SKI REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST
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Men's ski reviews 2017

Reviewers' score
18.8
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

After several difficult seasons when the brand's products found it hard to convince the reviewers, since last year, Rossignol has been back with a vengeance with an excellent selection of products. Already picked out last year and selected again by PROSKILAB™ in the 2017 review, the Rossignol Elite LT (for Long Turn), fitted with the Konect plate, displays the same qualities...with the same results.

From the very first ride, you grasp all the generous character of this ski, judged as "very easy" and "immediately under control" by the PROSKILAB™ reviewers. It's also a remarkably comfortable model. It cushions the terrain, smoothes out any lumps and bumps to perfection... Read on

Reviewers' score
18.3
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

Once again, we noted how a change of plate can alter a ski's performance by playing on the stiffness of the waist.

During a discussion with the brand about the model to be reviewed in this category, we decided to test the Hero Elite ST (for Short Turns) that features a composite 'Race' plate (called R21 racing) and this choice proved highly judicious.

The Hero Elite ST has a standard "Konect" plate and is a good ski, but we did not feel its performance was quite good enough during the pre-reviews for this "Slalom" category.
The R21 plate provides the additional stiffness and performance that was lacking, putting it in first place, mainly due to the excellent... Read on

Reviewers' score
18.3
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

The Italian ski culture is more racing-oriented than freeride. When Nordica suggested we review the Enforcer last year, we have to admit that we were a bit wary, not to say downright sceptical. But our role is to unearth the best skis on the market, which we sometimes find where we least expect! The 2016 ski was therefore pre-tested with success, and so was selected for the PROSKILAB™ review with the same results and a "Best ski" distinction to boot.
The ski is entirely in keeping with the All Mountain 30/70 programme, in other words, it's a ski designed for freeride and yet able to perform extremely well on the groomed runs.

The ski is truly incredible off-piste, with enormous... Read on

Reviewers' score
17.5
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

Like the Hero Elite ST, the Racetiger Speedwall SL from Völkl stands out for the excellent compromise between performance and accessibility, as well as its multi-talented scope of use.

Overall accessibility is excellent, even if some reviewers felt it was less convincing than a Rossignol. Its extremely sound and adaptive performance means that can be effortlessly exploited in every situation.

Turn... Read on

Reviewers' score
17.5
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

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

Reviewers' score
17.5

Based in Chamonix and reviewed by PROSKILAB™, this new brand made an excellent impression with the Corvus sent in.

We may as well say it straight off: the Corvus is a very powerful ski that's not recommended for the faint of heart or the poets among you who want to ride the powder while admiring the landscape. It's a genuine freeride ski for genuine freeriders (preferably very virile!).

The ski has fiendish stability and grip and just loves to go fast ...and if possible even faster. Stiff, tolerant, we might even say masochist, this is a ski that needs taking charge of with no messing about. It will take the most radical, adrenalin-pumping rides in its stride, while giving an... Read on

Reviewers' score
17.4
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

The Speed Zone 10 ti is perfectly at home in this "Men's top-of-the-range" category where the main criteria is consistency.

In effect, it's a highly versatile model, which will cover all snow conditions, all terrains, and all types of ride, with the reviewers unanimously expressing their enthusiasm: "A super versatile ski!", "A great ski for all snows and all terrains!"

However, it's the ski's overall performance and very strong character also got the reviewers' raving. Its liveliness, helped by the highly responsive initiation and impulsion, gave a great deal of pleasure. It was especially comfortable carving. Turn hold is remarkable, and... Read on

Reviewers' score
17.1
AWARD

AWARD

Already tested with success last year, the Cochise once again confirms its high standard and its strong character.

On piste, the ski is amazingly efficient and precise, almost trenchant... unique in this category! From the very first rides down, you know that this ski is just itching to get into long-radius turns and speed up. The grip and turn control are astonishing for a freeride ski, and the Cochise stays glued to the curve. At high speeds, stability is mind-boggling. But on the flip side, the ski is demanding and requires engagement: you have to be "on top of it". A stiff ski with a 27m radius (!), you understand fast that short-radius turns are not its thing and that it requires a good... Read on

Reviewers' score
17.0
AWARD

AWARD

The SLX Fusion from Elan has continually done well in the PROSKILAB™ selection over the years. Although it hasn't changed much, it still gets good ratings from the reviewers for its responsiveness and its playful performance.

In effect, with a rocker and a radius of 12.4m in the size reviewed, the ski stands out for its incredible agility combined with top-flight performance. It's a real jewel of a toy, able to carve out short turns with a surgeon's precision. The reviewers also loved the excellent ski/snow contact, the fluid ride and the excellent overall performance.

