SKI REVIEWS

2014/15

Testing is without doubt the most anticipated part of the job for those lucky enough to be involved – but don't think it's some kind of jolly. It's certainly fun, but it's also taken very seriously. This is when we validate proposed products and also find unexpected gems. It means that we can be sure what we're stocking really is the very best selection available, and the staff selling these skis really know their products.

Ellis Brigham Staff Training Ski Test, Hintertux, Tirol, Austria, May

May sees staff from shops nationwide come out to Austria to train on next season's equipment. Once again the Tirol delivered with blue skies and fresh snow overnight, perfect late season conditions ideal for testing.

For 5 days every ski was put through its paces, and every tester filled out in-depth forms. Apart from very happy skiers, it means there's first-hand knowledge of all the models in virtually any EB store. You can read their feedback and reports below, or watch our reviews on Youtube.

Once we again we have to thank the amazing Tirol, the brilliant people at Hintertux Glacier providing such perfect testing facilities, the always helpful Tux tourist board and the wonderful Neu Hintertux hotel. The combination of which has always delivered exactly what we need to the highest standards – and means we would never hesitate to recommend a visit here whatever the time of year.




Men's Ski Reviews
Women's Ski Reviews


Men's Ski Reviews

Ben ski test

Name: Ben Burrows
Age: 24
Weight: 76kg
Height: 5' 8"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 16 years
Describe your skiing: Enjoy charging down a well groomed run as well as going off exploring for some untouched lines.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Head Titan This ski really lives up to its reputation, the ride is solid and stable but unlike some advanced piste skis it's effortless to use. Being 80mm underfoot and having a wide slightly rockered tip it's also quite a versatile ski.
Armada Alpha X Looks like a park ski but actually great all over the rest of the mountain, perfect for seasonnaires or someone looking for that one quiver ski they can put to the test wherever they go.
Volkl Allura Technically a women's ski but probably the most fun I had on piste all week, very lively and responsive and seems to turn before you think it. If you're after an advanced agile piste ski this is hard to beat.
Blizzard Bonafide As solid as they come, this is a real brute of a ski for stronger skiers, where most skis float or skip over crud the Bonafide charges through and is stable whether hurtling down the piste or having an adventure in deeper snow.
Volkl One This is a fun ski. It has a relatively short contact length and camber underfoot making it easy to get around on the piste but comes into its element in powder where it becomes poppy and playful, it will put a smile on your face.

What is your personal favourite: If I was taking a ski away for a week's holiday I would take the Blizzard Bushwacker, it's solid enough to hold its edge at speed on piste but has enough width and plenty of nose rocker to shred in the powder. Having said that, I have aspirations for the Bonafide once/if my legs gain a bit more strength.

Thoughts on this year's range: This is a really exciting range, there really is a ski to suit anyone. It was a challenge to think of which five stood out as the most impressive, they're all different and yet all are very good.

Dani ski test

Name: Daniel Cejudo
Age: 39
Weight: 77kg
Height: 184cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 30 years
Describe your skiing: All mountain. International competitive and social ski mountaineering. Favour steep technical terrain.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Nordica NRGY 90 Wow, amazing! They perform brilliantly 100% of the time on all terrain types, with 100% versatility. They are pretty heavy skis but lively and responsive in all conditions, at every speed, in every turn and with very easy turn initiation. Everything is excellent: stability, grip, edge-to-edge, steering, transmission, maneuverability - they are responsive, energetic, predictable, powerful… Extraordinary! For heavy or light skiers, advanced to expert.
Volkl Kendo Responsive, quick edge-to-edge, easy steering at all speeds, and with all turns, lively on and off piste. Good grip and very stable on piste, even on bumpy pack and good flotation off. These skis are energetic and powerful, but also smooth and nimble. Another fabulous, versatile, option. Also a great ski touring choice!
Line Sir Francis Bacon They have everything: playful, precise, predictable, versatile… astounding performance everywhere! Everything was easy. Off piste: Complete control; fun flotation and relaxed steering. On piste: Great, very good aggressive carve with excellent grip and stability even on bumps; easy turn initiation and edge-to-edge; lively, smooth and powerful. Skis for big range of skiers, from intermediate to expert. Guaranteed a good result!
Armada TST On piste: Nice, good stability at high speed; good grip in quite aggressive carves, and they give total control at every speed with turns. Easy turn initiation - not too fast, gentle but powerful rebound, with a fun and responsive experience on hard pack. Off piste - truly amazing: lively, precise, predictable, responsive, energetic, stable in powder, soft, wet and deep snow. Grand! The most versatile ski from Armada. For strong, good intermediate/advanced skiers looking for a versatile performance… Armada TST is waiting for you!
Dynafit Manaslu Superb performance on groomed snow: easy turn initiation, firm rebound, nice steering, easy and quick edge-to-edge. Very stable even at high speed. Highly precise, totally controlled turns, at all speeds, and a very nice carving grip, not too aggressive. On steep narrow gullies and quite hard pack – they give a very nice, confident response with jumping turns and truly excel when it comes to grip. In powder, deep and wet snow, wonderful flotation and steering. Highly precise and predictable. Light and speedy going up, yet totally responsive, and perform brilliantly in descent in every type of snow! A great ski touring choice for next winter! Amazing overall performance and they feel great on all terrain types! For skiers from intermediate to advanced level – a good option, guaranteed.

