2023 Ski Comparisons: Men's 100mm All Mountain Ski Guide: Lead Image

Ski Comparisons - Ski Reviews

2023 Ski Comparisons: Men's 100 mm All Mountain Ski Guide

September is here! Days are getting noticeably shorter, evenings noticeably cooler, and ski season is right around the corner. The beginning of our annual Comparison Series always feels like it’s starting the countdown to ski season, and it sure was fun putting this list together while getting a little giddy about sliding on snow in the coming months. As has always been the case, these comparison articles are intended to be more conversational and qualitative rather than digging into the technical details of each ski. If you’re looking for that information, head on over to our 2023 Ski Test, long form reviews on Chairlift Chat, or our actual product pages.

We’re kicking things off with men’s skis around 100 mm underfoot. We like to switch up the order of these comparisons, but for this first article we’re sticking with the relatively traditional alphabetical order. Sometimes it can feel like we’re jumping around in this format, but it’s a good place to start. In future comparisons, we’ll organize skis by weight, flex, shape, and other more creative criteria. Enjoy!

AT A GLANCE


2023 Armada Declivity 102 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 180, 188 cm

18 m @ 180 cm

135 / 102 / 125 mm

1943 g @ 180 cm

Versatility, Stability, Playfulness


Overview:

Back for another season, the Declivity 102 Ti provides highly versatile performance for a huge range of snow conditions, and certainly feels like a great place to start for this comparison. Armada’s Articulated Titanal Banding provides the benefits and strength of metal, while still allowing the ski to feel relatively loose, playful, and agile. There’s some undeniable freeride influence in its shape and feel, with a good amount of tip and tail rocker and some early taper too. It carves a turn just as well as it slashes and smears, which is a nice characteristic for a ski like this. Put it on the feet of different style skiers and the ski will adapt to how that particular person likes to ski. Rail some carves, dance around through the trees. It’s not the lightest ski in the world, but it’s also not particularly heavy. I personally wouldn’t put a touring binding on it, I don’t really think that makes sense, but as a versatile resort ski, it’s top notch.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert level skiers who want a well-rounded ski they can take anywhere on the mountain. You’re willing to sacrifice a touch of precision in favor of maneuverability and a more surfy feel.

Price: $799.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Atomic Bent 100 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

164, 172, 180, 188 cm

19.5 m @ 180 cm

129.5 / 100 / 120 mm

1763 g @ 180 cm

Playfulness, Energy, Maneuverability


Overview:

Same ski, new name. The Bent 100 differs from the Declivity 102 Ti in that it’s lighter and with a more simplistic build. That doesn’t, however, make it any less fun. In fact, we often use this ski as an example of just how good something can be with just a simple wood core. It’s snappy, it’s energetic, and high camber height gives it decent edge grip too. There’s more freestyle influence in its shape than most of the skis in this comparison, and certainly more than the Declivity 102 we started with. If you like skiing switch and getting into the park from time to time, it’s an excellent option, but we’ve also noticed a strong following among skiers who spend a lot of their time in trees and technical terrain. The lightweight feel and Atomic’s HRZN Tech gives it a quick, agile feel in any snow condition. Never catchy, never demanding, easy peasy. Not the strongest ski in the world, but that’s not its intention. Playful, fun, light enough to even tour. It’s designed to put a smile on your face, not make you clench your teeth as you power through a turn.

Who it's For:

Playful skiers who prefer getting off trail or into the terrain park more than railing turns on groomers. Whether you’re center mounting as a park ski or throwing a Shift on there for some AT use, you’re the type of skier who thinks outside the box.

Price: $599.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Atomic Maverick 100 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 180, 188 cm

19.2 m @ 180 cm

129.5 / 100 / 120 mm

1678 g @ 172 cm

Precision, Responsiveness, Quickness


Overview:

It’s always an interesting conversation when discussing Atomic in the 100 mm category. Between the Bent 100, Backland 100, and Maverick 100 Ti, it feels like there’s a lot of overlap, but realistically they all have their ideal application. If the Bent leans towards playfulness, the Maverick leans towards strength and stability. Impressively, Atomic still achieves a light weight figure, which is impressive considering this ski utilizes traditional metal laminates. They call it Omatic core, which doesn’t really mean much aside from being a catchy name. HRZN Tech in the tip allows for more float and maneuverability in soft snow, but the tail is noticeably stiffer and stronger than something like the Bent 100. This ski can absolutely rail turns, but with the relatively light feel, there’s some agility to it as well. We’ve found that it does require a more advanced skier, as it doesn’t slip and smear a turn as easily as the Bent 100, but it’s not as fatiguing as some of the heavier metal-clad skis on the market. Compared to the Declivity 102, it’s in a similar league, but feels more precise and responsive rather than surfy.