Even better, the ski is generous, tolerant and extremely forgiving for less technical skiers who don't... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.9
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

A true benchmark for this market, and already rated "Best Ski" in 2015 (the ski was not reviewed last year due to a technical glitch on the model provided), the Brahma by Blizzard confirms its superiority in this market segment. It's the little brother of the larger Bonafide, which has won many awards and unfortunately was not reviewed this year.
We're always amazed at the ski's easy handling and overall user-friendliness. You have a light and easy ski under foot that instantly does what the skier wants in an extremely manageable way. Whether on hard pack or soft snow, in carves or skid turns, short or long turns... it doesn't matter, the ski performs on all types of slope and... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.9
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

With several "Best ski" awards under its belt in recent years, Völkl's Mantra is one of the best skis on the market in this category. It remains top again this year, despite the increasingly strong competition in this highly lucrative segment.

The ski doesn't seem to have changed since last year, and confirms its main quality: its totally amazing on/off-piste versatility!

On piste, the Mantra has a lively and playful character. Initiation is remarkably fast and easy, giving the impression of real lightness under foot. Turn performance is excellent from every angle. The excellent grip means you can engage in hard, steep terrain with no worries.

Easy turn initiation,... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.8
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

PROSKILAB™'s aim is to make a comparative test of a limited selection of the best skis available on the market. We've been watching the ZAG for several years now and, after some discussions with the brand, decided to include the H95 in the 2017 review. Well, it was definitely a good move as the reviewers absolutely raved about the model.

It's very rare that the brands' marketing... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.6
AWARD

AWARD

The Speed Course Master, with the same aluminium plate as its cousin at Rossignol, is a true mainstream Giant slalom ski. It gives riders not only the performance they expect from this type of ski, but also exceptional accessibility, which means it can be used by (almost) everyone!

In effect, overall performance is extremely high. The ski is lively, precise, incisive, stable and grippy, even if its grip and stability are not quite up to the standard of its cousin at Rossignol.

Highly versatile and adaptive, it will fit in with every riders' whims. Riders can happily progress at all speeds for all types of ride and terrain. It handles well when riding cool and smooth, in very dynamic long-radius... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.4

Without a shadow of doubt, the Laser SX from Stöcklï is a machine designed to carve and carve again. The ski is made to carve out wonderfully accurate turns with the precision of a... Swiss knife!

Turn initiation may not be the best, but once you're into the curve, the ski is amazing. Unflappable, even at high speed on hard pack, the ski stays on track, seeking to round off the turn as naturally as possible. What's more, its phenomenal grip lets you ride out radical angles. As one reviewer remarked: "it invites you to lean out further and further"...

Reviewers' score
16.3

Riders are instantly at ease with the RaceTiger GS UVO. In downhill rides, comfort and accessibility are noticeable straightaway. Above all, its comfort is exceptional for this category of racing-oriented ski. It absorbs the terrain extremely well and requires remarkably little effort for steering. "A leather upholstered BMW" one of the PROSKILAB™ reviewers commented.

The Racetiger is a very reassuring... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.2
AWARD

AWARD

The Racetiger RC UVO from Völkl is not the best performer, nor the most playful or the easiest ski in the selection, but it's the ski that combines all these qualities with the greatest consistency.

The first thing the reviewers noted is that the Racetiger RC is happy on every type of slope, every type of snow, in all rides and radiuses. The quality of this performance-oriented ski is amazing. As one... Read on

Reviewers' score
16.2
AWARD

AWARD

One reviewer summed it up perfectly as "simple, agreeable and fun".

Simple: The Spirit EVO from Stöckli instantly gives riders confidence. It's immediately user-friendly a few rides downhill confirm the ski's docile and tolerant character, easily forgiving any pressure or positioning mistakes. It is extremely comfortable thanks to the quality of the ski/snow contact.

Agreeable: the ski's overall behaviour is excellent, offering riders a lot of enjoyment. Overall performance is at the top of the category and the reviewers particularly appreciated the quality of turn hold. The model is grippy and incisive, with solid pressure.

Fun: stiff, energetic, the Spirit... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.9

A worthy successor to the Omeglass Pro that ranked top last year, the Speed Zone 16, with the group's famous R21 racing plate, got a good score again this year. The new model is stiffer and more athletic than its predecessor... but also far more demanding.
The level of overall performance is extremely high and the reviewers were particularly impressed with the precision and stability of turn performance, even in relatively longer turns. Once the turn has been initiated, the ski's a marvel... "a rail" as one reviewer put it. It has excellent grip is and is also very responsive, mainly because of the fast edge change and the lively kick.

