The SkiEssentials.com Bargain Basement: 10 of Our Best Deals on 2022 Skis - Lead Image

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The SkiEssentials.com Bargain Basement: 10 of Our Best Deals on 2022 Skis


The Bargain Basement videos and articles were very well-received when we started doing them last year. We sell a lot of skis here on SkiEssentials.com, so we end up with an interesting mix of inventory each spring. Jeff and I thought it would be fun to take a slightly different approach this year. We start with a walk through the warehouse to identify fuller racks/higher quantities of specific skis, and then check the pricing to see if there are any standout models. We quickly came up with about 20-25 skis that we felt were both excellent skis and great deals. While we’ve had 20+ skis on the wall for comparisons in the past, we felt that having a draft would be an interesting way to pick our top 5 models and discuss those, while still leaving the remaining 10 or so skis on an “Honorable Mention” list.

Additionally, as an incentive for our viewers, subscribers, and readers, we’re promoting an additional 10% off on these models, so if you’re actively shopping and like the sound of one or more of these skis, simply enter the coupon code SPRING22 at checkout for even deeper discounts. That coupon code will be valid through the spring and summer unless we're also running a site-wide sale, like, for instance, this Memorial Day Weekend. Where applicable, we added both men’s and women’s models as they’re all similar constructions and prices. We also offer all of these skis both flat and with bindings. Most come with either the Tyrolia Attack 13/14 or the Marker Griffon 13, and generally add $175 to the price of the ski. With 10% off, free mounting, and free ground shipping to contiguous US states, there are some seriously smoking deals on this list. Enjoy!

Jeff’s Round 1 Pick:

2022 K2 Reckoner 102 Skis ($419.95)

AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Reckoner 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

19.3 m @ 184 cm

134 / 102 / 127 mm

Playfulness, Maneuverability, Flotation


Current Price: $419.95

Why We Like It:

I got first pick and there was no way I wasn’t picking the Reckoner 102. The ski remains the same for 2022 with the exception of just a new topsheet graphic, so you’re still getting a “current” ski design with that ridiculous $419.95 price tag. Of course, I also picked it because I absolutely love skiing it. Super playful shape and flex pattern. It can double as a park ski, all-mountain ski, and even a powder ski (okay triple). Carbon Spectral Braid is a really cool additive in this ski and allows K2 to retain the softer flex pattern while still building in good edge grip. Slash, smear, and play around, but then you can actually lay over some deep trenchy carves too.

2022 K2 Reckoner 102 Skis:

Bob’s Round 1 Pick:

2022 Head Kore 99 Skis ($419.00)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 99 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

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

17.0 m @ 177 cm

134 / 99 / 120 mm

Precision, Responsiveness, Quickness


Current Price: $419.00

Why We Like It:

The Head Kore 99, at $419, is a pretty sweet deal. While the 93 is a bit cheaper, I personally chose the 99 because I think it’s a bit more versatile, especially in the softer-snow realm. There’s not a huge difference between the 2022 and 2023 Kore 99, so that makes this deal even better. I love the blend of Karuba wood and carbon in this ski, and the width makes it stand out for me a bit better. For here in Vermont, the Kore 99 is capable of making really great edge angles on the firmer snow as well as being able to float and swerve through the tighter trees. The blend of how I feel about this ski combined with the price puts it tops on my list in this series.

2022 Head Kore 99 Skis:

Jeff’s Round 2 Pick:

2022 Salomon QST 92 and QST Lux Skis ($349.99)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 92 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

153, 161, 169, 177, 185 cm

18.0 m @ 177 cm

131 / 92 / 114 mm

Versatility, Maneuverability, Forgiveness


AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 92 Lux Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

153, 161, 169 cm

17.0 m @ 169 cm

130 / 92 / 113 mm

Versatility, Maneuverability, Forgiveness-


Current Price: $349.99

Why We Like It:

$349.99 for a ski as versatile and fun as the QST 92? Sign me up. That’s an awesome price for a ski with a lot of technology in it. The 92 is easily the most overlooked ski in the QST line, which really isn’t fair. It’s a fantastic ski and an all-mountain Swiss Army Knife. It might not be the most powerful carver in the world, but it can still lay over some railroad tracks if you’re not expecting too much out of. In bumps, trees, and other non-groomer situations, it’s a blast. Super agile, easy to flick around, easy to slither it through bumps and trees. It has a nice mix of feeling both energetic and damp, something Salomon does exceptionally well in all the QST skis. It changes for 2023, but the overall theme remains the same and this 2022 version is still an excellent choice for a daily driver ski.

