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

14th September 2016 | OTS Staff

Rossignol Soul 7 HD - ©Rossignol

Rossignol Soul 7 HD, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Rossignol

The 2016/2017 OnTheSnow Editors' Choice All-Mountain Back skis allow you to conquer any challenge the mountain puts in front of you. When you’re skiing the whole mountain, some conditions require you to bulldoze through the crud, sometimes lay bomber railroad tracks on the pistes or (fingers crossed!) float like a bird in powder, all in the same day. All-Mountain Back skis allow you mix up your speed and turn radius as you carve, surf or plow through a variety of terrain and snow conditions.

These skis posses a wide enough waist to handle changes in snow conditions, with width sizes that range between 95-mm and 106-mm. Nearly all the models have a sandwich sidewall construction with some amount of rocker and vibration-absorbing properties designed to increase flotation and reduce swing weight. If you're in need of a ski that not only goes top to bottom, but front to back as well, then compare the top-ranked men's All-Mountain Back skis of 2016/2017.

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

Blizzard Samba

Blizzard's Samba received the highest ratings for stability of any ski in the category, as well as the claim to fame for securing the overall top spot. As a way to increase torsional stability without adding too much weight, Blizzard has added a unidirectional carbon frame into the construction of the ski called Carbon Flipcore. One word…BOMBER!

Blizzard Samba, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Blizzard

Blizzard Samba, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Blizzard

Head Great JOY

Head's Great JOY is a 98-mm-waisted ski that received high marks for flotation. As part of Head’s ERA 3.0, or rocker architecture, the Great JOY has tip rocker, a progressive radius and Intellifibres for tip vibration absorption. Of all our experiences with Head, this ski did bring me great joy!

Head Great JOY, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Head

Head Great JOY, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Head

Nordica Santa Ana 100

Nordica's Santa Ana 100 took the second highest average score in the category, with flotation and stability being standouts among tester totals. The 100-mm-waisted freeski features Nordica’s Hammer Head Nose (picture the blunt nose of a hammerhead shark), with tip and tail rocker. This ski is like a Clydesdale: stable, trustworthy and steadfast.

Nordica Santa Ana 100, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Nordica

Nordica Santa Ana 100, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Nordica

Atomic Vantage 95 C W

Atomic's Vantage series tagline is lighter and stronger, all over the mountain and testers were impressed with the versatility of the Vantage 95 C W, which surpassed scores in carving performance. As with other skis in the Vantage line, the 95 C W has full “Firewall” sidewalls plus tip and tail rocker. It’s a dependable ski you can drive on any terrain—and it won’t drive you.

Atomic Vantage 95 C W, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Atomic

Atomic Vantage 95 C W, women's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Atomic

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

Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Rossignol's Soul 7 HD earned best in show for both playfulness and flotation. Added to the Soul 7’s name this season is HD, or High-Definition, referring to the addition of Carbon Alloy Matrix in the core, a weave of carbon fibre and basalt found to increase energy and decrease vibrations. Light, energetic and quick—this may be best in the category for the intermediate through expert all-mountain skier.

Rossignol Soul 7 HD, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Rossignol

Rossignol Soul 7 HD, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Rossignol

Dynastar Cham 2.0 97

Dynastar’s aim with the Cham 2.0 97 was to create a blend of hard-charging performance and ease-of-use for all-mountain skiers. Testers bestowed Dynastar's Cham with the highest marks of all the skis in the category for stability. Plows through packed powder and rails on the corduroy. Aggressive intermediate and expert skiers are best suited for this versatile ski.

Dynastar	Cham 2.0 97, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Dynastar

Dynastar Cham 2.0 97, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Dynastar

Elan Ripstick 96
 
Elan's Ripstick 96 is the brain child of Glen Plake and other North American skiers, who had a hand in the development of this new ski by the Slovenian company. The Ripstick 96 produced high tester marks for playfulness, lower for stability. For how light this ski is, it’s surprisingly stable both on- and off-piste. You could ski this for hours because it’s light and quick.

Elan	Ripstick 96, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Elan

Elan Ripstick 96, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Elan

Armada Invictus 99 Ti

Armada’s new direction led to a series of “all-mountain directional skis,” including the new Invictus 99 Ti, designed to be wide enough for big terrain with the performance for hardpack. Steeps, crud, packed pow — this ski can handle it all.

Armada Invictus 99 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Armada

Armada Invictus 99 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Armada

Nordica Enforcer 100

Nordica's Enforcer lit up the scoreboard, particularly for performance in the carving criteria; testers gave it the highest totals of any ski in the category, which surpassed its performance in both versatility and playfulness. Awesome trench digging carvability for a 100-mm underfoot — Great edge hold and rebound.

Nordica Enforcer 100, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Nordica

Nordica Enforcer 100, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Nordica

Head Monster 98

The all-mountain back category ultimately covers conditions found in both front and back terrain—Head's Monster 98 is designed to walk that line equally. Tester scores reflect that duality, favouring the ski’s carving prowess while only slightly less impressed with powder performance. It’s powerful enough to bust through chopped up powder, but it shines on steep, hard snow thanks to great edge hold and dampness.

Head Monster 98, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Head

Head Monster 98, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Head

Atomic Vantage 100 cTi

Atomic's Vantage 100 CTI is designed to blend powder performance with hardpack performance thanks to several technology stories from Atomic. Full-length “Firewall” sidewalls plus tip and tail rocker are just a few of the construction details. Rip the steeps with confidence and charge right onto the pistes.

Atomic Vantage 100 CTi, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Atomic

Atomic Vantage 100 CTi, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Atomic

Blizzard Bonafide

Blizzard's Bonafide may be named after a bull from the professional rodeo circuit, but the name also means genuine or real, prompting several testers to call it a bonafide carver. Grip and rip — this ski’s solid edge has a strong race feel.

Blizzard Bonafide, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Blizzard

Blizzard Bonafide, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Blizzard

K2 Pinnacle 95

With the Pinnacle 95, K2 looks to the aerospace industry in order to reduce weight and density without losing performance. The result? A stable ski at speed with great versatility on- and off-piste. Playfulness and stability topped tester scorecards.

K2 Pinnacle 95, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©K2

K2 Pinnacle 95, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: K2

Fischer Ranger 98 Ti

Fischer's Ranger series appeals to the adventurous all-mountain skier looking for a dynamic, lightweight ski. The Ranger 98 Ti sports several technology highlights, including a carbon fibre “Nose” and Air Tec Ti technology. Rip it up in the front or back, this is a fun, easy-to-ski model that blends playfulness and stability.

Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski. - ©Fischer

Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, men's 16/17 All-Mountain Back Editors' Choice ski.

Copyright: Fischer

 

 

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