On the other hand, the extra dose of stiffness... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.9

We decided to include the iSpeed Rebels from Head in the PROSKILAB™ review after the pre-tests and discussions with the brand, and we were not disappointed. This model really walks the talk in powder! There's no doubt, it’s the kind of ski that invites you to rip through the snow.

With incisive initiation, fantastic turn performance, exceptional stability and explosive push-off, the ski reminds anyone who may have forgotten that it has a true racing ski pedigree.
The model is a devil in disguise that just invites you to step on the gas; in most cases, the skier reaches his limits before the ski does.

But the model also demands a lot in return for its elitist performance... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.9
BEST SKI

BEST SKI

The Speed Zone 7 from Dynastar offers a perfect match for the demands of the PROSKILAB "Intermediate cruisers" programme. Riders with the weakest technical skills will enjoy this ski. Its easy rotation and turn entry, the consistency of skid turns, and its forgiveness of mistakes in positioning or pressure make it a particularly reassuring model for beginners.

In addition, it can help skiers to make technical progress. There's a natural transition to slide turns and then carving. Grip and turn hold remain good when the pace is stepped up.

The quality of the snow contact and its docile behaviour make it an extremely agreeable ski that will give a lot of enjoyment.

A flexible... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.4
AWARD

AWARD

In this category, we're looking for skis that will help riders make progress from their early steps (snowplough and skid turns) to more technical rides. The skis therefore need to be very accessible, with easy rotation, reassuring and consistent in skid turns, and requiring little physical engagement. They should also be able to retain their grip and stability at a faster pace, end ensure the transition to carving or even carved turns.

The Pursuit 600 Basalt unfortunately does not have what it takes to fulfill the first part of the contract. A very (too) good performer and relatively stiff for this category, it's not accessible enough for less technically skilled riders. In particular, the ski... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.3

As is often the case, Stöckli has given us an excellent product with all the quality of Swiss manufacturing as an added boon.

The first impression is one of great comfort... probably due to its Swiss origins too. The ski cuts across the terrain and requires little engagement. It links turns smoothly and easily. Docile and tolerant (as long as you don't put too much pressure on the front), it responds to the tip of the finger. And even more, because you’ll find that if you want to play about a bit, the ski loves to join in.

This mix of comfort and liveliness is extremely enjoyable. It's really great, especially in short-radius turns on soft snow.

The very flexible... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.3

High-performing, comfortable, versatile and well balanced, the ski stands out for its all-round qualities. A real Swiss knife, it will take you anywhere, on all terrains and snow conditions and in all types of ride, without shining in any particular area. It requires little engagement, even if initiation is a little slow. However, once into the turn, the performance is smooth and the grip excellent thanks to its stiff tail.

Off-piste, it planes well and pivots easily in deep snow, while rides through crud and difficult snow are consistent with this category.

When you step up the adrenalin at high speeds or on steep slopes, the ski remains highly efficient, even if it's not quite up to the... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.1
AWARD

AWARD

The RC4 RC from Fisher has passed the preselection for this PROSKILAB™ category for several years. While it didn't come top, it's still one of the best skis on the market and well deserves its place in the selection.

First of all, it's a genuine giant slalom ski, full of punch, grippy and incisive. It's a ski you can count on when you want to zip down the slopes in all situations.

But... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.1

Although the Italian market is more focused on racing than freeride Nordica's Enforcer gave the PROSKILAB™ reviewers a good surprise last year. The Enforcer is fast becoming a benchmark ski in the All Mountain Fat category (or All mountain 30/70 at PROSKILAB™).
The ski got a "Best ski" distinction in the All Mountain 30/70 category, and did just as well this year!

We tested a 93-mm waist version (as opposed to 100 mm for its big brother) that puts it in the 50/50 category. The model was pre-tested in January 2016 and accepted for the PROSKILAB™ 2017 review.

The Enforcer 93 has kept most o the qualities of its big brother, notably its exceptional accessibility,... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.0

Usually selected and tested with success, the Dobermann GSR EDT was awarded the "Best ski" distinction in this category last year, and was a ski that the reviewers really loved. The model got special praise for its performance, while remaining accessible for a non-competition public.

The version reviewed this year (Dobermann GSR RB EVO) has been fitted with carbon inserts ("Racing Bridge" which explains the "RB" initials) that have considerably increased the ski's stiffness, enhancing its performance in radical turns to the detriment of accessibility and comfort.

