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The Ultimate Gear Gallery

The 90 best skis and boots for 2013.

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“Loved it!” “So rad!” The tester response to Nordica’s new Helldorado was of a common theme. Built with two layers of metal, it locks to the slope and absorbs every last bit of chatter, but its tight radius and generous rocker give it an atypical quickness for a powerful fat ski. We tried the nimbler 185-centimeter length, but aggressive testers were drooling over the thought of the 193 in hero conditions. “This thing was a complete rush,” said one tester. Want to surf pow, straightline chutes, and carve like you’re wearing spandex? Hop on and enjoy the ride. But don’t forget your legs.

143/113/132 | $999 [flat]
Lengths: 177, 185, 193
Radius: 18.5

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 MSRP: $699.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 140-105-130 Length: 161, 171, 181If the elegant graphic is a hint, the new Nomad RKR is for the all-mountain artist.…

MSRP: $699.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 140-105-130

Length: 161, 171, 181

If the elegant graphic is a hint, the new Nomad RKR is for the all-mountain artist. The tip and tail rocker make it hyper-playful and open up new creative avenues down every line, while underfoot camber provides enough backbone to let you put down compact carves on hardpack when you’re fully angulated. “So light and rhythmic,” said one tester of its bouncy attitude. It’s not a big charger, but if your day consists of pillow drops, ledgy chutes, forest dwelling, and a fresh track or two, the RKR has your back. All of these Testers’ Choice-worthy attributes make it a capable Western one-ski quiver or Eastern pow ski.


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  MSRP: $1,750.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-95-114  Lengths: Tested: 165Handmade is Telluride, the Custom 95W was one of our tester favorites in hard-snow…

MSRP: $1,750.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-95-114

Lengths: Tested: 165

Handmade is Telluride, the Custom 95W was one of our tester favorites in hard-snow performance – despite its too-short 165-centimeter length. Slight tip rocker eases into the turn and then sticks to its line until you tel it otherwise. Wagner’s skis are all different – custom-made according to each skier’s preferences about their body type – but if this model is any indicator, they all rip.

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MSRP: from $1,750Tip/Waist/Tail: 142/108/126Length: 176Wagner’s philosophy is to personalize each ski to its owner, from shape to flex to rocker…

MSRP: from $1,750
Tip/Waist/Tail: 142/108/126
Length: 176

Wagner’s philosophy is to personalize each ski to its owner, from shape to flex to rocker profile. But the company must have built the 108 Custom with every single one of our testers in mind. It landed among everyone’s top picks. “Holy shitballs! Awesome!” exclaimed one tester. “It smeared, carved, and slid—a truly confident all-mountain ski.” It’s the Western one-ski quiver for folks with deep pockets.

 

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MSRP: $1,750Tip/Waist/Tail: 137-100-121Length: 184One longtime Skiing Mag tester had this to say about the Testers' Choice–winning Wagner 100 Custom.…

MSRP: $1,750

Tip/Waist/Tail: 137-100-121

Length: 184

One longtime Skiing Mag tester had this to say about the Testers’ Choice–winning Wagner 100 Custom. “I always look for a ski to achieve perfection. This is the one.” Others echoed his sentiments, calling it “effortless,” “trustworthy,” and “suitable for anyone, anywhere.” Willing and energetic on-piste, it cleaved the corduroy. Off trail, it could surf or smear a turn with swagger. Wagner builds every ski from the ground up, so the 100 Custom isn’t a production model, but it’s an example of the magic the factory can make. Wagner has produced some of the best skis we’ve tested, but perfection comes at a steep price.

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  MSRP: $799.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130The Live Fit pannel on the little-toe side of this 98-mm sidecountry boot earned high praise from the…

MSRP: $799.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

The Live Fit pannel on the little-toe side of this 98-mm sidecountry boot earned high praise from the wide-footed testers. The 130 packs more power this year with a stiffer shell and a more upright, balanced stance throughout the turn. The lateral stance angels seem mellower, allowing for less edgy transitions.

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  MSRP: $700.00  Last Width: 102 mm  Flex: 100Testers liked how this new three-piece cabrio design allowed the foot to slide in easily with a tug on…

MSRP: $700.00

Last Width: 102 mm

Flex: 100

Testers liked how this new three-piece cabrio design allowed the foot to slide in easily with a tug on the liner tongue loop, and how the middle buckle, mounted at 45 degrees, pulled the heel back into the pocket where it belonged. Lateral quickness and edge power are tops in the category. And the slightly longer flex travel, which starts from a relaxed and tall position, provides smooth pressure control. “Secured the heel better than many others. Good snow feel, quick to edge.” Notes: Lower upper cuff hinge location increases dampening and margin for error and 45-degree middle buckle enhances heel hold. The Adjustable Cuff Profile allows for increased calf room and dual cuff adjustment helps dial lateral stance balance.

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  MSRP: $875.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130At key power-transmission points, the Patron’s shell is about as close as it can be to the foot,…

MSRP: $875.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

At key power-transmission points, the Patron’s shell is about as close as it can be to the foot, hardwiring skier to ski. It fits extra-close in the middle of the foot yet retains some wiggle room in a relatively open toe box. Testers liked the instep and midfoot fit, familiar as it was (with a touch higher ceiling) to old Dobie Pro fans. They also loved the fat power strap and the damp, crud-killing feel of the rubberized and heel-cushioned boot board. “Bare-bones, big-mountain race boot.” Notes: Newly modified Dobermann last offers more room over the instep and midfoot by dropping the elevation of the EDT bootboard, which is also revised to maximize edge power transmission but without previous weight or arch contour. Dual cuff adjustment.


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  MSRP: $935.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 125Several elements combined to boost Fire Arrow’s comfort and performance scores in its second year. It’s…

MSRP: $935.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 125

Several elements combined to boost Fire Arrow’s comfort and performance scores in its second year. It’s softer-flexing now, and the liner has been redesigned with more contouring and cushioning at the shin. It still commands the edge powerfully, but rather than clubbing turns to death it has a more friendly, playful feel. Testers utilized the flex adjustment for both settings now, to noticeable effect. “Very centered—good for two-footed skiing.” Notes: EDT carbon fiber core bootboard enhances this hybrid three piece’s power to the edge. The 45-degree middle buckle boosts heel retention and skier-centric adjustments (flex, dual cuff, rear spoiler) provide stance and flex feel allowances.


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MSRP: From $1,750Tip/Waist/Tail: 147/114/131Length: 182Wagner Custom Skis builds each ski according to its customer’s desires, physiology, skiing…

MSRP: From $1,750
Tip/Waist/Tail: 147/114/131
Length: 182

Wagner Custom Skis builds each ski according to its customer’s desires, physiology, skiing history, and dozens of other idiosyncrasies teased out during a “Skier DNA” interview. We test a handful of skis that happen to be available at the factory come test time, and we’ve yet to find one we didn’t love. This ski—a smearable, carveable charger that one tester called “confidence inspiring”—was no exception.

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  MSRP: $579.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 100The Hawx 100 W returns unchanged and claimed tester accolades for convenience (easy on and off),…

MSRP: $579.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 100

The Hawx 100 W returns unchanged and claimed tester accolades for convenience (easy on and off), comfort (“all day”), balance (dialed front to back and side to side) and performance (unshakable everywhere). Testers said the boot has a relaxed, upright stance and a long flex that promotes a smooth arc underfoot. It’s active and agile and makes it easy to find balance and power through variable junk snow or on groomers. “Secure around the heel, lots of control, very comfortable.” Notes: Super comfy ASY Pro T2 liner with insulative Clima Foam connects with the roomy lower boot and its flexible iFlex zones for a predictable and trouble-free all-mountain ride. Replaceable toe and heel plates, a 35 mm power strap and heater battery mount round out convenience features.

