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

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

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

For our first women’s comparison, we’ve got quite a lineup. For the most part, these women’s skis are built and shaped exactly like the men’s versions, making most of the skis in the industry truly unisex in terms of performance. Where they differ, the ones that are the same, is in sizing and graphics. A Volkl Kenja 88 is exactly a Kendo 88, available down to a 149, and with a reddish/pinkish topsheet. This follows suit for most skis on this list, with some exceptions. Liberty adds paulownia to their Genesis and Evolv skis to lighten the load, same with Salomon in its Stance 88. Other companies have completely different molds and skis, such as the Atomic Maven 93 C, for which there’s no direct or indirect male counterpart. We talk about it a lot here at SkiEssentials.com, and how our jobs would be a lot easier if skis were de-gendered, since they’re really just metal, wood, and plastic. There’s no reason why a smaller skier of any gender wouldn’t ski a Kenja 88 in a 156, nor any reason for a larger and stronger lady to not ski a Kendo 88 in the 184. At the end of the day, find a ski that works for you, is available in the proper size, is the correct flex and weight, and if you’re lucky, you get a choice of graphics.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Reliance 88 C Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

152, 160, 168, 176 cm

16.7 m @ 168 cm

130 / 88 / 111 mm

1588g @ 168 cm

Light Weight, Energy, Range


Overview:

New for 2022, the Armada Reliance 88 C will certainly turn some heads. Light, energetic, and with a high-performance ceiling, skiers will be able to access the full-range of performance benefits that this Reliance provides. At 88 mm in the waist, it’s right in the sweet spot for true all-mountain skiing, and is capable and willing to carve up the groomers and float through the fresh all in the same run. We had a lot of testers that were very impressed with this ski, as it ranked right up there with perennial powerhouses such as the Blizzard Black Pearl 88. Built with a blend of caruba and poplar in the wood core, the skis also get Armada’s woven carbon mesh stringers added to the mix. The way in which they implement the carbon makes it feel a lot more like metal in terms of stability and power, but without the weight of full-sheets of titanal. The end result is a light and agile ski that has a great deal of energy and rebound, making it an ideal choice for advanced skiers who like to do it all without being weighed down.

Who it's For:

Advanced skiers on both ends of the aggressiveness spectrum. Whether you like to really jam on your skis for power or you prefer to be a bit lighter on your feet, the Reliance 88 C is a fantastic new ski.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Reliance 92 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

156, 164, 172, 180 cm

17 m @ 172 cm

131 / 92 / 117 mm

1626g @ 164 cm

Quietness, Stability, Rebound


Overview:

A real-deal ski for real-deal skiers, the Armada Reliance 92 Ti is a new model for 2022 and is set to make a whole lot of skiers very happy. At 92 mm underfoot, the skis have the width necessary to handle softer snow, but the build and shape to make it an ideal choice for ladies who love to lay down deep trenches in the groomers. Built with Armada’s blend of poplar and caruba wood in the core, the Reliance 92 also gets two sheets of metal, with the top laminate getting Armada’s Articulated Titanal Banding. We’ve spoken of this at length with the (identically constructed) Declivity series, as Armada cuts strips out of the metal in the forebody of the ski and replaces it with their elastomer material. This allows the ski to bend and flex with more energy and less weight, all the while keeping the overall strength and power of the ski intact. With a 16.5-meter turn shape at the 164 cm length, these skis come around quite nicely, with a strong kick to the end of the turn, pleasing both front-side skiers and freeride enthusiasts all at the same time.

