The All-Mountain East family is a polyglot lot that can be roughly divided into two camps: wide carvers and narrow off-piste models. Every sort of snow connection imaginable is on display, from fully cambered to double rockered. Despite the wide range of design diversity, all AME models purport to solve the same problem: creating an all-terrain tool that is equally happy off piste or on.
Think of the AME field is as the Compromise Category, not quite as precise as Frontside skis on hard snow nor as surfy as Big Mountain models in powder, but built to perform ably in either circumstance. None of the huge 2019 field (36 unisex models examined by our test panel) strikes the perfect, 50/50 balance between hard and soft snow performance as each retains a slight bias depending on the traits of the larger family of models to which it belongs.
Any skier beyond entry-level ability should consider adopting an AME model as his or her one-ski quiver. There are a great many forgiving models in this field, ideal for masking the technical foibles of weekend warriors. There’s also a slew of powerhouses that will delight advanced and expert skiers with a full skill set.
If you’re one of the many lapsed skiers who is returning to the sport after a long lay-off, the All-Mountain East genre is probably the best place to shop for a ski that embodies the best of current technology without feeling weird or unnatural to an Old School skier returning to the skiing fold.