Downhill Skis Ultimate Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

November 12th, 2014

We are pleased to introduce the 2016 SkiGenie Supernatural Awards buyer’s guide and reviews for downhill skis.  As Fall slips away and the first snow starts to blanket the high peaks of ski resorts across the U.S., we have been busy crunching technical specs, collecting ski reviews and researching the best ski equipment available for the upcoming season.  With 1000’s of this year’s top ski models and ski gear housed in our ski finder and browse sections, respectively, we are second to none in our quest to accurately match you with the perfect ski equipment.  At SkiGenie, we focus on customer centric ski reviews and analysis to identify the key characteristics that determine why a pair of skis is right for you.  Let our industry expertise grant you some magic for the mountain.  Our selections are organized by Men’s and Women’s downhill skis under the categories powder or backcountry, freeride, all mountain, twin tips and carving.

skigenie lantern awards

Men’s Downhill Skis

Bent Chetler

Men’s Powder & Backcountry Skis

The secret stash is calling.  When selecting the best powder skis it is important to consider the type of terrain you plan to ski.  All these skis will provide sufficient float on the deepest of powder days but if you are looking for something that transitions well in and out of bounds the lower half of the list (less than 115mm underfoot) is recommended.  If you prefer to stick to the big mountain or slip off into the backcountry, go big (in length and width) and try one of the top dogs greater than 115mm.

 

Line Supernatural 100 downhill skis

Men’s Freeride Skis

Freeride ski equipment is the hottest new ski category.  As a cross between powder and all mountain skis, the freeride category is a favorite among advanced and expert skiers who have mastered the mountain.  These skis are generally 100-110mm underfoot, with a 20-25m radius, torsional stiffness, carving ability and plenty of surface area to float through the powder and cut through the crud.  We recommend you choose a size longer than you might with a traditional pair and go with an early rise tip or moderate rocker.

 

Blizzard Brahma top all mtn pick

Men’s All Mountain Skis

Tackle the corduroy, ice, tree lines, bumps and occasional powder!  If you are planning to do a handful of ski trips this year wouldn’t it be nice to have a new pair of all mountain skis in your quiver?  Unless you are lucky enough to live in a 24/7 powder paradise, these  all mountain skis can handle just about any conditions mother nature throws at you — and ski it well.  For east coasters, try something in the 90mm underfoot range and for west coasters go big or go home and get yourself a pair of ~100mm skis.

 

Salomon Rocker2 100

Men’s Twin Tip Skis

Looking to boost the tables, slide the rails, ride the pipe and hit natural features?  If your a newschooler who likes to land backwards and partake in generally gibberish behavior on the ski slopes then we’ve got your back.  Whether you are a beginner or seasoned skier these twin tips allow you to do things other models can’t but still provide high performance on the usual tracks.

 

Nordica Firearrw 76 Ti

Men’s Carving Skis

If you like to cruise groomers, hold on ice and punish the steeps, frontside carving skis will help you capitalize on all that time you spent improving your technique.  Carving skis allow you to finish your turns on the steeps and better control your speed without “sliding”.  If you ski the resort and like to impress with your turns, these are far superior to many of their all mountain brethren, especially for advanced to expert skiers.  More torsional stiffness in the tip and tail generates powerful turns and better performance on the ice and hardpack. 

 

 

Women’s Downhill Skis

Rossignol Savory 7 top women’s powder skis

Women’s Powder & Backcountry Skis

This season there are some great ski options for ladies to explore the powder, backcountry, big mountain and much more.  Top ski manufacturers now offer not only the latest and greatest in shorter sizes and with a softer flex, but have reshaped the molds and re-engineered the guts of powder skis to cater specifically to the female skier.  If you just finished watching Lyndsay Dyer’s Pretty Faces capitalize on the inspiration and get yourself a new pair of sticks.  

 

Volkl Aura for intermediate to expert women skiers

Women’s Freeride Skis

If you crave traversing the sidecountry and treking to the back bowls as much as you do carving up the groomers, you may want to consider a pair of freeride and off-piste skis for your next adventure.  We’ve compiled a list of top women’s ski reviews for this season with widths around the 100mm underfoot range to make every day count.

