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Ski Reviews

Meet the 27 People Who Test, Rank, and Review Skis for Our Gear Guide

Why should you trust SKI's gear reviews? Because our veteran testers know skis—like, really know them.

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For five glorious days in early March of 2021, 27 gear testers enjoyed a short reprieve from pandemic life and got back to doing what they love: Skiing with their friends. A few of our veteran testers from the East weren’t able to attend—darn pandemic travel restrictions—and we had to dispense with the usual après parties, but that didn’t cramp anyone’s style. At the end of the week, everyone skied their legs off, testing more than 200 pairs of skis to determine the top performers.

Their picks and recommendations for 2022 are splashed across SKI’s 2022 Gear Guide pages and online on our Gear hub. Why should you trust their reviews? Because, as you’ll see below, these people know skis—like, really know them. They’ve dedicated their lives and careers to this sport, so if they collectively decide a ski is impressive, trust them.

Watch: What SKI’s Testers Look For When Ranking Skis

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But of course, ski testing is still subjective. What one tester digs another may not. So instead of just going off a ski’s overall score and ranking to help you decide on your next pair of planks, find a tester you relate to and zero in on their feedback. Chances are you’ll find a tester who appreciates the very characteristics you look for in a ski.

Pay special attention to the testers’ self-proclaimed skiing style, and don’t overlook their age, height, and weight. We don’t list that sensitive information for nothing—physical stature is a big part of how someone drives a ski. Bigger, heavier skiers often prefer a solid, heavier ski, whereas a lighter-weight or smaller skier might find that same ski too burly or unyielding.

So get to know our testers, find someone you identify with, then go read up on their top skis of the test. Chances are, you’ll dig them too.

Check out 2022’s lineup of the Best in Test skis 

Robin Barnes

Robin Barnes, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 55 | Height: 5′6″ | Weight: 135 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Portillo, Chile, and Heavenly, Calif.
  • Need to Know: Barnes grew up in New England before moving out West to instruct at Heavenly and flying south in the summer to manage the ski school at Chile’s Portillo resort. She is also a PSIA National Alpine Team Member.
  • Skiing Style: “I like to ski everything. Just like music, some days you want it in your face, other days you just want to have a good rhythm and let ‘er roll.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Armada Reliance 92 Ti, Kästle MX75, Nordica Santa Ana 93

Explore the best women’s skis with narrower waist widths 

Georgie Bremner

Georgie Bremner, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 48 | Height: 5′4″ | Weight: 140 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Aspen Highlands, Colo.
  • Skiing Style: “Edgy and aggressive.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Armada Reliance 92 Ti, Nordica Santa Ana 93, Stöckli Nela 80

Mike Britt

Mike Britt, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 47 | Height: 5′11″ | Weight: 190 lbs.

Learn more about tester Mike Britt and what he looks for in a ski

Todd Casey

Todd Casey, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 51 | Height: 6′3″ | Weight: 200 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Need to Know: Casey grew up in N.H. skiing at Sugarloaf, Maine. He has been a ski instructor at Copper Mountain, Colo. for the past 29 years.
  • Skiing Style: “I’m more of a medium to long turn kinda guy. I love steep terrain and ungroomed crud. Trees are fun as long as I don’t feel like I’m bushwhacking. I prefer a solid ski with a longer turn radius than a zippy ski with a short turning radius.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Fischer Ranger 115 FR, Kästle FX 106 Ti, Völkl Blaze 106

Looking for wider skis to plow through the crud? Check out the best men’s all-mountain wide skis of 2022

Dustin Cook

2021 ski test
Ski tester Dustin Cook charges the crud at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah. (Photo: John Howland)

Age: 32 | Height: 6′0″ | Weight: 180 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Mont Ste-Marie, Qué., and Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: Cook grew up in Ottawa skiing the Quebec side of Mont Ste-Marie. He raced on the World Cup circuit for eight seasons before retiring from professional racing in 2020.
  • Skiing style: “I like to think I ski very smoothly with a good touch.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Fischer Ranger 99 Ti, Völkl Revolt 120, Head WC Rebels eSpeed

Drew Crosby

Drew Crosby, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 41 | Height: 5′8″ | Weight: 145 lbs.

