Every year certain skis get all the hype – all the attention, while others seem to fly under the radar. The HEAD REV 90 is one of those skis – a faultless all mountain ski that’s tons of fun both on the groomers and off-piste.
This ski is one of the reason’s we decided to expand into HEAD’s rec skis beyond the usual race skis we normally carry from them – it’s a ski that sells itself with a day on a demo pair. That’s because it really does nothing wrong – it’s quick and playful while remaining damp and stable at speed, a rare combination of traits in any ski. Testers called it “effortless” and were stumped when asked what to put in the “cons” column after putting them through the paces.
We’ve been on a little bit of a 98 mm underfoot all mountain ski kick lately here on the blog, but we haven’t hit on many women’s models.
The Dynastar Exclusive Legend Paradise is one of our favorite women’s skis, regardless of width category, but it happens to fall into the range that we consider a great quiver-of-one for Tahoe and other western ski areas, especially for female skiers with a bias towards off-piste and soft snow.
Take a quick look around the internet and you’ll see a lot of excitement for this ski – the TGR forums alone a aglow with rave reviews for the DPS Wailer 112.
A lot has been said about this ski – but wait it boils down to is this ski brings the powder ski and all mountain ski categories closer than before. RP means resort powder, and a powder day at a resort can mean fresh tracks in the morning … giving way to tracked out, chopped up snow and a few groomers as the day wears on.
It used to be that if you wanted to ski your powder skis, you brought a second pair of all mountain skis in the car for the afternoon – with the DPS 112, you don’t have to make the switch.
We talk a lot about 98 mm underfoot all mountain skis, because out west, they make a great quiver-of-one ski – something you can count on in almost any conditions from ripping around on groomers to getting faceshots in powder.
Possibly the most popular ski in this category here in the Lake Tahoe area is the Volkl Mantra, a long-time classic that has been refined over the years for incredible versatility.
When the Salomon BBR series (Salomon BBR 7.9 and BBR 8.9) first came out last year, they were touted as game-changers. Their unique shape certainly had skiers interested, but really advanced skiers found them to be a little under-gunned.
We still think they’re one of the best skis for an intermediate skier trying to get off the groomers and explore the whole mountain, but Salomon listened to those who wanted more, and came up with the Salomon BBR 10.0.
If you’ve been following along with our ski reviews, you may notice we’ve spent a lot of time on all mountain skis – particularly at about 98 mm underfoot. That’s because it’s the sweet spot for a do-it-all, quiver-of-one ski for so many western skiers – something you can count on in almost any conditions.
One of the top contenders in the category is the Line Prophet 98. The Line Prophet series of skis have been around for a while now, and have always been popular. The latest version, the Line Prophet 98, is definitely one of the most versatile all mountain skis in its width range.
The Volkl Gotama has had a strong following among big mountain skiers as a versatile all-mountain ski, loved from coast to coast for its versatility.
Recent generations of the Gotama have dropped traditional camber in favor of a continuous rocker profile, what Volkl calls ELP, or extended low profile rocker, basically meaning the ski has a continuous upward curve from tip to tail, but it’s not as aggressively upward turned as some other rockered skis. Volkl skis embraced full rocker early with a number of models, and has really been able to fine tune it for more than just powder ski performance.
The Armada TST all mountain ski is a playful performer, but it’s not a one-trick pony. A lot of skis that place a premium on turny, surfy skiing don’t necessarily give you the confidence to rail on firm snow, but the Armada TST accomplishes this with a unique shape.