Best All-Mountain Skis – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best All-Mountain Skis – Reviews & Buying Guide (September 2019)

Updated: December 25, 2018

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

After 47 hours spent researching the best all-mountain skis, we think Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: ability level, gender, color, turn radius, length, waist width, tip width, tail type, core, camber, laminates, construction, rocker type, weight, and warranty, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceMaintenanceValue for Moneyability levelgendercolorturn radiuslengthwaist widthtip widthtail typecorecamberlaminatesconstructionrocker typeweightwarranty
Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisCheck Price4.85.04.54.55.05.0Advance / expertUnisexRed / blackMedium169 - 193 cm100 mm133 mmPartial twinWood / titaniumTip / tail rockerTitanalSandwichAll Mountain camRock10.87 lbs1 year
Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisCheck Price4.95.04.55.05.05.0Advance / expertUnisexBlack / turquoiseMedium157 - 189 cm95 mm126 mmPartial twinSilver fir / woodcoreDual riseTitanalABS / sandwichProgressive rise10.82 lbs2 years
K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain SkisK2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain SkisCheck Price4.34.54.04.04.54.5Intermediate / advanceUnisexBlack / greenMedium170 -191 cm95 mm132 mmFlatNanolite konic coreTip / tail rockerMetalProfiledAll-terrain Not specified1 year
Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain SkisSalomon QST 99 All-Mountain SkisCheck Price4.65.04.54.04.55.0Intermediate / advanceUnisexBlueMedium167 - 188 cm99 mm134 - 140 mmPartial twinTi power platform / CFX superfiberHook free / tailSingle Ti laminateSandwich 360degAll- terrain16 lbs2 years
Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain SkisRossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain SkisCheck Price4.45.04.04.04.54.5Intermediate / advanceUnisexBlack / greenShort164 - 188 cm88 mm135 mmFlatBasalt / carbon / woodTip / tail rockerCarbon allloyABS sidewallsAuto turn16 lbs1 year
Best All-Mountain Skis

Whether you’re brand new to skiing or have spent years on the slopes, choosing the best all-mountain skis hinges a lot on personal preference.

An “all-mountain” designation can simply mean a pair of skis that performs in many different conditions on all parts of the mountain.

Manufacturers and retailers don’t agree perfectly on the definition of all-mountain skis, even in the best all-mountain ski reviews.

Three numbers are assigned to skis to help buyers. All three refer to width, given in millimeters. The first number tells you the widest point of the ski’s tip. The second is the width in the middle – called the “waist” or “underfoot”. The third number is the widest point in the tail end of the ski.

In general terms, most agree that the best skis for all-mountain treks measure from 85 to 105mm underfoot (i.e. at the “waist”) and should accomplish two things: carving on hard-packed snow, or floating freely over fresh snow.

Even though the category is a bit vague, let’s eliminate some confusion. All-mountain skis are not cross-country skis which are narrower, lighter and straighter. Their ski bindings are different, too. They’re not backcountry skis, which are lightweight, good for uphill mobility, and similar to powder skis.

All-mountain skis have little in common with the snowboard, which requires snowboard boots, and special snowboard bindings. However, accessories like ski gloves and a protective ski mask, or safety items like a ski helmet and a pair of ski goggles work for any of these.

Selection Of The Best All-mountain Skis

Here are the best all-mountain skis for most people according to Outlinist:

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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Just when you think all-mountain skis have reached the height of performance, another model is released that pushes the limits of what was possible.

It’s easy to forget the classics that started it all. Sometimes the originals are still the better product.

Versatility is what you want on the mountain so you’ll be prepared for any snow condition.

Carving tight turns on a groomer today? Maybe you’re in the mood for a few inches of powder?

You may like multiple activities on the slopes, but you only need one pair of all-mountain skis for any kind of skiing you’ll come across at the resort.

Information

The contact points located on the tip are pulled back, adding a very slight rocker to the tail and tip.

The dream ski of many skiers is one that floats in deep powder and carves on a groomer. At one point, this request was basically the equivalent of asking for a pet unicorn. It just wasn’t possible.

Today’s skis offer this magical combination but with varying degrees of success. Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis, are one of those all-mountain skis on-piste that handle much better than they have any right to and shine off-piste as well, floating effortless in over a foot or more of snow.

The smooth ride is unlike anything you’ll experience. With a shorter radius than most skis in its class and a core constructed of two metal sheets, beech wood and poplar, it reads as though it is an aggressive ski made for aggressive skiing. This isn’t the case, however, as it’s one of the rare skis that is honestly versatile.

ability levelAdvance / expert
genderUnisex
colorRed / black
turn radiusMedium
length169 – 193 cm
waist width100 mm
tip width133 mm
tail typePartial twin
coreWood / titanium
camberTip / tail rocker
laminatesTitanal
constructionSandwich
rocker typeAll Mountain camRock
weight10.87 lbs
warranty1 year

The contact points located on the tip are pulled back, adding a very slight rocker to the tail and tip. The result? Better control, precision and floatation in softer snow as well as turn initiation in almost all snow conditions.

The Enforcer features a Blue Nose Shape that is the key to its high performing abilities. This shape allows it to easily cruise through powder and easily carve those groomers. Another thing that shape does is improve the damp of the board, absorbing the vibrations causes by crud and other rough snow.

One of the most popular and awarded all-mountain models, the Enforcer is proof that a well-made classic stands the test of time.

Pros

Distinct in its approachable feel toward a wide range of ski levels and styles, it feels intuitive, as if it recognizes how you want to ski before you do, and responds accordingly.