Wendy Crosby

Wendy Crosby, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 38 | Height: 5′6″ | Weight: 150 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Aspen Highlands, Colo.
  • Need to Know: Grew up in the Low Country on the coast of Georgia; learned to ski as an adult in her mid-20s and is now a fully certified ski instructor
  • Skiing Style: “Seeking any turn, anytime, anywhere”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Blizzard Sheeva 10, Faction Dictator 3.0X, Black Diamond Impulse 104

Mark Elling

SKI TEST 2021
Ski tester Mark Elling finds a stash to test out a pair of men’s all-mountain skis. (Photo: John Howland)

Age: 51 | Height: 5′11″ | Weight: 185 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Mt. Bachelor, Ore.
  • Need to Know: Elling grew up in Arizona and skied at Flagstaff’s Snowbowl during his childhood. He later moved to Missoula, Mont. to teach skiing at the other Snowbowl. He’s now a Masterfit bootfitter and fully certified ski instructor.
  • Skiing Style: “It’s a work in progress! Deep pow conceals most technique flaws…”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Völkl Kendo 88, Rossignol Experience 86, Armada Declivity 92

Need ski boot advice? Ask SKI’s resident Boot Doctor

Abby Ghent

Abby Ghent, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 28 | Height: 5′6″ | Weight: 145 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: Ghent grew up just outside of Vail, Colo., where her mom became the Alpine Director of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. She attended Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy for high school and joined the U.S. Ski Team in 2010 to race professionally for six years.
  • Skiing Style: “Thoughtful and pretty, but fast.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Fischer Ranger 94 FR, Blizzard Phoenix R14 Pro, K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance

Otto Gibbons

Otto Gibbons, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 22 | Height: 5′6″ | Weight: 130 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Crystal Mountain, Wash.
  • Need to Know: Gibbons has spent 21 of his 22 years on this earth on skis. The son of Sturtevants Sports’ head buyer, Tracy Gibbons, Otto has basically lived in the ski shop his whole life and has worked there for the past seven years.
  • Skiing Style: “I like to ski fast and make big turns. Friends and family have told me I make one turn for every three turns they make. I don’t have perfect technical form, but I know how to stay on the front of my ski. I ski a long ski, at least one size above my head if not two (so usually around a 172-182cm ski).”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Laser AR, Armada Declivity 88 C, Dynastar M-Free 108

Tracy Gibbons

Tracy Gibbons, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 54 | Height: 5′4″ | Weight: 136 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Crystal Mountain, Wash.
  • Need to Know: Gibbons is the President and hardgoods buyer for Sturtevant’s, a legendary ski shop in Bellevue, Wash., a gig she’s had for 20 years. This lady knows skis.
  • Skiing Style: “My race background still heavily influences my style. I love a clean carve, and generally prefer medium to big turns.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Nela 88, Blizzard Black Pearl 97, Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free

Learn more about tester Tracy Gibbons and what she looks for in a ski

Bob Gleason

Bob Gleason, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 69 | Height: 5′10″ | Weight: 170 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Telluride, Colo., and Taos Ski Valley, N.M.
  • Need to Know: Gleason grew up in Boulder, Colo. but spent weekends skiing in Aspen. He ski raced on the Winter Park team in high school. He spent a number of years ski instructing around the world before becoming a bootfitter and starting BootDoctors Ski Shops in Taos, N.M. and Telluride, Colo.
  • Skiing Style: “I love to ski long hours each day all over the mountain. Find me in the steeps, the trees, and the bumps. I feel the only reason to stop is to get on the lift.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Fischer Ranger 115 FR, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, and tie between Fischer Ranger 99Ti and Völkl M6 Mantra

Courtney Harkins

Courtney Harkins, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 32 | Height: 5′8″ | Weight: 130 lbs.

