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Cross-Country Skiing: Not Always a Sport

Cross-country skiing

It's possible to incorporate travel and recreation in one activity. Imagine being able to traverse while having fun.

The whole point of going on a journey is to have fun, but some modes of transport have made it dull. Now, there's a new way to do sightseeing, not to mention getting exercise while doing it.

Cross-country skiing.

Anybody who has wanted to try out something new on snow will find cross-country skiing to be a fun activity. The best thing about it? The whole family can enjoy it. 

Instead of getting in a car and sticking to the road, the entire family can make their way through forests and meet other people who are also on the same course. 

The possibilities of exploring while cross-country skiing are endless. Let's delve deeper into what it is and how it can benefit the entire family.

What is Cross-Country Skiing?

Having fun in the snow isn't solely limited to professional skiers or children who get on a sleigh and play in the snow.

Cross-country skiing is a form of skiing that involves skiers using their locomotion to traverse snow-covered terrain. Instead of using ski-lifts or other tools for assistance, skiers embark on cross-country skiing.

Although cross-country is a sport and recreational activity, some people use it as a form of transportation, which we will expand on in the article.

Cross-country skiing is known as "ski touring" in its non-competitive form.

Here's what it entails:

There are two types of cross-country skiing. 

Classic-skiing is one, and the other is skate-skiing, which resembles professional skiing. 

1

Skate-skiing is faster than classic-skiing but also requires a person to exert more effort. It requires the skier to have more skills and practice on well-groomed terrains.

2

Classic-skiing doesn't require as much effort as skate-skiing and entails moving the skis parallel to each other. The drawback is that it's slower than skate-skiing.

Some people might see that as a drawback while others engage in the activity because they are not in a rush and want to bond with their family and friends. It's also a great way to do sightseeing on unusual terrains and stop along the way. 

The other perk of doing classic-skiing is that you don't have to do it on well-groomed trails. You can do it on just about any path. 

The skis are also different.

They are longer, lighter and narrower than the ones used in mountainous terrain. The other feature that makes them different is that the bindings enable movement between the heel of the boot and the ski. Also, the ski poles are longer than in skate-skiing.

When skiers start with cross-country skiing, they should stick to well-groomed trails. That's not always possible. Once they veer off the groomed trails, they are said to be participating in back-country skiing. That's still considered the classic cross-country skiing, but it involves more effort due to the inhospitable terrain.

If you're going to engage in that type of skiing, make sure to use wider and more rugged skis. 

Techniques

Anybody who engages in cross-country skiing can adopt one of two techniques. 

The first one is called the classic technique. With this method, a skier travels with skis parallel and kicks backward to form a gliding motion. 

The other technique is freestyle. 

This technique is very similar to ice skating. To perform the freestyle, a skier pushes the inside edges of the skis backward and outward. He or she would perform that maneuver at a 45-degree angle. By doing that, the skier would ski faster than the classic method.

How To Start

As we mentioned, you can cross-country ski on any trail (groomed or not), but since you're a beginner, you should stick to trails designed for the activity.

By sticking to the well-groomed trails, it eliminates your worries about wandering off into the woods. Rent the gear and find the designated tracks.

Once you become comfortable walking on skis, you can add some gliding to your technique. 

Gliding involves stepping forward and exerting your weight to the front of the ski, thereby compressing the kick zone. 

You can use your arms by planting the pole in line with the opposite foot and extending your arms in front of your shoulder. The correct technique requires your arms to swing front-to-back-to-front like pendulums.

Not all parts of the trails will be flat. Some of it will be uphill. To get up the hill, you should turn your feet to make a V with the skis. Then all you have to do is walk up the hill and plant your pole behind your boot.

A Recreational Activity

The two types of recreational cross-country skiing include ski touring and groomed-trail skiing. Most people engage in these activities at resorts or in parklands. 

People with vision or mobility impairments can also engage in this recreational activity. 

One of the variants of cross-country skiing as a recreational activity is dog skijoring. You've probably seen this in movies. It's when a cross-country skier receives assistance from one or more dogs to traverse across snowy terrains.

The best part about cross-country skiing is that you get an upper and lower body exercise by engaging in the activity. 

Don't underestimate this activity, as your muscles will quickly give out if you haven't done this a few times. When you're starting, you should limit the activity to short-distance trails. The last thing you want to do is to embark on a long trail and be fatigued at the half-way mark.

Unlike skate-skiing, classic skiing allows you to stay close to the rest of your group. That's why it's perfect for families. Everybody can do it at the same pace and provide support for the member who falls behind. 

What makes this form of skiing unique is that even children can partake and adults don't have to be professional skiers. It not only helps to improve your skiing technique but also your cardiovascular fitness, strength, and balance.

Get this…

Cross-country skiing has several health benefits.

The first one is a low-impact activity. Traversing on the pavement has a tremendous impact on your joints. Once you get old, your joints stiffen. The great thing about cross-country skiing is that it has a low impact on your joints.

It's also therapeutic. Leaving the hustle and bustle of a busy town to escape into the forest provides a person with therapeutic peace and time to think. 

It does wonders for your heart and lungs, too. Since cross-country skiing targets a multitude of muscle groups and is low impact, you can do it for prolonged periods at a reasonable intensity.

Don't forget about the improvement to your endurance. One of the benefits of training in this slow, stable environment is that it supports your muscles, helping you to get stronger and enabling you to go on for longer.

Anytime that you're tired, you can inform the rest of the group to stop. The other benefit of traversing with your group is that the pace allows for sightseeing and stopping to take pictures. 

Not only is cross-country skiing a great way to get a complete body workout, but it also allows you to bond with family and friends while having fun and exploring new terrains. 

Mode Of Transport

Before people used cars and horse carts, they made use of cross-country skiing. The practice was called "ski warfare," which was the use of ski-equipped troops in a war. The first sightings of that were in the 13th century.

The military wasn't the only one to deploy the tactic of traversing by cross-country skiing. 

Around 1836, Norwegian immigrants used cross-country skiing in the US Midwest. Believe it or not, a Norwegian immigrant used cross-country skiing to deliver mail. 

