Rossignol Classic CX80
Best For: Day-to-day alpine at the resort
The Word: For those of us who cut our teeth in the days before shaped skis, the Classic just feels right underfoot—sans the effort of turning those old boards. That’s because Rossi used an old-school wood-core and vertical-sidewall construction in conjunction with contemporary deep sidecut (the skis’s dimensions run at 124/80/112). What that translates into is a do-it-all ski that edges solid on hardpack, manages bumps, can float in powder and runs through crud.
$1,430 (with TPI2 Axial 2 140 Ti bindings); rossignol.com
Best For: Backcountry booting, big mountain
The Word: Designed for backcountry booters and freestyle flash, the Baggy has enough sidecut at 132/102/122 and stability underfoot to hold its own in-area on soft days as well as eat up deep powder. The thing that stood out to us the most was the light wood core, which made it both quick and also a surprisingly nice ski for skinning.
K2 Apache Coomba
Best For: Big-mountain alpine or AT in the backcountry or in-area
The Word: At 135/102/121, the Coomba is not exactly a fat ski by today’s standards, but it is one versatile big-mountain gun—it howls through deep powder and stomps crud. And it’s just thin enough underfoot and shaped to handle those powder/packed powder resort days. Plus, the legendary Doug Coombs, who died in 2006 in a fall in La Grave, helped design the ski and K2 donates a percentage of sales to his wife and son.
Karhu Storm BC
Best For: Backcountry telemarkers
The Word: Most of the discussion on this ski has centered around the “sustainable” Greenlight Paulownia and maple core, which is made from wood that’s responsibly grown and harvested. There should be more talk about just how well it floats in the backcountry in everything from bottomless fluff to sloppy slush. At 128/96/117, there’s enough sidecut to snap quick turns but the tip’s big enough to let them run.
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Burton Eco Nico
Best For: Conscientious all-mountain riding
Designed by pro Nicolas Müller, the Eco Nico is a sustainable version of Burton’s Custom built with recycled materials. It’s also a versatile, stable ride that’s just as credible when it comes to performance.
Lib Tech T.Rice MTX
Best For: Park and pipe; all-mountain riding
The ecologially minded mural on the T.Rice is the product of artist Mike Parillo and Travs Rice spending a month riding and 10 days fasting in New Zealand. The board itself jumps from park-and-pipe to all-mountain riding thanks to stable edging and a snappy alloy wood core.
Rome SDS Notch 1985
Best For: Powder
This directional twin-tip features reverse camber—like a surfboard— making it float like a magic carpet in untracked snow. With a carbon laminate and bamboo stringers in nose and tail, it’s designed to shed pow even when you’re riding fakie—a nice, common-sense touch in a powder board.
Telemarking: Black Diamond Push
The key to the Push is a versatile flex—it’s stiff enough to handle laying out and bombing like a brute on groomers yet it provides enough feel for subtle ups and downs in the untracked. The Boa-adjustable liner was easy to deal with and even easier to micro-adjust during the day.
Alpine/AT: Scarpa Typhoon
Built with four buckles and a power strap, the Typhon allows easy access to walk mode for a quick change from skiing to touring. But the truly remarkable thing about this boot is the DIN-standard rubberized sole that takes both Alpine and AT bindings.
Snowboarding: ThirtyTwo Prime
The Prime made us like the feel of our snowboard boots again. That’s because it comes with a customizable lacing system incorporating a forefront cage that’s easy to tighten. That makes for a versatile boot that’s stiff, responsive and extremely comfortable.