Like to race around the mountain? Explore the best women’s carving skis of 2022

Stephanie Humes

Stephanie Humes, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 48 | Height: 5′8″ | Weight: 135 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: Humes learned to ski at Gore Mountain in New York at age 2 and spent her childhood skiing throughout Vermont. She moved west to Park City, Utah in 2000 and finally learned what powder was. She is now the hards good manager and assistant buyer at Jackson’s Base Camp.
  • Skiing Style: “Aggressive, forward stance. I like every type of terrain there is but prefer powder. Duh!?!?! Who doesn’t say that. I mainly stick to  medium-radius turns but when’s it’s open and no one is around, I’ll open it up to big sweeping turns. I can ski bumps but I don’t usually.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Armada Reliance 102 Ti, Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, 4FRNT MSP CC

Jon Jay

Helly Hansen Elevation Infinity 2.0 Jacket
SKI Test Director Jon Jay finds some time to test and play in between running ski test logistics. (Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 33 | Height: 6′0″ | Weight: 200 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.
  • Need to Know: Jay is SKI Magazine’s Gear Editor and SKI Test Director. He grew up in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and learned to ski at Aspen Snowmass. Before joining the SKI editorial team, he spent years working in ski shops and competing on the Freeskiing World Tour.
  • Skiing Style: “Heavy metal in motion.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Völkl M6 Mantra, Stöckli Stormrider 102, Salomon QST Blank

Marina Knight

Marina Knight, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 43 | Height: 5′5″ | Weight: 130 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: Knight grew up in Vermont and attended Stowe Mountain School before racing NCAA at Williams College.
  • Skiing Style: “Being an ex-racer from the East Coast, I still really enjoy making nice turns.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Black Diamond Impulse 104, Armada Reliance line, Nordica Santa Ana 93

Luke Larsen

2021 SKI TEST
Luke Larsen tests the playfulness of a pair of skis at SKI Test. (Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 39 | Height: 5′10″ | Weight: 190 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Snowbird, Utah
  • Need to Know: Larsen owns and operates Salt Lake City’s Lifthouse ski shop with his brother, Zac Larsen. Larsen practically grew up in the shop, a family-owned business, and spent his free time chasing gates on the Snowbird Ski Team.
  • Skiing Style: “Race-inspired and attempting to be aggressive.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Stormrider 102, Dynastar M-Free 108, Blizzard Bonafide

Nick Loomans

ski test 2021
Ski Tester Nick Loomans calls himself an aggressive skier. Get the picture? (Photo: John Howland)

Age: 35 | Height: 6′0″ | Weight: 180 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Alta/Snowbird, Utah
  • Skiing Style: “Aggressive former racer. I like a well-balanced and versatile ski with good energy/stability.”
  • Need to Know: Loomans grew up in Mukwonago, Wisc., and took up skiing at Alpine Valley Resort. He was an USCSA All-American skier for the University of Minnesota. Translation: He knows how to bend a ski.
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Blizzard Rustler 10, Armada Declivity line, Dynastar M-Free 108

Erika Northrop

Erika Northrop, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 40 | Height: 5′9″ | Weight: 164 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Taos Ski Valley, N.M.
  • Need to Know: Northrop grew up skiing at Taos, N.M. from her home in El Paso, Texas. She has worked in the ski industry since college, bopping between Colorado and the Pacific Northwest before moving back to Taos to wok as the area manager for Christy Sports ski shop.
  • Skiing Style: “I love scaring myself on exposed terrain to get the goods. Steep and deep trees are my favorite, but corduroy on a nicely pitched groomer can be bliss.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Dynastar M-Free 108, Fischer Ranger 94 FR, Armada Reliance 102 Ti

Foreste Peterson

Foreste Peterson, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 27 | Height: 5′4″ | Weight: 123 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Squaw Valley, Calif., and Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: U.S. Ski Team athlete turned Dartmouth NCAA D1 racer turned Rowmark Ski Academy coach.
  • Skiing Style: “I’m a powerful skier who’s always striving to make clean, smooth turns.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Salomon QST Stella, Stöckli Nela 96, Völkl Secret 102

