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SKI REVIEW
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62 skis tested by professionals

Ski Review 2020

Men's

SKI REVIEWS 2020

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

18.2/20
Dynastar Speed Master SL R22 [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Proskilab reviewers came back from the Speed Master SL tests with huge smiles on their faces! It must be said that the ski offers an exceptional accessibility–performance ratio. This year, the model was equipped with its R22 "race" plate (like its twin from Rossignol). It only takes a few metres to notice that we are dealing with a ski with a well-tempered "slalom" personality. The Speed Master SL shows all the qualities expected in this category: trigger speed, edge-to-edge transition speed, grip, curve precision, rebound at the end of turns. We are not disappointed, or even surprised, by this diabolically efficient ski, "very good and very solid underfoot", that is brimming with energy. Efficient, the Speed Master SL R22 remains very accessible, "easy", "healthy" and tolerant for this category, very pleasant to use on a daily basis. It is also a versatile ski for this category that makes it possible to fluidly alternate very dynamic handling with cooler slid paths, on tight and wide curves. The reviewers nevertheless found that the ski was best skied on the front to allow for a "good closing of the curve". The Dynastar Speed Master SL R22 and the Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti (with very similar, if not identical behaviour) are not the most effective skis on the market. More than weapons to make fast times, they are very sporty skis with an exceptional accessibility–performance ratio. The performance/accessibility/versatility mix makes it a fun machine. The ski seems to be subject to the good will of the skier, comfortable in all circumstances, never putting them in difficulty and giving a lot of sensations. The comments of the reviewers are eloquent: "excellent ski", "biggest favourite among the skis tested this year", "such a level of performance that's so accessible, it's amazing!"… Anyway, this ski excited the reviewers. The Speed Master SL is a very progressive ski. A "leisure" slalom ski par excellence, it will delight a great number of skiers, from the good skier who wants to progress towards the performance of "tight curves" or competitions, to expert skiers who prefer fun rather than pure performance. The edge lines of the Dynastar and the behaviour are so close to those of the Rossignol that we wanted to consider them as one and the same ski. The Rossignol seemed a little more accessible to us and the Dynastar a little more solid on its supports and better performing, but the differences are really minor and may be due to the preparation of the skis.

Liked: General performance Excellent performance–accessibility ratio Curve handling Grip Excellent versatility for a ski derived from competitions Trans...

Disliked: None...

18.0/20
Dynastar Speed Master GS R22 [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
After some difficult years in which the products of Rossignol/Dynastar were poorly rated by Proskilab, it is clear that the group has been able to go uphill and offer products particularly suited to certain market segments. In these performance-oriented categories, the group's models have become essential. It should be noted that their success is due in part to the R22 "race" plate, which boosts the skis' behaviour. The same models systematically lost a few seats when reviewed with the group's "Konect" consumer plate. The Speed Master GS, already "Best Ski" last year, is once again at the top in this category. The ski is "built for performance". The testers noted behaviour very similar to a competitive ski: "a real giant ski!" It is extremely stable and allows you to go at reprehensible speeds with a great sense of safety. The quality of the ski–snow contact, the "monstrous" grip and the accuracy of the handling were also noted by the reviewers. It requires some technique to be fully exploited. On the other hand, it is relatively tolerant for this level of performance. The reviewers describe it as a "progressive" ski, capable of operating with relatively little commitment and giving the best of itself as you accelerate. The ski doesn't boost very much at the end of curves, which is a disadvantage for our professional reviewers, but which will make the less technical skiers safer. The ski is imperial on large curves, at very high speed. It is a little more demanding but also works when the radii are shortened. In short, the Dynastar GS R22 is a high-performance ski that we recommend to all skiers, of very good or even expert levels, who want to discover or rediscover the sensations close to those of a competition ski.

Liked: High-flying performance Sensations of real giant skis Behaviour in wide turns and at very high speed Exceptional anchorage and grip Progressive fl...

Disliked: Some reviewers lamented a lack of boost at the end of curves...

17.9/20
Rossignol Hero Elite ST TI R22 [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The Proskilab reviewers came back from the tests of the Hero Elite ST Ti with huge smiles on their faces! This year, the model was fitted with its R22 "race" plate (like its twin from Dynastar). It must be said that the ski offers an exceptional performance–accessibility ratio. It only takes a few metres to notice that we are dealing with a ski with a well-tempered "slalom" personality. The Hero Elite ST TI R22 shows all the qualities expected in this category: trigger speed, edge-to-edge transition speed, grip, curve precision, and rebound at the end of turns. We are not disappointed, nor even surprised by this diabolically effective ski, "very good and very solid underfoot" that is brimming with energy. High performance, the Hero Elite ST TI R22 nevertheless remains very accessible, "easy", "healthy" and tolerant for this category, very pleasant to use on a daily basis. It is also a versatile ski for this category that makes it possible to fluidly alternate very dynamic handling with cooler slid paths, on tight and wide curves. The reviewers nevertheless found that the ski was skied on the front to allow for a "good closing of the curve". The Rossignol Hero Elite ST TI R22 and the Dynastar Speed Master SL R22 (with very similar, if not identical behaviour) are not the most effective skis on the market. More than weapons to make fast times, they are very sporty skis with an exceptional accessibility–performance ratio. The performance/accessibility/versatility mix makes it a fun machine. The ski seems to be subject to the good will of the skier, comfortable in all circumstances, never putting them in difficulty and giving a lot of sensations. The comments of the reviewers are eloquent: "excellent ski", "biggest favourite among the skis tested this year", "such a level of performance that's so accessible, it's amazing!"… Anyway, this ski excited the reviewers. The Hero Elite ST TI is a very progressive ski. A "leisure" slalom ski par excellence, it will delight a great number of skiers, from the good skier who wants to progress towards the performance of "tight curves" or competitions, to expert skiers who prefer fun rather than pure performance. The edge lines of the Rossignol and the behaviour are so close to those of the Dynastar that we wanted to consider them as one and the same ski. The Rossignol seemed a little more accessible to us and the Dynastar a little more solid on its supports and better performing, but the differences are really minor and may be due to the preparation of the skis.

Liked: General performance Excellent performance–accessibility ratio Curve handling Grip Excellent versatility for a ski derived from competitions Passa...

Disliked: None...

