Men’s All Mountain Skis for 2013-14

Men’s All Mountain Skis for 2013-14

Here’s a summary of our Men’s All Mountain Ski Test for 2013-14, conducted by Gear Institute staff.

Black Diamond Verdict

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The Verdict is recommended for skiers who long to make damp, consistent arcs in varied terrain. If you want a lively feel underfoot, there are other skis with more spring in this review. This is a ski for lift-served skiers who want to ski all conditions and terrain, including groomed, moguls packed powder and fresh snow. Retail Price: $799. Gear Institute Rating: 78

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Nordica Hell and Back

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The Hell & Back is a versatile ski with fantastic edgehold that makes a confident mid-radius turn no matter where you take it. It’s an all-mountain board for all conditions — stable and versatile. It is not the best for float, or forgiveness. Retail Price: $799. Gear Institute Rating: 84

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Atomic Theory

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The Theory is a great ski for a wide range of lift-served skiers. It is easy to turn, has a lot of energy, and will definitely fulfill a lot of skiers’ needs. This all-mountain Atomic is an exciting ski with lots of energy, meaning it’s not damp and is easy to over-edge, but also easy to ski. Retail Price: $550. Gear Institute Rating: 91

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Armada ARV Ti

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Armada’s ARV ti has a penchant for the off-piste, tearing up terrain like the bumps, chutes and zipper treelines, but does fall off in hard snow performance. It loves to go fast and tore up the off-piste; but it’s not for heavy edging and doesn’t respond well to short turns or slow skiing. Retail Price: $799. Gear Institute Rating: 79

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Fischer Watea 96

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Fischer’s Watea 96 offered up middle of the road performance in a category with several all-mountain standouts. Not so strong in stability and hold but good ratings in forgiveness, smooth flex and quickness. Retail Price: $750. Gear Institute Rating: 74

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Faction Prodigy

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The Prodigy is lots of fun in the powder and skiing off-piste, but suffers at high speeds and hitting the hardpack. This Faction all-mountain ski gives good round, predictable, consistent turns, but does ski shorter than its length. Retail Price: $729. Gear Institute Rating: 74

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Ramp Groundhog

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Lighter, West Coast-raised all-mountain skiers will enjoy the Ramp Groundhog’s responsiveness. Hard edgers will be underwhelmed. Not good on hard snow and easy to overpower. Good in soft snow and bumps; easy to turn. Retail Price: $729. Gear Institute Rating: 74

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Head Venturi 95

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The Venturi 95 is a very responsive ski with super versatility and true all-mountain performance. Not the best carver in the class but versatile off-piste, in bumps and easy steering. Retail Price: $575. Gear Institute Rating: 86

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Salomon Quest 98

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A ski for lift-served skiers who want to ski all conditions and terrain, including groomed, moguls packed powder and fresh snow. Salomon’s Quest 98 is a fun soft-snow ski that felt overmatched by high speeds and expert-level off-piste conditions. Not stable but good for soft snow and bumps. Retail Price: $699. Gear Institute Rating: 74

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Kastle FX94

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Kastle’s FX 94 is a mid-radius turning machine that grabs hold of an arc and doesn’t let go until you’re done with it. Great for plowing through crud and holding on groomers, but not for float and versatility. Not so good off-piste but very stable with good edge hold. Retail Price: $1079. Gear Institute Rating: 79

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Volkl Mantra

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The Volkl Mantra is a pleasure to ski in all terrain conditions, and makes short and long turns with an equal mix of ease and grace. There’s a lack of pop and it wants to be turning but it’s fun, easy and truly all mountain. Retail Price: $825. Gear Institute Rating: 93

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

K2 Annex 98

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If you’re one of K2’s many diehard fans, this’ll fill your frontside bill. For a truer “all-mountain” feel, the Atomic, Blizzard, Rossignol and Volkl in this category should be of more interest to you. It features quickness, easy turn initiation and is lively on hardpack and bumps. Retail Price: $840. Gear Institute Rating: 78

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Blizzard Bonafide

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With high marks for carving and stability in particular, the Bonafide is on fire anywhere the snow is hard, whether it’s freshly buffed or windblown steeps. Not an off-piste ski but very stable, versatile and carves. Retail Price: $850. Gear Institute Rating: 91

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

Rossignol Soul 7

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The new Soul 7 is a fantastic ski for West Coast and Rocky Mountain lift-served skiers with a wonderful mid-radius turn shape that excels in softer snow conditions. It’s fun and light without sacrificing stability. Not the best carver in the class. Wants to ski everything but lost a little excitement on the hardpack. Retail Price: $800. Gear Institute Rating: 94

To read the full report, check out our Men’s All Mountain Skis Test.

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