Men's ski reviews 2019
Selected as one of the best skis on the market and reviewed for several years by PROSKILAB, the SLX Fusion from Elan has often come close to the top spot on the podium without ever winning it. This year, the ski finally won a well-deserved "Best Ski" award because of its perfect blend of performance, predictability, and fun.
You'll get plenty of performance, for sure. The ski excels in every... Read on
Last year, the Völkl Kendo lost its "Best Ski" medal by a narrow margin when tested in harder snow conditions, but it managed to get it again back this year. This year, we reviewed a longer model (184 cm vs 176 cm last year), which improved stability and flotation in powder.
The ski once again confirms its excellent reputation and the pro testers gave it rave reviews: "Super ski," "Perfection,"... Read on
The Rossignol Hero Elite ST Ti is regularly selected for review by PROSKILAB and frequently wins an award.
Last year, unfortunately, it came with the "Konect" plate, which was geared more towards a recreational skier. It offered a good compromise between performance, accessibility, and fun but disappointed testers looking for exceptional performance.
This year, it’s back, but it is... Read on
Already a winner last year, the Speed Master GS with the R22 race plate reaffirms its superior performance this year.
Along with its twin the Rossignol Hero Master, this ski outperformed all the other skis in the "Giant Slalom" category where we look for high-performance skis that are still accessible to recreational skiers.
The skis stand out for their exceptional performance on hard pack... Read on
While Völkl skis regularly stand at the top of the podium in the PROSKILAB™ All-Mountain category, their carving skis have found it more difficult to feature among the best skis in the world.
Things change. The testers were very excited by the Deacon 74, which is the Carvers category. Here, we select high-performance skis that are less demanding than race-inspired skis but that will still get your... Read on
We pre-tested some of the skis in the Kästle range in January 2018 and decided to include the most promising models in our PROSKILAB test, which took place two months later. The MX84 was among the skis selected and, like its big brother the MX 67 in the Carvers category, generated a lot of enthusiasm among the pro testers.
The ski perfectly fulfills the criteria of this category. PROSKILAB looks for a... Read on
The ski is identical to Dynastar's Speed Master GS R22.
Already a medal winner last year, the Hero Master with the R22 race plate reaffirms its superior performance this year.
Along with its twin the Dynastar Speed Master GS R22, this ski outperformed all the other skis in the "Giant Slalom" category where we are looking for high-performance skis that are still accessible to recreational... Read on
We pre-tested all of the skis to see if they should be considered for the PROSKILAB™ review. We wanted to narrow down the field to the best skis according to PROSKILAB™ criteria. In January 2018, we tried a few skis from the Kästle range and decided to include some of the models in our 2019 review, including the MX67. It was an excellent decision as the testers absolutely loved the ski.
The... Read on
With its racing plate, the Dynastar Speed Master excelled in the "Giant Slalom" category. Here, the same ski is in a less specialized category and features the simple "Konect" plate from the Rossignol group (which owns Dynastar). The Konect plate is geared more towards a recreational skier.
Having a more flexible plate does not alter the ski's intrinsic characteristics, and it retains... Read on
The Nordica Speed Machine 80 FDT is packed with energy. According to our testers, it is "a fabulous, responsive, and precise ski," and clearly designed for performance. They were particularly impressed by its edge grip, stability, and ability to hold the line.
At the same time, the ski is quite versatile, which is an important quality in this category. It allows the skier to adapt to different... Read on
Already selected and reviewed last year, the Camox Freebird from Black Crows did incredibly well this year with a new version and a new design featuring an updated core. The result is amazing.
On the groomers, it is very versatile and provides good edge grip and outstanding stability. The Camox Freebird is well-balanced, determined, easy to maneuver, and playful.
Off-piste, the ski is flawless. It performs... Read on
In this category, we are looking for skis that are easy for lower level skiers to use, but that will also allow them to progress to carving.
The Speed Zone 7 from Dynastar is a perfect match for this category.