Who it's For:

More aggressive skiers who value strength and stability in an all-mountain format. You love versatility and dampness in a ski without compromising energy.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Atomic Maven 93 C Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

156, 164, 172 cm

17.9 m @ 172 cm

128 / 94 / 112 mm

1433g @ 164 cm

Maneuverability, Flotation, Snappiness


Overview:

An all-new ski for 2022, the Atomic Maven 93 C is a fantastic choice for skiers who love high-performance products in a lighter weight. Replacing the Vantage series of skis, the Mavens have an all-new construction that is more accessible and approachable, offering insane edge grip and energy for the shape. At 93 mm underfoot, they’re on the wider side of this list, making them great floaters. To add to that personality, they also have Atomic’s HRZN tech in the tips, making them act like a boat hull and being able to float through the snow in a smooth and seamless fashion. The shape, along with the weight and the tech make the Maven a great choice for soft snow, but it doesn’t stop there. The carbon stringers added to the poplar wood core give this thing some zip on the groomers as well. While not as stable or damp as the dual-metal laminate 88’s on this list, they certainly hold their own, using Atomic’s Omatic core and the Dura Cap Sidewall to generate favorable amounts of energy and responsiveness.

Who it's For:

High-end skiers who want agility and versatility in a lighter-weight package. You love carving up the groomers, but don’t want to add a second ski for powder performance.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

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

14 m @ 165 cm

129 / 95 / 119 mm

1698g @ 165 cm

Versatility, Well-Roundedness, Poise


Overview:

There’s not much else to say about this best-selling ski that hasn’t already been said. The most impressive thing about the Black Pearl 88 is that, even after all these years, nary a negative word has been said. With the addition of True Blend wood core to the mix last year, we get an even more refined Pearl—ideally suited for true all-mountain skiers who want a ski that handles speed, terrain, and snow all with the same amount of grace. As one of the more well-rounded skis on this list, it’s one of those models that if you do not know what ski to get, get this, and you’ll have a blast. The blend of attributes of this ski are not to be understated, allowing skiers the luxury of being able to do it all on one pair. Wide Titanal laminate underfoot delivers power to the edges, while the wood core provides stability and balance to the rest of the ski. Creating a13-meter turn radius in the 159 cm length, the Black Pearl is an accomplished carver with versatility on the brain.

Who it's For:

Literally, any skier on the planet.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Blizzard Sheeva 9 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

148, 157, 164, 172 cm

15.5 m @ 172 cm

124 / 92 / 114 mm

1775g @ 164 cm

Grip Underfoot, Flotation, Versatility


Overview:

It must be hard being a Blizzard ski that’s not a Black Pearl, but the Sheeva 9 is a pretty darn strong contender. Take the wood core of the Pearl and add a partial metal laminate, and a bit more of a freeride feel, and the Sheeva 9 opens up a world of all-mountain versatility to a whole host of skiers. Built as a twin to the men’s Rustler series of skis, the Sheeva 9 does have a bit of a narrower footprint, especially if you find yourself in the 148 cm, where the waist width drops down to 90 mm. In all other sizes up to the 172, the Sheeva 9 rings in at 92 mm underfoot, allowing this ski to be a great floater with surprising power and energy on the groomers. While not a twin tip in the freestyle sense of the word, the turned-up tail and relatively long splay in the tips makes this less of a directional ski than the Pearls, much to the delight of softer-snow enthusiasts and more playful skiers. For a bit of a boost in flotation and pop, look to the Sheeva 9.

Who it's For:

Playful feeriders who want some metal to their ski for dampness without taking the energy and pop out of the ski.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Dynastar M-Pro 90 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

154, 162, 170 cm

13 m @ 162 cm

118 / 88 / 108 mm

1465g @ 154 cm

Tail Stiffness, Maneuverability, Powder


Overview:

Yes, the name says 90, but this ski actually measures 88 mm in the 154 and 162 with an 89 in the 170. As such, the Dynastar M-Pro 90 W has a little more front side chops than the title may indicate, and while one or two millimeters may not mean a whole lot in the grand scheme, it does knock it below 90 mm for at least this comparison. Built, though, identically to the men’s M-Pro 90, this W version contains the Hybrid core, consisting of a poplar central chord with Polyurethane (PU) material on the outer portions. On top, Dynastar uses their Ti Rocket Frame laminate to the mix, and it complements well the hybrid core and the general character of the ski. By having that metal shape full-width underfoot and remaining wide through the tail, these skis have a very strong business-end to them, able and willing to complete sharp turns with precision and poise. The sharper tapering of the metal into the forebody of the ski makes it floaty and playful, making this M-Pro 90 W a fantastic choice for all-mountain enthusiasts who want a strong blend of soft snow acumen and firm groomer performance.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert skiers who know how to complete a turn. If you value edge grip and a stiff tail without jeopardizing the soft-snow abilities of a ski, you will love the M-Pro 90 W.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick 88 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

