2021 Ski Comparisons: Women's 90mm All Mountain Ski Guide Lead Image

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

2021 SKI COMPARISONS: WOMEN'S 90 MM ALL MOUNTAIN SKI GUIDE

For our first 2021 women's comparison article and video, we're looking at all-mountain skis around the 90 mm waist width mark. There's a lot of variety in these skis, but overall they are all skis you can choose as "daily drivers" for just about any resort in the world. As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment or contact us directly. Next, we'll being going wider into the 100 mm width range and above, which includes skis designed more for soft snow specifically and freeride performance.

AT A GLANCE


2021 Armada Victa 87 Ti Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

155, 163, 171 cm

16.5 m at 163 cm

128 / 86 / 118.5 mm

Poplar Wood Core with Titanal Laminates and Carbon-Kevlar Struts

Edge Grip, Responsiveness, Precision


Overview:

The Victa 87 Ti from Armada is a fun ski to start with. It’s one of the narrowest skis in this comparison and effectively blends frontside precision and responsiveness with all-mountain versatility. Armada uses a poplar woo core with titanal laminates and carbon-kevlar struts in this ski’s construction. There’s a little bit of tip rocker with a flatter tail. That construction and the tail shape gives it really good edge grip on firm snow. The metal laminates provide plenty of vibration damping, while the carbon-kevlar struts provide a snappy, energetic feel out of each turn. It also still feels lightweight on your feet despite the metal in its construction, which gives it a rewarding, agile feel. The flatter tail does require more skier input if you’re taking it off tail, as the lack of tail rocker means you need to actively unweight the ski to get it to swing around.

Who it's For:

Relatively advanced skiers who value frontside performance and responsiveness above all else, but still want a ski they can take off trail from time to time.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

147, 153, 159, 165, 171, 177 cm

14 m at 165 cm

128 / 88 / 110 mm

True Blend Wood Core with Carbon

Versatility, Forgiveness, Responsiveness


Overview:

The popular Black Pearl 88 is back for the 2021 season with a few valuable updates. For one, we get more length options that are closer together, which makes it easier to find a length that feels right for you. We also get construction updates in the form of Blizzard’s new True Blend wood core. Denser strips of wood are laminated alongside lighter wood in specific spots in the ski, which allows engineers to custom tweak the flex pattern in each length of the ski. Longer lengths will be stiffer, shorter lengths are softer, which is actually often the opposite in “traditional” ski construction. The overall theme of this ski still holds true. It’s relatively lightweight, pretty easy to ski, yet has a high-performance ceiling. It feels equally capable both on trail and in off-piste terrain like moguls. That versatility and the wide range of abilities that can ski it has made it the most popular women’s ski on the market, and this version is even better than every before.

Who it's For:

A wide range of skiers looking for a versatile all-mountain ski that won’t ever feel too demanding, yet offers plenty of performance for more advanced ladies.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Blizzard Sheeva 9 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

148, 157, 164, 172 cm

14 m at 164 cm

124 / 92 / 114 mm

Wood Core with DRT Partial Metal

Playfulness, Versatility, Stability


Overview:

The Sheeva 9 is another versatile all-mountain ski from Blizzard, but its design features a lot more freeride influence. There’s more rocker in the Sheeva 9, especially in the tail, and there’s also a partial metal laminate underfoot. The rocker profile makes it more capable in softer snow conditions and un-groomed terrain, while the metal provides more power and stability at speed than the Black Pearl. That makes it slightly more demanding as it feels a little stiffer and a little heavier, so is going to require more of an advanced level skier than the less-demanding Black Pearl. The Sheeva 9 feels like a ski that always wants to play and loves being taken off trail, but you still get good edge grip from the camber and metal underfoot. Tail release will be easier than a lot of skis in this category because of the amount of tail rocker, but that’s to be taken with a grain of salt as an intermediate might still be a bit overwhelmed by the metal underfoot.