Providing the ultimate day on the slopes, the Enforcer 100 can go anywhere you want it to, gives you the confidence to push yourself (if you’re in the mood) and offers one of the smoothest rides on powder for a feeling you’ll never forget.

  • Smoother than butter: Why does it feel so good? If you’ve spent any time reading the best all-mountain skis reviews, you’ve seen this ski unanimously described as buttery. There’s no other word to describe the exhilarating ride it offers. On any terrain, any turn, you’ll feel like you are gliding.
  • Quick turns in soft snow: Some of the best skis for quick turns at slower speeds in mushy piles or slushy groomers, the excellent edge hold of the Enforcer 100 makes every movement fun. Try big, wide turns at faster speeds. Let loose on remotely soft snow for a good time.
  • Intuitive and easy to ride: Distinct in its approachable feel toward a wide range of ski levels and styles, it feels intuitive, as if it recognizes how you want to ski before you do, and responds accordingly. It feels like the Enforcer 100 knows your ski style.
  • Flourishes in tight terrain: This ski has some pop to it, and its turning ability makes it a lot of fun smearing and pivoting through trees and moguls. It’s also tough enough to rip through crud and rougher snow while maintaining a stable, smooth ride.
  • Have some fun in deep snow: The design is made for maximum float, boasting its ability to ride deep and tricky snow. Even when you sink a little bit, this ski still feels smooth, solid and stable. Effortlessly wash and swing your tail in 12 inches of snow.
  • Take your skills to the next level: Nordica Enforcer 100s give you control. They turn like shorter skis but have more speed and don’t overwhelm you. In short, they make you feel secure and confident enough to push your skills as you push them on the slope.

Cons

The Enforcer 100 is a stable, strong ski with versatility that can charm just about anyone. But, it may be too versatile for some who want a bit more power, weight or ability on hard pack snow. Sometimes covering a wide range of skiers requires a tradeoff.

  • Be wary of exhaustion depending on your size: Lighter skiers may be unaffected by the weight, but heavier skiers may wish it had greater agility, as it can fishtail. Come with fresh legs because you’ll need muscle to remain on top. They may not be the best skis for bad knees.
  • Don’t go over the speed limit: More aggressive skiers on ungroomed terrain will be able to feel when this ski is reaching its top speeds. You’ll also have to keep balance due to a good deal of rocker at higher speeds.
  • Can be more work than play: Although Enforcer 100 skis are some of the best skis for expert skiers, they are not the most fun, playful skis on the slope. They will spring to life at top speeds and are ideal for those who prefer charging down groomed runs.

Comparison

 

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain SkisK2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelAdvance / expertAdvance / expertIntermediate / advance
genderUnisexUnisexUnisex
colorRed / blackBlack / turquoiseBlack / green
turn radiusMediumMediumMedium
length169 – 193 cm157 – 189 cm170 -191 cm
waist width100 mm95 mm95 mm
tip width133 mm126 mm132 mm
tail typePartial twinPartial twinFlat
coreWood / titaniumSilver fir / woodcoreNanolite konic core
camberTip / tail rockerDual riseTip / tail rocker
laminatesTitanalTitanalMetal
constructionSandwichABS / sandwichProfiled
rocker typeAll Mountain camRockProgressive riseAll-terrain
weight10.87 lbs10.82 lbsNot specified
warranty1 year2 years1 year

Summary

Designed to slice through crud, they also float on deep powder.

Nordica solidified its place as one of the best ski brands because of their Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis. Uniquely versatile, these are one of the few all-mountain skis that cater to a wide range of skill levels as well as different levels of aggressiveness. Intuitively, knowing the skier, they respond very well to driver input.

Designed to slice through crud, they also float on deep powder. Their ability to carve through sloshy, wet snow makes them a ton of fun and some of the best skis for short radius turns.

Overall, it’s not hard to see why the Nordica 100 is so popular. It is a versatile ski that can be charged down the slope or floated through deep powder.


Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
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Can’t choose between skiing groomed or backcountry terrain? The real world calls that indecision. The ski world, however, calls that all-mountain and tells you to get matching all-mountain skis.

The rest of the world could learn a thing or two.

The best all-mountain skis perform equally well on powder, rough ice and groomed runs.

They are designed to handle almost all snow conditions and can be used by skiers of all skill levels due to their high maneuverability.

Considering how much a set of skis cost, it makes sense to get a set that can give you the greatest range.

Information

A true highlight of this Kastle ski is the way it slices snow like a hot knife through butter.

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis just may be the best skis ever made for all-mountain. It’s a big claim, but one few in the ski community disagree with.

When moving at high speeds, it is important you feel confident as you race down a slope or dodge a thicket of trees. Built using some of the best materials available, silver fir and beech sit in between two metal sheets providing a very stable yet not super heavy feel. Kastle employs their signature Hollowtech design to remove unneeded material, giving it more stability and precision.

A true highlight of this Kastle ski is the way it slices snow like a hot knife through butter. Designed with a dual rocker, it easily initiates turns in the ugliest, choppiest snow and floats over fresh powder cleanly with great board to snow contact. Its level of stability and precision on backcountry terrain is an achievement all its own.

ability levelAdvance / expert
genderUnisex
colorBlack / turquoise
turn radiusMedium
length157 – 189 cm
waist width95 mm
tip width126 mm
tail typePartial twin
coreSilver fir / woodcore
camberDual rise
laminatesTitanal
constructionABS / sandwich
rocker typeProgressive rise
weight10.82 lbs
warranty2 years

It performs just as well on-piste (groomed runs). You can confidently carve in icy, steep runs. Seriously impressive edge hold and its mix of power and control let you carve all day and won’t leave you exhausted.