2022 Salomon QST 92 Skis:

2022 Salomon QST 92 Lux Skis:

Bob’s Round 2 Pick:

2022 Volkl Blaze 94 Skis, Volkl Blaze 94W Skis ($384.99)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Blaze 94 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

158, 165, 172, 179, 186 cm

27 m / 15 m / 37 m @ 172 cm

134 / 94 / 116 mm

Versatility, Playfulness, Lightweight


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Blaze 94W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

151, 158, 165, 172 cm

23 / 13 / 21 m @ 158 cm

134 / 94 / 116 mm

Versatility, Playfulness, Lightweight


Current Price: $384.99

Why We Like It:

I was very impressed by the Blaze 94 this past year. I skied it on the tails of the Mantra M6, Kendo 88, and Mantra 102 during our media day, so it followed in the footsteps of some heavy hitters. My big takeaway was that there are a whole lot of M6 skiers out there who would likely have a lot more fun on the Blaze 94. It’s lighter and more playful for sure, and while there’s certainly a dropoff in pure carving performance, it still does just fine, not only for me as a heavier and more aggressive skier, but also for improving and advancing intermediates and above. If you spend time in the trees or bumps, so much the better, as the Blaze 94 is a fun-loving dancer through tighter spots than Mantra for sure. The added bonus here, in addition to the sub-$400 price mark, is the versatility for touring. The lighter weight and the integrated skin notch in the tail make it a great option for skiers looking to throw some uphills into their winter repertoire.

2022 Volkl Blaze 94 Skis:

2022 Volkl Blaze 94W Skis:

Jeff’s Round 3 Pick:

2022 Salomon QST 106 Skis ($489.99)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon QST 106 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

167, 174, 181, 188 cm

19.0 m @ 181 cm

139 / 106 / 125 mm

Flotation, Stability, Versatility


Current Price: $489.99

Why We Like It:

Kind of piggy-backing off my QST 92 pick here. The 106 has similar characteristics and attributes, but obviously it’s a much wider platform that’s more geared towards softer snow and un-groomed terrain. In the mid-100 freeride category, I’ve always thought it to be one of the most well-rounded skis. Similar to the 92, it feels both playful and stable. You can slash and smear turns with ease in any snow condition, but it will also track well and feels supportive at higher speeds through choppy snow. We’ve talked about the QST 106 a lot over the past few months, mostly focusing on the new 2023 version, but this 2022 is still really, really good and $489.99 is a fantastic price. You’re saving a bunch of money and while you’re not getting the most recent shape or updated construction, you’re still getting a very modern build and a ski that’s a ton of fun. Bonus is you can slap a Salomon Shift binding on it and use it for some backcountry touring as well.

2022 Salomon QST 106 Skis:

Bob’s Round 3 Pick:

2022 Salomon Stance 90 Skis ($454.99)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Salomon Stance 90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

168, 176, 182, 188 cm

18.0 m @ 176 cm

126 / 90 / 108 mm

Power, Edge Grip, Versatility


Current Price: $454.99

Why We Like It:

I’d say this is the best-performing ski on this list in terms of high-end stability and carving power. The Stance 90 features a poplar wood core, two sheets of metal, and a carbon/flax stringer laminate. This is a real-deal, powerful ski that can be used in a huge variety of applications and terrain. At right around $450, the Stance 90 gets you a lot of bang for the buck. Advanced and expert skiers looking for that pure all-mountain ski with the metallic dampness and performance to it will love the blend of value and edge grip of the Stance. We have Stance 96 on this list as well as Honorable Mention, but at $35 more, it just seemed like the 90 made more sense. Even though it’s on the burly side of the spectrum, I found the Stance 90 to be super-agreeable in bumps, trees, groomers, and beyond.