17.6/20
Völk Racetiger SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Best performance!Best performance!
Völkl usually offers performance-oriented skis and the Racetiger SL won't change our mind. The ski well deserves its name. The reviewers' comments speak for themselves: "aggressive", "beastly", "nervous", "a weapon"… The level of performance is therefore at the top in this "leisure" slalom category. It is a powerful ski, "precise and incisive", with a lot of energy. The grip, high-speed stability, and a "big boost out of the curve" were particularly appreciated by the reviewers. Typical of a Slalom, it is nevertheless very comfortable on wider curve radii. But its versatility stops there. The Racetiger SL has a natural tendency to anchor, which allows it to offer the best grip and curve handling. On the other hand, slid or skidded handling is not its cup of tea. It is possible, but require a fine balance. The Racetiger SL is not for everyone. The rider must be very present and is unforgiving of mistakes. It requires a good centre of gravity, commitment, speed… and a good physical level. It is a high-performance ski that we recommend to skiers of excellent to expert levels, who prefer performance above all.

Liked: High performance Very energetic ski with a powerful rebound Assertive Exceptional grip High-speed stability Curve radius versatility...

Disliked: Physically and technically demanding ski Not very tolerant Ski struggles slightly in cool handling...

17.3/20
K2 Konic 76 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
For a few years now, K2's Konic series skis have been reviewed and appreciated by the Proskilab reviewers. Last year, the Konic 78 won the "Accessibility/Performance" medal; this year, the Konic 76 wins the "Best Ski" medal, which is well deserved. The very best quality of the Konic 76 is its very high accessibility. The ski is very "easy to get to grips with", intuitive. You're immediately on it and no instructions are necessary. The first few descents give confidence: the ski's behaviour is remarkably stable, making it easier in all types of ski handling and all types of snow. You can gradually increase the pace until you can take turns at good speed, keeping the ski sound and solid on its supports. Our reviewers (professionals for the most part) had a lot of fun with this ski. It is playful, reactive, especially thanks to its nose, which spontaneously starts the turn. The Konic 76 is a model on which you don't get bored and that conveys a good dose of sensations. In this "Accessible Piste" category, we select skis that are particularly comfortable in pivoting, skid handling with rear pressure but nevertheless able to advance skiers towards cut handling, more towards the front. This is the case of the Konic 76, an accessible ski at the lowest levels and able to take the skier on cut riding or even carving at sustained speed. The potential for technical development at the beginner level is simply amazing. According to the reviewers, the ski allows for "nice progress" from the beginner to the skier who master cut handling. The only downside is that when the rhythm is increased, the nose, which is a little flexible, floats and vibrates at high speed. Playful, "nice and safe", able to advance technically, the Konic 76 is the initiation/improvement ski par excellence. We recommend it to all skiers who wish to progress technically, from the perfect beginner to those who already master parallel curves.

Liked: Easy to get to grips with, accessibility Confidence-building ski Playful, reactive ski Allows for great technical progress of the skier, skills in ...

Disliked: A slightly light nose that floats and hits at high speed...

17.2/20
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....

17.1/20
Rossignol React R6 Compact [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

From Rossignol, the new React range replaces the Pursuit range, already reviewed by Proskilab last year. The React R6 Compact excels in this category, where we are looking for skis that are accessible at the lowest levels and able to advance the skier towards a more technical practice. As far as accessibility is concerned, it perfectly fulfils the contract. The ski, considered "very balanced", "safe", creates confidence "from the first turns". The reviewers particularly appreciated a "perfect pivot" making it possible to put the ski into curves very easily when flat. Skidding is "comfortable", intuitive and "consistent". The icing on the cake is that the ski has a natural tendency to loop the curve, which will appeal to skiers with a low technical level. The React R6 gives you a lot underfoot. It responds when pressed and is even very comfortable in cut handling, large curves at sustained speed, where it remains remarkably stable and gripping. This makes it a "perfect ski to progress" with "an obvious ability to evolve at the first turn". It is, however, a little less at ease and requires more engagement in small turns. A "progressive ski", the React R6 from Rossignol is perfectly placed in this category. Slightly less accessible and more efficient than the Konic 76 from K2, it is aimed at skiers who master the parallel skid riding and want to evolve towards cut riding or carving.

Liked: Accessibility and tolerance Undemanding ski Homogeneous ski Facilitates the skier's technical progress Instinctive trigger Fluency in skidded, sl...

Disliked: A little demanding in small curves...

17.0/20
Stöckli Laser SC [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Well known to the Proskilab reviewers and often positioned in the top places, the Laser SC from Stöckli is this year's winner of the "Best Ski" medal in the category. Performance is on the programme. The ski is lively, quickly enters curves and easily deforms without excess. Its holding to curves is excellent, the ski grips, is very precise and the "pressure reactions are easy to find". The rebound at the end of curves is tonic, without being destabilising. The ski reviewed this year appeared a little more comfortable in skidding than last year. The fluidity of skid/slip/cut transitions was appreciated by the reviewers. What impressed them most was the stability and comfort of the ski. The SC Laser remains "laid down", in contact with the snow, tracing its curve with serenity and effectively absorbing all the different types of terrain. It evokes a great sense of security and you feel "in control" in all circumstances. It should be noted that it requires little commitment for a ski in this category. On the other hand, at very high speed, it loses a little of its lustre: the ski becomes less clear and the presses less solid. It is an excellent ski for this category where we prefer performance, but especially the pleasure the skier experiences. We advise the Laser SC from Stöckli to a wide range of skiers from good to expert levels.

Liked: General performance Intuitive ski Accessible, easy to handle Slid/skid transition Requires little commitment Stability, comfort, damping of terra...

Disliked: Limited at very high speed...

16.9/20
Rossignol React R8 TI [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
The React series replaces the Pursuit range from Rossignol reviewed in previous years. The Rossignol R8 Ti, reinforced with a Titanal plate, is at the top of the range. In this "top of the range" category, we select skis offering a balanced mix of performance, comfort, accessibility and versatility. The React R8 Ti meets the defined specifications perfectly… with one big plus: fun. On the performance side, the reviewers were not disappointed. The ski is "playful and incisive". Turns are instantaneous and intuitive thanks to a very present nose. Curve handling is impeccable, especially thanks to an excellent grip and imperial stability. Accessibility and comfort are at the top. The ski is intuitive and does not require special guidelines. You're instantly "on it". It operates intuitively by requiring very little physical or technical commitment from the skier. Its versatility is excellent. The React R8 Ti is capable of alternating at will the types of curves and handling. It should simply be noted that it is a little less comfortable in skid handling (in return for its excellent grip) and in large curves. The reactivity of the ski, which is quite exceptional, the overall ease of use, and the little commitment that it requires make it a fun machine. This is a ski that is perfect for this category. It will offer great sensations to a wide range of skiers, including the less committed. The React R8 Ti is our best choice for skiers of good to excellent levels, who are not necessarily very keen physically, but who want to have fun on a ski that is at the same time playful and not very demanding.

