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58 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2017

All Mountain 30/70


Click on the name of a model to view a full review

Nordica Enforcer (flat) [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Italian ski culture is more racing-oriented than freeride. When Nordica suggested we review the Enforcer last year, we have to admit that we were a bit wary, not to say downright sceptical. But our role is to unearth the best skis on the market, which we sometimes find where we least expect! The 2016 ski was therefore pre-tested with success, and so was selected for the PROSKILAB™ review with the same results and a "Best ski" distinction to boot. The ski is entirely in keeping with the All Mountain 30/70 programme, in other words, it's a ski designed for freeride and yet able to perform extremely well on the groomed runs. The ski is truly incredible off-piste, with enormous scope in terms of use. It cuts like a Swiss knife, and adapts to all terrains and all types of ride. Rides smoothly through crud, good flotation in deep snow despite the somewhat slim waist (100mm), easy rotation... You'll love it. What's more, the stable, unflappable Enforcer requires little engagement, and amazed the reviewers by the feeling of security and comfort it gave. It's just as astonishing on the groomed runs... it has less grip and less performance than a Cochise, but it's lively, handles better, is more versatile and requires less physical engagement. The Enforcer is fast becoming a true reference in this market segment, and we would like to send this message to Nordica "Please don't change anything!". There's no doubt about it, it's the ideal ski for riders who want a real freeride ski that will also let them rip down the pistes.

Liked: Perfect for the 70% off-piste, 30% piste programme Overall comfort and accessibility Easy turn initiation Great impulsion Good overall stability...

Disliked: Nothing special...

Black Crows Corvus [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70

Based in Chamonix and reviewed by PROSKILAB™, this new brand made an excellent impression with the Corvus sent in. We may as well say it straight off: the Corvus is a very powerful ski that's not recommended for the faint of heart or the poets among you who want to ride the powder while admiring the landscape. It's a genuine freeride ski for genuine freeriders (preferably very virile!). The ski has fiendish stability and grip and just loves to go fast ...and if possible even faster. Stiff, tolerant, we might even say masochist, this is a ski that needs taking charge of with no messing about. It will take the most radical, adrenalin-pumping rides in its stride, while giving an incredible feeling of reassurance and security. Helped along to some extent by a 109mm waist, it will breeze through deep or challenging snow with excellent flotation. Its stiffness means it can rip through choppy and hard snow without a murmur. Elitist and stiff, it's logically less happy in smooth, slide or skid turns at medium speeds... It also requires excellent technical skills and should not be put in the hands of just any old rider. A genuine freeride machine, it's also less at ease on the groomed slopes than the Enforcer and far less so than a Cochise. However, we repeat, this is not a ski for gliding your way across blue runs: it's a real heavy weapon for experienced freeriders who want to hit the snow running.

Liked: Excellent freeride qualities Great stability and excellent grip A ski that loves to go fast ...

Disliked: Requires physical engagement and good technical skills Requires a certain amount of adaptation time Not so happy on the manicured slopes ...

Blizzard Cochise [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70
Best performance!Best performance!
Already tested with success last year, the Cochise once again confirms its high standard and its strong character. On piste, the ski is amazingly efficient and precise, almost trenchant... unique in this category! From the very first rides down, you know that this ski is just itching to get into long-radius turns and speed up. The grip and turn control are astonishing for a freeride ski, and the Cochise stays glued to the curve. At high speeds, stability is mind-boggling. But on the flip side, the ski is demanding and requires engagement: you have to be "on top of it". A stiff ski with a 27m radius (!), you understand fast that short-radius turns are not its thing and that it requires a good deal of engagement. In freeride, the ski displays the same qualities. Helped by its stiffness and a large waist, it zips through the crud and difficult snow conditions. Flotation in the powder is excellent, helped along by its wide waist (108 mm). This is a truly high-powered machine with outstanding grip and stability, but it's relatively demanding. The Cochise is perfect for very fit, experienced freeriders who prefer long turns and extreme speeds on all types of terrain, including the manicured slopes!

Liked: Awesome performance Fiendish stability and grip A ski that can go extremely fast Excellent piste performance Great precision and turn control ...