Who it's For:

Advanced and expert level skiers who like to ski a bit of everything and do so with proper technique. You value responsiveness and good feedback out of your skis, and also don’t want to feel weighed down by a super heavy ski.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Black Crows Justis Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

171.3, 177.4, 183.1, 189.3 cm

20 m @ 177.4 cm

138 / 100 / 123 mm

2118 g @ 183 cm

Stability, Power, Maneuverability


Overview:

The Justis is always an interesting ski to talk about. It’s relatively unique in how it combines strength and power with a lot of rocker and a surfy, maneuverable feel. There are some similarities to the Declivity here, but it’s heavier, so really works well for super aggressive skiers who like to charge. The way Black Crows uses the Double H-Shaped Titanal is fascinating, and gives the ski good precision underfoot and through the fore and aft sections of the ski, but then the tips and tails are loose, floaty, and fun. Just because of the weight, it can be a more demanding, more fatiguing ski, but aggressive skiers won’t mind that whatsoever and will rather appreciate the seemingly endless stability. One of my favorite characteristics of the Justis is how you can ski super fast in a straight line, then throw them completely sideways to dump speed. It’s a good way to think about their style and feel overall. Straight, slash, straight, slash, fast carve, slash… 180?

Who it's For:

The modern aggressive freeride skier. You care less about clean round turns and more about blasting through choppy snow, slashing turns on the side of the tail, and leaving your personal signature on the mountain.

Price: $1,049.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Blizzard Bonafide 97 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

165, 171, 177, 183, 189 cm

17 m @ 177 cm

136.5 / 97 / 118.5 mm

2250 g @ 183 cm

Precision, Power, Stability


Overview:

The Bonafide 97 has always been a benchmark ski in this category. Two and a half sheets of metal, less rocker than most of the skis in this category, and one of the strongest skis in this comparison (in the world?). The Bonafide 97 is hands-down a powerful, stable, strong ski with tremendous edge grip. It will hold an edge through any kind of turn you want to make, at any speed, and through just about any snow conditions. Icy slopes cower in its presence. Choppy bowls will whimper as you smash through them. Your legs, however, might be whimpering a little too, however, as there’s no denying this is a relatively demanding, strong, stable ski. It’s designed for a certain application, and that’s skiing fast and aggressively while making clean turns. It is almost hard to compare to any of the skis we’ve talked about thus far, although the Maverick would be the closest. Looking at the weights, however, it’s way heavier, which is a good implication of how different it is. If you’re looking for a playful, maneuverable, agile ski, look elsewhere. If you’re looking to maximize power and ski fast and aggressively, there’s still not much that can compare to the Bonafide. The MX 98 that we’ll look at shortly feels like perhaps the closest comparison in this list.

Who it's For:

Strong skiers who have excellent technique and like to ski fast. It’s truly an advanced, or maybe even expert-only ski. It’s sort of one of those things where if you have to ask, it’s probably not for you, but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s an extremely rewarding ride.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 DPS Pagoda 100 RP Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

153, 163, 171, 179, 184, 189 cm

15 m

132 / 100 / 117 mm @ 179 cm

1718 g @ 171 cm

Maneuverability, Versatility, Agility


Overview:

From a comparison perspective, it’s hard to get much different than the Bonafide and Pagoda 100. The Pagoda 100 uses a ton of rocker, featured more in the tip than the tail, a lot of early taper, and a short 15 m turn radius in all lengths. If the Bonafide is all about power, the Pagoda 100 is all about maneuverability. DPS uses advanced-grade carbon in their skis, which does have a different feel than a lot of carbon skis. More vibration damping, a little smoother, it’s not as pingy as you might expect at its weight and with the carbon construction. We’ve also always been impressed with its grip, but with its shape and radius, it has somewhat of speed limit. If you like dancing through tight trees and seeking out leftover powder, it’s a great ski, and it still lets you make some nice clean, round carves at moderate speeds too. It’s also another candidate for a potential AT binding thanks to its relatively lightweight feel and superb capability in backcountry situations.

Who it's For:

Adventurous skiers who prefer finding new lines through tight trees rather than skiing super fast down the fall line. You should also ski with good technique, as the shape of the Pagoda 100 certainly rewards those who ski with purpose and control.

Price: $1,549


AT A GLANCE


2023 Dynastar M-Pro 99 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

162, 170, 178, 186 cm

20 m

127 / 99 / 117 @ 178 cm

1902 g @ 178 cm

Stability, Precision, Versatility


Overview:

The M-Pro 99 is a cool ski. Unique, different, but cool. It has a tip like the Pagoda 100, but the similarities basically end there. It’s heavier, stiffer, and with a much longer turn radius. It’s a very strong ski, particularly in the tail thanks to Dynastar’s Titanal Rocket Frame application of metal. There’s more metal through the tail than the tip, which corresponds to the fact there’s much more tip rocker than tail rocker. It’s a reverse mullet ski: party in the front, business in the back. The tip shape won’t pull you into a carve as efficiently as some skis, but a lot of skiers will like that, as it allows you to dictate when, where, and how you make a turn. If you tell it to carve, it will carve extremely well and with a very strong finish to a turn. If you don’t want to carve, that’s fine too, as it will let you make quicker, shorter turns too. In order to achieve this, it does require a reasonably skilled skiers, as the tail requires some unweighting to be quick and the forebody requires some input to initiate a carve. We’ve always used the term “a real skier’s ski” to describe its feel. You tell it what to do, not the other way around, which is somewhat refreshing as it contrasts the feel of many skis on the market.