The ski is very accessible, intuitive, easy to handle: "It turns on its own." Very little physical effort is needed and the ski responds to the slightest movement of the skier. It... Read on
K2 skis are always a hit with testers. Their skis offer a well-balanced compromise that cleverly blends accessibility, reliability, and performance. The Konic 78 is no exception and was ranked one of the best skis in this category. We are looking for user-friendly skis for low level skiers that will also allow them to improve their technique, in particular, to learn how to carve.
The ski is remarkably accessible.... Read on
The Laser SC from Stöckli is one of the benchmarks in the market. It is regularly included by PROSKILAB in this category and it always does very well. Last year, it won "Best Ski," but this year it has been slightly overtaken by slightly more forgiving skis. Nevertheless, it still has the same great qualities, in particular rock solid performance.
A high-performance ski, the testers loved the... Read on
Already scoring well in 2018, this year the Kore 93 snagged the “Best Ski 2019” award in softer snow conditions. So, it has made a well-deserved debut into the big leagues, joining other top-performing skis in the All-Mountain Back category (the Stormrider 95, the Mantra and the Enforcer 100).
This ski is extremely versatile - a true all-mountain ski that is as happy on freshly groomed runs as... Read on
The Pursuit 800 Ti from Rossignol is a very versatile ski.
It can be skied less aggressively, provided you are still carving, as it is slightly less at ease in skidded turns. The ski is fun, easy to use, smooth, and versatile.
But when you pick up the pace, the ski shows its true character – which is super solid! As you put more and more pressure on the ski, it seems to give back more and more.... Read on
Men's skis 2019 > All-Mountain front Best Accessibility/Performance!
Kendo's main rival, the Stormrider 88 lost its "Best Ski" medal this year but remains a leader in the highly competitive All-Mountain Front category, where the skis are geared more towards skiing on groomed trails.
On the groomers, the Stormrider 88 performs incredibly well. It is a quiet, predictable, enjoyable, and undemanding ski that does what it is told and inspires the skier with confidence.... Read on
Our pro testers were enthusiastic about the K2 Pinnacle 85: "A ski with a soul," and it "has a great personality" were some of the comments.
The ski is "very versatile and is more like an all-mountain back ski." It has a lot of rocker so performs very well off-piste.
The ski is very accessible. In all conditions, it is predictable, forgiving, and does what you ask. ... Read on
This year, the K2 Wayback 96 was again selected for the PROSKILAB ski test and reaffirms its excellent performance (which we already noted last year).
The K2 Wayback 96 features a very progressive flex that makes it incredibly smooth and fun to ski. It is at ease in all types of terrain and in relatively soft snow conditions, including on groomed trails.
The ski is easy to use, lively, and a solid performer.... Read on
Rossignol's Pursuit range is a great success. In 2019, the Pursuit 800 stood out in the men's “Cruisers” category and won a "Best Performance" award. The Pursuit 600 CAM (Carbon Alloy Matrix for those in the know) placed quite well in this very exclusive selection of the best skis on the market.
The Pursuit 600 CAM is extremely accessible because it is so easy to pivot and to... Read on
This year, we tested the Völkl RTM 76 Elite in a shorter size (161 cm) than requested for this category, which made it easier to use but compromised performance.
The ski pivots very easily, and the tail tends to overturn, which makes snow plow and skidded turns easier for a novice. Skidded turns are intuitive and consistent.
Unfortunately, since the test length was too short, the ski was less... Read on
During the pre-tests, we mentioned our preference for the Mantra V.Werks (an amazing model that we would like to review next year), but VÖLKL asked us to review the VTA 98, a ski designed for a larger market.
Overall performance is good. The testers said the ski was "very predictable," "playful," and "performed well" in all snow conditions, especially in powder where float and... Read on
When we tried the Kästle models in January 2018, we thought they showed potential, so we decided to include the brand in the 2019 reviews.
The Kastle RX12 SL was selected for the "Slalom" category and was a great surprise. The testers found the ski easy to handle for this category and gave it plenty of praise: "I loved it," "Perfect flex for me," and "An easy slalom... Read on
The GSX Fusion from Elan is preselected every year for the PROSKILAB review and is unquestionably one of the safest bets on the market. It frequently comes close to the top spot on the podium.
