2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Powder Skis - Lead Image

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Powder Ski Guide

AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

182, 190 cm

21.7 m @ 182 cm

136 / 108 / 126 mm

1960 g at 182 cm

Power, Stability, Smoothness


Overview:

A new ski on the block, not only following in the footsteps of its narrower Declivity brethren, but also blazing a few trails of its own. At 108 mm underfoot, it’s tied for the narrowest ski on the list, and it shares more in terms of a hard-charging mentality with the Katana 108 versus the Kastle ZX or Dynastar M-Free. The big story here, like the other Declivity skis, is the Articulated Titanal Banding technology. Built with two sheets of metal, the top laminate has strips cut out from the upper layer, and Armada fills those slots with an elastomer material that not only makes the shovel of the ski a bit more flexible, but also quite a bit more energetic. Dissimilar from the narrower Declivity skis, the 108 has deeper taper and more dramatic rocker lines, emphasizing the flotation and fun-loving personality that the skis possess. It all adds up to being a pretty darn powerful ski—one that is only offered in a 182 and a 190, again reinforcing the notion that this is a real-deal ski for high-level skiers and athletes.

Who it's For:

Hard-charging skiers who love stability at speed, and are looking for a bit more of a directional tool for the job at hand. If you like a combination of good flotation and powerful performance, but don’t want a super-wide ski for the deepest snow, the Declivity 108 Ti is a fantastic choice.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Katana 108 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

170, 177, 184, 191 cm

39/19/34 m @ 184 cm

146 / 108 / 129 mm

2330 g at 184 cm

Strength, Power, Confidence/p>


Overview:

I kind of like to call it a Mantra 108, because that’s really what it is. Built with Volkl’s Titanal Frame, the Katana brings a lot of Mantra to a wider-bodied ski, with additional taper and rocker to help with the float. This is not really one of the quicker or more agile skis that we get on, but it certainly performs well both at speed and when pushed by a strong skier. It also has the 3D Radius sidecut, which helps a lot for a ski like this, as you’re able to vary up the turn shape and style, as it’s built in to the ski. Mostly, however, these Katana 108’s like to go pretty straight and fast, and when you get them up to cruising speed, they really seem to quiet down and smooth everything out. Confidence is key when you’re skiing a Katana, and stiffer boots really help with the steering aspect of the equation as well. While it’s not the most playful or pure-powder floater on this list, it certainly has a home in a lot of resort-style situations, especially out west and in wider spaces.

Who it's For:

Expert skiers who know how to handle an aggressive ski. If you prefer rock-solid stability over playful freeride personality, the Katana 108 should be on the list.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Kastle ZX 108 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

169, 179, 184, 191 cm

19.2 m @ 184 cm

140 / 108 / 129 mm

2077 g at 184 cm

Agility, Snap, Drifty Flotation


Overview:

Getting more playful, the Kastle ZX 108 is now in its second-year of existence, much to the delight of surfy and drifty skiers who still want a high-quality and precise piece of ski technology on their feet. Built with more of a macro-block style of poplar and beech, the skis have more flex to them, allowing for a fun-loving feel that works really well in soft snow and at a variety of speeds. Two sheets of fiberglass complete the build, with Kastle’s Hollowtech in the tips both adding to the flex as well as reducing vibrations by removing mass. The long tip rocker profile is the big story here, allowing the ski to plane up and over fresh snow, while the tail rocker is a bit more moderate. The slightly reduced price reflects Kastle’s interest in attracting a newer and younger generation of skiers, without taking away from the quality and precision that they’re known for in their more premium-priced products. With a great combination of light weight and high energy, the ZX 108 is a floaty ski that can and will make some quicker and more agile turns as well.

Who it's For:

First-time Kastle buyers who want a strong blend of playfulness and energy. You like to drift and smear your turns, but don’t want to just limit it to that.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 182, 192 cm

18 m @ 182 cm

138 / 108 / 128 mm

2324 g at 192 cm

Smeariness, Flotation, Pop


Overview:

This is one of those wider skis that we got on last year and knew they were going to have success. Additionally, it seemed like each time we tested them, we were blessed with some fresh snow to play in, which isn’t always the case with wider skis. The M-Free 108 gets its energy and stability from the Hybrid construction, blending a central poplar wood core with Polyurethane material on the outsides. This PU is akin to a ski boot’s 120 flex plastic, and it works really well in a ski application as well. It adds to the stability and quiet nature of the ski, and while it does add a bit of weight, it doesn’t bog the ski down at all. Since Dynastar adds an incredible amount of rocker to the ski, the surfy and smeary personality of the ski outweighs any potential heft or bulk issue. As a result, the skier gets a great blend of playfulness in the fresh with energetic snap on anything else. It’s likely the best floating 108 mm underfoot ski on our list, and a must-try for any skier who wants that playful powder ski under 110 mm in the waist.

