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62 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2020

All Mountain 70/30


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

Elan Wingman 86 CTI [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Wingman 86 CTI proposed by Elan had made a strong impression during pre-selection in January 2019. We included it in the Proskilab review, considering that the ski was perfectly suited to our specifications for this category. We were looking forward to having it tested by a team of professionals in a comparative situation with other market leaders. The result did not disappoint us and the ski (a first in this category for Elan) gets a well-deserved "Best Ski" award. The Wingman 86 CTI is above all an incredibly easy ski: you immediately feel good on it and your first turns are performed confidently. No need for instructions: the ski has remarkably docile and intuitive behaviour. It is "a ski for everyone", "that lets the skier choose", for which you don't need to deploy any big techniques. The behaviour on the piste is simply excellent. The ski is very solid on its supports, agile, with a very good boost at the end of turns. The ski brings gives a lot of sensations and you don't get bored. Off-piste, the ski shines with its ease. Despite its 86 mm waist, its buoyancy is correct in powder. Transitioning to choppy snow is very good and the ski does not allow itself to be deformed in lumps of compacted snow. Capable of cut and skid handling, small and large turns with fluidity, the Wingman 86 CTI is comfortable on all terrains and demonstrates great versatility. No doubt this ski is destined for a long career like the Kendos, Kore 93s, and other celebrity models of this market segment. The Wingman 86 CTI is therefore a success. A "do-it-all ski", intuitive, easy and playful, comfortable in all circumstances that we highly recommend to intermediate skiers up to excellent skiers. Note that Elan offers two versions of the Wingman 86: a "CTi" (green) version reviewed here and a "Ti" (orange) version, less rigid, not reviewed. Both have a Titanal plate, justifying the "Ti", but the "CTi" version also has two longitudinal carbon reinforcing rods.

Liked: General performance Accessibility Lively and agile ski Sound and intuitive behaviour Great versatility At ease on all terrains Pleasant and fun ...

Disliked: Slightly poor performance compared to more rigid models like the Kendo 88....

Head Kore 93 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

The Kore 93 from Head, with its 93 mm waist, is positioned between the two All-Mountain Proskilab categories. It was successfully reviewed last year in "All-Mountain 50/50", where it received a "Best Ski 2019" award. The arrival of the Kore 99 in this category encourages us to review its little brother in the "All-Mountain 70/30" category more aimed at the piste, where it does not let us down. The waist width of the Kore 93 allows it to take advantage of its competitors off-piste. It achieved the highest possible score in difficult snow, powder buoyancy and powder handling. The quality of the behaviour in choppy snow was stressed by the reviewers. On the piste, its behaviour is beyond reproach. The Kore 93, "stable and balancing", "easy and gentle", "solid underfoot " shows real qualities and great homogeneity. It is comfortable in all situations and all types of handling. Wider and more typical of freeride than its counterparts in this category, it is also less agile on packed snow, mainly due to a slightly slower trigger. On the other hand, it excels as soon as the terrain becomes less smooth thanks to its remarkable abilities to absorb terrain irregularities. This season, the Kore 93 from Head confirms the qualities already detected last year. It is one of the few reference skis that occupy the top of the segment in these All-Mountain categories. It is an excellent choice for intermediate to expert skiers who want a very homogeneous and versatile ski.

Liked: Very good off-piste behaviour Versatility Handling Good buoyancy in powder Exceptional behaviour in choppy snow Ease pivoting Transition between...

Disliked: Reduced agility on-piste, less reactive trigger...

Völk Kendo 88 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
Best performance!Best performance!
After the Mantra, here is the Kendo, one of the references of this market segment, renewed by Völkl and derived into two versions for the occasion: the 92 and the 88. Here, we're reviewing the second one. The modifications are similar to the Mantra M5. The ski is narrower with a waist that goes from 90 to 88 mm. The construction changes and adopts, more or less, that of the Mantra with two plates of the Titanal in a horseshoe shape. The radius loses about 2 metres to reach 18.6 m in the size reviewed. As soon as you put your feet on the Kendo 88, you understand one thing: the ski is made to go fast. It is certainly more agile and reactive than its predecessor, but nevertheless expresses itself better in large turns at high speed. According to the reviewers, "it needs speed and space to express itself". The grip is "excellent", the stability "exemplary", and we can feel the Völkl DNA. On the other hand, the ski is probably a little more demanding than its predecessor and requires presence and commitment. Off-piste, the ski behaves very well with a special mention in choppy snow where its rigidity allows it to "split" lumps of snow. The bouyancy in powder remains good despite the reduction in width on this new version. An "excellent ski", the Kendo 88 from Völkl has an extra dose of agility compared to its predecessor while aiming for performance. It is the perfect ski for sporty and committed skiers looking for the ideal mix of power and versatility.

