2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's 90mm All Mountain Skis - Lead Image

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's ~90mm All Mountain Ski Guide

As has become tradition here at SkiEssentials.com, the rapidly approaching ski season means it’s time for another round of Ski Comparisons! We spend a lot of time testing and analyzing skis here. You’ll find seemingly endless information through our long-form reviews, annual Ski Test, and lots more. The Comparison Series differs from a lot of our content in the sense that we focus on being more conversational and qualitative. If you want all the nitty gritty details on construction, specs, and all that good stuff, the Ski Test is a great place to start. Here, we aim to discuss highlights of each model, differences among them, and ultimately who the ski is going to be best for.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Declivity 92 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

17.5 m at 180 cm

132 / 92 / 118 mm

AR100 Sidewall, Triaxial Glass

Versatility, Stability, Energy


Overview:

The Declivity 92 Ti is back for another season and is part of what we consider the most successful directional skis Armada has ever built. They strike a nice blend between feeling strong and stable on a groomer as well as agile and versatile in off-piste terrain. Armada uses a unique application of metal called Articulated Titanal Banding, which utilizes longitudinal strips in the metal through the forebody of the ski nearing its tip. This allows the ski to articulate more, or in other words is reducing overall torsional stiffness in the end of the ski. This allows for easier, smoother turn initiation than a lot of skis with metal laminates, but as you ski it harder, those metal strips lock into place and provide a responsive and strong feel. When taking it off trail, an impressively light weight of just over 1800 g in the 180 cm length coupled with reasonable amounts of rocker and taper gives the ski a quick, agile, catch-free feel that really comes in hand in moguls, trees, and other more technical terrain.

Who it's For:

A true all-mountain skier who likes to explore everything the resort has to offer. You also value metal in a ski’s construction and the smoothness and vibration damping that comes along with it, but would prefer something a little lighter than traditional metal-clad skis.

Honorable Mention:

The new Armada Declivity 88 C takes the performance of the 92 Ti and repackages it into a ski that utilizes carbon strips rather than metal. The result is a ski that’s more energetic, quicker, and snappier, although it doesn’t quite have the vibration damping of its bigger, metal brothers. It is, however, certainly a valuable addition to the Declivity line and great for lighter skiers or those who don’t ski particularly fast or aggressively.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Atomic Maverick 88 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

161, 169, 176, 184 cm

18.2 m at 176 cm

125 / 88 / 109.5 mm

HRZN Tips, Fiberglass Laminate

Maneuverability, Versatility, Responsiveness


Overview:

A new ski for 2022, there’s a lot to like about the Maverick 88 Ti. Replacing the Vantage 90 Ti, the Maverick is a more well-rounded ski that undoubtedly is going to satisfy a wider range of skiers. Even lighter than the Declivity at around 1660 g in the 176 cm length, yet it still uses 2 sheets of metal. These manufacturers are really starting to figure out how to keep a ski light, while still including metal. In general, there are definitely some similarities between this ski and the Declivity. If anything, the Maverick feels a little snappier and more energetic than the 92 Ti due to its stiffer flex pattern and lighter weight feel. Rocker and taper in the tips and tails as well as HRZN tech in the tip gives the ski a more maneuverable, versatile, and user-friendly feel in softer snow and off-piste terrain than the outgoing Vantage 90 Ti. Less twitchy than the Vantage, but still plenty of responsiveness and feedback, which has always been a highlight of Atomic’s all-mountain skis.

Who it's For:

Like the Declivity 92 Ti, a true all-mountain skier, and again someone who wants a relatively lightweight ski. You should spend a significant amount of time off trail, as that’s certainly something the Maverick 88 Ti is designed to do, but you still want a strong ski on a groomer too.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Black Crows Orb Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

159.1, 164.4, 169.2, 174.3, 179.1, 184.6 cm

21 m at 174.3 cm

124 / 88 / 109 mm

Double H-Shaped Titanal Plate, Aluminum Tail Inserts

Edge Grip, Versatility, Precision


Overview:

