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SKI REVIEW
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58 skis tested by professionals


Ski Review 2017

Men's

SKI REVIEWS 2017

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

18.8/20
Rossignol Hero Elite LT TI (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
After several difficult seasons when the brand's products found it hard to convince the reviewers, since last year, Rossignol has been back with a vengeance with an excellent selection of products. Already picked out last year and selected again by PROSKILAB™ in the 2017 review, the Rossignol Elite LT (for Long Turn), fitted with the Konect plate, displays the same qualities...with the same results. From the very first ride, you grasp all the generous character of this ski, judged as "very easy" and "immediately under control" by the PROSKILAB™ reviewers. It's also a remarkably comfortable model. It cushions the terrain, smoothes out any lumps and bumps to perfection and requires a minimum of effort in terms of control. But it's when you step up the pace that the Elite LT really struts its stuff, especially its remarkable efficiency. Turn initiation is immediate and intuitive, and turn control is exceptional. It has grip, is stable, and, above all, is very precise. "The turns are drawn with a compass!" one of the reviewers enthused. It's a real jewel of precision and efficiency. Of course, with the DNA of a Giant slalom ski, it's amazing in long turns, but still remains a good performer in short turns. It's a very versatile ski that will let you alternate effortless turns and long silky rides. It's as happy carving at high speeds on hard pack as it is in cool glides over soft snow. Considered as a "perfect ski" by some reviewers, it's obvious that the Rossignol Elite LT outperformed this selection of what are considered as the best skis on the market. You can do everything with it, with little effort and, above all, amazing sensations. The combination of precision, efficiency and comfort is impressive and extremely enjoyable. It's an excellent choice for a wide range of skiers, from intermediate level to expert.

Liked: Excellent overall performance Very sound behaviour Overall comfort A snappy, precise ski Lively and responsive ...

Disliked: Nothing special...

18.3/20
Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti (plaque R21 racing) [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Once again, we noted how a change of plate can alter a ski's performance by playing on the stiffness of the waist. During a discussion with the brand about the model to be reviewed in this category, we decided to test the Hero Elite ST (for Short Turns) that features a composite 'Race' plate (called R21 racing) and this choice proved highly judicious. The Hero Elite ST has a standard "Konect" plate and is a good ski, but we did not feel its performance was quite good enough during the pre-reviews for this "Slalom" category. The R21 plate provides the additional stiffness and performance that was lacking, putting it in first place, mainly due to the excellent accessibility/performance compromise. The ski is remarkably efficient, while remaining very accessible and intuitive. Thanks to a relatively flexible tip, turn initiation is instinctive and fast, extremely incisive when going into the turn. It grips and holds the turn faultlessly and has good rebound at the end of the turn. Very easy to handle, the ski is also very tolerant. It will forgive poor positioning and pressure, and does not jump into a push-off at the end of each turn like many other slalom skis. Big surprise for a ski in this category: the ski is very versatile. It carves, skids and slides as you want, and will coolly alternate dynamic turns at high speed and silky smooth turns at medium speed, for both long and short turns. The Elite ST Ti R21 is not a racing fiend but it stands out for the truly amazing compromise between accessibility and performance. With its R21 plate, it is remarkable for its incredible versatility and is perfect for a wide-ranging public, from the good to expert skier. We particularly recommend it for skiers who already have good technical skills and who want to improve their performance or even think about competitive skiing.

Liked: Sound and reassuring, intuitive, extremely easy to handle Requires reasonable physical effort for this category A really enjoyable ski for pleasure...

Disliked: Nothing special...

18.3/20
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...

17.5/20
Völk Racetiger Speedwall SL UVO [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Like the Hero Elite ST, the Racetiger Speedwall SL from Völkl stands out for the excellent compromise between performance and accessibility, as well as its multi-talented scope of use. Overall accessibility is excellent, even if some reviewers felt it was less convincing than a Rossignol. Its extremely sound and adaptive performance means that can be effortlessly exploited in every situation. Turn initiation is easy and precise. Once in the turn, the ski accelerates fast while retaining its incredibly strong grip. Impulsion at the end of the turn is a bit more energetic than with the Rossignol, so turns can be linked at a devilish rate. A bit more sporty than the Hero Elite and very slightly more demanding, the Racetiger is a ski we recommend for good to expert riders looking for a performance-oriented ski without wanting a racing beast that will cause havoc with their thighs after three runs down.

Liked: Good overall performance Accessible and user-friendly Sound, adaptive behaviour, good flex distribution Easy and precise turn initiation and entra...

Disliked: Nothing special...

17.5/20
Rossignol Hero Master M21 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
There's no getting away from it: the Hero Master with its R21 World Cup aluminum plate thrilled the reviewers. The level of performance is extremely high and the ski is a real powerhouse. This model from Rossignol is incredibly incisive with fast turn initiation and great precision. Turns are carved with a scalpel and, once anchored, the Hero Master is absolutely unshakeable. Grip and stability are quite simply exceptional. The ski feels like it's fixed on a rail, totally steady even in dynamic turns on hard pack at very high speeds. The reliability of the push-off ("a solid ski under foot" as one reviewer said) in all situations is one of the main reasons for the enjoyment you get out of it. One of the reviewers said they had a "feeling of invulnerability".

Liked: A remarkably incisive ski Excellent overall performance Superior grip and turn performance ...

Disliked: Requires a certain degree of technical skills and physical engagement ...

17.5/20
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 ...

17.4/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 10 Ti (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Speed Zone 10 ti is perfectly at home in this "Men's top-of-the-range" category where the main criteria is consistency. In effect, it's a highly versatile model, which will cover all snow conditions, all terrains, and all types of ride, with the reviewers unanimously expressing their enthusiasm: "A super versatile ski!", "A great ski for all snows and all terrains!" However, it's the ski's overall performance and very strong character also got the reviewers' raving. Its liveliness, helped by the highly responsive initiation and impulsion, gave a great deal of pleasure. It was especially comfortable carving. Turn hold is remarkable, and the ski is grippy and stable, with solid pressure even at high speed on hard pack and steeps. A ski with character, the Speed Zone 10 is a bit more technically demanding than most of its rivals. In particular, riders need to be well positioned, slightly forward, to get the most out of it.