In the early days, around the late 18th century, Norwegian workers used cross-country skiing as a means to get to work.

Even today, those who live in rural areas will sometimes use skis to avoid the road and take a shorter path to the shops in winter. People who have rented out cottages on mountains in winter will also engage in cross-country skiing to get to the top instead of using cars or ski lifts.

Final Thoughts

One of the things that make cross-country skiing so appealing is that you don't have to be an expert skier to do it. Also, you can do it at your own pace, with family and friends.

Cross-country skiing allows you to absorb nature while getting some of the most magnificent views from mountains. There's no need to rush when you're cross-country skiing. 

The other perk about this activity is that it works your entire body while having a low impact on your joints. It improves endurance so that all your muscles are stronger and can last longer when engaged in physical activities. 

Although cross-country skiing was used many years ago as a mode of transport, it's still an option today. If you want to avoid ski lifts and would rather explore fascinating trails to get to your mountain cottage this cross-country skiing is the way to go.

With so many benefits to be gained from cross-country skiing, what's stopping you from getting involved?

The Top 13 Best All Mountain Skis

skiing in winter

An all mountain ski is meant to serve skiers on any mountain condition they may encounter. Surely, the best all mountain skis will be versatile and durable, but every ski will have some conditions it handles better than others.

So, what products are truly the best? We reviewed 13 of the best all mountain skis to seek the answer.

Comparison table

Product FAQ

skking in mountain of snow

Image via Pixabay

1. What Are All Mountain Skis?

An all mountain ski is a ski that can handle any weather or terrain encountered on the mountain slopes. Sometimes, all mountain skis are referred to as a "quiver of one" because, rather than a quiver full of many arrows or skis, you only need one pair of skis for any condition on the mountain.

2. What Is Free Riding?

Free riding is a type of skiing that covers naturally occurring snow and paths that have not been prepared for skiing. Free riding is different from all mountain riding because there is no set course or trail preparation. Free riding is a care-free style of skiing that has no competitive element, goals, or rules.

3. What Does Piste Mean?

A piste is a ski trail or course that has the snow purposely compacted.

4. What Is Off-Piste Skiing?

Off-piste skiing, sometimes called back country skiing, is the act of skiing on unmarked areas that are not patrolled or designated specifically for skiing. Off-piste skiing may be on or off a ski resort.

Off-piste skiing is different from alpine skiing because alpine skiers typically benefit from trails that have been prepared by a ski patrol.

5. What Is Grooming?

Grooming is snow preparation. Groomers are employed to pack snow and prepare trails and runs for skiers and snowboarders. When the snow has been groomed, the pattern is referred to as "corduroy." The term groomers can also be used to refer to the corduroy trails and not the person who groomed them.

6. What Is a Camber Angle?

A camber angle is the angle of a wheel or surface as it travels across the ground. Camber angles can be measured on car tires or skis. The camber angle is the angle relative to the ground.

Camber angles affect the design, travel, and steering ability of skis. A camber ski has a curve with a downward design at the tips and tails. The middle of the ski is the top of the curve.

7. What Is a Rocker Angle?

A rocker is essentially a reverse camber. Camber skis are curved downward, but rocker skis are curved upward. Rockered skis have tips and tails that are higher off the ground, and the middle of the ski is the lowest point in the curve.

skiing down  from mountain

Image via Pixabay

8. What Is Carving?

Carving happens when ski edges cut into the snow in a way that keeps the skis from sliding sideways. Instead, the skis travel straight along their length in what is known as a carving turn. When the skis cut into the snow, they follow the cut edges around the curve.

9. What Is Sandwich Construction?

Sandwich construction is the production of skis using a layer of material sandwiched on both sides of the core. Sandwich construction can be expensive and is usually found on higher-end skis.

The sandwich material can be ABS plastic, P-tex material, or titanium. Good ski cores, the middle of the sandwich, are often made of light wood, such as aspen or metal.

10. What Does Flipcore Mean?

Flipcore is a newer process to make skis that match ski molds and parts to their final shape, usually a rockered design. Flipcoring allows the skis to be naturally pressed.

11. What Is Sintering?

Sintering is a process that turns powdered material into a solid by heating it. Because of the porous result, a sintered ski base can hold wax better than other skis and allow for a faster ride.

12. What Is ABS?

ABS Plastic is short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It is a very hard, dense plastic that is used as the sandwich component in high-end skis. ABS plastic is adept at protecting the ski's core from moisture or physical damage due to rough terrain.

How We Reviewed

skiing mountain

Image via Pixabay

We reviewed the best all mountain skis based on each ski's price and availability. We also looked at the unique features of the skis and considered some pros and cons of each.

We looked closely at each ski's construction. While construction is always important in an expensive product, there is more to consider than just durability and longevity. Different types of ski construction lend themselves to different types of skiing.

While searching for the best all mountain skis, you will come across some that are made with sandwich construction, meaning they have distinct sidewalls, and others that are capped, meaning the ski has a core with a one-piece, continuous cover.

There are also hybrid skis​​ with elements of each.

Capped skis typically weigh less than sandwich-style skis, so they are sometimes preferable to skiers with lightweight needs.

These skis are also typically less stiff than most sandwich skis with very light tips and tails. Better yet, as a general rule, capped skis cost less than sandwich style.

However, skis with sidewall construction can be more stable. This is a perk as long as you do not mind the weight being a bit heavier than a comparable capped ski. Do you prefer the stability of a sidewall ski at high speeds?

Or, do you prefer the ease of turning a capped ski? That is not to say that sidewall skis are necessarily cumbersome; you can still find many sandwich styles that are plenty light.

Personal Needs

We intentionally reviewed a wide variety of skis to help a wide variety of individuals find the best all mountain skis for their particular needs. 

Only you know your personal preferences and needs, so consider your unique circumstances when searching for the best all mountain skis.

For instance, where do you ski? Are your local slopes rough and bumpy? Or, are they majestically corduroy?