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Featuring an 80-millimeter-wide mounting platform and beefy metal frame, the Atomic Tracker is a powerful, precise, tour-capable binding designed for…

Featuring an 80-millimeter-wide mounting platform and beefy metal frame, the Atomic Tracker is a powerful, precise, tour-capable binding designed for aggressive skiers. We used the Tracker for light touring and sidecountry laps, as well as plenty of inbounds skiing. Click on to see what we thought.

  MSRP: $679.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-100-120  Lengths: 155, 165, 175Icelantic’s only women’s ski, the Oracle uses a women’s-specific, lightweight…

MSRP: $679.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-100-120

Lengths: 155, 165, 175

Icelantic’s only women’s ski, the Oracle uses a women’s-specific, lightweight core for a friendlier flex and weight. It utilizes an early-rise tip for added float and easier turn initiation. At 100-mm underfoot, the Oracle is suited for all-mountain skiing. Intermediates to experts will enjoy the Oracle.

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  MSRP: $879.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130The Redster has a unique shell story—carbon-fiber strands co-injected with molten polyurethane into key…

MSRP: $879.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

The Redster has a unique shell story—carbon-fiber strands co-injected with molten polyurethane into key power-transmission zones of the lower boot and the spine, with a grooved sole designed to flex slightly. That makes for a powerful but light boot with a balanced and sensitive feel, testers said. Its fit is tailored to an aggressive, technical skier whose foot has always been too wide for narrow performance boots. “Great contact and feel.” Notes: Carbon fiber shards are co-injected into the polyurethane shell at key power areas but the new “kerfed” boot sole profile allows for underfoot flex and better snow feel. Flex Chassis bootboards (3 stiffnesses: stiff, medim, soft) allow for customized snow feel.

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We loved this ski last year. This season is no different. The Cochise chewed up chalky crud, tight trees, and even groomers. Its high horsepower will…

We loved this ski last year. This season is no different. The Cochise chewed up chalky crud, tight trees, and even groomers. Its high horsepower will appeal more to strong, technical skiers, but it won’t beat you up thanks to its rocker, which allowed it to initiate smoothly and smear willingly. Open it up and this bull has the confidence to attack the trickiest terrain on the mountain.

135/108/123 | $900
Lengths: 170, 177, 185, 193
Radius: 21

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MSRP: $879.00Tip/Waist/Tail: 127.5-84-107Length: 151, 159, 167Our hypercritical test crew found few faults in this Testers' Choice winner. The broad,…

MSRP: $879.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 127.5-84-107

Length: 151, 159, 167

Our hypercritical test crew found few faults in this Testers’ Choice winner. The broad, rockered shovel of the Affinity Storm initiated easily on hardpack and surfed over chalky bumps. Testers prized its quickness and its ability to snake through trees and crowded groomers. It responded best to a more centered stance, which allowed it to eat up the fall line with smeary swivels and two-footed carves. “This is a great option for a Rocky Mountain frontside ski or an Eastern one-ski quiver,” noted one tester. Look to the Affinity Storm for a moderate-waisted ski with supreme versatility.


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  MSRP: $850.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 140-114-130  Length: 179, 186Blizzard’s Free Mountain series blew up last year thanks to great engineering and…

MSRP: $850.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 140-114-130

Length: 179, 186

Blizzard’s Free Mountain series blew up last year thanks to great engineering and performance. This season the big twin-tipped Gunsmoke joins the group. Jibbers, rejoice. It’s just what one would expect of Blizzard—a smooth and surfy pow ski with groomer chops, plus the ability to let its hair down and ski backward. Testers wore their thoughts in the form of shit-eating grins.


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The Bonafide is, at 98 millimeters underfoot, the most versatile shape in Blizzard's much praised Free Mountain series. We loved it last season. This…

The Bonafide is, at 98 millimeters underfoot, the most versatile shape in Blizzard’s much praised Free Mountain series. We loved it last season. This year’s no different: The Bonafide danced nimbly through trees, smeared crud, and crushed groomers in any turn shape we could think of. Perhaps most striking is its ability to transition from locked-in, race-ski carve to fully disengaged, speed-scrubbing smear in moments. And it has huge accessibility: expert chargers and advancing skiers alike will love it.

133/98/118 | $850 [flat]
Lengths: 166, 173, 180, 187
Radius: 21

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  MSRP: $749.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-110-124  Length: 161, 169, 177, 185The Blog, cut from a decidedly jibby mold, makes the whole mountain its…

MSRP: $749.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-110-124

Length: 161, 169, 177, 185

The Blog, cut from a decidedly jibby mold, makes the whole mountain its terrain park. It loves to pop off terrain features and make skidded smear turns in the trees. Big, powerful testers balked at the centered, less aggressive stance the Blog preferred, but freestyle-oriented testers dug how it opened up an effortless and springy style of riding on everything from groomers to cruddy bumps. Plus, its forgiving nature is perfect for less experienced powder skiers.


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  MSRP: $600.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 100The flared cuff shape and overall boot-top cushiness of the Electra 100 earned it charter membership in…

MSRP: $600.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 100

The flared cuff shape and overall boot-top cushiness of the Electra 100 earned it charter membership in the Crud Killing Comfy Calf Club. Testers agreed that it ran long in the toe box and tall at the instep while offering a firm connection at the ankle—a very likable fit formula. The stance geometry was bull’s-eye centered, yielding confidence everywhere on the hill. “A power puff. Excellent support and intuitive stability with snow-bunny appeal.” Notes: New Sensor3 shell and liner constructions create more anatomical space for the ankle and heel and produce a more comfortable and even-flexing feel on the shin. New notches in the shell overlap improve entry and exit and the hour-glass shaped bootboard allows the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot to engage the floor of the boot directly for immediate edge feel.

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  MSRP: $650.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 110With ankle and heel pockets more deeply sculpted in both the shell and liner this season, the Pursuit…

MSRP: $650.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 110

With ankle and heel pockets more deeply sculpted in both the shell and liner this season, the Pursuit has a better-distributed fit and more accurate feel on edge. Meanwhile, new upper shell and liner tongue constructions provide an improved, even flex feel that doesn’t crumble under even the most serious pounding. Testers had to question the 110 flex rating, as the Pursuit held up to aggressive skiing as well as boots that were supposedly much stiffer. Bonus horsepower in a well-priced boot. “Very clean feel. Liner and shell gibed nicely.” Notes: New Sensor3 shell and liner constructions create more anatomical space for the ankle and heel and produce a more comfortable and even-flexing feel on the shin. New notches in the shell overlap improve entry and exit and the hour-glass shaped bootboard allows the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot to engage the floor of the boot directly for immediate edge feel.


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  MSRP: $500.00  Last Width: 104 mm  Flex: 110One tester called it the Airbus A380 of ski boots, but it was unanimously voted the best-skiing boot of…

MSRP: $500.00

Last Width: 104 mm

Flex: 110

One tester called it the Airbus A380 of ski boots, but it was unanimously voted the best-skiing boot of the bucket brigade. The keys here are simplicity and smart design—good stance angles (though a bit upright for skinny-calf guys), tough-enough 110 flex, lateral strength from boot board through cuff, and a fit shape made for big guys. The flex is even and progressive, testers said, with no shin bite or inconsistency. “Despite the large living room, it skied well. Good edge power.” Notes: Neutral stance angles and polyether shell construction combine for balanced and powerful skiing without sacrificing comfort–easier entry with new notched shell construction and cushy-but-not-mushy liner layup.


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  Read the Rossignol S7 W review in our online gear guide.

 

 

Read the Rossignol S7 W review in our online gear guide.