The HP stands for high performance and (spoiler alert!), it is fast. Depending on your ski style, this is your dream ski, as it loves to be pushed and does its best at top speed.

High performance, fun to ride and durable, the Kastle FX95 is a top-performing, jack-of-all-trades ski that will last longer than most skis you’ll see on the slope.

Pros

This ski begs you to go faster and won’t let you down once you do.

Versatile in every meaning of the word, this ski will slice through chowder just as efficiently as hardpack. A true on or off-piste ski, take it on any terrain and be impressed with the ease at which it handles.

  • Crud, crust, ice & chop: Shall we go on? Armed with two sheets of metal, you’re essentially skiing a bulldozer down the slope. The rocker works, giving you an ultra-damp ski that can easily initiate turns in any ungroomed terrain and float powder. There’s a reason Kastle refers to it as The Sword.
  • A groomer’s dream come true: The very essence of skiing a groomed run is about the carved turn – those arcing parallel S-shaped grooves are an art form. Power, precision and a silky yet solid edge grip make the Kastle FX95 some of the best carving skis that won’t tire you out.
  • Stable as a table: Metal sheets, a dual rocker and perfectly-placed contact points provide an undeniably solid platform, removing that weird feeling on-piste skis sometimes have. Superior edge grip and power make you feel invincible as you easily maneuver the roughest snow at top speed.
  • Fun, playful and powerful: Smooth, reliable and responsive, this all-mountain ski has a certain amount of predictability and a big sweet spot sure to put a huge smile on your face and give you the confidence to play more, go faster and ski harder.
  • No speed limits in sight: This ski begs you to go faster and won’t let you down once you do. Smooth, precise and strong on the most challenging terrain, Kastle FX95 skis increase in responsiveness as you pick up speed. Aggressive skiers have found their match.
  • Durable elite build and design: Touting some of the best materials and ski construction possible, the Kastle HP’s level of design and build is equal to that of elite athletes. Highly durable, your skis will stay looking fresher longer than most skis on the market.

Cons

Ask around, no true skier is complaining about the price of this ski because the quality is unparalleled. Built to perform its best when pushed hard, this ski, however, is not for everyone

  • Made with the advanced and expert skier in mind: To get the most out of Kastle FX95 skis, a fair amount of speed and driver input is needed to really make them come to life. Not meant for a leisurely run, these are the best all-mountain skis for advanced skiers.
  • Heavier ski: Crafted using two metal sheets, these are not the lightest skis, making them one of the best all-mountain skis for big guys. If you are lighter, but ski fast and hard you can still have a great time with them.
  • Not the best for deep powder: The ski has enough rocker to float on powder and is fun to slash and smear, but with a smaller width size and stiff construction, you may want something else when you’re in the mood for more than a couple inches of powder.

Comparison

 

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain SkisK2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelAdvance / expertAdvance / expertIntermediate / advance
genderUnisexUnisexUnisex
colorBlack / turquoiseRed / blackBlack / green
turn radiusMediumMediumMedium
length157 – 189 cm169 – 193 cm170 -191 cm
waist width95 mm100 mm95 mm
tip width126 mm133 mm132 mm
tail typePartial twinPartial twinFlat
coreSilver fir / woodcoreWood / titaniumNanolite konic core
camberDual riseTip / tail rockerTip / tail rocker
laminatesTitanalTitanalMetal
constructionABS / sandwichSandwichProfiled
rocker typeProgressive riseAll Mountain camRockAll-terrain
weight10.82 lbs10.87 lbsNot specified
warranty2 years1 year1 year

Summary

Don’t be fooled, this ski is for experts, best performing when pushed fast and hard.

These high-performing, all-mountain skis are incredibly stable and maneuverable on ungroomed terrain and resort runs, making them one of the best skis for on and off-piste. Despite the powerful feel and high-end performance, Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis combine finesse and a fun design that give you no choice but to play your way down the slope.

Don’t be fooled, this ski is for experts, best performing when pushed fast and hard. Skiers who cannot be tamed by any terrain and like to push the limits of their board and themselves will love it.

With the FX95, Kastle has delivered one of the best skis on the market. The experience you get, not to mention the value, is worth the price.


K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis

K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
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Check Price

It’s a pleasant surprise to find equipment that covers a broad range of needs. That’s what all-mountain skis are intended to accomplish.

This is the ski that handles untouched powdery mountain slopes and groomed ski resort trails packed by swarms of visitors.

Not everyone is interested in building a collection of skis. Doing so can get pricey, and then you need to store them somewhere.

If one pair of skis that handles diverse terrain is more in line with your preferences, a good quality all-mountain ski is the perfect solution.

The practicality of all-mountain skis for sale has greatly accelerated their popularity.

Information

When you travel, it’s likely you’ll only take one set of skis, and these would be a good choice.

K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis, like other all-mountain skis, is a Jack of all trades. It’s on the wider side of its class at 95mm, which allows you to go where snow is deeper, but its all-terrain rocker is versatile. A short low rise in the tail, along with a continuous rise to the tapered tip, provides good control for various snow depths. Among all-mountain models, it’s one of the best skis for powder.

K2 has patented a composition known as Triaxially Braided Construction. Strands of fiberglass interlock with a Nanolite core – an aerospace grade composite that’s low density and lightweight.