146, 154, 162, 170, 178 cm

15.4 m @ 170 cm

130 / 88 / 105 mm

1500g @ 170 cm

Smoothness, Agility, Energy


Overview:

We’ve been pretty high on the Ripstick skis from Elan for a few years now, and that trend continues into 2022 with the Ripstick 88 W. Built just like the men’s version but in shorter lengths and with a different graphic, the 88 W is an ideal choice for all-mountain skiers who are looking for top-end performance with a light weight feel. Elan uses carbon tubes that run along the sidewalls of the ski to get energy and stiffness, and since the tubes use carbon in a 360-degree shape offer 3 dimensions of energy, and since they’re inlayed into the ski under pressure, there’s even more snap and pop built right into the core of the ski. For last year, and carrying forward into 2022, Carbon Line Technology takes advantage of the inside edge of the ski, allowing Elan to increase the edge grip and response, while allowing the outside edge to be more flexible and compliant, following the inside ski along. This asymmetrical construction technique is specific to Elan, and it works very well in a ski like the Ristpick 88 W.

Who it's For:

A whole lot of skiers. If you want that high-end feel and performance, and the quality to go along with it, the Ripstick 88 W is a fantastic ski for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Fischer Ranger 92 Ti W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

155, 163, 171, 178 cm

16 m @ 171 cm

126 / 91 / 116 mm

1645g @ 163 cm

Torsional Stiffness, Light Swing Weight, Carving Energy


Overview:

Unchanged for 2022, the Fischer Ranger 92 Ti W represents a class of skis that are simply overlooked for one reason or other. It happens quite a bit, and whenever it does, we try to highlight the ski a bit more than usual. In that light, the Fischer Ranger 92 Ti W is a fantastic ski for advanced and expert ladies who are looking for something a bit wider, but still want that serious on-trail performance. As these skis get shorter, they do get narrower, so as we go below 178, we’re down in the low 90’s and high 80’s for waist width. This, combined with the full-width titanal underfoot, makes the Ranger 92 an amazing carver with a ton of torsional stiffness. That metal laminate extends into the tip and down to the tail, but tapers as it goes. It does hook into the carbon nose in the forebody of the ski, creating a solid piece of material transitioning from carbon to metal, allowing for the best possible transfer of energy. Even though the tails don’t have the metal to them, they’re surprisingly and strongly snappy and agile, making the conclusion to the turn quite impressive.

Who it's For:

Advanced and Expert skiers who like the aggressive feel of an on-trail carver with a lot of maneuverability built in. You love a sharp tail and a solid ski underfoot.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Fischer Ranger 94 FR W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

161, 169, 177, 185 cm

17 m @ 177 cm

126 / 92 / 117 mm

1430g @ 153 cm

Off-Piste, Quickness, Freestyle


Overview:

An amazing choice for advanced skiers who are looking to add some playfulness and freeride personality to their skiing, the Fischer Ranger 94 FR is pretty tough to beat. While dedicated freestyle skiers may not say that this is a twin tip in the traditional sense of the term, its turned-up tail does have quite a bit of freestyle and trick-oriented nature to it. Around here in Northern Vermont, it makes a lot of sense to have this profile of a ski, especially in our tighter woods, as it allows the skier to back out of tricky spots and maneuver through tighter zones. Built with a wood core in an aeroshape profile, the skis get a strong central spine to them, leading to stable skiing at speeds, and while there’s metal in the mount zone, it’s more retention than structural. The Carbon Nose does add another level of power and responsiveness in the shovel, allowing it to hook up quickly and efficiently into the turns. They do get narrower as they get shorter, so even though it’s called a 94, it’s more like a 91 at the 169, giving it better edge grip and torsional stiffness than the name may let on.

