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Top Tested Skis of 2023

Posted June 14, 2022 @ 10:48am | by Andrew Plourde

Maybe I’m biased, but ski season is easily the best time of year. Everything we do here at TSM is geared towards winter, especially when it comes to testing skis. We are winter 365 days a year, no patio furniture or tennis racquets here.

We take gear testing very seriously, which is why we devote so much time and resources into testing. By testing skis, we figure out what and what not to buy. It also ensures that our sales staff and customer service team can clearly explain the differences and subtle nuances between all the products we carry. We are fortunate to have an incredible array of testers that cover a variety of skiing styles, tastes, abilities and preferences. From casual skiers, to backcountry enthusiasts, to former US ski team members - our goal is to relate to everyone who identifies as a skier.

This past season, we clocked in over 30 official test days. We’ve tested skis everywhere from bulletproof groomers in New Hampshire, to blower powder in Jackson Hole, to glacier skiing in Kitzsteinhorn Austria. Seriously, we got you covered.

winter, snow, powder, top 5 skis, skis, test day, cold, apres

For new testers and for those that don't know, the tough part about testing skis is being able to articulate what you are feeling. For instance, testers might ask themselves: How stable does the ski feel in multiple conditions? Can the shovels blast through crud with confidence? How does the ski initiate turns at variable speeds? What type of skier is this product best for? Is this ski predictable? If something is not skiing well, could it be due to a bad tune?

More time on the hill makes any ski tester more honest, which is why we do our best to take our entire staff out skiing as much as possible. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. 

We asked our ski testers to provide their top 5 skis.

Check it out:

 

Devon Scovill

5'4"-ish, 130 lbs

Ski Length Preference: 165-172cm

Background: Short stint as a ski racer who far prefers fast ski days with buds. 

I'm a fan of slightly playful skis that can still go real real fast. While I personally prefer longer skis, my coworkers tell me I ski a lot better on a shorter length. I'm happiest on a ski that can hold an edge on the icy days, shred a groomer at speed and bounce in and out of the trees or through spring slush. I'm asking my skis to handle basically all conditions so here are my top 5 picks for all-mountain/all-weather skis for 2022/23.

1. Fischer Ranger 96 #mangoskigang

2. Elan Ripstick W 94 Black

3. Black Crows Serpo

4. Blizzard Black Pearl 88 

5. Armada Reliance 92 Ti 

 

Devon, Fischer Ranger 96, skiing, winter, tsm, snow, the ski monster, top tested skis"I wanna go fast" - Devon as she breaks the sound barrier. #mangoskigang

Andrew Plourde

6’3", 195 lbs

Ski Length Preference: 180 - 192cm

Background: Ice coast native, off-piste enthusiast

I love playful skis that ooze confidence, by confidence I mean feels solid underfoot. If I am charging down unknown terrain in variable snow, I need something I know I can trust - especially when I want to go fast. I tend to gravitate towards skis that feel nimble and can easily initiate turns at all speeds, whether on harder snow or in tight trees. When conditions are prime, I’m off-piste hunting for fresh snow. These are the best all-mountain skis for 22/23.   

1. Fischer Ranger 102

2. Atomic Bent 100

3. Black Crows Serpo

4. Elan Ripstick 96 Black

5. Stockli Stormrider 95

 

Andrew, Fischer Ranger 102, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

#tealskigang 

Andrew, Atomic Bent 120, skiing, winter, snow, pow, groomer, the ski monster, tsm

Rock Springs, Jackson Hole WY

Tate O’Brien

5’4", 115 lbs.

Ski Length Preference: 164cm-170cm

Background: Fair Weather Skier, Spring Break Extraordinaire

I am a habitual frontside skier. Sure, I can get down with a field trip into the trees or some bumps, but I am at my happiest on groomers, laying over fast turns on compact snow. Inconsistent with this love for speed, I am often nervous and abundantly cautious, so I opt for stable, responsive skis that help me to feel confident on the mountain. Here are my favorite skis for the 22/23 season.

1. Elan Ripstick 94 W Black Edition

2. Fischer Ranger 96

3. Blizzard Sheeva 9

4. Stockli Nela 88

5. Blizzard Black Pearl 88

Tate, Blizzard Black Pearl 88, skiing, winter, snow, pow, groomer, the ski monster, tsm

Tate laying down the law on the Blizzard Sheeva 9.

George Michaelsen

5’11", 213 lbs.

