Best All-Mountain Skis 2023
We have tested 20 current all mountain skis and rated them. You will also find a comparison table of all the skis, as well as a detailed buying guide for all mountain skis.
You love to glide on the snow in the piste, both in tight slalom turns and larger curves that more resemble a graceful waltz down the slopes. If it has snowed, your nose smells powder and you ski out of the prepared descents. Maybe you also go on a ski tour sometimes? Or maybe you’re thinking of trying it out. Yes, even that you sneak past the park and cut a little jump and a plastic rail. But hey: what skis can handle all that? Help!
The answer is simple: you need a pair of Swiss army knives under your feet. You need a pair of all mountain skis that master all types of snow with good results. Here are some of this year’s absolutely best skis in that category.
- About the Ski Test All Mountain Winter 2022/2023
Best All-Mountain skis 2023
- 1. Fischer Ranger 96
- 2. Norse The Enduro
- 3. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti
- 4. Black Diamond Impulse 98
- 5. Dynastar M-Free 99
- 6. Faction Dancer 2
- 7. Nordica Enforcer 94
- 8. K2 Mindbender 89 Ti
- 9. Icelantic Pioneer 96
- 10. Rossignol Sender 94 Ti
- 11. Salomon Stance 96
- 12. Völkl Mantra M6
- 13. Extrem Fusion 95
- 14. Head Kore 93
- 15. Völkl Kendo 88
- 16. Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited
- 17. Rossignol Experience 86 Ti
- 18. Scott Pure 98 TI
- 19. Head Kore 91
- 20. Atomic Bent 90
- Comparison Of All-Mountain Skis
Buying Guide For All-Mountain Skis
- What Is An All-Mountain Ski?
- What's Good About An All-Mountain Ski?
- What's Bad About An All-Mountain Ski?
- How wide is an all-mountain ski?
- Why shouldn't I just stare blindly at the all mountain skis?
- Why should I not just stare blindly at skis in general?
- What Bindings Should I Have On A Pair Of All Mountain Skis?
- Do I have to buy new all-mountain skis?
- How is an all-mountain ski constructed and what materials are used?
- What is the difference between all-mountain skis for women and men?
- How long should my all-mountain skis be?
- What turn radius should I have?
- Rocker and camber, what difference does it make?
- What is flex and what difference does it really make?
About the Ski Test All Mountain Winter 2022/2023
Freeride had a test patrol in Vemdalen at the beginning of February 2022, where all major ski brands showed their ski news for the 2022/2023 season. Our four test skiers Emma, Cecilia, Jesper and Olle managed to ski 12 new all mountain skis at that time. Winter 2021 we had four experienced skiers who did individual ski tests of new all mountain skis at very different places in the Swedish mountains, from Tärnaby in the north via Åre in the middle to Kungsberget in the south. Many of these skis are for next winter 2023 exactly the same, except for the graphics, and these 8 skis can therefore also be included in this year’s summary.
This gives us a total of 20 current all mountain skis that are available in stores and online retailers now in the fall.
Before you buy skis, we always recommend that you try them yourself and/or read more ski tests. Without further ado, here are no less than 20 all mountain skis to check out! The skis are sorted by rating from our test skiers, best first.
Best All-Mountain skis 2023
1. Fischer Ranger 96
Lengths: 159, 166, 173, 180 and 187 cm
Tip: 128 mm
Waist: 96 mm
Tail: 119 mm
Radius: 17 meter (@173 cm)
Weight: 1850 grams (@173 cm)
About the ski: Fischer continues to develop its Ranger series – and with good results. The series ranges from 90 to 116 millimeters under the foot. The wood core is reinforced with titanal, which provides a light but torsionally stiff ski that suits all types of skiing. Fischer started making unisex skis a few years ago and the color of the ski only changes depending on the length and the Ranger 96 comes in a blue and yellow color.
- Great fun! I’m very impressed. They do their job and more. Best skis today, this is what love should feel like. Very responsive and stable. Ranger 96 is a little stiffer at the top than Ranger 108 which I also tested. Five out of five in rating! Says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
- An incredibly nice ski. The ski is light but still torsionally stiff and holds up well at high speeds. The Ranger 96 is fun to turn on, it’s an incredible ski… Fischer has really succeeded with the Ranger series. Difficult to find any flaws, it will be a five out of five in rating! Says Jesper Hayland.
- It was really fun and playful. Stable and took big and small turns, and held up to speed. It hung on to most things. It might land on a five out of five! Says Cisela Groth.
2. Norse The Enduro
Lengths: 164, 172, 180 and 188 cm
Tip: 126 mm
Waist: 100 mm
Tail: 114 mm
Radius: 21 meter (@180 cm)
Weight: 1825 gram (@180 cm)
About the ski: Norse Skis is an exciting Swedish ski brand run by Patrik Sannes who previously designed skis for Faction. Today there are two models with 100 and 110 millimeters in the waist and it is the first one that we have tested. Inside this ski we find a wooden core of ash, poplar and balsa wood reinforced with aluminum, fiberglass and a little rubber that is supposed to provide damping properties. The base is impregnated with Nanowaxxx that provides a surface that never needs waxing, the skis are therefore completely wax-free. In addition, the steel edges are extra thick, which should give both better durability and sharper edges.
Review: This is a ski that is really versatile. It is light and agile, while at the same time being sufficiently stable for tougher skiing. Despite a relatively long radius in this context, it turns relatively much and feels like it turns more than for example the Atomic Maverick and Black Diamond Impulse which on paper have a tighter turning radius than this ski. The Enduro handles groomed terrain and slush elegantly and is playful and easy to ski. This ski is nice, well balanced and is probably as close to the perfect all mountain ski as you can get.
3. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti
Lengths: 164, 172, 180 and 188 cm
Tip: 129 mm (@180 cm)
Waist: 94.5 mm (@180 cm)
Tail: 113 mm (@180 cm)
Radius: 19.3 meters ( @180 cm)
Weight: 1800 grams (@180 cm)
About the ski: According to Atomic, this is their most well-crafted ski ever, and hundreds of prototypes tested by almost as many skiers have laid the foundation for this ski. Or rather, the series Maverick (unisex) and Maven (women’s) stretches with waist sizes between 83 to 100 millimeters. Inside the Maverick 95 Ti, we find a poplar wood core with a layer of titanium and fiberglass on the top and bottom of the core, followed by tip and tail rocker and a sleek design.
Review: The Atomic Maverick is a relatively stiff ski and in terms of skiing, this is a ski that likes to go fast. The ski has almost no upper limit when it comes to stability, speed, and compliance. At lower speeds, it is not quite as maneuverable and quick as many would wish. Simply put, the Atomic Maverick generally prefers the piste over off-piste and prefers big turns over small. This is a really good all-round ski for those who like to burn and a ski that works surprisingly well on the entire mountain.
4. Black Diamond Impulse 98
Lengths: 161, 168, 175, 182 and 189 cm
Tip: 132 mm (@182 cm)
Waist: 98 mm
Tail: 120 mm (@182 cm)
Radius: 18 meters (@182 cm)
Weight: 1810 grams (@182 cm)
About the ski: The Black Diamond Impulse is a new series of skis that will be launched this winter. According to Black Diamond, these are playful skis with a shorter radius of turn than the old Boundary series and are intended to work on the entire mountain. The whole series ranges from 98 to 112 millimeters under the foot. Inside the ski, we find a poplar wood core without metal reinforcement. The Impulse 98 has tip and tail rocker as well as a traditional flex under the foot and a moderate radius of 18 meters.
Review: The Black Diamond Impulse 98 is a truly versatile ski. It is easy to ride and feels well thought out with well-balanced properties. The ski is quick in the sidecut and easily slidable, and works really well in the woods and in tracked terrain. Likely, the ample rocker makes the Impulse 98 feel quick in choppy terrain. On the piste, the ski also works well, but does not give the same response when the ski is pressed properly as, for example, the Atomic Maverick and Norse The Enduro do.
5. Dynastar M-Free 99
Lengths: 171, 179 and 185 cm
Tip: 128 mm
Waist: 99 mm
Tail: 120 mm
Radius: 15, 17 and 18 meters
Weight: 1750, 1850 and 1900 grams
About the ski: The Dynastar M-Free 99 is equipped with a sandwich construction and has a core of poplar and a foam of polyurethane and rubber that is supposed to give damping properties. Under the glamorous and elegant marbleized topsheet is also a layer of fiberglass. No metal, and also a rocker profile with gradually increasing rocker in the tip and tail, indicating that this is a ski that oozes playfulness.
Review: This ski has succeeded in combining two worlds in a well-balanced combination. The M-Free 99 has a soft tip and tail that makes the ski fun and playful but it is still hard enough to handle the pressure when it goes a little faster. This ski enjoys both feather-light powder and heavy wet snow, and is fun off-piste. Those who like really high speed on hard piste might find it a bit unstable and should look for the M-Pro model from the same manufacturer instead.
6. Faction Dancer 2
Lengths: 163, 171, 177, 182 and 187 cm
Tip: 127 mm
Waist: 96 mm
Tail: 117 mm
Radius: 19 meters (@182 cm)
Weight: 1900 grams (@182 cm)
About the ski: Faction is known for delivering playful freeride skis with a strong dose of rocker that invites jumps and play. But when this ski – Faction Dancer 2 – was created, the company thought differently. They have, among other things, toned down the rocker profile and inserted two layers of metal in the ski. The result is a powerful, yet easily maneuverable all-mountain ski that measures 96 millimeters under the foot, which has proved to be almost a success. Freeride has test driven the Dancer 2 and half of the test panel gives full points to this ski, which is created for lift-borne skiing with a weight of around two kilograms.
- I was surprised! This ski feels light but incredibly stable, and it’s very responsive and reacts well. But you need to challenge it and press hard to get the push in the turns, but the skis also work great to cruise with. They get a five out of five rating! Says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
- They are comfortable in both big and small turns. Everything works and there are no problems transitioning from big to small turns, changing direction, controlling speed, etc. But the skis don’t have a soul really, they lack that extra something. This isn’t something I would buy myself, but I think many would be happy with the skis. It’s difficult to rate these, they get a four anyway, says Cisela Groth.
- This is Faction! A playground, but very charchig. Dancer 2 is for a more advanced skier I would say. It’s responsive and when you edge it and push it, it really flexes back. A wow ski! Clear five out of five, says Jesper Hayland.
- I’m sorry but it’s neither one nor the other. Dancer 2 isn’t super playful, but also not really charchig. I don’t get the punch I’m looking for. At the same time, it’s a really good all-round ski… you can go fast on it, you can make short turns on it and you can play around in the woods with it. It still gets a strong four out of five rating, it’s an awesome ski! Says Olle Stenbäck.
