Nordica Helldorado Skis
BEST FOR: Gunning it.
THE TEST: The Helldorado is nimble in strangled chutes but stable and absorbant when you’ve got room to open it up, which lets you go faster than ski patrol is probably cool with. At 113 millimeters underfoot, it was the skinniest powder ski we tested, and thanks to the mix of rocker and camber, you can get on and off the edges quickly. 143/113/132
THE VERDICT: Big and fast for its size.
Völkl Two Skis
BEST FOR: One-ski weekends.
THE TEST: A big part of the reason the new-to-the-line Two handled all condi- tions well is that it features subtle taper in the tail and tip, meaning the widest part of the ski is farther back on the shovel. That’s a new trait from Völkl, and it helps keep the ski from getting grabby in crud. Add Völkl’s full rocker and the Two turns at synapse speed but delivers plenty of oomph in the belly of the turn. 146/124/138
THE VERDICT: Have room for only one pair? This is it.
Rossignol Squad 7 Skis
BEST FOR: Skiing in bottomless pow.
THE TEST: The Squad used to be too powerful for mere mortals, but this year it’s 20 percent lighter. The rocker is far less abrupt than on Rossi’s older powder skis, and thanks to the tapered honeycomb tip and tail, swing weight is reduced by a third. 145/120/126
THE VERDICT: Gets playful in as little as six inches of snow and still has no known speed limit when you’re going full tilt.
Faction Candide 4.0 Skis
BEST FOR: Shouldering for hike-to fluff.
THE TEST: Smaller brands like Faction typically get mixed reviews, but testers gave these agile big boys high marks. Our test samples revealed top-notch construction and flat, hard bases. A mix of balsa wood and flax in the core lightens the ski. 150/122/140
THE VERDICT: Ideal for skiers with a loose style.