Do you travel to different ski sites that will require a ski fit for a diverse set of slopes? Think about where you typically ski and the conditions you encounter most often.

In the end, the best all mountain skis should be able to handle anything on your list, from dense trees to corduroy, to ankle-deep snow, to knee-deep snow, to old packed snow, to freshly falling powder

Overall Price Range

skis

Image via Pixabay

As we reviewed the best all-mountain skis, we encountered a wide variety of prices. The cheapest skis we reviewed were found for around $320, while the most expensive skis were just under $1,400.

On some level, the variety of prices was not too surprising because we intentionally looked at a wide variety of products that may be the best all mountain skis for an array of different individuals.

Only you know your personal budget, but we hope our review will give you a good idea of the price range you may need to spend to purchase the best all mountain skis for your specific needs.

It is important to remember that the best all mountain skis are meant to be a "quiver of one". For many buyers, spending more on skis is justifiable if you only need one pair.

However, if the skis you purchase will be just one of many arrows in your quiver, you may be willing to spend less. For example, some skis specifically market themselves for a specific type of snow, even though they call themselves all mountain skis.

In fact, the most expensive skis we reviewed are marketed specifically for extra deep snow. While they may be the best made skis on the list, you should consider that you may need other skis for lighter snow.

The best all mountain skis should do it all. Only you can decide how much you are willing to spend to fill your quiver.

What We Reviewed

  • Atomic Vantage X 75 C Ski System with Lithium 10 Bindings Mens
  • HEAD Kore 93 Skis Mens
  • Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis Womens
  • 2019 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Skis w/Marker Griffon 13 ID Bindings
  • 2019 Blizzard Brahma Skis w/Tyrolia Attack2
  • 2019 Blizzard Bonafide Skis
  • Volkl 2019 Mantra V-Werks Skis
  • Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis Mens
  • Dynastar 2018 Legend X88 Skis
  • Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis Mens
  • Dynastar Legend X96 Skis 2018
  • Nordica Enforcer 110 SkisDPS Skis Powderworks Lotus 138 Ski

13 Best All Mountain Skis

Atomic Vantage X 75 C Ski System 


Atomic 2019 Vantage X 75 C Skis w/Lithium 10 Bindings (163)
  • Atomic Vantage X 75 C Skis w/ Lithium 10 L80 Blk/Red Bindings 2019 163

Features

Atomic Vantage X 75 C skis come with an integrated Lithium 10 binding system for an all mountain ski with a lightweight design. The skis are intended for new skiers through intermediate skill levels.

The Atomic Vantage skis are intended to serve all purposes for beginners, though the expectation is that they will spend a lot of time on the beginner slopes.

These skis feature a carbon tank mesh construction for strength while maintaining their light weight.

They are produced with a strong woven mesh layer along with a full firewall and a wood core. The result is a reliable edge grip that gives the beginning skier confidence.

Pros

  • Lightweight but still strong
  • Carbon Tank Mesh layered design
  • Reliable edge grip
  • Light wood core

Cons

  • Cannot service an advanced skier

HEAD Kore 93 Skis Mens 


HEAD Kore 93 Skis Grey Mens Sz 162cm
  • Head Kore 93 Skis 2019 (Ski Only) 162

Features

HEAD Kore 93 Skis feature a tip-tail rocker profile with lift in the front and back of the ski to promote extra agility. The skis use a carbon sandwich cap construction with various materials in different parts of the skis.

The product has a lightweight core of wood that helps the overall light design of the skis. Nonetheless, the skis are durable and responsive.

They serve skiers in a variety of conditions with the ability to grip in different types of snow. The rockered tip and tail enhance the ability to float on almost any snow surface.

Pros

  • Carbon sandwich cap construction
  • Lightweight wood core
  • Split Sidewalls
  • Structured UHM C Base

Cons

  • Not a favorite of skiers who like to be in the snow rather than on top

Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis Womens


Features

Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis for women have a reverse-camber design, causing the tips of the skis to be off the ground. It utilizes a sandwich compound construction.

The layered construction allows the skis to be responsive, and flex points ensure the skis' flexibility is in the right spots. The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis serve women of intermediate skill levels all the way to advanced. They are designed for mountain slopes and free rides.

The skis boast a Women-Specific Design (WSD) that serves female skiers better than unisex skis. While the skis are adept at maneuvering on powdered snow, an underfoot chamber ensures grip in hard snow too.

Pros

  • Multi-directional fiberglass within wood core
  • Women-Specific Design (WSD)
  • Floats on light snow but grips in heavy conditions

Cons

  • The soft, flexible build lacks vibration dampening for those who prefer it

2019 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Skis 


2019 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Skis w/Marker Griffon 13 ID Bindings (180 cm)
  • Sidecut: 127/88/117 mm at 180 cm length Turn Radius: 16 meters at 180 cm length
  • Tip Rocker with Camber underfoot
  • Technology Air Tip
  • VAS Wood Core with metal laminate
  • Ability level: Intermediate to advanced skiers

Features

The 2019 Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Skis also serve skiers in the intermediate to advanced stages of their skiing journey. The emphasis of this all mountain ski is on front-end performance. Technology air tips encourage riders to ski tip to tail.

A piece of metal is found within the ski's body to add sturdiness and limit over-flexibility. This design limits vibration, but the steel is not enough to make the skis too heavy. At the same time, counter flexing is eliminated for precise movements.

The skis are at their best on corduroy surfaces, but they are high-end performers on any type of snow.

Pros

  • Tip Rocker with technology air tip
  • Camber underfoot ensures performance in packed snow
  • VAS Wood Core
  • Metal laminate dampens vibrations and reduces over-flexing

Cons

  • Beginners will need to look elsewhere

2019 Blizzard Brahma Skis w/Tyrolia Attack2


2019 Blizzard Brahma Skis w/Marker Griffon 13 ID Bindings (180 cm)
  • Sidecut: 127/88/111 mm at 180 cm Length Turn Radius: 17 m at 180 cm Length
  • Poplar Beech Wood Core &Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Double Titanal Laminates & Carbon Flipcore Technology
  • New Aggressive Tip Shape & New Progressive Rocker Profile Improves Both Edge Grip and Float
  • Ability Level: Advanced Intermediate to Expert

Features

The Blizzard Brahma skis are intended for advanced intermediate skiers all the way to experts. These skies have a turned-up tip and a progressive rocker.

