laser MX

  • Overall Score: 4.21/5
  • Strengths: Hard-Snow Integrity, Quickness
  • Weaknesses: Crud Performance, Forgiveness
  • Dimensions: 118-67-99mm
  • Available lengths: 146, 152, 158, 164cm
  • Radius: 13.7m
  • Price: $1,299
2022 Stöckli Laser MX

“Roll it over, load it up, and slice through anything. The Stöckli Laser MX requires some skill during turn initiation, and if you want to carve short turns, you have to drive it from the tip. But these are so fun and responsive. Turns out, you can buy a good turn. It may cost you, but why not buy success if you can?” Tracy Gibbons. See how the 2022 Stöckli Laser MX scored in every skill category in the extended review.

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Men’s Frontside: Völkl Kendo 88

  • Overall Score: 4.18/5
  • Strengths: Hard-Snow Integrity, Overall Impression
  • Weaknesses: Flotation, Forgiveness
  • Dimensions: 129-88-111mm
  • Available Lengths: 163, 171, 177, 184cm
  • Radius: 17m
  • Price: $775 (Buy Now)
2022 Völkl Kendo 88

Every tester loved the Kendo 88, giving the ski a unique universalism (yes, we know that’s a contradiction) in an increasingly fragmented category. Built with Völkl’s 3D Radius sidecut, the ski has a shorter turn radius at slower speeds and a longer one when you kick it into gear. The result is a ski that’s easier to get on edge and is especially maneuverable in the steeps. Says tester Michael Rogan: “This ski can handle it all and you can adjust your turn at any moment. Just outstanding.” See how the 2022 Völkl Kendo 88 scored in each skill category

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Women’s Frontside: Stöckli Nela 80

  • Overall Score: 4.18/5
  • Strengths: Versatility, Hard-Snow Integrity
  • Weaknesses: Flotation, Crud Performance
  • Dimensions: 121-80-106mm
  • Available Lengths: 149, 157, 165cm
  • Radius: 15.8m
  • Price: $949
2022 Stöckli Nela 80

The women’s-specific Stöckli Nela 80 continues her reign as Frontside Queen. She’s just so unexpectedly fun—unexpected because before Nela came around, Stöckli only made aggro unisex skis. But this ski is a shapeshifter—it becomes whatever you need it to be. Thanks to a light balsa core, tip and tail rocker, and smooth flex, it’s a solid ride for the intermediate, but also a ripper for the expert. Says tester Marina Knight: “Cuts through snow like butter.” See how the 2022 Stöckli Nela 80 scored in each skill category

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Men’s All-Mountain: Nordica Enforcer 100

  • Overall Score: 4.18/5
  • Strengths: Stability at Speed, Crud Performance
  • Weaknesses: Playfulness, Forgiveness
  • Dimensions: 133-100-121mm
  • Available Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186, 191cm
  • Radius: 18.4m
  • Price: $850 (Buy Now)
2022 Nordica Enforcer 100

Back-to-back Best-in-Test winner? Count it! Testers once again rewarded the Nordica Enforcer 100 with top category scores in Flotation, Stability at Speed, and Crud Performance. Built with two full sheets of Titanal, a carbon chassis laminate, and full sandwich sidewalls, these skis are not for beginners. But strong skiers who know how to drive a ski are sure to find bliss. Says tester Mike Britt: “Right at home in any snow conditions I threw at it. It’s an absolute hero ski.” See how the 2022 Nordica Enforcer 100 scored in each skill category in the extended review.

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Women’s All-Mountain: Fischer Ranger 94FR

  • Overall Score: 4.17/5
  • Strengths: Flotation, Hard-Snow Integrity
  • Weaknesses: Forgiveness, Playfulness
  • Dimensions: 125-91-116mm
  • Available Lengths: 153, 161, 169, 177cm
  • Radius: 16m
  • Price: $850 (Buy Now)
2022

Meet the new queen of the mountain. The Ranger 94 FR features the same bomber construction as the wider Ranger 102 FR, but it’s quicker and more playful thanks to its narrower waist. Testers loved its energy and appreciated how solid it felt underfoot. A supremely fun tool for ladies who live for short turns and technical skiing. Tester Erika Northrop says: “Intermediates will grow confidence and experts will hone their skills.” See how the 2022 Fischer Ranger 94FR scored in each skill category in the extended review.

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Men’s All-Mountain Wide: Nordica Enforcer 104 Free

  • Overall Score: 4.12/5
  • Strengths: Flotation, Hard-Snow Integrity
  • Weaknesses: Forgiveness, Playfulness
  • Dimensions: 134.5-104-123.5mm
  • Available Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186, 191cm
  • Radius: 18.5m
  • Price: $900 (Buy Now)
2022 Nordica Enforcer 104

Testers of all stripes compared the Nordica Enforcer 104 Free to their favorite guitar solo. The more a listener understands music, the better the solo gets; the better a skier masters skiing, the more that person will be able to enjoy these magnificent skis. This is the third test in a row that the 104 Free has won this category. Tester Mark Schiller says: “You forget about the width because this ski moves effortlessly from edge to edge and in and out of pockets.” See how the 2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free scored in each skill category.