Michael Rogan

2021 SKI TEST
Tester Michael Rogan demonstrates why testers see him as “the best visual image of skiing skills.” (Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 52 | Height: 5′11″ | Weight: 190 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Portillo, Chile, and Heavenly, Calif.
  • Skiing Style: “Striving to be precise and efficient.”
  • What Fellow Testers Say: “Mike Rogan is the best visual image of skiing skills that I know.” —Bob Gleason
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Völkl Kendo 88, Fischer Ranger 115 FR, Fischer Ranger 99Ti

Drawn to versatile skis? Explore the best men’s all-mountain skis of the year

Katie Ryan

Katie Ryan, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 28 | Height: 5′9″ | Weight: 160 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Snowbird, Utah
  • Need to Know: Ryan grew up in Aspen, Colo. and spent 5 years on the U.S. Ski Team, racing in speed events. She is now a private ski coach and instructor based in Park City, Utah.
  • Skiing Style: “Pro ‘style’ skier—Hollywood labs all day long! Whoopin’ and hollering under the lift. I basically just try to radiate joy through my skiing.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Nela line, 4FRNT MSP CC, Dynastar M-Pro 99 W

Matt Schiller

Matt Schiller, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 49 | Height: 5′6″ | Weight: 145 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Wasatch backcountry, Utah
  • Need to Know: Schiller considers himself a blue collar ski industry middleman. He’s spent 32 years in skiing and tried all the jobs within the industry, including lift operator, patroller, race coach, brand rep, World Cup technician, and custom ski boot shop owner.
  • Skiing Style: “Like a jet ski on a mountain lake: Not afraid to tip the rails and cut through the chop. Small and powerful, agile, and precise without throwing a huge wake. I can delicately skim the wave peaks then pin it home at sunset.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Stormrider 95, Armada Declivity 88 C, Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 80 RB

Jon Sexauer

Jon Sexauer, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 35 | Height: 5′7″ | Weight: 150 lbs.

Lyndsay Strange

Lyndsay Strange, Ski Tester 2021
(Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 33 | Height: 5′4″ | Weight: 130lbs

  • Home Mountain: Snowbird, Utah
  • Need to Know: Strange grew up ski racing in upstate N.Y. and southern Vt. before moving to Utah to coach ski racing at the Olympic level. She is a USSA certified alpine coach who also owns and operates Party Beach Ski Camps, a summer big mountain and freeride camp at Mt. Hood, Ore.
  • Skiing Style: “Being from the east coast, I unabashedly love groomers. However, being a West Coast convert, I can’t get enough steep and deep powder runs.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Armada Reliance line, Blizzard Sheeva 11, Rossignol Gamer

Mark Syrovatka

2021 Ski Test
Ski tester Mark Syrovatka tips and rips for the camera during SKI’s 2022 gear test at Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah. (Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 32 | Height: 6′2″ | Weight: 190 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Park City Resort, Utah
  • Need to Know: Syrovatka grew up skiing in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. He has been entrenched in the ski industry his whole life, ski racing professionally and now working for Ted Ligety’s company, SHRED.
  • Skiing Style: “I love to carve and ski wide open pow faces. Big turns for clean surfy feelings!”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Stöckli Stormrider 95, Armada Declivity 88 C, Rossignol Sender Ti

Jenny Wiegand

Skier on steep, technical terrain
SKI’s content producer Jenny Wiegand takes a pair of women’s all-mountain skis into the chalky steeps to see how well they hold up. (Photo: Keri Bascetta)

Age: 33 | Height: 5′4″ | Weight: 130 lbs.

  • Home Mountain: Crested Butte, Colo.
  • Need to Know: Wiegand is SKI’s Content Producer and SKI Test Co-Director. She grew up in Garmisch, Germany and cut her teeth on the slopes of the Hausberg. She started out as a competitive figure skater but moved on to ski racing in high school and college. She’s been working in the ski industry ever since.
  • Skiing Style: “I used to say aggressive and edgy, but after three ACL replacements, I’ve settled for efficient.”
  • Top 3 Skis from the 2022 test: Fischer Ranger 94 FR, Stöckli Nela 96, Black Diamond Impulse 104