Blizzard Brahma skis are speedy on hard-packed snow. In carved turns, the skis' edges cut into the snow and follow the edges for carving turns. The aggressive tips help even more with the edge grip so that turning is not only aggressive but easily initiated.

Regardless of the weather or type of snow, the Blizzard Brahma skis are high-end products that faithfully serve advanced skiers.

Pros

  • Sandwich compound construction on the sidewalls
  • Beechwood core
  • VAS Wood Core
  • Metal laminate dampens vibrations and reduces over-flexing

Cons

  • Have the feel of a downhill ski

2019 Blizzard Bonafide Skis


2018 Blizzard Bonafide Skis (180cm)
  • Profile: Rocker/Camber Hybrid
  • Waist Width: 97
  • Bindings Included: Not Included

Features

The Blizzard Brahma skis are intended for advanced intermediate skiers all the way to experts. These skies have a turned-up tip and a progressive rocker.

Blizzard Brahma skis are speedy on hard-packed snow. In carved turns, the skis' edges cut into the snow and follow the edges for carving turns. The aggressive tips help even more with the edge grip so that turning is not only aggressive but easily initiated.

Regardless of the weather or type of snow, the Blizzard Brahma skis are high-end products that faithfully serve advanced skiers.

Pros

  • Sandwich compound construction on the sidewalls
  • Beechwood core
  • VAS Wood Core
  • Metal laminate dampens vibrations and reduces over-flexing

Cons

  • Have the feel of a downhill ski

Volkl 2019 Mantra V-Werks Skis


Volkl Mantra VWerks Ski 2019, Black , 178
  • Volkl Mantra V-Werks Flat Skis (Ski Only) 2020 178

Features

For advanced and expert skiers, Volkl 2019 Mantra V-Werks Skis feature a tip-and-tail rocker profile. The elongated rockers provide maneuverability and excellent response.

Within the core are carbon jacket wraps that add durability and promote efficient energy transfer. The base of the skis retains wax better than most competitors for added speed. The ski core focuses most of the weight on the center of the ski, allowing fast edge-to-edge transfers.

Pros

  • Tip-and-tail rocker profile
  • Beechwood core
  • Advanced wax retention
  • Wood core with laminates of metal and carbon

Cons

  • Not good for smearing turnsA bit unforgiving

Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis Mens


Features

The Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis for men feature titanium laminates on the upper and lower portions of the skis for efficient grip and durability. The core is made of full wood that promotes energy return.

The wood and titanium layers are lightweight. The Enforcer 100's all mountain design is efficient in all types of weather and conditions. Their blunt nose and rockered extremities float on soft snow. They are agile and efficient in slalom-style turns.

Pros

  • Energy 2 Titanium Laminates
  • Beechwood core
  • Blunt nose profile with rockered tip and tail

Cons

  • A little rough on the ice

Dynastar 2018 Legend X88 Skis


Dynastar 2018 Legend X88 Skis
  • Length: 166cm, 173cm, 180cm, 186cm
  • Dimensions: 109 / 88 / 125mm
  • Turn Radius: 18m
  • Profile: rocker/camber/rocker
  • Construction: sandwich

Features

Dynastar wanted to produce a ski that is a do-it-all product. The Legend X88 Skis are ready for free rides, mountains, and anything else that comes their way.

The skis are lightweight with a wood core. Sandwich construction uses two titanium layers for rugged stability.

This product is also laced with technology, such as the Powerdrive Free shock absorption system. Free shock promotes a smooth ride in a wider variety of snow types.

They also feature Powerdrive Technology that isolates transmission of power and energy enhancement.

Finally, Powerdrive Response and five-point sidecut make skis responsive and reduce swing weight.

The skis' combination of materials and technology allow them to provide natural flexing and reliable stability. Together, they make skiing easy, enjoyable, and fun.

Pros

  • Do-it-all design
  • Rugged sandwich construction
  • Powerdrive Free shock absorption system
  • Powerdrive Technology
  • Five-point side cut

Cons

  • Long tail can be a nuisance

DPS Skis Powderworks Lotus 138 Ski


DPS Skis Powderworks Lotus 138 Ski One Color, 182cm
  • Length: 182cm, 192cm
  • Dimensions: [182] 146 / 138 / 142mm, [192] 147 / 138 / 143mm
  • Turn Radius: 32m
  • Profile: full rocker
  • Construction: Alchemist pure carbon

Features

Fully rockered and ready for the deepest snow, the DPS Powderworks Lotus 138 Skis are ready to float. While they have a narrower purpose than other do-it-all skis, these very large skis feature Alchemist construction and a full-throttle reverse camber.

Due to their specific purpose, the skis are heavier than some competitors, but an aspen core provides consistency on the most difficult terrain. Yet, the skis are still light enough to float on deep packs.

Carbon is layered around the aspen core from end to end, creating a stiff ski with good responsiveness. They keep you feeling safe and in control during high-speed movement. The base of the ski is sintered to absorb the wax and create a fast surface.

Pros

  • Do-it-all design
  • Alchemist pure carbon construction
  • Aspen core for stiff responsiveness
  • Sintered base for extra wax absorption

Cons

  • Heavier than other competitors
  • Narrow use and purpose
  • Expensive price tag

Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis Mens


Rossignol 2018 Soul 7 HD Skis (180cm)
  • Rossignol Soul 7 HD Flat Ski 2019 (Ski Only) 180

Features

While free riding and all mountain riding require many of the same features, the Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis lend themselves more toward free riding. However, many all mountain enthusiasts still enjoy using the Rossignol product.

All mountain skiers like it because It is an adaptable ski. Adaptability is key for all mountain skis. The ski features Rossignol's new Air Tip 2.0. You can easily initiate action with the skis' light weight.

