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Lake Louise

Top Skis for 2016

We love ski gear, new shiny and exciting each year. This season is no exception – cool new boards, with some classic come backs brandishing new cosmetics but the same superb substance under the top sheet.

Here are our top picks for the best new skis for 2016 for men, unisex, and women that we have demo’d and recommend:

Best All Mountain Skis – The Quiver Ski:

Rossignol's Experience 98, and the Rossi 100 still rank as favorite skis of our testers, a big mountain ski that’s great on groomers and firm snow, but fun to float through pow. You must experience the Rossi Experience line, including the Rossi 88 which offers more carving performance and still a fun rocker tip, just pardon the mundane graphics. 

Blizzard’s Bonafide 98 is a tapered tamable bull –hence the graphic – a versatile but super playful full quiver ski. We are big Blizzard fans of late.

K2 Pinnacle 95, and 88 are top all mountain performers, iback on our list - quicker and smoother than its K2 predecessors.

Volkl Mantra has been remade, and well-played. At 100mm Volkl Mantra now rivals top all mountain skis – aggressive but fun.
Volkl Kendo, not to be confused with like Ken Doll, is slick and quick (sorry Ken) for both on and off-piste with a manageable 90mm platform.

Nordica Enforcer gets thumbs up for all conditions. With a 100mm waist, the Enforcer ski likes everything, leaves everyone behind too. It bears repeating -Nordica is no longer just a ski boot maker.

Atomic’s Vantage line is all new and awesome. Atomic Vantage 95 and 90 offer a former racer stock ski that still performs well in bumps, crud and powder, and whatever stash you find on the backside. Atomic Vantage has the advantage of metal and carbon mesh making it strong but smooth.

Head Monster 98 produces a monster smile – quick but solid, built with graphene to be smooth but strong as an all-terrain ski. Head Monster 88 is a front side charger with versality.

Kästle FX95HP is an Austrian powerhouse for all mountain skiing, versatile but with a traditional racey feel at 95 mm underfoot.

Best Front Side Carver - Top Groomer Skis:
(
Eastern Skis -but after last winter’s snowy East– we may need to rename that category)

Rossi Experience 88 is a great all mountain ski that loves to carve the front side, but is adaptable and quick. This award-winning ski is worthy – that’s why you see so many ski instructors carving smiles with them.

Rossi’s Pursuit 800 is a new carving ski with a playful freeride side, adapted from the  characteristics of Rossignol’s park skis. PS: Rossi pleas return to the Rossi Rooster, love Le Coq graphic.

Blizzard Brahma 88 is a great groomer ski, with mixed snow compatibility too, based off the popular Blizzard Magnum series.

Atomic Redster DoubleDeck is smooth and speedy for front side and for crushing your amateur race league competition. Atomic has always made amazing race skia, thanks for bring your A game back.

Head iSupershape Titans are still one of the best race ski conversions – fast, unforgiving but so responsive, the ski Teg Ligety would grab to rip some front side turns - hence his US SKi Team sponsorship.

Volkl RTMS 86 remains a favorite for ripping the front side, light, quick and on-point like a race ski should be - but versatile - like its name - designed to “Ride The Mountain”.

Kästle’s FX85 has a wood core, carves well but performs off the grid (groomed) too – making it a great New England ski.

Best New Powder Skis:
The Rossi 7 Series keeps bringing big fat fun skis to market. Rossignol's Soul 7 HD is 106 with a rocker tip and honeycomb technology that makes it floaty yet fast. Rossi Super 7 HD is a big fierce fatty.

Rossignol Experience 100 is black, wide and wonderful – for high speed cruising on soft snow.

Blizzard Peacemaker is all new with the bull graphic and a no bull ski style, strong on cord, but competent cruising powder too for 104 mm under foot.

Blizzard Cochise 108 is back, broad and bullish on powder, this year its lighter and tighter – an aggressive pow ski - just stare into the red bull’s eyes for inspiration.

Nordica Patron is as wild as it sounds, like a margarita on a sunny day in the Back Bowls with a slice of lime to cut through the crud - not as floaty as the Rossi & Blizzard, more beef taco.

Volkl 100Eight is a fast fun ski, not for the faint at a beefy 108.

K2 Shreditor 102 has old-school K2 striped graphics but a fattened up platform for a surfy powder ride, but still grippy on the hard, and turny in bumps and trees. Did Glenn Plake design these steazy 80’s looking powder boards? K2 Pinnacle 118 and 105 are for bigger pow.

Atomic Automatic 109 continues to rank high as a fun versatile pow charger.

Atomic’s Bent Chetler, named for Chris Benchetler, has wonderful wood grain graphics, but slays super buttery turns in deep powder snow.

Finally, there are too many Indy Skis to sample - since they are independent ski makers, the skis are unique to each skier: Parlor, RAMP, Deviation from Hidden Collective, Wagner, all custom made with cool personalized graphics...

See more Top Ski Reviews
Top Women's Skis 2016 Review
Top Kids Skis Reviewed
Best Skis for 2015
Best Skis for 2014
2013 Best Skis Review
Best Ski Boots Review
2011 Top Ski Reviews
Top Ski and Snowboard Gifts

All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke

©All Rights Reserved on all Stories and Photos on this Web Site. Stories and Photos can not be reproduced in anyway without the express written permission of the Author and/or Photographer.

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