Liked: Very agile ski Excellent grip Instantaneous curve entry Accessible, requires little physical or technical commitment Fun Stability Versatility...

Disliked: A little less comfortable in skid handling where its grip sometimes penalises it Slightly less solid supports in turns at high speed...

16.8/20
Rossignol Experience 94 TI [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
Testers' ChoiceRecommended by our reviewers!
Two years ago, Rossignol transformed its Experience range from a very "piste" one to a real "all-mountain" one. The shape has become more reasonable and the tips more progressive, to the benefit of their behaviour, which is much improved. The Experience 94 Ti benefits from the various modifications made and is at the best level of a very competitive category. This year, the ski wins the "Best Ski" medal, which rewards the progress made by Rossignol. The ski fulfils its "All-Mountain 50/50" ski contract and demonstrates excellent versatility. It is distinguished above all by its accessibility and the liveliness of its behaviour on the piste. The reviewers praised the general behaviour of the ski, considered very sound, "stable", "reassuring" and that easily forgives small errors of balance. It pivots easily, skid handling is homogeneous. It is therefore an easy ski that can be used with a minimal technical level. Although very accessible, the ski is not lacking in character – far from it. It proves remarkably incisive and playful, carving very correctly on the piste. The trigger is instinctive, the ski enters curves with a minimum of effort. It is easily deformed, without excess. The rebound is good. All of these elements contribute to the feeling of a light ski underfoot that is both easy and agile. One reviewer said "on the piste, it turns like a slalom ski". A rare quality for a ski in this category, which are generally relatively uncut skis that are rather aimed at larges bends. Off-piste, the Experience 94 Ti brings the same qualities. Docile and manoeuvrable, the ski is comfortable on all terrains. A slightly larger waist width would have been appreciated in powder snow, but the 94 mm remain a very good compromise. If the ski deforms easily enough; it shows its limits at high speed. Pure performance is not its domain of choice. Its added value lies in the mix of accessibility, versatility and manoeuvrability. The Experience 94 Ti is undemanding and gives a lot of sensations. To sum up, the Experience 94 Ti is a very good All-Mountain ski, efficient and homogeneous, that provides a lot of fun. It will appeal to a wide audience, from intermediate skiers who want to learn off-piste to experienced skiers looking for a versatile and playful ski.

Liked: Behaviour in choppy snow Excellent buoyancy Excellent versatility Accessibility, tolerance Surprising handling on the piste Terrain absorption I...

Disliked: Limited at high speed...

16.7/20
Elan GSX Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

Although the reviewers found the same qualities of the GSX Fusion from Elan, already tested last year, they also found the ski a little more accessible this year. While its accessibility is good, it is somewhat lower than other models in this comparison. It is above all the performance–accessibility ratio that surprises the most. With its 21.2 m radius in the size tested, the ski is built for big bends and speed. Curve entry is incisive, the grip is imperial, the curve handling is precise. Anyway, the GSX Fusion is a ski with real giant ski DNA. The compromise between accessibility and performance makes it a ski capable of letting the skier develop technically towards performance or even competition. We recommend the GSX Fusion from Elan to good to excellent skiers who are looking for a high-performance, yet still accessible, comfortable and versatile type of ski.

Liked: General performance–accessibility ratio Does not require a lot of commitment to start working Incisive curve entry Grip Progressive ski, able to s...

Disliked: Performance slightly below that of Dynaster and Völkl Accessibility below that of Kästle...

16.7/20
Head Worldcup Rebels i.Race [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

In this programme that focusses on performance and, above all, the sensations the skier gets, the WorldCup Rebels i. Race from Head did not disappoint the reviewers. They were unanimous in highlighting the sporting qualities of the ski: "incisive at the beginning of curves", "good grip", "demonic in edge-to-edge transitions". It allows you to move quickly "with a great feeling of safety". The ski offers the best of itself when it's on the edge. It then fits very easily into curves and carves with ease. It can take radical angles and makes it possible, according to the reviewers, "to sit down at each turn". The curve holding and accuracy of handling are exemplary. The WC Rebels i. Race is easy to handle and offers a good compromise between performance and accessibility. Its intermediate turn radius between slalom and giant allows it to be quite versatile, provided it stays in cut handling. The ski loves being anchored and taking angles. The slid/skid handling when flat is less intuitive, due to a present and gripping tail. Cruising is not its cup of tea. The ability of the Worldcup Rebels i. Race to take radical slopes, its precision, ease of use and sense of safety allow it to convey great sensations. "Super ski", "very good ski", "a treat", the reviewers' comments speak for themselves. We recommend the WC Rebels i. Race to skiers of a good level who want a sporty carving ski.

Liked: High-level performance Incisive ski, fast trigger, precision Ability to carve, grip and hold curves Stability, high-speed behaviour Accessible ski...

Disliked: Stepping on the edge, not at ease when flat Less at ease in sliding or skidding handling...

16.6/20
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...

16.5/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The Speed Zone 12 Ti from Dynastar offers good overall performance and excellent homogeneity. The performance is indeed there. The ski makes it possible to go fast, even very fast. The level of performance was considered excellent and the ski's behaviour is reassuring. The Speed Zone 12 Ti "goes well into curves" even if it is not as incisive as other skis. The supports are solid and curve handling is accurate. The reviewers particularly liked the ski's ability to "loop", that is to say to close the curves. Another very popular quality is the terrain damping, thanks to a very progressive nose and flex. It is a comfortable ski that allows you to ski quickly without getting shaken. Very comfortable and intuitive in "big curves", it requires commitment from the skier to shorten the radii. While the end-of-curve handling is excellent, the reviewers lamented the lack of rebound, which is a little detrimental to the liveliness of the ski. Easy, fluid and effective, the Speed Zone 12 Ti from Dynastar will satisfy a large number of skiers from good to expert levels.

Liked: General performance Accessibility Ski that loves speed and large turns, stability Terrain damping Loops curves well...

Disliked: Tends to remain in its curve radius (monoradius) Unplayful, little rebound at the end of curves Requires speed...