Who it's For:

Skiers with good technique who prefer a more traditional feel and really good feedback from the tails of their skis. It’s not washy, it’s not designed to be particularly easy, but if you have the technique, you can make it do anything you want.

Price: $749.9


AT A GLANCE


2023 Dynastar M-Free 99 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

171, 179, 185 cm

17 m

125 / 99 / 120 @ 178 cm

1990 g @ 185 cm

Playfulness, Forgiveness, Maneuverability


Overview:

The M-Free 99 offers an excellent alternative to the M-Pro 99 at the same width. No metal and considerably more tail rocker gives the M-Free 99 a way more playful, surfy, smeary feel compared to the strength and edge grip of the M-Pro 99. It’s the second true twin tip we’ve looked as so far, with the Bent 100 being the first. Where the Bent feels snappy and energetic, the M-Free 99 feels quieter, smoother, and more surfy. It pivots and smears through tight terrain and soft snow effortlessly, giving it a much more approachable, easier feel than the M-Pro. It doesn’t have nearly the same strength or torsional stiffness, but that’s just fine and really not its intention. It will still lay over some carves and does make a nice round turn with the 17 m turn radius, it just doesn’t have the power and rather is designed to be playful and fun. It’s also perfectly capable in the park and there’s some customization in how you choose to mount it, much like the Bent 100. Go a little closer to center for a modern freeride/park ski, or choose a more traditional mount point to maximize directional maneuverability for trees, chutes, bumps, you name it.

Who it's For:

Playful skiers who value maneuverability and quickness over strength and stability. You love finding little soft snow stashes, natural hits, and maybe even head into the park from time to time.

Price: $649.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

169, 176, 183, 190 cm

19 m @ 183 cm

138 / 103 / 128 mm

2099 g @ 183 cm

Versatility, Playfulness, Smoothness


Overview:

Quick! Everyone freak out there’s no more pink ski! Just kidding. Don’t do that. The new Ranger 102 is awesome and carries forward the versatility and just about everything we loved about the pink ski. It’s highly versatile and feels like one of those skis that has a very even mix of performance characteristics. It’s strong on trail and will hold an edge even through high speed turns, but it’s also agile and fun. Compared to the ski it replaces, the new Ranger is smoother and with more vibration damping, without giving away too much quickness. Although they look different, the shapes are actually pretty similar, with the new Ranger just feeling a touch more directional, partly thanks to the asymmetrical application of metal (it’s set back from the center point of the ski, somewhat limiting how far forward you can mount it). So far in this article, the best ski to compare it to would be the Declivity 102, with the Ranger feeling more precise and responsive, but maybe not quite as strong. It also kind of feels like a lighter, less fatiguing Enforcer 100. It is, hands-down, one of the most well-rounded, versatile skis in this comparison, from a few different perspectives. It’s versatile in how many different types of skiers will enjoy it, the different terrain applications, and the vast amount of turn shapes it allows for.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a daily driver, do-everything ski. Carve some turns, wiggle through trees, ski some powder, ski switch a little, there’s really nothing you can’t do on a Ranger 102. It might not be a superlative chaser, but it’ll satisfy a huge range of skiers.

Price: $799.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Head Kore 99 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

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

17 m @ 177 cm

134 / 99 / 120 mm

1728 g @ 177 cm

Precision, Responsiveness, Quickness


Overview:

Hey! It’s got a topsheet now! While adding a traditional topsheet material to a ski might not sound like a big change, it actually provided a noticeable change in how the Kore 99 feels. It’s still light, stiff, and extremely responsive, but it’s a little quieter now. More vibration damping and smoother, which we’re happy to see as that historically has been the only thing to point our finger at in its overall performance. A lot of skiers didn’t mind the feel, but anyone who did should try it again, as the new ski feels noticeably smoother in all conditions. It’s still extremely precise, however, and still best for a skier who is exceptionally deliberate in how they ski. You make a turn exactly where you planned, rather than just pointing your skis down the fall line and reacting, like you can do on a ski like the Justis. The Kore loves clean, round turns whether you’re maneuvering through trees or linking carves on firm snow. Because it’s so stiff, you need to be prepared for how it responds to your input. Again, some skiers will love that, you just need to have that skiing style. Since we mentioned the Justis already, that feels like a great ski to compare to the Kore 99 as they’re basically extreme opposites in this category. The Kore 99 would compare better to the Maverick 100 Ti as they’re both very light, but the Kore is stiffer, giving it more precision and responsiveness and slightly less playfulness.

Who it's For:

Very technical skiers who value feedback and responsiveness, much like the M-Pro 99, but with a significantly lighter feel. Good technique is the name of the game for the Kore 99, as skiers who have a tendency to get in the backseat will experience a relatively unforgiving reaction.