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Women’s All-Mountain Wide: Stöckli Nela 96

  • Overall Score: 4.14/5
  • Strengths: Stability at Speed, Crud Performance
  • Weaknesses: Hard-Snow Integrity, Flotation
  • Dimensions: 134-96-121mm
  • Available Lengths: 156, 164, 172cm
  • Radius: 15.8m
  • Price: $1,049
2022 Stöckli Nela 96

What’s surprising here is that the wider waisted Stöckli Nela 96 scored higher than its narrower sister. The ladies loved how the widest Nela tackles unfavorable conditions like it ain’t no thing. And while it’s not as floaty as some of the fatter skis in this category, it bested the others in five scoring departments, including in Versatility—arguably the most telling skill. If you ask our testers, you can do no wrong on the Nela 96. Says tester Katie Ryan: “Love these skis more than my boyfriend, and it’s serious.” See how the 2022 Stöckli Nela 96 scored in each skill category in our extended review.

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Men’s Powder: Blizzard Rustler 11

  • Overall Score: 4.24/5
  • Strengths: Quickness, Playfulness
  • Weaknesses: Forgiveness, Crud Performance
  • Dimensions: 139-112-129mm
  • Available Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188, 192cm
  • Radius: 19m
  • Price: $900 (Buy Now)
2022 Blizzard Rustler 11

The Blizzard Rustler 11 won the Deep Snow category for the second year in a row. At Solitude, it earned top marks in the Quickness and Playfulness categories. The SKI Test crew was ecstatic about how lively and energetic this ski is in all types of snow. It releases from the turn more easily in powder, providing better soft snow performance. Overall, it’s as fun in freshies as it is getting to and from the chairlift on the hunt for more. Says tester Mark Syrovatka: “Same old story: This is an epic ski.” See how the 2022 Blizzard Rustler 11 scored in each skill category in the extended review.

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Women’s Powder: Fischer Ranger 115 FR

  • Overall Score: 4.20/5
  • Strengths: Stability at Speed, Crud Performance
  • Weaknesses: Quickness, Flotation
  • Dimensions: 144-115-134mm
  • Available Lengths: 172, 178, 188, 196cm
  • Radius: 20m
  • Price: $900 (Buy Now)
2022 Fischer Ranger 115 FR

The Fischer Ranger 115 FR topped the other skis in this category in Stability, Forgiveness, and Crud Performance, and that’s why testers named them the best resort powder skis: They won’t let you down when the steeps and back bowls get tracked out by noon. The one downside: The shortest length available is 172cm, and even that takes some muscle to maneuver. Says tester Erika Northrop: “Jumping on this ski is like getting your car back from a mechanic who gave it lots of upgrades. Make sure you’re ready to drive.” See how the 2022 Fischer Ranger 115 FR scored in each skill category

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does SKI test and rank skis?

SKI’s editors and veteran gear testers, who are all proven industry professionals, spend a week each March testing more than a 200 pairs of next season’s crop of skis. We test men’s and women’s skis separately in five different categories: Carving, Frontside, All-Mountain, All-Mountain Wide, and Powder. Testers ski each pair of skis for one or two runs, making sure to take the skis into different kinds of terrain and conditions. Testers then immediately fill out a ski test score card, rating each ski in eight different criteria, including Stability at Speed, Hard-Snow Integrity, Playfulness, etc. SKI’s editors then crunch the numbers to see which skis come out on top of each category and to determine each ski’s strengths and weaknesses. Read more here.

What does the “Best in Test” distinction mean?

Out of the 200-plus skis that were tested at SKI’s 2022 Test at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah, only the top-ranked skis make it into SKI’s Gear Guide earn our “Official Selection” award. The top ranked ski within each category then earns the “Best in Test” distinction.

How do I choose a pair of skis?

Do your research. Start by asking yourself what type of skis you are looking for, and being honest about your current ability level and goals for the season. Check out our “How to Buy Skis” article to get started. Then, use SKI’s Gear Guide and extended ski reviews to get an idea of different options in different categories.

Just remember: ski testing is not an exact science. While we rely heavily on the feedback and opinions of our veteran gear testers to rank and review each season’s skis, at the end of the day ski testing is subjective. That mean’s our top-ranking ski in one category might be a great ski, but it may not be the best choice for you if it’s above or below your ability level, or if it’s too wide or too narrow for the type of skiing you typically do. So do your research.

What’s the difference between men’s and women’s skis?

Most skis are technically unisex skis—they are not specifically designed for men or for women. These skis come in a variety of length options, usually from 150cm to 190cm to accommodate for both men and women, as well as different ability levels. However, some skis these days are women’s-specific. These skis have adapted constructions, usually to make the ski a little lighter, less stiff, and to move the mount point forward to improve a woman’s ability to drive a ski. That said, many advanced and expert women, especially if they’re aggressive skiers, still prefer to ski a unisex ski. Read more here.