All-Mountain is the broadest category out there, and it can mean just about everything.
As the popularity of going sidecountry booms, many of the big brands are making skis
to fi t the category. When choosing a ski, figure out what All-Mountain means to you. K2, for
example, states that its All-Mountain boards are designed for “resort-based, inbounds skiing.” And that means they are built to excel in any snow that a resort has to offer—powder, crud,
spring slush, wind-effected, granular, man-made, groomed or rock-hard blue ice. No surprise
finding K2’s All-Mountain Apache series’ waists in the 72- to 84-mm range. Nordica broadens
the concept to mean “a versatile ski that offers the precision of a frontside board with the
flotation and versatility of a powder surfer,” and offers waists that fall between 76 and 90
mm. Black Diamond calls its Verdict an All-Mountain ski, despite its beefy 102 mm underfoot.
In this lineup we cover the gamut from front- to sidecountry, with the keyword being
versatility. These skis both turn quickly onslope and float through the powder. If you ski all
over the place and are going to be buying one pair of skis this season, then consider the following.
Back with Avenger
Inspired from last year’s success with
its Classic line, Rossignol is launching
the Avenger series. Expect a wider
waist—82 mm, up from the Classic’s
70 and 80—along with a wood-core
sandwich construction on this totally
designed-from-scratch ski. Keep your
eyes open for its squared All-Mountain
tip, providing both increased contact
points for frontside carving and a wider
shovel for sidecountry flotation.
All-Mountain with Salomon
Salomon offers its X-Wing series for
men and Origins for women. All told,
it’s a dozen skis that challenge all snow
conditions and types of terrain. At the
top of the men’s line are the Tornado Ti and Fury, with 78- and 85-mm waists
respectively. Both offer the gamut of
technologies, including the Double Ti
Laminate. A pair of parallel titanium
plates gives added strength, precision
and stability with enormous edging
capacity to the skis. The 3D Stealth Tip is
a lower-shaped shovel that allows the ski
to roll over terrain variations more calmly
than a regular-shaped tip. The women’s
Diamond is the beefiest in its category
with 79 mm underfoot, and comes with
the Stealth Tip.
More Savage than ever
Atomic broke the moulds and its
Savage Ti grew from 86 to 93 mm
underfoot. This wild board comes
with the company’s Timber Lite
Ti Technology, a super-high-grade
construction that combines Densolite
and a wood core, which provides longlasting
fl ex with the increased power
of titanal. Torsion Flex Control ensures
that the ski is solid through its central
axis, yet flexible and light in the tip
and tail for increased manoeuvrability.
Rossignol has also come up with its
first environmental All-Mountain ski.
Called the Attraxion Echo, it uses more
natural fibres and fewer petroleumbased
products and lacquers. With a
127-75-108 sidecut and a wood-core
sandwich construction, it promises to
be no slouch on or off the slope.
Feel the Heat
Fischer’s Heat series is fired up
with Dynamic Grip Control (DGC),
an intelligent system that adapts
automatically to varying terrain and
snow conditions. DGC optimizes
torsional stiffness in the ski centre,
while triple inlayed elastomers in
the tip and tail produce instant and
continuous grip for better control.
Caught in the Crossfire
K2’s Crossfire beefed up by four mm
underfoot. Now at a comfortable 122-
74-106, this board is more versatile
and stable, yet with the same carving
precision of yesteryear. It’s the only
Apache-series ski with ABS sidewall
construction for increased hold while
laying down arcs on firmer terrain.
Line’s All-Mountain lineup comes in two
waist sizes: either a 90 mm in men’s and
women’s or 100 underfoot in men’s. New
this year is Flite, the twin brother of the
popular Prophet 90. The ski comes with
a poplar core, resulting in a lightweight,
good-value ride. Its sister, the Celebrity,
now comes with a stiffening metal matrix.