Price: $799.00


AT A GLANCE


2023 K2 Mindbender 99 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

166, 172, 178, 184, 190 cm

19.6 m @ 184 cm

134 / 99 / 120 mm

2028 g @ 178 cm

Versatility, Stability, Power


Overview:

K2 updated the Mindbender 99 Ti for 2023 and we love the changes. The overall concept remains the same, and this ski is still one of the most well-rounded in this category. It fits nicely into the conversation with skis like the Enforcer 100, Ranger 102, Maverick 100 Ti, or other skis that designed to have a good mix of performance characteristics. It’s strong and stable thanks to the Titanal Y-Beam construction, but it’s agile and maneuverable too. In fact, K2 has enhanced the latter part of its performance. There’s more freeride influence in this new ski. It’s better in soft snow without sacrificing its capabilities on-piste. That feels like a great direction to take this ski. I always think about K2 skis as being more playful and fun rather than powerful and serious. Sure, there’s some power to this ski, but it undeniably has that K2 attitude that we know and love. The forebody of the ski feels strong and precise, with the aft section and tai remaining forgiving and fun.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for one of those daily-driver type skis. Maybe this will be the only ski you own, which would be fine as it’s so darn versatile. With its construction and heft, however, you should be a relatively strong skier in the advanced/expert range.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Kastle MX 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

169, 178, 187 cm

20.9 m @ 178 cm

137 / 98 / 120 mm

2070 g @ 178 cm

Precision, Stability, Edge Grip


Overview:

Remember when we were talking about the Bonafide 97? Scroll up for a refresher if you need to. The MX 98 is right in that same category. Mostly camber, two sheets of metal, and a flat, squared off tail gives the MX 98 a ton of power, precision, stability, and responsiveness. We’re back to more of a carving focus in this ski, after discussing a ton of skis with more maneuverability or versatility. Like the Bonafide 97, you can still take this ski off trail, it just requires a relatively skilled driver. To me, its highlight is how it carves, and will let you continue to carve even through softer snow or later in the day when the trails get a bit messy. It tracks incredibly well through variable snow and finishes a turn with such precision and cleanliness that sometimes you forget you’re on a ski that’s 98 underfoot. It also comes along with that Kastle quality, noticeable mostly in its vibration damping and precision. It is undeniable that Kastle (and other brands like Stockli) have more of a high-end, high-quality feel than some skis. I don’t even care if it’s more placebo effect at this point. When I ski a Kastle, I can tell it’s a Kastle, and something just feels different.

Who it's For:

Skiers who aren’t afraid of opening up their wallet in exchange for a particular level of precision, finish quality, and overall experience. That said, you should also be a strong skier with at least advanced-level technique, and you value carving and precision over playfulness or maneuverability.

Price: $1,249.00


AT A GLANCE


2023 Kastle ZX100 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

168, 175, 181, 189 cm

18 m @ 181 cm

134 / 100 / 121 mm

1950 g @ 175 cm

Maneuverability, Quickness, Forgiveness


Overview:

This kind of feels like when we talked about the M-Pro 99 and the M-Free 99. Certainly some differences across Dynastar and Kastle, but the analogy remains effective. The ZX 100 is like a narrow directional powder ski. It’s so different from the MX 98, you could easily justify owning both. Considerable lighter, softer, and with more rocker, the ZX 100 is highly maneuverable and offers exceptional float in this category. Kastle tips tend to float really well given their trademark Hollowtech design. A lighter tip will just float better, because physics. Contrasting the M-Free 99, however, the tail is much flatter, giving this ski a distinctly directional feel as well as more feedback and responsiveness from the tail. It’s not as smeary or surfy as a lot of skis in this category with more tail rocker, but a lot of skiers don’t necessarily want a smeary ski. The ZX 100 allows you to play and easily maneuver through technical terrain, but does so with a slightly more traditional feel than some. It’s not the lightest ski in the world, but Kastle does include a skin attachment point on the tail, which is perhaps a nod to its sidecountry application rather than an indication that it’s a real AT ski. That’s up to you.

Who it's For:

Directional skiers looking for a fun, playful, maneuverable ski. For some, it could even act as a dedicated powder ski as its float far exceeds most expectations in this category.

Price: $749.00


AT A GLANCE


2023 Liberty Evolv 100 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

172, 179, 186 cm

19 m @ 179 cm

139 / 100 / 122 mm

1881 g @ 179 cm

Power, Stability, Edge Grip


Overview:

When the Evolv series was first introduced, we used to say things like, “you wouldn’t expect a ski like this from Liberty.” I think it’s fair to say those days are gone, however, as the Evolv 100 has made a significant mark on the industry and Liberty seems to be slowly transitioning to a more well-rounded brand with a complete offering of different skis, rather than a twin tip company. The Evolv 100 now features VMT 3.0, utilizing 3 vertical strips of metal laminated within its poplar and ba,boo wood core. There’s a lot of camber in this ski, with the rocker placed more in the tip than the tail. With its flatter, square tail, the Evolv 100 prefers finishing a turn with power and precision, rather than washing or releasing at the end of a turn. It’s actually a good comparison to skis like the MX 98, Bonafide 97, or Enforcer 100. It leans more towards the strength and power side of the spectrum rather than the playful or maneuverable side. It makes sense, considering the ski we’re going to look at next, and with the success of skis like this, you could now have a full quiver of skis just from Liberty, which isn’t really something you could say just 5 years ago.

