Throw a global pandemic on top of unpredictable winter weather and skiers are facing one of the most chaotic seasons in history. Navigating resort restrictions, COVID-era travel, and the whims of the snow gods won’t be easy. But if you do head to the mountains, at least make sure your skis are ready for anything.

Take a look at quick info on five of the best skis from our test, then scroll down for buying advice and more in-depth reviews of these and other top-performing planks.

Going Deep on All-Mountain Skis

All-mountain skis aren’t perfect for every condition or every skier, but they are really good for most conditions. Their construction and profile make the better ones competent on both soft snow and hard pack. And the shape makes them a little easier to turn in variable terrain, whether you luck out with a few inches of freshies or are laying tracks on fresh frontside corduroy. Skiers who only hit steeper lines and deeper snow, or rarely venture off frontside groomers may want a more specialized ski. For everyone else, these will do the trick.

Most of the models we tested had waists in the mid-90s, though a few were wider. With modern design, that width typically delivers enough float for powder days yet a lively feeling on harder surfaces. New construction methods often layer vibration-damping materials and stiff aluminum alloys over lightweight wood cores. The goal: create skis that are easy to turn in almost any condition, feel snappy, and float over deep snow while biting into the hard stuff. The five skis here felt as capable on frontside groomers as on backside fluff. To make comparisons easier, we listed tip-waist-tail dimensions for similarly sized skis.

Reckoning With Rocker

When looking at all-mountain skis, pay attention to rocker—it can reveal a lot about how the ski will feel under your foot. Just as brewers play with hops and yeast to create flavor in beer, designers can tweak a ski’s rocker to get it to behave how they want. It plays a major role in making these skis so versatile.

Rocker describes how close to the bindings the tip and tail start to bend upward. It’s where the ski’s camber (the arc that lifts the middle section of an unweighted ski off the snow) ends. More camber gives the ski better hold on hard snow. More rocker, especially at the tip, helps the ski float better and glide in deep snow. “More rocker also reduces the ski’s effective edge,” says Andrew Couperthwait, Head’s senior business manager and alpine product manager. “The ski won’t bite into hard stuff as well, but you won’t have to lean the ski over as far to start your turn.” When designers get the mix right, skiers are rewarded with an energetic, intuitive ride. Here’s how different camber and rocker profiles affect how a ski performs.

How We Tested

We skied more than a dozen pairs of the latest all-mountain planks to help you find the right pair. Our shredding East Coast hardpack and spending several days at Winter Park, Colorado, where we hit groomers and bumps as well as tight trees and windblown chop way up high. We evaluated the skis on their versatility, energy, and ease (or difficulty of skiing in various conditions).

Head Kore 93

Dimensions (171 cm): 130-91-113mm | Turn radius: 15.4 meters

Kore 93

  • Super versatile

  • The 93mm waist is narrow for deep snow

The Kore is so good at everything that it feels like many different skis. It’s stable and aggressive like a race ski when you lean it over on hardpack and is a competent surfer of powder. But its agility grabbed our heart. It’s quick edge-to-edge, without feeling shaky, and has enough rocker in the tail that you can adjust your turn radius without ever losing control. It’s made for stronger skiers who may favor frontside trails or East Coast resorts, but its low weight and easy turn initiation also makes it a great choice for those who prefer blues to blacks. Head’s engineers deserve credit here. Adding vibration-​damping Koroyd (a construction reminiscent of honeycombs) beneath the boot and folding ultra-strong graphene into the fiberglass layup gives the Kore an uncommon blend of stiffness, low weight, and let-’er-rip playfulness. Head also offers a women’s version, the Kore 93W, which is made the same way and comes in shorter sizes.

Black Crows Justis

Dimensions (171 cm): 136-100-121mm | Turn radius: 20 meters

Black Crows

  • Quick and stable

  • Short radius is appealing, but not to everyone

This new plank from French craft ski brand Black Crows replaces two of the company’s most popular models: the surfy Daemon and the more traditional Navis. By blending attributes of the two, Black Crows created one of the best all-mountain skis we’ve tried. Its got a lot of tip and tail rocker, making it easy to turn and pivot or smear on soft snow or snap a turn around a tree. But H-shaped titanal (an aluminum alloy that damps vibrations and adds torsional stiffness) running from tip to tail helps the Justis pop from turn to turn.
It also keeps everything calm as you straighten out your line and pick up speed.

