Presenting the three winners from our ski test.

Elan
(Elan)

Elan Ripstick 94 W 

Head’s Total Joy is a frontside ripper, the Salomon Stella is a big-mountain tool—and the Ripstick falls right in between. It may be the most precise carver on this page, staying positively glued to the snow when laying down everything from short-radius slalom moves to sweeping super-G tracks. It did best in soft snow and bumps, nimbly leaping from turn to turn. “Comfortable, effortless, and powerful,” raved one tester. “For chargers who want a ski with spark, spunk, and personality,” said another. The only caveat: you’ll have to rein it in on steep, icy slopes, where it tended to feel outmatched. Experts desired a bit more heft and stiffness on treacherous lines. 134/94/109 

Price $700

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Head
(Head)

Head Total Joy 

Two seasons ago, Head launched what may be the greatest women-specific resort skis on the market with its Joy line. The planks are built around the super-material graphene—a fancy carbon that’s a million times thinner than paper and 100 times stronger than steel. This ski rips, especially considering its light weight. It was almost eerie how such a user-friendly tool could go from screaming down ice to pouncing through powder stashes in the trees. All our testers loved the 85-millimeter-waisted Total Joy, in the middle of the Joy range. Best for those who spend most of their time skiing frontside when snowfall totals amount to just a few inches. If you plan to hit bigger, deeper lines, size up to the Big Joy or Great Joy. 133/85/113

Price $875

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Salomon
(Salomon)

Salomon QST Stella 106 

If you’re a westerner who spends most of your time in powder, the Stella could well be the only ski you need. This is a stupidly fun, capable ride that excelled under intermediate and advanced skiers. A 106-millimeter waist means it feels at home on early-morning corduroy and racing through eight inches in glades. It’s lightweight (just 7.8 pounds), with a honeycomb tip and tail that keep it playful. Experts will have a hard time overpowering it on anything except icy couloirs. (In situations like those, some of us were left wanting a heavier model.) “The Stella puts in the work so you don’t have to,” said one tester. 137.5/106/125

Price $850

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Tech

The Best Resort Skis of 2017

Our testers whittled a field of 132 down to ten. Here are our three choices for best all mountain powder skis. Now shut up and ski. (Blizzard) Blizzard Quattro RX Gear of the Year Most of us bought fat rockered skis at some point in the past five years, and for good reason—in soft snow, the loose feel lets you surf the mountain. But what about the hardpack we usually find? Increasingly, the industry has taken lessons learned from fattie designs and applied them to all-mountain frontside skis. The result? User-friendly, lightweight, subtly rockered skis that lay trenches in corduroy. Our Gear of the Year winner sits at

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The Best Alpine Boots of 2017

The holy grail of the ski world? A comfortable boot that doesn’t sacrifice power for roominess. Gear designers have wrestled with this problem for years, but we’ve seen some significant gains this season with three major developments.  First, companies are offering stiffer, speed-hungry models in medium and wide widths. Behold the best-in-test Rossignol Allspeed Pro 120 (100 millimeters; $750), which let our broad-footed testers enjoy race-car speed and precision. Full Tilt, a cult-favorite brand championed by Seth Morrison, introduced the wider Descendant (102 millimeters; $750) to let big dogs enjoy the shin-cushioning benefit of three-piece construction.  Next, custom fitting, which started with

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Tech

The Best Après Shoes of 2017

Casual kicks to face down winter’s wrath. (Reef) Reef Rover Hi  Reef took its popular, summery Rover line and updated it for winter commutes. This new iteration has a waxed-leather upper that fends off light snow. (Spray it with a waterproofing treatment if you’ll be in really wet conditions.) The fleecy lining paired with a springy midsole makes it downright slipper-esque. Price $120 Buy Now (Sanuk) Sanuk Beer Runner  It’s all in the name. We loved the classic jogger look of the Beer Runner for six-pack shuffles to the corner store. A