Who it's For:

Strong skiers looking for a powerful ski in this width range that will rail carving turns, but like to shop outside of the big box brands. There’s something fun about supporting a smaller company, and although they’ve proven successful, I think it’s still fair to call Liberty “smaller.”

Price: $769.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Liberty Origin 101 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

171, 176, 182, 187 cm

19.5 m @ 182 cm

135 / 101 / 123 mm

1918 g @ 182 cm

Versatility, Maneuverability, Responsiveness


Overview:

The Origin 101 has VMT 1.0, so one vertical strip of metal, and much more of a twin tip, freestyle/freeride inspired shape compared to its sibling, the Evolv 100. The Origin 101 actually falls into the category of those well-rounded, highly versatile, one-ski-quiver skis, but is more of a twin tip shape than most of the other skis we’d describe with those terms. It’s equal parts agile and strong, playful and precise, floaty and stable. There’s probably not a better example of what Liberty is all about as a brand, at least traditionally. This ski loves to seek out soft snow, loves to play, but you can ski it fast too. Throw a little 360 off a natural hit, carve a couple turns, then slash and pivot through trees. There’s a lot you can do on the Origin 101 and it seems to adapt to who is skiing it. Put a racer on it and they might not find the limitless power of the Evolv 100, but they’ll make some impressive turns nonetheless. Put a park skier on it and they’ll do something wild like a switch 540 into powder of a wind lip. It’s super fun to ski and you can take it just about anywhere, but it does have more of a modern freeride feel, so some more traditionalist, directional skiers may prfer a ski with a flatter tail.

Who it's For:

Playful skiers looking for a nice mix of performance characteristics. You want to be able to toss some tricks just as much as you want to be able to rail high speed turns, and the Origin 101 lets you do both of those things, which is pretty darn cool.

Price: $699.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Line Blend Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

171, 178, 185 cm

20 m

133 / 100 / 122 @ 178 cm

1827 g @ 180 cm

Playfulness, Forgiveness, Quickness


Overview:

It almost feels like the Blend shouldn’t be in this comparison as it’s such an outlier, but Line doesn’t really have another ski that fits into the 100 mm category (Blade Optics will be featured in future comparisons), so here we are. If I had to, the closest skis to compare it to in this category would be the M-Free 99 and Bent 100. It’s relatively lightweight, uses a simple wood core, has a freestyle/twin tip design, but it’s incredibly soft flexing. It is quite possibly the softest flexing ski I’ve ever been on, although maybe the Sir Francis Bacon is softer. This limits its ability as an all-mountain ski, but enhances its ability as a freestyle and park ski. Butters, presses, nose blocks, ollies, nollies… all those things that Will Wesson does. That’s what this ski is all about. In fact, the latest iteration was designed with a ton of input from Mr. Wesson, who’s known far more for his jibbing than anything else. If you’re a technical park skier who loves slower speed jibs, you’ll love the Blend. If you’re hitting massive park jumps or blasting around the mountain at Mach 1 speeds, perhaps you should choose a stiffer, more supportive ski.

Who it's For:

Will Wesson and aspiring Will Wessons. You’re going to change the industry and make the next Traveling Circus style web series. Or you just like jibbing and park skiing. You can enjoy this ski without being Will, that’s fine too.

Price: $649.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186, 191 cm

17.3 m @ 179 cm

132.5 / 100 / 120.5 mm

2151 g @ 179 cm

Power, Versatility, Maneuverability


Overview:

Do we really even have to talk about the Enforcer 100? It feels like at this point everyone should know this ski and what it’s all about. If you had to point to a true benchmark ski for comparisons, it’s the Enforcer 100. It’s still easily one of the most well-rounded skis in this category. It has inspired imitators from other brands. It has arguably changed the entire industry and how we think about skis. It’s strong thanks to its two sheets of metal. It’s maneuverable thanks to its rocker and taper shape. It is extremely versatile and even somewhat approachable, at least among skis that achieve this power and/or with this much metal. I can’t remember the last time someone skied the Enforcer 100 and didn’t like it because, well, I’m not sure that’s ever happened…. We should, however, point to the fact that it’s on the heavier side of the spectrum. If there’s any significant downside to its performance and feel, it’s the fact that it can tire you out. Some skiers won’t feel that, but less aggressive and/or lighter weight or less fit skiers may find it heavy. Still, we don’t get that feedback very often, and although it’s been around for a while now with few actual changes, it remains one of the best and most well-rounded.

Who it's For:

Directional skiers who want a ski they can take anywhere on the mountain. You like carving turns on-piste as much as you like skiing trees and powder, or at least you want a ski that can do both without issue. Just remember the weight when deciding if it’s right for you.