Who it's For:

Playful, adventurous skiers who prefer spending more time off-piste than on trail, but still value stability, power, and vibration damping.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Dynastar M-Pro 90 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

154, 162, 170 cm

13 m at 162 cm

118 / 88 / 108 mm

Hybrid Poplar PU Core with Titanal Rocket Frame

Power, Stability, Versatility


Overview:

The M-Pro 90 from Dynastar is kind of like a Sheeva 9 in the front and a Victa 87 Ti in the back. Skis like this are sometimes described as “reverse mullet” skis… party in the front, business in the back. Dynastar’s new all-mountain ski uses long rocker in the tip with lots of early taper too. In the tail, the ski is flatter and more squared off. They also use a metal laminate called Titanal Rocket Frame. That metal is thinner in the forebody of the ski and wider in the tail, corresponding to the ski’s shape. You get a ton of versatility out of the tip of the ski in the form of different turn shapes and soft snow performance, but then the tail of the ski can hold an edge with the best of them and has a distinctly powerful feel. These new M-Pro models have earned the praise of “a real skier’s ski” among our staff. It won’t pull you into a turn like some, rather requires skier input and lets you put your signature stamp on whatever terrain you’re skiing.

Who it's For:

Relatively advanced skiers who value edge grip, stability, and power, but don’t want a ski that feels like it’s stuck on groomers.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Elan Ripstick 88 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

146, 154, 162, 170, 178 cm

14.2 m at 162 cm

130 / 88 / 105 mm

Tubelite Wood Core with Carbon Rods

Playfulness, Versatility, Edge Grip


Overview:

The Ripstick 88 is one of the lightest skis in this comparison and also one of the most versatile. Elan’s skis are relatively unique right now, and they’re really good too. Elan utilizes carbon in the Ripstick 88 both in the form of 3 dimensional tubes as well as more traditional partial laminates along the inside edge for increased edge grip. Inside edge? That’s right, the Ripstick 88 comes in specific right and left skis with more camber along the inside edge and more rocker along the outside edge. That gives it a distinctly intuitive feel as the ski enters a turn incredibly smoothly while feeling exceptionally balanced. It’s a relatively soft flex pattern, but the use of carbon provides impressive vibration damping an edge grip. That means you get a ski that can feel quite playful when you take it into the trees, moguls, and other off-piste terrain, while still being able to lay over some impressive carves on firm snow.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for an all-mountain ski that’s highly versatile and just a lot of fun. You can do it all on the Ripstick 88 and its performance is something that can be enjoyed by intermediates and experts alike.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Fischer Ranger 92 Ti Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

155, 163, 171, 178 cm

16 m at 171 cm

126 / 91 / 116 mm

Aeroshape Wood Core with Partial Metal Laminate and Carbon Nose

Versatility, Flotation, Stability


Overview:

The Ranger 92 Ti is one of the wider skis in this comparison and not surprisingly also one of the best in soft snow conditions. Fischer’s signature Carbon Nose provides a ton of float as well as a light swing weight. The use of metal in the ski’s construction, which actually connects to that carbon nose, gives it a really stable feel underfoot and good vibration damping. Like the M-Pro 90, it’s versatile and highly capable in soft snow and un-groomed terrain, but it also holds an edge well and will respond well to really aggressive skiing. Despite all this power, it’s still relatively lightweight, which is supported by the fact that Fischer includes a skin attachment point on the tail if you’re interested in using it as an alpine touring ski.

Who it's For:

Relatively advanced skiers looking for a versatile all-mountain ski with plenty of soft snow and off-piste performance. The tail shape and metal laminates make it a bit of a handful for most intermediates.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Head Kore 87 W Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

153, 162, 171 cm

14.3 m at 171 cm

127 / 85 / 107 mm

Karuba Wood Core with Koroyd, Graphene, and Carbon

Quickness, Versatility, Stability


Overview:

A new ski for 2021, the Kore 87 W is now the narrowest ski in Head’s Kore collection. It is, not surprisingly, also the quickest edge to edge and the most agile. Head’s construction is quite unique, utilizing a blend of Karuba wood, Koroyd, Graphene, and carbon. The result is a ski that’s lighter than most, while still being impressively stiff. It holds an edge well on firm snow, but it’s also super playful and very nimble in terrain like moguls and tight trees. The stiffer flex pattern may feel a little too demanding for a less aggressive skier, but we’re still perfectly comfortable recommending the Kore 87 for an intermediate level skier. What’s really nice about it is it’s approachable and not overly fatiguing, but also something that a skier can use as a tool for progression as it has a very high performance ceiling.

Who it's For:

Skiers who value a lightweight feel and all-mountain versatility, but don’t want to sacrifice firm snow performance, stability, and edge grip.