Produced with a carbon alloy matrix, high-speed vibrations are reduced, and skiers experience a very natural feel. These skis are useful on mountains with any weather conditions or terrain.

Pros

  • Do-it-all design
  • New Air Tip 2.0 with reinforcement
  • Carbon alloy matrix construction

Cons

  • Carving turns can be difficult

Dynastar Legend X96 Skis 2018


Dynastar Legend X96 Skis 2018 - 178cm
  • Length: 165cm, 171cm, 178cm, 186cm
  • Dimensions: 132 / 96 / 112mm
  • Turn Radius: 17m
  • Profile: rocker/camber/rocker
  • Construction: sandwich

Features

The Dynastar Legend X96 skis were designed specifically to cover free ride and all mountain necessities to become the only ski you will ever need. Like other Dynastar skis, the Legend X96 skis are laced with technology.


Powerdrive construction enables the skis to offer full-length shock absorption in any snow condition, from the muck to the powder. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) on the sidewalls give extra stability on the most unstable terrain you encounter.

Dynastar's five-point side cuts reduce swing weight and offer a reliable turn radius. The rocker profile is meant to be versatile with a reverse-camber design intended for all mountain encounters as well as free rides.

Pros

  • Designed for all free ride and all mountain needs
  • Powerdrive Free construction
  • Five-point side cuts
  • Full-length shock absorption
  • ABS sidewall construction

Cons

  • Some noise in the tips

Nordica Enforcer 110 Skis


No products found.

Features

The Nordica Enforcer 110 Skis are part of Nordica's Enforcer series. There seems to be an Enforcer for every type of condition you may encounter, but is there an all mountain, do-it-all option?

The Enforcer 110 is meant for fresh snow and, consequently, feature an efficient ability to rip. The skis are wide with a 140/110/129 sidecut while still offering a tight turn radius to rip through powder.

These skis are by no means useless in hard-packed snow, but that is not their primary purpose. They feature a blunt nose tip to stay above the surface and an upward tail to let you out of turns quickly. Turns are enhanced by an underfoot camber that offers side-to-side energy.

Nordica Enforcer 110 Skis are built with a wood core and two titanium layers for a solid product that is light and quick.

Pros

  • Rocker/camber/rocker profile
  • Blunt nose tip and upward tail
  • Quick edge to edge
  • Light wood core with titanium construction

Cons

  • Not intended for old or packed snow
  • Difficult maneuvering at low speeds

The Verdict on the Best All Mountain Skis

Just like every ski is different, every skier is different too. No ski is equally capable of handling every element, and no skier has the same needs. Therefore, selecting the best all mountain skis is a judgment call.

We readily admit the best all mountain skis for one buyer may not be the best all mountain skis for another.

When we considered what skis might faithfully serve the widest number of skiers in the widest range of conditions, we gave our official thumbs up to the Dynastar Legend X96 Skis.

We love the technology that Dynastar has integrated into the skis' design, from the tip-and-tail rocker to the five-point side cuts. These skis are truly versatile, as an all mountain ski should be.

We believe the skis will serve a large number of skiers because they are controllable and versatile. The side cuts, along with the short turning radius, make directional turning easy and efficient.

It lends itself to fun and performance for a variety of skier competency levels, and the price falls well within the budget of most people truly in the market for the best all mountain skis.

While your conclusion might be different, we believe very few skiers will be disappointed with the Dynastar Legend X96 Skis.

Featured Image via Pxhere

What Snow Ski Do You Need? 5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Fit

three sets of snow ski gear

Millions of Americans enjoy hitting the slopes every year at ski resorts throughout the world. One of the ways to ensure you get the most out of your time on the mountain is to wear a snow ski that fits you properly. There are so many varieties of snow skis on the market that it can be difficult to determine which one is the best for you. We'll help you evaluate your options to select your best fit for enjoying the powder.

Determining Your Snow Ski Size


a man holding a snow ski

Image Source: Pexels.com

There are several elements that you should consider when selecting the best type of snow ski that fits you. These elements include your height, your ability, and the type of skiing you're planning on doing.

Selecting the Right Length


To determine the right length of your ski, you'll have to make a selection depending upon on your height and weight. A general rule of thumb is that you want to have the tip of your ski to be somewhere between the top of your head and your chin.

Remember that shorter skis are easier for making turns. They may be a better choice for those who are new to the sport. Skiers with more advanced skills or those who race will likely need to select skis that are longer.

Determining Your Ability Level


a group of people skiing

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While it's always important to have an accurate assessment of your ability, it's not as relevant when selecting skis as it once was. Before you select your snow ski, be honest in whether you'd assess yourself as a beginner, intermediate or advanced skier.

Not sure? You can use these following points to help you decide.

Beginners

If you are a beginner, then you've only skied a few times before, and, at most, you can stop yourself and turn on blue and red runs. If this describes you, you should consider skis that are narrower and have a softer flex. This will help you when making turns. This will also make the skis easier for you to control.

Intermediate

Intermediate skiers are more confident and may even be able to turn and stop on red and black runs. Intermediate skiers also are more confident on different terrain, but still struggle with icy and steep sections and can't go too quickly on black runs. A slightly firmer flex is ok here, as are medium length skis.

Advanced

If you are an advanced skier, you can easily control yourself on icy sections, steep areas, and in a variety of conditions. Advanced skiers can confidently ride black slopes with finesse and at high speed. You can get skis as long as you need them, and with a hard flex.

a person skiing on a steep area

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Evaluating the Width of Your Skis


two sets of snow ski

Image Source: Pixabay.com

To get the most out of your skiing experience, and to determine what snow ski will best fit you, carefully consider the width of your skis. Typically, this is measured from the middle of the ski, which is its narrowest point. Skis with narrow widths will enable you to turn faster, while those with wider widths provide better "flotation" when you're skiing in the powder.

You will see ski dimensions explained in three numbers. The first number is the tip, the second number is the waist (the width), and the third number is the tail.


Understanding the Turning Radius


This is important because the turning radius is a big factor in how your skis will feel. It's also indicative of how they will perform on different types of slopes. If the ski's width is narrower in relation to its tip and tail, then that indicates a shorter turn radius.

