GearSnow Sports

The Skis We're Coveting Most This Winter

This season’s sticks are light, edgy, and versatile

We tested this year's new skis and we found them to be light, edgy, and versatile. (Photo: Inga Hendrickson)
skis

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Each new winter brings with it a fresh crop of skis equipped with the latest in technology and engineering. We tested the latest releases for 2020, and came away with some new favorites.

The Rocky Mountain Daily Driver

skis
(Photo: Courtesy Volkl)

Völkl Mantra 102 ($850)

A marvel of a ski, the Mantra 102 has a frame of titanium alloy just beneath the topsheet, adding edging power where you need it most, while carbon tips reduce the overall weight. That layup holds on when you’re tipping the ski on hardpack at any speed, but is surfy and playful when you head in search of soft snow. “You can butter them into and out of turns all day long,” said one tester. 140/102/123 

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The Dependable Dark Horse

skis
(Photo: Courtesy Rossignole)

Rossignol Black Ops 98 ($800)

Our testers loved this hard-charging ski, which until this season was only available to shop employees and Rossignol athletes. The Black Ops is as simple as ski construction gets, with a vertically laminated wood core backed by metal. Beyond that, we don’t know much—Rossi redacted the specs. It performed best at high speeds. “It pivots and carves on trail and off, but this is a strong expert’s ski,” said a tester. 131/98/121

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The Shredder’s Best Friend

skis
(Photo: Courtesy Line)

Line Vision 98 ($800)

The Vision is evidence that the lines between backcountry and resort skis have forever been blurred. At 1,515 grams, it’s light enough for long ski tours if you mount it with an AT binding. But that same weight savings is a hit among park and pipe skiers who love to pop off features. Credit for the svelte feel goes to the aramid, carbon, and fiberglass construction. At our test, the Vision was the lightest and slashiest all-mountain plank. 131/98/119

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The Multifaceted Powder Stick

skis
(Photo: Courtesy Nordica)

Nordica Enforcer 104 Free ($850)

This newest Enforcer is one of the most versatile skis we’ve ever run. When purchasing an all-mountain powder performer, skiers must often choose between burly planks that excel on firm snow and slashy sticks suited to dry powder. That’s not the case here. At our test in Steamboat, Colorado, the Enforcer was easy to pivot in powder turns. And it’s still a stout Austrian ski—we comfortably took it to blasting speed on- and off-piste. 135/104/124

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The Plank for Everyone

skis
(Photo: Courtesy Head)

Head Kore 93 W ($750)

If the Rossignol is for a select few, the Kore 93 is the ski for the masses. That’s courtesy of lots of Koroyd (the lightweight honeycomb copolymer you’ve seen in ski helmets) to make it easy to handle. And ample flex means that any skier can settle into turns. “It’s super maneuverable,” said another tester, “but it stays glued to the snow at high speed, with a silky feel that eats vibration.” 130/91/113

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From Outside Magazine, November 2019
Filed To: SkisBackcountry SkisSkiingSnow Sports
Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson
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