What is your personal favourite: Head Magnum for high performance and Rossignol Experience 80 for relaxing performance on piste; Head Titan and Salomon X-Drive 8.0 FS and Rossignol Experience 84 for all mountain carve; Salomon Q-90 for ski touring / mountaineering; Atomic Theory for all-mountain; Blizzard Bonafide, Rossignol Super 7 and DPS 112RP2 Hybrid for fun/powder/back country; and Blizzard Bushwacker as an excellent Telemark choice. For EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, Nordica NRGY 90, Sir Francis Bacon and WhiteDot Ranger Carbonlite!

Thoughts on this year's range: The ski range for next winter season is simply amazing. Ellis Brigham has got a huge array of skis selected from the best currently available on the market and plenty of choices for every type of customer.

Any other comments: I'd like to extend my thanks to Ellis Brigham, for the opportunity to experience working in Hintertux for them. I tested a wide range of skis for the next season, selected from the best currently available on the market. It was a great experience, highly educational and positive, and it was also the best way to familiarize myself with our forthcoming winter range! Our skis, and also ski boots, poles, goggles, helmets and clothing for the slopes. Magic experience! Chris ski test

Name: Chris McCaughey
Age: 30
Weight: 70Kg
Height: 182cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 60+ weeks
Describe your skiing: Enjoy charging down a well groomed run as well as going off exploring for some untouched lines.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Nordica NRGY 90 Most versatile on all terrain.
Armada ARV Ti Powerful but easy to manoeuvre.
Nordica Spitfire Ti Like a high speed train on piste.
Volkl OneMost fun I've had in powder for a long time.
Rossignol Experience 80 Solid on piste performer.

What is your personal favourite: Arv Ti, suits my style to the ground. Held well on piste at speed but with instantaneous easy adaptation to varied conditions.

Thoughts on this year's range:A lot of skis this year. There is definitely something for everyone.

Any other comments: Glad to see Volkl back, as are some customers I've spoken to over the summer.

Dave ski test

Name: Dave Casey
Age: 35
Weight: 10st
Height: 5'7"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 32 years
Describe your skiing: All mountain. International competitive and social ski mountaineering. Favour steep technical terrain.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Nordica NRGY 80The '80' is the cheaper of the two all-new NRGY all-mountain skis from Nordica that we're stocking and for me it stood out for being surprisingly versatile for its price. The 80 has a relatively large tip rocker, a powder tail and just enough width to be amazingly confidence inspiring in soft conditions yet it's still incredibly lively back on the piste.
Blizzard Bushwacker We've stocked the Bushwacker for a number of years now and it's no surprise as it's continually up there amongst my favourites. It's a solid performing all-mountain ski striking a very even balance between responsiveness on and off-piste. The Titanal layer and full sidewall provide the excellent grip and power on piste whilst Blizzard's unique FlipCore rocker boosts the manoeuvrability and also makes it equally at home in the soft stuff.
Salomon Rocker2 100 At 100mm underfoot width it should be no surprise that the Rocker2 100 is in our freeride category but what stood out for me was just how natural the 100 felt in the powder without compromising responsiveness everywhere else, all at a surprisingly reasonable price. Whilst a slightly forgiving flex, rocker profile and cap construction at the very tip and tail help keep the 100 accessible to less experienced freeriders, the almost full length sidewall in combination with the fact that the rocker profile isn't overly dominant mean it's no slouch either
Line Sir Francis Bacon The ever-popular Bacon is another ski that has deservedly held its place in our range year-on-year whilst others have come and gone. For me it's a prime example (if not perfect example) for the all terrain freestyle category; true to the category spirit, the Bacon is one ski that aims to do it all and with style. Full sidewalls with a responsive flex and positive camber underfoot ensure the Bacon can be skied hard when needed but otherwise its playful character reigns both in the park and the pow, stemming from the short turning radius underfoot combined with light-weight rockered tip and tail.