“I love her,” said one Eastern tester. “Can I take her home?” Not one single test card contained a negative remark, which is why we named this front-side thriller Ski of the Year among skis narrower than 100 millimeters at the waist. It holds talonlike to the hardest snow and cuts clean, round arcs with the precision of a scalpel, yet it’s forgiving and easy to disengage—a rare and difficult-to-achieve blend. “Snappy short turns,” said another tester, “yet smooth and stable at high speed.” Leaning them against the rack at day’s end, a third noted that he “left the hill feeling strong and confident.”

125/81/111 | $1,050 [flat]
Lengths: 163, 170, 177
Radius: 16.8

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Want a talented carver with a freeride look and a playful disposition to match? This is your ski.

Want a talented carver with a freeride look and a playful disposition to match? This is your ski. “A powder skier’s groomer ski,” said one tester. Whereas many skis in its waist-width range preferred not to leave groomed snow, the versatile Prophet 85 transitioned from corduroy to bumps and crud without blinking. It’s truly an all-mountain ski, but in a narrow package. “Never thought I’d like this as much as I did,” said a Northeastern tester.

118/85/108 | $690 [flat]
Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186
Radius: 19.5

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  MSRP: $810.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-110-134  Length: 170, 180, 190The widest of Kästle’s new twin-tip series is one of three Colby James West pro…

MSRP: $810.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-110-134

Length: 170, 180, 190

The widest of Kästle’s new twin-tip series is one of three Colby James West pro models. The XX 110 West is a pleasant, playful addition to the great-new-ski pantheon, winning a Testers’ Choice. A Utah tester called it “quick but stable” as it zipped around the hill making short-radius carves and pivoty smear turns. It logged especially high forgiveness and playfulness scores and won over even our brawniest race-bred testers. The West is “a versatile pow ski anyone will be able to enjoy.” And it comes at a price tag that’s more attainable than other Kästles’. Gotta love when your champagne taste and beer budget collide.


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MSRP: $625.00Tip/Waist/Tail: 130-88-116Length: 153, 161, 169, 177Salomon is onto something. Both the Rockette 90 and its unisex counterpart, the…

MSRP: $625.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 130-88-116

Length: 153, 161, 169, 177

Salomon is onto something. Both the Rockette 90 and its unisex counterpart, the Rocker 90 (see page 54), won Testers’ Choice awards. In the case of the Rockette, testers loved its effortless and agile approach to all conditions (except maybe injected racecourses and over-the-head blower). You can fire off turns in the chop or sweep arcs on the hardpack. Its soft flex welcomes off-piste conditions and provides a user-friendly platform for resort ripping. And if style counts, “This graphic is dope,” said one tester. Expect it to ski as beautifully as it looks.


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  MSRP: $625.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 100If a comfort-driven blend of frontside trail cruising and functional sidecountry access is what you…

MSRP: $625.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 100

If a comfort-driven blend of frontside trail cruising and functional sidecountry access is what you seek, your quest ends here. The 100 W’s performance scores were middle-of-the-pack, but for comfort it’s queen of the hill. The fit is relaxed and forgiving but still snug enough in the heel. The flex is cushioned, long-ranging, and a bit softer than its 100 rating suggests. The cuff is also lower than most, making this Salomon a prime choice for short leg shafts and thick calves. “Not ferocious, but reliably loyal and friendly.” Notes: Backbone Release touring mechanism frees the upper cuff for touring and three-buckle (with fat 50 mm power strap) overlap shell construction maintains strength for descent. Toe and heel “pads” are DIN standard but touring pads are available.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Last Width: 98/104 mm  Flex: 120The 120 combines Quest’s signature single-buckle upper and beefy touring mechanism with 360 -Custom…

MSRP: $750.00

Last Width: 98/104 mm

Flex: 120

The 120 combines Quest’s signature single-buckle upper and beefy touring mechanism with 360 -Custom Shell adaptability to create a sidecountry solution that’s right for a variety of foot shapes. Those looking for instant comfort and relaxed skiability (and those with very wide feet) will find a perfect match in their normal boot sizes. Skiers seeking a snug high-performance fit in a boot that offers a touring mode can size down and employ the ample fit and forming capabilities of the moldable lower shell. “Easy on the foot; solid skiing characteristics.” Notes: New 360 Custom Shell lower attached to Quest upper via rigid Oversized Pivot hinge points for shape-shifting moldability and sidecountry touring, all wrapped in solid descending edge power and response. Toe and heel “pads” are DIN standard but touring pads are available.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Last Width: 98-104 mm  Flex: 120Drop down a full size from your normal ski shell if you care for optimal results. The X Max fits…

MSRP: $750.00

Last Width: 98-104 mm

Flex: 120

Drop down a full size from your normal ski shell if you care for optimal results. The X Max fits wider and longer than most other “narrow” models, thanks to a revised mold shape that allows the heel to sit deeper in a better-contoured packet. That creates an ultraquick, highly responsive sweet spot for effortless transitions between turns.


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Perhaps it was the snow conditions, or the shorter test length than last year, or our maturing sensibilities, but this season's Shiro—a model…

Perhaps it was the snow conditions, or the shorter test length than last year, or our maturing sensibilities, but this season’s Shiro—a model unchanged from last season—blew us away. Winner of the coveted Ski of the Year award for skis above 100 millimeters underfoot, it allowed testers to approach any line with confidence and imagination. Powder? Simple and surfy. Crud? Fearless. Hardpack? Yes. Even with full rocker? Surprisingly enjoyable. Charge on it or downshift and enjoy the scenery. “This is what a fat ski should be,” said one tester. “Click in and go get some.”

151/119/135 | $825 [flat]
Lengths: 173, 183, 193, 203
Radius: 26.4

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“My favorite Salomon ski of all time,” said one tester. “Turns the mountain into a playground,” said another. Salomon’s versatile new Rocker2 90 is truly an all-mountain ski. It has a plush, comfortable feel. It trenches deep, satisfying carves on groomed snow. And it smears on command. It’s so playful, it had us seeking out new, techie tree lines we shied away from while testing more unwieldy models. “A home run in the World Series of ski testing,” effused a third.

130/89/117 | $625 [flat]
Lengths: 161, 169, 177, 185
Radius: 17.4

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  MSRP: $899.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-110-134  Length: 170, 180, 190The widest of Kästle’s new twin-tip series is one of three Colby James West pro…

MSRP: $899.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-110-134

Length: 170, 180, 190

The widest of Kästle’s new twin-tip series is one of three Colby James West pro models. The XX 110 West is a pleasant, playful addition to the great-new-ski pantheon, winning a Testers’ Choice. A Utah tester called it “quick but stable” as it zipped around the hill making short-radius carves and pivoty smear turns. It logged especially high forgiveness and playfulness scores and won over even our brawniest race-bred testers. The West is “a versatile pow ski anyone will be able to enjoy.” And it comes at a price tag that’s more attainable than other Kästles’. Gotta love when your champagne taste and beer budget collide.


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MSRP: $1149.00Tip/Waist/Tail: 139-118-128Length: 168, 183No surprises here. With the highest scores of the entire test, the unchanged BMX 118 returns…

MSRP: $1149.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 139-118-128

Length: 168, 183

No surprises here. With the highest scores of the entire test, the unchanged BMX 118 returns as a Testers’ Choice ski for the second year in a row, and rightfully so. It’s the kind of ski testers titter over during après beverages and dream about at night. Equal parts power and grace, it rails on groomers, charges down couloirs, smears through trees, and prances through powder with unwavering confidence. Make no mistake: The BMX 118 requires several core competencies, and intermediate skiers should look elsewhere, but experts will find no line out of reach. “This ski screams Superwoman!”


