The top 20 big-mountain skis of 2017

The top 20 big-mountain skis of 2017

Also read: Top park skis | Top women’s skis | Top all-mountain skis | Top powder skis


The 4FRNT Devastator skis in action during our Aspen test

Big-mountain skiers need a set of planks that can handle it all: the fluffy stuff, the not so fluffy stuff and every other kind of stuff in-between, all while remaining firm and steady at high speeds. Whether you’re dropping a gnarly cliff or sending it on a pow day, these are the skis that can get you there. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 100-114 mm freeride and top 10 100-114 mm freestyle skis, all put through the ringer during our industry-leading ski test and chosen as Editors’ Picks in our 2017 Buyer’s Guide.

Read more about how FREESKIER tests skis.

100-114 mm freeride skis

You might enjoy these skis if… You’re at home in the no-fall zone. You rely on skis that are plenty stiff and stable to get you safely down those butterfly-inducing lines you love so much. Sometimes you’ll find yourself on the hardpack but usually just in order to get back to the lift that’ll return you to the delectable soft stuff. When you’re not hucking cliffs or billy-goating rock bands, you’re arcing massive turns down steep bowls, a smile plastered on your face the entire way.

1. Nordica Enforcer 100


Overall Score: 9.52

“Testers experienced pure elation whilst ripping this ski, from firm morning groomers, to midday off-roading through the chop, to late afternoon slush bumps. ‘It’s unreal,’ said one tester plainly…” Click for full review and scores.

2. Armada Invictus 108 Ti


Overall Score: 9.35

“As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘The Invictus 108 Ti is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.’ Really, though, this charger’s stability is absolutely incredible, and it’s the perfect tool for those who want go fast, Ricky Bobby style…” Click for full review and scores.

3. K2 Pinnacle 105


Overall Score: 9.33

“The Pinnacle 105 is back for its second year, and our testers are still impressed. ‘These skis are money,’ one noted. ‘Great edge grip and control, light swing weight, burly enough to handle crud at speed, great everyday ski’…” Click for full review and scores.

4. Völkl 100Eight


Overall Score: 9.09

“You want to have control and confidence when ripping, yeah? The 100Eight has you covered. Woods of different densities in the ski—denser underfoot and light along the perimeter and tip and tail—strike a balance between playfulness and stability…” Click for full review and scores.

5. Kästle BMX105 HP


Overall Score: 9.03

“Some skis just make you want to go fast, and the BMX105 HP is absolutely one of those skis. Between the burly silver fir wood and two layers of supportive Titanal, Kästle really struck a chord power-wise…” Click for full review and scores.

6. J Skis Metal


Overall Score: 8.90

“The Metal in particular had our whole testing squad head-banging all over the hill. Its stiff maple core is further strengthened by narrow strips of Titanal and full height sidewalls…” Click for full review and scores.

7. Fischer Ranger 108 Ti


Overall Score: 8.81

“If people liken you to the Tasmanian Devil when they see you on the ski hill then the Ranger 108 Ti could be your ideal companion. Carbon fiber in the tips keeps them torsionally rigid and the ski’s sandwich sidewall construction promotes confidence on edge at high speeds…” Click for full review and scores.

8. Salomon QST 106


Overall Score: 8.77

“The new QST 106 can handle anything: floating the deep, trekking into the backcountry, jump-turning down the steeps or crushing turns on the groomers…” Click for full review and scores.

9. Elan Ripstick 108


Overall Score: 8.68

“The Ripstick 106 was designed to take on the biggest, baddest terrain your local ski hill throws at you. Carbon tubes running the length of the ski and following the arc of the sidecut yield torsional strength while reducing weight, allowing you to torque them to kingdom come without compromise…” Click for full review and scores.

10. Atomic Backland FR 109


Overall Score: 8.67

“The new Backland FR 109 is the successor to the now-defunct Automatic 109 and the ski of choice for big-mountain star Sage Cattabriga-Alosa. That means it’s built to handle some of the most technical lines on the planet…” Click for full review and scores.