What is your personal favourite: Just edging ahead of the others is probably the Salomon Rocker2 100. At its cheaper price point I wasn't expecting too much from 'another fully rockered ski' but far exceeding my expectations as it did just shows how good value it is and hence earns its place as my overall favourite.

Thoughts on this year's range: Once again a healthy mix of worthy new talent (Rossignol Experience / Temptation series in particular for myself) earning their place alongside proven giants holding their own for yet another year.

Any other comments: Weather over the week spanned everything from glorious sunshine to fresh snow so you can be sure the skis got to see a realistic variety of conditions! The evening schedule was pleasantly busy this year as we were honoured with the presence of no less than three manufacturers (even joining us on the hill in some cases). In all we had presentations from Salomon, Armada and Atomic and in Atomic's case we even got to meet and chat with one of their key ski boot designers which was a particular highlight. Finally, thanks once again to everyone involved in yet another rewarding ski test with particular thanks to the Tirol tourist board and the ever-friendly staff of the Neuhintertux Hotel!

Eddie ski test

Name: Eddie Thelwell     
Age: 28
Weight: 60kg
Height: 170cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 23 years
Describe your skiing: All-Mountain Freestyle, ski everywhere as fast as possible and find things to jump off.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Salomon Rocker2 100 Super fun, super easy freestyle/freeride do-everything ski.
Armada El Rey Lightweight, versatile and easy to ski, all for a great price.
Armada JJ 2.0 The best float around, really manoeuvrable and surprisingly good on piste.
Head Titan Ultimate piste performance that handles varied snow surprisingly well.

What is your personal favourite: Blizzard Peacemaker – solid yet playful, really versatile option for all conditions, piste, powder and even park!

Thoughts on this year's range: Loads of great all-mountain skis to get more people off the piste, but also some awesome piste performance skis for those who prefer sticking to the groomers.

Any other comments: Come in and test some skis, we have something for all abilities and budgets!

Jakub ski test

Name: Jakub Arslanowow     
Age: 26
Weight: 84kg
Height: 191cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: Since I was 4 years old / 78 weeks
Describe your skiing: I am a confident skier with 4 full season working as a ski instructor. My favorite ski discipline is SL racing, but I enjoy Telemark skiing as well as adventures off piste when opportunity arise.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Armada AK JJ For super maneuverability as for a ski of its size.
Blizzard Spitfire Ti For its stability and edge grip.
Salomon Rocker2 100 For its versatility.
Rossignol Soul 7 For its off piste performance.
Whitedot Ranger CarbonLite For its ski alpinism potential.

What is your personal favourite: Rossignol Soul 7, without question! This is a ski of my dreams after this ski test. I knew it was a good ski before ski test, but what I experienced testing it just blow my mind away. Serious performance off piste and still lots of fun on groomed slopes. Definitely, I will have to get them at some point.

Thoughts on this year's range:I think we have a massive selection, which is very well designed. What I like about it, is that I can find something there for any skier I can possibly come across. Thanks to this ski test I have the knowledge and experience to do it even better.

Mark ski test

Name: Mark Watson     
Age: 30
Weight: 11st 2
Height: 5' 7"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 16 years
Describe your skiing: : I enjoy blasting around the mountain on all types of terrain and am comfortable in all conditions.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Blizzard Peacemaker Handled so well everywhere for a 104mm ski, surprisingly agile on piste, I don't think people will realise how good this ski is until they are on it.
Nordica NRGY 90 Such an unexpectedly versatile ski in such a well priced (compared to other equivalent skis) package.
Head Supershape Titan Such stability and reliable performance at speed, felt solid when the conditions got choppy or bumpy.
Volkl RTM 81 One of the smoothest piste skis I have been on for a while, The Head Titan is my benchmark piste ski but this sits right next to it in terms of grip and stability.
Blizzard Bonafide Suits my skiing down to the ground, fast long radius turns backed up by loads of edge grip. 98mm under foot plus flipcore, so handles well off piste too.