Price: $799.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Nordica Unleashed 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

168, 174, 180, 186 cm

17.4 m @ 174 cm

132 / 98 / 121 mm

1873 g @ 180 cm

Playfulness, Stability, Edge Grip


Overview:

Did I cry a little bit when they announced the Soul Rider was going away? Maybe. Were those tears pointless as soon as I skied the Unleashed 98? Yes. This new ski retains the freestyle capabilites of the Soul Rider and blends it with some of the power, vibration damping, and torsional stiffness of skis like the Enforcer or women’s Santa Ana. I bring up the women’s Santa Ana because that’s the inspiration for the construction of the Unleashed 98, borrowing the terrain specific metal found in that ski. Despite having metal, it still remains quick, maneuverable, and agile. It’s perfectly capable in the park, but will wiggle through trees and arc carving turns on firm snow too. It’s even pretty darn good in the moguls. Among the twin tips in this comparison, I would say it’s the strongest. It is, however, slightly more demanding than skis like the Bent 100 or M-Free 99, but you get more stability and torsional stiffness too, and I think a lot of skiers are willing to make that trade. If you’re an aging park skier like myself, you’ll absolutely love it. It’s actually pretty similar to the Black Ops 98 and QST 98 that we’ll talk about next, with that Black Ops putting up a bit of an argument against my “strongest twin tip” claim.

Who it's For:

Playful skiers who want a fun twin tip ski that they can take into the park, but are hoping for some power and performance around the rest of the mountain too. It’s not a one dimensional ski like the Blend, but still relatively easy to throw around in the park.

Price: $699.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Rossignol Black Ops 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

162, 172, 182, 192 cm

17 m @ 172 cm

131 / 98 / 121 mm

2019 g @ 182 cm

Stability, Intuitiveness, Playfulness


Overview:

We get a cool new graphic on this ski, but it remains the same amazing wider twin that we’ve loved for years. It’s fun, interesting, and incredibly versatile. They take a pretty simple build, flatten and straighten it out a bit, and add the twin tip, and we get a unique ski that can do anything from park and pipe to powder and groomers. It shares similar shaping and application to M-Free 99 and Unleashed 98, but has a bit more of a damp feeling, which is kind of interesting because it has less metal than Unleashed, and more wood than M-Free. It’s considerably denser than Bent 100 and Origin 101, and we’ve seen some very high-performance skiing on Blackops 98 as a result. You do pay for it with weight, as the 182 tips the scales at 2019 grams per ski. There’s metal underfoot, but for the most part, the fiberglass and epoxy comprise most of the mass. Unleashed is more poppy due to higher camber and the use of metal, but some skiers want the more slarvy nature of Blackops, and we’re all for it. Side hits galore, this ski is meant to use the natural features of the mountain, allowing skiers to channel their inner freestyler and add their creative mark to the mountain.

Who it's For:

You view the mountain as your playground, but also don’t mind getting down to business from time to time. If you’re looking for something sturdy and quiet, but with a top-level fun-factor, Blackops 98 is for you.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Salomon QST 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

169, 176, 183, 189 cm

16 m @ 176 cm

132 / 98 / 120 mm

2030 g @ 183 cm

Flotation, Silence, Broad Appeal


Overview:

Returning unchanged for 2023, the Salomon QST 98 strikes an amazing balance between all-mountain and freeride. We’ve had this thing in over a foot of powder and on firmer groomers, and it’s been magical on both. When they shortened the sidecut, they definitely gave it some DPS RP notes, and we’re not complaining. They also distanced it more from the Stance 96 and 102 in this way, putting the QST 98 more into the off-trail category and with a floaty personality. Liberty Origin 101 and Dynastar M-Free 99 feel somewhat similar from the freeride perspective, while the on-trail personality is definitely more DPS Pagoda 100. One of the nice things about the QST is that they’re able to accomplish all of these benefits without metal—their use of carbon and flax to go along with Poplar wood and cork make the QST 98 very quiet and stable in a wide variety of conditions and terrain. Almost forgot about the trees! The shorter radius combined with the floaty personality make the QST 98 one of the better tree skis we’ve been on—tons of rocker for flotation, and that nice tapered shape that allows you to swerve in and out of tighter spots put the QST 98 in rare air in terms of glade gliding.

Who it's For:

Skiers who want to float, but want to keep their skis under 100 mm wide. If you love splitting your time pretty darn equally between on and off-trail applications, this should be at the top of the list. It’s user-friendly, but also has a very high-performance ceiling.

Price: $599.99


AT A GLANCE


2023 Salomon Stance 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

176, 183, 190 cm

23 m @ 183 cm

134 / 102 / 121 mm

2053 g @ 176 cm

Smoothness, Stability, Straightness


Overview:

We get a new graphic for the Stance for 2023, but it remains the same unique ski that doesn’t really have a whole lot of similarities with anything else. The turn radius and rocker profile take care of that. When QST diverged a bit last year, it set the Stance 102 even further away, and that was good news for advanced and expert skiers looking for a ski to cut through the crud and chop as if it were a groomer. This thing is so incredibly smooth and stable. In the 176, we get a long 23-meter arc, so it’s way different than the DPS or the QST, and falling more in line with the Dynastar M-Pro 99 and the Rossignol Blackops 98 when it comes to sidecut. That said, when you tip this thing on edge, you do have to be prepared for it not to hook up—it likes to go straight, and as such, has one of the best high-speed performance personalities of any ski on this list. They do a great job at using the metal to absorb the vibrations while the carbon and flax add energy and pop to the mix. When we skied it in Utah, I couldn’t help but think that it was the perfect ski for me out there. In a wide-open bowl, I don’t think I’d rather be on anything else. Like the M-Pro 99, this is a skier’s ski and needs to be driven as such.