7. Nordica Enforcer 94
Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186 and 191 cm
Tip: 127 mm
Waist: 94 mm
Tail: 115,5 mm
Radius: 15.5, 16.1, 17.1, 18.2, 19.1 meter
Weight: 2330 gram (@186 cm)
About the ski: The Enforcer series is a modern classic that has been around for a while but has been redesigned several times. The Nordica Enforcer 94 is a ski that suits many different skiers. The poplar and beech wood core reinforced with two layers of metal creates a very stable and dampened ski. Rocker in the front and back makes the ski playful. Before last winter, the ski was redesigned, including a softer front part that makes it easier to get into turns. For 2023, only the color is new.
- This is a real steam engine that requires its man or woman. I like it, it’s an awesome ski. It might suit a heavier skier who likes to put some speed on things. Very hard tails… which some people like, I prefer something softer. It doesn’t become super playful but with the right person I think it will be fantastic. It still gets a four out of five rating, says Olle Stenbäck.
- It’s fully loaded really! It’s a bit heavier. It becomes speed stable. This is a ski that suits a skier who likes high speeds, lots of carving and full throttle. I wouldn’t take the ski to the park and start playing around, this is a ski that thrives best on the piste and high speeds. It gets a strong four out of five rating, it’s a super fun ski, says Jesper Hayland.
- It’s heavy, stiff and hard. You have to be there as a skier, but it suits my type of skiing. It might be time for a five out of five! Says Cisela Groth.
8. K2 Mindbender 89 Ti
Lengths: 164, 170, 176, 182 and 188 cm
Tip: 130 mm
Waist: 89 mm
Tail: 114 mm
Radius: 16.6 meter (@182 cm)
Weight: 1925 gram (@182 cm)
About the skis: The K2 Mindbender 89 Ti is a new ski from the Mindbender series. A ski, according to K2, should provide a lot of joy and imaginative skiing. The ski is lighter in tip and tail compared to previous Mindbenders, which should make the ski easier to enter and exit turns. Simply put, this is a more playful Mindbender that is still stable enough. A tip from K2 itself is to go for a longer length if you are unsure between two different sizes, as this ski is so easy to ski. Inside the ski we find an aspen wood core with a Y-shaped titanium reinforcement and a piece of fiberglass. Rocker in tip and tail and a relatively tight radius of around 16 meters in the 182 centimeter length.
- Fun ski. A lot of turn. Quickly on edge and a lot of pop back. A little worried when taking longer turns. It doesn’t wobble but it was more that it didn’t like when I laid it out on longer turns. A good all-round ski for cruising. It lands at 3.5 out of five, says Olle Stenbäck.
- Today’s favorite for me at least. For me personally, it responds well. There’s a lot of turn for an all mountain ski. I think this one is really fun to ski on and it’s very playful. It gets a strong five out of five! Says Jesper Hayland.
- It was fun. It stands up to it! You can put it on big turns at high speeds. Personally, I think it’s a bit narrow. 89 millimeters is on the low side. It gets a four, says Cisela Groth.
- It would probably have benefited from adding some width in the waist, like taking another ski from the same range. But I like this one. It’s stable. It responds back and does its job. It delivers on its promise, four out of five, says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
9. Icelantic Pioneer 96
Lengths: 166, 174, 182 and 188 cm
Tip: 131 mm
Waist: 96 mm
Tail: 118 mm
Radius: 19 meter (@182 cm)
Weight: 1840 gram (@182 cm)
About the ski: The ski is handmade in Denver, Colorado and the construction consists of a poplar wood core reinforced with fiberglass and rubber running along the skis for damping. The Pioneer 96 has rocker in the noses and tails, as well as 5 millimeters under the foot, classic all mountain shape in other words. The Pioneer is also available in a narrower variant measuring 86 millimeters under the foot as well as a wider variant at 109 millimeters.
Review: This is a versatile ski that is fun and stable on the piste in both long and short turns and the Pioneer 96 gives a good return out of turns. It is of course not as sharp on the piste as a narrower ski, but given the width the piste properties are good. In bumps and irregularities, the Pioneer 96 also works well and does not feel nervous despite the terrain being messy. In the forest, the ski thrives best, where it is quick, stable and easy to turn even if the vegetation is dense. In summary, this is a ski that works really well for everything except when it’s dumping and possibly in hard-packed piste, but to set those demands on one and the same ski is unreasonable.
10. Rossignol Sender 94 Ti
Lengths: 156, 164, 172, 178 and 186 cm
Tip: 128 mm
Waist: 94 mm
Tail: 118 mm
Radius: 19 meters (@ 178 cm)
Weight: 1800 grams (@ 178 cm)
About the ski: The Rossignol Sender 94 Ti is an upgrade to the previous Black Ops Escaper. This ski has undergone several technical and aesthetic updates compared to its predecessor, and is built in Spain. The Sender 94 Ti has a paulownia wood core, which is a relatively light wood type, and in this case also has a PEFC certification, which means that the material is part of Rossignol’s “ECO-Conception”, where among other things, the reuse of raw materials is maximized while minimizing environmental impact during production (formally defined in PEFC/14-35-00477). The Sender 94 Ti is reinforced with the ski industry’s favorite alloy, titanal, for better stability, and a rubber sheet to reduce high-frequency vibrations. The front and rear of the ski is also equipped with porous composite which reduces the total weight, as well as the swing weight (less mass at the ends to turn in the turns), which in turn should make the ski easier to maneuver. The ski has also been enriched with an updated rocker profile, which should provide a more accurate turn initiation. Practically, the Sender 94 Ti has a modern shape with a clear rocker in the front, a traditional waist under the foot and a light rocker/rise in the back.
