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SKI REVIEW
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The only professional ski review to refuse all advertising contracts with the ski manufacturers

60 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2019

Men's recreational groomers

SKI REVIEWS 2019

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

17.0/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 7 (Xpress) [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
In this category, we're looking for accessible skis for the weakest riders that will nonetheless help them to progress towards carving. The Speed Zone 7 from Dynastar is a perfect match for the programme. The ski is very accessible, intuitive, easy to handle ("it turns on its own"). Very little physical engagement is needed and the ski responds to the rider's slightest request. With easy rotation (despite a relatively large size: 175 cm) and consistency in skid turns, it's very reassuring for the least experienced riders. For our reviewers, the Speed Zone 7 is a "very good ski to begin with." The reviewers also noted its extremely forgiving nature. In effect, the ski is very forgiving, especially with edge mistakes. But, above all, the Speed Zone 7 is a very adaptable tool. Riders can transition very naturally and smoothly from slow skid turns to carving at medium speed. You'll be surprised how easy carving turns is when you engage a stronger edge angle. "It carves in every position" one reviewer noted. Very stable (true, this was helped by the size of the model reviewed), the Speed Zone 7 can accelerate again and again to reach higher (but still reasonable) speeds. The ski's easy handling and smooth turns, especially on soft snow, make it extremely enjoyable. The Speed Zone 7 is a perfect ski for this programme. It will help riders to master the snow plough or the stem and to make easy progress to parallel skid turns, followed by clean arcs and carving, while gradually stepping up their speed. In short, it's one of the best skis on the market for riders who want to make technical progress.

Liked: Accessible Consistent and reassuring Forgiving Easy rotation Happy in long and short turns Comfortable in skid turns Stable ...

Disliked: Slightly more demanding in short turns...

16.9/20
K2 Konic 78 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

K2 regularly treats the reviewers to skis that offer a well-balanced compromise, with a clever combination of access, comfort and performance. The Konic 78 is just such a tool and was judged one of the best skis in this category. We're looking for user-friendly skis for technically weak riders, but that also offer good potential for progress, helping riders to develop more technical turns, especially carving. The ski is remarkably accessible. In the reviewers' words, the ski is "simple to get to grips with" and you “immediately feel good." Rotation and turn initiation are easy and intuitive. Behaviour is consistent and predictable in all situations. Skid turns are enjoyable and consistent as long as you don't lean too far and/or you're positioned slightly back, as the ski tail tends to grip, great for slicing clean turns. Carving initiation is certainly very easy... According to the reviewers, you just need to bend slightly forward to effortlessly get the ski into a carve ("you lean forward and it carves"). The ski flexes and slides through the turn with unerring ease. Like the Speed Zone 7, the Konic 78 clearly meets the PROSKILAB guidelines for this category by its user-friendliness and its potential to help riders progress to carving. It's a bit more technical than the Dynastar though, especially in skid turns. It's an excellent choice for relatively good riders who enjoy parallel and skid turns and also want to move on to carving.

Liked: Rotation, turn initiation Consistent and adaptable behaviour Stability Happy in long turns Easy carve turn initiation ...

Disliked: Not quite so happy in short turns Tail could hamper skid turns if you're not well positioned ...

15.8/20
Rossignol Pursuit 600 CAM [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

Rossignol's Pursuit line is a great success. The Pursuit 800 stood out in the "Men's Top-of-the-range" category with a "Best ski" 2019 distinction. The Pursuit 600 CAM (Carbon Alloy Matrix for those in the know) is very well placed in this (already very demanding) selection of the best skis on the market. It's extremely accessible thanks to the ease of rotation, consistent skid turns and slight overdrive effect that will facilitate first turns. It's a tool that anyone can handle, even beginners. The ski is versatile, a good overall performer, and happy in all registers as long as it's not pushed too fast. In effect, at high speed, the tip tends to float and turns are less solid. The passage from skid turns to carving is easy and even intuitive. It's an excellent ski for this PROSKILAB programme that selects accessible skis for the weakest riders, but that can help them progress towards more technical carving. We recommend the Pursuit 600 CAM for a wide range of riders, from beginners getting onto skis for the first time to riders who have mastered parallel turns. They'll all discover an enjoyable, forgiving ski that will help them to make technical progress.

Liked: Accessible Efficient skid turns Forgiving Smooth carving ...

Disliked: Tip tends to float a bit Limited potential for speed ...

15.8/20
Völk RTM 76 Elite [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

This year, we reviewed the RTM 76 Elite from Völkl in a smaller size (161 cm) than requested for this category, which makes it more accessible but reduces performance. The ski rotates extremely easily, and the drifting tail makes wedge turns and first skid turns easier. Skid turns are intuitive and consistent. Unfortunately, since it was reviewed too short, the ski was less happy when pushed to its limits. At higher speeds, the lack of stability becomes tricky, "limiting the ski's potential for progress." The RTM 76 Elite from Völkl is great for all beginner to intermediate riders who've already begun their first carve turns. We recommend a larger size as, in our opinion, the 161cm is better suited to smaller riders.

Liked: User-friendly Good rotation and turn initiation Great for snow plough and carving ...

Disliked: Limited speed Not as happy in long turns ...

15.0/20
Nordica Dobermann Spitfire TI FDT [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

The Doberman Spitfire TI FDT spits fire... Maybe a bit too much for this category where we're looking above all for accessible skis that beginners can handle. The ski displays truly high-powered quality. Turn initiation, edge to edge, carving precision and stability are all very good. A "good carving ski", it's literally glued to the turn, even at high speed and doesn't mind being handled on edge. Despite its many qualities, the Dobermann Spitfire TI FDT does not fit into the programme, as its too technical and demanding for beginners or false beginners. On the other hand, it's an excellent ski for riders who already master skid parallel turns and want to move on to carving or to improve their performance.

Liked: Overall performance Slicing arcs and carving Grip and rebound Overall pleasure ...

Disliked: Lacks accessibility Skid turns less conclusive ...

14.3/20
Head V-Shape 4 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Best performance!Best performance!
PROSKILAB only reviews the very best skis on the market and so if the V-Shape 4 from Head is in last place, it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and its score shows that the ski has real qualities. It's a high performer but less forgiving than the other skis in this category, so it's not easy to do well in a programme that looks for user-friendliness above all. The ski's overall performance is good and its behaviour is consistent. The ski is quite stiff for the category and is very shapely, with a particularly narrow waist. The heel is extremely grippy, making snowplough and stem turns trickier to handle. On the other hand, the ski provides extra heel pressure for perfectly carved turns at low speed, which makes it an excellent ski for riders looking to improve their carving skills. The V-shape 4 is a good ski for relatively good riders who enjoy parallel turns. Less experienced riders should go for a more accessible ski like the Konic 78 or the Speed Zone 7.

Liked: Good all-round performance A great carving tool Easy and smooth for carving Consistent behaviour ...

Disliked: Riders need to know how to ski parallel turns Not very forgiving ...

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