Liked: Lively, energetic behaviour Good overall performance Extremely versatile Excellent behaviour in carved turns and carving Good stability and tur...

Disliked: Slight drop in performance at very high speed Requires a certain degree of technical prowess ...

17.1/20
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 ...

17.0/20
Elan SLX Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!
The SLX Fusion from Elan has continually done well in the PROSKILAB™ selection over the years. Although it hasn't changed much, it still gets good ratings from the reviewers for its responsiveness and its playful performance. In effect, with a rocker and a radius of 12.4m in the size reviewed, the ski stands out for its incredible agility combined with top-flight performance. It's a real jewel of a toy, able to carve out short turns with a surgeon's precision. The reviewers also loved the excellent ski/snow contact, the fluid ride and the excellent overall performance. Even better, the ski is generous, tolerant and extremely forgiving for less technical skiers who don't get their positioning quite right. Designed for short turns, this model consequently finds long turns more awkward and the ski tires more quickly at high speeds than some of its illustrious rivals. Easy to use, agile and playful, the SLX Fusion is a genuinely pleasure-oriented ski, packed with vitamins, and recommended for intermediary to good skiers looking for a particularly enjoyable and responsive model.

Liked: Good overall performance User-friendly and comfortable model Good ski/snow contact Accessible and forgiving A very playful ski Excellent turn pre...

Disliked: Classic ski for short turns, less at ease in long turns Tires more easily at high speeds...

16.9/20
Blizzard Brahma [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
A true benchmark for this market, and already rated "Best Ski" in 2015 (the ski was not reviewed last year due to a technical glitch on the model provided), the Brahma by Blizzard confirms its superiority in this market segment. It's the little brother of the larger Bonafide, which has won many awards and unfortunately was not reviewed this year. We're always amazed at the ski's easy handling and overall user-friendliness. You have a light and easy ski under foot that instantly does what the skier wants in an extremely manageable way. Whether on hard pack or soft snow, in carves or skid turns, short or long turns... it doesn't matter, the ski performs on all types of slope and surface and its performance is highly reassuring. When you step up the pace, the ski continues to perform well. At high speed on hard pack and steep slopes, its performance remains remarkable and cannot be faulted. Off-piste, the ski remains true to itself. Its agility is exceptional as is the experience of rides through crud. Highly versatile and consistent, comfortable in all situations, the Brahma is the ideal ski for this category where we're looking for extreme versatility. It's a remarkable ski that, as one of the reviewers said, could be put "in anyone’s hands", from the rough and ready skier who wants to make progress and try off-piste skiing to the experienced freerider who's looking for a high-performing ski to ride the pistes.

Liked: Easy to handle and tolerant Reassuring for greater confidence Versatile and consistent A one-quiver ski Ploughs through difficult crud snow ...

Disliked: Nothing special...

16.9/20
Völk Mantra [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
With several "Best ski" awards under its belt in recent years, Völkl's Mantra is one of the best skis on the market in this category. It remains top again this year, despite the increasingly strong competition in this highly lucrative segment. The ski doesn't seem to have changed since last year, and confirms its main quality: its totally amazing on/off-piste versatility! On piste, the Mantra has a lively and playful character. Initiation is remarkably fast and easy, giving the impression of real lightness under foot. Turn performance is excellent from every angle. The excellent grip means you can engage in hard, steep terrain with no worries. Easy turn initiation, tolerant (as long as you don’t ski too far forward), shifting very easily from carves to skid turns, it's a very user-friendly and comfortable ski that demands little physical or technical engagement. Whether you're out for audacious tricks or skiing "cool", this ski can do it... The ski reiterates its excellent performance and easy handling off-piste, where the ski remains stable even in the crud or on uneven surfaces. Flotation in deep snow is excellent and rotation remains very easy, even in transformed snow. We recommend the Mantra to a wide range of riders, first because of its great accessibility, which means intermediary to good skiers will be able to make progress both on and off-piste. Second, more experienced skiers looking for a sharp tool to cut a dash on all terrains will love its fantastic versatility.

Liked: Lively and playful An easy and tolerant ski, light under foot Grippy and stable Easy carve/slide/skid transition Cushions the terrain and rides t...

Disliked: Lacks stability at very high speeds...

16.8/20
Zag H95 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
PROSKILAB™'s aim is to make a comparative test of a limited selection of the best skis available on the market. We've been watching the ZAG for several years now and, after some discussions with the brand, decided to include the H95 in the 2017 review. Well, it was definitely a good move as the reviewers absolutely raved about the model. It's very rare that the brands' marketing spiel really matches up to a ski's performance. The H95, Zag presumptuously announced; "Enjoy the luxury of not having to choose: link a series of parallel turns down a steep slope, float in the forest powder or carve up the manicured pistes... the H95 can do anything!" Well, for once, the ski lived up to the talk! The H95 is incredibly versatile and high-performing, perfect for what we look for in this "All Mountain 50/50" category, in other words, a ski that's as happy on the piste as off the beaten track. Overall performance is very good, with strong emphasis on performance. The reviewers were especially impressed with its stiffness, which meant it was happy carving fast on the piste, tackling steep corridors or maximizing rides through the crud. The ski is designed to go fast, to grip hard and to stay unflappable in turn performance. It's fantastic in long-radius turns both on and off piste. While the ski is accessible and gives confidence, it should be noted that the H95 focuses on efficiency; designed to go fast, it's happier carving than in skid turns. Accessibility is not its strong point and it's not the ideal model for relaxed rides where fans of the latter would do better to choose a Mantra or a Stormrider. The reviewers did not hold back on their praise, describing the ski as "awesome", "a very good ski", "a super ski"... the superlatives flew around in all directions. For us, this is a great choice for athletic freeriders with good technical skills who want a tool that's truly efficient on all terrains.

