When Atomic first introduced the Magic Powder around 1990, it was a mere curio, a fringe ski for punters in over their heads on a heli trip. Ten years later, the landscape had flipped over so the widest skis were “AK” models made for the guides, not their ducklings. Gradually both paradigms were able find a foothold in the marketplace because both opened up new terrain possibilities for their respective communities. Our Finesse favorites had to be able to smudge a turn on a whim, so lower-skill skiers can check their speed. The best of them also have the wherewithal to amp it up should the pilot choose to charge the fall line, attributes it never hurts to have in reserve.