BEST FOR: Carving through any kind of snow.
THE TEST: Anybody can make a powder ski float. It’s when our testers transitioned from powder
to groomers that they discovered whether a big-mountain ski could handle the whole hill. The best-selling Gotama, with its low-profile rocker, can. The more you tip it over into a turn, the more effective edge length you gain. The reason it’s so popular is pretty simple, actually: you can still pivot it when you’re upright in powder, but in dynamic carving situations it feels like a traditional ski.
THE VERDICT: Predictable, versatile, and Völkl quality. A one-ski quiver for powder fiends. 139/107/123
Hard-Snow Pleasure: 4.2
ROCKER AND SKI WAXING: Camber was invented to enhance gliding by distributing your weight. Rocker (even just tip and tail rocker) distributes less of your weight and effectively shortens the running surface of the ski. The result is that you get more drag with today's fatter, rockered skis, meaning it's more vital than ever to keep your boards waxed and buffed.