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  MSRP: $1249.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 141-112-128  Length: 168, 178, 184, 190A firm believer in the strength, pop, feel, and, above all, weight of carbon…

MSRP: $1249.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 141-112-128

Length: 168, 178, 184, 190

A firm believer in the strength, pop, feel, and, above all, weight of carbon over other common materials like fiberglass and metal, DPS touts its weight-saving pre-preg carbon-laminate technology above all else. The techy skis come at a cost, but the performance is undeniable. Testers found the playful Wailer to exhibit an impressive blend of quickness and strength. Its short turn radius and paddle-like tip proved useful through undulating terrain and ever-changing snow conditions. On the groomed, it withstood aggressive carving. “This ski didn’t make you think too hard,” said one. “It really pushes the perception of all-mountain.”

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MSRP: $1249.00Tip/Waist/Tail: 126-99-110Lengths: 168,176,184,192The Wailer 99 takes much of the tech of the Testers' Choice-winning Wailer 112RP…

MSRP: $1249.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 126-99-110

Lengths: 168,176,184,192

The Wailer 99 takes much of the tech of the Testers’ Choice-winning Wailer 112RP full-carbon construction, short turn radius, spoonlike rockered tip and implements it in a narrower package. Testers loved its ability to play everywhere: crud, bumps, backwoods, even, with enough angulation, groomers. Plus, its lightweight construction had one tester calling it the “ultimate Colorado backcountry ski.”

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MSRP: $1249.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 121-78-108 Lengths: 166, 178 A relentless carver, the Cassiar is loaded with springy power and hungry to arc up the…

MSRP: $1249.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 121-78-108

Lengths: 166, 178

A relentless carver, the Cassiar is loaded with springy power and hungry to arc up the pistes. Testers called it “darty,” “spunky,” and “race-bred without a spandex look.” Its proprietary carbon construction a DPS hallmark is remarkably light and sturdy. Testers felt it deflected a bit in crunchy, crusty conditions due to its lightness. But on groomers, it tracked precisely with a snappy, playful, and laserlike intent.

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  MSRP: $880.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 147-120-141  Length: 169, 179, 189Fancy yourself a spinny, flippy, big-line skier? Then look to the Pettitor.…

MSRP: $880.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 147-120-141

Length: 169, 179, 189

Fancy yourself a spinny, flippy, big-line skier? Then look to the Pettitor. Testers called it “sturdy,” “playful,” and “strong” all in the same breath. Like Sean Pettit, the man who inspired the ski, it thrives on air, speed, and powder—often all at same time. More of a soft-snow specialist, it requires extra energy on hardpack, and testers dinged it on versatility. But it actually tracks nicely on corduroy once it’s fully angulated.


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MSRP: $1000.00Tip/Waist/Tail: 127-80-109Length: 146, 153, 160, 167Its name was cause for some chairlift snickering, but on snow the Superglide was no…

MSRP: $1000.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 127-80-109

Length: 146, 153, 160, 167

Its name was cause for some chairlift snickering, but on snow the Superglide was no joke, winning a Testers’ Choice award. It glues itself to the hill and smooths out any chatter in variable terrain. A friendly, carefree ride, it received high marks for forgiveness, playfulness, and maneuverability. And though it favors groomers, wind-buffed bumps and week-old crud present no serious problems. “It’s hard to make a bad turn with this ski,” said one Colorado tester, a professional ski instructor. It’s a hop-on-and-go ski with a natural flex and the perfect amount of rebound an advancing intermediate’s dream with plenty of juice for experts.


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  MSRP: $799.95  Tip/Waist/Tail: 153-127-139  Length: 183, 193Anyone who remembers the Reverend knows that G3 makes good skis. Still, we were blown…

MSRP: $799.95

Tip/Waist/Tail: 153-127-139

Length: 183, 193

Anyone who remembers the Reverend knows that G3 makes good skis. Still, we were blown away by the power and versatility of the Empire, a unanimous Testers’ Choice award winner. It’s a surfy, maneuverable floater that can still snap an arc. Full rocker makes it smeary in chop and buoyant in powder, and its sidecut extends well up the shovel so edge bite increases as it’s tipped over. That’s probably why angular racer types found it a strong carver and spinny jibsters found it loose. For bigger guys, the Empire is a “solid ski for 200-plus pounders.”

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 MSRP: $759.95 Tip/Waist/Tail: 139-108-128 Length: 175, 180, 185, 190G3 was an A-Basin test surprise. Historically G3's been thought of as a…

MSRP: $759.95

Tip/Waist/Tail: 139-108-128

Length: 175, 180, 185, 190

G3 was an A-Basin test surprise. Historically G3’s been thought of as a backcountry and mountaineering brand, but the company’s offerings were highly praised by testers across the board for impressive downhill performance. Noted for its reassuring edge grip, smooth turn shape, and lack of a speed limit, the Manhattan offers versatility and strength in a relatively lightweight package. “A great ski for big Western mountains, where they can run,” said one tester.


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Anyone who remembers the Reverend knows that G3 makes good skis. Still,  we were blown away by the power and versatility of the Empire, a  unanimous…

Anyone who remembers the Reverend knows that G3 makes good skis. Still, we were blown away by the power and versatility of the Empire, a unanimous Testers’ Choice award winner. It’s a surfy, maneuverable floater that can still snap an arc. Full rocker makes it smeary in chop and buoyant in powder, and its sidecut extends well up the shovel so edge bite increases as it’s tipped over. That’s probably why angular racer types found it a strong carver and spinny jibsters found it loose. For bigger guys, the Empire is a “solid ski for 200-plus pounders.”

153/127/139 | $799.95 [flat]
Lengths: 183, 193
Radius: 26

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MSRP: $790.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 133-101-123 Lengths: 172, 182 Fear no park, wind lip, tree stash, zipperline, or groomer. The L-Toro adapts and excels…

MSRP: $790.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 133-101-123

Lengths: 172, 182

Fear no park, wind lip, tree stash, zipperline, or groomer. The L-Toro adapts and excels in all conditions short of nipple-deep. A playful mentality and fluid, natural flex were tester-noted highlights of this utility knife of a ski. “This did so many things right,” beamed one Eastern tester. It preferred a more weight-centered approach but skipped readily from turn to turn. Carve, smear, and butter with ease.

 

Check out the L-Toro in Skiing’s Gearfinder

“Perfect,” said one tester. “Fat-ypus has done its homework.” That’s an especially telling response considering we skied this 126-millimeter fatty on a dust-on-crust day. Unlike many in its size range, this supremely versatile powder ski is perfectly happy—and has a talent for—carving on groomed snow.  We can vouch for its powder chops too, having previously skied it in the megadeep when its rocker and surface area provided unreal maneuverability and float. We tested the version with rockered tip and tail, but the 186 length also comes in a straight-tail version for chargers who want a directional ski with a more supportive backseat.

158/126/148 | $790
Lengths: 186, 176
Radius: 23.6

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  MSRP: $769.00  Last Width: 102 mm  Flex: 130A perfect example of how often stance is fit and performance. Testers weren't satisfied with thee…

MSRP: $769.00

Last Width: 102 mm

Flex: 130

A perfect example of how often stance is fit and performance. Testers weren’t satisfied with thee Factor’s out-of-the-box setup, saying the spolier rendered it overflexed and and the lateral bias railed them to the inside edge. With spoiler removed and cuff adjusted, it became a more agile and balanced animal – and exceptional turnover.

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  MSRP: $1,000.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 130Testers had fit issue, but the shell - made of carbon-infused Grilanmid - provided insanely crisp…

MSRP: $1,000.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 130

Testers had fit issue, but the shell – made of carbon-infused Grilanmid – provided insanely crisp power transmission at a fraction of the weight of most sidecountry boots. A clever booster tongue snaps in to stiffen flex, and the top-buckle touring release was a test favorite.