 

Salomon Q-83 Myriad women’s intermediate ski

Women’s All Mountain Skis

Alpine skiing is an outdoor activity and mother nature is unpredictable so out of necessity, all manufacturers market their skis as “x” and “y” but all mountain.  However, it is important that you select a true all mountain ski for all the right reasons.  What are the right reasons?  You travel and ski different resorts often, you only ski a few days a year, you always stick to resort terrain, but you like to go fast, carve big turns, handle icy conditions and occasionally hit the back bowls when the conditions are right.  This is the most common skier persona but true all mountain downhill skis for women live near the 85-95mm range underfoot. It depends whether you plan to ski on the east coast or west coast more frequently.  

 

Atomic Cloud Eleven Arc frontside ski

Women’s Carving Skis

Looking to knife the groomers, crush the steeps and arc hard?  We present our selection of this year’s award winning women’s carving skis.  When choosing the perfect pair of frontside skis you should consider your ability, how much you want to spend and how you plan to use the skis.

 

 



Women’s Best All Mountain Downhill Ski Reviews

October 28th, 2014

The hardest thing about choosing skis is not selecting between manufacturers and lengths, it’s simply a skier’s indecisiveness about equipment type.  Alpine skiing is an outdoor activity and mother nature is unpredictable so out of necessity, all manufacturers market their skis as “x” and “y” but all mountain.  However, it is important that you select a true all mountain ski for all the right reasons.  What are the right reasons?  You travel and ski different resorts often, you only ski a few days a year, you always stick to resort terrain, but you like to go fast, carve big turns, handle icy conditions and occasionally hit the back bowls if the conditions are right.  This is the most common skier persona but it is still important to think about.  True all mountain downhill skis for women live near the 85-95mm range underfoot and it often depends if you plan to ski on the east coast or west coast more frequently.  We are here to help and this guide will provide you with the best women’s all mountain downhill ski reviews and buyer’s guide selections for the upcoming season.  Tackle the resort groomers, eastern ice, western tree lines, steep moguls and occasional powder!

top of the lift at alta snowbird

SkiGenie 2015 Supernatural Awards for the Women’s All Mountain Ski Equipment Category.

(skis organized by descending waist width).

skigenie supernatural awards logo

Nordica Nemesis

98mm women's all purpose skis

Downhill Skis that eliminate the lapse that many rockered skis have had on hardpack.

The Nordica Nemesis is recommended for advanced to expert females as a western all mountain ski (40% frontside/60% off-piste). The updated tip and tail design make this year’s Nemesis more maneuverable in the powder and a dependable backcountry ski.

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Video Review | Radius: 15.5m (134-98-118mm) | Sizes: 153, 161, 169, 177cm | Other Review

 

Line Soul Mate 90

best graphics for ladies skis

Solid, high-speed power, thru firm terrain while maintaining plenty of float in soft snow.

The Line Soul Mate 90 is recommended for intermediate adult women looking for a tamer all mountain ski (50% frontside / 50% off-piste).  Good for women who like to turn and control their speed, the Soul Mate is responsive and easy to ski, but not recommended for those trying to chase Lyndsay Vonn down the mountain.

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Video Review | Radius: 13.7m (125-90-113mm) | Sizes: 151, 158, 165cm

 

Blizzard Black Pearl

high performance blizzard black pearl all mountain ski

Elevate your game on trail and off trail with a ski that is amazing in every condition imaginable.

The Blizzard Black Pearl is recommended for intermediate to advanced adult women as an all mountain freeride ski capable of fast resort skiing and the occasional powder day (70% frontside / 30% off-piste) on the East or West coast.  With camber underfoot, the Black Pearl downhill skis command grip on the groomers but comes with a width that allows for all mountain exploration.

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Video Review | Radius: 18m (125-88-110cm) | Sizes: 152, 159, 166, 173cm | Other Review

 

Nordica Wild Belle

top ski recommendation for women

Women’s equivalent to the NRGy, an all mountain ski with camROCK to increase the versatility.

The Nordica Wild Belle is recommended for intermediate to advanced women looking for a solid all-around ski (75% frontside/25% off-piste). It has a more playful tip and tail shape that allows it to float through powder and variable snow, while absorbing bumps.  These shape modifications slightly affect the ski’s ability to grip ice.

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Video Review | Radius: 15.5m (124-88-108mm) | Sizes: 145, 153, 161, 169cm | Other Review

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Fischer KOA 88

easy turning women's all mountain ski recommendation

Air Tec Ti for better performance with less weight.

The Fischer KOA 88 is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert level skiers as a one-ski-quiver for all mountain freeski fanatics (55% frontside/45% off-piste). Fischer is known for high performance sidewalls and this ski holds an edge so well it provides confidence for going fast or navigating icy conditions.  The addition of Freeski rocker compliments its agility and creates a shorter contact length to ensure that the ski’s turn initiation is effortless.