What is your personal favourite: Peacemaker, for the reasons listed above.

Thoughts on this year's range: Something to suit everyone, but definitely geared towards the more adventurous skiers looking for changeable terrain. 90-100mm skis are where this range excels.

Matt ski test

Name: Matt Hoslin    
Age: 26
Weight: 75kg
Height: 177cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: Started age 12 / Around 80 weeks on snow.
Describe your skiing: : I love skiing powder and getting face shots. If there is good snow you will find me in the backcountry, I do enjoy charging the pistes. I ski quite aggressively. I also love buttering around and being in the air.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Blizzard Peacemaker HFor a big ski it felt really nimble and manoeuvrable, aided by the rocker but also felt really stable. The sidewall and construction provides loads of grip. Very enjoyable indeed.
Nordica NRGY 90 This ski is awesome and so versatile! The construction and shape give good stiffness and grip and it felt really responsive. Floated well in the deeper soft snow and put a big grin on my face.
Atomic Panic Really good value for money. The ski handled well everywhere. Grippy on piste and floats well off piste. Took it through the park and it had loads of pop and felt light. Very versatile and fun.Atomic Panic Really good value for money. The ski handled well everywhere. Grippy on piste and floats well off piste. Took it through the park and it had loads of pop and felt light. Very versatile and fun.
Salomon Q-90 Another really good all-mountain one-ski-quiver, dealt with variable snow well and performed everywhere, floated well in the soft stuff and felt really stable on the hard pack.
Line Francis Bacon The Definition of a go-everywhere-ski. Tonnes of float off piste due to shape and rocker, and super playful too. Skis well on hard pack and holds an edge well. It takes you for an exhilarating ride and loves to jump around.

What is your personal favourite: Personal favourite Volkl One - they were really bouncy and stable when landing drops, I loved it.

Thoughts on this year's range: Really like the range for 14/15 there is something for everyone at all ability levels. Some very cool graphics too. Loving the Blizzard range and a welcome back for Volkl to EB.

Tom ski test

Name: Tom Hardman
Age: 26
Weight: 100kg
Height: 193cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 40+ weeks
Describe your skiing: Chilled, powerful and smooth.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Salomon X-Drive 80 For £350 it’s a lot of ski! Feels like a woodcore ski, even though it’s composite. Addition of sidewall this year helps with power and stability. A real confidence boosting ski and holds its own on steeper, chopped up piste. A brilliant first ski.
Nordica Spitfire Pro Bags of energy and power. Haven't had as much fun on an aggressive piste ski in years. A serious piste ski, but left me grinning ear-to-ear for the whole run. Loves being pushed as hard as you can. Good option for wannabe slalom racers.
Blizzard Peacemaker Gives the other 100(ish)mm all-terrain freestyle skis in the range a good run for their money. A stiffer more chargy all-mountain twin, but still loads of fun. A really good option for heavier skiers looking for something twinned and playful. Really came to life on steeper, choppy terrain, popping and airing over the snow.
Armada ARV Ti I liked it so much the first time I skied it, I bought it. Adds a new ski to the 99mm metal laminate all-mountain charger category. Can charge as hard as its competitors (Volkl Mantra and Blizzard Bonafide), but has a much more fun way of doing it as it’s a twin. Will cope with anything you can throw at it. At home all over the mountain, in any snow conditions. Graphics are pretty good too.
Volkl Wall Took me massively by surprise. I’m not normally a skinny, true twin fan. However, the power, precision and speed of it was brilliant. Carved as well as some of the piste skis forwards or switch. Full of life and way more versatile and capable out of the park than I thought it would ever be.

What is your personal favourite: Arv Ti, suits my style to the ground. Held well on piste at speed but with instantaneous easy adaptation to varied conditions.

Thoughts on this year's range:A lot of skis this year. There is definitely something for everyone.

Any other comments: Glad to see Volkl back, as are some customers I've spoken to over the summer.

Phil ski test

Name: Phil Crowhurst    
Age: 33
Weight: 70kg
Height: 168cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 15 years, around 60 weeks
Describe your skiing: : Uncontrolled, lack of technique, untidy, lazy all-mountain skier!