AT A GLANCE


2021 K2 Mindbender 90C Alliance Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.5 m at 163 cm

127 / 90 / 113 mm

Aspen Veneer Wood Core with Spectral Braid

Versatility, Playfulness, Energy


Overview:

We have two Mindbender skis in this comparison. They share very similar shapes and widths, with different materials in their construction. This one uses carbon in the form of K2’s Spectral Braid. The carbon weave is tighter in the forebody of the ski and looser in the tail of the ski. This gives you more torsional stiffness in the tip and allows for easier edge release in the tail. The carbon also allows for a slightly softer longitudinal flex pattern, and gives it more energy and responsiveness. Overall, the Mindbender 90C is more playful than the 88Ti, with both being very versatile all-mountain skis. The snappy, energetic flex pattern of the 90C is highly rewarding and something that a lot of skiers will really enjoy. The shape of the Mindbender skis is intended to cross over between firm snow and soft snow without skipping a beat, which is certainly true in the Mindbender 90C.

Who it's For:

Playful all-mountain skiers who value energy over vibration damping and stability and want a ski that feels perfectly capable anywhere you take it, a lot like the Black Pearl 88.


AT A GLANCE


2021 K2 Mindbender 88Ti Alliance Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.7 m at 163 cm

125 / 88 / 112 mm

Aspen Veneer Wood Core with Titanal Y-Beam

Stability, Edge Grip, Versatility


Overview:

Instead of the Carbon Spectral Braid, this Mindbender 88Ti uses K2’s Titanal Y-Beam. That metal gives it more vibration damping and a more powerful feel when you’re driving high speed turns on firm snow. On the other hand, it also makes it heavier, which takes away some of the playfulness and quickness of the 90C. It’s really nice having both options as within the Mindbender line you can match the construction with how you ski. The idea is the same as you get more torsional stiffness in the forebody and less in the tail. That means even though this ski feels more powerful, it still has reasonably easy edge release if you decide to take it into moguls or trees and need to make pivoting turns. Because it’s heavier, however, those turns take more effort, which in general requires a higher level skier and someone comfortable giving a ski a lot of skier input.

Who it's For:

Aggressive skiers who value having metal in their skis, but still want something that’s versatile for the whole mountain and doesn’t feel pigeon-holed to groomers.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Liberty Genesis 90 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165 cm

13 m at 158 cm

126 / 90 / 112 mm

Poplar and Bamboo Wood Core

Playfulness, Quickness, Forgiveness


Overview:

The Genesis 90 is one of the most playful skis in this comparison, if not the most. It uses a relatively simple wood core made from a blend of poplar and bamboo, which keeps the weight down and the flex pattern relatively soft. It’s almost a twin tip with plenty of tail rocker to go along with significant tip rocker as well. The result of that combination is a ski that’s highly maneuverable, very playful, as well as being relatively forgiving. You don’t get the most edge grip or stability, but it’s a very rewarding skiing experience and performance that can be enjoyed basically at any speed. We love the performance of the Genesis 90 for moguls and trees and it’s a ski that an intermediate could use to start progressing into more challenging and technical skiing terrain.

Who it's For:

Playful skiers who value a lightweight feel and maneuverability more than stability, edge grip, or power.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Line Pandora 94 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

14.5 m

131 / 94 / 117 mm

Aspenlite Wood Core with Carbon Stringers

Flotation, Maneuverability, Versatility


Overview:

In a lot of ways, the Pandora 94 is pretty similar to the Genesis 90. Line, however, uses carbon stringers in the Pandora to give it a little more edge grip and a slightly more stable feel at speed as well. Still, the goals of the Pandora 94 are more along the lines of soft snow, maneuverability, and playfulness than edge grip or power, like the Liberty. This is one of the best soft snow skis in this category one of the few skis that would really make a good alpine touring setup. It’s lightweight, maneuverable, and a whole lot of fun to ski. Camber underfoot and the carbon stringers do help on firm snow, but the highlight of the Pandora isn’t its ability on groomers, it’s how well it can handle off-piste terrain and soft snow.