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Video Review | Radius: 15.0m (128-88-115mm) | Sizes: 152, 160, 168cm

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Rossignol Temptation 84

women's best all mountain carving skis

Heart of a high-performance carving machine with an effortless freeride feel.

The Rossignol Temptation 84 is recommended for intermediate women looking for an all mountain resort ski (80% frontside/20% off-piste). Point these skis downhill and feel confident cruising at speed or controlling your speed on more difficult terrain.  Excellent for Western resort corduroy. For the same confident feel, East Coast skiers should consider the Temptation 80.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 16.0m (133-84-120mm) | Sizes: 146, 154, 162, 170, 178cm

 

Salomon Q-83 Myriad

purple and blue skis great for tree skiing

Offers comfort and control on piste with utility rocker and hook free taper.

The Salomon Q-83 Myriad is recommended for intermediate to advanced adult women skiers who crave a stable all mountain ski (70% frontside / 30% off-piste).  Downhill skis sporting plenty of sidecut and solid construction, this ski is constructed to help improve technique while controlling speed.

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Video Review | Radius: 13.6m (128-84-112mm) | Lengths: 152, 159, 166, 173cm | Other Review

Atomic Vantage Polarity

atomic women's skis good for hard snow conditions

Ideal for less-experienced All Mountain ladies looking to cruise the groomers and dabble off-piste.

The Atomic Vantage Polarity is recommended for intermediate adult women skiers as a fun all mountain vehicle, with a frontside trail bias (70% frontside / 30% off-piste).  These skis provide better snow contact creating grip and stability while carving turns.  Also in the Vantage family, the Elysian and Supreme have wider widths for advanced skiers looking to conquer more adventurous terrain.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 14m (120-83-104mm) | Sizes: 149, 157, 165cm

 

2015 Downhill Skis Buyer’s Guide Homepage |



Top 10 Best All Mountain Skis for Men

October 23rd, 2014

Best 2015 all mountain ski reviews and ski gear guide for MEN to tackle the corduroy, ice, tree lines, bumps and occasional powder!  If you are planning to do a handful of ski trips this year wouldn’t it be nice to have a new pair of all mountain skis in your quiver?  Unless you are lucky enough to live in a 24/7 powder paradise, these  all mountain skis can handle just about any conditions mother nature throws at you — and ski it well.  For east coasters, try something in the 90mm underfoot range and for west coasters go big or go home and get yourself a pair of ~100mm skis.   See our ski reviews below specifically focused on your personal ability and usage preferences and find your magic for the mountain today.

view of lake tahoe skiing

SkiGenie 2015 Supernatural Awards for the Men’s All Mountain Skis Category.

(planks organized by descending waist width).

skigenie supernatural awards logo

Rossignol Experience 100

stable high performance all mountain skis

Rocker and camber blend provides powerful edge grip with better float and control.

The Rossignol Experience 100 is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert level skiers as a one-ski-quiver for all mountain ski fanatics (50% frontside/50% off-piste). As a replacement to the Experience 98, this ski features Air Tip technology, which means combining more camber for gripping and carving on the trails, with a softer flex and rocker that permits skiers to bend their skis and glide in the back bowls and trees.  At 100mm underfoot, it also offer plenty of float for the occasional powder day.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 18.0m (140-100-130mm) | Sizes: 166, 174, 182, 190cm | Other Review

Atomic Vantage Theory

best looking all mountain skis

Carbon Backbone construction is super lightweight, strong and stable.

The Atomic Vantage Theory is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced adult male skiers as an all-mountain specific ski with a freeride look (60% frontside / 40% off-piste).  This ski prefers mid to long radius turns and handles well at speed due to its full woodcore and titanium backbone.

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Video Reviews | Radius: 19m (130-95-119mm) | Sizes: 168, 177, 186cm | Other Review

 

Nordica NRGy 90

90mm all mountain skis

The most modern and versatile all mountain skis with significantly easier turn initiation.

The Nordica NRGy90 is recommended by SkiGenie for beginner to intermediate male skiers looking for a ski that is light and quick yet rewarding at higher speeds (70% frontside/30% off-piste). The sidecut enables fast, long arcs and the width will give you confidence and performance on the groomers, bumps, crud and trees of the east coast. Rated “2015 Best Value” ski by SKI Magazine.