16.2/20
Elan SLX Fusion [click]
Type of ski : Slalom

Regularly invited to the PROSKILAB review, well-known to the reviewers and "Best Ski" last year, the SLX Fusion from Elan is one of the skis that we regularly find in the top pack. It doesn't seem to evolve much over time, playing the card of accessibility and fun. As far as performance is concerned, you get a lot for your money, even if a little bit less than Rossignol/Dynastar and Völkl. The accessibility of the SLX Fusion is excellent for this category. The ski makes you "immediately comfortable", remains "easy" and performs "as expected" in all circumstances. The ski works very well in "cool" mode without committing much, even in slid or skidded handling. The small plus is its fun and playful side, without being too teasing. The ski turns in tight radii and deforms gradually. The rebound at the end of curves is not very powerful, but sufficient for energetic boosts. The SLX Fusion from Elan is the ultimate fun slalom ski on the market. A good choice for those who want a lively and agile ski, without being too demanding. We recommend it to good skiers who want to progress in performance and to experts who want to focus on comfort and versatility.

Liked: Very high accessibility Tolerance Sound ski, no surprises, reassuring Good performance Fun, playful ski that turns very tightly Gentle commitment...

Disliked: Performance slightly reduced Rebound a little weaker than the tenors of the category...

16.1/20
Völk Racetiger GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Best performance!Best performance!
Völkl has earned a reputation as a performance-oriented brand on both piste ski and all-mountain skis. We have been reviewing skis for 14 years and it is clear that this reputation has rarely been denied by Proskilab reviewers. This will not be the case of the RACETIGER GS, which stands out as the "performance" ski of this comparison. The ski likes to go fast, wants "to just accelerate" and has the means to do so. The "demonic" grip, the exceptional stability, the quality of the curve handling and the homogeneity of the supports in turns were praised by the reviewers. Very-high-speed stability is exceptional. One of the reviewers wrote "performance over pleasure!" Because the ski is all about efficiency. It requires commitment and positioning, especially at the beginning of curves. Comfort and versatility are reduced to their simplest expression. In particular, cooler, moderate-speed, slip and skid handling is outside its domain of choice. The ski needs speed and lacks agility at low speeds. It is not the ideal ski for cruising or slow-speed riding. The RACETIGER GS from Völkl does not fail the brand's promise. It's an uncompromising ski for efficiency. We recommend it to committed skiers from very good to the expert and competitive levels, from medium to heavy size who want behaviour close to that of an FIS ski.

Liked: Very high level of performance Exceptional stability and grip Acceleration in curves Regularity and robustness of the supports in curves...

Disliked: Technically and physically demanding skiing Uncomfortable at low speed and on short turns Requires being placed Effective ski but unplayful...

16.1/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 4X4 78 PRO [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

The Speed Zone 4x4 range is new from Dynastar. Described as "All-Mountain" by the brand, it is nevertheless very piste-oriented. It corresponds more to what we at Proskilab call an "All-Round" programme, i.e. skis dedicated to the piste but with an "all-terrain, all-snow" vocation. It is available in two waist sizes (78 and 82 mm), with two different constructions: normal and "pro", the latter incorporating a Titanal reinforcement. It is therefore the narrowest version, in "pro" construction, that was evaluated by the reviewers. A very good ski for beginners, the Speed Box 4x4 78 Pro will reassure any beginner. The ski pivots on its own and is particularly tolerant with safe and homogeneous behaviour. The ski is very manoeuvrable and playful. It remains very pleasant in small turns when you accelerate the pace. It is also a good ski to discover the first cut/carving handling on moderate slopes. At higher speeds, its behaviour is out of step with other competing models. The Speed Zone 4x4 78 Pro is an excellent ski for levels ranging from beginner to skier who masters parallel curves. The ski will allow them to progress quickly by making them happy on a ski that gives good sensations.

Liked: Excellent accessibility Homogeneous and balanced ski Manoeuvrable or even playful Taking curves, pivoting Cut handling on gentle slopes...

Disliked: A little more limited in performance compared to some of its counterparts...

16.0/20
Stöckli Stormrider 95 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!
The Stormrider 95 from Stöckli is one of the references in this market segment. It has not changed and remains a safe bet! The "easy to handle" ski keeps its qualities of accessibility and comfort. Its general behaviour is good, and it is reassuring: the Stormrider 95 is stable and predictable. The terrain damping, as on most skis in the range, is exceptional. Agile, with a nose that engages well and a tonic tail, it is very comfortable in short turns (especially in the size tested). Larger radii suit it as well. A homogeneous and versatile ski, it does the job everywhere. "Cool" slid/skid handling and cut/ carving handling on hard snow are alternated with ease at the skier's whim. Flexible enough at the front and rigid enough at the back, it needs to be properly positioned to take full advantage of all its qualities, especially in the size tested. This size was considered insufficient by the reviewers. For committed skiers, from medium to heavy, we recommend the larger size (going up to 184 cm!) reviewed last year. Off-piste, it proves to be generally effective, even brilliant when changing between choppy and irregular snow. A legendary ski, the Stormrider 95 from Stöckli continues to seduce hundreds of skiers every year. We recommend it to anyone who wants a particularly pleasant and comfortable ski that is versatile and comfortable in all conditions.

Liked: Very good off-piste behaviour Transition to choppy snow Manoeuvrability Terrain damping Sound behaviour...

Disliked: Reviewed in too short a size (175 cm instead of 180/185 cm as requested) Requires a little front–back balancing...

15.9/20
Rossignol Hero Elite LT TI R22 [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The Hero Elite LT ("Long Turn") Ti is another ski that is well known to the reviewers, evaluated here with the famous "R22" race plate that can be found on other models of the Rossignol/Dynastar group. The effectiveness and precision of the Hero Elite LT Ti has been tested in previous years. The R22 plate offers an undeniable plus in terms of performance. The ski has power and offers qualities "close to a competitive ski". Its LT name predisposes it to large bends. It is nevertheless "able to turn tightly when needed" even if it's not its favourite task. It is a versatile ski, very homogeneous, able to alternate all types of handling. The behaviour is "sound" but "punchy when you go for it". This mix makes it a very enjoyable ski. You can ride in all-comfort sliding mode, then on a nice deserted slope, launch the ski into a series of carving turns at full speed. The reviewers noticed a slight lack of agility. The ski is very pleasant, efficient and consistent, but it is not very playful due to a slightly slower entry into curves and a less energetic rebound. The Rossignol Hero Elite LT Ti R22 is a ski that shines with its mix of performance, accessibility, and versatility. We recommend it to skiers of good to expert levels who want a high-performance ski without it being too demanding, for sports practice rather than oriented towards big curves.