The Black Crows Orb is back again for another season and, like the Declivity and Maverick, is another ski that uses metal laminates in its construction, but still has a relatively lightweight feel. At around 1800 g in the 179.1 cm length, these skis are 2-300 grams lighter than some of the real heavy hitters in this category. To achieve that weight, Black Crows uses 2 H-shaped metal laminates, rather than full sheets. This is similar to construction concepts we see from K2, Volkl, as well as a handful of other brands. By focusing the metal along the edges, you get good stability when you tip the ski on edge, important when driving a high speed carving turn. As the metal in the Orb stops before the tips and tails, it does ski a little shorter than some skis. Shorter than, for example, the Brahma 88 we’re going to look at next. Add in some subtle tip and tail rocker and you’ve got a ski that crosses over between groomed and un-groomed terrain very nicely. Interestingly, the Orb has one of the longest turn radii in this comparison at 21 m. That allows for longer carves and also further reduces the ski’s likeliness to catch in tricky terrain.

Who it's For:

Adventurous all-mountain skiers who like to think out of the box. Black Crows has a ton of freeride skis, and that heritage is noticeable in the performance of the Orb. Strong on a groomer and a good carver, but equally capable off trail and comes with somewhat of a counter-culture attitude, as is true with most Black Crows skis.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Brahma 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165, 171, 177, 183, 189 cm

16 m at 177 cm

128 / 88 / 110 mm

Trueblend, Carbon

Power, Edge Grip, Stability


Overview:

In the video that’s attached to this article, Bob called the Brahma 88 the “fastest ski” in this comparison. While there are a couple skis that can compete with that, he’s more or less correct. The MX88 from Kastle might have something to say about it, but the Brahma 88 is quite possibly the strongest, most stable ski in this category. What comes along with that, however, is a hefty weight figure. The 183 cm length weighs around 2180 g, about 400 g heavier than any ski we’ve looked at so far and earns the title of heaviest ski in this comparison article. That gives it incredible stability at speed, but it’s a more fatiguing ski than most, especially when you try to maneuver it through bumps or trees. Blizzard has made it a little more accessible over the years, with the most recent version feeling the most user-friendly. The 177 cm length has a 16 m turn radius, which really helps it come across the fall line, especially for lighter skiers. Overall, however, it’s still a demanding ski that’s best for aggressive, high speed skiers.

Who it's For:

Speed demons. Advanced and expert level skiers who want to ski fast and want a ski that will hold up to extreme edge angles, high speeds, and powerful skiing. You don’t care as much about slow speed maneuverability or off-piste performance, or at least are willing to work harder in those situations in order to have a ski with no speed limit whatsoever.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Rustler 9 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

18.5 m at 188 cm

127 / 94 / 117 mm

Carbon, Fiberglass

Maneuverability, Versatility, Stability


Overview:

Developed to complement skis like the Brahma 88 and provide more maneuverability and freeride influence, the Rustler 9 has become a staple in the all-mountain category. At 94 mm underfoot, it’s the widest ski in this comparison, and one of the best in soft snow as well. Differing than skis like the Brahma and Bonafide, the Rustler uses Blizzard’s DRT construction and shaping. DRT stands for Dynamic Release Technology, which represents the idea that the Rustler 9 will release its tail edge more easily, allowing for smears, pivoting turns, skidded turns, etc. This drastically increases maneuverability and its capabilities in soft snow conditions. Great tree ski, especially here on the east coast, and you see a lot of these at our home mountain of Stowe as it can both handle our tight, technical trees and hold an edge on those super-firm, borderline-icy days. Interestingly, although it’s a very maneuverable ski, it’s still on the heavier side of the spectrum at about 2000 g in the 180 cm length. Maneuverable and highly versatile, but it won’t be as quick as some of the lighter skis here.

Who it's For:

Skiers who value off-piste performance and maneuverability, but still want a ski that feels strong, stable, and damp on a groomer. You should spend a decent amount of time in softer snow conditions and un-groomed terrain, otherwise you’d likely be better off with a narrower ski.


