4FRNT Armada Atomic Black Crows Blizzard Blog DPS Elan Faction Fischer Folsom gear Head Icelantic J Skis K2 Lib Tech Liberty Line Nordica RMU Salomon Sego Stories Surface

The 34 best big-mountain skis of 2018-2019

Featured Image: Matt Energy


100-114 mm Freeride Skis

Basic Traits:

– Highly effective, meant for hard-chargers
– Excel in a mess of terrain varieties, from steep chutes to open bowls to moguls
– Directional in form and supply a stiffer flex
– Vast enough for powder days, but no too extensive for sunny, bluebird groomer laps


4FRNT reintroduced the MSP—the primary ski it ever produced—last season, and added a slightly wider model for 2018-19. The MSP 107 combines poplar wood, a rocker-camber-rocker profile and neoprene rubber within the tip for a light-weight but rigid, damp and reactive ski. Our testers have been impressed, and that’s an understatement. “Me and the MSP 107. We just got married. There is no one else for me anymore,” rookie tester Karol Sawa knowledgeable us. Veteran tester Scott Kramer praised 4FRNT founder Matt Sterbenz’s vision, “Matt hit the nail on the head with this one! Such a magnificent piece of construction, fluid through every turn and has a great amount of pop.” Steve Karczewski simply stated, “Ski of the test!”


This marks the fourth straight yr that Jason Levinthal’s The Metallic has been named an Editors’ Decide. We love this ski so much, actually, that we collaborated with J final winter for a small-batch run of FREESKIER 20th Anniversary Metals. They didn’t disappoint. The Metallic employs a rocker-camber-rocker profile for a nimble ski that’s ultra-stable. J also matched the geometry of the rocker profile with that of the sidecut, leading to a ski that’s smooth as butter from edge to edge, in all circumstances. FREESKIER’s Damian Quigley enthusiastically characterized The Metallic as “a badass ski for badass skiers.”


Black Crows was first based in Chamonix, France in 2007. They launched a single ski that was aggressive and powerful enough to deal with the wide-open glaciers of the French Alps but nimble sufficient to dart by way of the area’s tight strains. That ski? The Corvus. The 2018-19 iteration acquired a rework in the type of a full reverse camber build with a 107 mm waist, poplar wood core and double layer of Titanal underfoot. This provides the Black Crows Corvus a lightweight feel, unimaginable pivot powers and an aggressive character that may assault any and all big-mountain circumstances. Now, channel your inside Chamonix-local and bag some rowdy strains why don’t ya?


The DPS Foundation Wailer 106 makes use of a design tactic that builds the ski from underfoot outward to the tip and tail, slightly than sandwiching materials on a pre-made mould. This, based on DPS, creates a smooth-riding ski across the complete Basis line. This ski, specifically, includes a 106 mm waist, rocker-camber-rocker profile (with minimal amounts in the tail), a tapered sidecut and a bamboo-poplar core that each one translate to an everyday ski that’s as balanced as a nicely aged Scotch. Mike Filander compared its snowboarding fashion to “pairing a fine wine with a filet mignon—all upper class style.” Pinkies out, the Basis Wailer 106 is pure luxurious.


The Icelantic Pioneer 109 is designed to assault the complete ski space like Lebron James drives to the rim. With tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot and a mix of energetic poplar wooden and triaxial-woven fiberglass in the core, it will probably dip and dodge in addition to it might interact the afterburners. “I’m in love—the head over heels type,” stated an infatuated Sarina Scott. “The Pioneer is a directional ski with some serious all-mountain talent.” Its 109 mm waist, combined with the aforementioned rocker profile make it a dependable powder ski, too. “For a powerful, directional ski, I loved how light, snappy and playful it was,” FREESKIER’s Donny O’Neill affirmed.


Folsom lets you choose your journey (literally) everywhere in the ski hill. The Denver-based customized ski model enables you to tailor the Main’s components to your liking, whether it is the wood (poplar, bamboo, maple); the composites (fiberglass, carbon fiber); or the rocker profile, flex and tail form. The entire Folsom Main line is hand built, featuring full-length sidecuts for a lift in power and fast turn radii, making it a super candidate for the superior to skilled skier. At the check, the skis made Anna Tedesco a bit braggadocios as she commented, “I made the hill my b#tch on these babies, thank you very much. They were stable, responsive and oh-so-fun.”


