America is a nation of optimists. How else to explain why we buy wide skis on the faint hope we’ll encounter fresh snow, when Technical skis perform so much better on the groomed runs we ski every day? If skiers in the market for a second pair bought a precise carver instead of a fat swiveler, they’d not only be acquiring a more useful tool, they’ll be far more likely to improve their skills.

This will never happen, but I can dream, can’t I? With demand at a tepid temperature, suppliers have little reason to regularly renew their Technical ski offering, but the genre isn’t entirely dormant. Elan debuts a Black Edition of its top Amphibio model, adding a coat of carbon to the Amphibio 16 TI2 to create an almost liquid carving experience. Carbon also plays a key role in Blizzard’s new Firebird Competition, where tip-to-tail vertical laminates laid into the wood core add energy to the bottom of the turn.

The remainder of our Recommended Technical models is composed of veterans in this field that continue to merit the attention of skilled skiers everywhere.