Disliked: A rigid ski, the Cochise requires engagement and technical skills, particularly in turn initiation Performance designed for long-radius turns, more ...

Elan Ripstick 106 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70

The Ripstick ski makes freeride accessible to even the least skilled riders thanks to its exceptional handling qualities. Off-piste, the ski is immediately reassuring. It covers all terrains and its exceptional agility will reassure less experienced skiers, always anxious about braking when rotating. You don't need to have the technical skills of Candide Thovex: the ski rotates without effort, even in crud and wet snow. You just need to steer left and then right and you'll find yourself effortlessly riding the slopes in a cloud of pow, just like a champion! On the pistes, the ski's comfort and its facility on soft snow is astonishing. Turns may not be the most precise and we're certainly not talking about a Cochise, but the easy initiation, the ski's playful character and the quality of the snow/ski contact guarantees plenty of pleasure. On the other hand, on hard pack, on the slopes and at high speeds the ski quickly loses its composure. The tip's flexibility makes the ride less consistent, even imprecise, and the lack of grip is unfortunately all too noticeable. The Ripstick is a playful and enjoyable model for skiers with very few technical skills who want to discover the joys of off-piste rides in the best conditions. This model will let them enjoy themselves instantly, with very little technical investment. Experienced freeriders will probably prefer an Enforcer or a Corvus

Liked: A playful and user-friendly ski Extremely easy rotation and overall handling Requires little physical engagement, tolerant ...

Disliked: Lacks grip and stability on hard pack and at high speeds ...

Zag H105 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70

Like the Ripstick and the Soul7, the H105 is designed for accessibility. The first rides down the pistes are great. The ski behaves well, is docile and reassuring. Rotation and initiation are fast and intuitive. The ski is relatively responsive and happy in short turns. Its behaviour becomes more erratic at high speeds. It lacks stability and the tail lacks impulsion and grip, forcing the ride to ski up front. In fast turns, the ski finds it hard to stick to its path and unfortunately tends to drift. Off-piste, its behaviour is generally good, but the ski has more difficulty in tricky snow. While the PROSKILAB™ team loved the H95, the H105, presented by the brand as a toned-down version of the H112, is probably... just a bit too demure, which explains its weaker performances compared to the other references on this category. Mmmmm... does that mean that the H112 is the H105 with an extra dose of vitamins? There’s no doubt, it’s a very good candidate for the 2018 review. Meanwhile, the H105 is still a very good ski for freeride newbies. We recommend it for a wide range of riders apart from experienced freeriders for all-mountain and all-snow performance.

Liked: Exceptional accessibility Sensation of lightness under foot Enjoyable at intermediary speeds Easy rotation and turn initiation Good in skid turn...

Disliked: Performance less convincing at high speeds when the ski lacks grip and tends to drift Lack of overall stability, especially on hard pack...

Rossignol Soul 7 HD [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 30/70

Rossignol's Soul 7 is one of those skis like the Ripstick or the H105 that aims for accessibility in a more technically difficult area. Off-piste, the ski's excellent flotation is a pleasant surprise (true, the 106mm waist and large rocker helps), considerably reducing the skier's muscle work. Its agility in the powder is really good. It's wicked linking short turns on this type of snow on intermediary slopes. However, the ski is not rigid enough to cut tracks through difficult snow or to handle hard pack on steep slopes... For the same reason, at high speeds, its performance is less clearcut and less reassuring. We find the same qualities and weaknesses on the groomed slopes. While handling is excellent, its great flexibility means its grips is less than perfect. At high speeds, the ski finds it difficult to stay on track and tends to drift. We need to be very clear: PROSKILAB™ selects and reviews the best skis on the market and is therefore extremely demanding. While it came last in this very exclusive selection, the Soul 7 is nonetheless a very good ski that will be a perfect tool for a wide range of skiers, especially newbie freeriders who are looking for an accessible and reassuring tool to discover this discipline.

Liked: Extremely easy to handle, very good rotation Generally enjoyable at intermediary speeds Good flotation in powder ...

Disliked: Performance is limited, lacks stability at high speeds Very flexible tip that gives the impression of braking the ski Lack of grip on the pistes ...

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