The QST is such a bomber freeride ski, it should stand for, “Quite simply, terrific.” These directional all-mountain planks supply up a smooth journey, anyplace and in any sort of snow. A carbon/flax layer, a Titanal insert underfoot and Koroyd within the tip give it optimum stiffness, stability and dampness, whereas a rockered, tapered tip and tail guarantee top-notch agility. “A confidence-builder and super snappy in the trees,” commented Adrian Bouthot. “I love this ski,” FREESKIER’s Donny O’Neill gushed. “Truly delivers on groomers, in the steeps, wide open bowls, tight trees, moguls, etc. Wow.”


The good people at Fischer didn’t mess with the construct of this basic however did give it a glossy, streamlined new graphic. The widest directional driver of the Ranger line, the Fischer Ranger 108 Ti mixes mild, energetic poplar and rigid beech wood (both offset milled for weight savings) with carbon fiber and titanium plates, yielding a ski that’s powerful, quick edge to edge and responsive. “Aimed at the fast and furious rippers out there. Light as can be for the amount of drive they deliver,” described Sarina Scott. “The connection between the snow and you is flush through and through,” Madeline Dunn described. “Thanks for the ride, Fischer!”


The HEAD KORE 105 is again for its sophomore season and once once more garners glowing evaluations from our ski testers. “Loved how smooth the turn initiation was on these puppies,” stated FREESKIER staffer Cian O’Connor. Scott Kramer advised us, “The KORE series is badass. The 105 is a great width for a little of everything,” and fellow tester Mike Filander described it as “so fun, these would make a bad boy want to kiss his mama.” The ski combines featherweight karuba wood with Graphene, Koroyd and carbon fiber, all of which boast unimaginable strength-to-weight ratios, to realize its versatile character.


The Nordica Enforcer 110 is a grasp of the mountain. Groomers? It carves ’em like a butcher. Crud? It eats it for breakfast. Powder? It floats it like a dream. “The essence of fluidity, so smooth from edge to edge,” commented FREESKIER writer Damian Quigley. “One of my all-time favorites; it’s stable, playful, surfy and fun,” added tester Drew Ingardia. Nordica sandwiches a flexible poplar, beech and balsa wooden core between two layers of Titanal and a carbon prepreg laminate for a ski that’s smooth in all sides of the sport. Its rocker-camber-rocker profile makes this race automotive a dream to handle, too.


The K2 Pinnacle 105 Ti is an aggressive assailant that should make any mountain tremble to its core. It makes use of a mixture of burly fir wood with a metallic laminate to realize purple line speeds each time down the mountain. K2 then employs a low-density composite core operating from the extremities via the core to scale back swing weight and ensure the Pinnacle maneuvers like a hummingbird. “This ski is like a Swiss Army knife, it does it all really well,” stated tester Adrian Bouthot. “It’s such a powerful ski in and out of the turn,” described Mo Mitchell. Rounding out our testers’ thoughts, Mike Filander referred to as it a, “Jack of all trades and a master of many. Absolutely love its combination of playfulness and carving abilities.”


It’s straightforward to hit the open street with the Sego Cleaver 110—it loves placing the pedal to the metallic. “Meant for speed and serious direction. Jump, slash, haul ass and hit the brakes; the Cleaver is the tool for the job,” noted tester Sarina Scott. “The Cleaver acts like you would expect, just trying to slice the mountain in half,” added Scott Kramer. The Cleaver 110 owes that drive to a directional flex that employs slight tail rocker, camber underfoot and pronounced tip rocker for unimaginable power with the power to hit the brakes and pivot on a dime. A 23 meter flip radius additionally makes this child a dream blasting down extensive open slopes down the bottom of the mountain. Be a part of Sego in turning your local ski hill into a butcher’s block with the Cleaver 110.


With regards to all-mountain cruising and floating a bit of recent, the Lib Tech Wunderstick 106 is a downright wunderful time. It employs Lib Tech’s Magne-Traction edges—serrated like steak knives—to provide itself unimaginable edge maintain, whether or not it’s on recent corduroy, chopped up pitches or steep, variable snow in off-piste chutes. Gradual rocker in the tip and tail, camber underfoot and a squared off tail (great for clipping climbing skins to) additionally help its turning prowess. “Carved like a champion!” exclaimed tester Thomas Lampert. “It has a low swing weight, allowing it to move around easily, and the edge hold is impressive,” added Adrian Bouthot. Those design parts mixed with a galactic topsheet design are guaranteed to have you ever blasting off into one other dimension this winter.