This combination gives the ski the right amount of stiffness but it still flexes like a wooden core. You’ll have no problem with uphill stepping, and it makes smooth turns on hardpack with ease.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
genderUnisex
colorBlack / green
turn radiusMedium
length170 -191 cm
waist width95 mm
tip width132 mm
tail typeFlat
coreNanolite konic core
camberTip / tail rocker
laminatesMetal
constructionProfiled
rocker typeAll-terrain
weightNot specified
warranty1 year

When you travel, it’s likely you’ll only take one set of skis, and these would be a good choice. They float in powder, but their responsive handling puts them among the best skis for bumps and trees.

K2’s Pinnacle 95 skis have been referred to as nimble but they can also be pushed hard by those who demand the best skis for an intermediate to advanced skier. Overall, the Pinnacle 95 is an unusual ski for its versatility and ability to perform well in most any conditions.

The highly-respected K2 company was born in 1962 on Vashon Island, located in Puget Sound, Washington. Their focus has long been innovation for the winter sports of skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic ski equipment, along with snow apparel and accessories.

Pros

The gradual rise in the tail and the rise/taper of the tip provide good control in snow conditions ranging from soft to hard and allows it to float well.

Most skis made these days are great compared to the earliest models, and it’s hard to go completely wrong when choosing skis. But proven versatility paired with new technology is a winning combination, as evidenced by this pair of K2 Pinnacle skis.

  • Great handling in all types of terrain: This is the appeal of the all-mountain ski and what places it high in popularity. You can ski nearly anywhere from East coast to West coast with confidence that it will be a good experience. You’ll maneuver well on both powder and hardpack.
  • Lightweight innovative core technology: Gone are the days of all-wood skis, a fortunate change for everyone. Wood is still a great core choice, but K2 has gone further to ensure lightweight stable structure with a fiberglass and Nanolite composite just as flexible as wooden cores.
  • Rocker plus rise, plus tapered tip: The rocker of this ski is suited to all types of terrain. The gradual rise in the tail and the rise/taper of the tip provide good control in snow conditions ranging from soft to hard and allows it to float well.
  • Skis perform in response to user’s ability: You can keep the pace relaxed when you feel like a comfortable day, but when you want to push performance to a higher level, these skis will keep up with you. Responsiveness to the skier’s skill level gets consistently top marks from users.
  • A good choice for travel: As with most all-mountain skis, these are some of the best skis for travel. You’ll encounter different snow conditions with travel requiring a ski that copes with whatever comes along, but in addition, they’re lightweight in construction and less burdensome to carry.
  • From a well-established US company: K2 has been around since the 1960s, having been founded by two brothers. The company pioneered fiberglass ski technology making skis lighter, and continue to concentrate on ski equipment and apparel. Now based in Seattle, they’re recognized internationally for their innovation and quality.

Cons

It’s not easy to talk yourself out of a purchase when others are raving about its fine qualities. There could be good reasons to reject a product, though, since everyone’s needs are different. Features that work well for some might not for others.

  • For intermediate through expert skiers: You probably should not consider buying these if you’re a beginner skier. K2’s website clearly classifies these for intermediate to expert skill levels. The best skis for a beginner are often a lower-priced, shorter ski with extra stability to make them easy to handle.
  • Best at moderate speeds: Some users found the tip of the Pinnacle a bit floppy at high speeds although it was fine for moderate speed. If high speed is your preferred style, you may want to rethink purchasing these or use these for more relaxed days.
  • Not an excellent carving ski: Although an easy ski to turn, the edge grip is not what you’d experience with skis designed primarily for carving. It’s also wide for an all-mountain ski, making it work well off-trail, but it’s not the typical narrower carving footprint.

Comparison

 

K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain SkisK2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceAdvance / expertAdvance / expert
genderUnisexUnisexUnisex
colorBlack / greenRed / blackBlack / turquoise
turn radiusMediumMediumMedium
length170 -191 cm169 – 193 cm157 – 189 cm
waist width95 mm100 mm95 mm
tip width132 mm133 mm126 mm
tail typeFlatPartial twinPartial twin
coreNanolite konic coreWood / titaniumSilver fir / woodcore
camberTip / tail rockerTip / tail rockerDual rise
laminatesMetalTitanalTitanal
constructionProfiledSandwichABS / sandwich
rocker typeAll-terrain All Mountain camRockProgressive rise
weightNot specified10.87 lbs10.82 lbs
warranty1 year1 year2 years

Summary

If you have at least intermediate skiing ability, K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis make it simple to go from groomed trails to off-piste with no change needed in equipment.

The best skis for groomed runs can also provide much enjoyment when you go off exploring the powdery terrain of a mountainside – if you choose wisely and well. It’s not necessary to have several pairs of skis in order to match changing conditions.

If you have at least intermediate skiing ability, K2 Pinnacle 95 All-Mountain Skis make it simple to go from groomed trails to off-piste with no change needed in equipment. The width of the ski, the rocker profile and the rise of both tail and tip make floats and turns smooth and effective.

Beginners may want to choose an easy to manage shorter ski, but for most intermediate to advanced skiers these all-mountain skis cover the range they’re seeking, from untouched snow to well-traveled paths.


Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain Skis

Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain Skis
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Many all-mountain skis try to deliver high-performance in every single category. Others focus on delivering an unforgettable experience in one or two.

It’s important a ski knows its strengths and accept its flaws. Skis are more similar to humans than anyone knew.

