Feel like you’re having a field day, look like you could carve it up with the pros.
BEST FOR: Dropping the hammer.
THE TEST: With two sheets of metal, vertical sidewalls, and a wood core, the Brahma ($800) can rail with the best of ’em. However, as with Blizzard’s fatter offerings, there’s also tip rocker and the company’s chatter-free Flip Core design here. On hard snow, these attributes make the ski forgiving without robbing power. On soft snow, they allow you to pivot and release with relative ease. “You can drive Miss Daisy with the kids,” said one tester, “or go full-on fast-and-furious.”
THE VERDICT: Carves like a racer but doesn’t limit you when you go off-piste. $800125/88/110.
Rossignol Experience 84
BEST FOR: Maximum versatility.
THE TEST: We were worried that the Experience’s ($650) lack of heft—there are no metal layers, and the tip has been lightened up—would hamper its hard-snow performance. We were wrong. Even on extra-firm groomers, the Experience 84 felt silky and hugged the terrain, maximizing edge hold at all speeds. Take it off-trail, though, and the ski gets light and deft—you don’t get bogged down in soft snow.
THE VERDICT: Oozes performance but is eerily easy to ski. 133/84/120.
Atomic Nomad Blackeye TI
BEST FOR: Schralping on edge.
THE TEST: It’s 81 millimeters wide underfoot, features a free-floating binding system for maximum edge hold, and arcs a short-swing 15-meter turn radius. So it’s a pure carver, right? No. A full 15 percent of the shovel is rockered, and the rest of the ski flexes more smoothly than Ahhnold.
THE VERDICT: Experts can’t outski it, and intermediates will find it effortless. 129.5/81/111; $900, atomic.com
Dynastar Powertrack 89
BEST FOR: High-speed groomer junkies.
THE TEST: By incorporating rocker, a hint of tip and tail taper, and a progressive five-point sidecut (most of the hourglass shaping is underfoot), the Powertrack ($750) is perhaps the most user-friendly Dynastar we’ve ever run. It’s still got plenty of mojo, but that progressive sidecut means the shovel of the ski is straighter—which makes it easy to vary turn shape at will.
THE VERDICT: Powerful doesn’t have to mean twitchy anymore. 126/89/110.