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Best All Mountain/Powder Skis for 2015

Updated on January 12, 2015

My Experience As a Ski Instructor

There are no words to describe what it feels like to ski down a mountain at high speeds and through soft powdery white snow, but if you're skis don't work right or are uncomfortable it really takes a lot of the fun away from it.

I've worked for several ski resorts as a ski instructor and trainer and to help you buy the right pair of skis I've decided to keep this post up-to-date with all the latest in both powder and all mountain skis.

4 Good All Mountain Skis to Consider in 2015 - Rossignol Experience 88 All Mountain Skis

For over a hundred years, Rossignol has been a leading provider in high performance skis. Started by a skier and carpenter named Abel Rossignol, the Rossignol Brand has grown and has supported Olympic athletes throughout the world. So, whether you are training to become an Olympic athlete, or just wanting to get down the mountain the fastest, Rossignol has come up with the perfect all-mountain performer in the Rossignol Experience 88 skis for $700.

Pros: The Experience 88 is an amazing carving ski that can work through all snow conditions. From hard packed ice, to slushy snow, the Experience 88 is a very responsive ski that is great for all types of skiers. Rossignol packs rockered tips and tail into the Experience 88 to make sure that you will not sink into the snow even when there is a ton of powder out there. The traditional camber design of the ski allows the ski to stay in control with high speeds on hard pack snow. With an 88 mm underfoot the ski is the perfect size to allow you to rule all parts of the mountain. As far as construction, the Experience 88 ski is made of a solid wood core and fiber glass laminate to endure over the skiing years.

Cons: The Rossignol Experience 88 is a little stiffer of a ski and has a different tail to tip side cut ratio, which means it is harder for beginners to learn on.

Overall, this is the perfect all mountain machine to take with you to your local ski resort. The Rossignol Experience 88 will not fail you no matter the conditions and steepness of the terrain.

5 stars for Rossignol Soul 7 Free Skis

With four size options,169cm long length, and a small price tag of $515, the Nordica Enforcer is a great all mountain ski to make sure you have a fun time on or off the lifts.

Pros: The Nordica Enforcer has a sidewall construction that is typically seen among most all mountain skis; however it has a 98mm underfoot which is pretty wide for an all mountain ski. The Enforcer is composed of a solid wood core, has graphite base, and special Energy Frame TI construction. The tail is slightly raised meaning that it can float through powder easily, and it has a turn radius of 21 m, which is pretty responsive. The ski comes with a one year warranty, and will mostly likely last for a couple of years thanks to Nordica's Energy Frame TI construction.

Cons: With a 98mm underfoot, turning becomes less responsive and it therefore takes time to get used to turning on these wider skis.

Overall, Nordica knows how to make a great all mountain ski that can perform well over a variety of conditions. The Enforcer can be taken onto crud conditions and still make an impact as you carve those nice giant slalom turns.

Armada ARV

The word armada is a Spanish word for a naval invasion force or naval army. Well, the Armada ski brand is definitely a strong army that invades the skiing world with high performance. The Armada ARV skis are just another unit in this army that will fight all snow conditions with ease.

Pros: Armada decided to stick with the traditional camber style ski and to design it in three different sizes. So, if you are a more experienced taller skier, the 185cm Armada ARV is your best choice. The 185cm ARVS come with dimensions of 130-95-119 meaning that they are 95 mm underfoot and have a 130 mm tip and 119mm tail. The design of these skis is ingenious because they are just wide enough underfoot to float in powder, while they are cut to adapt to shorter radius turns too. So, whether you are in thick powder on your favorite black diamond run, or just carving it up on that smoothly groomed blue square, the Armada ARVs are the perfect all mountain ski.

Cons: The ARV skis edge to edge grip is not the best on icier conditions, and they are twin tip skis which mean that you may end up going backwards by accident.

Overall, the Armada ARV skis are perfect for the progressive skier looking to get into trick skiing and to have ski for all conditions on the mountain. These skis are soft enough in design that they will be forgiving and will leave you wanting more after your first day skiing on them.

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 Ski

Named after a powerful Sultan figure, the Dynastar Sultan 85 ski is a strong all mountain performer. With a raised tip and tail that are stiff enough to blast through Crud, the Sultan 85 will definitely impress you on your local mountain.

Pros: The Dynastar brand has been a top competitor with top quality skis for a long time. The Legend Sultan proves how tough a competitor these skis are with a 16 m turn radius which is short but responsive, a solid wood core, and sandwich titanal construction. As far as dimensions for these skis, the Skis are 126/85/110 mm which is a good blend of tip to tail balance with 85 mm under your feet. While these skis may not be as thick as others and may not float as well in powder, they are still amazing off-piste and will do well on those groomers and hard windblown snow.

Cons: The Legend Sultans have a thinner waist underfoot, which is not as good when it comes to powder skiing.

Overall, these are the perfect all mountain skis to take out East with. Even in the West, these skis may prove to be strong competitors but lack the waist underfoot to carry through thick powder.

Summary

When it comes to choosing the best all mountain skis it is important to look for forgiveness or softness of the ski, turn radius, and waist underfoot. With all of those components in mind, the best package for the money is either the Rossignol Experience 88 with its camber design or the Armada ARV with its twin tips and 95 underfoot waist.

4 Good Powder Skis in 2014

Salomon Rocker 2 Skis

In the world of skiing powder is everything. There is nothing quite like strapping into your skis and watching the thick snow come off the edge of your skis like a heavenly cloud. So, in order for you to enjoy powder the most, we have come up with the best powder skis.