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  MSRP: $699.00  Last Width: 101 mm  Flex: 120Testers adored this welterweight. Ultrathin underfoot, it succeeds with quickness and precision, not…

MSRP: $699.00

Last Width: 101 mm

Flex: 120

Testers adored this welterweight. Ultrathin underfoot, it succeeds with quickness and precision, not sheer strength. Yet testers who opened their stance and rolled the ski a little higher found it punched smartly above its class. Be warned though;: It’s tight over the midfoot and way tighter that most 101-mm lasts.

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  MSRP: $820.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 148-118-126  Lengths: 177, 180, 185, 187, 195, 205The Gambit can be fully customized, but it's also one of Folsom's…

MSRP: $820.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 148-118-126

Lengths: 177, 180, 185, 187, 195, 205

The Gambit can be fully customized, but it’s also one of Folsom’s limited-run stock models. Also available as a men’s ski, it blends rockered and early-tapered ends, is stiffer than hell, offres litte forgiveness, and leaves you with few regrets, especially in soft snow. It’s built for powder and can feel chattery at speed elsewhere: “Deep, steep lines are where this ski wants to be.”

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  MSRP: $820.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 148-122-138  Length: 182, 186, 192, 196The Rapture is a pow-loving big-mountain ski. For a price, Folsom will…

MSRP: $820.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 148-122-138

Length: 182, 186, 192, 196

The Rapture is a pow-loving big-mountain ski. For a price, Folsom will customize it or you can pick it up from Backcountry.com (see Completo review). “It’s both slashy and completely unflappable on edge,” said one tester of this wide-bodied do-it-all. “Far from wimpy,” said another. It was hard to find a turn or terrain type it didn’t like. Drive these skis and hang on for the ride.

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 MSRP: $780.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 130-105-118 Length: 176, 186Want custom? Folsom can do it, but this year the company is also building a handful of…

MSRP: $780.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 130-105-118

Length: 176, 186

Want custom? Folsom can do it, but this year the company is also building a handful of stock models available in limited quantities through Backcountry.com. The Completo is one such model. Testers found it to be a playful all-mountain tool. It turned every bump into an air opportunity and danced between groomers and crud. It’s not the stoutest carver, but navigating the gamut of day-to-day conditions is its M.O.


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MSRP: $780.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 128-88-116 Lengths: 170, 180 The Blue Note Carve is Folsom's most frontside-oriented shape. Being a custom shop, Folsom…

MSRP: $780.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 128-88-116

Lengths: 170, 180

The Blue Note Carve is Folsom’s most frontside-oriented shape. Being a custom shop, Folsom can build it and other models with varying flexes and camber profiles. We skied one with a stiff flex and a touch of rocker. The response? “An unreal carver. This thing dissects the hill with each turn,” said one tester. Others agreed and also noted its comfort with off-piste exploration. It’s an ideal East Coast everyday ski or Western low-tide ripper.

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  MSRP: $679.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-96-122  Lengths: 166, 176, 182Fifty-six year-old brand Hart, despite having been out of production for a while…

MSRP: $679.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-96-122

Lengths: 166, 176, 182

Fifty-six year-old brand Hart, despite having been out of production for a while and having gotten off to a sputtering restart, seems now to be rolling smoothly into the future. The big-mountain models we tested (Outback, Griffin, and Wizard) all impressed testers with their edge grip, flotation and handling abilities. The Hart Only One is designed, according to Hart, to be “as close to a one-ski quiver as you will find!” Please note that the exclamation point is Hart’s, not ours. It’s the women’s version of the One, which is a competition freeride ski used by Hart athlete Emiko Torito to place second at the 2011 Freesking World Championships in Crested Butte. Inside, it consists of a poplar core wrapped in triaxially braided fiberglass. It also features rubber inserts to help damp vibrations.

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  Tip/Waist/Tail: 145-115-130  Length: 175, 182, 189, 196If your racing roots cause you to look down on floppy, smear-oriented powder skis, the…

Tip/Waist/Tail: 145-115-130

Length: 175, 182, 189, 196

If your racing roots cause you to look down on floppy, smear-oriented powder skis, the Wizard will be just your flavor. On edge it bites tenaciously into effortless, beautiful arcs. In softer stuff, it can surf or power through the chop. Testers called it “confidence-inspiring” and “well-balanced.” It liked to be driven and its tip rocker both absorbed bumpy terrain and locked into hardpack.

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  MSRP: $1,190.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-98-125  Lengths: 149, 153, 161, 169The widest ski in the women's collection is designed for the kind of snow…

MSRP: $1,190.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-98-125

Lengths: 149, 153, 161, 169

The widest ski in the women’s collection is designed for the kind of snow they get near Goode’s factory and design center in Ogden, Utah. Goode’s wider skis-and women’s skis in particular-are built with softer flexes to make them easy to manage. A touch of tip rocker should contribute to the effect, smoothing the ride in rough snow. Construction: wood core with all-carbon-fiber torsion box. Goode made a radical change in its layups last year, going with wood, instead of foam, for all of its cores.

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  MSRP: $1320.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 145-116-132  Length: 169, 179, 189If you're a technically strong skier, the Rahu could be your powder ski. It's got…

MSRP: $1320.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 145-116-132

Length: 169, 179, 189

If you’re a technically strong skier, the Rahu could be your powder ski. It’s got a distinctly traditional feel, which is to say it hooks firmly into turns and holds steady throughout. Ski it from the front of your boot; it punishes timidity by becoming hard to control. Confident pilots will enjoy its on-piste precision and, thanks to tip rocker, its off-piste agility.


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MSRP: $1190.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-98-125 Lengths: 169, 177, 185The Fire absolutely torches corduroy yet doesn't require aggressive technique to do…

MSRP: $1190.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 135-98-125

Lengths: 169, 177, 185

The Fire absolutely torches corduroy yet doesn’t require aggressive technique to do so. Its light carbon construction allows you to “relax on this ski and still go effing fast,” according to one tester. Tip rocker helps with off-piste performance, but the Fire prefers to carve down the fall line rather than slide. It’s a great all-mountain tool with a traditional feel perfect for race-bred folks.

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  MSRP: $1049.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 144-115-129  Length: 182, 192, 202As it name suggests, this is a power-stuffed plank built for guys who like making…

MSRP: $1049.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 144-115-129

Length: 182, 192, 202

As it name suggests, this is a power-stuffed plank built for guys who like making three or four turns a run. Given that the 192-centimeter test length elicited comparisons to an aircraft carrier and a triple tractor-trailer, we were happy not to be skiing the 202 and wishing we had a chance to try the 182. Its big, rockered forebody swallowed crud and planed powder with ease. Edge grip was best in class.

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  MSRP: $830.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-106-126  Lengths: 152, 162, 172Inspired by the Bibby pro, with a tailored fit for the ladies, the Bella features…

MSRP: $830.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-106-126

Lengths: 152, 162, 172

Inspired by the Bibby pro, with a tailored fit for the ladies, the Bella features classic camber under foot and a tip/tail rocker that will rally through any conditions. The 106-millimeter waist will stay afloat on deep days, but won’t compromise stability during bulletproof early mornings.

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  MSRP: $880.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-112-129  Lengths: 164, 174, 184, 190A fun, surfy, versatile floater, the Deathwish is far from one. It has a…

MSRP: $880.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-112-129

Lengths: 164, 174, 184, 190

A fun, surfy, versatile floater, the Deathwish is far from one. It has a unique profile the brand calls Dirty Mustache Rocker: three distinct pockets of camber, four contact points, and rockered ends. In theory, weight is concentrated on the four points, providing better edge grip than you’d get from even pressure distribution. Does it work? Yes. While its arcs weren’t elliptical, the ski never washed out.