The ski is very much performance-oriented. With excellent edge grip and remarkable stability, the ski is amazing in long turns. Once the turn is initiated, it has incredibly solid edge hold and never seems to want to... Read on
The Atomic Redster G9 has earned a place among the best skis on the market in the "Giant Slalom" category. This category includes race-inspired skis designed for recreational skiers.
"Smooth and predictable," almost "perfect," it excels in this category in virtually every way. The pro testers were impressed by its "very predictable" behavior, super quick turn initiation,... Read on
The new 5th generation Mantra from Völkl has been entirely redesigned. The structure has changed with the inclusion of a Titanal frame that goes around the ski instead of the traditional plates that were inserted in the core.
Given the large number of questions we get about this, we would like to remind you that Titanal is the trade name given to an aluminum-based alloy that has excellent mechanical properties.... Read on
The name Dobermann GSR RB FDT is a bit of a mouthful! We can easily guess that GSR stands for "Giant Slalom Race," and we know that RB stands for "Racing Bridge," but we are still trying to find out what FDT means, although it seems to be linked to the plate which, in this case, is the company's own "Recoil Power Plate.”
The ski performs well and is responsive. Edge hold... Read on
Men's skis 2019 > All-Mountain back Best Accessibility/Performance!
Voted "Best Ski" last year, the Stormrider 95 dropped a few spots in the rankings this season when the skis were tested in softer snow conditions. Nonetheless, it remains a leader in this market segment.
In fact, the ski has the same characteristics as last year. Its performance is very solid, predictable, and surprise-free both on groomed runs and in softer snow. It is incredibly easy to control... Read on
Atomic has made a real comeback this season. The Atomic Redster TR is more focused on accessibility than other skis in the “Carvers” category.
A good, high-performance, and versatile ski, the Redster TR "does its job," and has earned its place in this selective group of the best skis on the market. It is “light underfoot,” "easy to pivot and carve," predictable,... Read on
The Doberman Spitfire TI FDT spits fire... It may be a bit too much for this category where we're looking for skis that lower level skiers can handle.
This ski is really dynamic. Turn initiation, edge-to-edge transfer, precision in carved turns, and stability are all excellent. A "good carving ski," it holds the line even at high speed and allows the skier to take big edge angles.
Despite... Read on
The K2 iKonic 84 exists in two relatively different versions: the K2 iKonic 84 and the K2 iKonic 84 Ti, which is stiffer. We tested the first version and were not disappointed.
The ski fulfills the criteria set by PROSKILAB for this category: a solid ski that combines performance, smoothness, and accessibility.
The K2 Iconic 84 matches this description pretty well. And while it does not necessarily... Read on
We have been testing Rossignol's Experience line for many years now. Our testers have frequently criticized the skis for being too focused on skiing the frontside because they had oversized tips and a lot of shape.
In January 2018, Rossignol told us it had taken our comments into account (and no doubt those of other reviews as well). They showed us the skis in the new Experience range, which had straighter... Read on
Another legendary ski, the Nordica Enforcer 100 has always impressed the PROSKILAB testers and has won a "Best Ski" award in the past.
Since then, the ski has frequently been chosen for the PROSKILAB review. It continues to do well, but it fell a few places in the rankings this year due to softer snow conditions and to the arrival of new competitors (in particular, the Experience 94 Ti).
There... Read on
The K2's Speed Charger really lives up to its name and deserves its place among the best skis on the market. Last year, the model we reviewed was too short (168 cm). This year we tested the Speed Charger in a 175 cm, which is a much more appropriate size for this category.
The extra length significantly improved edge grip, maximum speed, and performance in long turns, which are some of the ski’s... Read on
The testers were impressed by the Legend 88's qualities but were disappointed that the bindings were center-mounted.
The ski has numerous qualities: Accessibility, ease in turn initiation, and ease in pivoting.
However, the central mounting of the binding made it impossible to add forward pressure when turning aggressively. The longer tail also impeded pivoting in variable and heavy snow.
We... Read on
Reviewed for the first time by PROSKILAB, the Atomic Backland 95 made a good impression.