Who it's For:

Surfy skiers who will use this as their soft-snow and powder day ski. You will mainly use these in the resort when it snows, and don’t want an enormous pow ski in your quiver.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Black Crows Atris Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

178.3, 184.2, 189.7 cm

20 m @ 184.2

139 / 108 / 125 mm

1914 g 178.3

Versatility, Stability, Angulation


Overview:

I’ve seen some really nice skiing done on the Black Crows Atris. It’s a playful and surfy ski for sure, but it also has the ability to get down to business. It’s very impressive what Black Crows can eke out of a fairly simple poplar wood core ski. They do add a good amount of fiberglass to the mix for energy, but the full poplar core is dense, stable, and pretty darn energetic all at the same time. It feels big and burly, and at the same time, you can really generate some good energy out of the ski when you bend and flex it in the turns. More similar to the Declivity 108 than the M-Free 108, the Atris is on the quiet and directional side, even while having a fair amount of tail rocker. It’s probably the most well-rounded 108 on our list, and it has more capability to be used in a variety of conditions and terrain. Equally at home in deep snow as it is in staler stuff, the Atris has a freeride personality with a more resort-oriented performance. Holding tight to that 20-meter turn radius, the Atris is an all-around ski that thrives in soft snow, whether it’s deep and fresh or not.

Who it's For:

Resort-oriented freeride skiers that like to dabble in everything. From fresh corduroy to deep pillow drops, the Atris is a wider-bodied one-ski quiver for those living in snowy areas. Also, if you live in a lower-snow zone, this is a great pow day ski.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

169, 177, 185, 191 cm

18.5 m @ 185 cm

140 / 110 / 129 mm

2275 g at 185 cm

Stability, Playfulness, Versatility


Overview:

One of the best carvers on the list so far, and likely in its entirety, the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free has a whole lot going for it in totality. First and foremost, at 110 mm underfoot and with a fairly dramatic rocker profile, combined with two full sheets of metal, the Enforcer 110 has a unique build and shape compared to the rest of the list. This gives it an edge in carving clean and round turns, while adding to the stability and power of the ski as well. Certainly, this adds some weight to the situation, but the ski rarely feels cumbersome—a rare feat for skis of this weight and build. It’s nice to have the longer and more splayed tail rocker profile, and while it’s not really in the playful twin-tip category, there is some freestyle/freeride influence here that should speak to the more creative skiers on the spectrum. We’ve been very impressed with this ski over the years, even here in Vermont, it doesn’t ever seem like overkill. Sure, there are wider skis out there, and there are better narrow carvers, but rarely do we see a combination like this, and we’re still pretty stoked on it.

Who it's For:

Expert skiers who are willing to take some of the extra weight of a ski if it means high-performance. If you can create high edge angles on groomers, this is the ski for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 111 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

177, 184, 191 cm

21.1 m @ 184 cm

140 / 111 / 127 mm

1810 g at 184 cm

Maneuverability, Stiffness, Responsiveness


Overview:

Another new ski for 2022, the Head Kore 111 fills a gap between the 105 and the 117, allowing for a greater range of skiers to get into the Kore lineup. It gets the same treatment as the other skis in the re-vamped Kore line, without koroyd, and with better use of the carbon laminates. The 111, along with the 105 and 117, are a bit softer than the narrower skis, and this is a good thing for the light 111. Even still, it’s one of the stiffer skis on the wall, resulting in precise turns and energetic exits. The slightly more forgiving flex allows skiers to access more of the sidecut, resulting in that 21.1-meter turn shape. The amount of taper and rocker involved is width-appropriate, and makes a lot of sense for a ski this stiff, again, allowing the skier to find and use the full shape of the ski. Fairly spoony in the shovel, this ski will rise up on top of fresh snow as a result, and especially so when combined with the lighter weight. One of the better pure floaters so far, this Kore 111 is poised and ready to attract another group of skiers to the Kore line.