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Armada TST Allows the skier more confidence in the powder. With the rockered nose, you get the float you want for the best powder, but combined with an AR50 sidewall, an edge hold that lets you push just as hard when carving the hard pack.
Nordica NRGY 90 A master of all trades. The lightweight i-core and Torsion Bridge construction give this ski a progressive flex, allowing the rider more confidence on a wide range of terrain. Hardpack, trees, powder, all in a days work.
Nordica Spitfire Pro A performance ski, designed to excel at carving on groomed slopes and hard snow. It's stiff, has a short turn radius and fast.
Atomic Theory Aimed at the intermediate to advanced skier, a versatile all-mountain ski able to carve up groomers, ride through crud and feel comfortable in the powder.
Blizzard Bonafide Probably a step on from the Theory, this a well-established ski that needs a strong fit skier pushing it hard to get the best performance.

What is your personal favourite: Rossignol Soul 7, I spent most of the test week trying to decide if I preferred the Soul 7 or the TST. They were both so good. For a skier that wants to spend a majority of time off the side of the piste, wants a light ski but also wants to be able to charge down the piste at the end of the day then either of these. I still can't decide!

Thoughts on this year's range: A range for all skiers, no one type of skier is left out. great to see EB trying new brands for the UK market.

Robin ski test

Name: Rob Evans    
Age: 37
Weight: 14st
Height: 6' 4"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 30 years +
Describe your skiing: : Always searching for the fresh stuff. Which mainly means bumped up, tracked out off-piste!

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Volkl Mantra It is a difficult decision sometimes when one school of thought says 'don't fix what isn't broken' and the other one says 'change is for the better'. The Mantra has always been a wonderful ski for the stronger skier needing a blend of power, solidness, float and grip. Being around for quite a while with minimal changes, it has now been completely overhauled for the new season. A different shape and full rocker construction gives it a new ease of use that is playful and lively but what still remains are the power and solidness when push. The changes are definitely for the better!
Armada TST Being a huge fan of directional twins, due to their 'one ski for everything nature', the TST certainly doesn't disappoint. Being so playful and lively it makes me smile every time I test it, filling me with the confidence to push the boundaries even further. Having the ability to switch from carving down hard-pack piste one minute and then blasting through the soft stuff next is what make this ski so good.
Nordica NRGY 90 This is probably one of the most confidence inspiring performance all-mountain skis I have ever tested. A traditional camber underfoot and a slight tip rocker means it's super easy to turn, giving you a sense of security and control in any snow condition. Lots of life but with a solid feeling throughout means you can really power it up either on or off piste. In my opinion this is the class leader for 90mm all mountain skis and there is a lot of them out there.
Nordica Spitfire Ti If you are looking to have fun whilst charging down the slopes then look no further than the Spitfire Ti. A slalom inspired tip with a GS waist and tail means you get best balance of tight grippy turns down the fall line to super smooth long arcs, this ski does it all. I love the fact that Nordica have a 'no frills or gimmicks' approach to ski construction and only use tried and tested technology that works.
Blizzard Bonafide Perfect for the freeride inspired skier wanting a ski that floats in the deep stuff and can be pushed to the max on hardpack. The 98mm waist and rocker technology at the tip and tail makes these float really well in all conditions. The Flip Core helps with the liveliness and two sheets of metal gives you the feeling of power and stability throughout the ski.

What is your personal favourite: Volkl Chiara, a great intermediate to expert ski. You could have confidence the Chiara could handle being pushed, yet if you were outside your comfort zone it wouldn't trip you up.

Thoughts on this year's range: It gives me great confidence knowing how tried and tested these skis are before they even make the final selection for such a diverse and yet well rounded range.

Steve Wells ski test

Name: Steve Wells   
Age: 40
Weight: 88kg
Height:180cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 25+ years
Describe your skiing: Still lazy, still all-mountain

