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  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Best Powder Skis

    Hitting the sweet spots of girth and rocker, they'll keep you surfing powder all day. Watch how we tested for this year’s winners.

    Marc Peruzzi

  • Photo: Courtesy of Atomic

    Atomic Bent Chetler

    BEST FOR: Surfing the mountain.

    THE TEST: Designed by ski visionary Chris Benchetler, the Bent Chetler's ($850) tip and tail are multidimensional, spooned like the hull of a boat. The benefit is noticeable anytime there's more than six inches of new snow. The ski effortlessly butters into and out of turns and just refuses to get hung up in crust or crud.

    THE VERDICT: Skiing a pair is a new experience. 142/120/134.

    OVERALL: 4.5

  • Photo: Courtesy of Blizzard

    Blizzard Bodacious

    BEST FOR: Outrunning slough.

    THE TEST: In the back of our minds, we ski testers are always thinking, Which ski would I take heli-skiing? That's easy: The Bodacious ($950). Its massive 32-meter turn radius makes for more predictable tracking in backcountry snow. It also lets you haul ass like a super-G skier if you need to get out of trouble. All that might sound intimidating, but the refined-for-2015 Bodacious is surprisingly spry at lower speeds.

    THE VERDICT: Oh, the possibilities. "I bet I could huck something big on it," said one tester. 142/118/132.

    OVERALL: 4.5

  • Photo: Courtesy of Head

    Head Cyclic 115

    BEST FOR: GS turns down the bowl.

    THE TEST: Given the World Cup–quality wood cores inside the ski, we were expecting the Cyclic ($800) to be stable at speed and punish chopped-up snow. Check. What we weren't expecting was how easy it was to maneuver—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 that ex-racers will find comforting.

    THE VERDICT: The perfect ski for your typical resort powder day—say, eight inches of new snow on top of a firm but chalky base. 148/113/131.

    OVERALL: 5

  • Photo: Courtesy of Rossignol

    Next Up:The Best Alpine Boots of 2015

    Rossignol Super 7

    BEST FOR: Having more fun.

    THE TEST: Like Rossignol's original S7, the Super 7 ($850) has the perfect balance of rocker and girth. It also has the same tapered tip for a surfy feel and just enough camber to make groomers fun. What's different? Rossi lightened up the tip and tail, which reduces swing weight even more and let the designers dial back the rocker without sacrificing buoyancy. They're subtle changes—until you ski on them.

    THE VERDICT: It easily won the category—again. 140/116/130.

    OVERALL: 5

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