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58 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2017



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

Head Super Joy [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Unable to review this ski last year because of a preparation problem, the Super Joy from Head is back with a vengeance this year and (easily, we have to admit) scoops the "Best Ski" medal for this category. The first quality noted by the PROSKILAB™ reviewers is its incredible versatility. The ski is happy in all types of ride, snow conditions and terrain. From gliding around on soft snow to aggressive rides on hard pack and steeps, the Super Joy is quite simply ready for anything. Cruising at medium speeds, the reviewers noted its smoothness and comfort. When you pull out the stops, without being a racing tiger, the Super Joy has the qualities of a true sports ski. The ski is efficient on all types of slope. Turn entry is fast, almost incisive. Turn hold is quite simply magnificent; in addition, the ski is incredibly stable and grippy. At faster speeds, it gives a real feeling of confidence. Described as a "perfect advanced ski" by one reviewer, the Super Joy shines for its consistency and the sensations it offers. It's not only user-friendly but also performs superbly, is comfortable, and extremely enjoyable. PROSKILAB™ warmly recommends it for intermediary riders beginning to master curved turns up to experts who want the ideal combination of sport and pleasure.

Liked: Extremely versatile Rapid and easy turn entry Highly enjoyable Comfortable in dynamic turns ...

Disliked: Nothing special...

Völk Flair SC [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers

This year, Völkl suggested the Flair SC to replace the Adora which won the "Best ski" distinction last year. Like its predecessor, the Flair SC stands out for its excellence, narrowly missing the "Best ski" distinction. It is extremely user-friendly even for the riders with the fewest technical skills. Rotation is easy and even intuitive, turn performance is healthy and it's a remarkably stable ski. Skid turns are adaptive and consistent. The Flair SC is very forgiving if positioning is not quite right and the ski is reassuring. Piloting the tracks is easy, giving beginners the confidence they need. Very easy and comfortable, the ski is nonetheless a bit less efficient at a faster pace. At higher speeds and in carved turns, its performance begins to deteriorate. In this category we're looking for skis that are accessible for the least skilled riders who are nonetheless capable of progressing to carves and more advanced techniques. While the Flair SC is perfect for the first aspect, it's less convincing in terms of performance and so just missed out on the "Best ski" distinction. It's a model that we strongly recommend for beginners and improvers who want to move on to parallel skid turns.

Liked: Exceptional user-friendliness Tolerant, reassuring behaviour A light ski Enjoyable Excellent turn performance ...

Disliked: Not very adaptive in carving and less happy at higher speeds...

Elan Delight Supreme [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers

The Delight Supreme well deserves its name: riders with few technical skills will love it. The easy rotation and stability of pressure in skid turns make it particularly reassuring. The reviewers noted the ski's superb comfort and the fact that it glided the terrain smoothly, requiring little physical engagement. On the other hand, like the Flair SC, the model is not very adaptive. It's less happy when carving and at high speed when its limitations become pretty obvious. Rides become fuzzier and there is far less stability. The Delight Supreme is an excellent initiation ski that we recommend for beginners to intermediate skiers.

Liked: Exceptional accessibility Easy rotation Happy making skid turns Reassuring Needs a little physical engagement ...

Disliked: Less at ease in carved turns Lacks stability when the pace steps up ...

Blizzard Quattro W 7.4 Ca [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers
Best performance!Best performance!
Stiffer than its rivals, Blizzard's Quattro W 7.4 Ca is a performance-oriented ski. The ski is indeed extremely energetic, almost incisive, for this category. It enters turns easily with great precision and has strong grip; it's also very stable and happy in carved turns, even at high speed when it retains all of its qualities. A truly sporty ski, a little bit out of step with this category. Despite its excellent performance in skid turns, the reviewers regretted the challenging snowplough and stem, which made it a hard ski for beginners and false beginners who need these two techniques. It's a shame because except for this small problem, the ski would probably have got a "Best ski" distinction. Not accessible enough to get to the top in this category, the Quattro W 7.4 Ca is nonetheless an excellent ski for intermediary riders who enjoy parallel turns and would like to make technical progress to carving or carved turns.

Liked: Good performance overall Good carving aptitude Good grip and turn performance Heaps of character ...

Disliked: General lack of accessibility Hard to handle in the snowplough and stem, interior edge grips ...

Völk Flair 73 [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
Best performance!Best performance!
We already noted the qualities of the Flair SC from Völkl in the 'Women's intermediate cruisers' category, especially its user-friendliness and its comfort. The Flair 73 stands out in this 'Top-of-the-range' category, this time for its excellent performance. The ski is effectively relatively stiff for this category, making it more efficient than most. The ski is capable of going very fast while retaining its great stability and strong grip. Its just as happy on hard pack as on steep slopes. It's also a very highly strung ski with rapid take-off and a very lively kick. Particularly maneuverable and playful, it's the ideal ski to zip down the reds and the blacks with short-radius turns. On the other hand, riders need to be well positioned, especially coming out of turns when the stiff tail can drag the rider backwards. The Flair 73 is an excellent ski for experienced skiers, especially those who love to carve and understand how to position themselves fore and aft in the turn.

Liked: Very good overall performance Excellent stability A highly strung, responsive ski Fast handling ...

Disliked: Tail a bit stiff that needs to be well placed coming out of turns, otherwise you'll find yourself rejected backwards....

