Good for All Mountain
Decision time! Favor early-morning groomers beyond all else? A frontside ski is right for you (page 36). Ski the cut trails only on powder days? Check out the big-mountain category (page 37). Or if you mix it up, like more than half the people who bought skis last year, start with the all-mountain boards, beginning with the year's best, the K2 SideStash.
1. You'll see a lot more rockerupward bendin all manner of big-mountain-inspired skis that work on resorts too. But K2 nailed the all-rounder with the SideStash's gentle tip rocker. It pops effortlessly to the surface in powder, but because the tail is traditionalflat and square-taperedyou can carve turns on resort hardpack as well.
2. As one tester put it, it really is "the ultimate western ski": light enough for touring but, thanks to the metal-and-wood laminate construction, burly enough for crusty morning corduroy. The rocker allows you to initiate the turn with little tip pressure, and skiers of all abilities were impressed with how balanced it felt in the crud.
3. Skis like the SideStash (and the Völkl Gotama, page 37) handle powder so well that, unless you're an Alyeska or Squaw Valley local, you probably don't need a pure powder ski anymore. Our advice: Pair the SideStash with a Marker Duke binding to create the ultimate one-ski quiver for backcountry, sidecountry, and resort skiing.