Atomic D2 VF75 It isn’t a year for major paradigm shifts in ski design. The exception: Atomic’s Doubledeck construction, which comes in Vario Flex (VF) and Vario Cut (VC). While we’re wary of VC (a tip that splits when pressured, yielding tighter turn radius), we love the VF. It features two “decks” separated by shock-absorbing material. The flex gets progressively stiffer at higher speeds, while the skier, riding the top deck, is insulated from chop. Beware, though: It goads you to speeds that’ll get your ticket yanked.
 Blizzard Magnum 7.6 For two years in a row, this little rocket has destroyed its category in the test, and for the second year in a row it earns Ski of the Year honors—a rare feat. The key is its IQ binding interface, a seamless melding of ski and binding that gives it power and quickness to edge. We tested the 7.6 in the Men’s Intermediate category, but that shouldn’t scare experts away: It performs to a level that made our testers shake their heads in wonder. And at $800, it’s reasonably priced.
 Nordica Conquer Yes, Nordica makes great boots. But for the past decade, the brand has stealthily crafted some of the finest skis on the market. Take the Conquer, for example, a women-specific ski that swept our test’s Freeride category this year. In two words: smooth and precise. The XBi binding system allows it to flex freely, lending it a buttery feel, and a full wood core grips the ground like a train on rails. So this year, when you see a Nordica logo, think beyond your feet. It’s high time these skis got noticed.
 Völkl Gotama We know what you’re thinking: “That ski’s, like, 10 years old.” Well, yes and no. Völkl has repeatedly tweaked the design, and this year’s addition of subtle tip-to-tail rocker makes it an entirely new ski. Testers loved its combination of crud-skimming ease and deep-snow float, and it’s as well behaved on hardpack as any rocker design we’ve tried. Another constant: The Gotama has been at or near the top of our test results since its inception. For that alone it merits special recognition.