2022 Men’s Technical Skis

2022 Men’s Technical Skis

Technical skis are invariably high performance, hard-snow carving models that have race ski properties and similar dimensions yet aren’t actually intended as gate skis but as hard snow toys for people who probably had race training in the misty past.

In today’s fat-crazed market, the popularity of Technical skis in America has dwindled to the point of near-invisibility. Fortunately, Europe is awash with good skiers and the carving cult that incubated in the 1990’s has remained relevant, thanks to a ski culture that congregates mostly on the groom.  That’s a long way of saying American skiers don’t deserve all the goodies in the Technical category, but the wisest – and most skilled – among us know what treasures they hold.

The 2022 Men’s Technical Field

Just two years ago, the Technical field in the U.S. was so forlorn it didn’t include a single new model of any importance. But over the last two seasons, the genre has been rejuvenated by an infusion of fresh blood that, at least on paper, gives the appearance of a genre bustling with activity. With the exception of one or two models, the Technical category is full of shiny, new faces.

Yet if recent history is any measure, it doesn’t matter how brilliantly any Technical ski performs, the demand simply isn’t there to justify stocking it. Because the category caters to experts, its constituent models are all excellent. The few step-down models that flesh out the genre in Europe are all but invisible on this side of the pond, so you won’t see any of them in this round-up.

Our ability to report on all the latest innovations has been mightily compromised by a pandemic that has eradicated the events that in a typical year would have provided a showcase for new models. We have a few shards of feedback, but not enough to merit side-by-side comparisons among models that share more performance similarities than they display differences.

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In light of the fact that all the top Technical models are perforce perfect carvers, and in consideration of the limitations of our uneven data collection, we won’t provide data or rankings on 2022 Technical skis, either for men or women. Our slender reviews are a reflection of the spottiness of our data, but we wanted to provide as complete a picture of the substantially overhauled genre as we could under our constrained circumstances.

Last season, Head spiffed up its perennial powerhouse carvers, the Supershape Magnum and Speed, with its latest shock-stifling system, Electronic Management Circuit (EMC). Also last year, K2 created a slew of new carvers headlined by the Disruption MTi, the brand’s first serious foray into Technical turf in a while.

For 21/22, K2 has substantially raised the bar with the Disruption Ti2, with twice the metal content of the MTi. A Technical ski with a $1,300 sticker price is rare air for any brand; that it hails from K2, better known for its well-rockered wide-bodies, makes the Disruption Ti2 an unexpected line extension to a narrower waist and a beefier chassis.

Other brands with new flagship Technical models include Blizzard, Dynastar and Völkl. Blizzard’s new Thunderbird R15 adapts the Austrian brand’s new TrueBlend core concept to an on-piste beast. Dynastar rounds out the complete line transformation begun last year by adding a Speed family of hard-snow carvers, led by the 68mm-waisted Speed 963. Völkl has decommissioned its erstwhile Deacon Pro family and anointed the Deacon 72 Master the new leader of the carving faithful.

America is a nation of optimists. How else to explain why we buy wide skis on the faint hope we’ll encounter fresh snow, when Technical skis perform so much better on the groomed runs we ski every day? If skiers in the market for a second pair bought a precise carver instead of a fat swiveler, they’d not only be acquiring a more useful tool, they’ll be far more likely to improve their skills.

I realize it’s delusional to hope for Technical skis to make a swift return to market relevance, but if we fail to celebrate the best of them, how will the U.S. skier ever know they even exist? It’s in this spirit that we present the finest Technical skis in our market, listed in alphabetic order by brand. Realskiers members who want to check out the dusty data from two years ago will find our 2020 reviews – replete with test data – in our Review Archives.

Blizzard Thunderbird R15

Normally, we wouldn’t assume that just because we greatly admire one model, that we’ll ipso facto feel the same about a sibling in the same model family.  But we’ll make that leap of faith here for four reasons.  One, the Thunderbird R15 WB – which we have skied – uses an identical construction, with just the slightest tweak to its baseline.

Two, the whole point of the TrueBlend core both models employ is to create a consistent flex that’s in perfect harmony with the baseline and sidecut.  Three, both models carry the identical $1080 MSRP; if they were significantly different, it would show up in the price. And four, the T-Bird R15 WB isn’t just good, it’s great. The probability that its skinnier incarnation is excellent is excellent.

Read the full review here.

Völkl Deacon 72 Master

In many ways, the new Völkl Deacon 72 Master is a classic, wood-and-Titanal laminate, with all the virtues of this foundational design. But it’s where and how it departs from tradition that separates the Deacon 72 Master from the pack. The Deacon 72 Master can cut into the very top of a new turn despite a tiny bit of tip rocker because Völkl’s Tailored Carbon Tip technology frees the designer to apply carbon filaments at whatever angle is best for muffling shock.