AT A GLANCE


2022 DPS Pagoda Piste 90 RP Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

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SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

152, 157, 165, 171, 179, 184 cm

15 m at 179 cm

119 / 90 / 106 mm

Dual Carbon Laminate

Maneuverability, Quickness, Responsiveness


Overview:

The Pagoda Piste 90 RP is certainly one of the most unique skis in this comparison. Then again, DPS as a company is relatively unique, so perhaps that goes without saying. DPS introduced their new Pagoda Piste construction last season, the latest and best in their evolution of using carbon fiber in their skis. At right around 1840 g, it’s not the lightest ski in this comparison, but at least on the lighter side of the spectrum. DPS uses some dense wood in the ski’s core, which is where a lot of that weight is coming from. What’s unique about the DPS use of carbon is its quality. Aerospace grade carbon fiber comes along with a hefty price tag, but doesn’t degrade over time, meaning the Pagoda Piste 90 RP will perform the same on day. 500 as day 1. We also get an impressive amount of vibration damping out of this construction, almost as if it had some metal in there. The RP tag on these skis means they have a 15 m turn radius, the shortest of this comparison. That shape combined with the responsiveness of carbon results in a ski that’s incredibly quick, agile, and responsive. The shorter effective edge can make it twitchy at really high speeds, but DPS has other Pagoda Piste skis with less rocker and taper to fill that role.

Who it's For:

A skier who values maneuverability, quickness, and agility over edge grip, stability, and speed. You likely spend a lot of time off trail in the bumps and trees, and even when you’re on a groomer, you’re often found playing around with short turns on the side of the trail.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Dynastar M-Pro 90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

162, 170, 178, 186 cm

18 m at 178 cm

120 / 90 /110 mm

Hybrid PU, Fiberglass

Responsiveness, Versatility, Edge Grip


Overview:

The M-Pro 90 returns for another season after a successful launch. The M-Pro line took over for the Legend skis of past. They have some similarities, but new construction and new shapes have taken their performance of the next level. The Hybrid PU construction blends a wood core with a PU material along the edges. That unique material gives the ski a more robust feel and more vibration damping. Dynastar then adds their Titanal Rocket Frame. This application of metal is thinner through the forebody then widens as it reaches the tail, almost going to full width. The shape is interesting and matches the ski’s construction with far more rocker and taper in the tip than in the tail. This tip shape allows for versatility in turn shapes and also increases the ski’s ability in soft snow. The flatter, stiffer tail means the ski will hold on through a turn and complete it with some power. We often refer to the M-Pro 90 as a real “skier’s ski.” Some skis feel like they’re pulling you into a turn, but with the long rocker and taper in the tip, the skier needs to tell the M-Pro 90 what to do. Advanced and expert skiers will love how they can manipulate the ski into your own personal style. Just 1750 g as well, so despite the flatter tail, they’re still relatively easy to maneuver for an accomplished skier.

Who it's For:

Skiers will good technique who like to explore the whole mountain and value versatility and true all-mountain performance over frontside carving. This ski will carve, but doesn’t feel specifically like a wide carving ski as some in this comparison do.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

15.4 m at 172 cm

130 / 88 / 105 mm

Carbon Rods, Vapor Tips

Energy, Maneuverability, Versatility


Overview:

The Ripstick 88 is another relatively unique ski in this list. Another carry-forward ski, and takes the title of lightest ski in this comparison at around 1580 g in the 180 cm length. That’s not the most unique thing about it, however. Elan’s use of carbon is unlike anything else in the industry. The Ripstick 88 utilizes 2 carbon tubes running through the core, near the edges of the ski. These carbon tubes provide performance in a 360 degree spectrum, rather than the more 2-dimensional performance of typical carbon laminates. This allows for way more vibration damping than most carbon skis and a very smooth feel. We also get left and right skis, with more camber along the inside edge and rocker along the outside edge. This shaping provides an incredibly intuitive feel, and also allows Elan to build the inside edges a little stronger, so you get good edge grip when you stand on your outside ski in a turn. These skis are light, energetic, snappy, playful, maneuverable, and fun, but still can lay over some impressive carves too. Not as much power as many of the skis in this list, but a perfectly reasonable tradeoff, and a beneficial tradeoff for a huge number of skiers.

