If you’re a ‘one ski for everything’ kind of person, we’ve got you covered. From gliding down freshly bashed slopes to kicking up some powder off-piste, and maybe even the occasional spin around the park, we’ve narrowed down the best all mountain skis to help you find the right fit.
The all-mountain ski category is the ‘one that sits in the middle’, it’s the jack of all trades, master of none of the ski world. Having said that, all-mountain skis can be biased towards a certain type of terrain while still being capable elsewhere on the mountain, they can also have stunning performance. The choices when buying all-mountain skis are vast, with more or less every manufacturer having at least one all-mountain ski in their line-up and most having many more. All-mountain skis are generally aimed at the intermediate to expert skier looking to ride all kinds of terrain, including groomed slopes and powder snow off-piste. Typically, an all-mountain ski will have a waist width of between 80mm and 95mm, which is wider than a piste ski and crosses over (past 90mm) into the freeride category.
During our ski test we ride and rate over 100 pairs of ski, we try to get more than one person on each pair so that we can rule out subjective opinion. We search out all kinds of terrain and conditions including; groomed slopes, where we test for edge hold and stability, powder snow where we test for flotation, and moguls where we look at flex and ease of turning.
Our band of merry men and women includes Rob Stewart – an ISIA qualified ski instructor and former freestyle and freeride competitor with over thirty years skiing experience, Emma Norton – former British Team Alpine ski racer and now a fully qualified ski instructor based in Zermatt, and Ethan Davis – freestyle skier currently competing on the Junior Freeride World Tour as well as a raft of other testers ranging from strong recreational skiers to ski instructors.
We’ve whittled the skis down into what we consider to be the best for the conditions they were intended for.
Dynastar Legend X88 | £560 (bindings incl.)
BEST FOR Strong skiers who want a ride that performs in all conditions.
With its new Legend all-mountain skis Dynastar has proven that two can go into one, as the series replaces both the popular Cham and Powertrack marques.
The X88 sits in arguably the sweet spot for the Legend (other widths available are 75mm, 80, 84, 90, 96 and 106), as their shape strikes a nice balance between manoeuvrability on piste – the 180cm length has an 18m turn radius – and float in softer snow.
Dynastar first developed its Powerdrive tech for front-side skis but has rolled it out into its all-mountain range as well.
The essence of this is to combine a soft material to reduce vibration, a hard material for power, and a dynamic material for power transmission and control.
In the X88 the ABS sidewall provides the dynamic, the two titanal plates and poplar wood core are the hard, and the soft is provided by polyurethane stringers.
Polyurethane is the material used to make such things as memory foam mattresses, but when used in the X88, it’s more likely to promote a good day’s ski than a good night’s sleep.
The stringers dampen the ride nicely and help the skis to ‘snap’ back into shape in the transition between turns: the X88’s fairly whip from arc to arc. Power is nothing without control, as they say, but the X88’s have grip and stability in spades.
VERDICT – 8/10
The Chams and Powertracks may now have been consigned to the past, but Dynastar has found a worthy successor in the Legends.