It is a relatively stiff ski for this category. The result is excellent performance on groomed runs, with edge grip and stability that would make some frontside skis jealous. This stiffness is also a huge plus off-piste. The ski's strong performance in variable snow and its ability to go very fast were highly appreciated... Read on
PROSKILAB only reviews the very best skis on the market. So, if the V-Shape 4 from Head is in last place, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Its score proves that the ski has great qualities.
It performs better than the other skis in this category but is less forgiving. It is a little difficult to do well in a category that values ease of use more than anything else.
The ski's overall performance... Read on
Objectively, the Redster S9 is a good ski, remarkably smooth and versatile. Testers thought it was easy to use, fun, and very predictable so it will give confidence to a lot of skiers. It is especially at ease when carving short turns.
However, the testers said that the ski was sluggish in very quick turns at high speed, which was one of the ski's limitations. Generally, the ski performs well, but... Read on
In 2018, the Speed Zone 12 Ti won the coveted PROSKILAB "Best Ski" award and scored very well in many other ski reviews as well. This year, it still holds a good position in our selection of the best skis on the market. However, it dropped a few spots in the rankings, probably due to the arrival of new competitors, softer snow conditions, and slight changes to the ski's structure (the Active Air Core... Read on
The RX12 GS from Kästle is a very good ski that excels at carving. It is really easy and fun to create big edge angles on this ski.
However, it does not fare as well in a Giant Slalom race course. The ski's radius is too short for GS turns. The flex is also not stiff enough and consequently performance suffers. When pushed, i.e., at high speeds on hard snow, it shows its limitations. Turn quality... Read on
The Supershape I.Magnum from Head has been well-known for several years and is a real market success.
Its reputation is based on its ease of use and ability to carve at moderate speeds. PROSKILAB's pro testers agreed with this. The ski is very accessible and requires little technique. Turn initiation is easy, although not very precise, and carving at moderate speeds is a walk in the park.
The... Read on
The Dynastar Mythic 97 CA is fun and easy to control. It's an easy ski that is relatively soft despite what the letters CA in its name (for Carbon) would have us think.
The pro testers appreciated how fun and accessible the ski was in most snow conditions: "a solid ski that is easy to control," "an easy ski," "enjoyable on all types of snow...”
The Mythic 97 CA... Read on
While the Head Kore 93 shone in the All-Mountain Back category, the more frontside-oriented Monster 88 lagged behind the competition who had more versatile skis.
The testers praised the Monster 88's excellent performance on groomers. They described it as "a good frontside ski" that is easy to control, grippy, and especially happy in short turns. The ski is accessible and “easy to handle.”... Read on
The Head V-Shape 8 is a relatively soft ski that will help you progress. It lacks some of the liveliness sought after in this category.
The ski is super fun as long as you don't try to go too fast. Lightweight, smooth, soft, and easy to use, it will forgive mistakes and deliver great sensations.
However, when you pick up the pace on hard snow and steep slopes, the ski quickly shows its limitations.... Read on
While the Enforcer 100 regularly shines in the All-Mountain Back category, the Enforcer 93 lagged behind the competitors in the All-Mountain Front category.
Its overall performance is good on groomed runs as well as off-piste. The ski is great and can handle all conditions.
We got mixed reviews for the Enforcer 93's performance at low speeds. Our expert (non-professional) testers had a very... Read on
The Hero Elite LT Ti from Rossignol is an excellent ski that won the "Best Performance" award in 2018 in this category, but this year it struggled because of the R22 race plate.
In fact, even though the ski's main features are the same, the testers were surprised that the ski didn’t really hold the line, which was disconcerting, and that it lacked solid edge grip. We think there was a problem... Read on
The UBAC 95 from ZAG hasn't changed much compared with the model we tested last year.
The ski is light underfoot, maneuverable, and very easy to pivot. It is fun and does what you ask as long as you don't go too fast.
Performance is good off-piste. The testers were particularly impressed by its ability to float and pivot in powder: “A really fun ski in powder."
On the... Read on
Selected for the PROSKILAB review for several seasons now, the H-95 from ZAG is one of the best skis in this segment of the market. Unfortunately, the testers detected erratic behavior that was probably due to how the skis were tuned: unpredictable turn initiation, inconsistent control in the turns, irregular pressure...
As a result, we decided not to review the ski this year and to try again next year. As... Read on