2022 Salomon Stance 90 Skis:

Jeff’s Round 4 Pick:

2022 Volkl Kendo 88 Skis ($519.99), 2022 Volkl Kenja 88 Skis ($454.99)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Kendo 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

30 m / 17 m / 24 m @ 177 cm

129 / 88 / 111 mm

Precision, Edge Grip, Power


AT A GLANCE


2022 Volkl Kenja 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

25 m / 14 m / 20 m @ 163 cm

129 / 88 / 111 mm

Precision, Edge Grip, Power


Current Price: Kendo 88 - $519.99, Kenja 88 - $454.99

Why We Like It:

Pretty interesting that in our Bargain Basement draft format, the Kendo 88 follows immediately after the Stance 90. We’ve spent plenty of time talking about the similarities between those skis. Admittedly, I’m not sure why the Kendo is priced higher than the Kenja as they use the same construction and shape, but both prices are still quite good. Compared to the Stance 90, the Kendo and Kenja provide more precision, mostly noticeable on firm snow when carving turns. The turn initiation and torsional stiffness is topnotch, which is a big reason why these skis have become favorites among advanced and expert skiers with strong technique. It’s a similar story as the QST 92 and 106 as we do get a new Kendo 88 for 2023, and we’ve spoken about the upgrades to the new model, but just because there’s a new ski that’s really good doesn’t automatically make the 2022 Kendo a bad ski. Quite the contrary, actually. There’s still a slew of technology in this version of the Kendo and Kenja and you can use the money you save to get your favorite binding!

2022 Volkl Kendo 88 Skis:

2022 Volkl Kenja 88 Skis:

Bob’s Round 4 Pick:

2022 Head Kore 93 Skis, 2022 Head Kore 91 W Skis ($389.00)

AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 93 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

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

16.4 m @ 177 cm

133 / 93 / 115 mm

Versatility, Responsiveness, Precision


AT A GLANCE


2022 Head Kore 91 W Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

14.7 m @ 170 cm

130 / 91 / 113 mm

Versatility, Responsiveness, Precision


Current Price: $389.00

Why We Like It:

This is a pretty insane deal at $389. Given the minimal differences between the 2022 Kore 93 and the 2023, at this price, it’s hard to pass up this 93. Even though it was a bit more expensive, for me, the Kore 99 is a better choice, but for a lot of skiers who either don’t have the weight to bend the wider ski, or they just want something in the low to mid-90's underfoot, the Kore 93 makes a whole lot of sense. I’d say the 93 is my second-favorite Kore behind the 99, only because I think the extra surface are works better for bigger skiers such as myself. Either way, at under $400, I don’t' think there’s a whole lot out there that offers a better dollar to fun ratio than the Kore 93.

2022 Head Kore 93 Skis:

2022 Head Kore 91 W Skis:

Jeff’s Round 5 Pick:

2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Skis, 2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Skis ($279.95)

AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

156, 163, 170 , 177 cm

13.5 m @ 170 cm

130 / 85 / 113 mm

Affordability, Versatility, Forgiveness


AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

149, 156, 163, 170 cm

12.1 m @ 163 cm

130 / 85 / 113 mm

Affordability, Versatility, Forgiveness


Current Price: $279.95

Why We Like It:

I really wanted to include a ski that’s sub $300 and the Mindbender 85 immediately caught my eye. This ski doesn’t use the same technology found in the 90Ti that Bob’s going to talk about next, but it’s still a great ski. A simple wood core can go a long way. Maybe you’re just a recreational skier who doesn’t get out very often. Maybe you’re transitioning from rentals or more basic system skis. Whatever the scenario, the Mindbender 85 gives you simple, versatile, and effective performance that can take you anywhere on the mountain. It’s not the lightest, it’s not the strongest, it’s not the most advanced, but it’s a solid ski, and basically anything under $300 is practically unheard of these days. Heck, you could buy three pairs of them at this price for less than some of the skis on the market right now!

2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Skis:

2022 K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Skis:

Bob’s Round 5 Pick:

2022 K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis ($454.95)

AT A GLANCE


2022 K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

STRENGTHS

163, 170, 177, 184 cm

17.9 m @ 177 cm

127 / 90 / 114 mm

Versatility, Edge Grip, Maneuverability


Current Price: $454.95

Why We Like It:

Even though it’s five cents cheaper than the Stance 90, I think the extra performance of the Salomon justifies the “extra cost.” I simply couldn’t leave this ski off of my list at right around $450. It’s one of the most versatile and fun-loving skis with metal out there, and is one of the rare skis that carves as well as it floats, rips zipper lines in the bumps as strongly as it dances through the trees, and appeals to such a broad audience. Thanks to the partial metal laminate, skiers in the advanced and above categories will find enough challenge while those more firmly planted in the intermediate level will be surprised at both the accessibility as well as the stability of the skis. While we do think the 2023 version of this ski is a bit more complete when it comes to clean and round turns, I don’t think the dropoff is terribly significant at all.

2022 K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis:

Honorable Mentions:



Written by Jeff Neagle and Bob St.Pierre on 05/26/22

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