Liked: General performance level Accessibility Quality of curve handling Versatility Sound behaviour Pleasure guaranteed...

Disliked: Rather unplayful, neutral behaviour...

15.8/20
Fischer RC One 72 [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The trend is to merge the piste/all-round and even all-mountain ranges with large width variations. The RC One range from Fischer is no exception to the rule with waists ranging from 72 mm to 86 mm! We reviewed the narrowest of the range, the RC One 72 Multiflex, which, let's say right away, did not disappoint us. Overall performance is excellent. Trigger speed, grip, stability, quality of curve handling are all there. The ski is also "homogenous", "reassuring", "versatile". It is able to vary cut, slid and skidded handling, small and large curves at will. Its boost is good, without being explosive. A carving ski par excellence, it is distinguished above all by its capacity to deform and anchor on very significant edge-leaning angles, while bringing a sense of security. You can sink into the bend, the supports remain incredibly strong and the ski doesn't unglue. A "frankly nice" ski, the RC One 72 from Fischer is a ski that we recommend to a wide range of skiers from very good to expert level, who are looking for a ski to do it all, particularly capable in very committed carving handling.

Liked: General performance Able to take and hold very significant angles Curve holding Turn versatility Transition between skid/cut handling...

Disliked: Requires an angle to be fully exploited (but can ski cooler) Requires technical baggage Slightly reduced grip and behaviour at very high speed...

15.8/20
MX67 [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The "Best Ski" last year, the MX67 at Kästle keeps all its qualities. What meets the eye (or the foot?) when testing the MX67 is the compromise between accessibility and agility. The ski engages curves intuitively, without excessive engagement. A small lean on the edge and hop, the nose takes, the ski deforms and we are already comfortably installed in a curve, naturally rather tight. An honest rebound allows us to jump very quickly into another turn. The curves follow each other at a high rate with great fluidity. The ski is easy in all circumstances and tolerant; it forgives most positioning mistakes. You can't make it any easier. It's great in tight little sculls or small carving turns on the piste. It is, however, somewhat difficult in very dynamic and high-speed handling. It seemed a little less efficient than the model reviewed last year, while the model does not seem to have evolved. The MX67 from Kästle is an excellent ski that we recommend to good to excellent skiers who want a very agile, comfortable and accessible ski.

Liked: Accessibility Quick and intuitive trigger Easy to deform ski, agile ski Small turns are easy General comfort Good grip General approval...

Disliked: Reduced performance at high speed and with very dynamic handling...

15.7/20
Salomon S/Race RUSH GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The GS Rush from Salomon is the least "giant slalom" of the comparison. It is also the most versatile. The reviewers appreciated a ski that is very "homogeneous in deforming", with behaviour that is "sound and predictable". The ski is reassuring and enabling. The ski is accessible at intermediate levels. It does not require a great deal of commitment and is comfortable in all types of handling: cut, slid, skid. In short, we're quite far from an FIS ski, but rather on a sports ski aimed at a fairly large audience. With its 17 m radius in the size reviewed, the S/Race Rush GS is also very versatile, and particularly at ease in intermediate-radius curves. The reviewers particularly appreciated the ski's abilities in carving. It is a delight in intermediate curves with significant edge angles. The ski does the curve with great efficiency and is a source of pleasure. The other side of the coin: the ski is a little less efficient in very high-speed, giant handling. It is nevertheless a ski that can be used to introduce to competitions. The S/Race RUSH GS offers more sensations of carving than giant skiing. It is an excellent choice for all good to excellent skiers who love committed carving.

Liked: Very at ease in intermediate turns Tolerant, progressive, facilitating ski Well-balanced ski, sound behaviour, predictable Versatile Carving skill...

Disliked: Loss of grip and stability at very high speeds...

15.6/20
Salomon S/ Force 11 [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

The S/ Force Range from Salomon is aimed towards all-round behaviour with a slight rocker at the front and slightly larger sizes at the waist, ranging from 76 mm to 84 mm. The S / Force 11 reviewed here is positioned at the top of the range. Note that it is reinforced by a double Titanal plate. In this category, where homogeneity and versatility are sought above all, it is clear that the S/ Force 11 fulfills its part of the contract! Its overall behaviour is excellent, with an emphasis on accessibility. This is a ski that is easy, sound, and reassuring. It responds to what the skier asks of it with great docility. It is a very versatile ski, globally effective in all areas and all types of riding. The "incisive" behaviour on curves was particularly noticed. Its considerable width (80 mm at the waist) and rocker allow it to be at ease on irregular terrains. Homogeneous, the S/ Force 11 has neutral behaviour and some reviewers lamented a slight lack of character expressed mainly in small curves. It is an excellent cross-country ski, meeting the specifications of this category very well. It's a kind of piste four-wheel-drive. It's not the most reactive, but it's comfortable on all terrains. We recommend it to intermediate skiers who are looking for a smooth and homogeneous ski.

Liked: Accessibility Flexiblity in handling and radii Homogeneous ski Sound behaviour, strong supports Comfort Intuitive curve entry...

Disliked: The reviewers lamented a slight lack of character Poor behaviour at high speed...

15.5/20
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...

15.4/20
RX12 SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom

The RX12 SL from Kästle plays the card of accessibility and fun. The reviewers were unanimous in enjoying its user experience. The word "pleasant" came back on five review sheets out of six. That's saying something… The ski, with its "immediate initiation", shows great docility for this category. Turning is done spontaneously with a limited need for commitment. The ski is incisive, reactive, without ever destabilising. A little less at ease in large turns, it is able to vary cut/slid/skid riding with fluidity. In return for this accessibility, it shows its limitations a little earlier than some of its competitors in this category, particularly at high speeds and when taking considerable angles. It is also less at ease in large curves. The RX12 SL is an excellent ski for practising sporty carving and an introduction to performance. We recommend it to good to very good skiers who want the liveliness of a slalom ski with a good dose of versatility but without sacrificing comfort and accessibility.

Liked: Excellent accessibility Lively and incisive ski Good overall approval Carving skills Sliding and skidding handling Intuitive corner entry Requir...