Skiers who love massive strains in uncovered terrain will drool everywhere in the Dictator three.zero. Faction pairs mild yet secure paulownia and medium weight poplar wooden for an lively ski that gained’t tire you out. Dual Titanal layers are then added to energy this baby up. A full conventional camber profile helps the ski dictate strikes over robust terrain while its 105 mm waist allows it to excel in deeper snow. Dual turn radii—shorter in front of the binding for tight turns and longer in the tail for added stability—round out this ripper. Think about this: four sleek hop turns down a skinny couloir with a straight-line exit to the apron. It’s made straightforward by the Dictator 3.0.


Tester Tae Westcott summed up the Atomic Vantage 107 Ti with this assertion: “I felt like I could ski 100 mph through anything!” His testing compatriot Mikey Wechsler added, “Super fun, playful, quick and nimble.” Atomic achieved this stability of power and weight savings by way of a new development referred to as Prolite. The model begins the build with the slimmest potential chassis constructed round a centered layer of Titanium tank mesh, then builds up reinforcements where more power is needed. Slight rocker in the tip and tail with camber underfoot additionally up the versatility. The finish product is agile and straightforward to ski however rips down the mountain like a bat out of hell.


“These Ripsticks carve fast,” famous tester Thomas Lampert. Casey Jillson added, “So reactive, smooth and really fun! This is an off-piste powerhouse.” Elan’s Ripstick 106 is a sports automotive that you would be able to rely on day-in and day-out. The Ripstick’s smooth flip initiation may be traced to its early rise tip and Elan’s Amphibio profile. The ski has a cambered inside edge for exact grip on the snow and a rockered outdoors edge for straightforward flip transitions. Moreover, the ski uses carbon tubes that run the length of the ski for light-weight strengthening and special composite inserts within the tips to scale back chatter for a experience that’s as cool as the other aspect of the pillow.


“I am down with the sickness,” stated FREESKIER editor Donny O’Neill in regard to the Line Sick Day 104. “These babies are just plain fun. They excel in all terrain—bumps, trees, airs, groomers.” Adrian Bouthot described them as “a great everyday ski for western skiers.” Line complements the Sick Day’s aspen wooden core with carbon fiber laid from tip to tail to create a ski that’s light-weight, nimble and secure on the similar time. Those elements paired with the ski’s rocker-camber-rocker profile make it a jackrabbit that desires to dart everywhere in the mountain, all sick day lengthy. And with that attractive retro topsheet, these planks gained’t stay on the cabinets for very lengthy this fall.


Don’t let the Faction Prodigy 3.zero’s near symmetrical dimensions idiot you, this thing fees down the mountain like it’s a chieftain leading a thunderous horde into battle. Its poplar and ash wood core strikes a great stability between stiffness and power, whereas its dual-radius sidecut—much less in front of the binding for tight turns and lengthier within the tail for added stability—ensures it could actually deal with anything the mountain throws at it. “So much fun,” stated Tae Westcott. “It’s super playful and I love the flex pattern in it.” FREESKIER artwork director Gunter Jones added, “It’s really controllable, perfect for skiers looking to crush any sort of terrain and launch every jump and hit in sight.”


Line builds upon the success of the Eric Pollard-designed, swallow-tailed Pescado with the Sakana, tailor-made to everyday circumstances. The ski’s directional shape, five-point sidecut, pulled back mounting point and inflexible carbon flax weave within the core permit the Line Sakana to rail anything from tight turns in the timber to large arcs in the again bowls to full 360-degree carves—when you have the talent. The swallowtail design, 150-mm shovel and 105-mm waist ensure it’s more than succesful in the powder, too. Mike Filander summed up his experience as such: “I have never skied anything like this before. Pollard is an evil genius.”


Developed along side professional skiers Lucas Wachs, Colby Albino and Tory Bland, the Lib Tech Wreckreate 110 is a licensed wrecker of pristine powder fields. It also obliterates hardpack and variable snow—it doesn’t discriminate in relation to its skiing exploits. It’s rocker-camber-rocker profile and 110 mm waist aids in flotation whereas Magne-Traction edges which are serrated just like the tooth of a Nice White make it a ripper on groomers and more durable snow. “Very fun in tight trees but still whips down cruisers very fast,” stated Mike Filander, while his cohort Thomas Lampert described the ski as “super stable with great float at speed. Lots of fun if you like to go fast.”