Who it's For:

Advanced and Expert skiers who either like a straight cut, or spend most of their time making longer, more drawn-out arcs. If you find yourself in manky snow more often than not, these will cut right through the mess.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Scott Pure Mission 98 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

170, 177, 184 cm

19 m @ 177 cm

133 / 98 / 119 mm

1822 g @ 184 cm

Versatility, Friendly Nature, Quickness


Overview:

A newcomer to our comparison series, the Scott Pure Mission 98 quickly became a staff favorite. A lot of it had to do with our first test day on them being an awesome powder day, but even so, the Mission 98 stood out as a versatile, light, and energetic ski with a ton of potential. Weighing 1822 grams in the 184, it’s got the quickness and maneuverability to make shorter turns, while the metal underfoot and carbon stringers give it good high-speed capabilities as well. At 98 mm underfoot, it’s right in the sweet spot for a one-ski quiver, and it lines up well alongside the Head Kore 99 and Atomic Maverick 100 as a great option for skiers who want the top end of performance, but without the weight. The intuitive nature of the Mission 98 stood out for me, as it felt easy to put anywhere, from the steeps and technical zones to the bumps and trees, it went where it was told to go, and did so with minimal complaints. It is pretty far from an MX98 or Bonafide, though, in that the ski has far more of an all-mountain personality versus the Kastle’s and Blizzard’s carving and firm snow prowess. It’s tough to substitute metal for carbon straight up, so there is going to be that limitation with the Scott when it comes to front side acumen. Other than that, we were totally pleased with the Mission 98, and we were especially stoked to get on it when we did.

Who it's For:

Skiers looking for a light and versatile all-mountain ski with minimal compromises. The weight opens it up for touring potential, too, so if you’re in the market for a 50/50 ski, the Mission 98 is a worthy candidate.

Price: $749.95


AT A GLANCE


2023 Stockli Stormrider 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

173, 182, 191 cm

19.8 m @ 182 cm

135 / 102 / 125 mm

1943 g @ 182 cm

Silence, Precision, Smoothness


Overview:

Who doesn’t love a Stockli? These things have such universal acclaim and appreciation, it’s almost not even fair. They simply make great skis, and crazy as it sounds, the Stormrider 102 is the widest ski that Stockli makes. This goes to show their emphasis on front side and all-mountain, while leaving other companies to the super-fats. At 102, though, it’s still a deft floater, mainly due to the flexible nature and relatively lighter weight. There’s a good amount of freeride-inspired taper in the shovel, but the rest of the ski is pretty much all business, especially when it comes to the squared-off tail with a bunch of metal in it. It’s a decent mix of an M-Pro 99, Kastle MX98, and ZX100, with the carving power of the MX, the taper shape of the ZX, and the M-Pro's need to be driven. Sure, you can relax on the Stormrider 102, but you can also push it pretty darn hard. We’ve talked about the speed range of Stockli being in a class of its own, and that is certainly exemplified by the Stormrider 102. Smooth, stable, and insanely quiet, the Stormrider 102 takes soft snow performance to the next level of precision and quality.

Who it's For:

You are looking for a wider ski in your quiver, but don’t want something super fat that can’t handle a groomer. You like powder, but don’t need it to be satisfied with a ski day. Skiers who are looking for the top tier of construction and quality in a ski should look no further.

Price: $1,249.00


AT A GLANCE


2023 Volkl Mantra 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

STRENGTHS

170, 177, 184, 191 cm

27 / 20 / 25 m @ 184 cm

142 / 102 / 124 mm

2147 g @ 177 cm

Strength, Power, Carving


Overview:

As one of the more powerful skis in this grouping, the Volkl Mantra 102 gets the upgrades of the M6 and Kendo 88 for 2023, and we think that is a very good thing. By reducing the sidecut just a bit, and increasing the torsional stiffness in the tips, the Mantra 102 gets a big boost in the agility department. For those (like me) who thought it was a bit of a tank in the past, the 2023 version will quell those thoughts for sure. It’s fair to say that the Enforcer 100 is a good comparison to this ski, with the amount of metal and overall strong carving performance, but it’s not quite as floaty or freeridey as the Nordica. The Mantra 102 prefers to be on-trail, and in that realm for its width, it’s one of the best. Declivity 102 has a similar overall personality as well, but again, does not stack up to the edge grip and carving confidence of the Volkl. While there are certainly better floaters out there, even at narrower shapes such as QST 98 or M-Free 99, the Mantra will plow through crud, chop, and broken snow far better than almost anything else on this list. Bonafide 97 gives it a run, but the extra surface area of the Mantra does put it in rare company in terms of pure power. That said, it’s still a handful, and is best when used by expert skiers who have strong skills and legs. Former racers gravitate to skis like this or the Bonafide for those reasons, as it has the feeling of a race ski, but in a much wider-bodied format.