Who it's For:

Skiers who want wide, but not heavy. If you value agility and quickness, and don’t want something to tire you out on a snow day, the Kore 111 is definitely worth a look.


AT A GLANCE


2022 DPS Pagoda 112 RP Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

158, 168, 178, 184, 189 cm

15 m @ 184 cm

140 / 112 / 127 mm

2040 g at 184 cm

Flotation, Maneuverability, Quality


Overview:

Typical DPS. This Pagoda 112 RP is about as quintessential as it gets. With the banana color, shape, and profile, these Pagoda 112’s are really what the company is all about. This year, the Pagoda build gets a bit of a refresh from the Alchemist construction of yesteryear. There is now three types of wood in the core, with the ash laminate taking up most of the top layer. Aspen bolsters the sidewalls and extends slightly under the upper ash, while paulownia lays on the bottom of the ash. This hybrid style construction allows the engineers at DPS to really fine-tune the feel and performance of the ski. The Pagoda is a very sophisticated ski with a lot of thought and design included. Two carbon laminates, top and bottom, do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to the ski, and gives it that unique DPS feel and performance. Combined with DPS’s RP shaping, the 112 gets the 15-meter turn radius, and the extended rocker profile and taper shape that accompanies it. Due to the width of the ski and the RP shape, this gives the Pagoda 112 RP that prototypical banana shape and look to it.

Who it's For:

Resort powder skiers who want something that floats as easily as it turns. If you like smooth entry and exits in and out of pow turns, the Pagoda 112 RP is the ski for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Rustler 11 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188, 192 cm

19 m @ 180 cm

139 / 112 / 129 mm

2060 g at 180 cm

Reliability, Trustworthiness, Versatility


Overview:

Like the Enforcer 110, the Blizzard Rustler 11 comes along with a very strong reputation. The way these Blizzard Rustler skis have been built over the years is very impressive, and as the widest in the line, the 11 is the best choice for hard-charging on fresh and soft snow. The partial metal laminate also makes it stand out a bit when it comes to softer groomers, as the torsional stiffness underfoot is some of the best in its class. By tapering that metal laminate towards the tips and tails, Blizzard increases the playfulness, flotation, and maneuverability of the ski by both lightening the load and softening the flex. This results in a very smooth, natural, and progressive flex to the ski that is fairly unique in this comparison. It enters and exits the turn with ease and intuitiveness, but if you want to stand on this thing underfoot, it’s going to give back what you put in. This type of range in the ski’s disposition is a very nice thing to have at this width range. It does vary from 112 to 116 mm underfoot based on length, so take that into account when you’ve got the Rustler 11 on your list.

Who it's For:

Traditional powder skiers who love a blend of hard-charging and playful personalities. You prefer a more established ski with a great reputation. No real surprises here, good or bad.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST Blank Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

176, 186, 194 cm

17 m @ 176 cm

138 / 112 / 127 mm

2160 g 186 cm

Flotation, Torsional Stiffness, Surfiness


Overview:

Now the widest ski in Salomon’s lineup, the 2022 QST Blank relies on more interesting and playful shaping to generate the freeride fun and attitude. Spoilier alert: it works really well. At 112 mm underfoot, it takes the spot of the outgoing QST 118, offering a better choice for more skiers to fill the top spot in their quivers. Built with a poplar wood core and Salomon’s C/FX material in the tips and tails, the Blank is pretty darn stout to start, with good energy in both the entry and exit of the turns. Double sidewall stiffens the underfoot region, while cork damplifier removes unwanted vibrations from the shovels. It all adds up to a strong and powerful feel, but that ruggedness is offset by the fun and playful shape. While the 118 was one of the straightest-shooters of this category, the Blank is a lot turnier. They’ve dropped the taper quite a bit, and added a significant amount of rocker—it actually shares similar shaping and profiling to the also-new QST 98. This shape generates a 17-meter turn radius at the 186, which ends up being on the shorter end of the turn spectrum on this list.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a playful powder ski that’s not just limited to the deep and fresh. With a solid and smooth feel, you value dampness and stability, with a fair amount of agility.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Fischer Ranger 115 FR Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 180, 188, 196 cm

20 m @ 188 cm

144 / 115 / 134 mm

2115 g at 188 cm

Surfiness, Smeariness, Maneuverability


Overview:

As the widest Ranger, the 115 FR follows a lot of the build and shape technologies that are found in the narrower versions of the ski, making this a playful, fun-loving performer that has no qualms about either floating through the fresh or zooming through the crud and chop. Built with a full wood core, the skis also use a titanal binding reinforcement that helps keep you locked in and a carbon nose. This carbon nose is used on all of the Ranger skis, and it really helps with making the ski light and playful while keeping it responsive and energetic. It’s a relatively stiff shovel, compared to a lot of other skis on this list, and it makes a lot of sense from a flotation perspective as well, as lighter things float better. Fischer gets a good amount of power from this ski by using their aeroshape method of core construction. By shaping the forebody and tail in more of a convex shape, the ski’s central chord is quite strong and stable, and the edges are quick and maneuverable. Width-appropriate taper and rocker make this ski a surfy and smeary toy for any and all fresh snow endeavors.

Who it's For:

Ranger fans looking for the top-end of their quiver. Skiers who value agility and quickness without sacrificing stability will love the overall feel and performance of the Ranger 115 FR.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 116 C Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

179, 186, 193 cm

22.9 m @ 186 cm

143 / 116 / 133 mm

2050 g at 186 cm

Deep Snow Float, Energy, Stability


Overview:

There’s a lot to like about the way K2 has developed their Mindbender series, and the 116 C is a great result of the process. Built with a blend of maple and paulownia, skiers get a fantastic combination of lightweight energy and hardwood density and power. Their Carbon Spectral Braiding does a good amount of the heavy lifting as well, but in a light weight format, as the carbon stringers don’t weigh a whole lot. The way that they incorporate the carbon stringers affects the stiffness of the ski, so the tighter weave in the shovels make it more engaging, while the looser cross-hatching in the tail allow for more playfulness and flex. It has more to do with the torsional stiffness and how the ski reacts to your input, so it makes a lot of sense in this regard. Long and relatively dramatic splay in the front is more aggressive than in the tail, which is still pretty long, but with more of a directional finish. This gives it a bit more preference to straighter-line skiing than the Reckoner series, while still retaining that playful kick at the end.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a floaty and surfy ski that leans to the directional side due to the build and shape. You value a maneuverable and turny ski that also has strong energy at the end.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick 116 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

177, 185, 193 cm

23.3 m @ 185 cm

145 / 116 / 132 mm

2012 g at 185 cm

Smoothness, Buttery-ness, Responsiveness


Overview:

Keeping in line with all of Elan’s other skis, the Ripstick 116 is all about having fun. With a fantastic combination of light weight, smoothness, and maneuverability, this thing loves to be found in the fresh. Built with Elan’s Tubelite Wood Core, the skis get a light start with carbon rods added to the mix. These carbon rods are placed into the core of the ski along the sidewall, and are inputted under tension, so you really get the best use of carbon in a ski as it has a full 360-degree/3-Dimensional application to it. For both torsional and longitudinal stiffness, this works really effectively and efficiently. The spoony tip shape with a relatively low splay is a smooth and drifty entry to pow turns, while the tail rocker nearly matches the drama of the shovel. It’s cut flatter than the tip, so it’s got more of a directional feel to it, versus the upcoming Gamer, but still a playful and fun exit strategy. The Amphibio rocker profile stands out as well, with a designated left and right ski, you get both longitudinal and torsional rocker, allowing for some of the smoothest transitions between turns, and minimal to zero hooking in the deep stuff.

Who it's For:

Floaters who love to stay on top and wiggle around the surface. If you value seamless transitions in the fluff, look no further.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol Black Ops Gamer Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

176, 186 cm

25 m @ 186 cm

146 / 118 / 141 mm

2460 g at 186 cm

Playfulness, Ruggedness, Freestyle


Overview:

Fun and entertaining, while not necessarily light, the Rossignol Gamer is a stout and stable ski that’s willing and able to handle anything and everything you can throw at it. At 118 mm underfoot, it’s got a strong and stable base that’s happiest in deep and soft snow, but the strength allows it to really excel in a variety of conditions and terrain. Perhaps the most versatile ski at this width in the comparison, the Gamer combines poplar wood with Diago Fiber extending to the tips and tails with ABS laminate underfoot. This allows for good snap and pop into and out of the turn while keeping things strong and stable even at higher speeds. It’s likely one of the most dramatic and obvious twin tips of the range, with fairly symmetrical splay in both ends. This makes the Gamer a fantastic choice for that backcountry freestyle skier looking for a multi-directional experience. Likely will have to use some type of motorized conveyance on the ascent, as these skis are not terribly efficient climbers.