Ski Length preference: 179 - 185 cm

Background: Washed up SL/GS Skier, Buck Hill Ski Team.

I love powerful skis that can carve and arc turns but don’t limit me if we head into the trees or soft snow.  Most days I’m out on the hill we’re shooting photos/videos with Matt our marketing guy. I need a ski that can do literally anything and everything regardless of conditions. These are the best all-mountain/all-condition skis for 22/23.

1. Elan Ripstick 96 Black

2. Black Crows Serpo

3. Armada Declivity 92 Ti

4. Nordica Enforcer 94

5. Fischer Ranger 102

George, Black Crows Serpo, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skisG putting on a free clinic. 

George,Faction Mana 3, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

I think George left his snorkel back at the hotel pool - Jackson Hole, WY

Brady Page

6’1", 225 lbs.

Ski Length Preference: 176 - 188cm

Background: On skis at 3 years old, but no formal coaching.

NH born and raised, and the early days were spent skiing off 93, .. what’s up Cannon and Loon! I’m more excited skiing off-piste vs groomers, but love to arc a longer radius turn at speed. I typically reach for heavier skis because I like something that feels stable and planted when going fast. Of course, they still need to have some off-piste chops, so here is my list of 22/23 skis I could shred any day, under any condition.

1. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti

2. Nordica Enforcer 94

3. Fischer Ranger 96

4. Blizzard Rustler 10

5. K2 Mindbender 89 Ti

Brady, K2 Mindbender 89 ti, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

Stoke levels are HIGH on the Mindbender 89 Ti.

Eric Gerrmann

5’11” (Drivers License says 6’), 190 lbs

Ski Length Preference: 177 - 185 cm

Background: Started laying trenches in College and never looked back.

I’m looking for my skis to feel confident, stable and easy to initiate a turn in almost any snow condition. I really like skis that have a playful feel but are strong enough for me to drive with fearlessness. Like most east coast skiers, my ski day usually consists of piping turns on groomers with the romantic idea of possibly finding some softer snow… Which is why it’s important to me that my skis are ready and willing to handle a mixed bag of terrain and conditions without hesitation. Here are my top 5 favorite skis for the 2022/2023 season.

1. Nordica Unleashed 98

2. Elan Ripstick 96

3. Armada Declivity 92Ti

4. Fischer Ranger 96

5. Black Crows Serpo

Eric, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skisE lasered in on laying trenches. 

Eric, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

Fun fact: Eric's spirit animal is a unicorn.

Tyler Fuller 

5’11", 170 lbs. 

Ski Length preference: 176 - 185 cm

Background: Rocky Mountain native, east coast transplant

Growing up I lived in the bumps, trees, and bowls, with groomers always being a tedious necessity for getting to the stuff I liked. Since coming out east, I’ve changed my tune a bit and have grown to love charging down some fresh corduroy. That being said, I need a ski that’s the right balance of playful and stable, providing me with the versatility to confidently tackle the entire mountain. When I pop out of the trees to give the legs a break I want a ski that can still hold an edge on a groomer and not feel nervous while carving it up. Here are my top picks for 22/23 skis that could be the one ski quiver of your dreams.

1. Fischer Ranger 96

2. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti

3. Blizzard Rustler 9

4. Elan Ripstick 96 Black

5. Nordica Enforcer 94

Tyler, Rustler 9, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

Tyler bussin' it down on the Rustler 9s #runitup

Kara Michaelsen

5'5", 135 lbs.

Ski Length Preference: 160-170cm

Background: Former US Ski Team member. Current lover of spring skiing.

After a couple long decades of putting all my energy into racing, I just want to show up and have a good time on skis that rip. I like a ski that feels stable at high speeds, but is also versatile enough to have fun on casual spring days — is that too much to ask for? As a former racer, I (not-so-shockingly) prefer groomers. But I will follow George wherever he goes to prove that I am still a better skier than him.

1. Elan Ripstick W 94 Black

2. Black Crows Serpo

3. Stockli Montero AR

4. Armada Reliance 92 Ti

5. Fischer Ranger 102

Kara, Black Crows Serpo, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

Kara absolutely shredding the Serpos #textbook

Joe Riccio

Specs: 5’10", 155lbs

Ski Length Preference: 175 - 185 cm

Background: Started skiing as a teenager, haven't looked back since

My ideal day is honestly spent cruising groomers #nofriendsonagroomerday, but testing skis involves putting them through their paces in variable terrain and conditions. I like skis that feel more “automatic” from edge to edge, offer versatility, and feel confident over challenging terrain - basically, skis that are easier to balance on, this also helps me if I end up skiing more technical terrain. I value a ski that makes me feel like a stronger skier. These are my favorite skis for the 2022-2023 season.

