I’m a ski instructor who spends over 100 days a year on the slopes and in order to determine the best skis, I narrowed the field to the following: a ski with a heavy to moderate sidecut (difference in width between tip/tail and waist), great construction and materials, and an underfoot that is 80mm – 95mm wide.
With the above in mind, my #1 pick for the top rated all mountain ski is the Elan Amphibio Ti 84 skis paired with a Salomon X-Pro 120 ski boot for unlocking your absolute top-notch performance. Compare my other top picks for the best all mountain ski boots to find the ones that are right for you.
Now let’s take a look at the best skis.
Price: $529 | Turn Radius: 17.1m @176cm| Width Under Foot: 84mm | Read Full Review: Elan Amphibio
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: This all-mountain ski is packed with the design and tech to improve every skier’s experience on the mountain.
Elan has my respect for massive thought and planning in their design and development but the brand often goes unrecognized as one of the highest performing skis on the mountain today.
The Amphibio technology relies on a rockered outside edge and a cambered inside edge for ease of turn initiation and edge grip in the turn (respectively). It’s one of those innovations that seems so obvious it’s left many companies wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Look for Elan’s Amphibio Ti skis in different under foot widths. If 84 is too narrow for your all mountain tastes, try out the 88 underfoot.
Read: How to Wax Your Skis
Want to really unlock your turns and carves while sporting a ski that can handle any part of the mountain? You’ve found it. You can thank me later. This is, without a doubt, the best all mountain ski for technical skiers.
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Price: $375 | Turn Radius: 16.5m @180cm | Width Under Foot: 88 | Read Full Review: Rossignol Experience 88
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Blending balance, performance, and price the reliable Rossignol Experience 88 deserves attention.
Rossignol has been a prominent brand in the industry for years and their Experience line is aimed at balance. All mountain balance with price and performance rounding out the overview of this utility ski.
Wider waist width means acceptable carving and agility with balanced off-piste (piste meaning any groomed run) performance when it’s time to explore the powder. Nimble enough to navigate the bumps and yet wide enough to enjoy those days when the powder is dumping.
This is one of the best all mountain skis for the skier looking to cover all conditions and challenges on the mountain in one affordable ski.
Price: $489 | Turn Radius: 17m @184cm | Width Underfoot: 95mm | Read Full Review: K2 Pinnacle 95
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Somewhere between a powder ski and an all mountain ski lies the K2 Pinnacle.
For the all mountain skier looking to ski a little more powder and a little less groomers the K2 Pinnacle makes a strong case. With heavy tip and tail rocker this ski belongs off piste and in the powder.
Read: Best Ski Boots 2019
Wood metal and fiberglass all come together to form the core of this versatile ski. K2 does a great job of maximizing rigidity and dampness in their skis which is critical to prevent excessive chatter on a ski with heavy tip rocker.
I rely on K2 for my personal skis and have always recommended their products to clients. The K2 Pinnacle may be the best all mountain ski for the skier looking to adventure into the uncharted powder more often than tearing it up on the groomed runs.
Price: $449 | Turn Radius: 15.2 @176cm | Width Underfoot: 83mm | Read Full Review: Salomon X-Drive 8.3
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: High caliber ski for intermediate skiers with enough float to make it through those off piste forays.
Salomon’s X-Drive ski is based around a largely cambered design with enough rocker in the tip and tail to ease turn initiation. These are definitely the best mid-budget all mountain ski for the technical skier.
The wood core construction is stabilized by laminate reinforcement in the tip and tail for torsional stiffness. Extra reinforcement in the tip and tail help add additional bite to the carved turns these skis are capable of putting out.
Flat tail design means this ski won’t be one for skiing reverse but that’s not where these skis excel. Look for great agility, bite, and performance out of these skis. With a little adaptation these skis won’t let you down off piste.
Price: $514 | Turn Radius: 17m @174cm | Width Underfoot: 86mm | Read Full Review: K2 Amp Aftershock 86 Review
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Sleek design and great rigidity make for an all mountain shredder.