Liked: Excellent overall performance Grippy Excellent performance in long turns Good flotation in the powder ...

Disliked: A stiff ski that just wants to fast, less happy at lower speeds and in skid turns More demanding in short turns ...

16.6/20
Dynastar Speed WC Master (R21 WC) [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The Speed Course Master, with the same aluminium plate as its cousin at Rossignol, is a true mainstream Giant slalom ski. It gives riders not only the performance they expect from this type of ski, but also exceptional accessibility, which means it can be used by (almost) everyone! In effect, overall performance is extremely high. The ski is lively, precise, incisive, stable and grippy, even if its grip and stability are not quite up to the standard of its cousin at Rossignol. Highly versatile and adaptive, it will fit in with every riders' whims. Riders can happily progress at all speeds for all types of ride and terrain. It handles well when riding cool and smooth, in very dynamic long-radius turns at high speeds, or on steep slopes with shorter-radius turns. However, above all, it's a remarkably tolerant, intuitive and simple to use ski for this category that is often very technical and demanding. The ski requires little adaptation time. "You're very soon on top of it" one of the reviewers remarked. It's the ideal ski for good to very good riders looking for a (very) high performance ski without sacrificing enjoyment.

Liked: Very good overall performance An incisive, precise ski Excellent accessibility Sound, consistent behaviour, easy to handle Versatile and able to ...

Disliked: Grip and performance slightly lacking compared to some other models in this category...

16.4/20
Stöckli Laser SX [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

Without a shadow of doubt, the Laser SX from Stöcklï is a machine designed to carve and carve again. The ski is made to carve out wonderfully accurate turns with the precision of a... Swiss knife! Turn initiation may not be the best, but once you're into the curve, the ski is amazing. Unflappable, even at high speed on hard pack, the ski stays on track, seeking to round off the turn as naturally as possible. What's more, its phenomenal grip lets you ride out radical angles. As one reviewer remarked: "it invites you to lean out further and further"...

Liked: Incredible grip and stability in turns Super carver with a natural inclination to round off turns Excellent snow contact Simple to operate if you ...

Disliked: Inertia and a feeling of weight underfoot Not so comfortable in skid turns or slide turns ...

16.3/20
Völk Racetiger Speedwall GS UVO [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

Riders are instantly at ease with the RaceTiger GS UVO. In downhill rides, comfort and accessibility are noticeable straightaway. Above all, its comfort is exceptional for this category of racing-oriented ski. It absorbs the terrain extremely well and requires remarkably little effort for steering. "A leather upholstered BMW" one of the PROSKILAB™ reviewers commented. The Racetiger is a very reassuring ski for intermediary skiers. Easy to handle, docile, especially at ease in turn initiation, it will go where you take it without flinching. The ski is extremely versatile in a wide variety of turns (including skid turns), remaining in beat with the rider. Turn performance and grip are very good, although not exceptional. When pushed in very dynamic turns at very high speed, the Racetiger starts to show signs of weakness. The rocker and relatively flexible tip make the rides less precise, especially when there's a lot of weight towards the front of the ski. There's a lack of impulsion when coming out of turns due to the somewhat weak rebound. The ski would have excelled in the "High performance carvers" category, but is weak in terms of pure efficiency in the Giant slalom category. However, it remains a very good ski that we would recommend for a wide range of skiers from intermediate to very good, and, above all, for riders who want to progress from carving to Giant slalom turns.

Liked: Consistent behaviour, sound and reassuring A very comfortable ski that absorbs the terrain and requires very little physical engagement An easy, d...

Disliked: Performance slightly less convincing in very dynamic turns Tip tends to lose grip if there's too much weight in front, and floats at high speed (rock...

16.2/20
Völk Racetiger RC UVO [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The Racetiger RC UVO from Völkl is not the best performer, nor the most playful or the easiest ski in the selection, but it's the ski that combines all these qualities with the greatest consistency. The first thing the reviewers noted is that the Racetiger RC is happy on every type of slope, every type of snow, in all rides and radiuses. The quality of this performance-oriented ski is amazing. As one reviewer put it, "it's versatility at its purest!" The ski gives a feeling of freedom: you can go where and how you like. The Racetiger RC manages every situation with extreme panache: carves, slides, skids, long and short turns, soft snow, hard pack... all that's left is to enjoy yourself. Performance is very good although it doesn't match up to that of the Hero Elite. Once in the turn, the ski is very stable with solid pressure. Its grip is good or even excellent in long turns at full speed when the ski is obviously very happy. The PROSKILAB™ reviewers noted a slight lack of character however, and the need for engagement in short-radius turns when the ski was more physical. In particular, the front rocker slightly hampered its speed in turn initiation as well as its liveliness. "I loved it", "super ski", "good ski", "fantastic"... there's no doubt, the reviewers all loved the Racetiger RC! It's a pure pleasure machine for good to very good riders looking for a top-performing and very versatile ski for sports-oriented performance on the pistes, without necessarily wanting a tool that's too lively.

Liked: Very good overall performance Exceptional versatility Excellent accessibility, intuitive handling Overall comfort Good long turn qualities Sound...

Disliked: Slight lack of character and vivacity A bit more physical in short-radius turns ...

16.2/20
Stöckli Spirit EVO [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

One reviewer summed it up perfectly as "simple, agreeable and fun". Simple: The Spirit EVO from Stöckli instantly gives riders confidence. It's immediately user-friendly a few rides downhill confirm the ski's docile and tolerant character, easily forgiving any pressure or positioning mistakes. It is extremely comfortable thanks to the quality of the ski/snow contact. Agreeable: the ski's overall behaviour is excellent, offering riders a lot of enjoyment. Overall performance is at the top of the category and the reviewers particularly appreciated the quality of turn hold. The model is grippy and incisive, with solid pressure. Fun: stiff, energetic, the Spirit EVO is lively and playful, mainly due to its responsive initiation and fast turn entry. Very lively and endearing, the Spirit EVO is truly enjoyable. It's the ideal mix between performance and accessibility for good to very good skiers.

