In yet another example of our cutting-edge journalism, permit us to point out that men and women are different. The pertinent manifestation of this principle is that the same width ski that makes an ideal men’s all-terrain tool is a tad too wide to be an everyday ride for all but the most talented lasses. Put more succinctly, if you don’t instinctively ride an elevated edge angle, a ski from the All-Mountain West genre should be a second, soft-snow pair of skis.
The primary reason for taking this precaution is that a wider ski takes more effort to roll up on edge. A lower skill skier is more likely to just push it around, all fun and games in soft snow but a bit like an unguided missile when the snow firms up. Lower skill skiers tend to regard our Power Picks as lacking in forgiving traits, while the experts who log many miles a season don’t detect any unfriendly attitudes no matter where or how they ski them.
So what woman does belong on an All-Mountain West model? As long as it’s a second ski reserved for soft snow conditions, there’s really no upper or lower suitability threshold for any of our favorites. And yes, it can be an everyday ski for a strong, athletic woman and probably is serving that function for those lucky enough to ski over 50 days a year. They do make it look effortless, but it’s worth noting these are ladies who drop their hips within inches of the snow as a matter of course.
The 2017 Women’s All-Mountain West Field
Power skis continue to dominate the field in the women’s All-Mountain West genre, the sole category ruled by Power-obsessed princesses. It’s logical that this should be so, for these skis are made for women in the full flower of their abilities. If an All-Mountain West model is going to serve as a woman’s everyday ski, she better know how to tip it and rip it.
Only two skis among our 2017 Recommended models clearly favored the lighter touch of a Finesse skier, K2’s new FulLUVit 95 and sister brand Line’s Pandora 95, so we anointed Atomic’s 95 C W a Finesse Favorite to keep them company. The rest of our Recommended models aren’t for the meek, but come to life under the guidance of a skier willing to amplify her power by pouring on the acceleration.
Blizzard’s Samba is one of two models in our mix that qualifies as new, as this familiar name underwent a significant construction switch. K2’s FulLUVit 95 slimmed down from last season’s 98mm waist and lightened up the core. Every other ski in this round-up has been around the block before, with a track record of excellence to show for it. They all devour crud the way vegans inhale kale: raw and with relish.
Power Picks: All-Condition Chargers
Most made-for-women models aim to assist entry-level to advanced skiers enjoy their ski experience with less effort. Our Recommended Power Picks in the All-Mountain West genre aren’t of this ilk. These are the best skis made for the best skiers, unblushing elitists with an unquenchable appetite for off-piste conditions.