If you’re looking for one of the best blends of any all mountain ski this is it. Not a budget ski by any means, the K2 AMP Aftershock is responsive, agile, and built to rip.
These skis will be at home in the moguls, on the groomers, or off piste in the hands of a good skier. We’re pretty sure you’ll love the balance of performance and all mountain terrain ability.
If you need performance, balance, and all mountain capability in a well designed and reliable ski this is your package.
Price: $699 | Turn Radius: [email protected] | Width Underfoot: 98mm | Read Full Review: Blizzard Bonafide Review
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Partially twin tip rocker-camber-rocker design means any task, any mountain, any time.
Coming in at a beefy 98mm under foot with a sluggish 21m turn radius, this is not a carving ski. Blizzard’s Bonafide skis, however, win award after award for top all mountain powder and mixed terrain performance.
You need a pair of skis that can rip the chutes and keep up on the groomers if you want to go all mountain. Bonafide skis are Blizzard’s answer with dual Titanal laminate for stiff flex, carbon fiber reinforcement, and ABS sidewall construction.
Ladies, the Blizzard Black Pearl is a great women’s all mountain ski choice with an 88mm waist and 16m radius at 159cm. An excellent intermediate choice for all around capability that you won’t outgrow.
On our list the Blizzard Bonafide is an honorable mention for best all mountain powder ski. This ski is a little more at home in the powder than the majority of our list but make no mistake: it’s a ripper!
Waist Width: Waist Width: Sometimes called width underfoot, this measurement is often seen as “(120/80/110)”, where the first number is tip width in millimeters, the second is waist width, and the third is tail width. All mountain skis usually range from 80mm – 100mm in widith underfoot. The range of waist width that you want for your all-mountain ski will depend on the ski conditions as well as your ability level. Wider skis such as powder skis tend to float better on fresh snow (powder), such as the Salomon QST which is 106 mm in width, although the M5 Mantra all-mountain ski can suffice for the entire season’s worth of conditions
Rocker vs Camber: Depending on what your preferences are, an all mountain ski may feature various amounts of rocker and camber. Good all-mountain skis should have a little bit of rocker in the tip for a smoother ride, and a camber underfoot that provides great grip. Your ability level should also decide the amount of rocker and camber you need on your skis. More rocker means easier turning and float in deep snow. More camber means better grip on piste and hard edging ability.
Carbon Fiber vs Wood: Most of the latest and updated skis use carbon fiber in construction. Carbon fiber is light and strong which is excellent for skis but it lacks the natural feel and durability of a poplar wood core. The Head Kore Ski for example has a carbon fiber construction.
Side Cut: The difference in width between the tip / tail and the waist of the ski is known as side cut. More side cut means better on piste carving and agility. Less side cut means better float in off piste conditions. Look for a ski with a balance based on where you want to ski the most.
Bindings: If your skis come with their own packaged bindings, it will help remove some guess work. Buying skis packaged with bindings means the manufacturer has already ensured the bindings match the skis for optimum performance. If you’re buying separate skis and bindings, make sure your binding brakes are wider than the waist of your skis.
Intended Use: While all mountain skis generally will perform any job on the mountain, the factors above will make the skis better at certain tasks. No one ski can do every job perfectly so it’s important to understand the limitations of your all mountain ski.
Going Fat: Fat skis are trending and they’re awesome for certain types of skiing like powder, freestyle, and park. However, skiing a fat ski on groomers can be difficult to control, sloppy, and potentially lead to injury. For all mountain skis it’s sensible to stay under 100mm of waist width when choosing a ski.
Skimping on Price: Not all skis are made the same. Even among our picks the difference in performance may be quite noticeable across the price ranges we’ve discussed. If you’re looking for one ski to rule them all, then don’t be afraid to spend the big bucks for a serious contender.
If you’re looking to ski primarily on piste technical runs with the occasional off-piste foray on good snow days then the Elan Amphibio is your ski. For skiers looking to spend more time in the crud and off piste, the K2 Pinnacle is probably the best all mountain ski.
Our suggestions span from off piste performance to on piste shredding and everything in between. Choose an all mountain ski based on your preferences and tendencies to get the most out of your new ski.
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