Disliked: Performance behind Dynastar/Rossignol and Völkl Less at ease on big curves...

15.3/20
Völk 90Eight [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

While we asked Völkl to put the Mantra M5 in the competition this year, the manufacturer wanted to offer us the 90Eight in this category. It is an excellent ski, but a little light in this rather demanding programme. The Mantra M5 has not changed and we recommend our reviewers interested in a more performance-oriented ski to refer to the test carried out last year. The 90Eight shines when you leave the pistes. Its considerable waist width, its lightness, and its very-well-distributed flex work wonders: the ski proves to be at ease on all terrains, in all circumstances. It switches to choppy snow well, floats in powder, pivots well. It's a delight… On the piste, its behaviour is generally good, but the ski, which is rather flexible, lacks a little manoeuvrability as well as high-speed handling. It is not the ideal ski to attack an aggressive scull on hard snow, but it is comfortable in "cool" handling such as large turns at moderate speed. The 90Eight from Völkl is a versatile ski, capable on all terrains with a preference for off-piste. We recommend it to good to excellent skiers who want a ski that is really at ease off-piste, but also to freeride touring fans.

Liked: Excellent off-piste behaviour in all conditions Ski that absorbs the terrain well Good buoyancy Comfortable on the piste in cool handling...

Disliked: Lack of character; expresses itself mainly on the piste Less responsive than some of its competitors Fairly flexible, limited at high speed on the p...

15.3/20
FX96 HP [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

The FX96 HP (for "High Performance", indicating the presence of carbon reinforcement this season) is a new ski from Kästle, replacing the FX95 HP. It is a very versatile ski, perfectly comfortable in this All-Mountain 50/50 programme. On the piste, it is comfortable in all types of handling, carves well and is quite agile. The reviewers especially liked the gentle way it worked. The reactions are sound and progressive and the FX96 HP perfectly flattens the rough edges of the terrain. It is a "true cruiser" capable of gulping down descents without tiring. The ski is very calm and stable up to a certain speed. Beyond that, the supports become less solid and the ski tends to drift. Off-piste, the ski goes everywhere easily and always behaves very gently. Transitioning to choppy snow does not pose any problem for it and its buoyancy is great in deep snow. The FX96 HP is an excellent All-Mountain ski, at ease on all terrains, very nice and comfortable, and fun to ride. We recommend it to good to very good skiers. Experienced freeriders and skiers who want to go very fast can turn to a more rigid ski.

Liked: Piste behaviour, all types of handling Playful behaviour Stable ski, with gentle and reassuring behaviour Generally pleasing to use Transition to ...

Disliked: The ski is limited at high speed and in committed handling: the supports become less solid and the ski tends to give way in curves...

15.3/20
Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom

The World Cup Rebels i.Speed from Head was reviewed in a little short a size (175 cm for 180 cm requested). With a radius of 18 metres, it is less of the giant type. The ski is accessible, even "too easy" and gives "good sensations". The performance is good without reaching that of the top of the category. In particular, the reviewers appreciated its ability to enter turns, its curve handling and its stability up to a certain speed. The ski is very "cosy", lively, and accessible for this category. It is a ski that naturally invites you to try out carving (cut curves with big inclinations), a discipline in which it excels. The World Cup Rebels i.Speed is, according to the reviewers, a ski "made to go down into the curve with a controllable reaction of the supports". Quite flexible for the category, less of the giant type than its counterparts and reviewed in a little short a size, the World Cup Rebels i.Speed does however make its mark in the field of pure performance. At very high speeds, in very dynamic handling, the supports lose their homogeneity and curve handling becomes more turbulent. A "good carving ski", the Head WorldCup i.Speed is a good choice for good to excellent skiers who like to "take angles".

Liked: General behaviour Performance Ability to change the radius of curves Accessibility Carving skills Fun ski...

Disliked: Not a very rigid ski for this category Poor performance, loss of homogeneity of supports at very high speed...

15.2/20
Head Kore 99 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50

While the Kore 93 brilliantly earned a "Best Ski" medal last year in this category, the Kore 99 appears to be a much more rigid and performance-oriented ski. The ski is made for high speeds, where it excels on- and off-piste. The stability and ability to absorb vibrations is simply exceptional. The ski wants only one thing: to go fast, and according to the reviewers, it "requires space". In front of such a war machine, lumps of snow in choppy snow should beware! The Kore 99, a rigid ski, attacks them mercilessly. Very stable, it does well in powder, loves slopes; it is the ultimate weapon to hurtle down the slopes at sustained speed. It is a true freeride ski that is not afraid of anything, and especially not speed. However, it must be kept under control and requires commitment to be deformed: "to control it, you have to lay into it". Very comfortable in its programme, the ski however proves to have more difficulty at low speeds. The ski does not pivot well and skid handling is poor. The ski suffers from a certain inertia which makes it unplayful. The Kore 99 needs speed and energy: it is not really the ideal ski for romantic outings on the piste! A rigid, sporty ski, this model from Head is an excellent choice for the committed freeride skier who loves speed and big curves. We recommend it particularly for large sizes.

Liked: Very high-level performance Skills at very high speed Behaviour in choppy snow Ski–snow contact and great ability to absorb vibrations Large bends...

Disliked: Demanding and physical ski Not much fun: inertia, slow to change edges, little boost Skid handling Pivoting...

15.2/20
Head Worldcup Rebels i.SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom

"Super ski, very responsive and playful" but "tested in too short a size", the I.SL pro from Head shows some good qualities that could not be fully exploited. Tested in 160 cm instead of the 165 cm requested, it would probably have gained additional points had it been the larger size. But the level is already excellent and the ski offers very nice sensations. The WC Rebels I.SL is very easy to use for this category and the directions for use are simple. We quickly get comfortable and quickly enjoy the ski's liveliness. The ski deforms and anchors very easily. With a radius of 11.5 metres, the WC Rebels i.SL performs very tight turns. Another point the testers especially liked: it likes to be on the edge and makes it possible to take angles defying the laws of physics. Its favourite area is carving "small curves", where it excels. As a corollary to its ability to anchor, it is less comfortable in skidding and sliding handling, due to a very present tail. The testers found that it skied rather in a centred way in this size. Those who like to ski by applying pressure to the boot housings should probably take it with 5 cm more. "Playful", "fun", the WC Rebels Pro is a ski that likes to take angles and on which you can really enjoy yourself. We recommend it specifically to skiers of a good to excellent level for a committed carving practice and for introducing to competitions. Even if 160 cm is the reference size of the ski, we recommend the size above for medium to heavy skiers.