Who it's For:

Skiers who spend more time off trail than cruising groomers. You should have a playful, adventurous skiing style.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Nordica Santa Ana 88 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

15 m at 165 cm

119 / 88 / 107 mm

Balsa Wood Core with Terrain Specific Metal

Versatility, Stability, Power


Overview:

Nordica updated the construction in the Santa Ana 88 for 2021 to include their new Terrain Specific Metal. The new construction retains what we loved about the previous Santa Ana, it’s edge grip, stability, and smooth feel, but by taking some metal out, Nordica has made the ski lighter and a touch more versatile. In fact, this might be the most versatile shape out of all the skis in this comparison that use metal in their construction. Its performance on firm snow will satisfy even aggressive expert skiers, yet it feels easier to ski and a little more forgiving than most skis that reach this level of performance. Nordica’s shape is really good. When you’re skiing a flat ski, the rocker profile allows for a shorter effective edge and more maneuverability. As you tip it on edge, you’re engaging more of the edge, and increasing overall edge grip, responsiveness, and stability.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert skiers who want a high performing, stable ski for firm snow, but something that won’t feel terribly demanding when you take it off trail.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Rossignol Experience 88 TI Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

159, 166, 173 cm

14 m

127 / 88 / 117 mm

HD Core with Titanal Beam

Versatility, Stability, Edge Grip


Overview:

The Experience 88 Ti from Rossignol uses their Line Control Technology, a vertical strip of metal through the center of the ski. That provides stability and power as well as really good counter-flexing, which means you get consistent edge grip and a lot of control over your skis. Rossignol’s Air Tip does take the swing weight down, which combined with the ski’s tip rocker gives it reasonably good performance off trail too. In fact, it’s one of the more well-rounded skis in this comparison and a good one to consider if you’re only going to have one pair of skis. Because of the way the metal is positioned, there ends up being less of it. So even though you get the performance benefits like stability and power, the ski weighs quite a bit less than those full horizontal laminates, which makes it a little more approachable for a less aggressive skier as well as less fatiguing overall.

Who it's For:

Intermediate to expert skiers looking for a well-rounded all mountain ski with an even mix of performance characteristics.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Rossignol BLACKOPS Stargazer Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

154, 162, 170 cm

13 m

127 / 94 / 117 mm

Paulownia Wood Core with Diago Fiber

Flotation, Maneuverability, Versatility


Overview:

The BLACKOPS Stargazer is a new ski and the replacement for the highly maneuverable Sky 7. This ski is one of the widest in this comparison and one of the best in soft snow. Rossignol set out to retain the performance benefits of the Sky 7 like its maneuverability, flotation in deep snow, and ease of use, while giving its replacement more edge grip and more stability overall. They do this by lengthening the effective edge of the ski by taking away some of its early taper. It still has a lot of freeride influence in its design, but it’s much more well-rounded now. From carving groomers to maneuvering through trees and making big turns in powder bowls, the BLACKOPS Stargazer is a highly versatile ski that could be a good daily driver for someone who prefers off-piste terrain.

Who it's For:

Adventurous skiers who enjoy looking for soft snow and off-piste terrain, but also want something that can hold its own on groomers.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Salomon Stance 88 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

154, 161, 168, 174 cm

17 m at 161 cm

120 / 88 / 102 mm

Karuba and Poplar Wood Core with Metal Twin Frame

Stability, Power, Vibration Damping


Overview:

The Stance 88 is a brand new ski for Salomon, designed to complement the existing QST line. These skis use a lot of metal, in fact, they use more metal than any other ski in this comparison. Salomon includes two full sheets of metal with relatively small windows removed from the top metal laminate. That takes some weight out of the ski, while retaining all the benefits of two sheets of metal. It’s easily among the most powerful, most stable, and also most demanding skis in this comparison. Although it’s designed more for on trail stability and power, you can take it off trail too thanks to subtle rocker and some smooth early taper in the tips and tails. Just remember that because of the weight and its flex pattern, it’s going to be more demanding than a ski like the QST 92.

Who it's For:

Aggressive advanced and expert skiers who value stability, power, and edge grip over maneuverability or a lightweight feel.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Salomon QST 92 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

153, 161, 169 cm

16 m at 161 cm

129 / 92 / 112 mm

Wood Core with Carbon Powered C/FX

Versatility, Maneuverability, Playfulness


Overview:

The Salomon QST 92 is kind of on the other side of the performance spectrum compared to the Stance 88. It has more rocker, it’s lighter overall, it’s softer flexing, and it’s designed more for maneuverability and soft snow performance than stability at speed. It’s another one of those skis that feels extremely well-rounded. You can ski it in soft snow and off-piste terrain and it performs really well. The tip shape gives it some of the best float in this category as it’s fairly wide in the tip and blunt too. There’s more freeride influence in this ski’s design than the Stance, and it’s noticeable in its performance. More playful, more maneuverable in challenging terrain and at slower speeds, and even a good candidate for an alpine touring binding like the Salomon Shift.