While the ski is extremely stable, grippy and solid in turn performance and globally very efficient,... Read on

Reviewers' score
15.0
AWARD

AWARD

Once you've understood that this model, like many of Elan's skis, is asymmetric (you need to remember that there's a right ski and a left ski), the Amphibio 16 has many qualities.

It's first and foremost a very user-friendly ski, including for riders who don't yet master carving techniques. In effect, the ski enters turns very easily, skids very well and is smooth and comfortable in skid and slide turns (between the carve and the skid), and it forgives potential positioning faults coming out of turns.

Carving is fine. The ski is well placed on the snow and holds the turn remarkably well, mainly due to its very good grip. It's especially efficient in long-radius turns... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.9

As soon as you hit the piste, you know that Head's "Premium" is designed for carving.
Its well-distributed stiffness helps it to excel in this domain. Turn entry is fast and incisive, grip is excellent and rebound is full of punch. It has no complexes attacking the turn, and edge hold is incredibly stable, linking turns extremely smoothly, even at considerable angles. Its shape, the quality of turn... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.8

The Nordica GT 80 ti EVO is a great all-mountain ski, largely due to its width underfoot (80 mm) which makes it comfortable on all types of snow. Turn initiation is very easy and edge hold in turns is excellent.

It's remarkably easy, predictable, tolerant and enjoyable. The smooth transition between carves and skids makes cruising especially satisfying.

The ski is quite heavy and lacks the stiffness... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.8

The Amphibio 80 ti is notable for its overall facility and consistent performance, judged excellent by the reviewers. The ski is very versatile and is happy in all types of ride and turn.

It's very user-friendly, even if it performs less well than the Speed Zone 7... The ski is intuitive and requires little technical prowess; it's extremely reassuring for intermediate riders. Turn entry is very easy,... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.7

The Strong Instinct Ti from Head immediately stands out as a ski adapted to the weakest levels. The ski enters turns easily, skid turns are very consistent and reassuring and its tail helps produce successful parallel turns after a snowplough opening. It's brilliant for beginners and fair to middling riders.

In addition, the ski is extremely comfortable and requires little physical engagement. Highly versatile,... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.7
AWARD

AWARD

Like the Brahma, the Kendo has become a solid market reference. After getting a "Best ski" distinction last year, it continued to do extremely well this year.

It's still a stiff, predictable, extremely stable and grippy ski, that behaves incredibly well and loves to go fast. We reviewed a 22m radius waist model, which obviously prefers long-radius turns, if possible at very high speeds.

However, it's happy on all terrains, both on piste and off the beaten track. The ski is "solid" in all conditions and won't let you down, even on steep slopes and hard pack. Its stiffness is also an advantage in difficult snow, especially in the crud where it won't let a... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.7

Sage from Scott is the new name of the Sagebrush, reviewed last year by PROSKILAB. The ski does not seem to have changed much and its performance is very similar to the model already tested.

The Sage will instantly reassure the least experienced skiers. Its behaviour is sound and intuitive and the ski is stable and quickly gives confidence. Tolerant, it's very forgiving in errors of positioning or pressure. Its performance is good as long as you don't push it too hard.

You'll be comfortable taking the Sage anywhere thanks to the excellent cushioning qualities, and it requires very little physical engagement.

Despite its sound performance and the enjoyment it gives the... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.6

The Cham 2.0 97 by Dynastar is a ski that will surprise by its exceptionally user-friendly handling that performs intuitively both on and off piste.

On the piste, it behaves extremely well. The ski is agreeable, agile and very simple to use. Initiation is easy and the ski has a natural inclination to round off turns. In addition, boasts a good kick (despite a light back rocker), it's particularly lively and happy in short-radius turns.

However, it’s performance deteriorates when you step up the pace, reducing stability and precision.

Its freeride performance is OK, but not quite up to the high standard of this sector. While flotation in powder is not exceptional, the ski... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.5

The 13.1m radius on the Supershape Magnum from Head gives an indication of what's to come. This is a ski designed for short turns, where its smooth and nimble performance is impressive. As one reviewer put it: "you have the impression you've got a snowblade under your feet!"

Initiation is immediate, grip is excellent and turn control impeccable... as long as you're well positioned. In fact the ski will easily overdrive if distribution to the fore is too great. Some reviewers found it performed best with slight pressure on the heel. Once you've found the right positioning, the ski is incredibly easy and efficient, linking parallel turns at a fiendish rate and with virtually... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.5
AWARD

AWARD

The Ripstick ski makes freeride accessible to even the least skilled riders thanks to its exceptional handling qualities.