Who it's For:

Fun-loving freeride skiers who don’t want the weight of metal, but love the responsiveness of carbon and the creative shaping of the wood core. You spend as much time in the woods as you do on the trails.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 91 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.7 m @ 170 cm

130 / 91 / 113 mm

1508g @ 163 cm

Precision, Quickness, Energy


Overview:

The Kore series from Head, both men’s and women’s get a refinement for 2022, and some slightly new names on the women’s side. The Head Kore 91 W simply calls it like it is. In the 170 cm length, the skis are 91 mm wide, getting narrower as they get shorter. Reference lengths and size options have changed, in addition to the build, but now we get size breaks on the 7’s rather than the 9’s of yesteryear. This gives more skiers a better chance to home in on their preferred length. From a construction perspective, Head has done away with the Koroyd material, and has made the upper carbon laminate a bit more 3-Dimensional. Still built with a blend of karuba and poplar wood, these skis are light and energetic to start, and when the dual-carbon laminate is added, it really takes the stiffness, response, and performance to the next level. When you engage the tips of the ski, the energy transfer is pretty darn instantaneous, but since they’re so light, it’s still easy to manage. It’s a great blend of high-performance precision and light-weight maneuverability for a wide range of skiers.

Who it's For:

You like light skis that aren’t noodles. You want to save your knees for the long winter days, months, and years ahead. If you like light weight versatility, the Kore 91 W is for you.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Liberty Evolv 90 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

14 m @ 158 cm

132 / 90 / 115 mm

1606g @ 165 cm

Stability, Smoothness, Groomer Performance


Overview:

The 2022 Liberty Evolv90 W gets a bit of a refresh for this year, and advanced and expert skiers will reap the benefits of these upgrades. VMT 3.0 takes over where the 2.0 left off, offering up an additional vertical metal strut to make the ski stronger, more stable, and somehow, even quieter than before. This was already one of the most silent and smooth skis in the category, and now with the additional metal, it takes it to another level. The wood core remains largely the same, with bamboo, poplar, and paulownia to create the overall feel, and carbon stringers add some fore/aft stiffness to the mix as well. Those are some of the changes, but remaining the same are the shaping and profiling that have led a lot of front side and all-mountain skiers to strongly relate to the Evolv90 and its unique blend of power and performance. These skis love to carve clean and round turns, and while there’s others that are better for soft snow, these are about as confidence-inspiring as it gets for on-piste carving.

Who it's For:

You prefer linking carved tuns on groomers over seeking out deep and fresh snow (or maybe you just have a wider ski for those purposes). If you love silent, smooth, and stable skis on-piste, these are quite remarkable.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Liberty Genesis 90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165 cm

13 m @ 158 cm

126 / 90 / 112 mm

1520g @ 165 cm

Playfulness, Freestyle, Smeariness


Overview:

If the Evolv90 W represents a fantastic on-trail ski from Liberty, the Genesis 90 takes the off-piste crowd and gives them a product to smile about. With a few upgrades for 2022, the Liberty Genesis 90 keeps the playfulness and freeride appeal, and adds a metal strut to make it ideal for smooth and powerful skiing all at the same time. While not a twin tip in the fully freestyle sense of the word, there’s no denying that the ski has trick time built into its philosophy. In the 158 cm length, these skis produce a 13-meter turn radius, so they’re sharp and quick turners that love to be maneuvered in tighter spots, making them a fantastic option for tree-skiing enthusiasts looking for a ski with high wiggle-factor. New for 2022, the VMT 1.0 core consists of Bamboo, Poplar, and Paulownia, adding carbon strips and one vertical metal strut. The addition of this metal strut really sets the Genesis apart from its predecessor, giving it the power and strength needed to take the performance to the next level.

