Most women don’t want a ski this wide as their everyday ski, limiting their market appeal to second-pair buyers. Less demand leads inevitably to lower model turnover, so there’s only one fresh face in this small field, Kästle’s FX96 W. The rest of our test panel’s Recommended models consist of three well-established queens of the genre, plus one super value for women with abundant talent but limited resources.

Our list of Recommended models would be longer – and probably different in other respects, as well – if only we could capture more feedback on women’s AMW models. Because of the paucity of data, the numeric scores that determine Power and Finesse ratings aren’t as reliable indicators of behavior as they are in other, more popular categories. A ski listed among our Power Picks could easily flip to the Finesse side, and visa versa.

The holes in our data allowed several potential Recommended models to ride below our panel’s radar, including the new Fischer My Ranger 96 Ti, Salomon’s QST Lumen 99 and the Völkl 90EIGHT W.