Liberty Origin 106 pairs the bamboo with poplar and carbon for much more light-weight strengthening, resulting in a ski that’s powerful with out crossing over into overweight. Mikey Wechsler described it as “one of the top performers in this group, super fun and easy to ski, yet you can push it hard and it is right there. Really damp feel yet super nimble.” And that topsheet picture is an added bonus, causing tester Greta Muxworthy to exclaim, “I mean, the graphics! I love the look and they thrive in the bumps and pow.”


After 5 years of the Apostle 105, RMU has launched its successor, the 106. This do-it-all ski contains a five-point sidecut, allowing it to excel in a spread of terrain, as well as an elliptical rocker for what RMU describes as a more environment friendly ski. The RMU Apostle 106 also boasts an extended efficient edge than its predecessor, making it a dream laying trenches into the hardpack. “This ski gave me new sensations that I had never experienced,” defined tester Adrian Bouthot. “Stiff yet really light! Loved how springy they were.” Scott Kramer summed them up as “a true RMU staple.”


100-114 Freestyle Skis

Basic Characteristics:

– Versatile waist widths
– Playful flex fitted to urgent ideas and tails
– Great for many who assume of big-mountain features as a natural terrain park
– More pronounced use of rocker with camber combined in


The Mini Me to the basic Bent Chetler fatty ski, its 100-mm waisted clone was a shagadelic hit amongst our testers. “The Bent Chetler series is always on point,” stated Scott Kramer. “It’s about time they created a skinnier version ’cause this baby was a blast!” Thomas Lampert added, “I would pay retail for these bad boys. They cut trenches, are super playful—just good, clean fun.” As expected, the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 employs Atomic’s HRZN Tech, horizontally rockered ABS within the tip and tail, for an increase in surface area and buttery good occasions. It additionally boasts a barely more directional form than its father, permitting it to really excel across your complete mountain. Seize these new planks this fall, they’re guaranteed to make you randy, baby.


The K2 Marksman hits the bull’s eye of what an all-mountain freestyle ski ought to be. The ski was conceived by Pep Fujas and features an elongated taper on the surface edge, allowing for unimaginable quick-turn capability. Meanwhile the inside edge is longer for higher edgehold and stability. The pairing of inflexible ash wooden along the sides and a vigorous aspen wooden and carbon stringer duo down the intestine boosts that versatility sought after by Pep and the gang at K2. “This is my favorite ski thus far,” stated Thomas Lampert. “It did everything I wanted and responded, carved well, was super stable and oh-so-playful.”


The Fischer Ranger 102 FR is a welcome addition to the storied Ranger line. The near twin tip shape with rockered ideas and tails makes it ultra-playful and agile, while camber underfoot and Fischer’s Aeroshape—a slight arc in the ski floor from edge to edge—supplies unimaginable energy switch. Fischer additionally mills the underside of the wooden core in an offset method to get rid of weight while still preserving the ski nice and stiff. Adrian Bouthot described it as a ski that “bashes the bumps and crushes the crud in an all-around, fun package.” Sarina Scott added that they have been “super fun, poppy, carving skis. They’re a perfect width for everyday skiing.”


Adrian Bouthot described the Blizzard Rustler 11 fairly completely, stating, “Checks all the boxes for a skier that likes to push the speed barrier everywhere.” Blizzard threw an entire lot into the mixing pot to create this high-performance rig. A mixture of balsa, paulownia, poplar and beech woods in the core cover the bases of dampening, spring, weight financial savings and rigidity. Titanal underfoot with a full sandwich development guarantee power transmission, while two full-length layers of carbon and fiberglass provide much more lightweight strengthening. “Knives on both the groomers and in the pow,” stated Sarina Scott. “A super stable ski with the ability to handle the highest speeds.”


The Nomad has been a fan favorite since its launch in 2012, and it has turn out to be Icelantic’s number one promoting ski. The purpose? It’s all about versatility. Tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot mix stability and deftness; a middle-of-the-road turn radius permits for fast turns and long arcing sketches into the mountainside; and a poplar wooden core with triaxial-braided fiberglass offers pop, weight financial savings and stiffness. How’s that for do all of it? “I’m always impressed by Icelantic’s lineup,” stated Madeline Dunn. “The Nomad 105 is a poppin’ choice, and I’d pay to ski it again.” Ski tester Mikey Wechsler referred to as it “an ultra-playful ski that can and will do everything.”