Stöckli Spirit Motion [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers

Already reviewed last year, the Spirit Motion from Stöcklï has not changed much and continues to put the emphasis on accessibility. Once again, it confirms its highly user-friendly nature. The reviewers were particularly impressed with the easy turn initiation, the progressive nature of the skid turns, and the consistency of the snowplough. In addition, it has good grip which is reassuring for skiers on hard pack. The ski is flexible (which makes for easy handling) but is less happy when we step up the pace. In effect, the reviewers found it lacked character to some extent and there was a loss of stability at high speeds. While it's not at the top of its category, this model well deserves its place in the very exclusive selection made by PROSKILAB™. We recommend the Spirit Motion for beginners to early intermediate skiers who mainly want to improve their skid turns and snowplough skills. Skiers who want to work on their carves should look for a slightly more dynamic model.

Liked: Very accessible overall A light ski Happy in skid turns and the snowplough Good grip and turn performance ...

Disliked: Lacks character and stability...

Head Absolute Joy [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers

Last year, we detected a problem of preparation with the Absolute Joy that Head gave us to test, so we wanted to review the model again this season. The ski perfectly fulfills its mission in terms of accessibility, which the reviewers considered as excellent. It’s very user-friendly, and obviously happy in the snowplough and skid turns, as well as entering turns. However, like many of its rivals this year, it's not very adaptive. Progress to more technical turns is hampered by a lack of overall performance and carving performance. "A very nice ski" according to one rider, the Absolute Joy is a true initiation ski, which will suit female skiers from beginners through to intermediary level.

Liked: A very user-friendly ski Light Excellent agility Stable Requires little physical engagement ...

Disliked: Not very adaptive Lack of overall performance Less comfortable in carved turns ...

Elan Insomnia [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end

The Insomnia from Elan is pretty well placed in this PROSKILAB™ selection. The reviewers liked the ski for the overall enjoyment it gave and its user-friendliness. Overall behaviour is very good when carving and in skid turns. Grip is strong and the ski is remarkably stable for such a light model. Accessibility is excellent, helped in particular by easy and intuitive turn entrance. Its overall behaviour is efficient and reassuring at higher speeds. The ski appears globally tolerant, but like the Flair 73 (to a lesser degree), it requires repositioning when coming out of turns, which involves some technical prowess. We recommend it for intermediate riders looking for an enjoyable ski that is not only very light, but is also efficient and extremely agile.

Liked: Globally enjoyable Light and stable Highly responsive initiation Easy, instant handling Agile, happy in short-radius turns ...

Disliked: Requires some technical skills, especially on exiting turns Poorer performance on hard pack at high speeds ...

Dynastar Intense 10 (Xpress) [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end

Defined as a "ski that inspires confidence" by the PROSKILAB™ reviewers, the Intense 10 from Dynastar was described as a consistent, all-mountain and very user-friendly ski. It's extremely comfortable thanks to the excellent cushioning of uneven piste. It adapts to the terrain and is comfortable in all situations, resulting in a feeling of security. Our reviewers regretted a certain lack of character, however. The rocker appears to hamper turn entry which lacks dynamism, and the fairly flexible tail kicks back little energy. The Intense 10 is a 'cruiser'; it's very comfortable cruising at medium speeds. It's a very good ski for average to good riders looking for a versatile model that's efficient on all terrains, comfortable and provides a lot of reassurance. Athletic riders who want to let rip will prefer a more dynamic model like the Super Joy or the Flair 73.

Liked: Inspires confidence A consistent 'go anywhere' ski Sound behaviour Tolerant and without surprises ...

Disliked: Inertia in turn initiation Relatively neutral performance, lacks character ...

Dynastar Intense 8 (Xpress) [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers

The Intense 8 (Xpress) from Dynastar is a globally enjoyable ski that's happy on all terrains and remarkably versatile. You'll ride everywhere without problem on a ski boosts confidence. However, the reviewers felt it lacked character to some extent. Initiation is not very responsive (partially due to the front rocker) and the ski gives little energy kick-back. Some reviewers felt it lacked stability when pressure was added in skid turns, reducing the ski’s accessibility. Although the Intense 8 came last in this very elite selection, it's nonetheless a good ski that will suit intermediary riders looking for a model that's at ease in all types of snow.

Liked: Inspires confidence Accessible Versatile Offers overall enjoyment ...

Disliked: A heavy ski that lacks agility Requires some technical prowess, especially when entering turns ...

Rossignol Famous 8 [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end

The Famous 8 from Rossignol displays sound and efficient behaviour that drew compliments from the reviewers. The ski is globally enjoyable, efficient and stable, even if we noted some loss of pressure in very dynamic carved turns. Similar to Dynastar's Intense 10 (even if the sidewalls differ), turn entry is also hampered by the rocker which seems to hold back edge turn entry. Turn initiation requires substantial engagement, which is incompatible with this category. It's a shame because it reduces the ski's accessibility, comfort and agility, otherwise it would be perfect. We therefore have mixed feelings about the Famous 8 whose basic behaviour seems sound, but which suffers from inertia in turn initiation that makes it less fun.

Liked: Good overall behaviour Good stability and grip Versatile in all snow conditions ...

Disliked: Inertia on initiation Lack of precision Inconsistent pressure in dynamic turn performance ...

Fischer Ivory [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end

We think that a problem of preparation on the model received from Fisher hampered the ski's performance. Turn entry was complicated by the lack of grip at the front section of the ski. Anchoring in turn hold was inconsistent which resulted in the ski being extremely unstable. We therefore reserve our judgement and would like to review the model again next year.

Liked: ...

Disliked: No doubt a problem of preparation with the ski reviewed A ski that's relatively flexible, lacks punch and grip Difficult turn initiation due to lac...

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