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 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 2018 Technical Field

It’s an elephantine understatement that the Technical category isn’t the focus of the supplier community. There’s only one new model in the field we examined, Atomic’s Redster X9, a spin-off of its new race skis. Some new test scores on returning models juggled last season’s standings among the top half of our Recommended skis, but the cast is largely the same.

The only ski missing from last season’s Recommended list is Blizzard’s RC Ti, which received a battlefield promotion to the Non-FIS Race category. (Recommended rank continues to be based on a ski’s Power average, as the Technical category is quintessentially a Power genre.) Two of last year’s also-rans made unto this year’s A-list, Fischer’s RC4 The Curv DTX and Salomon’s X-Max X14 Carbon.

Other than these minor modifications, the 2018 field is comprised of the same skis as last year. Even where the scores have shifted a bit, the skis’ behaviors, and the copy that describes them, have not. I’ve sprinkled in a few tester comments from this year’s cards and added an occasional observation of my own, but otherwise what you’ll find here is a re-hash of reviews about a largely static field.