If your skis have a short turn radius, then they are acceptable to use on all mountain skiing. Skis with shorter turn radius are able to make sharper, faster turns. A medium turn radius is useful for all mountain riding and pipes. Skis with a longer turn radius are better for tackling large mountains, and they are much more stable at higher speeds.

a man wearing snow ski

Image Source: Pixabay.com


Examining the Rocker/Camber Type


The rocker refers to the bottom part of the ski. Traditionally, skis are cambered, meaning they have a small, upward arch in the middle. The purpose of this is to ensure that the pressure is distributed evenly through the entire length of the ski.

The advantages of cambered skis are that they provide precising turning combined with maximum energy. A reverse-camber rocker is the opposite of the cambered ski. In this case, the camber is turned upside down. The tip and the tail rise slightly away from the snow. It's perfect for beginners and advanced skiers. It also provides a more maneuverable "feel."

If you are considering flat or zero camber skis, you should realize that these are the better choice for powder skiing. A large part of selecting the best snow ski that fits both you and your ski style is balancing the type of camber/rocker, ski width and ski length to match your ability and the type of terrain on which you'll be skiing.


Considering the Ski Terrain


a woman skiing

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When determining the best type of snow ski to purchase, you must consider what type of terrain you'll be skiing on most often.

All-Mountain Skis


These are the most versatile type of skis and work equally well in powder, ice and heavy snow. However, if you want to specialize in skiing a certain type of terrain, you should opt for a type of snow ski that is more targeted and specific to what you are skiing and what type of slopes you hope to be skiing on as your skills develop.

Powder Skis


snow ski on top of snow mountain

Image Source: Pixabay.com

These are appropriate for deep powder stashes and can help you stay "afloat" when skiing in this type of snow. Remember that the tip and tail are not always the widest parts of the ski as far as powder skis are concerned. While they are specialized, most modern powder skis are versatile enough to handle other types of terrain.


Conclusion


tip of snow skis

Image Source: Pixabay.com

To get the most out of your ski experience, it's important to look at several factors when determining the best type of snow ski to fit you. Consider your height, weight, and ability level. Look at the rocker/ camber of the ski. Finally, you should consider purchasing the type of ski that will work best for the conditions you like to ski in.


Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com

The Blizzard Brahma Review And Buying Guide

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Groomer, off-piste, or all-mountain freeride? Eastern or Western? Blizzard Brahma handles all common types of skiing well. No matter what type of skiing you prefer, these top-rated skis have you covered. Or, at least they do in theory, that is.

I’m the kind of skier who likes a solid, versatile ski. But many jack-of-all-trades skis tend to disappoint. This is why it’s so important to analyze and compare different skis before you buy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be eager to find out just how Blizzard Brahma skis perform and whether or not they stand up to the competition.

Blizzard Brahma Skis

2018 Blizzard Brahma Skis

Blizzard’s Brahma skis have secured a place among the top all-mountain skis for a few seasons. Like others, these skis have seen a few upgrades, and the 2018 version is a significant step up.

It has a lower rise rocker and a different tip shape, and there’s a lower turning radius. These changes serve to increase speed, responsiveness and turn initiation smoothness. All the signature qualities such as power, versatility, and vibration reduction are as good as ever.

Build quality

Brahma Skis

The design features progressive rockered tips and tails with a camber in the middle. This keeps edge pressure low at the tips and edges, which improves handling and soft snow flotation. The grip is good on hardpack as well, thanks to the camber.

The traditional sidecut with an 88mm waist provides good carving and a trusty all-mountain feel. An abrupt tip design helps with turn initiations, while the flatter tail ends ensure stability.

The core consists of poplar and beechwood. The frame is uni-directional carbon fiber. Then there are two Titanal layers, an anti-shock layer, and binding reinforcement. So the Blizzard Brahma is both light and agile. The thick TPU foil top sheet makes it more durable.

On the snow

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It handles a lot like a giant slalom ski with great grip and precise carving. However, it’s more versatile and works better on fresh snow. Blizzard Brahma is one of your best options for all-mountain skis.

The skis are stable at all speeds with a firm edge grip that will feel very familiar if you’ve used other Blizzard skis. Blizzard Brahma is one of their finest creations and a popular choice for skiers who like groomed slopes but also like to explore powdery expanses after a storm.

The skis are easy to maneuver, carving hard on the slopes but also floating and weaving off-piste. They can take you down those bumpy, steep passages with ease. Sliding turns are easy to recover, and the skis don’t stick in dense snow. However, that’s not to say it’s a reliable off-piste ski. Something this narrow can’t provide enough flotation in deep powder or deal with that really grabby, freezing wet snow. Of course, you can head off-piste with them, but they’re not ideal for it.

Blizzard Brahma sets are perfect as all-mountain skis though because they can handle most things well. I wouldn’t choose a ski this thin for steep, icy slopes, but they’re built to handle it as long as you slow it down and feather your turns. You shouldn’t have to worry about the loss of control.

In general, they did well on ice and chopped up snow at all common speeds. They flex just the right amount, and the grip is good.

Ideal uses

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Where you’ll feel the most at home with a pair of Blizzard Brahma skis, however, is on the groomed slopes. Where the narrow groomer cutters would sometimes knife through softer groomers, Blizzard Brahma will stay on top. It smears the soft almost as well as it carves the firm. Almost like a race ski with extra flotation.

This versatility makes it a great all-mountain ski for traveling skiers who want a robust yet light pair for varied conditions. Although it is true that the skis do seem to perform better in eastern locales.

I like the feel of skis that have a bit of metal, and the Blizzard Brahma fits that category. The added stability and confident feeling make it ideal for aggressive skiers.

It’s not an optimal choice for beginners or casual skiers though. Although it’s very stable, it’s not as forgiving or playful as a typical beginner or intermediate ski. It’s made for riding hard with confidence. If you’re not to that level yet, the Blizzard Brahma CA is a better option.