Who it's For:

Skiers who value maneuverability and playfulness. This ski loves trees, loves bumps, and just loves to have fun. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up carving either, the Ripstick 88 still carves very well. A very well-rounded and rewarding all-mountain ski, and it won’t tire you out either.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Fischer Ranger 92 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

171, 178, 185 cm

17 m at 178 cm

126 / 91 / 116 mm

Air Carbon, Carbon Nose

Stability, Float, Versatility


Overview:

One of the wider skis in this comparison, the Ranger 92 Ti offers more soft snow performance and a little more freeride influence. Fischer is another company with relatively unique construction, most notably their Carbon Nose, which has become somewhat of a defining feature on all Ranger skis. The lightweight tip is also quite wide, which provides some great float for a ski in this category. The tail is much flatter, and there’s good camber underfoot as well as some metal, which does connect to the Carbon Nose too. That means that although you get food float and soft snow performance out of the tip, the rest of the ski is quite strong, which provides good stability and power when you’re skiing fast. On our scale, however, it came out to just 1780 g, another example of how good modern ski construction can be. Strong, stable, yet also lightweight. Fischer even goes as far as including a skin attachment point on the tail of the ski, and yes, we concur that it’s one of the best options in this list for alpine touring.

Who it's For:

You’re an all-mountain skier with more of a freeride mindset. If there’s soft snow to be found, you’re going to find it, or you’re at least going to try your darndest. Chairlifts are cool, but you’re also the type of skier who might hike to a more remote sidecountry zone or just grab your skins and go on an adventure.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 87 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

156, 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm

16 m at 177 cm

130 / 87 / 110 mm

Multi Layer Carbon Sandwich Cap

Responsiveness, Quickness, Energy


Overview:

Head has tweaked their Kore collection for 2022 with a new breakdown in sizes as well as updated construction. Koroyd is gone from the ski’s construction and there’s a new application of carbon. The result is a much smoother ski. Less twitchy and more stable overall, but still light and responsive, which have always been two highlights of the Kore series. Just 1593 g, so one of the lightest skis in this comparison. It is, however, quite a bit stiffer than the Ripstick 88, the other ski we’ve discussed so far that falls under 1600 g. That makes it a little bit less forgiving, especially in places like bumps and trees, but increases responsiveness, which is exceptionally noticeable on firm snow. The stiff flex and lightweight feel gives it a unique feel and an interesting application. Interestingly, we find it best for skiers who stick to moderate speeds and prefer deliberate motions with good technique. It’s not the best for a wilder skier who just points their tips down the fall line and goes. It rewards good technique and loves to wiggle through the troughs of moguls and make quick turns on groomers.

Who it's For:

Despite the lightweight spec, we actually think the Kore 87 is best for someone who spends most of their time within the resort, and realistically most of their time on groomed slopes too. You have great technique and are an accomplished skier, but you don’t ski super fast anymore.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

17.9 m at 177 cm

127 / 90 / 114 mm

Powerwall

Stability, Versatility, Edge Grip


Overview:

The Mindbender 90Ti feels like we’re circling back to the beginning of this comparison. With the first we skis we looked at, we talked a lot about their versatility as all-mountain skis. The Mindbender 90Ti is another ski with a relatively even mix of performance characteristics, and that’s certainly not by mistake. K2’s goal with the Mindbender is to control the torsional stiffness in different portions of the ski. They do this with their Titanal Y-Beam construction which focused metal along the edges of the ski in the forebody, but through the center is of the ski in the tail. This means you get a strong front half of the ski that you can push against in a carve, but the tail will release more easily, which comes in handy when controlling speed in skidded or smeared turns and also when you take the ski into ungroomed terrain and softer snow conditions. There is some heft to it at just over 2000 g, which places it among some of the more stable skis in this comparison, but it’s not as demanding as skis like the Brahma 88 or MX88 and offers a touch of forgiveness as well.