Review: The Rossignol Sender 94 Ti is a great ski that works exceptionally well in many contexts. Personally, I think 94 millimeters under the boot is on the narrow side, as I usually prefer churned up and messy terrain over hard-packed manchester. The ski is agile and fun, in my opinion sufficiently stable for most skiers. But those who demand maximum stability might want to look for another ski, such as the Atomic Maverick 95 Ti or Norse The Enduro, says Petter Elfsberg.
11. Salomon Stance 96
Lengths: 168, 176, 182 and 188 cm
Tip: 132 mm
Waist: 96 mm
Tail: 114 mm
Radius: 19.5 meters (@182 cm)
Weight: 1940 grams (@182 cm)
About the ski: Salomon Stance is a series of skis that are theoretically better suited for the piste compared to the Salomon QST, which is more freeride-oriented. The entire series ranges from 90 to 102 millimeters under the boot. The wooden core is made of poplar and reinforced with double layers of aluminum alloy (titanium), one on each side of the core, and a layer of titanium in the upper part of the core. In addition to metal, this ski is also equipped with a traditional stance under the foot and rocker at the front and back.
Review: This is a ski that goes like a train. Rough terrain and speed are no problem and flimsy skis are a thing of the past, this is a real charger ski. Stance 96 provides good response in the form of kick-back out of turns, but is relatively slow to get into the next turn. In short turns, the ski is surprisingly quick and easy to slide, and it doesn’t do badly in the woods, although it is not epic outside the piste. Those who prioritize off-piste characteristics and want to stick with Salomon should probably go for the QST series instead.
12. Völkl Mantra M6
Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184, and 191 cm
Tip: 135 mm
Waist: 96 mm
Tail: 119 mm
Radius: 30/18/24 meters (@177 cm)
Weight: 2070 grams (@177 cm)
About the ski: The Völkl Mantra M6 was new for this winter season of 2021/2022 and will remain the same construction for the next season, but with a different graphic. Völkl’s marketing department often highlights their 3D radius when discussing several of their ski models, including the Mantra M6. At the tested length of 177 cm, this means that the manufacturer specifies three different radii on the ski (R1) 30 m, (R2) 18 m, and (R3) 24 m. In terms of construction, the radius is tighter in the middle of the ski and then decreases and is “more open” or larger. The idea is that the ski should be able to perform in both short and long turns. The new Mantra M6 has a poplar and beech wood core in a sandwich construction, as well as a little tip and tail rocker. The ski is reinforced with “Tailored Titanal Frame”, which means that the aluminum alloy Titanal is located on the sides in front and back, as well as in a thin, full-coverage layer under the foot where the binding is located. “Tailored Carbon Tips” is also a technique used on the Mantra. In short, carbon fiber has been placed in the tip and tail, design-wise, these are emphasized and can be seen in the topsheet as strings that are a little neatly crossed. The Mantra has camber under the foot and tip and tail rocker, according to Völkl’s description. There is no big rocker: there are careful upturns both in front and back. This is a ski that is on paper created for skiing on the piste, groomed piste, and some semi-off piste, it is not a construction that screams for jibbing, butters, and deep snow.
Review: The Völkl Mantra M6 is a really good, performance-oriented all-mountain ski, highly competent on hard surfaces at high and low speeds. This is a ski for intermediate and advanced skiers who focus on serious piste skiing, but sometimes go off-piste and when that is the case, the individual thinks that it is not a big minus with a ski in the heavier spectrum and where rocker back and front are moderate constructions mostly intended for hard surfaces. The Mantra M6 is a beast that thrives on hard surfaces at both high and low speeds, but it is a tamed one and perfect for advanced skiers or intermediate skiers aspiring to develop, says Anders Wingqvist.
13. Extrem Fusion 95
Lengths: 172, 179 and 186 cm
Tip: 128 mm
Waist: 95 mm
Tail: 116 mm
Radius: 17, 18 and 19 meters
Weight: 1800, 1920 and 2050 grams
About the ski: The Extrem Fusion 95 is an all-mountain ski with a wood core made of birch and poplar that the manufacturer claims gives it the perfect mix of lightness and strength. The ski also contains a piece of rubber damping in the tip and tail, as well as some fiberglass. In theory, this is a classic all-mountain ski: a radius of between 17 and 19 meters depending on length, rocker in the tip and tail, and a weight of just under two kilograms. This is a ski that can handle most things.
- “This ski is good at a lot of things. It is playful and fun and is a great ski for Sweden. I think it will suit many different skiers. It is good at everything but not great at anything specific. Personally, I would have liked the ski to challenge me a bit more. But overall… a ski that I think will suit a lot of people. It gets 3.5 out of 5”, says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
- “This is the definition of an all-mountain ski. It covers most things and is great for Sweden. It can be driven fast, it can be turned quickly at low speed and it can play around. It is very all-around but does not peak at anything, so it gets 4 out of 5”, says Olle Stenbäck.
- “Fusion 95 went well and flowed nicely in large turns. It has nice flow and is speed stable. But it is a bit sluggish in short turns, but still stable. This gets a four out of five”, says Cisela Groth.
- “It gets a little wobbly in the nose. For me, it gets a little soft in the piste when I really push it in the turns. It has what I’m looking for in a ski, it’s soft and pliable but it gets a little wobbly… so Fusion 95 gets a 3.5 rating, says Jesper Hayland.”