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Salomon X-Drive 8.0 FS This could very easily have been the 80Ti instead. Both skis share a similar shape which is pretty much perfect for mainly using on piste and doing a bit of ungroomed snow too. The FS feels lively and precise, but it isn't demanding or difficult.
Salomon Rocker2 100 This a playful ski that also has quality feel on a variety of terrain. The wood core and the mix of camber and rocker add the energy on firm and soft snow; the shape with it's set-back contact points adds a laidback sensation to it, meaning it never gets kicked out of its stride whatever the conditions.
Blizzard Bushwacker I always seem to list this is in my 5 most impressive skis. For me it has such predictable handling but also exactly the right amount of energy to make it fun, sure it has a speed limit, but it doesn't ever get troubled no matter how difficult the snow. The perfect ski for really getting to grips with all condition / terrain skiing.
Armada El Rey A very pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting the liveliness or its ability to handle such a variety of terrain. A few little tweaks have really made this ski a great choice for all mountain skiers wanting a twin, or occasional freestyle skiers who want all-round ability.
Nordica NRGY 90 (and 80) I love the way these skis handle in all terrain and just how fun they are to ski. When the snow is bad they're forgiving, but when you want grip or response it's always there. You can really put down the hammer and let them rip, but they'll be smooth, flowing and forgiving when you take it easy.

What is your personal favourite: DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid [available in-store only] This is the ski for me: turny enough on groomed snow; a playful easy energy; stable, smooth and very balanced when the conditions are chopped or bumpy; and, absolutely effortless when you find the fresh snow. Pure class.

Thoughts on this year's range: Something for everyone, with standout options at all prices and for all kinds of skiing. The commitment to detailed testing really pays off when you see the range all together.

Women's Ski Reviews

Amanda ski test

Name: Amanda Simms
Age: 30
Weight: 70kg
Height: 5'3"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 20 years (10 of which seasons)
Describe your skiing: Good ability, a bit out of practice nowadays but happy to try anything.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Atomic Cloud 9 I absolutely love a good piste ski and this is top of my list. As geeky as it sounds, throwing down some fast paced carves puts a massive grin on my face and these sure had me grinning! I was really impressed by their strength, and how they were still effortless to use. A hardcore ski teamed with some super sleek graphics makes this one sexy number!
Atomic Affinity Storm I'm not sure why but I was expecting this ski to feel cumbersome and boring. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the exact opposite! I had lots of fun on these skis. I was skiing the piste at speeds of my choice, whilst mixing it up a little by pootling to the side where there was still some fresh snow to be had. This ski has a lot to offer.
Salomon Q88 Lux I was surprised at how versatile these skis are. They effortlessly handled on and off piste brilliantly. They were a real pleasure to ski and felt they could be pushed really far.
Head Titan I was expecting this ski to be far too aggressive for me to handle but, instead, it was very easy to control and I really enjoyed my time testing these. Don't get me wrong, this is a powerful ski, but it's very smooth and reactive making the whole skiing experience ooze with fun.  I will be suggesting these to strong women skier, which I wouldn't have thought of doing last season.
Volkl Kenja It might just have been the perfect size, or the perfect condition when tested, but these skis left me wanting to buy them. I enjoyed everything about them. I was amazed by their versatility and combination of contrasts. They were aggressive but not too stiff, playful and serious, sharp and smooth. It just worked for me.

What is your personal favourite: I'm torn between the Head Titan, Volkl Kenja, and Atomic Cloud 9. For me all three are top of their categories.

Thoughts on this year's range: Really impressed with the range, yet again! There is enough to offer everyone a choice of skis within each discipline without the choice becoming too overwhelming. This also filters out the bad stuff, keeping the standards and quality high for kit that we sell.

Andi ski test

Name: Andi Bundai
Age: 29
Weight: 56kg
Height: 160cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 26 years / 30+ weeks
Describe your skiing: On piste self-taught, mainly messing around with my sis wherever we go.

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Head Titan Surprised me as I wasn't expecting to be able to handle such performance skis, but it was very stable, nice and smooth, I felt in control more than ever.
Salomon Q88 Lux I really didn't like them before and that just shows what a difference it makes to be able to take them out on the mountain and not just try them out in a snow dome. Loads of fun, easy to handle.
Armada TSTw They looked a lot more intimidating than what they actually were. The day I took them out the conditions were awful with deep, heavy very wet and sticky snow and they made getting by as easy as it was possible considering the circumstances. Didn't think I would get as much out of them as I did.
Armada Cantika I thought they are going to be a bit dull and was very surprised and impressed how much pop they had and how easy they were to handle. Not necessarily just for parks, but for someone who might not be confident or just wants to mess around on the mountain.
Nordica Temptation 80 It was a lot longer than I'm used to and was worried that I will struggle, but it was easy to handle, very forgiving and effortless. Great if you want to improve or just don't necessarily want to put that much effort in. Soft and light.

