While Women’s All-Mountain West models will never be as popular as their thinner sisters in the All-Mountain East category, they still turn over at roughly the same pace because almost every Women’s All-Mountain West ski has a sister in the AME ranks to whom its fate is inextricably linked. Many of the Women’s All-Mountain West models are clones of a unisex ski with which they move in lockstep.
In what may have been cases of pandemic budget restraint, a couple of new unisex models weren’t accompanied by a women’s version, at least not yet. Salomon’s new QST 98 (that didn’t make our Recommended cut) is unisex only, so the QST Lumen 99 of 20/21 stays in the current line. The same situation prevails at Kästle, where the FX96 W returns intact.
New to the WAMW sorority are Head’s Kore 97 W and the Völkl Secret 96, both fraternal twins of the Kore 99 and Mantra M6, respectively. While we’re not rating any of our women’s models this year, it bears mention that our top-rated unisex Power ski in this genre is Völkl’s M6 Mantra and the best-in-show Finesse model is the Kore 99. Both brands modify their smaller sizes for lighter skiers as a matter of course, making further “womanization” moot, so it stands to reason their women’s models should shine in this high-performance category.