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Editors' choice: Best all-mountain front skis 2016/2017

14th September 2016 | OTS Staff

Salomon QST 92 - ©Salomon

Salomon QST 92, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Salomon

If you’re a skier who desires the performance of a sports car and the versatility of an SUV in your ski, the 2016/2017 OnTheSnow Editors' Choice All-Mountain Front skis are the perfect match for every condition the white circus can throw your way.

All-Mountain Front skis marry the precision and performance of a carver with the versatility of a wider platform. Turn radius varies in this category, but on the whole, these skis favour skiing groomed snow while not shying away from powder and bumps in a variety of terrain. If you're in need of an on and off-piste ripper then compare the top-ranked men and women's All-Mountain Frontside skis of 2016/2017.

BEST WOMEN'S ALL-MOUNTAIN FRONT SKIS 2016/2017

Armada Victa 87 Ti

An all-new series (and direction) from Armada, the Victa family is comprised of three models (87 Ti, 93 and 83), designed to be directional, stable skis for the all-mountain skier. Testers noted Armada’s performance change and awarded the Victa 87 Ti high scores for stability and versatility, lower for float. This is a serious contender in the All-Mountain Front category, a solid player on groomed terrain, but can handle the bumps and crud, too.

Armada Victa 87 Ti, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Armada

Armada Victa 87 Ti, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Armada

Elan Interra

It’s no small feet to win highest scores for carving, and that’s the distinction testers awarded the Elan Interra. Like the wider Insomnia, the Interra has a wood core and two sheets of thin shaped titanium called Dual Shaped Ti technology. Amazing on edge, this ski makes smooth, consistent turns of every shape.

Elan Interra, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Elan

Elan Interra, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Elan

Atomic Vantage 90 cTi W

Atomic’s Vantage W series houses three models: 90 CTi, 95 C W and 85 W. AT 90-mm underfoot, the 90 CTi has several technology stories, including Atomic’s Carbon Tank Mesh, a layer of woven carbon mesh used for its high strength-to-weight ratio, and Titanium Backbone 2.0, a new iteration of Atomic’s spine-shaped titanium insert that runs the length of the ski. This Atomic’s happy place is crud —it’s a confidence builder, not a quick turner, but a solid and stable carver on or off piste.

Atomic Vantage 90 CTiW: Editors' Choice, Women's All-Mountain Front

Atomic Vantage 90 CTiW: Editors' Choice, Women's All-Mountain Front

Blizzard Black Pearl

The Black Pearl celebrates a victory trifecta this season, scoring an Editors’ Choice award three years in a row. Blizzard adds a new lightweight construction this season to the 88-mm-waisted ski called Carbon Flipcore, an addition of carbon added to the original Flipcore, a process that “flips” the core upside down during production to create tip and tail rocker and slight camber underfoot without bending. It’s the glass slipper in the All-Mountain Front category - it fits any skier beautifully.

Blizzard Black Pearl, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Blizzard

Blizzard Black Pearl, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Blizzard

BEST MEN'S ALL-MOUNTAIN FRONT SKIS 2016/2017

Salomon QST 92

Salomon's QST 92 was built to play. All testers commented on the QST 92’s fun factor, resulting in highest criteria ratings for playfulness, slightly lower in the stability arena. This 92-mm-waisted ski has a freeski heritage, including a wide rockered tip, hook free tapered and rockered tail. It swings and pivots easily and is just plain fun to ski anywhere on the frontside and a little off-piste.

Salomon QST 92, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Salomon

Salomon QST 92, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Salomon

Nordica Enforcer 93

Nordica's Freeski-oriented Enforcer line includes two skis (one with a wider 100-mm waist and the Enforcer 93, with a 93-mm waist). Both have World Cup constructions with a full wood core, two sheets of metal and sintered graphite bases. The tip shape, though a good profile for float, can restrict stability, but otherwise this ski is for everyone.

Nordica Enforcer 93, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Nordica

Nordica Enforcer 93, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Nordica

Rossignol Experience 88 HD

Rossignol's Experience 88 HD received its highest scores in the carving criteria. Best carver in the group, it has a great race ski feel, especially at high speed. This iteration of the Experience 88 combines a poplar core with Rossignol’s newest technology called Carbon Alloy Matrix, essentially, a blend of lightweight carbon fiber and shock-absorbing basalt fibre.

Rossignol Experience 88 HD, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Rossignol

Rossignol Experience 88 HD, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Rossignol

Armada Invictus 89 Ti

Armada’s Invictus line introduces two new skis (one at 99-mm underfoot the other 85-mm), with the existing 89 Ti right in between and positioned for hard snow, off-piste performance. Testers gave high grades for versatility and playfulness, lower for carving. The tip profile is perfect for off-piste and soft landings, but this go-everywhere ski blows our mind with how well it arcs on groomers.

Armada Invictus 89 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Armada

Armada Invictus 89 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Armada

K2 Pinnacle 88

K2's Pinnacle 88 bridges the gap between resort and freeride. The 88-mm-waisted ski received the highest grades of all skis for the playfulness criteria, with only slightly lower marks for stability. This quick and playful ski suits a wide range of skiers, terrain and conditions.

K2 Pinnacle 88, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©K2

K2 Pinnacle 88, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: K2

Kästle MX89

Testers gave Kästle's MX89 the second highest ratings in the carving criteria, rating it less favourably for float. The sandwich sidewall construction includes a top and base layer of Titanal, an ash/silver fir wood core and Kästle’s updated Hollowtech 2.0 technology. What this ski lacks in versatility, it makes up for with mind-blowing edge grip and quick rebound from one turn to the next.

Kästle MX89, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Kästle

Kästle MX89, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Kästle

Head Monster 88

Head’s Monster series contains four models—from 108-mm waist down to 83-mm. All share a similar World Cup Sandwich Cap construction that includes a wood core, a layer of titanium plus Graphene—a lightweight material stronger than diamonds. Don't be afraid of this monster — it’s a fun, fast one-ski quiver that’s stiff enough to blast through the crud or carve like a Frontside ski.

Head Monster 88, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski. - ©Head

Head Monster 88, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Front Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Head

 

 

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