Though people want versatility, they also tend to lean toward liking on-piste better than off, or enjoying slow speeds more than faster ones.

This is why there are so many skis; some will be more effective on-piste than off, and that’s fine.

A good ski for all mountain will be able to go anywhere you want it to.

Information

Carbon can provide added stiffness to a ski but it also can make it feel more unstable or twitchy.

Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain Skis are some of the newer skis on the market and Salomon incorporates different technology and methods into their products. This means there will be some flaws but innovation is never perfect.

Brands that never settle for good enough and push the edge of what is possible are what skiing is all about.

The QST model uses certain materials only in certain locations of the ski. By doing this, you are going to get a light, agile ski that is more stable with more power underfoot to deal with hard pack snow. This ski is strong and stiff, and you’ll need that strength on-piste.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
genderUnisex
colorBlue
turn radiusMedium
length167 – 188 cm
waist width99 mm
tip width134 – 140 mm
tail typePartial twin
coreTi power platform / CFX superfiber
camberHook free / tail
laminatesSingle Ti laminate
constructionSandwich 360deg
rocker typeAll- terrain
weight16 lbs
warranty2 years

Another cool thing about this ski is that it uses a combination of flax fibers and carbon to create the core of the ski. Carbon can provide added stiffness to a ski but it also can make it feel more unstable or twitchy. Salomon’s QST weaves both carbon and flax fibers together, improving the stability of the ski without the negative effects of carbon. The QST is smooth and solid.

Fast, lightweight and versatile, it has a great ability to cruise powder and make some impressive wide carving arcs. Ideal for lighter, less aggressive skiers it is a playful machine that doesn’t take itself too seriously, gives you some high performance off-piste and is one of the best skis for bumps due to its easy maneuverability in soft, wet snow.

Offering a damp, polished feel, this ski won’t disappoint on ungroomed paths and long-radius turns.

Pros

Not meant for hard skiing, and certainly not the best skis for east coast conditions, these skis do best at lower speeds.

Versatile and fun, this ski’s features really shine off piste. For those who aren’t on the mountain to race past everyone or prove their skill, the Salomon QST 99 offers a fun day filled with cruising soft snow. Take a chill pill please.

  • Insane fun floating deep powder: The best powder skis are usually much wider than the 99mm width found on these, but once you are on the snow, they feel much wider, are stable and surprisingly easy to maneuver. They can ski fresh snow up to a foot deep.
  • Take it easy and mellow out: It’s not about bursts of speed or action, but if you enjoy off piste conditions and smooth, laid-back turns you’ll enjoy these. It’s no surprise QST 99s are one of the best skis for Colorado, they are quick, great to cruise in and light.
  • Fun and playful for ungroomed terrain: The fact that these are light with a less aggressive rocker than many other models makes them the best all-mountain skis for moguls and gives them a super fun feeling. Best with predictable snow conditions, they don’t have much pop, but do have softer landings.
  • Speed stability: Not meant for hard skiing, and certainly not the best skis for east coast conditions, these skis do best at lower speeds. For those who don’t enjoy moving aggressively fast, you’ll love a stable board that doesn’t urge you to speed up.
  • Smooth: Sure it can cruise but you can push it a bit more. The titanal sheet located at the center of the ski and the flax give it pretty good vibration dampening for a smooth ride. You can easily slash your way down the slope.
  • Pleasantly versatile for intermediate skiers: A broadened tip and mount point positioned further back give you the ability to lead the ski into turns and increases versatility. They are ideal for intermediate-oriented skiers with a playful, less aggressive style, as they will enjoy its performance and usability.

Cons

With all the fun and playfulness of these skis, more aggressive skiing obviously isn’t the focus. If you are not on the mountain for relaxed turns or if cruising is not your idea of fun, this ski may pose a problem.

  • Groomed skiing you can take or leave: While certainly nothing to laugh at, don’t look for this ski to be particularly lively or guide you into a turn either. Its turns are wider and less energetic than some would prefer, but it is stiff enough to reach decent speeds.
  • Boredom on the mountain: Skiers who like to go hard and fast on piste do not want the best skis for buttering. At least it’s not the norm. If you want high energy, quick turns or breakneck speeds, you’ll most likely want a heavier ski construction.
  • Very real speed limits: Though you can push the speed, it works best at lower speeds. Too much and the ski begins to chatter which may unnerve some skiers. When you need speed, take it off piste where it can go fast without getting overwhelmed.

Comparison

 

Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain SkisSalomon QST 99 All-Mountain Skis

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceAdvance / expertAdvance / expert
genderUnisexUnisexUnisex
colorBlueRed / blackBlack / turquoise
turn radiusMediumMediumMedium
length167 – 188 cm169 – 193 cm157 – 189 cm
waist width99 mm100 mm95 mm
tip width134 – 140 mm133 mm126 mm
tail typePartial twinPartial twinPartial twin
coreTi power platform / CFX superfiberWood / titaniumSilver fir / woodcore
camberHook free / tailTip / tail rockerDual rise
laminatesSingle Ti laminateTitanalTitanal
constructionSandwich 360degSandwichABS / sandwich
rocker typeAll- terrainAll Mountain camRockProgressive rise
weight16 lbs10.87 lbs10.82 lbs
warranty2 years1 year2 years

Summary

For the skier who prefers to jump every bump they see, the construction of the ski provides an ultra-smooth, super damp feel that glides like a dream on soft snow.

