We’ve been writing for several seasons that most women will find their bliss on an AME model. That statement is more true today than ever, and it applies to women of all abilities equally. The Frontside category is stocked with options for beginners and intermediates, but has little to offer an expert. The All-Mountain West genre has a more limited offering of off-trail models that will usually be a second pair reserved for powder days. Only the AME women’s field has something for everyone, including models strong enough for women with a history of skiing men’s models.

The reason this field remains so vital is embodied in its unrivaled star, Blizzard’s Black Pearl 88, which somehow seems to be all things to all women (skiers). It’s pure composure on groomers and uninhibited about attacking untamed terrain. The Pearl 88’s huge success is but the leading example of what makes this category the go-to genre for women. The latest luminaries to join the party are Völkl’s Kenja 88 and Head’s Kore 93 W, both undiluted unisex models in smaller sizes with particular appeal for Power skiers.