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The Best Snowboards of 2017

The best new boards for all kinds of riders. (Ride) Ride Alter Ego Gear of the Year This spring, more than 30 snowboard testers stormed Crested Butte, Colorado, to evaluate some 85 new board models. Over a week, we rode everything from powdery steeps and playful jump lines to early-morning ice and last-chair slush. In the end, we picked the following eight boards as our favorites. The biggest surprise: falling in love with the Alter Ego. Initially we were skeptical. The locking split-tail design, which allows you to ride it as either a pliable powder board

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Tech

The Best Women's Snowboards of 2017

Best-in-class picks to match your style. (Amplid) Amplid LoveLife Best For: Aggressive Riders  Amplid got the memo that not all women crave soft flex and graphics that look like Disney-princess wallpaper. Despite the unfortunate name, expert testers endorsed the LoveLife for its tip-to-tail stiffness, created by a low-density poplar core and a carbon stringer that runs along the vertical axis. The design delivers energetic flex and snappy ollies without preventing playful turning. “It threw butters left and right,” said one tester. Multiple contact points afforded by the slightly set-back camber profile gave riders confidence in no-fall zones.  Price $520 Buy Now

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Tech

The Best Backcountry Skis and Bindings of 2017

The race is on to create the perfect beyond-the-ropes setup. (Vollé) Voilé Supercharger Gear of the Year This season our team of more than four dozen tested 210 skis, 53 boots, and 13 bindings—and crunched the num­bers on 1,400 review forms—to come up with this: the best backcountry gear of the year. The 19 products featured continue the trend toward lightweight performance. The skis all have at least some carbon (although you wouldn’t know it from how they rip), the boots come in well under eight pounds, and only one of the bindings has a frame. So yeah, a lot of brands are making

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Tech

The Best Women's Backcountry Skis, Boots, and Bindings of 2017

Superior setups for heading beyond the ropes. (Dynafit) Dynafit Meteorite It’s not a women-specific ski, but testers preferred it to the Sphinx—the Meteorite’s softer, lighter sister. One of Dynafit’s new freeride offerings, it has an ash and poplar core overlaid with carbon at the rockered tip and tail for added float and lower swing weight. 125.5/97/115.9; 8 lbs Price $699 Buy Now (Salomon) Salomon MTN Explore Last year, Salomon introduced the 120-flex, unisex MTN Lab. Now women get another option: the 90-flex, two-buckle MTN Explore. With a shorter cuff, lighter liner, and 63-degree

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Tech

The Best Alpine Touring Ski Boots of 2017

What hikes up must shred down. (Lange) Lange XT Freetour 130 Lange brought its World Cup pedigree to the new XT Freetour. The boot got some uphill-friendly upgrades, such as tech inserts and a rockered sole so grippy it wouldn't be or of place on a running shoe. But it relishes driving big sticks through crud. Only one gripe: with all those backcountry details, its walk mode should have a wider range. 7.8 lbs Price $950 Buy Now (Salomon) Salomon QST Pro 120 This boot focuses on fast descending, with an oversize ankle

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Tech

The Best Nordic Skiing Gear of 2017

World Cup skinny-ski gear for your local skate track. (Bridgedale) Bridgedale Vertige Light Socks  The merino Vertiges mix polypro­pylene to wick moisture and Lycra for a snug fit. Subtle padding at the ball of the foot gives you exactly what you need for hours of glide.  Price $25 Buy Now (Salomon) Salomon Condition-Specific S-Lab Skate Skis  The new S-Lab line offers a range of highly specialized weaponry, with variations in stiffness, base hardness, camber profile, and finish for specific snow types and temperatures. Pick the one that best matches your track. Just

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Tech

The Best Splitboarding Gear of 2017

You don’t need no stinkin’ chairlifts. (Northern Playground) Northern Playground Ziplongs 3/4 Wool Tights  Thanks to full zippers along the legs of these calf-length long johns, they go from toasty to ventilated in moments.   Price $100 Buy Now (Discrete) Discrete Touque Beanie  A tuque or a beanie? Depends on whether you’re in Canada or the States. Whatever you call it, this one’s luxurious and warm, with a tight weave. Price $20 Buy Now (Black Diamond) Black Diamond Carbon Whippet Poles  An ice ax feels extraneous until you need it. The Whippet, with

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