100-114 mm freestyle skis

You might enjoy these skis if… You enjoy taking those nifty maneuvers you learned in the terrain park and trying ’em out in a more natural setting— preferably with soft snow conditions abounding. Maybe you’re airing out of a natural quarterpipe and capping a perfect tail grab at your apex, or perhaps you’re sending a lofty cork 720 off of a natural takeoff. Either way, your game is all about style and flair. You crave a forgiving flex and ample tip and tail rocker in your skis for pivoty-good times, but you also seek a touch of camber underfoot so you can go full throttle when your pals call for a “Chinese downhill” when the lifts close. You’ll more than likely record the mind-boggling race, tricks and all, and upload your own version of One of Those Days to YouTube.

1. Blizzard Gunsmoke


Overall Score: 9.74

“Time and time again, the Gunsmoke tops the charts.With perfect scores for versatility and float you can rest assured this heavy hitter can handle everything from the deepest of powder days to chunder-filled steeps to frontside hardpack and everything in between…” Click for full review and scores.

2. Faction Candide 3.0


Overall Score: 9.71

“Surely you’ve experienced One of Those Days. You know, Candide Thovex’s renowned web series? Well, it should come as no surprise that the Frenchman’s pro model ski received a perfect score in the playfulness category….” Click for full review and scores.

3. 4FRNT Devastator


Overall Score: 9.60

“As its name implies, the Devastator was designed to ravage, ruin, wreck, pillage, plunder and lay waste to every mogul, glade, groomer, chute or cliff in its wake. With overwhelmingly positive remarks, our testers confirmed 4FRNT hit the nail on the head…” Click for full review and scores.

4. K2 Marksman


Overall Score: 9.52

“The all-new Marksman is Pep Fujas’ own Frankenstein’s monster. It incorporates the outer tip shape of the K2 Pinnacle 105 and the inner profile of the K2 Pettitor, resulting in an asymmetrical profile that testers say increases maneuverability…” Click for full review and scores.

5. Blizzard Peacemaker


Overall Score: 9.47

“Paradoxically, the Peacemaker wages war on all aspects of the mountain. It’s a certified hard-charger—as in, it handles like Jeff Gordon—with a hefty dose of press, pop and play in its DNA…” Click for full review and scores.

6. Armada ARV 106


Overall Score: 9.40

“Armada consolidated much of its freestyle-oriented lineup into the ARV series for 2016-17. The strategy: Take the best traits from a variety of skis and combine ’em into one bangin’ pair of boards…” Click for full review and scores.

7. Scott Punisher 110


Overall Score: 9.29

“The ingredients in this delectable Scott sandwich: a lightweight paulownia wood core and a robust Titanal binding insert. A unique 3Dimension Sidecut utilizes tip and tail radii for breakneck turns and flatline underfoot to encourage edge hold…” Click for full review and scores.

8. Black Crows Atris


Overall Score: 9.27

“A snappy 18-meter turn radius, versatile 108-mm waist width and lightweight construction combine to create the Atris, a ski that can do it all…” Click for full review and scores.

9. Head Collective 105


Overall Score: 9.23

“Speaking to the Collective 105’s do-everything character, one tester noted that it’s ‘hard to find a ski that’s more versatile.’ The ski features tip and tail rocker to provide float and agility with traditional camber underfoot…” Click for full review and scores.

10. Liberty Origin 106


Overall Score: 8.78

“The foundation of the Origin 106 is a combination of ultra-strong, lightweight bamboo and midweight, responsive poplar wood. Liberty then implements carbon fiber into the construction for a ski that’s strong, reactive and poppy with efficient weight savings…” Click for full review and scores.

Check out Gear Made Clear, our in-depth explanation of what all the ski-related terms you’ll come across mean so you can know before droppin’ your dough.

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