Who it's For:

You love having fun and seeing the mountain as a gigantic playground. You love trees and bumps, but don’t mind ripping the groomers, either.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.7 m @ 163 cm

125 / 88 / 112 mm

1539g @ 156 cm

Edge Grip, Composure, Versatility


Overview:

With a bit of a graphics refresh for 2022, the K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 Ti remains the same structurally, which is great news for advanced and expert skiers who spend most of their time carving turns on-trail, but who do not want to forsake the more adventurous side of skiing, either. Built with an Aspen Veneer wood core, these skis are pretty light to start. The shovels are flexible enough to easily engage the edges, and the Titanal Y-Beam picks up the slack soon thereafter. With metal running along the edges in the forebody of the ski, the initiation phase and first-half of the turn is stable, strong, and grippy. Full-metal underfoot complements the Powerwall Sidewall, adding a ton of torsional stiffness and edge control, allowing skiers to really get that firm-snow performance that should come along with an 88 mm underfoot ski. That metal tapers in to the middle of the ski through the tail, so while it remains stable, it’s not overly aggressive in the release portion of the carve. Great for a variety of conditions and terrain, the Mindbender Alliance 88 Ti has a whole lot to offer.

Who it's For:

Advanced and Expert skiers who want a strong and stable ski for fairly aggressive riding. you love skiing and carving on-trail, and also enjoy the more interesting aspects of the mountain.


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender Alliance 90 C Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.5 m @ 163 cm

127 / 90 / 113 mm

1507g @ 156 cm

Quickness, Agility, Versatility


Overview:

If the Mindbender 88 Ti is the on-trail workhorse that loves to be pushed and carved, the 90C has a slightly different philosophy. Still built with K2’s Aspen Veneer wood core, the skis are light and easy to maneuver right out of the plastic. The good engineers at K2 did not stop there, however. Since the Ti version of the ski gets a slightly narrower waist and a Titanal Y-Beam, the 90C has to get its power from K2’s use of their Carbon Spectral Braiding technology. K2 is able to create the same type of torsional stiffness through the use of carbon, and while not as rigid or heavy as that of the titanal, the carbon braid does a great job of adding energy and grip to a pretty light ski. The half-cap construction of the 90C also adds to the quickness and maneuverability of the ski, making it a great choice for both on and off-trail adventures. Great for bumps and trees, these skis are agile and light, allowing skiers on a multitude of levels the ability to explore the whole mountain regardless of snow conditions.

Who it's For:

You are an advancing intermediate to full-on advanced skier looking to broaden your horizons when it comes to versatility of terrain and snow. You like groomers, but want a bit of powder to taste as well.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Line Pandora 94 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

14.5 m @ 165 cm

131 / 94 / 117 mm

1453g @ 165 cm

Flotation, Quickness, Energy


Overview:

The Line Pandora 94 is a fantastic choice for advanced and expert skiers who are looking for a light ski that is both agile and stable at the same time. As one of the wider skis of this comparison, it’s going to get some good flotation scores for sure, and in our testing of this ski, that was certainly one of the attributes that stood out the most. Do not, however, discount the Pandora’s ability to link carved turns and generate an amazing amount of energy on the back side of the carve. Built with Line’s Aspenlite wood core, it’s pretty similar to the Aspen Veneer wood we see in the K2 skis right above. This makes for a great blend of light weight and strong performance, and that’s something that really just makes sense in a ski like this. Line adds their Carbon Magic Fingers, which is really just a marketing way of calling them “stringers” that run the longitudinal length of the ski. These stringers make it a stiffer and more responsive ski, willing and capable to hold a carved turn on a variety of snow surfaces and terrain challenges.

Who it's For:

Skiers who fall more on the freeride end of the spectrum. You are using this ski to find and play in the softer snow rather than searching for the firm groomers to bite an edge.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Santa Ana 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

15 m @ 165 cm

119 / 88 / 107 mm

1790g @ 165 cm

Versatility, Stability, Power


Overview:

The Nordica Santa Ana 88 returns with a graphics refresh for 2022, but are still the same build as last year, marking a slight departure from the previous version of the ski with dual-metal and lighter wood. The 2022’s continue to have a denser, performance wood core and one sheet of terrain-specific metal. This partial metal laminate extends further to the edges in this 88 (versus the wider Santa Ana skis) in order to maximize edge grip on firmer surfaces. While there’s now an 84 added to the line, the 88 still remains one of, if not the most, versatile skis in the lineup, making it easy and fun to handle the whole mountain in a wide variety of snow conditions. In the 158 cm length, these skis generate a 14-meter turn radius, so they do enjoy being on edge and in a carved turn, and they also excel in the bumps and trees or other tight spots due to the more maneuverable build. It’s pretty impressive that Nordica took out a sheet of metal, made the one remaining one smaller, and still retain the high-performance nature of the ski.

