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.

 

 



10 Best Powder Ski Reviews for Men

October 25th, 2014

The secret stash is calling.  Find and research the MEN’S best powder ski gear guide reviews to shred the gnar this season!  No matter where you ski, we all seek to get away from the crowds and find a secret stash of uncorrupted powder on a far away ridge line.  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.

extreme powder skiing

SkiGenie 2015 Supernatural Awards for the Men’s Powder Ski Category.

(planks organized by descending waist width).

skigenie supernatural awards logo

Volkl Three

Volkl Three

 Got powder ski surfers? Surf’s up.

The Volkl Three is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert male skiers, looking for the next level of powder ski (100% off-piste).  This is Volkl’s widest ski yet, and one of the best deep powder and big mountain skis on the market.  Skier’s who are unsure about the daunting 135mm waist width, but looking for a similar build, should consider Volkl Two (124mm) or One (107mm).

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 51m (150-135-140mm) | Sizes: 176, 186, 196cm |

 

Blizzard Spur

Blizzard Spur skis

Athlete inspired, POW slaying futuristic construction.

The Blizzard Spur is recommended by SkiGenie for expert only, male adult skiers looking for a big mountain powder specific ski (10% frontside / 90% off-piste), perfect for most powder havens and above tree line terrain.  The advanced materials construction which includes carbon tip & tail to reduce swing weight in technical sections creating a more stable powder ski than you might expect.

Click to find it online (limited availability).

| Video Review | Radius: 28m (145-125-134mm) | Size: 189cm |

 

Line Eric’s Magnum Opus

Line Eric's Magnum Opus

Impossibly light powder ski crafted from futuristic materials.

The Line Magnum Opus is recommended by SkiGenie for expert adult male skiers as a superlight, freestyle and powder specific ski (10% frontside / 90% off-piste).  As the latest generation in a long line of award winning designs, this ski has been meticulously retooled to allow for maximum float and decreased drag.  Great for dropping pillows in the backcountry and navigating big mountain lines. The only thing missing is a private helicopter.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 17m (148-124-146mm) | Sizes: 188cm |

 

Atomic Bent Chetler

Bent Chetler

Agility and stability combined, this ski is ridden by the world’s best skiers.

The Atomic Bent Chetler is recommended by SkiGenie for serious adult powder and big mountain skiers (20% frontside / 80% off-piste). This ski is unlike any of its predecessors. The new technology, with less effective edge touching the snow, allows it to plane smoothly and you’ll catch fewer tips in soft snow. Additionally, the decreased waist width allows for better edge control without losing float in the powder (tip and tail width remain the same).  This ski is used by the best…

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 19m (142-120-134mm) | Sizes: 178, 185, 192cm |

 

Fischer Big Stix 122

big mountain powder skis made by fischer

A tool for true freaks who take no prisoners when they attack the big mountain

The Fischer Big Stix 122 is recommended by SkiGenie for larger than life powder and backcountry skiers looking to tame the big mountain (20% frontside/80% off-piste). A woodcore sandwich construction make this a powerful ski in the backcountry and also allows you to cut through the crud.  The most progressive ski in the lineup with a tapered tip and tail sidecut and less camber underfoot.  The sidecut geometry is built for extreme jumps and spins.  If you don’t ski the West Coast and aren’t confident going BIG on waist width, try the Big Stix 110.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

Video Review | Radius: 22.0m (114-84-114mm) | Sizes: 163, 172, 181cm |

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Rossignol Super 7

Rossignol Super 7 ski image

Balls-to-the-wall big-mountain pow-slayer.

The Rossignol Super 7 is recommended by SkiGenie for larger framed advanced to expert level powder skiers looking to ski their asses off on the big mountain (0% frontside/100% off-piste). The modified construction excludes metal, producing a more supple feel for precision on the tough lines.  Super 7 will give any filmmaker confidence handling high speed runouts while filming an epic run on a helmet cam!  For smaller framed skiers the Soul 7 is recommended.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 30m (145-120-126mm) | Sizes: 180, 190cm |

 

Head Cyclic 115

top men's big mountain downhill skis

Nimble when you need it to be but with camber underfoot for strong edge hold.

The Head Cyclic 115 is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert level skiers for backside and powder exploration (25% frontside/75% off-piste). With World Cup-quality wood core on the inside, the Cyclic is an ex-racers dream. It’s stable at high speeds and punishes chopped-up snow. It’s also easy to maneuver in tight spaces—as long as you’re balanced and alert: it’s not a lazy skier’s choice. It locks into a smooth, round, 19-meter-radius arc. The perfect ski for your typical resort powder day—say, eight inches of new snow on top of a firm but chalky base.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 16.5m (148-113-131mm) | Sizes: 171, 181, 191cm |

Blizzard Gunsmoke

Blizzard Gunsmoke

Playful resort powder specific rocker ski.

The Blizzard Gunsmoke is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced male adult skiers looking for a twin tip powder ski for resort and backcountry terrain (30% frontside / 70% off-piste).  This ski is not stiff and will be forgiving and playful in softer conditions and deep powder days.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 22m (140-114-130mm)| Lengths: 179, 186, 193cm |

 

Salomon Q BC LAB

Salomon Q BC Lab powder ski

Everything you want in a backcountry ski and nothing you don’t.

The Salomon Q BC Lab is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert adult male skiers looking for a perfect touring setup (30% frontside / 70% off-piste).  A decreased sidecut underfoot allows for smoother traverses and the superlight carbon/flax components creates balanced performance in more variable snow conditions, making it a perfect candidate for touring.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 21m (140-114-128mm) | Sizes: 176, 184cm |

 

Nordica Helldorado

Nordica Helldorado backcountry skis

Built for speed, power and all-condition mountain stomping domination.

The Nordica Helldorado is recommended by SkiGenie for advanced to expert male skiers looking to be king of the mountain (30% frontside/70% off-piste). This is a stiff ski for a strong man. Sporting two sheets of metal and a vertical sidewall, it arcs on the open hardpack and maintains stability at high speeds when your straight-lining backcountry chutes. Made for Whistler, BC, the 113mm underfoot also enable flotation in the soft stuff.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 19m (143-113-132mm) | Sizes: 177, 185, 193cm |

 

Line Sick Day 110

Line Sick Day 110

Midrange softer flexing powder ski capable of fun, playful long cruising turns.

The Line Sick Day 110 is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced adult male skiers looking for a midrange powder ski (30% frontside / 70% off-piste).  This ski is capable of long cruising turns and is fun and playful.  Calling all jibbers: with no metal in the construction, this one is for you.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 18m (142-110-125mm)| Lengths: 172, 179, 186cm |

 

Atomic Automatic 109

Atomic Automatic 109 skis

Built for charging on deep days, inbounds or out.

The Atomic Automatic 109 is recommended by SkiGenie for intermediate to advanced adult male skiers looking for a powder ski (40% frontside / 60% off-piste).  As the middle-fat child in the Automatic family, the ski balances the right width underfoot to tame the resorts with enough girth to sneak off into the side country.  Good for skiers who crave a lighter weight ski (no metal) and a surfy feel.

Click to learn more and compare prices.

| Video Review | Radius: 19m (134-109-124mm) | Sizes: 175, 182, 189cm |

2015 Downhill Skis Buyer’s Guide Homepage |



 

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