In accordance with Armada, it utterly redesigned the ARV 106 with longevity in thoughts, hoping to cater to “skiers tired of tossing sticks in the trash every half season.” With that objective, the model strengthened its sidewall development for better impression absorption and sturdiness. As well as, the brand new Armada ARV 106 utilizes ash wooden stringers for a boost in stability and power. Armada additionally imitated the shape of the beloved JJ, making the ARV 106 a surfy, slarvy good time. “Playful like a new puppy and smooth like melted butter,” commented Tae Westcott, while Mo Mitchell stated, “The ARV series is the best. Can literally take them anywhere and have the most fun.”


Whereas the Surface All Mountain Blanks might boast a stiffer character than the remaining of the skis on this category—because of a full camber profile—they’re still playful S.O.Bs. Simply take a look at its score in that class. Close to symmetrical dimensions assist make this ski adept at jibbing round on pure terrain options, while a directional taper ensures it will possibly keep up the pace if you’re racing your mates to the bar on the groomers. “The near-center mount makes the ski playful, yet it’s stiff enough to provide confidence when airing out,” gushed Sam Taggart. “This baby shoots anything but blanks!”


The Alchemist Wailer 112 performs in the snow like Carlos Santana performs the guitar: enjoyable, vigorous and with hips-a-swingin’. The Wailer’s aspen wood core offers power and pop, supplemented with a prepreg carbon fiber laminate and different proprietary dampening supplies to yield a experience as smooth as Santana’s 1999 hit single featuring Rob Thomas. The ski’s 112 mm waist, rocker-camber-rocker profile and tapered sidecut additionally add to its versatility. “A much more playful and buttery feel than many in this class… super smooth,” commented Mikey Wechsler, while Adrian Bouthot stated it “makes skiing easy!”


Jason Levinthal claims that the Trip is “the ultimate getaway… from traditional stiff fat skis.” And he ain’t lyin’. The Trip combines a mushy flex sample with a gradual rocker profile and snappy 17-meter flip radius for a ski that’s most at house jibbing, spinning and urgent throughout pure features at your native ski area. Levinthal utilizes a maple wood core with carbon fiber and full peak sidewalls to promote stability in an otherwise buttery ski. Adrian Bouthot commented, “It has the most accurate name ever. This ski is a nice break from the generic ski build. It shreds like a true American party skier!”


Blizzard depends on a singular development referred to as Carbon Flipcore DRT to boost the Rustler 10’s versatility. It also utilizes a specially formed layer of Titanal that runs by way of the center of the ski for unimaginable torsional stiffness, catering to more durable snow circumstances. Within the tip and tail, Blizzard features a unidirectional carbon frame for sustained power lengthwise without stiffening throughout the ski to permit for straightforward turn initiation in deep snow. “Skis like a bullet from a gun,” commented Tae Westcott, whereas Mikey Wechsler added, “It’s definitely one of the best in this category. It’s quick and playful yet can still arc a fast turn on the hardpack.”


A repeat Editors’ Decide, the Black Crows Atris is the flagship mannequin of Black Crows’ big-mountain line. “Another great ski from Black Crows,” commented Mikey Wechsler. “It’s a stable carver yet playful as hell off the groomed stuff.” Black Crows achieves this versatility by way of an lively poplar wood core, in addition to tip and tail rocker with a more radical rise in the tip for straightforward turning and planing by way of deep snow. Medium camber underfoot and an extended sidecut (over the earlier mannequin) permit it to carry out like a sports automotive on groomers and hardpack. Drew Ingardia referred to as it “one for the books. It maintains stability through crud, groomers and likes to spend time in the air!”


“Devastatingly awesome,” commented Scott Kramer concerning the Devastator, a perennial favorite from 4FRNT. The ski boasts a full reverse camber profile, which promotes surfing, slarving and floating in softer snow. Nevertheless, 4FRNT matches the ski’s sidecut with the rocker profile, which boosts its carving capabilities significantly. “Didn’t know what to expect from this ski, but had me giggling through the crud and bumps,” stated Justin Greene. “Popped right when I wanted it, and provided a stable landing no matter where it was.” In regard to its acumen on-piste, Thomas Lampert famous it “cruised from groomed to chopped up at high speed, and I didn’t notice the difference. I would buy these skis for any frontside day.”