1. Armada Declivity 92ti

2. Elan Ripstick 96 Black

3. Atomic Maverick 95ti

4. Blizzard Rustler 9

5. Volkl Kendo

Joe, Armada Declivity 82 ti, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skis

Joe getting parallel on a sunny day at Solitude. BANG DUDE

Garrett Finn

6’5", 230 lbs

Ski length preference: 185cm-192cm

Background: Park guy

My favorite skis are ones that I can feel confident on if I put my foot on the gas, but don’t feel too directional if I want to ski backward or lap the park. I fall sometimes, and I fall way more if I feel like the ski doesn’t have enough length in the tail (I don’t like falling). My favorite things to do on the mountain; lapping park and laying down arcs. Those are two things that are pretty different, so my favorite skis are ones that can do both well. Here are my favorite skis for the 22/23 season.

1. Atomic Bent 100

2. Volkl Revolt 104

3. Fischer Ranger 102

4. Black Crows Camox

5. Atomic Bent 110

Garrett, Volkl Revolt 104, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skisGary-go-hard airing it out on the Revolt 104s

Garrett, Volkl Kendo, winter, skiing, pow, snow, groomer, tsm, the ski monster, skisTongue out = Garrett's flow state 

Samantha Barry

5’6", 165 lbs.

Ski Length Preference: 165-170 cm.

Background: Dad made sure I started skiing as soon as I could walk

If I had it my way, I’d be skiing in the trees all day. Spotty snow cover and a few knee injuries don’t always make that possible, so I need something with a bit more versatility. I like a playful ski that I can effortlessly whip around the mountain. My focus is less on speed and more on perfecting my technique. Does that mean I get a little too in my head about who’s critiquing my turns from the chairlift? Yes. Do I still want a ski I can dig into a lift-line groomer and feel confident in the tight New England trees? Absolutely. These are the skis I found best satisfied my needs for the 2022/23 season.

1. Elan Ripstick 94 W Black Edition

2. Fischer Ranger 96

3. Atomic Maven 93 C

4. Nordica Santa Ana 88

5. Blizzard Black Pearl 88

Sam, Elan Ripstick 94 black, winter, skiing, ski, snow, pow, tsm, the ski monsterSam is all smiles on the Ripstick 94 W Black!!

 

Andrew Kunhardt

5’10", 190lbs,

Ski Length Preference: 175-185

Background: Ex high school and college racer

When I’m testing skis, I place a huge emphasis on how predictable the ski feels when going in and out of the turn. This allows me to anticipate my next line, whether that's arcing GS turns down a groomer or tight turns through a mogul field. I tend to be a fair-weather skier, but I am easily convinced to hit the slopes in any condition. I value skis that are up for the challenge and have my back regardless of the terrain or condition. Here are my top skis for the 2022/23 ski season.

1. Black Crows Serpo

2. Nordica Unleashed 98

3. Rossignol Sender 94 Ti

4. K2 Mindbender 89Ti

5. Blizzard Brahma 88

AK, kendo, m6, volkl, winter, snow, pow, skiing, ski, the ski monster. tsm AK dialed in at Sunapee, NH. 

 

Matt Berkowitz

6',  200+ lbs

Ski Length preference = 178 - 186 cm

Background: Racer turned freestyler turned “all-mountain” skier.

I spend the majority of my time on snow on the East Coast with a few trips out West sprinkled in. I find myself gravitating toward skis that walk the line between powerful and playful, but most of all need to be versatile. As a high-energy skier, I need skis that grip on hard snow when put up on edge but are also forgiving enough to break free when I want to skid a turn or get tired later in the day. I’m a big fan of getting into the trees, moguls, and of course powder, but my top picks for 2023 will remain realistic to where 70% of my time is spent…on piste at a resort.

1. Fischer Ranger 102

2. Armada Declivity 92 Ti

3. Elan Ripstick 96 Black

4. Stockli Montero AR

5. Nordica Unleashed 98

Matt, Berky, Fischer, Winter, snow, ski, skiing, pow, bumps, moguls, spring

PC Principal? Or TSM brand director? 

 

 
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