Rating: / 5
Stability at speed: 3.87 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.33 / 5
Crud performance: 3.68 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.68 / 5
You can center-mount the Gotama and ski backwards all day, if that’s your thing. But testers love the all-around skiability of Völkl’s original backcountry jib ski. The turned-up tail and the absence of metal make it forgiving and skiddable. It lacks the crud-crushing stability of, say, the flat-tailed Mantra (see Powder: Wide), and there are livelier skis in the group, but testers gave it high marks in all criteria. “Floats well and is quite maneuverable, despite the beefy feel,” said Sabanosh.