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Video Review | Radius: 19.5m (126-90-110mm) | Sizes: 161, 169, 177, 185cm | Other Review

Volkl Kendo

narrow freeride skis that look cool but perform well on the groomers

Sets the bar a notch higher for all mountain freeriding.

The Volkl Kendo is recommended by SkiGenie for the intermediate male skiers looking for a freeride aesthetics but packed with all mountain performance (50% frontside/50% off-piste). Easy handling on the groomers plus great soft snow performance, the Kendo takes any skier from the bowls to the frontside and back on a rock solid platform.  You can really push these skis on fresh groomers.

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Video Review | Radius: 20.5m (126-89-110) | Sizes: 163, 170, 177, 184cm | Other Review

Salomon Q-90

cool ski graphics

Explore all mountain terrain with a lightweight wood core, tip rocker and forgiving early rise tail.

The Salomon Q-90 is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate adult male skiers looking for all mountain skis with high performance (65% frontside / 35% off-piste).  A simple but forgiving ski that provides plenty of energy in the turns and also allows for off-piste fun (East Coast skiers should consider the Q-85).

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Video Review | Radius: 17.4m (130-89-117mm) | Sizes: 161, 169, 177, 185cm | Other Review

Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS

explosive all mountain skis for cruising the resort

Blurs the line between high performance frontside carver and backside shredder.

The Salomon X-Drive 88 is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert adult male skiers as a frontside ski with a wider platform (80% frontside / 20% off-piste).  Designed for those looking to carve bigger and faster turns, this ski delivers the confidence of holding an edge on just about anything.

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Video Review | Radius: 18m (130-88-116mm) | Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 184cm | Other Review

Blizzard Brahma

180cm all mountain skis for tree skiing

Early rise tip, camber underfoot create a hard snow bias still great off trail.

The Blizzard Brahma is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced male adult skiers looking for an all mountain skis with a freeride look (70% frontside / 30% off-piste) to conquer the entire mountain including moguls, crud, trees and long fast groomers.  At under 2 kilograms and sporting a simple design with sleek graphics, this is the perfect weapon for those who can’t decide between a freeride and all-mountain ski.

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Video Review | Radius: 19m (125-88-110mm) | Sizes: 166, 173, 180, 187cm

Fischer Motive 86 Ti

light all mountain ski technology

Offset milled structure makes the core 25% lighter and maintains performance.

The Fischer Motive 86 is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced level skiers as a no frills all mountain ski (80% frontside/20% off-piste). This is a great option for advancing skiers looking for a versatile ski with a lively attitude.  The ski produces crisp clean arcs due to the two sheets of metal. An all mountain profile balances moderate flex with torsional rigidity.

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Radius: 17.0m (128-86-116mm) | Sizes: 161, 168, 175, 182cm

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Head REV 85 Pro 

hard charging all mountain downhill skis

Metal reinforcement gives this ski a different, more trail-oriented flavor. 

The Head REV 85 Pro is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert all mountain skiers (60% frontside/40% off-piste). Highly regarded in the all-mountain frontside category, it’s great in the crud or a few inches of snow. Testers also noted stability at high speeds and in the bumps. Design features include ERA 3.0 technology, which combines tip rocker plus a progressive radius for better edge contact and soft snow performance.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 13.3m (131-85-113mm) | Sizes: 163, 170, 177, 184cm

Volkl V-WERKS RTM

high end carbon all mountain skis for men

Gentlemen, start your engines – a ski that is 15% lighter, and even more stable at high speeds.

The Volkl V-WERKS RTM is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced male skiers looking for a light weight, agile all mountain ski machine (70% frontside/30% off-piste).  The ski’s shape and more rigid tip spread the force evenly throughout the ski enabling it to snap off smooth, medium-radius arcs.  The carbon construction improves performance on the backside, but don’t mistake this for a powder ski.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 18.0m @ 176cm (129-84-111mm) | Sizes: 166, 171, 176, 181cm | Other Review

Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti

all mountain skis with bindings for resort skiing

ARC Technology, allowing it to flex easily and naturally for maximum versatility.

The Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert adult male skiers looking for an all-mountain option (70% frontside / 30% off-piste) versatile enough to handle any conditions, with a killer instinct to rip hero turns on groomed terrain.  A similar model, the Nomad Smoke, comes at a lower price point and is more suitable to advancing beginners and intermediate skiers.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 15m (129-81-109mm) | Sizes: 160, 167, 174, 181cm | Other Review

 

2015 Downhill Skis Buyer’s Guide Homepage |



 

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