Over the years Salomon has been producing top skis that have lead top big mountain skiers to the podium. One of the top powder skis that Salmon has produced are the Rocker 2 Skis. The Rocker 2 Skis are powerful skis with lightweight material and mind blowing construction.

Pros: Salomon's Rocker 2 skis are the second version of the original ski that won a few awards. However, Salomon has stepped up the design from the original ski making a ski with a super wide 122 waist underfoot and a rockered tip and tail design to help that powder feel like butter. One huge plus of these skis is that Salomon put shock and vibration absorption technology allowing these skis to be playful while you make the powdery backcountry your sandbox. With four different lengths from 170 cm in length to 192, these skis will have you loving powder like a baby loves milk.

Cons: The Salomon Rocker 2 skis are very wide which takes time to get use to and they have a softer construction that may not last as long on rugged terrain.

Overall, these skis will take you to new heights and put you on a powder high. With their unbelievably thick waist and rocker camber technology, the backcountry world is literally your playground.

Line Mr. Pollard's Opus

Eric Pollard is one of the greatest skiers alive and he has designed his own skis just to show how you can become just as great. The Opus at $700 is like a symphony of perfect ski design components. With two lengths at 178 and 185, this ski is a masterpiece for powder skiers.

Pros: The Opus is a very responsive, light, and stiff powder ski that will rise out of the deepest powder days. With dimensions of 144-118-141 the Opus has a very wide tail and tip, and a pretty wide underfoot waist. However, what sets this ski apart is the genius design that pro skier Eric Pollard came up with. Pollard designed the ski where the there is an extra early rise in the tip and early taper. This design causes the ski to float on top of snow that may be so high it is up to your waist.

Cons: The Line Opus skis are twin tipped and are for more advanced skiers who look to do tricks and just have fun with the powder.

Overall, for only $700, the Line Mr. Pollard Opus skis are like a dream come true in the powder playground. If you are looking for a ski that will not let you sink even on the deepest dumping days, this ski is the perfect option.

Atomic Bent Chetler Skis

Chris Benchetler is one of the most amazing skiers on the planet. Chris can pop off of fifty foot cliffs and do a huge floating back flip landing perfectly on his feet. So, if you want to look like a super hero in the powder just like Chris, you should take a look at the Atomic Bent Chetler skis.

Pros: Atomic has been developing skis for decades and they know how to construct the perfect ski. The Atomic Bent Chetler skis prove perfection with their unique halfcap construction in the tip and tail that reduces the swing weight of the ski and essentially puts it above the powder like a hovercraft. The sidewall and core are constructed with shock absorption and it has increased torsional rigidity to grip even hard packed snow. With two ski lengths at 183 cm and 192 cm, the Bent Chetlers are a progressive ski that can be used by amateurs and professional skiers alike. The dimensions of these skis are 142-123-134 which are good dimensions especially with a 123 width waist underfoot.

Cons: The Bent Chetlers are a ski with a very thick waist that takes time to get use to and will be harder to make short turns on.

All in all, the Bent Chetler's by Atomic are the perfect all around powder ski. They have amazing construction, an amazing pro skier to back them up, and overall are very responsive and light.

Rossignol Super 7 skis

Originally, Rossignol came out with the S7 skis thinking they had made a perfect powder ski. Well, it looks like they change their mind by creating an even thicker underfoot ski called the Super 7. The Rossignol Super 7 skis at $800 are full of amazing charged construction.

Pros: The Super 7 skis by Rossignol are powerful skis with a high-rockered shovel tip for amazing flotation on the powder, and a tapered tail to allow skiers not to lean their butts back. So, basically the Super 7 skis are amazing powder skis that work as an instructor to correct your form in skiing. There is camber underfoot with these skis, and they have a shorter side cut making turns a little more responsive and easier. So, if you are looking for a powder ski that you can use out on the easy green circle groomers, these skis will also suffice. The Super 7s come in longer lengths of 188cm and 195 cm and have dimensions of 146-117-127m which is a great average powder ski dimension.

Cons: These skis are slightly lower in waist underfoot from their competitors and come in very long ski lengths which mean they are better used by experienced skiers.

Overall, if you want a long ski that will carry you through crud and powder, this is the ski to get. The Super 7s will not disappoint you on your rollercoaster ride through that fluffy powder.

If you are looking for the perfect ski to float on top of the powder and have the best playful experience possible, the Atomic Bent Chetlers are the best powder skis for the money. The Bent Chetler skis will leave you wanting more each day and will keep you prepared for the deepest snow dumps.

Comments - Ski Open Discussion Area

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    • PCReviews profile image

      PCReviews 5 years ago

      Great Review - I appreciated your attention to detail... I'm a powder ski guy myself.

    • rozalex lm profile image

      rozalex lm 5 years ago

      Cool lens! way to go :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nicely done!

    • bhavesh lm profile image

      bhavesh lm 5 years ago

      Nice collection of skis!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      always good to know as winter approaches and the outside sports begin. 'thumbs up' from this avid reader.

    • SquidooRocks55 profile image

      SquidooRocks55 5 years ago

      Great lens. Thanks for putting this one together!

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for the lens and information on skis! Be Blessed for your work and hitting 20!

    • Jackowacko LM profile image

      Jackowacko LM 3 years ago

      I used to be a member of the national team of the Netherlands. I really relate to you when you say that the feeling of skiing with great speed on the perfect snow. It is the most amazing feeling you can have, I think. And yes....you are so right...with the wrong equipment, you're screwed.

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