Völkl also uses fiberglass more creatively than most. 3D.Glass connects the top and bottom glass laminates through the mid-body of the ski, creating an end-to-end glass spring that gives the Deacon 72 Master an extra surge of power coming off the edge. If you’d rather cruise downhill than slash cross-hill, just back off the edge angle and the ride will be smoother than a baby’s butt. The Deacon 72 Master has the accuracy and power of a Non-FIS Race ski without an NFR’s insistence on a certain turn shape.

Read the full review here.

Head Supershape e-Magnum

Head was the first major manufacturer to embrace carving skis when they were still in their infancy, and the brand has never lost its commitment to perfecting the genre. The latest embellishment to its unmatched collection of carving machines is called EMC, for Energy Management Circuit. EMC converts vibration into electric current at precisely 80Hz, so your skis settle down just when the going gets rough.

The e-Magnum is the shapeliest of all the Supershapes, with a 59mm drop between its tip and waist dimensions, creating a turn radius (13.1m @ 170cm) tighter than that of World Cup slalom. The slight early rise in its shovel behaves more like a fully cambered ski than a rockered one. It doesn’t just like to carve; it insists on it. Note that you don’t need length for stability, as the e-Magnum is built to be as quiet as a Bentley in a Mini Cooper length.

Read the full review here

Head Supershape e-Speed


If you love the sensation of a firecracker-quick slalom ski, you’ll be smitten by the Head Supershape e-Speed the first time you kick it into high gear. That’s when its super-shapely sidecut shines, for at precisely 80Hz its piezo-powered Energy Management Circuit calms the whole ski down so the e-Speed can maintain continuous snow contact despite being whiplash fast edge to edge.

One arena in which the e-Speed is surprisingly adept is a mogul field, where its narrow forebody can pick a path a fat ski can’t follow. As long as the pilot keeps the e-Speed at low edge angles, it won’t oversteer, but keeps an even keel in choppy waters. Of course, bumps aren’t really its favorite flavor. The e-Speed was made for corduroy country, where its exhilarating edge grip at high angles feel unshakeable.

Read the full review here.

K2 Disruption MTi

Not only is the Disruption MTi a graceful carver, its slightly softer edge gives it a forgiving quality that’s a K2 hallmark.  The main reason the Disruption MTi feels different on edge from, say, an e-Magnum, is because its Ti I-Beam metal laminate is only as wide as the thinnest section of the ski. As the ski widens at tip and tail, a gap grows between the Ti sheet and the edge.  This allows the edge to give a little, which creates a cushioned ride on a firm surface.

To be clear: the edge doesn’t give out or wiggle around – despite its name, the edge grip is never disobedient or disorderly. If anything, the mildly less aggressive grip feels easier to trust in a fully-laid over carve. Due to its markedly mellow character in a category dominated by brutes, we award the Disruption MTi a Silver Skier Selection.

Read the full review here.

Stöckli Laser SX

When Stöckli added its astounding Turtle Shell Racing to the Laser SX a few seasons ago, it opened up the bottom end of its performance range, so skiers whose skills are a quart low can experience its sublime edge hold. Thankfully, Turtle Shell technology didn’t compromise the Laser SX’s stellar performance in the red zone of the recreational speed range. When jabbed with a sudden jolt of energy, it responds with more automatic elevation than a trampoline. That’s a rare commodity in a category that prizes continuous snow connection.

Thanks to Turtle Shell tech, it’s possible to tootle along on the Laser SX and never realize the core is loaded with dynamite. If all you want to do is cruise at a trotter’s clip, there are many skis that will float your boat. No Laser SX should be forced to spend its life in the slow lane. When speed and pressure are brought to bear, no other Technical ski is as quick on and off the edge as the Laser SX.

Read the full review here.

Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 72 RB FDT

Nordica ‘s Enforcer and Enforcer Free series – now spanning six models – have garnered so much attention that hardly anyone in America even knows the Dobermann Spitfire 72 RB FDT exists. Combining a slalom-shaped shovel with a GS chassis, the Spitfire 72 knows how to attack the fall-line. Note the 20mm drop in tip-to-tail taper, indicating a ski that treats turns like protected trout: catch and release.

The Spitfire 72 isn’t meant as a learn-to-carve crutch; it demands a pilot unafraid to rail it on a high edge. The alphabet soup at the end of its name refers to the plate that’s integrated into this ski/binding system, another clear signal that posers need not apply. If you like a power-mad carver that hums at high speed, the Dobermann Spitfire RB FDT belongs in your locker.

Read the full review here.

Dynastar Speed 963


Dynastar has completely rebuilt their product line over the last two seasons, focusing on its Freeride collection last year and reconfiguring its On-Piste clan for 21/22. The constant across both the M-Line and S-Line is Dynastar’s signature hybrid core, comprised of milled PU and, in the case of the Speed 963, poplar.

The Speed 963 gets its power from a sculpted Titanal laminate that’s sidewall-to-sidewall underfoot and runs along the edge as it extends towards tip and tail. The overall sensation is one of security that doesn’t need a lot of mass to feel stable. Its deep sidecut and high taper angle makes for slalom turns that are quick both on and off the edge.

Read the full review here.