In yet another example of our cutting-edge journalism, permit us to point out that men and women are different. The pertinent manifestation of this principle is that the same width ski that makes an ideal men’s all-terrain tool is a tad too wide to be an everyday ride for all but the most talented lasses. Put more succinctly, if you don’t instinctively ride an elevated edge angle, a ski from the All-Mountain West genre should be a second, soft-snow pair of skis.
The primary reason for taking this precaution is that a wider ski takes more effort to roll up on edge. A lower skill skier is more likely to just push it around, all fun and games in soft snow but a bit like an unguided missile when the snow firms up. Lower skill skiers tend to regard our Power Picks as lacking in forgiving traits, while the experts who log many miles a season don’t detect any unfriendly attitudes no matter where or how they ski them.
So what woman does belong on an All-Mountain West model? As long as it’s a second ski reserved for soft snow conditions, there’s really no upper or lower suitability threshold for any of our favorites. And yes, it can be an everyday ski for a strong, athletic woman and probably is serving that function for those lucky enough to ski over 50 days a year. They do make it look effortless, but it’s worth noting these are ladies who drop their hips within inches of the snow as a matter of course.