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Powder: Wide

These are for experts who want a specialized powder skis, but also value versatility. They're wide but manageable (90–105 mm underfoot), so they surf the deep but bust crud and carve on groomed, too. Best for resort powder days, out of bounds and crud when the hill gets tracked out.

As the line blurs between resort and backcountry skiing, K2 is among the leaders. For ’09–’10 it ignored the barriers between tribes, blending tele and alpine models into a Backside collection that includes everything from fat powder skis to light tourers. You can even buy K2 skins. The Coomback is the top floater in the category—thanks to both its width and a new, slightly rockered profile—with a ride that puts a premium on control. “Carver, floater, surfer, all in one,” said Preston.

PRICE (MSRP): $825.00
Product Specifications | How We Test
LevelAdvanced, Expert
Rating: Powder Performance3.76 / 5
Rating: Stability at Speed3.34 / 5
Rating: Short Turns2.70 / 5
Rating: Hard Snow Grip2.72 / 5
Rating: Crud Performance3.34 / 5
Rating: Moguls Performance2.70 / 5
Rating: Forgiveness3.34 / 5
Rating: Quickness/Bumps2.70 / 5

If they built this one for you, well, Dynastar thinks you’re a hell of a skier. Anyway, you’d better be. Modest sidecut, stiff flex and race-ready metal-laminate construction combine to make the Pro a true mountain crusher. No, it doesn’t have a lot of patience for pussyfooters. But if you live to gobble powder-choked vertical in long, speed-hungry arcs, then step right in. Testers couldn’t find a weakness, unless it was quickness. “Smooth operator, especially in long turns,” said Woods.

PRICE (MSRP): $940.00
Product Specifications | How We Test
LevelAdvanced, Expert
Rating: Powder Performance3.34 / 5
Rating: Stability at Speed3.98 / 5
Rating: Short Turns2.98 / 5
Rating: Hard Snow Grip3.20 / 5
Rating: Crud Performance3.80 / 5
Rating: Moguls Performance2.98 / 5
Rating: Forgiveness3.18 / 5
Rating: Quickness/Bumps2.98 / 5

Some skis just feel like home from the moment you get off the lift. Such is the IQ Max. No adjustments needed; no quirks to get used to; just comfortable, predictable performance that lets you enjoy your day. In terms of skier input, it favors power over finesse. And there are more forgiving skis in the category. But the Atlas loves speed, isn’t too picky about snow conditions, and obediently does what’s asked. “A true multitool; inspires
confidence in every type of terrain,” said Couperthwait.

PRICE (MSRP): $1150.00
Product Specifications | How We Test
LevelAdvanced, Expert
Rating: Powder Performance3.18 / 5
Rating: Stability at Speed4.02 / 5
Rating: Short Turns2.88 / 5
Rating: Hard Snow Grip3.80 / 5
Rating: Crud Performance3.18 / 5
Rating: Moguls Performance2.88 / 5
Rating: Forgiveness2.96 / 5
Rating: Quickness/Bumps2.88 / 5

In a word: balance. Some skis are quick but not stable, strong in long turns but weak in short ones, floaty but not carvy. The Snoop puts it all together in a single wood-core, metal-free package that passes every test the mountain throws at it. If there’s a standout quality, it’s quickness—not necessarily a hallmark of Atomic fat skis past. But there’s plenty of Atomic-like stability at speed to go with that agility. “Stable yet nimble, strong yet maneuverable in any type of turn,” said Sabanosh.

PRICE (MSRP): $749.00
Product Specifications | How We Test
LevelIntermediate, Advanced, Expert
Rating: Powder Performance3.38 / 5
Rating: Stability at Speed4.00 / 5
Rating: Short Turns3.84 / 5
Rating: Hard Snow Grip3.60 / 5
Rating: Crud Performance3.56 / 5
Rating: Moguls Performance3.84 / 5
Rating: Forgiveness3.62 / 5
Rating: Quickness/Bumps3.84 / 5
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