14. Head Kore 93
Lengths: 156, 163, 179, 177, 184 and 191 cm
Tip: 133 mm
Waist: 93 mm
Tail: 115 mm
Radius: 16,4 meters (@177 cm)
About the ski: The Head Kore 93 is, according to the company, a stable all-mountain ski that performs best on groomed slopes. The ski has a relatively narrow radius of about 16 meters in length 177 centimeters which makes the nose wide, something that in turn should provide extra flotation in powder snow according to Head. The ski is constructed in the same way as before with karuba wood, poplar and graphene but with a new topsheet that provides a more durable ski with the possibility of different graphics. Previous year’s topsheet has not been possible to press on, and thus the Head Kore series has always been completely black.
- “Does not give very good in-kick, do not remember much about it. Feels not very torsionally stiff and is quite soft. I think it suits an average skier. It is light on the foot and quite playful, but it did not work very well on the piste. It gets a three in rating… and then I am generous,” says Jesper Hayland.
- “Today it is prepared manchester with about five centimeters of fresh snow on top. These skis in these conditions, playful… it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Really happy today with Head Kore 93. More towards the playful side, but feels a bit insecure when you put on speed. Rating 4.5,” says Olle Stenbäck.
15. Völkl Kendo 88
Lengths: 163, 179, 177 och 184 (cm)
Tip: 129 (mm)
Waist: 88 (mm)
Tail: 113 (mm)
Radius: 29/16/25 meter (@177 cm)
Weight: 1898 grams (@177 cm)
About the ski: Völkl Kendo 88 is an all mountain/freeride ski for Swedish mountains based on the Mantra M6. Both skis are constructed with two layers of titanal and carbon fiber strings in the noses (called tailored carbon tip), the only difference is the width. Compared to previous years, the Kendo 88 has a one-meter shorter radius, 16 meters. The cut is also different along the ski and is shorter in the waist and longer in the front and back to vary the skiing and prevent the ski from oversteering at high speeds. Völkl calls this 3D Radius.
- – I skied on 177 cm length… the shortest layer for me. It was like a slalom ski, very lively. In the exit of the turn… quite soft tails, but hard into the turn. I have a hard time defining if it is a soft or hard ski. I think it is experienced as quite easy to ski by most people. Speed stable. Völkl Kendo 88 gets four bars, says Olle Stenbäck.
- – It felt light on the foot… positive that it is light. That 3D radius technology… when you edge it you can cruise on larger turns, and if you want to press, you can get a snappier turn and shorten the radius quite a bit. It is soft to bend but stiff to twist, so the torsional stiffness is positive. Incredibly playful and fun. A strong four, says Jepser Hayland.
- – It was very good to ski on. Flexible in skiing. In larger turns, I thought it was difficult to get a proper edge, a bit tighter turns then it lay well on the edge and responded immediately. I think it suits very many skiers, it is easy to ski but still with a lot of stability. A four in grade, says Cisela Groth.
- – This one was very responsive, a bit like skiing on a pair of slalom skis. Not as stable at higher speeds. A three in grade, says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
16. Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited
Lengths: 151, 158, 165 och 172 cm
Tip: 125,5 mm (@165 cm)
Waist: 93 mm (@165 cm)
Tail: 114,5 mm (@165 cm)
Weight: 1350 gram (@165 cm)
About the ski: The Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited is a new ski from Nordica. The Unlimited has the same shape as the regular Santa Ana, but is constructed without metal, which makes it lighter and more playful. The Santa Ana Unlimited is also available with a 88 mm waist. The ski has tip and tail rocker and weighs 1460 grams in a 172 cm length, which is also the longest in the series. This is truly an all-mountain ski that is built to handle piste, off-piste, and touring.
- I have skied on the Enforcer before, there is a huge difference between them. The Unlimited is a very forgiving ski, I think it would suit a lot of skiers. Very quick and responsive but not as stable at high speeds. Three out of five stars, says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
- It’s nice to ski on. It follows well, no weirdness. It works well for cruising, but if you stand on it, it gets a little soft. I think it suits a lot of skiers, it’s very forgiving but still very stable. If you want to do some aggressive skiing, that’s when it doesn’t really reach up. Four out of five stars, says Cisela Groth.
17. Rossignol Experience 86 Ti
Lengths: 167, 176 and 185 cm
Tip: 132 mm
Waist: 86 mm
Tail: 120 mm
Radius: 16 meter (@176 cm)
Weight: 2000 grams (@176 cm)
About the ski: Rossignol Experience 86 is available in two different versions: 86 Basalt and 86 Ti. The latter, which we have tested, has a poplar wood core reinforced with titanal and carbon fiber. The ski has a traditional width and a small tip rocker which Rossignol calls the Drive Tip Solution.
Review: Rossignol Experience 86 Ti is a ski that definitely feels most at home on the piste. It turns incredibly easily and is really quick even on flat terrain. When the slope becomes steeper and the speed increases, the response from the skis becomes almost too strong. In the woods, this ski becomes unpredictable and there are much better options available. Overall, this is an aggressive piste ski that is really fun on flat terrain, but risks becoming difficult to handle when going fast. Maybe the Experience 86 Basalt is kinder?
18. Scott Pure 98 TI
Lengths: 170, 177 and 184 cm
Tip: 133 mm
Waist: 98 mm
Tail: 119 mm
Radius: 17, 19 and 21 meters
Weight: 1670 grams (@177 cm)
About the ski: The Scott Pure 98 Ti is a brand new ski designed to handle any mountain. Its relatively long radius (19 meters in a 177 centimeter length) makes it suitable for high speeds and off-piste skiing. The Pure 98 Ti is constructed with paulownia and beech wood and reinforced with carbon fiber and titanal, making it a relatively light ski that weighs 1670 grams in the aforementioned length.