Who it's For:

Relatively aggressive skiers who prefer a strong ski and don’t mind some weight, but don’t want to feel stuck to groomers. You can explore the whole mountain on the Mindbender 90 Ti and you’ll always have an appropriate tool for the task at hand.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 90C Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

156, 163, 170, 177 cm

17.5 m at 177 cm

127 / 90 / 113 mm

Carbon Boost, Carbon Spectral Braid

Versatility, Forgiveness, Maneuverability


Overview:

The Mindbender 90C is basically the same exact ski as the 90Ti, but replaces the Titanal Y Beam construction with Carbon Spectral Braid. The idea is still the same, control torsional stiffness in different portions of the ski. In this case, the carbon weave is tighter in the forebody of the ski and looser in the tail. We had a shorter length to measure than the 90Ti, but the 90C came in at 1590 g. Noticeably lighter than the 90Ti, which makes it quicker, less fatiguing, and more approachable for an intermediate level skier. On the other hand, it doesn’t have quite the vibration damping or stability as the 90Ti. A really aggressive skier may push it past its limits, and it isn’t available in lengths as long as the 90Ti, so there are certainly some limitations to who can ski it, but it’s providing a really nice alternative to the heavier ski.

Who it's For:

A lighter-weight or less aggressive skier who wants a well-rounded ski, but doesn’t need metal construction and would benefit more from a lighter ski that’s easier to maneuver. Great for skiers who spend a lot of time off trail because of its quickness, but perfectly appropriate on trail too.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Kastle MX 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

159, 166, 173, 180, 187 cm

18.8 m at 180 cm

130 / 88 / 114 mm

Fiberglass

Stability, Precision, Edge Grip


Overview:

The MX88 is a premium ski that comes along with quite a price tag, but it’s certainly justifiable depending on your bank account. 2030 g in the 180 cm length in the MX88, so lighter than the Brahma 88, but it also uses a relatively dense wood core and 2 sheets of metal. That metal extends all the way to the edge of the ski and through the full length. No partial laminates in these skis! It’s mostly camber too and the tail is very squared off, almost like a race ski. That construction and shape gives it some of the best carving performance in this category, hands-down. It has a preference to finish a carving turn rather than slarve or skid the end of the turn. Kastle also has a distinct feel. You can tell they’re handmade, which is a tough thing to describe with words. If you’ve skied a Kastle, you know what I mean. It’s just as powerful as the Brahma 88, but in some ways feels a little bit more refined. I think it’s fair to say it’s more precise as well with the particularly squared-off tail.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert level skiers who value precision, responsiveness, edge grip, and power in their all-mountain skis. You’re more of a carver than anything else and the majority of your time is spent on groomed slopes.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Liberty Evolv90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165 ,172, 179, 186 cm

18.5 m at 179 cm

132 / 90 / 114 mm

Carbon Stringers

Stability, Vibration Damping, Versatility


Overview:

The Liberty Evolv 90 has been updated for the 2022 ski season and now includes their VMT 3.0 construction. Most notably, we get a third vertical strip of titanal rather than two in the previous versions of these skis. In some ways, that construction is borrowed from the outgoing V Series, and with those skis no longer in the line, the Evolv series is home to Liberty’s most frontside-focused skis. The use of vertical metal strips as opposed to traditional horizontal laminates results in a lighter overall weight, but still delivers strong vibration damping and good stability at speed. In fact, the Evolv 90 is one of the quietest skis we’ve ever tested and feels like it just stays glued to the snow thanks to the excellent counter-flexing properties of those vertical metal strips. There’s not much tail rocker in these skis, so maneuvering them through technical terrain requires some good technique, but they aren’t as catchy as some thanks to relatively low camber height. Overall, however, their highlighting characteristic has to be the way they lay over smooth, powerful arcs on groomers.

Who it's For:

Skiers who love to carve, but have an adventurous side too. There’re more versatility to the Evolv 90 compared to skis like the MX88 or Brahma 88, as well as somewhat of a counter-culture attitude, much like the Black Crows Orb.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186 cm

17.5 m at 186 cm

122 / 88 / 110 mm

Carbon Chassis, True Tip

Responsiveness, Edge Grip, Stability


Overview:

The narrowest Enforcer unsurprisingly delivers the best carving performance of the collection. The Enforcer 88 is quick edge to edge, exceptionally responsive, and relatively user-friendly among skis that use two sheets of metal. The longest 186 cm length has just a 17.5 m turn radius, which is on the shorter side of the spectrum in this comparison. That shorter radius helps the ski feel like it comes across the fall line more easily than most skis with two sheets of metal, making it slightly less fatiguing and more rewarding at moderate speeds than skis like the Brahma or MX88. The taper and rocker shape also gives the ski some good maneuverability. It’s not particularly light at 2070 g in the 179 cm length, so taking it into moguls and trees does require a skilled, athletic skier, but it’s not as challenging as skis in this list with less rocker and/or taper. The Enforcer 88 always makes me feel like a better skier. While some skis with this much metal in their construction are humbling, the Enforcer is a confidence-inspiring ski in how easy it is to control and its eagerness to make the next turn.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert skiers who prefer a shorter carving radius and want a ski that leans more towards responsiveness and round turns rather than direct down-the-fall-line speed. You likely will take it into moguls and trees from time to time as well.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol Experience 86 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

167, 176, 185 cm

16 m at 176 cm

132 / 86 / 120 mm

Carbon Alloy Matrix

Edge Grip, Responsiveness, Quickness


Overview:

Of all the skis in this comparison, the Experience 86 Ti might be the biggest departure from the ski it’s replacing. Rossignol completely redesigned the Experience line for 2022 with some fundamental changes to both shape and construction. The shape does away with the early taper found on previous models and now has very extended sidecut through the extremities of the ski. There’s still some good tip rocker up there, but the shape is noticeably different just based off the lack of taper. There’s no more vertical Line Control metal, rather now we get traditional horizontal titanal laminates. That gives it a stronger overall feel, and when coupled with the new shape, you get way more edge grip and arguably some of the best carving performance of this comparison. It’s not quite as powerful as something like the Brahma 88, but just as responsive and just as precise. In boosting their carving performance, we think it’s fair to say that Rossignol also made them slightly less versatile, but an advanced level skier won’t have any issue with them in the bumps.

Who it's For:

True carving enthusiasts who prefer being on an all-mountain width rather than a frontside ski. You can keep up with skiers on race skis, but then go play around in some moguls with more forgiveness and ease of use than you’d get on a narrower carver.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 92 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

153, 161, 169, 177, 185 cm

18 m at 177 cm

131 / 92 / 114 mm

Cork Damplifier

Versatility, Maneuverability, Forgiveness


Overview:

The QST 92 is one of the most soft-snow oriented skis in this comparison. Like the Rustler 9 and Ranger 92, it has some nice width to it, which gives it excellent float for skis in this category. We also get some smooth rocker and early taper in its shape, inspired by more freeride-specific skis. The construction is focused on being relatively lightweight, energetic, and smooth. No metal, but we do get a wood core and Salomon’s C/FX material, which blends carbon and flax to achieve better vibration damping than if you were to just use carbon. It might be the best tree ski in this comparison thanks to a distinct catch-free feel and easy maneuverability. The 1750 g weight also helps off trail as it’s not a fatiguing ski when you have to make a lot of quick movements. On a groomer, it’s not the strongest ski in the world, but it can hold an edge at reasonably high speeds and doesn’t feel too twitchy. In other words, if the conditions in the trees and on un-groomed trails isn’t great, it’s not like your day is completely ruined. The QST 92 is perfectly happy just cruising groomers too.

Who it's For:

Adventurous skiers who prefer to spend their time off groomed slopes whenever possible. You like to ski steep, challenging terrain and enjoy exploring the whole mountain. When you go on a ski vacation, you try to ski every single trail.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon Stance 90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

168, 176, 182, 188 cm

18 m at 176 cm

126 / 90 / 108 mm

Twin Frame

Stability, Edge Grip, Versatility


Overview:

The Stance 90 is back again for another season and in general is basically designed to provide complementing performance to the QST line. You probably wouldn’t want to own both a Stance 90 and a QST 92, but owning a Stance 90 and a QST 98, on the other hand, would make a ton of sense. The Stance skis use two sheets of metal with Salomon’s Metal Twin Frame design. They remove horizontal sections of the top metal laminate and use their C/FX material in these spots. This helps bring the weight down a little with rh 176 cm length coming in at just over 1800 g. In addition to the lighter weight, the Stance 90 also uses slightly more rocker and taper than most skis with this much metal. Kind of like the Enforcer 88, this boosts its versatility and ability in off-trail situations. However, also like that ski, it is still more of a carving ski than anything else. That makes sense too considering how the QST 92 leans more towards off-piste. Similar to how the QST 92 is perfectly happy cruising groomers, the Stance 90 can handle moguls and trees, it just doesn’t happen to be its highlighting characteristic.