Liked: An intuitive and user-friendly ski Good versatility Sound behaviour, forgiving A playful, lively and fun ski Very good stability Considerable s...

Disliked: Nothing special...

15.9/20
Dynastar Speed Zone Ti 16 (R21 Racing) [click]
Type of ski : Slalom

A worthy successor to the Omeglass Pro that ranked top last year, the Speed Zone 16, with the group's famous R21 racing plate, got a good score again this year. The new model is stiffer and more athletic than its predecessor... but also far more demanding. The level of overall performance is extremely high and the reviewers were particularly impressed with the precision and stability of turn performance, even in relatively longer turns. Once the turn has been initiated, the ski's a marvel... "a rail" as one reviewer put it. It has excellent grip is and is also very responsive, mainly because of the fast edge change and the lively kick. On the other hand, the extra dose of stiffness added by Dynastar impacts on its accessibility and requires real engagement by the skier for to get the most out of it. "You have to be on top of it" one reviewer explained. Turn initiation is less intuitive and requires good positioning, while you need to get exactly the right dose of pressure coming out of a turn, otherwise you may find yourself taking a tumble. The Zone 16 Ti is a true slalom ski, more performance-oriented than its predecessor. We recommend it for highly engaged, very good to competitive skiers with a relatively heavy frame. Skiers looking for a less demanding ski or with a lighter frame would probably do better with Rossignol's Hero Elite or Völkl's Racetiger.

Liked: Good overall performance Ski with grip, particularly efficient for turn performance Very stable once it's anchored An energetic, responsive ski V...

Disliked: A bit less responsive in initiation than some other models in this category, requires the right positioning A stiff ski that needs engagement for co...

15.9/20
Head WC Rebels iSpeed [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

We decided to include the iSpeed Rebels from Head in the PROSKILAB™ review after the pre-tests and discussions with the brand, and we were not disappointed. This model really walks the talk in powder! There's no doubt, it’s the kind of ski that invites you to rip through the snow. With incisive initiation, fantastic turn performance, exceptional stability and explosive push-off, the ski reminds anyone who may have forgotten that it has a true racing ski pedigree. The model is a devil in disguise that just invites you to step on the gas; in most cases, the skier reaches his limits before the ski does. But the model also demands a lot in return for its elitist performance and requires considerable technical and physical prowess. It's not an easy ski since it's very stiff with little flex. According to the reviewers, it requires "constant engagement", and perfect positioning... The iSpeed Rebels is a powerful and aggressive ski, designed for performance, but unfortunately lacking the accessibility needed for the programme. It's a great choice for very good, expert and competition skiers looking for performance above all.

Liked: A stiff, efficient ski Punchy and playful Excellent grip Exceptional hold in turns, especially impressive in long turns at very high speeds Perf...

Disliked: Requires concentration Technically and physically demanding ...

15.9/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 7 (Xpress) [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Speed Zone 7 from Dynastar offers a perfect match for the demands of the PROSKILAB "Intermediate cruisers" programme. Riders with the weakest technical skills will enjoy this ski. Its easy rotation and turn entry, the consistency of skid turns, and its forgiveness of mistakes in positioning or pressure make it a particularly reassuring model for beginners. In addition, it can help skiers to make technical progress. There's a natural transition to slide turns and then carving. Grip and turn hold remain good when the pace is stepped up. The quality of the snow contact and its docile behaviour make it an extremely agreeable ski that will give a lot of enjoyment. A flexible ski, designed for accessibility, it obviously fares less well in more radical rides, on hard pack, at high speed and steep slopes. On the other hand, that's not its programme. The Speed Zone 7 is an excellent ski for this category. It's definitely one of the best skis on the market for beginner to intermediate riders who want to make technical progress, in particular riders who'd like to perfect their parallel turns and want to begin carving.

Liked: Ski gives confidence, accessible to the weakest technical levels Versatile Good quality skid turns Excellent ski/snow contact, very gentle touch ...

Disliked: A flexible ski for light to medium frames Limited performance ...

15.4/20
Rossignol Pursuit 600 basalt [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Best performance!Best performance!
In this category, we're looking for skis that will help riders make progress from their early steps (snowplough and skid turns) to more technical rides. The skis therefore need to be very accessible, with easy rotation, reassuring and consistent in skid turns, and requiring little physical engagement. They should also be able to retain their grip and stability at a faster pace, end ensure the transition to carving or even carved turns. The Pursuit 600 Basalt unfortunately does not have what it takes to fulfill the first part of the contract. A very (too) good performer and relatively stiff for this category, it's not accessible enough for less technically skilled riders. In particular, the ski is a bit wobbly in skid turns at high speed. Judged by the reviewers as an "excellent ski", designed for performance, and with remarkable punch and grip, it requires good technical skills and some carving experience. Although the Pursuit 600 Basalt is not really adapted to the "Intermediate cruisers" category, we recommend it for intermediary to very good riders who're already well at ease at carving.

Liked: Good overall performance Ski with character, good grip for this category Happy and stable when carving Global versatility Excellent turn perfor...

Disliked: Tends to float in skid/slide turns at high speed Requires a certain degree of technical prowess, especially for carving ...

15.3/20
Stöckli Stormrider 88 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

As is often the case, Stöckli has given us an excellent product with all the quality of Swiss manufacturing as an added boon. The first impression is one of great comfort... probably due to its Swiss origins too. The ski cuts across the terrain and requires little engagement. It links turns smoothly and easily. Docile and tolerant (as long as you don't put too much pressure on the front), it responds to the tip of the finger. And even more, because you’ll find that if you want to play about a bit, the ski loves to join in. This mix of comfort and liveliness is extremely enjoyable. It's really great, especially in short-radius turns on soft snow. The very flexible tip and the front of the ski nonetheless means that the rider needs to get a central positioning and should avoid putting pressure on the tongue. For the same reasons, the ski becomes less stable at high speeds when the tip begins to knock and vibrate. The Stormrider 88 well deserves its place in the PROSKILAB™ review as one of the best skis on the market. It's the ideal ski for what one of the reviewers called "all mountain cruising". So it's an excellent choice for middle-of-the-road to good skiers who want a ski that's both engaging and playful, for funky rides on all types of terrain. Keen speed freaks and lovers of steep corridors will probably prefer a stiffer ski like the Kendo or the Brahma

Liked: Excellent accessibility, tolerant, Good overall efficiency Dynamic and playful behaviour Excellent comfort Great grip in short-radius turns High...

