1. Most frontside skis are too precise and exhausting for freeskiing. Not the pared-down CX 80, which does away with heavy add-ons like complex binding plates for a more responsive feel. It's ten millimeters fatter than most, but its World Cupinspired laminate construction and vertical sidewalls still deliver impressive edging.
2. Baby got back. That extra girth underfoot makes the CX 80 less twitchy at high speeds and lets you float turns in boot-deep powder or mushy spring snow. It also gives you a bigger platform to stand on when you're taking it easysomething you can't do on most carving skis.
3. "Frontside skis need to be dynamic, or we'd all die of boredom," said one tester. "These skis satisfy." Credit the CX 80's 16.5m-radius sidecut and wood-core guts. The harder you drive it, the more it responds, letting you confidently arc multiple turn shapes.
4. Rossignol claims you can ski the CX 80 off-piste 30 percent of the time. And while the CX 80 is in fact slinky enough for bumps and can handle chopped-up crud, we'd keep this one as our go-to groomer and pair it with a big-mountain ski instead.
5. Compromise is a delicate art, but this ski nails it. The CX 80 feels supple in the bumps but powerful on corduroy, precise in the chutes but forgiving in the crud. And wherever you are, the CX 80 is rock solid and unwavering at any speed. Even the old-school graphics make you want to go fast.
124/80/113, $1,400, binding included, rossignol.com