Who it's For:

Advanced and Expert skiers who love to carve turns on groomers, while keeping the door open for soft snow exploration and fun.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Rossignol BLACKOPS Stargazer Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

154, 162, 170 cm

14 m @ 162 cm

127 / 92 / 117 mm

1640g @ 170 cm

Quickness, Flotation, Agility


Overview:

The Stargazer returns unchanged for 2022, keeping its spot as one of the wider skis of this grouping, and one of the lighter ones as well. Rossignol does this through the use of paulownia wood in the core and their Diago Fiber application. Ranging in widths, depending on sizes, from 90 to 94 mm underfoot, these skis are a bit better suited for softer snow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t rip on the groomers. In fact, these skis produce an insane amount of energy per turn, making it easy and fun to link carved turns on firmer groomers. The versatility of these skis really stands out, as they’re capable of all-mountain and freeride applications no matter what the terrain or snow conditions may say. In addition to the waist width varying, the turn shape does as well, ranging from a 12-meter arc in the 154 to a 16-meter radius in the 170. Shorter skis, shorter turns, and that’s good news for skiers who are looking for increased confidence and maneuverability on the hill.

Who it's For:

You like the freeride aspect of the sport, but don’t want to give up front side performance. This blend of those attributes is certainly found in the Stargazer.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon Stance W 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

154, 161, 168, 174 cm

17 m @ 161 cm

120 / 88 / 102 mm

1545g @ 161 cm

Stability, Power, Confidence


Overview:

A fantastic choice for the modern advanced and expert skier, the Salomon Stance 88 W loves to be pushed to the limit. Similar to the men’s Stance 90, the 88 W has Metal Twinframe Technology and C/FX material, but they use a blend of karuba and poplar rather than just poplar, so it is a little bit more flexible ski with a slightly lighter weight. The top-end performance is still all there, though, making this an excellent choice for both front side rippers and freeride enthusiasts who love to use one pair of skis for everything. The partial metal laminate on top does have the windows carved out for the C/FX material to shine, and this makes the ski more energetic and snappier, while keeping the grip and dampness over the edges of the skis fully intact. The 161 cm length produces a 17-meter turn radius, so that’s kind of on the long side, allowing the skier to have greater say over the shape and duration of the turn. This is a nice attribute to have for active skiers who like to drive their skis into and out of the turns.

Who it's For:

You like to drive the ski and be in control. If you love hard-charging skis that feel light on the feet, the Stance 88 W is a fantastic choice.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST Lux 92 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

153, 161, 169 cm

17 m @ 169 cm

130 / 92 / 113 mm

1730g @ 169 cm

Versatility, Flotation, Friendliness


Overview:

A returning ski for 2022, the QST Lux 92 from Salomon has more of that freeride personality built in, inspiring skiers to take aim at distant peaks and deep snow, all the while making controlled turns on any surface. This is the type of ski, along with something like the Sheeva 9, that if you don’t know what to get, even after all this information, you’ll be very happy on the Lux 92. Built with a poplar wood core, the skis also have Salomon’s C/FX fiber in the tips and tails in order to boost the snap and energy of the ski. In addition, Cork Damplifier in the tips reduces vibration, as we’ve seen the use of cork in this application to be a useful material for sure. In the 169, the skis make a 17-meter arc, which is on the longer side of the spectrum, allowing skiers to have a stronger say in the type of turn to make. Shorter turning skis like to do just that, while the longer radius skis can be manipulated by the skier. This is a good thing if you’re an active participant in the process, making for more fun and versatile turns.