- “A fun all-mountain ski, with an emphasis on all mountain. It performs best in off-piste conditions. It’s good for carving, but not for very sharp turns. It’s a fun piste ski, but I’ve tried better. I think it feels forgiving, it’s soft and easy to turn with. It doesn’t flutter at high speeds either. Rating… a three,” says Jesper Hayland.
- “This one wasn’t a favorite. It performed best on flatter terrain… long, cruising turns. Then it was actually quite good. Otherwise it became quite fluttery, not a great feeling. I’ll give it a three,” says Cisela Groth.
- “I thought they were fun. It’s hard to put my finger on who they’re suitable for. Fast into turns, not very stable at higher speeds, it unfortunately becomes a little fluttery. It gets a three,” says Olle Stenbäck.
- I am pleasantly surprised, but at the same time not completely taken. It is not very responsive. I would have liked it to be more stable. I suspect it will do better when there is more snow, says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
19. Head Kore 91
Lengths: 149, 156, 163, and 170 cm
Tip: 130 mm
Waist: 91 mm
Tail: 113 mm
Radius: 14.7 meters (@170 cm)
About the ski: The Head Kore 91 is designed for girls, but is essentially the same ski as the unisex Head Kore 93 model. The difference (apart from the design) is that the Kore 91 comes in shorter lengths, and the mounting point is slightly further forward. In terms of construction, the Head Kore 91 is made with karuba wood and poplar in the core, reinforced with graphite. It has rocker in the tip and tail, and a relatively short radius of 14.7 meters in a 170-centimeter length. This is an all-mountain ski that is best suited for groomed pistes in Swedish conditions.
- “It came with us up to the mountain and back. It doesn’t leave much of an impression. It doesn’t do badly, it keeps up. A three in rating,” says Cisela Groth.
- “I’ve been skiing the Kore 91, the women’s variant. Very suitable in Swedish mountains and conditions. Very forgiving ski. Not very advanced and doesn’t challenge much. I’m probably looking for different qualities, but it’s sure to be perfect for others. We’ll give it a 2.5 rating,” says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
20. Atomic Bent 90
Lengths: 157, 166, 175, and 184 cm
Tip: 119 mm
Waist: 90 mm
Tail: 109 mm
Radius: 15, 17, 19, and 21 meters
Weight: 1600 grams (@175 cm)
About the ski: The Atomic Bent Chetler was originally a powdery and jibby backcountry ski with 120 mm underfoot that came out in 2009. A few years ago, an all-mountain version with 100 mm in the waist was also released. This winter, Atomic has broadened the Bent range even further with several new models: a freeride ski at 110 mm, a park and all-mountain at 90 mm, and a park ski at 85 mm. The freerider and artist Chris Benchetler is still involved in designing the skis together with the people at Atomic. The Bent 90 was seen on many of the freeskiing athletes at the Winter Olympics in China in February. This is a playful and light ski at 1600 grams in a 175-cm length and has a 19-meter turning radius. The rocker profile is typical of an all-mountain ski, with more rocker in the tip than in the tail, and a flat section underfoot.
- “I’ve skied the Bent Chetler 100 before and if I compare it to the Bent 90, I prefer the former as an all-around ski. The Bent 90 is not very playful, you can ski on it but in harder skiing the 100 is better. You can go for it a bit in the piste, it’s reasonably stable but not super responsive. It gets a 3 rating,” says Emma Lerider Harrysson.
- “This ski is incredibly soft, I felt that on the way to the lift. It likes to turn and can handle short turns, but it’s very fluttery and feels more like a park ski than an all-mountain ski to me. Play around and have fun on it in the park or in the piste, that’s where it belongs. The rating will be a 2,” says Jesper Hayland.
Comparison Of All-Mountain Skis
|Brand & Model||Dimensions (tip-waist-tail)||Radius||Weight per ski, without bindings||Rating|
|1. Fischer Ranger 96||128-96-119 mm||17 m (173cm)||1850 g (173 cm)||5|
|2. Norse The Enduro||126-100-114 mm||21 m (@180cm)||1825 g (@180 cm)||5|
|3. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti||129-94,5-113 mm||19,3 m (@180cm)||1800 g (@180 cm)||4,5|
|4. Black Diamond Impulse 98||132-98-120 mm||18 m (@182cm)||1810 g (@182 cm)||4.5|
|5. Dynastar M-Free 99||128-99-120 mm||17 m (@179 cm)||1850 g (@179 cm)||4.5|
|6. Faction Dancer 2||127-96-117 mm||19 m (@182cm)||1900 g (@182 cm)||4,5|
|7. Nordica Enforcer 94||127-94-115,5 mm||18,2 (@186cm)||2330 g (@186 cm)||4,3|
|8. K2 Mindbender 89Ti||130-89-114 mm||16,6 m (@182cm)||1925 g (@ 182 cm)||4,1|
|9. Icelantic Pioneer 96||131-96-118 mm||19 m (@182cm)||1840 g (@182 cm)||4|
|10. Rossignol Sender 94Ti||128-94-118 mm||19 m (@178 cm)||1800 g (@178 cm)||4|
|11. Salomon Stance 96||132-96-114 mm||19,5 m (@182cm)||1940 g (@182 cm)||4|
|12. Völkl Mantra M6||135-96-119 mm||18 m (@ 177cm)||2070 g (@177 cm)||4|
|13. Extrem Fusion 95||128-95-116 mm||18 m (@179 cm)||1920 g (@179 cm)||3,8|
|14. Head Kore 93||133-93-115 mm||16,4 m (@177 cm)||3,8|
|15. Völkl Kendo 88||129-88-113 mm||16 m (@177 cm)||1889 g (@177 cm)||3,8|
|16. Nordica Santa Ana Unlimited 93||125-93-114 mm||16,1 m (@172 cm)||1460 g (@172 cm)||3,5|
|17. Rossignol Experience 86 Ti||132-86-120 mm||16 m (@176cm)||2000 g (@176 cm)||3.5|
|18. Scott Pure 98 Ti||133-98-119 mm||19 m (@177 cm)||1670 g (@177 cm)||3|
|19. Head Kore 91||130-91-113 mm||14,7 m (@ 170 cm)||1400 g (@163 cm)||2,8|
|20. Atomic Bent 90||119-90-109 mm||19 m (@175 cm)||1600 g (@175 cm)||2,7|
Buying Guide For All-Mountain Skis
What Is An All-Mountain Ski?
An all-mountain ski is the forever shining second-place winner of skis: it’s the second best in powder after the fatter off-piste skis, it’s the second best in the piste after the snappier and narrower piste skis, it’s a good silver medalist on a backcountry tour after the lighter pure touring skis. Never the worst, never the best. A reliable category of ski. If someone calls your all-mountain ski average and boring, you can reply that it actually takes gold in the category of versatility.
What’s Good About An All-Mountain Ski?
As mentioned above, this type of ski is pretty good at most things. And therefore, it’s an excellent ski to invest in if you only want one ski. And that’s better for both your wallet and the environment in many ways.
Technically speaking, it’s probably optimal to have a pair of narrow piste skis for all the hard mornings on the piste, a pair of fat powder skis for the deep days, and then a pair of all-mountain skis for all the occasions in between. And let’s be honest, the days that offer a mix of groomed runs and powdery fluff are quite many. So it’s a good idea to get a pair of decent all-mountain skis.
What’s Bad About An All-Mountain Ski?
It’s actually self-evident in many ways. On the days when it has snowed a lot, a ski with a waist width under 100 mm will not float as well and be as maneuverable as a ski with wider dimensions and properties suited for off-piste skiing.
And the same goes the other way around, a narrow piste ski with a traditional flex pattern grips better than a nearly-decimeter-wide all mountain ski with rocker in the tip and tail, that’s just the way it is. So in the end, it’s all about compromises, which features are you willing to give up? How often do you really ski powder? Do you prefer to sit and drink coffee when the conditions are tough on the slopes? What type of skier are you? Think about these types of questions before you buy skis.
How wide is an all-mountain ski?
In the test, seven new all-mountain skis with waist sizes of 86-100 mm were tested and rated. The waist size and what constitutes an all-mountain ski, the narrower category of piste skis, and the fatter category of freeride/off-piste skis is something that shifts with trends, time, and the ski industry.
It’s quite safe to say that a ski with a waist size of 85-100 mm can be seen as a reasonable all-mountain ski. But, you can probably move a few millimeters up or down and still have a versatile ski. However, the more the range is stretched, the more varied the skis become. Comparing an 80 mm ski to a 105 mm one starts to feel unreasonable, while an 85 mm compared to a 99 mm can still be manageable even though the difference of nearly 1.5 cm under the foot directly makes them skis that provide different experiences.
It’s worth considering that length also plays a very important role in your skiing experience. Do you want an all-mountain ski that falls into the wider range to get good flotation in fresh snow and packed powder? And you’ve found the PERFECT candidate, but it’s only 93 mm at the waist. In that case, you could ask yourself if you can go up a notch in length to get both better flotation and more speed stability, provided that this doesn’t sabotage all the other characteristics of the ski that you’re looking for, such as agility and quickness.
Why shouldn’t I just stare blindly at the all mountain skis?
A pure piste ski is a joy to ride on in prepared descents. If you ski very little powder, maybe a classic piste ski is a better option for you?
A freeride or off-piste ski with a 100-105 mm waist is often perfectly fine in prepared descents and much more fun in powder compared to a 90 mm all mountain ski. To be honest: Why do you ski? Is it for the days on the piste or for the powder days? If you lean towards the latter and only want to buy one ski, maybe it’s cooler to actually go for a wider ski and skip the all mountain “milk” in favor of a real pair of freeride skis? Do you do a season in the Alps or do you mostly ski in big mountains? Then a freeride ski around 105 mm is also usually a wiser choice.
Why should I not just stare blindly at skis in general?
Also keep in mind that there are a few other things in both your ski equipment and your knowledge that have a greater impact on your skiing compared to the skis you have. We are thinking here in particular about 1) you have a good pair of boots that fit properly without it hurting, 2) your skiing technique.
Maybe you should put the balls on new boots with molded soles that fit really well and comfortably? Read up on how to best go about buying boots.
And also invest some money in a private lesson at the ski school? No, ski school is not just for children. Yes, you can guarantee that you will learn better ski technique in just one or a few private lessons with a ski instructor.
Take it as a habit to book a lesson at the beginning of your ski week or season, and then follow up with the same ski instructor at the end of the week or later in the winter if you have the opportunity.
What Bindings Should I Have On A Pair Of All Mountain Skis?
And what should you put on for bindings on your new skis? Most all mountain skis come with a really good and safe standard binding. There are very few reasons to replace this.