Salomon QST 99 All-Mountain Skis are focused on off-piste action and are a ton of fun when they are at their best. These all-mountain skis are very light and won’t do well when put to the test on firmer snow.

Not everyone likes to cruise around on ungroomed terrain, but if the speed is dialed up too much on the groomers, the damp can become a bit too overwhelming and lethargic.

For the skier who prefers to jump every bump they see, the construction of the ski provides an ultra-smooth, super damp feel that glides like a dream on soft snow. Great for soft landings off-piste as well, this ski is fun, playful and at its best when it’s carving relaxed, wide arcs and cruising.


Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis

Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis
(rated 4.4 / 5)
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Whether you’re fairly new to skiing or a veteran looking for broad versatility, all-mountain skis are a well-recognized option to explore various types of terrain and diverse conditions.

This type of ski covers the full spectrum from powder to hardpack and accommodates traveling outside your primary location.

Experts that explain how to pick skis often place all-mountain skis at the top of their recommendations. That’s because many users want, or can only afford, one pair of skis.

Skis that are the best skis for powder and groomed areas can float or carve, allow exploration off-trail, but are just as comfortable on tamer resort slopes.

All-mountain skis suit various skill levels, too.

Information

Starting with a lightweight poplar wood core, they add their own signature Carbon Alloy Matrix.

Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis are a popular and versatile ski with the ability and stability to carve well. They have great edge grip and short to medium turn radius. At the same time, they’re light enough and are the right width for some fun off-piste exploring.

Expert carving of turns is often associated with a narrow ski. The Experience 88 is wider than those which are intended mostly for carving, but the 88mm waist, the full-width tail and tip, and its low weight are what create off trail maneuverability.

Low weight begins with the type of core Rossignol uses. Starting with a lightweight poplar wood core, they add their own signature Carbon Alloy Matrix. The combination is strong, responsive, and durable. They created an excellent edge grip without the metal found in many high-end skis.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
genderUnisex
colorBlack / green
turn radiusShort
length164 – 188 cm
waist width88 mm
tip width135 mm
tail typeFlat
coreBasalt / carbon / wood
camberTip / tail rocker
laminatesCarbon allloy
constructionABS sidewalls
rocker typeAuto turn
weight16 lbs
warranty1 year

In addition, Rossignol incorporated what they call “Air Tip Technology” to build their rockered skis. A honeycomb pattern inside the tip and tail creates air pockets and reduce weight with the result ski that stays on top of powder. These pockets are covered with resin to produce torsional stability.

When the goal is the best skis for the money and you prefer not to invest in more than one pair, this go-to ski has a fine reputation, loads of energy, and adapts well to the skill level of the user.

If you’ve been considering all-mountain skis vs carving skis, Rossignol combines two types into one versatile ski, the Rossignol Experience 88 skis.

Pros

The rockered aspect of these skis helps keep you on top of the snow when you switch from hardpack to powder.

An all-around ski solves the dilemma of having to purchase more than one pair. A logical choice is finding an all-mountain ski with the features you crave. Rossignol combines numerous qualities to provide the versatility skiers want no matter where they are skiing.

  • Lightweight wood core with Carbon Alloy Matrix: This ski has a lightweight wooden poplar core that’s combined with a combo of carbon and basalt. This ensures a structure strong enough to act like metal but without the heavier weight. It also provides enough stiffness to produce good edge grip.
  • Versatile enough for various terrain and conditions: All-mountain skis are selected by those who want to ski groomed trails, switch to powder when the urge strikes, and deal with choppy snow and hardpack. Rossignol kept all of these in mind with their design of the Experience 88 HD.
  • Air Tip Technology enhances rockered skis: The rockered aspect of these skis helps keep you on top of the snow when you switch from hardpack to powder. But Rossignol added even better tail and tip control with their Air Tip Technology for a lightweight, durable design.
  • Great choice for travel to different locales: Sticking to only one geographical area can simplify the choice of skis, but as your enjoyment of the sport grows you may want to travel. West coast snow conditions are quite different than the East coast. These skis can handle both.
  • Suited for intermediate through advanced skiers: Most agree these are not the best skis for beginners, but the design features are excellent for intermediate to advanced skiers. If you’re a newbie, take a look at the best skis for beginners to intermediate levels and switch to these later.
  • Responsive and predictable on groomed trails: All-mountain skis make it exciting to head off-trail, and Rossignol made sure you could do that with these skis. But where they really shine is on groomed trails. The short-to-medium turn radius and edge grip deliver a positively satisfying ride.

Cons

Your skill level and experience with various terrains both count when choosing the best skis for regular use. Consider carefully where you land on both those criteria in order to assess realistically whether this model is the best choice for you.

  • Not recommended for beginner skiers: Drop down into the details, and you’ll discover that this ski isn’t the best choice for beginners. Its got lots of energy, too much for beginners, from the carbon alloy material and design which is similar to carving skis that more experienced skiers use.
  • Better on firm snow than powder: Applauded as a great all-around choice, these skis go off-piste pretty easily since they’re rockered and have the width for that adventure. But they’re even better on firm snow. Users find that these skis respond to the level of aggressiveness employed.
  • Narrower skis would provide better carving ability: If intricate carving and sending up huge plumes of snow are your favorite activities on the slopes, you’ll be better off with a narrower ski. If you enjoy carving as just one of many options, then this one does a good job.