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  MSRP: $899.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 143-116-134  Length: 174, 184, 190

MSRP: $899.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 143-116-134

Length: 174, 184, 190

“Go big or go play.” The Bibby has two different personalities, according to one tester: It’s a capable, jack-of-most charger with admirable carving ability and a devil-may-care bouncy soft-snow ski. It inspires you to search out airs, find tree stashes, and ride switch. Plus, it has the cojones needed for when things get technical. Big, aggressive traditionalists might hesitate it leans a bit towards jib skiing but everyone else will leave smiling.

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  MSRP: $790.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 147-117-143  Length: 178, 188Though the girthy waist and aggressive tip and tail rocker might give the impression…

MSRP: $790.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 147-117-143

Length: 178, 188

Though the girthy waist and aggressive tip and tail rocker might give the impression that the Rock Star is only a soft-snow tool, watch out when it finds an edge. It definitely prefers fresh, but it’s a quick-turning machine that can yo-yo across hardpack. Its effortless nature was well received by testers, and all thought it an exciting mode of mountain travel suitable for a wide variety of skiers and skill levels.

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140/101/126 | $750 SkiLogik was the overall favorite brand among female testers, and the Goddess was admired for both its performance and its looks.…

140/101/126 | $750
SkiLogik was the overall favorite brand among female testers, and the Goddess was admired for both its performance and its looks. “Beautiful ski inside and out.” They skied the twin-tip version (TT), but there’s an early-rise, flat-tailed version (RL) as well. It’s an expert’s ski, they warn, but dynamic and exciting too.
Length: 168
Turn Radius: 15

ABOUT SKILOGIK
As much as Dave Mazzarella loved to ski, he was willing to move his family to an island in the South China Sea in order to build skis the way he wanted to. There, in the factory of his dreams, he makes the skis of his dreams, even if most of the time he can only dream of skiing. SkiLogiks are beautiful and unusual creations: wood sidewalls, clear-coated wood topsheets, gorgeous graphics created by Mazzarella’s wife, Mariella. More important, they perform well, and both male and female testers counted them among their favorites.

145/101/131 | $750 The Chariot is a worthy ride for the god of snow. Testers universally applauded its solid feel and predictable performance. It’s a…

145/101/131 | $750
The Chariot is a worthy ride for the god of snow. Testers universally applauded its solid feel and predictable performance. It’s a true expert all-mountain twin tip, they said, and one that begs for speed. There’s a tip-rockered, flat-tailed version as well in SkiLogik’s Rocker Logik line.
Lengths: 168, 178, 188
Turn Radius: 15

ABOUT SKILOGIK
As much as Dave Mazzarella loved to ski, he was willing to move his family to an island in the South China Sea in order to build skis the way he wanted to. There, in the factory of his dreams, he makes the skis of his dreams, even if most of the time he can only dream of skiing. SkiLogiks are beautiful and unusual creations: wood sidewalls, clear-coated wood topsheets, gorgeous graphics created by Mazzarella’s wife, Mariella. More important, they perform well, and both male and female testers counted them among their favorites.

  MSRP: $795.00  Last Width: 95-112 mm  Flex: 95/115It's thin, rigid polyether shell, three-quarter-length boot board, and spiral-wrap Intuition…

MSRP: $795.00

Last Width: 95-112 mm

Flex: 95/115

It’s thin, rigid polyether shell, three-quarter-length boot board, and spiral-wrap Intuition liner render is featherweight but is still solidly able to link to the ski. One tester ran standard stiffness; the other had the cuff pinned for a stouter feel.  Both said the flex feel and ski response were smooth, agile, and accurate.

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  MSRP: $700.00  Last Width: 97 mm  Flex: 120The RS was a clear favorite. Testers loved the fit—tight everywhere, but with merciful allowances in all…

MSRP: $700.00

Last Width: 97 mm

Flex: 120

The RS was a clear favorite. Testers loved the fit—tight everywhere, but with merciful allowances in all the critical fit zones (toes, forefoot, instep, and calf). And most agreed the stance was perfect, fore-aft and laterally, with a few dissidents wanting more heel lift. It skied everywhere and everything with benchmark power and balance, which is probably why it went out for more test runs than any other boot. “Upright, centered stance enables you to adjust as needed on variable terrain.” Notes: A short cuff option on the solid sole, mono-injected polyurethane shell delivers max edge power with Natural Stance modern ramp and lean geometry–straightforward extras like cuff adjustment, 40 mm power strap and double liner pull loops complete the no-mess package.

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  MSRP: $800.00  Last Width: 97 mm  Flex: 130Lange uses lightweight polyolefin HP plastic, but it was only in the cuff, where it saves weight without…

MSRP: $800.00

Last Width: 97 mm

Flex: 130

Lange uses lightweight polyolefin HP plastic, but it was only in the cuff, where it saves weight without robbing the XT of the Lange-like edge power. Testers used the spoilers included to give it lean. It’s not as light as the granola groovers from the AT side of the tracks, but given how well it skis, no one minded.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 130The RX 130 embodies what savvy testers and bootfitters want in an expert-level, medium-fit boot:…

MSRP: $750.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 130

The RX 130 embodies what savvy testers and bootfitters want in an expert-level, medium-fit boot: functional and comfortable stance geometry, anatomical shell and liner shape, even and progressive flex feel, contoured instep fit, worthwhile all-mountain application tweaks like a rubberized boot board, grippy toe and heel plates, and simple bombproof gizmos like a Cam-lok power strap (even if its end frays too easily). Testers couldn’t say enough about how well this boot skied, handling whatever was thrown at it. “Runs hot, but it’s not all-or-nothing. Allows modulation of input.” Notes: Polyether lower and polyurethane upper maximize strength and dampness, along with a rubberized bootboard and Ultra grip replaceable soles for impact mitigation. 40 mm CamLock power strap, upper cuff adjustment and rear spoiler on a Control Fit liner comprise the basic features package.


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  MSRP: $549.00  Last Width: 101 mm  Flex: 1204Dry Elite liner is new for this year and integrates breathable technology from Nordic line for a…

MSRP: $549.00

Last Width: 101 mm

Flex: 120

4Dry Elite liner is new for this year and integrates breathable technology from Nordic line for a warmer, more comfortable fit. Polyurethane shell with flex adjustment, cuff adjustment and height adjustable rear spoiler round out the features on this year’s improved Thor line-up.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Last Width: 99 mm  Flex: 95The best boots in the Medium Fit class should have most of the edge power and quickness of Narrow Fit…

MSRP: $750.00

Last Width: 99 mm

Flex: 95

The best boots in the Medium Fit class should have most of the edge power and quickness of Narrow Fit boots together with the fit and creature comforts demanded by everyday skiers who just want to have fun (and warm toes). The Dalbello delivers. Its 95 flex rating is understated—it packs plenty of power to maintain a stable stance through difficult patches and at high speeds. “Not afraid to drop the hammer. Strong, stable, grinds through anything.” Notes: The polyurethane cuff combines with tri-injection polyether construction in the lower (3D Power Frame Architecture) to enable easy entry and exit, Contour4 fit shape wrapping and solid edge power. All Viper and Mantis boots share the same all-mountain stance geometry (Center-Balance Stance). 45 mm power straps, cuff adjustment, and Low Contour Profile Cuff Geometry (girl-cuff) on all Mantis models.

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  MSRP: $900.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130A shell-shape makeover brings this three-piece design closer to the standout performance of Dalbello’s…

MSRP: $900.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

A shell-shape makeover brings this three-piece design closer to the standout performance of Dalbello’s overlap Scorpion. With a more precise fit and better on-snow accuracy than previous Kryptons’, it gains some race-boot performance without sacrificing its off-piste heritage. A lower ramp angle and more upright cuff allow for a more athletic starting position. And it comes with two flex tongues and two boot boards, stiff and medium, so skiers can tweak it. “Balanced and natural feeling.” Notes: New three-piece cabrio construction implements Contour4 fit shaping in the bi-injected polyurethane shell for a better, closer match with the foot. The Dynalink middle buckle strap aids in heel retention, and all models boast Dynamic Personalization options for tweaking flex, forward lean and lateral cuff angle. Solid sole construction beefs power here and the kit comes with interchangeable bootboards (2) and tongues (2).