A common reason would be that you are a super skier and want a ski binding that can be set super tight (we are talking maybe 1 skier out of 100 max).
Another reason, a little more likely, is that you are going to buy a pair of all mountain skis to be able to also go on a backcountry tour. If you are going to do everything from skiing on the piste, off-piste and backcountry touring with your new skis, a modern hybrid binding is the way to go. Two good options are Salomon Shift or Marker Duke PT.
Do I have to buy new all-mountain skis?
No, you don’t have to buy brand new skis. A used pair of skis can provide the same excitement and thrill as a new one. It is also an option that is better for the environment and your wallet. Here are 7 tips to help you when buying used skis. Ski manufacturers don’t always release entirely new models of all-mountain skis every year, and often they are called “carry-over” models where the graphics are just changed from one winter to another, so just because you don’t have the latest model doesn’t mean you have to feel outdated.
How is an all-mountain ski constructed and what materials are used?
The construction of skis obviously varies between models and manufacturers. But in general, this type of ski consists of a core that is usually made of wood. The ski gets different properties depending on what type of wood is used, and factors such as weight, elasticity and durability are taken into account and mixed. The skis are sometimes reinforced with metal and various fiber materials such as fiberglass. A ski with metal in it is generally stiffer and more stable, while a ski without metal is lighter and more playful. All-mountain skis are constructed with and without metal depending on the desired properties.
What is the difference between all-mountain skis for women and men?
Women are generally shorter than men and therefore also usually weigh less. Women’s skis are therefore generally a bit softer compared to men’s skis and come in shorter lengths.
On women’s skis, the recommended mounting point, the place where the binding should be mounted, is often moved forward, making it easier to get into the turn without using the same force. The skier ends up a bit further forward on the ski.
Some brands choose not to make a distinction between men’s and women’s skis, and others have only different graphic designs on an otherwise identical ski, these skis are often called unisex.
How long should my all-mountain skis be?
Choosing the length of skis is difficult and there are many factors to consider such as weight, experience, and what type of skiing you prefer. A rule of thumb is to start from your own length and then think about how and where you ski.
If you are a good skier who skis quickly in steep slopes, you can benefit from stepping up a few centimeters. If you prefer to ski off-piste or in terrain that is often groomed and messy, you can also gain from having a pair of skis that are longer than yourself. You will then end up with a length that is about your body length plus 5-15 cm.
If you have not skied as much, you can benefit from a pair of slightly shorter skis. The skis will then be a bit more agile and easier to turn. Even if you ski a lot, but strive for quick turns on the piste (such as slalom turns), you will benefit from choosing a pair of shorter skis. If we are still in the all-mountain category, you are probably pretty close to your body length anyway, even if you want a quick ski.
If you want to delve a little deeper into the length of your skis, we at Freeride have made a guide that helps you find the right length of your alpine skis. This gives you a rough idea of what length might suit you, of course, there is some room for personal preference too! Take a look here and we will help you choose the right length of skis.
What turn radius should I have?
The turn radius is a favorite topic of many ski buyers. It is a clear number and easy to compare between models. Simply explained, the radius is given in meters where a higher radius means a longer turn and a lower radius gives a shorter turn. For example, a 12-meter radius gives a really tight turn that suits you who want to turn really quickly, while a radius of, for example, 27 meters makes the ski turn slowly in large turns, which suits you who want to go fast.
If you have a ski with a tight turn radius, you may experience that you are thrown out of the turn and that the ski turns too fast when it becomes steep and wants to turn by itself, while a ski with a long turn radius can feel sluggish and boring.
The complex thing about the turn radius is that the ski’s other properties, such as flex, binding mounting, etc., play a big role in how much you experience the ski turning. A ski that has a theoretical radius of 20 meters can therefore “turn more” in practice than a ski with a radius of 18 meters. In other words, it is always best to test the ski before purchasing, but if you don’t have that opportunity, the number is definitely a factor to start from, but at the same time, don’t stare blindly at it.
Rocker and camber, what difference does it make?
Camber means that the ski is bent downwards (just like a pair of cross-country skis) and full rocker/reverse camber means that the ski is bent upwards (like a pair of water skis).
Rocker became popular a few years ago, before that almost all skis had traditional camber. A ski with a traditional camber is usually more stable and works better when it is fast and hard, while a ski with rocker is often considered to be easy to turn and playful without the ski digging in and getting stuck in the snow, and therefore it is good when it is groomed and in the forest and similar terrain.
All-mountain skis usually have a mixture of traditional camber under the foot and reverse camber/rocker in the tip and tail, which gives a versatile ski, just as all-mountain skis should be. We can call this mustache rocker, because it resembles a nice well-groomed mustache.
What is flex and what difference does it really make?
Flex simply means how hard the ski is, especially along its length. But of course, there are many variations and aspects that also play a role within this elusive property. The simple description is that a stiff flex gives a stable ski that allows high speed without becoming flimsy. A soft ski becomes playful and easy to turn, but can become unstable when the speed increases.
There are also variations where the ski, for example, is stiffer in the middle and softer in the front and back, which can give a more versatile ski. The ski’s rocker profile also plays a role in how hard or soft it feels. A traditional camber, for example, is often felt to be harder than a reverse camber, that is, rocker.
Hardness can also be discussed in the lateral direction, where we are talking about torsional stiffness. A torsionally stiff ski (that is, the stiffness when you twist/rotate the ski) is always preferable regardless of the type of skiing you like.