Who it's For:

Strong skiers who know what they want. You do not want to sacrifice performance for freeride fun and flotation. You prefer edge grip to smeary and slarvy turns and most likely are using this for an on-trail ski.

Price: $799.99


Written by Jeff Neagle on 9/02/22

11 thoughts on “2023 Ski Comparisons: Men's 100 mm All Mountain Ski Guide

  1. I am in my 2nd pair of Enforcer 100s. They have about 110 days on them. What are you seeing for a lifespan in these Time for a new pair?

    I’d love to see the mid 90s comparison next as I’ll either be purchasing something from
    That category or replacing my Enforcers this year.

    Thanks!

    1. HI Henry!
      I'd imagine you're on the tail end of the performance of those skis. It's not as if they'll fall apart, they'll just lose pop over time. We'll definitely include the Enforcer 94 in that mid-90's comparison.
      Have fun!
      SE

  2. Great review as always.

    I feel like in the video you asked what to review next. Did I imagine that? Anyway, for me the most important category, equal to the 100mm one you just did, is the 88-90mm segment. Then powder skis (say 110mm plus). And then maybe “one oh something” skis.

    I’m not that interested in pure AT skis, or even 50/50 ones, but ones for 70/30 resort/side country or even 80/20 are of interest. Which would probably really be Alpine skis ok to put a heavier touring binding on (like a Shift or Duke). Maybe really a review of skis for side county you’d put a Shift or Duke on?

    1. Thanks, Brett!
      We're always looking for input and feedback! The 88-90 is probably my favorite--I think we held off on those because we didn't have stock in a few key models. Our Touring ski category will likely include everything that a company's catalog includes in the touring spectrum, so everything from an ultra-light randonee all the way up to Blizzard Hustle 11 shall be covered. Binding choice certainly tends to find its way into these discussions.
      SE

  3. As always awesome & THANK YOU!

    Just curious, why no BC Camox? I have found them to be one of the most enjoyable, play (almost) all over the mtn fun skis out there. Everything except really firm snow or ripping steeps up on edge. Thanks

  4. Thanks for the fantastic reviews guys. Just wondering if you could offer an opinion to help with me decide. I've been skiing Enforcer 100s for 3 seasons now, and I really WANT to love them, but I just don't. I'm 49, and an expert skier, but the enforcers are a lot of work for me, so I start to lose technique with fatigue and they seem punish me for it. I'm out west and ski off-piste when conditions are good, and when they're not good I'm charging groomer and bumps and jumping a lot. Looking for something lighter that'll still be an awesome all-mountain performer that I can use all day long. I've watched all your recent videos and I'm thinking maybe Ripstick 96 black edition, or maybe the Solomon qst? Suggestions? Thanks again!

    1. Don't fight it, Adam!
      They're very strong and powerful skis for sure, and a lot of skiers love them, and I'm kind of in the same boat as you are. I think I skied my 100's one or two days last year--had a lot more fun on the skis on your list. I'd add the Head Kore 99 to the list as well. That one I'd recommend a demo on, while the other two you can get sight-unseen and have a wonderful ski experience. I'd offer up this video on the Kore to check out--the other two are safer bets, but this one always surprises me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxXXITggMWg
      Have fun!
      SE/Bob

  5. Adam try the Mindbender 99ti! You’ll thank me later!

    Enforcer 100 owner as well, and though I do love my enforcers, I definitely agree with you, they are fatiguing. I was able to demo the 2023 K2 Mindbender 99ti’s back in April, and man, I was blown away! To me they are very similar, and have the same versatility, and all those enforcer characteristics that we like, damp, smooth, stable, fast, fun, etc, but they are just less fatiguing. I ended up skiing them all day. I kept going back to the demo tent, and the K2 rep told me to keep having fun on them, he had more pairs. I still love my enforcer 100’s, but these are just so much fun! I bought a pair.

  6. Thanks for the review as always!

    I’m 5’11” 180 pounds and I like to ski a pretty even mix of trees, powder, bumps, and groomers. I don’t do a lot of park, but I’ll hit side hits and smaller drops whenever I can. I definitely like to ski aggressive and fast unless I’m in deep powder where I’ll slow down and enjoy it more. Last year I skied a pair of 2019 Candide 3.0. I liked them a lot in the trees, and didn’t have any problems on groomers, but I really struggled in deeper snow. Ive been skiing in Colorado for 16 years. Right now I’m stuck between the QST 98, QST 106, Bent 100, and Nordica Enforcer 100. Which of those skis do you think would fit me best and at what length?

    1. HI Quinn!
      I think for the mix of attributes, the QST 98 is pretty hard to beat. It's an excellent tree ski, does great on groomers, and for a 98, floats very well. I'd say for your stats and application, the 106 is slightly wide, the Bent 100 is a bit flexible, and the Enforcer is on the heavy side. The QST 98 really checks a whole lot of boxes, and I'd go with the 183 in that ski. Have fun!
      SE

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