Liked: Ease Ski that wants to accelerate Excellent carving handling Ability to take angles Effective in small cut bends Very short turn Ability in intr...

Disliked: Tested in a slightly short size Performance in this size Tail that is present but reduces the range of ski uses in skidding/sliding handling...

15.2/20
RX12 GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!Best Accessibility/Enjoyment!
The comments we made last year for the RX12 GS from Kästle are absolutely valid this year. Its overall performance is good. Curve entry, intuitive and incisive, was particularly appreciated by the reviewers. The ski is versatile, able to slow down the pace or even evolve into skid handling, comfortable on all types of curves. Its intermediate radius, cut shape and certain flexibility make it a very efficient and pleasant ski in carving handling. The RX12 GS from Kästle, a flexible ski for this category with a reduced radius (16 m) is not a real giant ski despite its "GS" badge. Its performance at very high speeds is out of line with Dynastar or Völkl. On the other hand, the ski offers a remarkable accessibility/fun ratio. While the professional reviewers lamented a lack of performance, the non-professional "expert" reviewers all said they "loved" the ski. The ability to take angles, the quality of the anchor at intermediate speeds, the versatility and liveliness of the ski make it a sensational machine. We recommend the RX12 GS from Kästle to good to excellent skiers who want to have fun on a sporty ski that is homogeneous and "very pleasant". On the other hand, fans of giant-type curves will turn to a more specialised ski.

Liked: General performance Initiation and entry of curves Playful behaviour Anchoring and grip Versatility Fun Carving skills...

Disliked: Performance below the top of the category Less clear curves at very high speed Less energetic curve exits Radius too short for a giant ski...

15.2/20
K2 Speed Charger [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end
Best performance!Best performance!
Already tested last year, the Speed Charger from K2 does not seem to have changed much. The Speed Charger's behaviour is sound, with a very progressive flex. It is particularly effective in large curves with the DNA of a giant ski. The ski is incisive, gripping, and solid in curves; it loops very well the ends of curves. The boost is correct without being destabilising. You feel confident, even at high speed. This is a ski that is progressive and docile in its programme. It is a sporty ski, resolutely aimed towards speed and large curves. It is less comfortable in small curves where it requires commitment. A little too technical and physical for this category, the Speed Charger from K2 would have been more comfortable in Proskilab's "performance piste" category. It is nevertheless a good choice for good to excellent skiers, who want a typical "giant" ski to fly down the slopes in big curves.

Liked: Likes speed Sound behaviour Relative versatility Incisive Excellent behaviour in wide turns Docile ski Stability and grip Progressive flex...

Disliked: Sporty ski that requires a certain technical and physical level More demanding in small curves...

15.2/20
Elan Amphibio 16 TI [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
Best performance!Best performance!
The Amphibio 16 Ti2 has taken a prominent place in the "high end" category, and the Amphibio 16 Ti is now being reviewed in this category. Note that the ski is asymmetrical: there is a left ski and a right ski. Care must be taken not to switch the skis, otherwise the behaviour will be somewhat impacted. The main quality of the Amphibio 16 Ti is its homogeneity. The ski is great in all areas: cutting and skidding, small and large turns. It does not excel in any particular area but it is good in all circumstances. The reviewers liked an "effective" ski, solid underfoot, with a great "pressure rebound". Aimed at a more experienced audience, the Amphibio 16 Ti is also less accessible than the Konic 76 from Head or the React R6 from Rossignol. We recommend this ski to skiers who already master parallel curves and want an efficient and pleasant ski for a versatile practice on the piste.

Liked: Homogeneous and versatile ski Balanced ski Excellent technical progressivity Handling Ski with response...

Disliked: More demanding and physical than some models in the category Limited accessibility...

15.0/20
Elan Amphibio 18 TI2 [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

In a category where we are looking for homogeneity, that is to say, a balanced mix of performance, comfort, accessibility and versatility, the Amphibio 18 Ti2 has some real assets to show. There's nothing to say about the performance. The ski, equipped with two Titanal plates, does a great job and remains calm in all circumstances. The grip is excellent; it holds curves well, especially in large bends. Its accessibility is remarkable. The reviewers appreciated a ski that was "easy to handle", "not tricky" and that was docile, sound and predictable in all circumstances. The Amphibio 18 Ti2 is not a demanding ski; it requires little physical commitment and allows you to "ski fast, comfortably". Versatility is also a must. In particular, the ski skids, slides and cuts with obvious goodwill. The only regret is that it lacks a little agility and is a little less comfortable in small curves where it requires more commitment. Note that the ski is asymmetrical (there is a right ski and a left ski). The Amphibio 18 Ti2 from Elan is a true "cruiser", the type of ski on which you can be comfortable on all types of terrain and at all speeds, without having to put in a lot of physical commitment. We recommend it to a wide range of skiers, especially those who do not have the opportunity to ski very regularly and who want to have fun with minimum effort.

Liked: Sound behaviour Grip Ease in large bends Accessible, easy to get to grips with Skidded and cut handling Comfort, requires little physical commitm...

Disliked: More demanding in small bends Not very playful...

14.8/20
Völk Deacon 74 [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers

The "Best Ski" last year, the Deacon 74 from Völkl appeared more powerful but also more demanding this year. The Deacon 74 is made to go fast, very fast and for big curves. The stability of the ski, the curve holding, and the "powerful" grip are high-flying. "A rail", the reviewers say. The ski just asks for acceleration and a lot of energy. The ski requires adaptation time, commitment and attention. At low speed, entry into curves is more tedious and the ski is hard to deform. We recommend the Deacon 74 from Völkl to skiers of excellent to expert levels, of medium to heavy sizes, who seek performance above all.

Liked: High-flying performance Powerful ski Carving handling Skills in large curves and at high speed Stability Grip...

Disliked: Technically and physically demanding skiing Rigid ski that requires speed and engagement to deform it Requires adaptation time...