Comparison

 

Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain SkisRossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain SkisNordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis

Kastle FX95 HP All-Mountain SkisKastle FX95 HP All-Mountain Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceAdvance / expertAdvance / expert
genderUnisexUnisexUnisex
colorBlack / greenRed / blackBlack / turquoise
turn radiusShortMediumMedium
length164 – 188 cm169 – 193 cm157 – 189 cm
waist width88 mm100 mm95 mm
tip width135 mm133 mm126 mm
tail typeFlatPartial twinPartial twin
coreBasalt / carbon / woodWood / titaniumSilver fir / woodcore
camberTip / tail rockerTip / tail rockerDual rise
laminatesCarbon allloyTitanalTitanal
constructionABS sidewallsSandwichABS / sandwich
rocker typeAuto turnAll Mountain camRockProgressive rise
weight16 lbs10.87 lbs10.82 lbs
warranty1 year1 year2 years

Summary

Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis are widely popular for good reason.

Rossignol is one of the oldest and most well-known brand names for ski equipment. Over one hundred years of experience have given them clarity into the features skiers want most. They’ve incorporated new technologies and construction techniques to create products with cutting-edge design.

Rossignol Experience 88 HD All-Mountain Skis are widely popular for good reason. Transitioning from groomed trails to powdery mountainsides is no problem due to the width, sufficient rockering, and edge grip featured on these lightweight skis.

When your goal is the right equipment to experience a little bit of everything during winter ski expeditions, you’ll find that all-mountain skis like these Rossignols make the most sense, and will prove to be a worthwhile investment for many winter seasons.

Best All-Mountain Skis Buying Guide

Skiing style, experience, and ability

Categorize your abilities rather than trying to classify skis. Manufacturers provide categories as a starting point, but your skill level could be anywhere from a beginner to black diamond expert.

Softer, flexible skis suit beginners and those not yet skilled at skiing. Expert skiers need stiffer skis to endure fast skiing on more difficult terrain. Those over 200 lbs. should move up to a stiffer ski; those under 115 lbs. need flexible models since more mass is required to control stiff skis.

Men’s skis versus women’s skis

For years, in choosing the best all-mountain skis, men’s varieties reigned. Women just used shorter versions and men used longer. More attention went to choosing ski poles and ski boots than gender difference.

Now it’s argued that women may be better off with skis catering to their shape and anatomy. Men’s skis are often labeled as unisex and can be used by women, but women may get less tired on a softer, more forgiving ski with a “waist” that’s a bit further forward.

Construction

Three ski construction types exist: cap, sidewall, (or sandwich) and hybrid, a combo of the two. Cap construction covers the ski’s core with a full casing. This creates lighter weight, lower cost, more flex, and allows easy turns.

Sidewall “sandwiches” core material between walls running along the sides of the ski. Durable and stable, they’re usually heavier and stiffer than cap, but more stable for high speeds. Some offer features from both, for some rigidity of a sidewall but the lower weight and cost of a cap.

Core and laminates

The core keeps top and bottom layers in position and transfers stress between layers when the ski bends or receives impact. Skis began as solid wood, but eventually wood became just one type of core to support other materials. Foam cores have now improved to high performance standards.

Laminates are layers added to the core to give a ski its stiffness, strength and unique attributes of construction. With heat, pressure, and epoxy, layers like metal and fiberglass are permanently bonded together.

Flexibility of skis

How flexible your ski needs to be is determined by the aggressiveness of your normal skiing, your weight, and typical conditions you ski in. Aggressive or heavier skiers need a stiffer ski.

The best skis for the beginner skier or children are the soft ones. They’re easy to learn on. Medium flex skis are great for skiing at a variety of speeds with some stability. Stiff skis are best for the higher speeds of aggressive skiers, or those who are quite heavy.

Length of skis

A quick tutorial on why length of skis matters: the shorter the ski, the faster it will turn, but at higher speeds a short ski is less stable. The longer the ski, the less responsive it is when making turns, but the more stable it is at high speeds.

Check online to find a ski buyers guide that takes you through steps to determine the right ski length. Honestly assess your skill level, weight, and the slope conditions you’re most likely to encounter.

Waist (or underfoot) width

Remember those three numbers that skis have? When categorizing skis, the width underfoot (the waist width) is the starting point. 85-95mm is better for hard snow and 95-105mm is better for soft or variable snow.

Skinnier waists are easy to use for beginners, but if you’re spending much time off-trail, you want a wider waist. Wider skis give you more “float” in powder. In addition, wider skis are more stable in broken snow, so for that reason some consider them more versatile.

Tip width

When you need to float or initiate a turn, both the tip of the ski and length of the ski help. If the tip isn’t effective you’ll slip. Skis have wider tips and tails than the waist, and both tip and tail are about the same length.

Twin tip skis are turned up in the front and the back. This allows you to ski backwards; get into this and you may be hanging with snowboarders! Next you’ll crave a snowboard bag and start looking for a cool snowboard wall mount.

Turn radius

Let’s take a look at ski geometry. “Turn radius” is the size of an arc you can make with a ski when it’s balanced on its edge. Imagine the circle that would be formed by that arc. This turn radius is important for various styles of skiing.

Short-turning skis have a radius less than 12 meters. Between 13-21 meters are medium-turning skis, and those with radius of 22 meters are long-turning. The shape of a downhill ski along with its metal edges facilitates the turning necessary for all-mountain skis.

Tail Type

The tails of the ski finish a turn and control sinking. The tail type impacts the reaction of skis in how they exit a turn. A tail may be flat which is best for high speed racing or aggressive carving.