Who it's For:

Skiers who enjoy exploring the whole mountain and don’t want to feel held back anywhere they go. You also value maneuverability and versatility more than raw power.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Volkl Kenja 88 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14 m at 163 cm

129 / 88 / 111 mm

Multilayer Wood Core with Titanal Frame

Precision, Power, Edge Grip


Overview:

The Kenja 88 is a classic ski from Volkl that rivals the Stance 88 in this comparison for the title of “most powerful ski.” There’s a little bit less metal in the Kenja, which makes it a little bit lighter, but the flex pattern, edge grip, and overall stability is just as good as the Stance. You could say the Stance has better vibration damping I suppose, but that’s a marginal difference and also comes along with a more fatiguing feel. The Kenja’s use of 3D Radius is also really cool, and allows you to more easily make different size carving turns. Volkl’s relatively new Titanal Frame construction has plenty of power and stability, but by not connecting the metal underfoot, Volkl has given it a touch of approachability and a bigger sweet spot. That construction also improves its performance at slower speeds, although the Kenja is one of those skis that kind of gets better the faster you go.

Who it's For:

Aggressive skiers who value edge grip, precision, and responsiveness. You’re willing to sacrifice some versatility and forgiveness for raw power.


AT A GLANCE


2021 Volkl Blaze 94 Women’s Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

158, 165, 172 cm

14 m at 165 cm

134 / 94 / 116 mm

Hybrid Multilayer Wood Core with Titanal Power Plate

Lightweight, Versatility, Maneuverability


Overview:

The Blaze 94 is probably the lightest ski in this category and one of the best for skiers who value soft snow performance and off-piste terrain over firm snow power. At 94 mm underfoot, it’s one of the widest skis in this comparison. It also uses quite a lot of rocker in the tips and tails, which gives it really good float. Its construction is exceptionally light, which makes it easy to maneuver and less fatiguing over a long day of skiing. 3D Radius lets you flex it into shorter turns, like the Kenja, although it’s even more pronounced in the Blaze which allows for a wide range of turn shapes and styles. Mount an alpine touring binding on it and you’re taking its versatility to the next level. It’s easily light enough for the ascent, and its versatile, playful, lightweight performance makes it a blast when you’re coming back down in a variety of different terrain.

Who it's For:

Adventurous skiers who want to explore new terrain and prefer seeking out soft snow over ripping high speed groomer turns.


Written by Jeff Neagle on 11/05/20

12 thoughts on “2021 SKI COMPARISONS: WOMEN'S 90 MM ALL MOUNTAIN SKI GUIDE

  1. I have skied Volkls for the last 20 years. I usually ski out west, but now I am in the east due to Covid and not traveling. I have an old pair of Auras that I loved and tried to replace them with a new Aura a few years ago. The new Aura, rips on groomers, but is too burly for bumps.. I love bumps! So, that was a mistake ! Last year I tried the Head Core, and liked them. I also tried the Völkl Secret and loved them, but I was exhausted by the end of the day because they are demanding. I am excited about the Völkl Blaze. Will it be as much fun in the bumps as the Head Core? And will it hold an edge on hard pack and ice? Thanks, cindy

    1. Hi Cindy!
      I'd put them on par with the Kore in the bumps, but not out of the bumps. The Kore is a stronger ski for hard pack and ice, so there will be a compromise to be made there. I'd also add the Nordica Santa Ana 93 to that list--kind of in-between the Kore and the Secret. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hi SE,

    I am looking to replace my old Rossignol Bandit B2s (158 length, 78 waist), and am on the fence about what to select, as well as sizing. I am 39 y/o, 5'8", ~130lbs. I ski primarily in VT, on groomers (hardpack and ice). I would consider myself an advanced intermediate, and would like to have something that will allow/push me to improve.

    I am currently debating between the Rossignol Experience 88, Black Pearl 88 or 82, and Yumi 84.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    -Sarah

    1. Sarah, have you consider the Volkl secret in your scenario. I tried it last week and it’s demanding but think the skimmer underfoot would be great for east coast. It’s grippy and poppy in groomers, icy and rough terrains.

