OUR GEAR ED ROUNDS UP THE BEST ALL-MOUNTAIN SKIS FOR 2022.
Whilst the practical business of skiing may understandably have taken a back seat during the pandemic, ski brands have actually managed to keep those innovation wheels a-turning so believe it or not, there is a whole heap of new skis to get excited about for winter 2022. First up – All-Mountain Skis.
Last year Armada replaced the old Invictus series with a new all-mountain family – the Declivity collection – and the overhaul continues this season with the introduction of the new women’s Reliance series. There’s five new models to choose between, from 102 Ti to 82 C all of which feature different shapes and constructions to suit a wide range of experience levels and motivations.
- They say: With construction focused on lightweight durability, Reliance Series skis feature a lively character and forgiving ride that will stand up to the day-in, day-out charging no matter what the mountain throws your way.
- We say: For genuine frontside all-mountain antics we reckon the Reliance 88 C may well be the pick of the bunch.
The introduction of Atomic’s new Maverick/Maven series is undeniably one of the biggest ski stories this winter. Developed through extensive testing across North America and Europe, the new Maverick/Maven series replace the harder snow-oriented Vantage series to deliver performance and versatility for all snow conditions, terrain and skier types.
A multi-talented pack designed to ski equally well on hard groomers as they are in the soft stuff off the side and in the trees, the Maverick and Maven series are available in widths ranging from 86mm underfoot to 100mm for the Maverick and 86mm to 93mm for the Maven.
- They say: The perfect blend between a race ski and a freeride ski.
- We say: Grab the Maverick 86 C and Maven 86 if your all-mountain antics tend to take place on the frontside or if you’re more hike and ride-oriented the wider Maverick 95 Ti or Maven 93 C will be just the job.
Designed ‘for the piste and partially off-piste’, Black Crows new all-terrain Serpo comes in at an almost freeridey 93mm underfoot with metal, camber, tip rocker and slight tail rocker. The 20m turning radius means it’s a super stable, long carver designed to grip and Chrigl found it had buckets of edge hold when he tested it last winter in the Portes du Soleil.
- They say: A narrower, quicker and more agile version of the Justis.
- We say: A well-rounded ski that’s equal parts fast, light, powerful and stiff.
The biggest story for Blizzard this winter may be the new Thunderbird/Phoenix piste performance collection but it’s worth noting that in the all-mountain sector the super popular Brahma 82 and Black Pearl 82 have been updated for winter 2022. Now featuring Blizzard’s TrueBlend woodcore to bring them in line with the rest of the Brahma/Black Pearl series, these models will be living their smoothest and most balanced life yet.
- They say: TrueBlend construction places hard wood (beech) where you need power and stability and softer/lighter poplar in the skis’ extremities to give skis a more even and more balanced flex.
- We say: The all-conquering, all-mountain domination continues
Ready to have your mind blown? Then you definitely need to take a spin on Elan’s new folding Voyager ski! A folding ski – say what??!
Ok we know what you’re thinking but just hold on there. We’ve actually tested these sticks of innovation and were super impressed! Designed to be portable and targeted towards urban dwellers who make regular trips to the mountains, the Voyager is easy to assemble and more importantly, heaps of fun to ski. A planted 78mm underfoot ski, these skis are stable, and eager, and with a 14 m radius they’re mega turny too!
- They say: The world’s first high performance, folding, all-mountain ski.
- We say: The folding mechanism seems to have no negative effect on the performance – it’s a super accomplished ski in its own right! Hope on over to our YouTube channel for Chrigl’s in-depth video review.
If your all-mountain vibes find you making increasing forays into the park then Faction’s new and improved Prodigy series may be where it’s at this winter. The 0.0 and the women’s-specific 0.0X are new models for 2022 – two 85mm underfoot directional twin tips with a mega freestyle flavour.
- They say: Pure fun, pure progression
- We say: Light, playful, easy to ski and durable –the new 0.0 and 0.0X look ideal for park hits and all-mountain sessions.
Continuing the all-mountain meets freestyle theme is the latest addition to K2’s super versatile Reckoner series – the all-new Reckoner 92 and women’s 92 Alliance. Designed to make all-mountain frontside shredding super accessible and fun, these playful twin tips look like great gateway skis.
- They say: From the park to the trees to afternoon chop, these playful boards will have you wondering why you waited so long to jump on the twin-tip train.
We say: We loved last year’s Editors’ Choice-winning Reckoner 102 and can’t wait to take the skinnier new siblings for a spin.
Having launched the epic Black Ops freeride collection last season, Rossignol decided to reinvent their much-loved all-mountain Experience series this winter. New sustainable layups feature durable hardtop topsheets designed to optimize flex over the length of the ski and super versatile All Trail sidecuts.
- They say: Our aim is to create as many great moments as possible, to ensure every day on the slopes is an exceptional one!
- We say: With models ranging from 76mm to 86mm underfoot, there’s a next level all-mountain Experience available for all y’all.
Built for skiers looking to carve the harpack, tear through the moguls, float in the fluff and groove around the groomers, Salomon’s much-anticipated new Stance series created a serious all-mountain buzz at last year’s Ski Test. This season sees the Stance 80 and 84 for men and women added to the award-winning range, offering a firmly frontside option to this increasingly versatile range of skis.
- They say: As at home carving the icy steeps as it is on perfectly groomed corduroy, the Stance 84 allows you to cruise with confidence regardless of speed, terrain, or conditions.
We say: Last years women’s Stance 88 and men’s Stance 96 both picked up Editors’ Choice awards, so we anticipate big things.
Rounding out the all-mountain segment this winter is Volkl’s ‘technically completely revised’ Deacon Master series. Two high performance skis developed in association with a team of top Italian ski instructors, the Deacon 76 & 72 Master replace the Deacon Pro skis in Volkl’s all-mountain collection.
- They say: A level of performance unprecedented in the all-mountain segment, an absolute must for every ambitious and passionate skier.
- We say: The straight up Deacon 84 and and Deacon V.Werks are two of the finest AM skis around but if your all-mountain antics tend to be on the racier end of the spectrum, the narrower underfoot, precise and carve-happy new Deacon Master series may well hold the groomer groover you seek.