Nordica Santa Ana 93

Dimensions (172 cm): 125.5-93-112.5mm | Turn radius: 15.5 meters

Santa Ana 93

  • Easy to initiate turns and capable of taking aggressive lines

  • Less forgiving for beginners

Nordica’s new Santa Ana skis are some of the most impressive women’s models we’ve seen. Our tester in Colorado said that they are made for women who shy away from nothing—regardless if you're blessed with freshies, just cruising the frontside with your crew, or stumble upon some “Unmarked Obstacles” signs. Nordica’s “All-Mountain Rocker” puts a smooth rocker at the tip and tail and generous camber underfoot. That makes them versatile—easy turning and surfing when you need it on soft snow, yet there’s real bite when you lay the ski on its edge. The Santa Ana is a solid ski for experts. Nordica uses a balsa wood core under a layer of titanal. That creates a stiff, stable ski that’s still relatively light, exactly what you want for all-day sessions that take you across every aspect of the mountain.

Romp 100

Dimensions (172 cm): 137-100-128mm

Romp 100

  • Playful and energetic

  • Better on soft snow than East Coast ice

Romp builds custom and off-the-shelf skis by hand from its owners’ workshop in Crested Butte, Colorado. And a message on its website tells you all you need to know about the company's priorities: “We open at noon on deep powder days.” The stock sticks we tested are an exceptional value at just $750. That gets you a poplar core reinforced with carbon. As the name suggests, Romp skis are playful and energetic. The 100mm waist here has a rocker profile that leans a little more toward soft snow, but its quick edge to edge with enough pop to make it fun on East Coast groomers. It feels similar to the Nordica Enforcer here, but is slightly softer, and its shape makes it a little easier to ski. They’re a true all-mountain board with the playfulness of a park ski. If you want to customize yours, Romp will have a one-on-one conversation with you to dial in the ideal flex, rocker, and graphics for the way you ride. Custom skis will run between $1,045 and $1,450.

Fischer Ranger 102 FR

Dimensions (170 cm): 135-101-125mm | Turn radius: 17 meters

Ranger 102 FR

  • Fast and light
  • Steady in a range of conditions

  • Requires some oomph to maneuver

Compared to the other skis here, the Ranger FR is a little bigger, a little badder, and more suited to bigger terrain. Two sheets of titanium lend stiffness and stability, but more rocker at the tip and tail makes for fast and easy turning. It’s relatively light, too, at just about 1,900 grams for the size we tested. During a day at Winter Park, we started with six inches of fresh snow, which quickly blew up into chunky bumps before we finished on slushy slop. No matter where we took it, the Ranger felt unflappable. A traditional camber underfoot and stiff flex made it respond quickly and with welcome agility on steep lines when we ducked into the trees, but it takes a little more effort to maneuver than some others.

Salomon Stance 96

Dimensions (176 cm): 130-96-112mm | Turn radius: 19 meters

Stance 96

  • Quick edge to edge

  • Not as forgiving, especially in the tail

By some measures, the new Stance may seem more like a race ski than anything else. It has a deep sidecut, two layers of metal, and modest amounts of tip and tail rocker. And you feel that when you’re slicing across icy hardpack or windblown trails. It’s solid underfoot, quick from edge to edge, and returns a ton of energy when you push into it—many East Coasters will love this ski. And Salomon gave it just enough rocker to remove the bite from the tip and tail and add some flotation for deeper snow. Its designers smartly removed some metal from the ends, making it lighter and easier to ski. It’s not as stable as some others here, but it’s a light, energetic ski that you can push hard in most conditions.

Nordica Enforcer 100

Dimensions (172 cm): 132-100-120mm | Turn radius: 16.3 meters

Nordica Enforcer 100

  • Heavier than most

In many ways, the Enforcer is a slightly burlier, stiffer, heavier version of the Kore. But it’s nearly as snappy and versatile. By removing plastic from the tip and extending the lightweight wood core farther forward, Nordica made a ski that’s easier to swing around corners. Yet at about 2,100 grams, it’s heavier than anything else here—that’s good for stability but can make it feel less energetic. A generous rocker in the tip facilitates initiating turns, especially in softer snow. And strands of carbon embedded in a thin layer of fiberglass that runs the length of the ski add some smoothness on firmer surfaces. With it, you can lay down big sweeping GS turns across icy slopes, pound through a tight line in the bumps, or spend all day ripping laps down wide-open Rocky Mountain bowls.