BEST FOR: Squirreling around in the trees looking for powder.
THE TEST: We have 12 test cards on the Q 98, and the word “nimble” appears on five of them. Also: “pivot,” “slice,” “dice,” and “surf.” Credit the ample rocker but also new polymer inserts in the tip that reduce swing weight—crucial when heavy snow is grabbing at your skis. How about the carving? There’s ample edge hold here, but the Q 98 isn’t a deep-sidecut frontside ski. Still, it’s lots of fun on chalky corduroy. 137/98/123
THE VERDICT: Look here if you often find yourself hiking for leftover powder in blown-in chutes three days after the last storm.