Liked: General high-level performance Grip Exemplary stability Precision Ski that likes to go fast Transition to choppy snow...

Disliked: Physical and demanding ski...

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

Another reference ski on this market, the Stormrider 88 from Stöckli remains faithful to itself. The ski has not changed and displays the same qualities. It is generally very efficient, comfortable on all terrains. A relatively rigid tail allows it to guarantee a strong grip on hard snow. The ski is very stable and accelerates confidently. The terrain damping is excellent, as with the other products from the range, and the ski flattens the terrain remarkably. Transitioning to choppy snow is the best possible and the buoyancy in deep snow is good despite a relatively small waist width. The Stormrider 88 from Stöckli is efficient, comfortable, versatile but relatively neutral on the piste. The ski does the job calmly and with great comfort but shows little playfulness. Compared to the new generation of more agile and reactive skis (new Kendo 88, Wingman 88), it loses a few points. However, it remains one of the best skis in the segment and will delight a wide audience, from mid-level skiers to high-end skiers looking for efficiency and versatility above all.

Liked: Grip Overall effectiveness Stability at high speed Excellent terrain damping Transition to choppy snow Off-track behaviour...

Disliked: Less reactive at the beginning of curves, nose a little soft Neutral behaviour on-piste...

FX86 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

The little brother of the FX95, but not benefiting from the "HP" (High Performance) version, the FX86 from Kästle plays the card of lightness and ease. It is indeed one of the lightest models of this category, with 1.7 kg per ski, according to Kästle, in the size reviewed. The FX86 is a homogeneous, versatile, gentle, easy, efficient ski as long as you don't go too fast. Its flexibility allows it to deform and carve with a minimum of commitment. Light underfoot, docile, it is a pleasant ski. On soft snow, it's pure happiness. On the other hand, the flexibility of the nose penalises entry into curves somewhat, which is less incisive than with some competitors. At high speeds, the ski loses some of its beauty and the handling becomes less precise. Off-piste general behaviour is good, with a slight letdown in choppy snow where the flexibility of the ski penalises moving through lumps of snow. We recommend the FX86 from Kästle to skiers of intermediate to very good levels. They will appreciate the regularity and comfort of the ski on the piste and its abilities in powder snow when the conditions are right. Skiers more focused on freeriding and/or looking for more performance will be able to read the review of the FX96 HP, which is wider but also more powerful thanks to its carbon reinforcement, in the "All-Mountain 50/50" category.

Liked: On-piste behaviour, pleasant up to intermediate speeds Easy and gentle ski Buoyancy in powder Demands little physical commitment, comfortable Very...

Disliked: Rather flexible ski, especially in the nose Lack of reactivity entering curves Poor behaviour at high speed...

K2 Mindbender 90C [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30

The Mindbender series replaces the excellent Pinnacle series from K2, well known to the Proskilab reviewers. We have tested the red "C" (carbon) version, which has "Carbon Spectral Braid" technology, a carbon weaving with a variable density and orientation depending on the desired characteristics. There is a higher-end "Ti" version (sold for an extra $100 in the USA) that incorporates a Y-shaped Titanal plate along the length of the ski. More rigid, this second version is also heavier by 200 g per ski. The reviewers found the "C" version very flexible for this category, especially in the tail. The ski is light underfoot, homogeneous, easily deformed, easy to handle and docile as long as it is not pushed to its limits. It only takes a little angle to make it carve and it's a treat on soft snow. The Mindbender 90C is a smooth and pleasant ski up to intermediate speeds. Off-piste behaviour was good and the reviewers particularly appreciated its good buoyancy in powder. A flexible and accessible ski, the Mindbender 90C shows its limits at high speeds on hard snow. In large, fast turns, the handling becomes more imprecise, the supports are less reliable and the ski tends to give out. In choppy snow, it can be deformed by large lumps of compacted snow. The K2 Mindbender 90C is a good ski that has the advantages and disadvantages of a flexible ski. In this "carbon" version, it will be perfect for light to medium sizes for "cool" handling. Others will turn to the more rigid Ti version that we want to review next season.

Liked: Light ski Accessibility, undemanding ski Homogeneous ski Manoeuvrable, comfortable ski, pleasant up to intermediate speeds Good behaviour in powde...

Disliked: Flexible ski Lack of precision and grip at high speed Transition into choppy snow...

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