But if you’re a more advanced or intermediate skier in progress, you’ll love the versatility and reliability a pair of Brahmas provide. They’re great for directional skiers who like to head off the beaten path once in a while. They’re quick, stiff in the turns, and maneuverable.

Pricing

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A flat pair of Blizzard Brahma 2018 skis cost around fivehundred to seven hundred dollars, and you can get them on Amazon. The upgraded 2019 version is more expensive.

You can also find them in a variety of sports stores both online and in most major cities. Use their official store locator to find dealers near you.

How Blizzard Brahma Skis Compare

To get a better idea of how these skis perform, we will now provide comparisons against relevant competitor skis. The three other models we’ve picked out are the Völkl Kendo 2018, the Nordica Enforcer 93, and the Blizzard Bonafide. The following comparisons take you through the differences in build, performance, and affordability.

How We Reviewed

For these comparisons, we’ve analyzed and compared some reviews by both professionals and average users to get a proper idea of how they stand against each other.

Real user reviews from sources like Amazon, Reddit, and skis.com make up the main bulk of the conclusions provided. The technical specs come from the manufacturers themselves.

Völkl Kendo 2018

The Kendos are some of Völkl’s most popular freeride skis. And they were the first ones to enjoy the return of camber in freeride ski design. Much like the Blizzard Brahma, Völkl Kendo is a frontside ski that also does a good job off-piste.

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Build quality

The Kendo has a similar multi-layer composite wood core made of beech and poplar. The former is most prevalent toward the ends, while the latter resides in the middle. The strength differences in the wood make it very durable and stiff yet able to flex.

It’s rockered in the tip and tail with a camber in the middle. With a waist width of 90mm, it’s a tiny bit wider than the Blizzard Brahma. The moderate taper of the tip with only the shovel area rockered produces a versatile all-mountain ski. This design makes it precise on groomers yet easy to steer off-piste. The sidewalls are full-length and strong, and the construction has a full titanal design for better dampening and stability.

On the snow

It’s a solid all-rounder that shines. Customers report that it handles like a race ski or sports car on the slopes. The new camber makes it turn with more ease and makes this a reliable ski for those who love to speed across a bit of powder and ice in addition to balanced groomers.

It’s built to provide excellent grip and precision for both long and short turn radii. With its titanal layup, it’s a stable ski at all sensible speeds and induces the confidence to push boundaries.

You will need to keep the speed up when you’re dealing with a lot of powder though because it doesn’t float like a proper off-piste ski. The deep powder will give you a bit of trouble, just like it would with the Blizzard Brahma.

These skis offer a nice, powerful rebound on piste and allow for wild, dynamic turns. It’s grippy, stable, and precise. Off-piste, it lets you feather and slide as needed and it can cut through choppy snow without deformation.

This is a demanding ski that’s best for people with more skill and confidence. It’s a great choice for athletes and passionate recreational skiers. Given its design, it’s most suitable for people with a bit more muscle mass. Lighter skiers are likely to prefer the Blizzard Brahma or an even thinner ski.

In most regards, Kendo and Brahma are very similar. Kendo may be a little better for freeriding, and Brahma a little better for grooming.

Nordica Enforcer 93

If you’re more the type of skier who loves slashing and laying edges in all conditions but also likes to hit the groomers in between, the Nordica Enforcer 93 is worth a closer look. It boasts a similar versatility to the Blizzard Brahma and Völkl Kendo, but with a slightly different focus.

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Build quality

The Energy 2 titanium construction makes for a strong, speedy ski with playful flex. It uses a full wood core sandwich design with a metal sheet on top and bottom for optimal stability and edge grip.

Its gentle early-rise all-mountain rocker tip offers easy turn initiations and edge setting. The tail is turned up gently to provide better control and easier turn release.

The Enforcer has full ABS sidewalls on a sintered graphite base with two prepreg carbon sheets and polyamide top foil. Overall, it’s sturdy, versatile, and fast.

On the snow

Enforcers are more freeski-oriented and more versatile off-piste. One advantage over the Blizzard Brahma and Völkl Kendo is that the Enforcer lets you cruise the powder at a leisurely pace. They’re floaty enough for casual smearing, at the expense of some speed on harder slopes.

You’ll find them easy to maneuver and quick to respond at all sane speeds. They don’t handle speed quite as well as the Brahmas though. Both top speed and handling at speed are lesser with a design like this. On the other hand, it’s more versatile in most terrains.

If you love having fun off the beaten path, the Nordica Enforcer 93 is a better choice. It will take you down wild lines with stability and confidence while allowing you to play.

Blizzard Bonafide 2018

Blizzard Bonafide is an all-mountain classic that seems impossible to knock down from the top. This is a wider ski for those who love to carve perfect turns without unwanted skidding even off-piste.

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Build quality

The construction is similar to both the Blizzard Brahma and the Nordica Enforcer. It uses the Carbon Flipcore technology, which features a uni-directional carbon fiber frame around the beech and poplar core.

The main profile is a rocker-camber-rocker design with a 98mm waist. This makes it floaty on powder while providing enough grip on hardpack.

Progressive rockers and easy turning sidecuts enhance the way it carves on groomed slopes as well as turn control off-piste. Other than that, it’s just like the Blizzard Brahma.

On the snow

When it comes to performance in powder, Bonafide is the winner on this list. The extra width and overall powder-friendly design make it float and fly across the now at a pace of your choosing. These skis are smoother than the Enforcers when you head off the slopes.

They work on groomers too, but both speed and handling suffer a bit in that area in exchange for better off-piste performance. Blizzard Bonafides are the skis you’ll want if you plan to spend as much time off-piste as on-piste, while Blizzard Brahma skis are more suitable if you spend more time on-piste.

Of course, this is more true for Western locales. If you ski the ice coast, Blizzard Brahma can be the better ski for mountain exploration.

Pros and Cons

To summarize the qualities of Blizzard Brahma skis, let’s break it down into pros and cons.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Great at high speeds
  • Stable and precise
  • Excellent for aggressive skiing

Cons

  • Doesn’t float too well in deep powder

When compared to the other skis in this article, Blizzard Brahma is the option for those who prioritize high speed and smooth carving over easy exploring on the wild side of the mountain.