Disliked: A flexible tip that tends to vibrate and knock at high speeds Lacks stability at high speeds Rider needs to be well-centred due to the ski's flexib...

15.3/20
Stöckli Stormrider 97 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

High-performing, comfortable, versatile and well balanced, the ski stands out for its all-round qualities. A real Swiss knife, it will take you anywhere, on all terrains and snow conditions and in all types of ride, without shining in any particular area. It requires little engagement, even if initiation is a little slow. However, once into the turn, the performance is smooth and the grip excellent thanks to its stiff tail. Off-piste, it planes well and pivots easily in deep snow, while rides through crud and difficult snow are consistent with this category. When you step up the adrenalin at high speeds or on steep slopes, the ski remains highly efficient, even if it's not quite up to the standard of the H95 or the Mantra. Once again, the reviewers were full of praise for this ski, ranging from "a good ski" to "a very good ski". Versatile, accessible and adaptive, the Stormrider invites intermediary riders to improve their technique. We recommend this model for good skiers who want to make progress both on and off piste and for very good skiers who're looking for versatility on all terrains.

Liked: A well-balanced, consistent ski Comfortable and generally agreeable Tolerant and smooth Excellent piste/off-piste versatility ...

Disliked: Some reviewers regretted a certain lack of character...

15.1/20
Fischer RC4 RC [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The RC4 RC from Fisher has passed the preselection for this PROSKILAB™ category for several years. While it didn't come top, it's still one of the best skis on the market and well deserves its place in the selection. First of all, it's a genuine giant slalom ski, full of punch, grippy and incisive. It's a ski you can count on when you want to zip down the slopes in all situations. But it's also a very enjoyable, playful, comfortable and versatile ski that will give a lot of enjoyment. It's medium radius and good flex distribution means that it's happy and even playful in short turns. It's not the best performer, nor the most accessible, but it's the most consistent ski in this selection. It's also a model that's particularly enjoyable, and we recommend it for athletic and competition skiers.

Liked: An accessible, tolerant ski Very good overall performance Versatile, able to vary turns Generally fun ...

Disliked: Requires a little time to adapt and perfect positioning, needs to be skied in central position. Slight lack of performance, especially in cruising mo...

15.1/20
Nordica Enforcer 93 (flat) [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

Although the Italian market is more focused on racing than freeride Nordica's Enforcer gave the PROSKILAB™ reviewers a good surprise last year. The Enforcer is fast becoming a benchmark ski in the All Mountain Fat category (or All mountain 30/70 at PROSKILAB™). The ski got a "Best ski" distinction in the All Mountain 30/70 category, and did just as well this year! We tested a 93-mm waist version (as opposed to 100 mm for its big brother) that puts it in the 50/50 category. The model was pre-tested in January 2016 and accepted for the PROSKILAB™ 2017 review. The Enforcer 93 has kept most o the qualities of its big brother, notably its exceptional accessibility, with instant ease of use, and performance that is efficient, docile and reliable. The snow/ski contact is exceptional. The ski is very gentle and well-balanced, offering a lot of enjoyment, especially on soft snow. However, the reviewers felt that it lacked character and punch, partly because the tail lacked impetus. Performance falls off and becomes less concise at high speeds. Off-piste, the ski is globally competent and efficient, despite its small waist size compared to its rivals. Riders will love the overall efficiency, the comfort it offers in all snow conditions, and its docility and smooth performance. The Enforcer 93 is an excellent ski that we recommend for average to good skiers who enjoy both smooth and very aggressive rides. They'll be pleasantly surprised by this model, which handles well and is extremely reassuring on all terrains. It doesn't have its big brother's character, however; the latter is a better option for expert freeriders.

Liked: Sound and docile performance Extremely accessible A gentle, comfortable ski Reassuring ...

Disliked: Lacks character and impulsion Performances less convincing at high speeds ...

15.0/20
Nordica Dobermann GSR RB EVO + N POWER X-Cell EVO [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

Usually selected and tested with success, the Dobermann GSR EDT was awarded the "Best ski" distinction in this category last year, and was a ski that the reviewers really loved. The model got special praise for its performance, while remaining accessible for a non-competition public. The version reviewed this year (Dobermann GSR RB EVO) has been fitted with carbon inserts ("Racing Bridge" which explains the "RB" initials) that have considerably increased the ski's stiffness, enhancing its performance in radical turns to the detriment of accessibility and comfort. While the ski is extremely stable, grippy and solid in turn performance and globally very efficient, this year it has gone one better in terms of liveliness, accessibility and versatility. Since it is very stiff, getting some flex on this new version of the Dobermann is particularly difficult. This gives an impression of inertia on turn initiation, with limited short turn options and a lot of physical and technical work required from the skier in general. The Dobermann GSR RB Evo has become too elitist for the "Giant" programme as defined by PROSKILAB, where accessibility for a non-competition public is an important criteria. It's still a very good Giant slalom ski, close to an FIS ski, and awesomely effective when cruising long turns at high speeds. We recommend it for relatively well-built, extremely athletic and competition skiers.

Liked: A ski that's fast and stable at high speeds, 'on a rail' at high speeds Remarkable grip Consistent behaviour, sound and reassuring, even at top sp...

Disliked: A very stiff ski, both technically and physically demanding Handling needs some time to adapt to Some inertia when entering turns, lacks punch comin...