14.8/20
DX73 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

From Kästle, the new DX series is designed to attract price-conscious customers with two models, the DX73 and the DX85, both priced at €599 with bindings. "Docile ski", "pleasant and gentle", the DX73 is a delight at moderate speed. The ski's behaviour, very balanced and intuitive, the easy pivoting, the homogeneous skid handling make it a very easily accessible ski. When you press the pedal, it accelerates up to intermediate speeds while offering a feeling of safety and flawless behaviour. Very comfortable in small turns, manoeuvrable and reactive, it allows you to chain turns at a good pace while delivering beautiful sensations. The DX73 is particularly effective and pleasant in small bends, cut or slid handling. Less at ease at sustained speed, especially in large turns, not always comfortable when taking big angles, the ski has a slightly more limited range of progression than some skis in this category. The DX73 from Kästle is, according to the reviewers, a "very good ski". It also offers a very interesting price–quality ratio. We recommend it to good skiers looking for an "easy ski" that is "fun". It is the ideal ski for those who are starting parallel skiing and wish to improve their technique in skid handling, then cut handling at moderate speed.

Liked: Balanced ski, sound behaviour Skid handling Pleasant and gentle Manoeuvrable and playful at low speeds...

Disliked: Limited in terms of performance Poor behaviour in large turns and at sustained speed...

14.7/20
Head V-Shape 4 XL [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

Presented as an All-Mountain range, Head's "V-shape" range (named because of the shape of the skis, which are wider at the front) is rather a range of piste/"All-Round" skis (like the Speed Zone 4x4 range). It consists of five models with increasing levels of performance: V2, V4, V6, V8, V10. The V-shape 4 is available in a much larger XL version, with an additional 11 mm at the waist. This model was evaluated by the Proskilab reviewers. The ski's overall behaviour is good, with a special mention for the ease of pivoting that will reassure skiers with a low technical level. The ski shows itself to be docile, "stable and reassuring", ever predictable. Its width (84 mm at the waist) gives it a head start on varied snow and allows the most adventurous to tease the edges of the piste. The ski is more at ease in cut handling than in slid and skid handling at low speed. According to the reviewers, "it pushes carving", which will appeal to a number of skiers who wish to discover the sensations of cut curves with large edge cornering angles. This gives it, according to the reviewers, "a great margin for progression". "Nice surprise, Head!" writes one reviewer. We recommend the V-Shape 4 XL to a wide range of skiers from intermediate to good levels, especially for those who want to experience the fun of carving.

Liked: Carving skills Accessibility Easy to pivot, put into turns Homogeneous ski Transition between all snow types...

Disliked: Poor behaviour in cool slid, skid handling at low speeds...

14.3/20
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...

14.2/20
Head V Shape 8 [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

The V-Shape series takes its name from the shape of the skis, which are substantially wider in front. The V-Shape 8 from Head immediately shows its favourite terrain: carving. A true "carving machine", "reactive", the ski puts itself very "on the edge easily". It feels comfortable and allows you to take important angles. Its flexibility allows it to deform with a minimum of speed and physical commitment. It's a treat on low to moderate slopes: just lean forward, the ski starts immediately and it goes on its own. Its very "cut" profile (with a sharp hourglass shape), makes it more delicate in skidded and slid handling. On the other hand, the ski is less comfortable outside its natural radius as well as at high speeds. The V-Shape V8 lacks a little versatility for this programme. Nevertheless, it will be the delight of a large number of skiers from intermediate to good levels who want to discover the sensations of carving in an easy way.

Liked: Carving skills Easily enters curves Light Requires little physical commitment to be deformed...

Disliked: Lack of stability and hold at high speed Less at ease in skid handling Lack of versatility for the programme...

13.8/20
MX84 [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

While the MX84 from Kästle brilliantly won a "Best Ski" medal last year in this category, the behaviour of the model reviewed this year appeared a step backwards. The reviewers found, in particular, that the ski was less precise, "stable and safe" than last year. This difference is difficult to explain because the model does not seem to have changed. Maybe a problem with the preparation of the ski given to be reviewed? Anyway, the MX84 is undeniably an excellent ski and we advise our users to base themselves on last year's review.

Liked: General behaviour Width giving it a plus in soft or varied snow Versatility Pleasant at intermediate speeds...

Disliked: Flexible ski, especially in the nose Lack of liveliness Unclear handling...

13.6/20
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...

13.6/20
Völk Racetiger RC [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

In this category, we are looking for skis that are accessible at the lowest technical levels but that nevertheless let the skier advance. In particular, the ski is expected to be able to pivot easily (i.e. to be turned when flat), the skid handling is progressive and homogeneous, and the ski behaves correctly when the skier is in a centred or slightly rear position. Once these qualities have been acquired, we look at the ability of the ski to support the skier in progressing towards cut handling. Very clearly focused on performance, the Racetiger RC from Völkl is not comfortable in the first part of the programme. Skidding or sliding "cool" handling is not very intuitive. The ski has a natural tendency to anchor and cut. It is not at ease when flat and must be put on the edge with commitment. The Racetiger RC from Völkl is clearly too performance-oriented to do well in this category. It is a good ski, but it is intended for skiers with a very high technical level, who master cut riding.

Liked: Performance Ease and stability at high speeds and in large curves Rigid and gripping ski...

Disliked: Ski is not at ease in skid handling Pivots badly Not very calm behaviour when weakly taking angles...

13.1/20
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...

12.6/20
Dynastar Speed Zone 4X4 82 Pro Konect [click]
Type of ski : Men's high-end

While the Speed Zone 78 Pro from Dynastar has distinguished itself in the "accessible piste" category, its big brother in 82 mm width is a little more to the point in this category where we find a higher level of performance. Its general behaviour is good. Its stability was particularly noted by the reviewers. On the other hand, its 82 mm underfoot gives it an advantage over soft or varied snow. Despite its "Pro" construction and its Titanal plate, the ski remains relatively flexible, especially at the front. The Speed Zone 4x4 lacks agility. The nose, with little tonic and raised by a rocker, is indeed hard to engage to quickly initiate turns. The boost is not very tonic. For the same reasons, the grip is medium when loading the front. It gets back in action if you recentre yourself and engage large carving-type curves where it proves to be at ease. Although the Speed Zone 4x4 Pro is not the ideal ski to "attack" outright on the housings, it is a good ski for all those who want a model that is comfortable on all types of snow to discover the joys of carving.

Liked: Big bend carving skills Stability at high speed General behaviour Ease in all types of snow...

Disliked: Lack of grip and handling in small bends Slow trigger Lack of rebound...

11.1/20
Salomon Force 7 [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers

The Force 7 from Solomon was not graded because the reviewers detected an instability that suggested a preparation/honing problem on the model given for testing.

Liked: -...

Disliked: -...

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