The competition against the Völkl Kendo is very close as the two are very similar. I’d still call Brahma the winner, on eastern pistes in particular.

The Brahmas and the other skis on this list for that matter aren’t beginner-oriented skis. They’re for more advanced skiers who love to have fun with a pair of high-performing all-mountain skis.

The only real downside of the Blizzard Brahma is that it doesn’t float too well in deep powder. If this is something you need, the Bonafide is the better choice, with the Enforcer in second place.

Our Verdict

All in all, Blizzard Brahma skis are an excellent choice for those who love to zoom down the snow both on and off the groomed slopes. I like how they are capable of great speed and handling on hard surfaces and even ice. This is the kind of ski you could have a lot of fun with, both racing down the piste and slashing through the natural sides of the mountain.

We’ll have to agree with both the pro reviewers and Amazon customers and give these skis 4.3 out of 5 stars. If you have the skill and the money it requires, it’s a worthy purchase.

Brahma Boots: Skiing Equipment Reviewed

brahma boots review

When you're on the job and in need of a pair of durable boots, there is no replacement for quality. Work boots like Brahma boots can vary wildly in terms of their quality of manufacture and the level of materials that are used in their construction. The wrong boots for the job can lead to discomfort, difficulty, and even injury and failure. The right boots for the job can make all the difference and add significantly to the day-to-day value of your on-the-job experience. Steel toes could make the difference between broken toes or slightly marred boots while no-slip bottoms can be the difference between life and death.
 
In this article, we'll explore Brahma boots, particularly the Brahma Challenger Men's work boots.

Comparison Table

What Are Brahma Boots Challenger Model Men's Work Boots?

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The Challenger model of Brahma boots are slip-resistant work boots with a steel toe, meant to get you through your workday in safety, and maybe even with a little bit of style.

Product Specs  

Pricing  

How It Compares

man hiking wearing boots

We picked a few other work boots on the market to consider how the Challenger model of Brahma boots compares. While they are relatively low-cost, there are superior options available that offer greater comfort, protection, and style. However, given that we are selecting work boots, comfort, durability, and safety will be the primary focus of these reviews.

 
These are the other work boot models we are reviewing:

Brahma Challenger Men's Work Boots, Brown (9 (M) US / 27 MEX)
  • Lace-up work boot
  • Metal grommets
  • PU Upper
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Steel Toe. Slip Resistant

The Challenger model of Brahma boots is an entry-level work boot with the minimal requirements of no-slip bottom and steel toe.

Durability

Comfort

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • Steel toe
  • Economically priced

Cons

  • PU upper instead of leather
  • No extra foot padding
  • Poor style/craftsmanship 

Timberland Men's Pro-Titan 6 Inch WP Safety Toe
  • Waterproof leather upper
  • Polyurethane midsole
  • Nylon support shank
  • Contoured Ortholite footbed with Outlast Adaptive Comfort cover

Timberland is a well-knownbrand that provides footwear for all walks of life. They make styles to accommodate fashion, business, and the professional work environments of construction and industrial through the Timberland PRO line of boots. The Timberland Titan was released over 30 years ago and has stood the test of time with its ongoing success demonstrating the high quality and value of the boot and design. In fact, the Titan is one of the all-time best selling Timberland boots. Timberland boots are also notorious in terms of the brand name itself, which adds to the style statement made by the boots that no other work boot brand has.

Durability

Comfort

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • Comfortable and durable
  • Light, yet very strong aluminium toe
  • Oil-/abrasion-/slip-resistant

Cons

  • Superficially bland
  • Could be more stylish

Caterpillar Men's Second Shift Steel Toe Work Boot
  • Ankle-cut work boot with steel toe with padded ankle and oil-resistant outsole

Caterpillar is one of the world's leading manufacturers of heavy equipment, and has gained a reputation as being a symbol of honest work, strength, and integrity. The footwear made by Caterpillar, which the brand titles Cat Footwear, is made to stand up to any job their equipment is also working on. The company makes boots and shoes to provide for a variety of industrial and casual environments. Their brand supports and represents genuine hard work. Given the quality of the materials and construction of the Second Shift steel toe work boot, it is clear that Cat Footwear is concerned with helping make work happen.

Durability

Comfort

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • Leather uppers
  • Stylish 
  • Removable interior lining for comfort

Cons

  • Not made in America 

Sale
Skechers Men's Morson-SINATRO Hiking Boot, black, 10 Medium US
  • Waterproof
  • Slip Resistant
  • Air Cooled Memory Foam
  • Relaxed Fit

These boots by Skechers are designed with a rugged toughness combined with comfort. Their waterproof style keeps them practical for outdoor activity, and the full-grain leather and synthetic upper make them safe for rough terrain. If you’re searching for long-lasting boots that are suitable to wear for long periods, you’ll require comfortable, reliable boots. Fortunately, Skechers created this footwear with an air-cooled memory foam cushion to absorb any impact. Plus, the relaxed fit allows them to adjust to your foot size and shape easily.

Durability

Comfort

Design Quality

Warranty

Pros

  • Well made and durable
  • Exceptionally comfortable
  • Durable and made of leather 

Cons

  • Can several wears for the material to adjust to your feet
  • Sizes might be slightly off

Conclusion

Brahma boots is a brand that offers a fine combination of value and quality that will keep your feet safe and relatively comfortable, but likely not as comfortable as other boots on the market.

Final Verdict

The Challenger model of Brahma boots is a cheaper option for work boots, but is not particularly well-manufactured. The soles are lacking additional support and the uppers are not made of pliable and flexible leather. This makes them likely to be uncomfortable and non-durable. The use of steel in the toe as opposed to equally strong, yet markedly lighter, aluminum makes the boots heavier.

The exterior soles are slip resistant, but not in oil. They are also not resistant to abrasion. The style is also lacking. These boots are fine for an afternoon project, but for serious construction sites, we recommend some of the other options we reviewed above.