15.0/20
Elan Amphibio16 ti2 Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

Once you've understood that this model, like many of Elan's skis, is asymmetric (you need to remember that there's a right ski and a left ski), the Amphibio 16 has many qualities. It's first and foremost a very user-friendly ski, including for riders who don't yet master carving techniques. In effect, the ski enters turns very easily, skids very well and is smooth and comfortable in skid and slide turns (between the carve and the skid), and it forgives potential positioning faults coming out of turns. Carving is fine. The ski is well placed on the snow and holds the turn remarkably well, mainly due to its very good grip. It's especially efficient in long-radius turns when its stability is astonishing. It can go fast as long as you don't push it too far. To conclude, it's a very enjoyable ski, ideal for intermediate to good riders looking, above all, for facility and smoothness.

Liked: Very user-friendly Good turn performance Stable Good ski/snow contact Does well in long-radius turns ...

Disliked: More limited at high speeds on hard pack...

14.9/20
Head Premium [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

As soon as you hit the piste, you know that Head's "Premium" is designed for carving. Its well-distributed stiffness helps it to excel in this domain. Turn entry is fast and incisive, grip is excellent and rebound is full of punch. It has no complexes attacking the turn, and edge hold is incredibly stable, linking turns extremely smoothly, even at considerable angles. Its shape, the quality of turn initiation and the energetic rebound all add up to a ski that which performs exceptionally well and is fun in short-radius turns. Like most skis designed for ultimate carving performance, it is distinctly shaped (with a wasp waist) and a stiff tail. On the other hand, skid turns are a challenge. When edging, the tail tries to anchor, hampering the ski's rotation. Not versatile enough to do well in this category, the Head Premium is nonetheless an excellent ski for good to expert carving fans.

Liked: Excellent carving qualities Exceptional performance in short-radius carved turns Dynamic impulsion Great stability in turns Good grip ...

Disliked: Less comfortable in skid turns Requires a certain degree of technical prowess Behaviour deteriorates at high speeds ...

14.8/20
Nordica GT 80 TI EVO + N PRO X-Cell EVO [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

The Nordica GT 80 ti EVO is a great all-mountain ski, largely due to its width underfoot (80 mm) which makes it comfortable on all types of snow. Turn initiation is very easy and edge hold in turns is excellent. It's remarkably easy, predictable, tolerant and enjoyable. The smooth transition between carves and skids makes cruising especially satisfying. The ski is quite heavy and lacks the stiffness needed for top performance. Its behaviour starts to deteriorate in aggressive carving at high speed on hard pack when the reviewers regretted the lack of energy and a certain degree of inertia. The pleasure riders get from this ski comes more from its user-friendliness and smooth performance than its responsiveness. The GT 80 Ti EVO is a good ski for riders looking for a tool that is comfortable on all types of snow for smooth transitions from gentle skid turns to carved turns and carving initiation.

Liked: Tolerant and accessible Comfortable and stable Smooth transition between carved /slide/skid turns Great fun ...

Disliked: A heavy ski Limited when carving Lacks character and responsiveness ...

14.8/20
Elan Amphibio 80 ti [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

The Amphibio 80 ti is notable for its overall facility and consistent performance, judged excellent by the reviewers. The ski is very versatile and is happy in all types of ride and turn. It's very user-friendly, even if it performs less well than the Speed Zone 7... The ski is intuitive and requires little technical prowess; it's extremely reassuring for intermediate riders. Turn entry is very easy, and rides at medium speed are particularly consistent and agreeable. Some reviewers felt that the relatively noticeable tail was a bit too grippy in skid turns, but it wasn't a major problem. The transition from skid turns to carves was fluid and one of the major features of this model. It's extremely adaptive and the ski's performance remains globally efficient at higher speeds in tighter trajectories. However, we noted (logically in view of the programme) weaker performance on hard pack at high speeds. Halfway between the Dynastar (very easy to handle) and the Rossignol (with a focus on performance), the Amphibio 80 ti offers an interesting compromise. It's a perfect ski for relatively fair riders who love parallel turns and skid turns and want to improve their carving skills.

Liked: Good accessibility overall Tolerant Versatile Sound and reassuring, no-surprise behaviour ...

Disliked: Lacks accessibility compared to other models in the selection Lacks character Performance limited on hard pack at high speed ...

14.7/20
Head Strong Instinct Ti [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

The Strong Instinct Ti from Head immediately stands out as a ski adapted to the weakest levels. The ski enters turns easily, skid turns are very consistent and reassuring and its tail helps produce successful parallel turns after a snowplough opening. It's brilliant for beginners and fair to middling riders. In addition, the ski is extremely comfortable and requires little physical engagement. Highly versatile, with 83 mm underfoot, the ski is happy on all types of snow and is especially agreeable on soft snow. Very user-friendly and reassuring, the String Instinct Ti nonetheless performs well overall. Carves and grip are especially good for the category. The ski is adaptive and will allow fair riders to advance to more technical moves. However, the reviewers also noted a lack of punch. Globally docile and reassuring, the ski does not kick back much energy, to the detriment of riding enjoyment. In addition, stability becomes increasingly haphazard at high speeds. The Strong Instinct Ti is an excellent choice for a wide public from beginners to good skiers (medium to heavy frames) who're looking for a versatile and consistent model.

Liked: Stable when cruising Overall versatility, comfortable in all snow conditions Easy turn initiation and entry Excellent comfort An enjoyable ski ...

Disliked: Clumsy, lacks punch Lacks stability ...

14.7/20
Völk Kendo [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
Best performance!Best performance!
Like the Brahma, the Kendo has become a solid market reference. After getting a "Best ski" distinction last year, it continued to do extremely well this year. It's still a stiff, predictable, extremely stable and grippy ski, that behaves incredibly well and loves to go fast. We reviewed a 22m radius waist model, which obviously prefers long-radius turns, if possible at very high speeds. However, it's happy on all terrains, both on piste and off the beaten track. The ski is "solid" in all conditions and won't let you down, even on steep slopes and hard pack. Its stiffness is also an advantage in difficult snow, especially in the crud where it won't let a few mounds of snow distort it. On the other hand, the ski requires engagement and concentration as well as good technical skills. Some reviewers also noted the "German car" comfort: you feel safe but it’s firm under foot! You've got it: the Kendo was not designed for riders who like to float along enjoying the view. It's not really for learner freeriders either. This is heavy stuff, and in this category, it's probably one of the best skis on the market for good to expert athletic riders looking above all for performance.