Off-piste, the ski is immediately reassuring. It covers all terrains and its exceptional agility will reassure less experienced skiers, always anxious about braking when rotating. You don't need to have the technical skills of Candide Thovex: the ski rotates without effort, even in crud and wet snow. You just need to steer left and then right and you'll find yourself effortlessly riding the slopes in a cloud of pow, just like a champion!

On the pistes, the ski's comfort and its facility on soft snow is astonishing. Turns may not be the most precise and we're... Read on

Reviewers' score
14.1

Like the Ripstick and the Soul7, the H105 is designed for accessibility. The first rides down the pistes are great. The ski behaves well, is docile and reassuring. Rotation and initiation are fast and intuitive. The ski is relatively responsive and happy in short turns.
Its behaviour becomes more erratic at high speeds. It lacks stability and the tail lacks impulsion and grip, forcing the ride to ski up front. In... Read on

Reviewers' score
13.7

A good ski, the Rc Ca from Blizzard significantly lacks the accessibility required to do well in this category.

The model is effectively far more demanding than its rivals. The reviewers particularly regretted the stiff tail that hampered the ski's rotation in skids at slower speeds, and had a strong impact on the ski's accessibility for beginners and average riders.

The ski is globally efficient... Read on

Reviewers' score
13.4

Rossignol's Soul 7 is one of those skis like the Ripstick or the H105 that aims for accessibility in a more technically difficult area.

Off-piste, the ski's excellent flotation is a pleasant surprise (true, the 106mm waist and large rocker helps), considerably reducing the skier's muscle work. Its agility in the powder is really good. It's wicked linking short turns on this type of snow on intermediary slopes.

However, the ski is not rigid enough to cut tracks through difficult snow or to handle hard pack on steep slopes... For the same reason, at high speeds, its performance is less clearcut and less reassuring.

We find the same qualities and weaknesses on the groomed... Read on

Reviewers' score
13.3

The PROSKILAB™ team is mainly made up of experienced professionals who are expected to push the skis to their absolute limits and to dissect their performance in detail. The rest of the team is made up of non-professional 'experts' whose role is to give a less technical impression that's closer to that of the end user. While the two types of review generally converge, we sometimes get models where the professionals point of view is very different to that of the 'experts'.

This is what happened with the Zone 12 ti from Dynastar (featuring the group's Konect plate). The professional skiers found its behaviour atypical and globally under-performing, requiring positioning... Read on

Reviewers' score
13.3

The reviewers agreed that the Experience 88 HD's performance had made great strides compared to its predecessors. The ski is enjoyable, reassuring and instantly manageable. The first rides are smooth and stress-free thanks to its well-balanced and healthy behaviour. The Experience 88 HD responds well and is docile. It's especially happy when carving, and on soft snow it's a real treat!

Off-piste, it will take riders wherever they want to go, although it fails to excel because of the shape which is too sharply carved (extremely narrow waist). However, its overall behaviour and, above all, performance in the crud had improved significantly compared to previous models.

In more demanding... Read on

Reviewers' score
13.2

"The Ski" by Scott is a model that the PROSKILAB™ team know very well. Over the last few seasons it has held its own in this selection of the best skis in the category, without ever quite managing to get to the top.

It doesn't seem to have changed much compared to last season and continues to please for its handling qualities and the enjoyment it gives. It's instantly manageable. First rides down at medium speeds both on and off piste show it to be a consistent, gentle and fun ski to use, docile as long as you don't ask too much. Turn initiation is intuitive, it's very happy in skid turns and slide turns, and especially enjoyable on soft snow when riders will enjoy... Read on

Reviewers' score
12.9

The Pro Mtn ti (for "Pro Mountain") was pre-tested in January 2016, and was given the go-ahead to join the PROSKILAB™ review. The model sent in for the review appeared to have a preparation problem however, which affected its performance.

The reviewers effectively found its grip was uneven and varied depending on the pressure, making the ski difficult to manage, especially at high speeds, with... Read on

Reviewers' score
10.4

Fisher is an excellent brand that we've been testing with success for many years. The RC4 SC is a well-known model, reviewed last year with good results and highly appreciated by our reviewers for its sports qualities.

However, we have to say that our reviewers were somewhat disappointed with the model we were given to test this year. The ski is particularly stiff and requires a great deal of physical effort... Read on

Reviewers' score
--

Sometimes the PROSKILAB™ reviewers disagree about a model, which was what happened with the Curve DTX from Fisher.

Some found it "playful and exceptional" with excellent handling qualities. Others found it unstable with slippery pressure, making carving difficult. This makes us think that there was a specific problem with the model supplied, especially as we didn't notice this issue with... Read on

Reviewers' score
--

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