Who it's For:

Skiers who want the ultimate in versatility. You don’t mind a bit of extra weight, since it adds to the overall stability and smoothness of the ski.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Stockli Nela 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

152, 160, 168 cm

15 m @ 160 cm

127 / 88 / 113 mm

1530g @ 160 cm

Quality, Precision, Range


Overview:

For skiers looking at the high-end of precision at a light weight, look no further than the Stockli Nela 88. Built with their Super-Light Wood core, these skis have a very agile foundation to build off, with their Titec topsheet handling the performance aspect of the equation. Having the metal as the topsheet works wonders for the dampness as well as the responsiveness of the ski, as that metal’s the first part of the ski that gets the energy input. Thanks to the engineers at Stockli, these precision-made skis benefit from their rubber dust in between each laminate, as well as the soft flexing nature of the ski, allowing the skier to access the entirety of the sidecut at a variety of speeds. The range of performance you can get at any speed is one of the hallmarks of the Nela 88, allowing a wide berth of skier types to benefit from the construction and profile of the ski. It’s got a shorter arc, so it’s easy to turn, but since it’s still got the metal laminate and the high-end build, the top end of this ski is still difficult to find.

Who it's For:

You value precision and quality. If you like a top-end product with a high-end feel, look no further than the Nela 88.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Blaze 94 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

23 / 13 / 21 m @ 158 cm

134 / 94 / 116 mm

1454g @ 165 cm

Flotation, Touring Capabilities, Ease of Use


Overview:

Now in its second year, the Volkl Blaze 94 W remains an excellent ski that lurs a whole lot of lines. At 94 mm underfoot, these skis are some of the floaties on the test, and not only because of the shape, but also because of the rocker profile. It’s pretty assertive in the shovel, at least in terms of profile, allowing for that fantastic float. This ski, much like the Kenja up next, is a twin to the men’s ski, just with different lengths and graphics. The Hybrid Multi-Layer wood core is a great choice for this ski, as it retains a lot of the power and responsiveness from the non-hybrid build, but adds two vertical strips of composite material to the central spine making it lighter and a bit damper. The metal plate underfoot is structural in addition to being for binding retention, making the edge grip on this ski stand out for sure. As with most Volkl skis today, and likely more moving forward, the Blaze 94 has their 3D Radius Sidecut, allowing for more intuitive turn shapes regardless of conditions or terrain.

Who it's For:

You’re looking for either a resort ski, or a touring ski, or both. The Blaze 94 is a fantastic hybrid ski for 50/50 skinning or lift riding, so if you’re in the market for this type of versatility, you’re in luck.


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Kenja 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

25 / 14 /20 m @ 163 cm

129 / 88 / 111 mm

1707g @ 163 cm

Grip, Precision, Power


Overview:

Unchanged but for graphics for 2022, the Volkl Kenja 88 remains one of the strongest performers of the bunch. Built and shaped just like the men’s Kendo 88, the Kenja features Volkl’s classic multi-layer wood core and their titanal frame. By having this frame as the second, and upper layer, Volkl is able to put a lot of precision and power over the edges while saving weight in the middle and making the ski a bit more playful and energetic. The frame does not connect, and this allows the ski to flex and bend in a more natural fashion. With Volkl’s 3D Radius Sidecut, the Kenja is able to make longer and shorter turns with equal aplomb. This falls in line with the natural flex of the ski, as the turn shapes and styles fall into that category of personality as well. If you stand on the ski in the middle, right underfoot, the 14-meter radius will come around nicely, but if you lay it out a bit more, the skis hold an edge in longer turns as well, and it’s just a very successful use of ski shaping, and it makes a big difference. For fantastic edge grip and true all-mountain versatility, the Kenja 88 is a clear winner.

Who it's For:

Advanced and Expert skiers who value edge grip and precision in their 88 mm underfoot skis. You love to charge hard and get the most out of your day.


Written by Bob St.Pierre on 10/28/21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *