Manufacturers continue to invest in new models in what remains a hotly competitive category. Some of the new entries are on the Lighter Is Better (LIB) train, like Atomic’s Vantage 97 C and Head’s Kore 99, while others take the contrarian track, building metal-laden powerhouses such as the Kästle MX99 and Völkl M5 Mantra.
All the unisex All-Mountain West models, new or old, light or otherwise, strive to serve two masters by providing enough surface area to facilitate off-piste skiing while retaining basic carving skills for when the off-trail is off-limits. AMW Finesse models focus on making off-road terrain easier to tame for less aggressive skiers, while Recommended Power skis come alive at higher revs. Once infused with speed, the top Power skis don’t so much float over choppy terrain as demolish it.