Who it's For:

Carving enthusiast who prefer having a slightly more maneuverable and forgiving ski than most skis with two sheets of metal. The Stance 90 is always a great choice for a skier who identifies with freeride skiing and soft snow, but wants to add a narrower ski to their quiver.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Stockli Stormrider 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

166, 175, 184 cm

18.4 m at 175 cm

128 / 88 / 114 mm

Polywall, Thin Glass

Precision, Stability, Forgiveness


Overview:

One of the highest quality, most refined skis in this comparison, and arguably one of the broadest appeals as well. The Stormrider 88 can be enjoyed by a huge range of skiers and is one of the most approachable skis with two sheets of metal you’ll ever find. By using one of the metal layers as the topsheet of the ski, Stockli really reduces weight and also gives the ski an impeccably smooth feel as your power is getting directly transferred right to the metal. It also has a slightly softer flex pattern than a lot of skis with two sheets of metal and its weight comes in around 1750 g, which is quite impressive. That means you get an incredible blend of stability, vibration damping, and power, but also allows you to manipulate the ski at more moderate speeds and makes it less fatiguing than most skis we’ve talked about so far. An intermediate can get on the Stormrider 88 and enjoy it, while an expert will love it too. Much like Kastle, Stockli skis have a premium feel, and that’s certainly true about the Stormrider 88. Incredibly refined and just an extremely rewarding ski.

Who it's For:

Anyone. Maybe not the best choice for a beginner or a timid intermediate, but it’s truly hard to pick a skier for the Stormrider 88. It’s really good, and we think anyone who gets on it will appreciate its performance.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Kendo 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

30 / 17 / 24 m at 177 cm

129 / 88 / 111 mm

Carbon Tips

Stability, Versatility, Responsiveness


Overview:

The Kendo is an important player in this category. It’s been around for a long time and is consistently a leader in this comparison. The latest version of this ski uses 3D.Radus and Volkl’s Titanal Frame design. Long radii in the tips and tails allows for both big arcing carving turns and a more maneuverable, catch-free feel in softer snow and more technical terrain. There’s not a lot of rocker splay in the Kendo, but the rocker is relatively long, which boosts its maneuverability as well. It comes in just under 2000 g too, so it’s not so heavy that it feels sluggish when you’re maneuvering it through trees. On a groomer, on the other hand, the Titanal Frame construction delivers plenty of power and vibration damping. You can let it run into high speed, big turns, in fact it’s willing to make probably the biggest turns of any ski in this category, but then you can gas pedal it an engage the shorter radius underfoot to make quicker, more responsive, rounder turns. It has a lot of similarities to the Stance 90 in how it crosses over between groomers and off-piste terrain, which probably isn’t surprising given the similarities in construction and shape.

Who it's For:

All-mountain skiers who value versatility, but also want a high-performing ski on firm snow. The Kendo is more approachable than ever before with its new construction and shape, but still is a strong, powerful ski.


Written by Jeff Neagle on 09/17/20

12 thoughts on “2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's ~90mm All Mountain Ski Guide

    1. Hi Paul!
      We did not have the 2022 model to show at the time of filming, although we do have it now in stock. We used the 2020 version as a placeholder at the end of our video, and yes, we certainly agree that it's an awesome ski and did include it as an "honorable mention."
      SE

  1. Where does the ripstick 96 black fit in? Thought I’d see it here after seeing the 106 in the 100 video. Curious of you “Who it’s for:” thoughts. Thx!