But a tail can be flared, meaning it’s tapered a bit and turned up slightly. Flared is the most common and most versatile tail shape. Full or partial twin profiles are available. Full twin is generally for those who like to ride “switch” meaning backwards or forwards.

Camber

Cambered skis have the most traditional shape. When the ski is laying flat with no weight on it, its center, that area where the “waist” is located, is raised up. It’s like an upside down U. The contact points of the skis are near the ends.

These skis are stable, have good edge hold, and rebound well on trails. Most all-mountain skis have traditional camber. The opposite style is called rocker, or reverse camber. (Don’t let the dizzying number of options tempt you to switch to snowshoes!)

Rocker type

Rocker is camber upside down, like a right-side up U. Imagine the shape of a rocking chair base. The base of the ski stays flat on the ground but tips and tail rise. They’re the best powder skis for areas like Colorado.

Rocker skis and rocker snowboards don’t catch the snow on their edge, so they float over deep snow and powder. As skis have gotten wider; a rocker shape helps with maneuverability. Rockered skis also absorb vibrations from hitting bumps, rather than sending them to your body.

Weight of skis

Ski weights have diminished with the advent of newer materials, on average around 14 to 15 pounds. Might not sound like much, but add the weight of your best ski bindings, some winter boots, and a ski backpack to your ski bag, and you’re guaranteed a workout – just to get your equipment on location!

One time where weight may matter most is when flying. Check with your airlines for weight/size restrictions. Pack light where possible. You’ll likely pay full luggage costs for your ski bag.

Color

The colors on snow skis are just plain fun; vibrant reds and blues, sleek black, bright white, greens and more, and patterns in abundance. Screen printing is a type of finish for skis which has been used for years.

Two other ways color is applied are sublimation and direct digital printing. For sublimation, a graphic is printed on paper, and then transferred via heat and pressure to the top of the ski. Direct digital printing requires more expensive equipment, but results in crisp graphics.

Warranty

As with most warranties, the ones that come with a new set of skis is for the original owner only, and won’t cover normal wear and tear that you’d expect to see. They won’t cover skis you swapped for or bought secondhand.

You may have to absorb the cost of shipping your skis to be repaired or examined, and always keep the original receipt with the warranty. The best all-mountain skis come with a one or two year warranty covering defects or problems with craftsmanship.

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis
Our pick for the best all mountain skis is: Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching all mountain skis.

Frequently Asked Questions

I can afford one pair of skis – what’s best for all-mountain skiing?

You decide which skis are right for you. An all-mountain ski can be any ski that works for you most of the time in conditions you’re likely to encounter. Explore the options, because you’ll want to be able to ski from hardpack to powder.

All-mountain skis typically have a “waist” or underfoot of 85-95mm for hard snow and 95-105mm is soft or variable snow. Flexibility needs depend on your skill level – more flexible for beginners, and less flex if your skill level is higher.

Will all-mountain skis work for most types of terrain?

Most beginners have no idea how to pick skis since skiing conditions can range from delightful fresh powder to icy hard packed snow to heavy slush. With the right skis you can work on developing skills to adapt to most any conditions.

Nearly all manufacturers and retailers agree on two things all-mountain skis can do well: carving on hard-packed snow, or floating freely over fresh snow. Choose skis that can do those, and you’ll be able to go most places and enjoy the challenge.

If I get really good all-mountain skis, can I skimp on other accessories?

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on good skis, and then skimp on bindings and boots. You will regret it, could get injured, and may be tempted to quit. Buy the best all-mountain ski boots you can afford.

If you need to be frugal, go cheap on things that won’t put you at risk, like ski socks and your ski boots bag. Spend time researching and looking for good deals. Suitable skis, bindings and boots will make your entire experience more enjoyable.

How important are other specs of all-mountain skis like tip, tail, camber, and rocker?

It’s a bit overwhelming to encounter the myriad of suggestions out there for all-mountain skis, along with the equipment that goes with them. As if choosing a ski jacket and ski pants isn’t challenging enough!

You can count on a few reliable guidelines. First you should to determine your budget limit. Your body build, gender, and the conditions you’ll be skiing in most frequently will dictate much of what you should consider before a purchase. Ask lots of questions!

Which is better – a wood core or a foam core?

Originally all skis were made of solid wood. Now there are various types of cores, and wood remains a strong favorite. Wood is the more expensive choice for core material. At first foam cores were considered poor quality and used in the cheapest skis.

Now foam is high density and reinforced, so it’s considered a good core material. Remember, the best all-mountain skis are simply the ones that work best for you in the conditions you’re most likely to encounter.

Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis
Our pick for the best all mountain skis is: Nordica Enforcer 100 All-Mountain Skis. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching all mountain skis.

Sources

  1. Safety knowledge and risk behaviour of injured and uninjured young skiers and snowboarders, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Sep 3, 1998
  2. Cross Country / Down Hill Skiing, Amery, WI
  3. Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding, Saint Paul, Minnesota
  4. Skis, Beginner Skis, Advanced Skis, USCSA Division Ski Team Colorado Ski Racing
  5. Freeskiing, Wikipedia
  6. How to Avoid Ski & Snowboarding Injuries, University of Utah Health, Jan 14, 2014
  7. Come Off The Mountain In One Piece, Hospital for Special Surgery, Nov 16, 2011
  8. The Downside of Skiing: Slopes Invite Scars, But Safety Precautions Are Simple, UCONN Health, Oct 13, 2008
  9. Volunteer ski patrol at Beaver takes safety seriously, Utah State University, Mar 18, 2004
  10. Alpine skiing, Wikipedia

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