Who it's For:

Steep and deep skiers looking for stability and power to match the playful aspect of the ski. If you have a snowmachine or snow cat to get you to the top, all the better!


AT A GLANCE


2022 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

176, 184, 192 cm

19 m @ 184 cm

143 / 120 / 134 mm

1823 g at 184 cm

Freestyle, Surfiness, Jib-Factor


Overview:

Another freestyle ski, this one a bit lighter and wigglier than the Gamer. Mostly, the tips and tails of the Bent Chetler 120 take it to a more manageable level, with the central portion of the ski remaining pretty similar. There’s some good camber underfoot in these skis, delivering snap and energy to make it playful and a whole lot of fun. HRZN tech in the tips and tails boost the flotation and smeariness, and that pairs well with a slightly longer rocker profile in the tips than in the tails. Built with Atomic’s Light Wood Core and a carbon backbone, the energy of the camber is boosted by the build, making it as easy and fun to surf and smear as it is to land huge tricks in the backcountry. Slightly turnier than most at this range, the 120 has a 19-meter arc in the 184, and this allows the ski to be quite maneuverable both in and out of the deep snow. While it’s not the most stable at speed through crud and chop, it does fall to the more playful and fun-loving side of the spectrum when it comes to the steep and deep.

Who it's For:

Creative and playful freeride skiers who have some freestyle influence to them. If you’re looking for that twin tip for the deepest days, the Bent Chetler 120 is a fantastic option.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Revolt 121 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

177, 184, 191 cm

20/19/20 m @ 184 cm

143 / 121 / 135 mm

1823 g at 184 cm

Freestyle, Smeariness, Predictability


Overview:

The wide twin tip train just keeps rolling, and we get another great one here with the Volkl Revolt 121. Built with Volkl’s multi-layer wood core and a full sidewall, skiers get a top-end and proven construction to boost them higher and further into the deep snow than ever before. We get a fairly even and symmetrical sidecut with these skis, as they do incorporate Volkl’s 3D Sidecut Radius to the mix. This ends up being pretty even, with about a 20-meter arc to the ski. A lot of that has to do with the longer tip taper, being gradual and smooth, allowing for the ski to plane up and over fresh snow. It’s not as dramatic in the tail, giving the ski a surprising boost out of the back side of the turn, increasing overall performance while keeping it on the noodly side. When the taper shape is combined with the pretty aggressive tip and tail rocker profile, we’re seeing a huge amount of smeary and surfy ability to the ski for sure. More splay in the tip than in the tail, the Revolt 121 isn’t quite as symmetrical as the Gamer, but still has a nice balance from end to end.

Who it's For:

Backcountry jibbers and floaty freestye skiers. If you have the skills to do the cool wheelies and nollies in the deep and fresh snow, these skis will be a total blast.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Black Crows Nocta Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

177.6, 185.5, 190.6 cm

26 m @ 185.5 cm

140 / 122 / 132 mm

2230 g at 190.6 cm

Flotation, Smear-factor, Wiggle-factor


Overview:

Amazingly, the Black Crows Nocta is the only truly rockered ski on the wall, and one of the only ones left in the industry as a whole. As a result, we’re getting the true top end of smeary and surfy performance, and one of the skis that’s really a dedicated fresh snow ski. This is a great choice for cat skiing, heli skiing, Japan trips, and Alta dump days. There’s not a whole lot of room for it in a resort setting other than in storms, so it ends up being one of the more one-dimensional skis on our list so far. Many athletes over the years have stood up in favor of underfoot camber even in their pow skis because you need some grip if the conditions get rugged. The full-rocker has a harder time on steeper and more technical terrain, so the Nocta is more at home drifting through the fluff and floating through the fresh. And that’s not a bad thing—if you’re lucky and capable enough to ski in those conditions and terrain, you’re going to have a hell of a good time on the Nocta. Another benefit of that full rocker is the fact that these are pretty darn maneuverable for being 122 mm underfoot.

