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Tester Leslie Ross skinning the windblown on Berthoud Pass.

Tester Leslie Ross skinning the windblown on Berthoud Pass.

106/72/97; 6 lb., 6oz.; $507The Diran returns unchanged. Like its snappy predecessor, the popular TM:22, this light and quick stick shines in tight…

106/72/97; 6 lb., 6oz.; $507
The Diran returns unchanged. Like its snappy predecessor, the popular TM:22, this light and quick stick shines in tight places – perfect for tree skiers and chute hounds. Gripes: Some testers didn’t like the ultra-stiff tail, especially in softer snow. Props: Balanced, predictable, and fast.

107/73/97; 6 lb., 6 oz.; $480Testers raved about the Frantic's lack of pork, calling it

107/73/97; 6 lb., 6 oz.; $480
Testers raved about the Frantic’s lack of pork, calling it “light and easy and “perfect for milking low-angle pow. When the day calls for heavy-duty ascents and light-duty descents, the Frantic delivers. Gripes: Gets sloppy when pushed on the downhills. Props: Top-notch uphill and touring performance.

112/79/96; 5 lb., 11 oz.; $599If the name doesn't tip you off, run your peepers over the FreeRando's mildly split tip and tail, which facilitate fast…

112/79/96; 5 lb., 11 oz.; $599If the name doesn’t tip you off, run your peepers over the FreeRando’s mildly split tip and tail, which facilitate fast skin changes during big races. And check the weight: It’s the only sub-six ski in our test. Gripes: Once pointed downhill, the FreeRando felt wishy-washy. Props: You’ll beat the lift (or the competition) to the top.