  3. Would love some recommendations. Hunting for an all mountain ski that will help build confidence on steeper terrain and that I can learn bumps and how to ski off piste. I'm currently on the Kenja 88s and they just feel stiff and like too much ski. I do appreciate how damp they are. I'm 5'6" 145 and ski primarily in PNW corner of Montana.
    Thanks!

    1. HI Nancy!
      Check out the Volkl Yumi 84, Nordica Astral 84, and Rossignol Experience 84. All of these skis are a tad narrower and a bit more compliant than the Kenja, and should help you get into the bumps and trees with greater confidence. Still have a pretty high-gear as well! I'd look to the upper 150's to low 160's for lengths. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi SE,
    As it is right around Labor Day, I am looking into new skis and was wondering if you could help me out with some recommendations. I'm 5'3", 120 lbs, primarily ski in Utah/Colorado (but will be trying some East Coast skiing, as we'll be moving there in a season or two). I'm an experienced skier, and I thrive/love skiing on-piste, carving at speed, working on technique, and jumping into bump runs for some time. I've been skiing on demo skis (2019/2020 season) to find a ski that works for me and really liked the RMU Valhalla 93, but as those are hard to come by, sometimes, and they've updated to a 97, I'm looking for other options to consider. I like the idea of a tight turn radius with a slight rocker underfoot, so I've been researching 4FRNT's MSP CC, Head KORE (If I can find any for sale), and the Elan Ripstick. I'm ready to just jump in buying a ski this labor day and having a full season to use it! I like supporting some of the more indie ski makers like RMU or 4FRNT, but ultimately, I want to make sure I have the right ski for me. Any advice you could help with would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    1. HI Stanzie!
      The good news is that whether indie or mainstream, there's a lot in the low to mid-90's out there. Keep in mind that Kore 93 and 91 W are same ski, just calling it what it is per reference length, so that can expand your search. You may find the Ripstick to be on the softer/more flexible side in the shovel. Also check out Black Crows Serpo and Line Pandora/Sick Day 94. Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi team! Loving your reviews. I’m an intermediate-advanced skier in New Zealand, looking for a freeride ski to go over the whole mountain. We don’t often get a lot of powder, so will be skiing mostly on blacks runs and off-piste where I can, but if we get powder I’ll be skiing in it all day. 5’6” and 130 pounds, I normally ski a shorter ski (157cm) as I prefer the manoeuvrability but just wondering your opinion on this! Looking closely at the Fischer Ranger 92 ti and Blizzard Sheeva 9. Would greatly appreciate any advice, thanks!

    1. Thanks, Isabel!
      The big difference is in the shovel. The Ranger has the carbon nose which is a bit stiffer and lower-profile than that of the Sheeva. In either fresh or hard snow, I think it works a bit better than the tips of the Blizzard, but in choppy snow, the stiffness can be a bit chatty/deflective versus the more supple nature of the Sheeva. I think that for maneuverability and consistency in turns, the Sheeva has a bit more upside, but for on-trail performance, the Ranger 92 is highly underrated. Also, if you're in the shorter lengths, the waist of the Ranger gets narrower, so you're more into the upper 80's to 90 mm underfoot while the Sheeva stands pat at 92. On-trail and in a carved turn, I'd go with the Ranger all day. Have fun!
      SE

  6. Hello experts!
    Like your reviews!
    I’m a former racer/ expert skier
    5’5” 135 lbs
    I’m 58 years old and can still rip it up.
    I need to slow myself down so I don’t get hurt
    Concerned about a wider ski, due to my style.
    Looking at the head Kore 91w 163 or 170
    the volkl secret 92
    The nordica Santa Ana
    The blizzard black pearl 88

    What do you advise and in what length?

    1. Hi Beth!
      When former racers and expert skiers write in for an all-mountain ski that can rip, my mind instantly wanders to the Santa Ana 88 and the Volkl Kenja 88. These skis, even with metal laminates, are still on the lighter and more maneuverable side without sacrificing much, if anything, from a performance perspective. I'd keep it to the 88's for edge grip and performance to go along with being easier on the knees. I think you'd find the Black Pearl and the Kore to be on the light side of the spectrum, so unless you're really looking to slow it down, I'd stick to the Kenja/Santa Ana lines. For sizing, I'd look to the mid-160's in either of those skis. Have fun!
      SE

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