Liked: Good overall performance Stability and turn hold at high speeds Solidity in difficult snow A gutsy and energetic ski that loves speed ...

Disliked: A relatively demanding ski that requires physical engagement and good technical skills Lacks comfort ...

14.7/20
Scott Sage [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

Sage from Scott is the new name of the Sagebrush, reviewed last year by PROSKILAB. The ski does not seem to have changed much and its performance is very similar to the model already tested. The Sage will instantly reassure the least experienced skiers. Its behaviour is sound and intuitive and the ski is stable and quickly gives confidence. Tolerant, it's very forgiving in errors of positioning or pressure. Its performance is good as long as you don't push it too hard. You'll be comfortable taking the Sage anywhere thanks to the excellent cushioning qualities, and it requires very little physical engagement. Despite its sound performance and the enjoyment it gives the rider, the reviewers nonetheless regretted a slight lack of liveliness and grip. The ski's flex, which makes it so accessible, can be felt at high speeds, when we noted a drop in performance, especially on hard pack. The Sage was designed for accessibility and comfort. It's the ideal ski to discover off-piste skiing, an area in which its well at ease and excels. More experienced skiers will probably prefer a stiffer and livelier ski like the H95 or the Mantra.

Liked: Versatile both on and off piste Accessible All-mountain qualities Good rotation Well-balanced ...

Disliked: Lacks character and quickness A heavy ski Lacks grip ...

14.6/20
Dynastar Cham 2.0 97 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

The Cham 2.0 97 by Dynastar is a ski that will surprise by its exceptionally user-friendly handling that performs intuitively both on and off piste. On the piste, it behaves extremely well. The ski is agreeable, agile and very simple to use. Initiation is easy and the ski has a natural inclination to round off turns. In addition, boasts a good kick (despite a light back rocker), it's particularly lively and happy in short-radius turns. However, it’s performance deteriorates when you step up the pace, reducing stability and precision. Its freeride performance is OK, but not quite up to the high standard of this sector. While flotation in powder is not exceptional, the ski is saved by its excellent handling qualities. The Cham 97 deserves its a place in this PROSKILAB™ selection. We recommend it for intermediate to good skiers who want a tool that handles well and is fun at average speeds.

Liked: Easy handling Enjoyable and user-friendly for on-piste rides Good rotation Lively, with good kick ...

Disliked: Performance limited at high speeds Off-piste performance less convincing Flotation in deep snow ...

14.5/20
Head I. Supershape Magnum [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The 13.1m radius on the Supershape Magnum from Head gives an indication of what's to come. This is a ski designed for short turns, where its smooth and nimble performance is impressive. As one reviewer put it: "you have the impression you've got a snowblade under your feet!" Initiation is immediate, grip is excellent and turn control impeccable... as long as you're well positioned. In fact the ski will easily overdrive if distribution to the fore is too great. Some reviewers found it performed best with slight pressure on the heel. Once you've found the right positioning, the ski is incredibly easy and efficient, linking parallel turns at a fiendish rate and with virtually no effort. However, the ski's highly chiselled shape (which well deserves its name) and the stiffness of the heel tend to hamper skid and slide turns. In addition, when you want to ride wider turns, the ski's performance quickly deteriorates, with a tendency to lose pressure and grip. The Supershape Magnum is obviously a highly specialised 'short turn' ski that we recommend for good to very good athletic skiers looking for an incisive and responsive tool for dynamic and tight turns.

Liked: A highly responsive and playful ski Good fun overall Very good short turn performance Good carving qualities ...

Disliked: Skid/slide turns difficult Mono-programme and mono-radius Requires time to adapt to find the right positioning ...

14.5/20
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 ...

14.1/20
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...

13.7/20
Blizzard RC Ca [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

A good ski, the Rc Ca from Blizzard significantly lacks the accessibility required to do well in this category. The model is effectively far more demanding than its rivals. The reviewers particularly regretted the stiff tail that hampered the ski's rotation in skids at slower speeds, and had a strong impact on the ski's accessibility for beginners and average riders. The ski is globally efficient when carving at high speed. It was certainly at its best in this area, showcasing all of its qualities. Behaviour was sound and without surprise. The tail's stiffness gave it strong grip and acceleration coming out of turns. It made you want to go full throttle and carve out long-radius turns. On the other hand, it requires good repositioning at the end of the turn if you don't want to lose balance to the rear. A stiff ski that performs well, the Rc Ca is not a ski we would recommend to beginners as it's a demanding tool, designed for good riders who already have excellent technical skills, especially when it comes to carving.

Liked: Good overall carving performance Good grip and stability in long-radius turns Sound behaviour A fast ski that loves to step up the pace ...

Disliked: A demanding ski, too zippy for the programme A hard tail that hampers skid turns at slower speeds Demanding in short-radius turns ...

13.4/20
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 ...

13.3/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 12 ti (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The PROSKILAB™ team is mainly made up of experienced professionals who are expected to push the skis to their absolute limits and to dissect their performance in detail. The rest of the team is made up of non-professional 'experts' whose role is to give a less technical impression that's closer to that of the end user. While the two types of review generally converge, we sometimes get models where the professionals point of view is very different to that of the 'experts'. This is what happened with the Zone 12 ti from Dynastar (featuring the group's Konect plate). The professional skiers found its behaviour atypical and globally under-performing, requiring positioning to the aft of the ski, while the 'expert' skiers found it generally easy and fun, especially when carving out long turns. The ski's flex distribution is original with a flexible tip and a certain degree of stiffness in the tail. In dynamic turns, this means you have to find the grip towards the back of the ski, which is not a problem in carve turns at medium speed. In these conditions, the ski is even really easy and great fun, eliciting praise from the non-professional reviewers. But at high speed, as the G-force and the need for anchoring increases, the whole length of the edge is needed. The lack of grip at the front of the Zone 12 Ti then becomes a handicap, resulting in "the ski becoming unbalanced, impairing its performance according to the professional reviewers. While the Speed Zone 12 ti is not a real 'performance' ski, it remains an excellent choice for intermediary skiers who want to discover carving and carved turns.