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  MSRP: $575.00  Last Width: 103 mm  Flex: 110It’s a testament to the Boss’s excellent management skills that it’s able to blend convenience,…

MSRP: $575.00

Last Width: 103 mm

Flex: 110

It’s a testament to the Boss’s excellent management skills that it’s able to blend convenience, comfort, and power and get it all done on a tight budget. Its flex adjustment functions well, providing long and soft travel or upright/firm performance that our testers said punched above its weight class. Many called it their favorite three-piece hybrid design, citing its ease of entry and exit and its sufficiency of lateral juice to hold its own across the snow and terrain spectrum. “An agile arc machine.” Notes: Three-piece cabrio hybrid combines slick look and snappy feel of polyether shell construction with a load of amenities like forward lean, flex and cuff adjustments for a value and performance blend.

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  MSRP: $700.00  Last Width: 93-103 mm  Flex: 110This year’s test of the new Vacuum Trinity 110 was the perfect proving ground for Fischer’s claims…

MSRP: $700.00

Last Width: 93-103 mm

Flex: 110

This year’s test of the new Vacuum Trinity 110 was the perfect proving ground for Fischer’s claims that its proprietary process permits shell adaptation to a skier’s desired stance angles: fore/aft, lateral, and torsional. Well, the morph magic works. After the molding, every tester reported the boot was well balanced for her stance and style of skiing. And with a perfect fit. While solid enough, it was quickness and accuracy that sealed the deal for testers—a top pick. “Snug, comfortable, quick, and confidence-inspiring.” Notes: In addition to Vacuum properties the boot’s simple set-up offers “Racing Canting” upper cuff adjustment shims for a solid lateral connection between upper and lower, replaceable toe and heel plates, and the HIPE (high insulation polyethylene) liner with pull loops at rear and tongue.

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  MSRP: $795.00  Last Width: 101 mm  Flex: 120Testers rarely mention Fischer’s slightly abducted (duck-footed) Soma-Tec stance anymore, which…

MSRP: $795.00

Last Width: 101 mm

Flex: 120

Testers rarely mention Fischer’s slightly abducted (duck-footed) Soma-Tec stance anymore, which suggests it’s been refined to a point where it works for those who need it but doesn’t bother those who don’t. Stance geometry is certainly a source of the Ranger’s slinky on-snow feel. Arcs flow like water down the mountain. A three-position touring mechanism allows skiers to lock the cuff for downhill skiing, free it for uphill penance, or split the difference for a longer-range flex. “Good snow sensitivity. Tours well for a sidecountry boot.” Notes: The boot’s feature-laden set up offers a Vibram sole set and mid-arch grip area, the on/off-piste adjustable rear spoiler (pull up for taller and more forward) and the three-way Hike-Ride-Lock mode cuff release for touring, skiing or longer flex range applications, and a lace-up HIPE (high insulation polyethylene) liner with pull loops at rear and tongue.

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  MSRP: $850.00  Last Width: 93-103mm  Flex: 130Fischer’s Vacu-Plast softens easily when heated, and its Vacuum process compresses shell and liner…

MSRP: $850.00

Last Width: 93-103mm

Flex: 130

Fischer’s Vacu-Plast softens easily when heated, and its Vacuum process compresses shell and liner snugly around the foot, precisely customizing both the fit and the stance of the 130 and other Vacuum boots. The performance benefit was unmistakable. The 130 was light and responsive, shockingly quick and surprisingly strong on snow. And the process is repeatable: We cycled several testers through a single test model. “Vacuum does not suck! Change factor is impressive.” Notes: In addition to Vacuum properties the boot’s simple set-up offers “Racing Canting” upper cuff adjustment shims for a solid lateral connection between upper and lower, replaceable toe and heel plates, and the HIPE (high insulation polyethylene) liner with pull loops at rear and tongue.

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  MSRP: $660.00  Last Width: 99 mm  Flex: 6 flex / 7 ribsThe Soul Sister hugs the heel and grips the instep with a comfortable but firm grasp that…

MSRP: $660.00

Last Width: 99 mm

Flex: 6 flex / 7 ribs

The Soul Sister hugs the heel and grips the instep with a comfortable but firm grasp that instantly put testers in touch with ski and snow. It inspired confidence with fast, predictable responsiveness edge to edge. Testers felt there was plenty of rearward support, but some thought Full Tilt’s No. 6 flex tongue didn’t provide enough forward support for hard-charging, bigger girls. (There’s a stiffer No. 8 tongue available aftermarket.) “Good feel for the snow. It puts you in balance.” Test: New women’s specific upper cuff teams with Original shell shape offers a snug fit in the toebox and solid sole construction partners with a #6 tongue for immediate ski feedback. Intuition spiral-wrap 7 mm high density Pro liner offers a full-custom fit option. Active Bootboard is rubberized for shock absorption and vibration dampening.

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  MSRP: $525.00  Last Width: 102/104 mm  Flex: 80 / 90“Clouds,” “down slippers,” “mink coats”: all words used by testers to describe this cush queen.…

MSRP: $525.00

Last Width: 102/104 mm

Flex: 80 / 90

“Clouds,” “down slippers,” “mink coats”: all words used by testers to describe this cush queen. But does it ski? The Mya is unapologetically designed for women who’d rather work up a sweat with a hot-stone massage than rock scrambling. But it held its own on the hill with an easy and upright stance from which to initiate turns and a predictable roll onto edge. “Love the bright colors and the easy-close levers on the top buckles.” Notes: Adaptive Fit technology lets users choose between two last widths by turning an adjustment screw in the sole. Tri-injection frame, four-buckle construction maintains a stable on-snow attitude and features like a flex adjustment, Spine Tech buckles and 40 mm power strap bump the convenient closure factor.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Last Width: 101 mm  Flex: 120/110It’s hard not to like a boot that greets you with sharp looks, is easy to get on, and fits as well…

MSRP: $750.00

Last Width: 101 mm

Flex: 120/110

It’s hard not to like a boot that greets you with sharp looks, is easy to get on, and fits as well out of the box as anything ever delivered to a ski shop. Soft liner material envelops the entire foot, but a firm and anatomically correct ankle/heel pocket reminds you this is a performance boot that’s built to ski. It skied with a ready personality everywhere, and with such comfort that whatever smidge of power it lacked at its top end wasn’t really missed. “Good stability and balance, with uncanny ability to autocorrect. It made me ski better.” Notes: Easy entry tri-injection shell (polyurethane) blends convenience and power with a variety of features: Spine Tech buckles with Double Power levers on upper, Double Power Booster Velcro strap, dual cuff adjustment and Velcro spoiler.


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  MSRP: $600.00  Last Width: 100 mm  Flex: 100The tour-ready Cochise rolled up strong comfort and convenience marks. Testers loved the single,…

MSRP: $600.00

Last Width: 100 mm

Flex: 100

The tour-ready Cochise rolled up strong comfort and convenience marks. Testers loved the single, oversize cuff buckle. The women-specific liner’s neoprene toe box gave way for ample up-front fit. The slick Lycra that drapes the liner’s cuff—combined with the shell’s releasable cuff and flexible instep flange—makes this one of the easiest in the category to get into and out of. The walk/tour mode was a tester favorite, with great range of motion and a natural-feeling stride. “Comfortable foot position, balanced stance, good range of travel in tour mode.” Notes: Free Mountain line-up offers touring mode with simple pull-loop actuation, convenient three-buckle overlap closure with bomber-solid i-Rebound cuff design and cuff adjustment throughout. DIN soles come standard but Tech-compatible soles are available.