Who it's For:

Drifters, movers, and shakers in the fresh. If you have the need or want for a truly dedicated pow ski, this one is for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Reckoner 122 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

177, 184, 191 cm

23.7 m @ 184 cm

144 / 122 / 136 mm

2120 g at 184 cm

Surf, Smear, Play


Overview:

These surfy monsters have a whole lot of fun and excitement built right in. The Reckoner line is all about having fun in a freeride/freestyle type of manner, and these 122’s represent the widest of the bunch. Built with a blend of fir and aspen wood in K2’s Double Barrel construction method, skiers will get a light, strong, and maneuverable core to start off with. They then add their Carbon Spectral Braiding to the mix, and this is a very important step for skis that are this wide. By lacing and weaving carbon stringers along the upper laminate of the ski, the K2 engineers are able to alter the flex, specifically torsional, in order to maximize performance and fun. With a tighter weave underfoot, the skis are responsive and predictable in the waist, while the looser braiding in the tips and tails allow for more playfulness and flex, which is great for flotation and smeariness. These skis end up being total boats out there in the pow, with fairly dramatic rocker profiles and taper shapes to match the already-enormous dimensions. Skis of this width and shape tend to excel in the deep snow, and not a whole lot else, but in that sense, they’re about as good as it gets.

Who it's For:

Fun-loving pow seekers who find themselves atop big mountains with deep snow. If you do not want to sink to the bottom, these skis are for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Magic J Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

180, 190 cm

20.5 m @ 180 cm

143 / 126 / 140 mm

2357 g at 180 cm

Freestyle, Flotation, Playfulness


Overview:

We’re pretty sure that Tanner Hall doesn’t make, ski, or want junk skis, so it’s safe to say that the Magic J is going to be a cool customer when it comes to playing on, floating over, and plowing through soft snow. With one of the surfier and smearier shapes on our wall, the Magic J is nearly symmetrical in its dramatic rocker lines, allowing for the maximum of float and pop while keeping the camber underfoot to retain the energy and responsiveness. It’s a great combination that these skiers are getting from Tanner’s input, and it makes a lot of sense for true backcountry skiing and freestyle. It’s on the stiffer side for sure, and that gives the ski a lot of street cred when it comes to the upper end of skiers and applications. Available in the 180 and 190, the skis bast 126 and 127mm waist widths, respectively, putting these skis in the higher range of flotation and surfy performance. With more of a five-point sidecut, the Magic J employs the use of taper in order to generate smooth turns and playful style.

Who it's For:

Tanner Hall wannabes and other backcountry freestyle enthusiasts. If you want something for deep, deep snow with a high-performance ceiling, these pro-model skis are going to fit nicely in your quiver.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Spur 127 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

159, 169, 179, 189 cm

24.5 m @ 179 cm

147 / 127 / 136 mm

2217 g at 189 cm

Flotation


Overview:

The boatiest of boats, this Blizzard Spur rings in at 129 mm underfoot in the 189 cm length, giving this ski an enormous surface area. Best, and almost exclusively, suited to heli and cat skiing, the Spur is a fairly one-dimensional tool for the deepest snow on the planet. One of the coolest things about the Spur, however, is that it comes in a wide range of lengths, spanning from a paltry 159 all the way up to the 189. This range allows for smaller skiers to get into a real-deal powder ski that affords some of the best flotation on the planet. While Blizzard states that there’s some camber underfoot, it’s really more like a flat ski, making it smeary and maneuverable in the fluff. In addition to the flat profile, it’s got a pretty darn straight cut to it as well, generating a 30.5-meter turn radius. All of these attributes combine to make one of the floatiest and surfiest skis on the planet, and if you’re lucky enough to have these skis on your feet at the top of a deep run, you’ve done something right in your life.

Who it's For:

Heli skiers and Cat skiers. Not even sure you want these on your feet while riding a chairlift. Tram? Maybe.


Written by Jeff Neagle on 10/14/21

2 thoughts on “2022 Ski Comparisons: Men's Powder Ski Guide

  1. Hey skiessentials, thanks for the review!

    Im currently looking for a touring powder/freeride ski which will mainly be used in Norway. I have tried the Black Crows Atris 178cm, but I felt like it was a bit too long for me. I am 167cm and 63kg.

    The skis I have considered so far is the Head Kore 105 in 170 length and Dynastar M-Free 108 in 172 length. I have a pair of G3 ion 12s that I'm planing to pair with the skis.

    What skis would you recommend for me? And are there any other skis you would recommend for my use?

    Thanks for the future answer!

    1. Hi Trym!
      I think if you're looking for more touring, take the twin tip/tail splay into account. While the M-Free is a fantastic freeride ski, I'm not sure I'd want to tour on it due to the rocker of the tail, as well as the heavier weight. Kore is a better choice, and I'd also take a look at the Elan Ripstick 106 and Volkl Blaze 106 as strong options. Have fun!
      SE

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