Liked: A very easy and accessible ski Good carving qualities Generally comfortable and fun to use ...

Disliked: Lacks performance overall Requires correct positioning, is unhappy with too much distribution to the fore, ski needs slight tail pressure. ...

13.3/20
Rossignol Experience 88 HD (Konect) [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

The reviewers agreed that the Experience 88 HD's performance had made great strides compared to its predecessors. The ski is enjoyable, reassuring and instantly manageable. The first rides are smooth and stress-free thanks to its well-balanced and healthy behaviour. The Experience 88 HD responds well and is docile. It's especially happy when carving, and on soft snow it's a real treat! Off-piste, it will take riders wherever they want to go, although it fails to excel because of the shape which is too sharply carved (extremely narrow waist). However, its overall behaviour and, above all, performance in the crud had improved significantly compared to previous models. In more demanding conditions, the ski's flexibility holds it back. At very high speeds, on hard pack and steep slopes, the ski shows its limits. Grip could be better and the ride becomes less precise. Up against the best skis on the market, Rossignol's Experience 88 HD does well, despite its obviously more piste-oriented behaviour. We recommend this ski for average to good skiers who want to make progress on the manicured slopes and, above all, improve their carving or ride in the powder when the conditions are right.

Liked: Sound, well-balanced behaviour An accessible and tolerant ski Overall enjoyment, especially on soft snow Good performance on the piste Good carvi...

Disliked: Shape still too strongly carved for freeride, tail hampers rotation Performance slightly under par, especially on hard pack and steep slopes or at hi...

13.2/20
Scott The Ski [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

"The Ski" by Scott is a model that the PROSKILAB™ team know very well. Over the last few seasons it has held its own in this selection of the best skis in the category, without ever quite managing to get to the top. It doesn't seem to have changed much compared to last season and continues to please for its handling qualities and the enjoyment it gives. It's instantly manageable. First rides down at medium speeds both on and off piste show it to be a consistent, gentle and fun ski to use, docile as long as you don't ask too much. Turn initiation is intuitive, it's very happy in skid turns and slide turns, and especially enjoyable on soft snow when riders will enjoy really good vibes. On the other hand, when you step up the pace, the lacks of rigidity and grip becomes very obvious. The very flexible tip tends to shake at high speeds. Riders needs to remain very central to avoid the front of the ski from losing grip. Grip and turn hold also deteriorates on hard pack and steep slopes. Like the 88HD, The Ski is recommended for middle-of-the-road riders (who represent the vast majority of the market). It's perfect for skiers looking for an easy and playful ski for the pistes, that's incredibly enjoyable on soft snow and will take you off the beaten track.

Liked: A playful, enjoyable ski Well-balanced Healthy and consistent performance at intermediary speeds Tolerant Great on soft snow ...

Disliked: A flexible ski Tip tends to shake at high speeds Performance less powerful, ski less at ease Grip and performance found wanting on hard pack and ...

12.9/20
Fischer Pro Mtn 86 ti [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

The Pro Mtn ti (for "Pro Mountain") was pre-tested in January 2016, and was given the go-ahead to join the PROSKILAB™ review. The model sent in for the review appeared to have a preparation problem however, which affected its performance. The reviewers effectively found its grip was uneven and varied depending on the pressure, making the ski difficult to manage, especially at high speeds, with far stronger grip at the front of the ski. When riders pushed on the tongue, the ski tended to go into overdrive. With pressure to the rear, the grip weakened and the ski began to swing. However, we noted that the ski's sharply carved shape is designed for a mainly piste-oriented programme. We therefore keep an open mind and would like to review the model again next year.

Liked: A very nice ski in short-radius turns Good grip Good kick ...

Disliked: Some reviewers were bothered by the uneven grip along the edge, probably due to a problem of preparation or finish in the model we were given to revie...

10.4/20
Fischer RC4 SC [click]
Type of ski : Slalom

Fisher is an excellent brand that we've been testing with success for many years. The RC4 SC is a well-known model, reviewed last year with good results and highly appreciated by our reviewers for its sports qualities. However, we have to say that our reviewers were somewhat disappointed with the model we were given to test this year. The ski is particularly stiff and requires a great deal of physical effort due to its lack of flex. It also needs excellent technical skills to steer it. While some of the heavier expert and competition skiers found it efficient, those with more medium build or less technical skills found the ski very difficult to handle. This is a ski reserved for an elite looking for efficiency before pleasure.

Liked: Good overall performance Smooth rotation and skids ...

Disliked: A ski that's technically and physically very demanding The ski is very stiff with little flex, giving an impression of general inertia. You can't sk...

9.8/20
Fischer Curve DTX [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

Sometimes the PROSKILAB™ reviewers disagree about a model, which was what happened with the Curve DTX from Fisher. Some found it "playful and exceptional" with excellent handling qualities. Others found it unstable with slippery pressure, making carving difficult. This makes us think that there was a specific problem with the model supplied, especially as we didn't notice this issue with the model we pre-tested in January and that left a very good impression overall, leading to its selection for the PROSKILAB™ review. In view of our doubts, we decided not to give this ski a score and to review it again next year.

Liked: Great skid turns Easy turn initiation ...

Disliked: Unstable and unpredictable behaviour Difficult to enter and maintain the rail Lacks pep ...

0.0/20
Blizzard Quattro RX [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The Quattro RX could not be reviewed due to a faulty binding. The ski will be included in the 2018 selection.

Liked: ...

Disliked: ...

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