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  MSRP: $850.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130Laterally macho, the Pro tamed the whole hill with more room than

MSRP: $850.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

Laterally macho, the Pro tamed the whole hill with more room than “98” suggests and rearward support that made testers forget it had a cuff release. A few found it a bit firm on the shin, but most praised the “spring-loaded,” long travel flex feel of the light Triax shell. DIN-ready. Optional tech soles. $80.

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  MSRP: $730.00  Last Width: 99 mm  Flex: 6 flex / 7 ribsThe TW was a surprise hit. New roominess in both shell and liner provides more comfort and a…

MSRP: $730.00

Last Width: 99 mm

Flex: 6 flex / 7 ribs

The TW was a surprise hit. New roominess in both shell and liner provides more comfort and a better balance while improving snow feel. It’s not the stoutest flex and seems a bit vague fore-aft for freeskiing, but for its target application – park and pipe – testers said it’s right on.

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  MSRP: $999.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 130A perennial favorite, the Inferno 130 has race-level power in a just-relaxed-enough fit for all-day…

MSRP: $999.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 130

A perennial favorite, the Inferno 130 has race-level power in a just-relaxed-enough fit for all-day ripping in any terrain or snow. The shell fits as close to the foot as any, and the thin, feely liner keeps the skier in direct communication with the sliding surface. Testers said the stance angles are spot-on. It’s tall enough sans spoiler for six-footers who favor a straighter leg angle, but it’s forward-leaning enough with the Velcro unit installed for guys who like a more aggressive starting position. “Perfect!” Notes: Power Chassis carbon steel frame makes the boot sole rigid for transmission of power and the i-Rebound cuff anchor provides beefy fore-aft support. Dual cuff adjustment, removable Velcro spoilers and removable anchor flex adjustment provides for athlete customization. Power Lock cam-buckle style 45 mm power strap snugs fit at boot top.


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  MSRP: $800.00  Last Width: 98 mm  Flex: 140/130/120Some experts still crave a boot that fits the way a ski boot should: tight. Despite its…

MSRP: $800.00

Last Width: 98 mm

Flex: 140/130/120

Some experts still crave a boot that fits the way a ski boot should: tight. Despite its frontside inclination to crush everything into smooth-surface submission, the RS 130 is surprisingly agile through all manner of terrain and snow conditions. Almost every tester put it in the top three for performance, and its comfort scores were surprisingly good. It fits old-school short but with enough room in the toe box for all the piggies. “Surprisingly tight and comfortable. Exceptional power and snow feel.” Notes: Frontside power is fueled by polyurethane, solid sole, four-buckle overlap construction. Flex can be left at 120 or pinned to 130 or 140 flex index and dual cuff adjustment allows for maximal lateral shaft alignment. Firm Performance Pro liner and Double Power Booster Velcro strap complete the closure package, uilizes twisty Spine Flex buckles.


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  MSRP: $559.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 115-85-110  Lengths: 157, 164The Envy All-Mountain uses classic camber, a standard 85-millimeter waist, and a…

MSRP: $559.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 115-85-110

Lengths: 157, 164

The Envy All-Mountain uses classic camber, a standard 85-millimeter waist, and a female-friendly flex pattern for predictable performance from the park to the piste. Thanks to a bamboo core, the Envy All-Mountain is also a lightweight ski.

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MSRP: $849.99Tip/Waist/Tail: 118-101-122Length: 156,165,174

MSRP: $849.99

Tip/Waist/Tail: 118-101-122

Length: 156,165,174

“The TSTw takes versatility to a whole new level,” said one tester from Colorado. Spin, pivot, and smear freely. Its whimsical tip shape rocker and early taper is dialed for peppy skiing in soft conditions, and the flatter tail provides ample support for cutting up groomers. “If you have the skills or the ambitions to step into the backcountry or land big airs, this ski is perfect,” said another. With huge scores in float, crud performance, and forgiveness, this Testers’ Choice is an excellent Eastern pow ski or OSQ for out West.


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MSRP: $800.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-101-128 Lengths: 155,165,175,185 Versatility is paramount when it comes to a good resort ski. The CRM eagerly…

MSRP: $800.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 138-101-128

Lengths: 155,165,175,185

Versatility is paramount when it comes to a good resort ski. The CRM eagerly shifts gears between morning pow, midday crud, and afternoon groomers. Bigger testers felt it could be overpowered, but smaller testers loved its smooth flex and rebound. Tip rocker makes the CRM shifty in the glades and soft bumps, and it felt equally comfortable with smearing and medium-speed GS turns. The CRM is an approachable, playful, everyday Western ride.

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  MSRP: $779.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 150-121-140  Lengths: 174, 182, 190One of our Eastern testers hopped on the Double Helix for his first run. The…

MSRP: $779.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 150-121-140

Lengths: 174, 182, 190

One of our Eastern testers hopped on the Double Helix for his first run. The night before, a storm had dropped eight inches of fresh on top of frozen spring corn. He bombed off the groomer into powder-covered, granite-hard bumps and thanked the forgiving DH for saving his ass. Along with other testers, he noted that this nimble, smeary board cruised comfortably everywhere. Its no-think skiability extends across all terrain and conditions.

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  MSRP: $750.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 137-115-129  Length: 175, 185

MSRP: $750.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 137-115-129

Length: 175, 185

“When you’re expecting eight inches but only get two,” said one tester, “it’s still going to be a good time.” That’s because Lib Tech nailed the coveted surfy-yet-grippy balance in the Fully Functional Five with a combination of healthy tip and tail rocker and its trademark, grip-enhancing Magne-Traction edge serrations. It’s strong and secure on edge and adapts to terrain changes without blinking.

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MSRP: $900.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-100-122 Lengths: 168,178,188 Since 2005, the venerated snowboard brand Lib Tech has been building skis or rather…

MSRP: $900.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-100-122

Lengths: 168,178,188

Since 2005, the venerated snowboard brand Lib Tech has been building skis or rather NAS (Narrow Ass Snowboards) with some tricky tech borrowed from wide planks, most notably Magne-Traction, a wavelike edge design based on the physics of a serrated knife. Testers praised its hardpack grip and playfulness in the same breath. Slide your turns or carve them. The ski’s lightweight basalt-laminate construction seemed infinitely adaptable and powerful without being sluggish.

 

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 MSRP: $850.00 Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-105-120 Length: 175, 185A progressive early-taper shape and healthy tip and tail rocker give the impression that…

MSRP: $850.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 132-105-120

Length: 175, 185

A progressive early-taper shape and healthy tip and tail rocker give the impression that The Apostle is more of a soft-snow specialist. Not so, according to our testers, who found it plenty sturdy for quick turns on hardpack. It still prefers the moguls, techy glades, and a few inches of fresh, and “It yearns to teach the advanced intermediate to progress,” said one tester.


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  MSRP: $899.00  Tip/Waist/Tail: 165-133-149  Length: 171, 181, 191At 133 millimeters underfoot, the Karen'cito is a pontoon for

MSRP: $899.00

Tip/Waist/Tail: 165-133-149

Length: 171, 181, 191

At 133 millimeters underfoot, the Karen’cito is a pontoon for “the deepest of the deep,” as one tester said. Yet it’s got admirable hard-snow chops. If you’re patient and limber enough to tip it way over, you’ll find it a “surprisingly snappy carver” that also bosses crud. Crank it across the fall line and you’ll feel like AK pioneer Dean Cummings the ski’s creator slashing down a Chugach spine.

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