This past March saw the first-ever Newschoolers ski test go down at Sunshine Village Resort. The Canadian Rockies presented a fantastic playground to test the 28 submitted pairs of skis to their limit, and we had a blast doing so. This being Newschoolers, we wanted to do things properly for our audience. We had two categories, all-mountain and park, but being Newschoolers, we had brands send all skis with progressive mounting points, no further back than -2cm, and all park skis were sent detuned so we could actually hit rails comfortably. Our squad of local rippers put the skis through their paces and we collated their feedback to give as unbiased a result as we could.
Of course, there are shortfalls with any week-long test. Conditions definitely play a role, and Sunshine provided us the goods when we were out, so there is likely a little skew towards skis that perform well in pow in the results. We wouldn't typically call any ski wider than say 108 an all-mountain ski, but two snuck into the best of test list here. We also couldn't do much to test durability. We skied rails but any ski should hold up to a couple of days of skiing, and they all did. But we got multiple guys and girls on each ski and they all sent it. It was a great week and we enjoyed every ski we got on, there are so many good skis out there these days. We can't wait to do it bigger and better next year, but without further ado, these were our testers' top 12 in no particular order:
Line's butter monster has been a staple of many a quiver for years now and it impressed our testers once again with its playful, spreadable goodness. It's super-soft but surprised our crew with how well it turns and handles soft snow too.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Line Blend.
The K2 Midnight was a definite favorite among the ladies, with a solid landing platform and low swingweight making it a beast on jumps. The relatively narrow waist made for easy switchups and made it quick edge to edge on hardpack too.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the K2 Skis Midnight
The Allplay is another one that managed to pull off versatility despite a relatively soft flex. It's no surprise that the Allplays are awesome for playing around, but they handled the whole mountain well and held up pretty well on jumps too. These are a great choice for a park ski with a little all-mountain shred thrown in, and they scored well across the board with our testers.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the J Skis Allplay.
Völkl skis are renowned for their carving ability and the Revolt 95 is no exception. These things rail. The extended sidecut makes them feel relatively long for their length, but also makes them incredibly grippy in the turn. They feel great on jumps and the rocker profile makes them fun for surface swaps and presses on rails too.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Völkl Revolt 95.
Our testers loved the shape of these and how light they felt in the air. They have tons of pop and the soft-edge tech makes them nice and surfy on hardpack, while making them surprisingly good in modest depths of soft snow too.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Gilson Fusion.
Another favorite with the ladies, the 1.0x is identical in construction to the 'regular' Prodigy 1.0, so what goes for one goes for the other. The narrower waist makes them super quick on rails and while carving, while the stiffer flex makes them stable despite abundant rocker. At 88 underfoot, they really do prefer hardpack, but for the east coast or pure park, these things are a treat.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Faction Prodigy 1.0x.
The Holyshred, like the OG Black Ops, absolutely charges. It's stiff, it's on the heavy side and it's made to crush. We could have had this in our park category, where these skis are super stable on jumps, but they are so good in crud and at ripping turns, we slotted them into our all-mountain bracket instead.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Rossignol Black Ops Holyshred.
Another ski that could equally be one of our park ski picks, the Reckoner 102 is good on jumps and incredibly fun for rails and butters. But it also holds its own as a soft snow ski, skis groomers well, and was possibly as close to a one ski quiver as you could get for our testers. A definite home run from K2.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the K2 Reckoner 102.
Armada's weird and wonderful Stranger earned a Best of Test spot by being really, really fun. That springboard tail gives so much pop off rollers and random sidehits, while the nose is buttery and smooth. They carve really well too, and while we aren't quite sold on them as a daily park ski, they hold their own for occasional park days too.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Armada Stranger.
The Line Sir Francis Bacon is an institution and the latest iteration is arguably the best yet. Our testers loved how playful they felt in both soft snow and in the park. With a Sakana inspired turn radius, they carve amazingly well on hard snow for a soft, wide ski. The crew also found these one of the easiest skis to butter consistently of the whole test.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Line Sir Francis Bacon.
These were possibly the most charging-focused skis we had at the test, with stiff tails and plenty of power throughout the ski. They have enough freestyle DNA to throw some tricks off big features but they were most at home skiing fast in all conditions and excelled in chopped-up snow. They aren't the most buttery or playful ski on this list, but Comp 110 could definitely be a daily driver if you have strong legs and like to ski fast.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Sego Cleaver Comp.
The Yewps is a straight-up surf machine. If we hadn't got the epic conditions we did at Sunshine, these might not have made this list, but they also amazed us on both hard snow and in the park. It helps that they are light, with low swingweight but one of our testers truly loved these on rails. Yes, the width is beyond any reasonable all-mountain ski but they were so much fun and surprisingly versatile. If you get lots of snow, these should be on your radar.
Click here for more feedback and our video review of the Lib Tech Yewps.