    1. Hi JG!
      We have a mid-90's group coming up that includes the 96 Black. We do have a full review of it available: https://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/2022-elan-ripstick-96-black-edition-ski-review/?gclid=CjwKCAjw2P-KBhByEiwADBYWCqkoy0ykbWpFhjj1sZNWk-WLrkbJ7csKOhtv0q2x0ojU7FKGCcH3rhoC4M4QAvD_BwE
      You'll probably glean from that review and video that we're pretty big fans of the ski. Who It's For Preview for you: If you're looking for a ski that behaves like a ski with two sheets of metal, but don't want the metal, you'll love the Ripstick 96 Black. You value versatility, stability, and energy in a lighter-than-average package.
      It's about as close to a one-ski quiver as I've been on, for me.
      SE

  2. Hey guys, bought a pair of 191 Fischer Rangers FR 102 from you guys last year--love that ski, great mid-quiver ski for here in Utah. This year I'm looking to buy a ski that's a bit more front-side oriented; high-angle edge grip and ability to smoothly rail through any leftover crud and chop is super important to my ski style and ability....that has me looking at the Stocklis. (Also like that they are less stiff than my 187 Brahma 88s.) I'm 6' 4", 230lb, expert, for my purpose and location would you recommend the 184 SR 88s or 193 SR 95s? Do you think 184 would be too short? Feelings on Laser AR instead?

    1. Hi Breck!
      I'd vote for the 88 over the 95, just to give your quiver a better span, and between that and the AR, you do have to be more willing to have a front-side specific ski with the AR, and while it's more versatile than most 83's out there, it's still not quite the all-mountain ripper that the 88 is. I think the 184 SR 88 makes the best complement to the 191 Ranger 102. I'm 6'3 225 and I have not found the 184 to be short. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Thanks for the reviews and videos there great, was wondering which skis would be best for an intermediate skiier who is trying to get going out on all mountain skiis. My first thoughts were the Ripstick and the Mindbender 90C's but would love to know if you feel differently or have any good ones to add!

    1. Hi MP!
      Two great choices right there. I'd say Ripstick 88 has a higher-performance ceiling, so you're more likely to be satisfied for longer with that ski. I'd add Armada Declivity 88C to the mix--great agility and quickness, much like the Elan. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi guys! Thank you for your reviews!
    I have Nordica Enforcer 104 Free and I am looking for narrower all-mountain skis with good carving performance, edge grip and stability at higher speed. At the same time, I would like to retain easy going nature and playfulness of my 104 Free to explore the sidelines, a bit of moguls and trees. I tried Volkl Kendo 88 at the end of last season and I did not like them at all. I was very impressed with the edge grip of Mantra M5. However, M5 is too close to my 104 Free.
    I am leaning towards Enforcer 88 (or 94) I did not have a chance to try yet. Armada Declivity 92 Ti caught my eye for its versatility based on your comparison. How much carving performance, edge grip and stability would I loose in lighter Declivity 92 Ti compare to Enforcer 88? Would it be a worth trade-off for its all-mountain versatility? Thanks!

    1. HI Mikhail!
      While a strong carver, I do think that you will prefer the dampness and stability of the Enforcer 88, especially if you're a fan of the 104's overall composure. There's a bit more snap and rebound out of the Declivity, but it's not quite as grippy or strong. If you're looking for that lighter weight and boost of energy, there's nothing wrong with that Declivity, it's just a different feel than the Enforcer, which is a known quantity to you. Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi Guys,

    Love the in depth reviews.

    I’m 6’5, 200 lbs, 41 yrs old. Been skiing my whole life and would be an advanced skier. I like to ski the whole mountain, enjoy really carving on the groomers but also enjoy bumps, trees and steeps. I currently ski Rossignol Experience 88, 188cm, I think the 2016 model. I’ve been looking at the enforcer 93/94 and stance 90. But also watched your review on the QST 92. I like a stiffer ski but don’t want my legs to be crushed at the end of the day. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Ryan!
      If you're really looking for the high end of strength to weight, check out the Head Kore 93. I'd also put the Atomic Maverick 95 in that same category of light and stiff skis that won't be a burden. On your list, however, I'd say the QST then the Stance, with the Enforcers a close third in terms of your application. None are particularly light, but the QST is the easiest to turn. Have fun!
      SE

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