The Top Toys: Skis

Pretty little maids, all in a row.

EO’s picks for the best skis for the 2011-12 season.

1. K2 Sideshow
Here’s a stick that can do just about anything. It’s narrow enough underfoot to still give some bite to your turns yet elevates when you hit the untracked. Mount it alpine, tele or AT.
90 mm underfoot, 20 meter turn radius.
$650; k2sports.com

2. Armada TST
The TST is rockered up front for crud crushing but offers traditional camber in the tail, making it nimble and spry. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from every TST sold goes to Travis Steeger’s Memorial Fund and the Avalanche Awareness Beyond the Boundaries Society.
103 underfoot and 18.9 meter turn radius in a 192 cm. 
$650; armadaskis.com

3. Liberty Helix
Meet the best day-to-day board for Colorado resorts. Liberty added a touch of rocker to this versatile ski, making it even better for sidecountry as well as groomers and trees.
105 underfoot, 25.5 meter turn radius in 187 cm.
$695; libertyskis.com

4. Movement Trust
The Trust is just big enough underfoot to handle any conditions, but it’s the snappy life in these boards that made them fun to ride both in the backcountry and on piste.
108 underfoot, 22 meter turn radius in 194 cm.
$950; movementskis.ch

5. Black Diamond Zealot
The Zealot used to be a ski that simply scared folks with its aggressiveness, but BD reined it in just enough to make it the best big board for hard chargers that we tested.
110 underfoot, 27 meter turn radius.
$759; blackdiamondequipment.com

6. Nordica Patron
Wow. Not only did the rockered Patron glide through deep snow, it snapped tight turns in the trees and stayed stable at speed bombing groomers. It was, quite simply, the ski that inspired the most confidence on the hill.
113 underfoot, 21 meter turn radius in 193 cm. 
$899; nordica.com

7. G3 Highball
The beefy Highball proved the perfect choice for big dumps at Breck or lapping backcountry stashes. But don’t be scared by all that heft underfoot—this fat ski still banged out responsive turns when we needed them most.
116 underfoot, 29 meter turn radius.
$770; genuineguidegear.com

8. Line Pandora
For some reason, no one wants to make a women’s powder ski that’s as wide underfoot as men’s—except Line. This baby has the oomph and rocker to power through pow, while still providing nuance in the turn.
115 underfoot.
$560; lineskis.com

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