What is your personal favourite: I think it has to be the Q88 Lux simply because I had loads of fun on them, I think the graphics looks awesome and I was really grateful that I was on them when I got caught out in a white out with nothing to see but my nose.They handled everything really well even though I had no idea where I was going nor what I was skiing into.

Thoughts on this year's range: I think we have a great and very versatile range. I honestly think that I would struggle not to find the perfect pair for everyone. Having to ski on most of them and being able to see how different some of them are just proves that there is one for every type of skier.

Kirsty ski test

Name: Kirstie Mason     
Age: 23
Weight: 9st 8
Height: 5' 8"
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 20+ years
Describe your skiing: Building up confidence in backcountry and in the park, love bombing down the piste and jumping off the sides! (or just see the EB 404 error page!).

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Blizzard Black Pearl Always needs a mention! Fantastically fun, versatile ski both on and off piste. Over jumps, through powder or even cruising over ice, this ski will take you everywhere and put a smile on your face in the process.
Nordica Wild Belle Nordica's range always impress me and they've done it again with the Wild Belle and Belle to Belle. Don't be fooled into thinking the narrower waist width won't be versatile enough to take you all over the mountain. It will! Surprisingly nimble and quick to respond in the rough stuff off piste as well as being wonderfully smooth on piste in all conditions.
Volkl Pyra Any ski in the 14/15 Volkl range would have made it into my top 5. I have chosen the Pyra because you get a great, playful ski at an amazing price. Perfect for anyone looking to blast it down the groomed stuff and catching some air along the way, or a seasoned freestyler. On top of all this, the Pyras look great, so you can't go wrong!
Rossignol Temptation 84 The Temptation range from the Rossignol this year really impressed [me] with its versatility and reliability as a great set of skis that are stable on-piste in all conditions at any speed. They're at an extremely reasonable price point as well, so you're getting a lot of ski for your money.
Rossignol Savoury 7 I can never go without mentioning this ski! As a personal purchase from last season, you can trust me that these skis are built for powder. Silky smooth into turns and the best floatation I've ever experienced, these skis also feel at home on piste and just off to the side.

What is your personal favourite: Armada Cantika, these skis put a huge smile on my face! So much fun on piste and in the half-pipe. The perfect option for first-time freestylers looking for a confidence-building ski.

Thoughts on this year's range: I'm so glad that Volkl are back in our range! A fantastic array of skis that consistently impressed on the test.

Any other comments: Another great range with loads of choice for various types of skiers. The women's range has everything and everyone covered, and the graphics this year will appeal to all tastes.

Sarah ski test

Name: Sarah Parnell    
Age: 41
Weight: 65kg
Height:176cm
Years skiing / weeks on snow: 30yrs, including 6 full seasons
Describe your skiing: I try to be tidy and technical – I'll fling myself down most things where tidy and technical goes out the window…

List the 5 skis that impressed you most, and explain why:

Volkl Chiara This ski just wanted to go for it, although I don't feel it would punish you for a lazy afternoon. Its edge hold, power and precision were second to none – I Loved It!
Nordica Wild Belle Unbelievable ski for the price – what a shocker – so versatile! Great one-ski-does-it-all, incredibly stable and smooth off piste yet the ski felt super turny and responsive with lots of pop and rebound on the firmer stuff.
Atomic Affinity Storm Such a fun, versatile ski. Fast and stable on groomed trails. Responsive and quick edge-to-edge. Stable and grounded in choppy conditions, so manoeuvrable off piste – Great Fun!
Volkl Aura Solid, stable, fun and exciting – This is a great seasonnaires ski, where one ski for all-terrain and snow conditions is a must. The floatation you'd expect from a ski with a 100mm waist, yet on piste this ski wanted to go fast and loved being pushed, lots of energy and rebound.
Atomic Elysian As you'd expect this ski floats but even at these dimensions it was so manoeuvrable, if felt light and responsive. On piste it was still smooth and agile. It didn't mind what terrain or snow conditions you threw it down.

What is your personal favourite: This is always a difficult question to answer, purely down to the fact that there are so many wonderful skis being made. But if I was to pick a favourite it would be a toss-up between the Nordica NRGY90 and the Volkl Mantra – all depends on how strong my legs felt!

Thoughts on this year's range: It is great to see Volkl back in the range. Not only do they look the part with bomber construction, but the prices are now very competitive as well.