The idea behind Roofbox Reviews, our in-depth review program, is to make sure our readers have access to the most honest and comprehensive reviews we can produce. They are open to all brands, big or small, whether they work with Newschoolers or otherwise. Our editors' picks are exactly the same. The NS gear reviewers get together, and between us figure out which skis we want to put our names behind.
The term 'all-mountain ski' is used to describe a massive swathe of the ski market and what it means varies hugely depending on the target audience. For some, it means a 78 underfoot directional carver with a little tip rocker for 'float'. For others, it means skis like the Volkl Mantra, which allow you to charge straight and hard in all conditions. All-mountain skis are those that you can throw on your feet no matter what kind of day it is and still have fun. For us, that means they're going to need to handle park days but also be decently stable when skiing the rest of the hill as well. There's a fine line between park and all-mountain skis for hitting that brief. Two of our three park picks are pretty capable narrow all-mountain options (see our park ski editors' picks here) and there are at least two skis here that you could comfortably use as wide park ski options. Such is the way of things when the borderline is blurred. But without further ado, these are our all-mountain editors' picks:
Last year the Line Chronic was my choice for a narrow all-mountain ski. I'm also a big fan of the K2 Poacher and would still put them top of the list if stiff skis are your thing. But narrowly pipping both for me is the ski I spent the biggest chunk of my time on last season because they were so damn fun, the UFO 95. For me, it outclasses both on groomers and on deep days. The flex pattern is my favorite of the lot too, with a buttery nose and more stable tail working a treat on both jumps and for hitting gaps all over the mountain.
For our full, in-depth Lib Tech UFO 95 review: Click Here
"Once I got used to these, they became perhaps my favorite ski of the year as an all-round performer. They wouldn’t be my first choice for a pure park ski, but I was willing to tolerate that and use them daily for much of the season because I liked them so much as a skinny all-mountain jibber. Perhaps most importantly for me, I’d say the UFOs had character, they had aspects that made them remarkable where so many skis these days feel much of a muchness." - Twig
An ideal ski for: Those who ski somewhere it doesn't snow that much but still want to ski it all.
I was surprised when Erica picked these as her all-mountain choice. They were my own pick some years back but I've since grown to prefer somewhat more directional skis. My surprise stems from the fact that Erica is a far more 'directional' type skier than me but she loved what is essentially a fat, symmetrical park ski with some added backbone. But it's that the added backbone and excellent groomer performance that she loved, and she took these everywhere including some terrifying Jackson Hole couloirs where they more than held their own.
For Erica's full, in-depth Candide 2.0/2.0x review: Click Here
"For me, this is a perfect setup for someone who wants a playful ski that shreds top to bottom all season long. Whether it’s park laps or finding jibs across the mountain, the CT 2.0s will be able to handle whatever you throw at them. If you want to prioritize more big mountain shredding, I'd recommend going up to the 3.0s, but the 2.0 is a happy medium if you need one ski that will satisfy both your park and all-mountain needs." - Erica
An ideal ski for: A bit of just about everything, they handle park, groomers and pow with surprising ease.
Lib Tech crushed it with the UFO collection this year and the 105 knocks perennial favorite, the ON3P Jeffrey (Kartel) 108 off our picks list for the first time in years. The Jeffrey remains a fantastic ski but these new Lib's won Matt over with their ease of use and their solid performance in a greater variety of terrain, particularly the superior performance on harder snow. Very similar in shape to the 95 but with the added width to handle deeper days, these quickly became his daily driver.
For Matt's full, in-depth Lib Tech UFO 105 review: Click Here
These are a true all-mountain option, being a little more directional than the others here. They carve well, they float and they are fun for jibbing. So the UFO is situated in a really good spot for those who like to get a lap or two in the park every so often but spend 90% of their time elsewhere, still skiing playfully but predominantly forwards. - Kretzschmar
An ideal ski for: Those who want a more directional ski that is still playful and still has a proper twin tip.
I was torn between picking the new Line Sir Francis Bacon and the ARV 106 for my fatter all-mountain pick. I think the Bacon is a fantastic new ski, and for me personally, they are the more fun of the two. They are also better in deep snow, though I like the ARV in pow too. But if I were buying my own skis, I would probably listen to my head, not my heart and go for the slightly more stable and more durable ARV 106. So that's what I've picked here too. For me, they are simply the best do-it-all option to date.
For our full, in-depth ARV 106 Review: Click Here
The ARV 106s is a jib focused ski, but the changes made for 18/19 have made them much more versatile. The added stiffness makes playing around, buttering and swerving a touch more work but it also gives more energy coming out of butter versus the old ARV. The added taper makes the skis more comfortable buttering in pow and heavy slush despite being more solid overall, it also makes them a far better ski for deep snow days. If I had to put one pair of skis in my bag for a trip that could have anything, from park, pow, even street or touring, these would still be my first choice. - Twig
An ideal ski for: Someone who wants a ski that floats great, still skis park well and holds up to abuse.