We recently posted a conversation on our GEAR:30 podcast where some of us discussed our picks for the most influential — and the best — ski gear from the past decade. Check out that conversation here, and then here we’re having several of our other reviewers offer their nominations.
As always, we’re curious to hear what you think, so let us know in the Comments section below what you’d pick.
1st: Nordica Enforcer 100: because it works for so many different people, and has been competitive in its class since it was created, despite not having been changed since then.
2nd: Rossignol Sickle: Mostly because we continue to get so many questions along the lines of “what’s the current replacement for the Sickle???” It was playful and still quite stable, versatile across most conditions, and everyone from directional chargers to freestyle skiers to beginners and intermediates seemed to like it.
3rd: Rossignol Black Ops 118: Just because it’s the most fun chop ski I’ve ever used and almost no other ski has been as fun in so many regards. Definitely some recency bias here, though.
1st: Nordica Enforcer 100. As I said on the podcast, it’s hard to ignore a ski that went unchanged for the better part of a decade AND remained at the top of its class in so many respects.
2nd: Rossignol Soul 7 HD (latest iteration). So many people around the world have had amazing days on this ski. It’s one of the few skis that I think beginners can enjoy as much as experts — personal opinions aside, that’s enough to make it one of the best skis of the decade right there.
3rd: Volkl Mantra M5. The Mantra lineup has been a mainstay in the ski world for the past 10 years and the latest version of the ski is one of my favorite skis of all time. It is so dialed and has a rare combination of damping and energy.
1st: Nordica Santa Ana Series. Between the Santa Ana 110, 100, and 93s, there is very little reason to stray from the line — unless you want a lightweight ski. With two sheets of metal and an energetic feel, the Santa Anas are fun to ski, handle just about any condition well, and still aren’t all that demanding.
2nd: Blizzard claims the Black Pearl 88 is the best-selling women’s ski in the world and while I can’t verify this, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true, based on how often I see that ski in lift lines. At 88 mm underfoot and with a low-profile rocker / camber / rocker profile, this all-mountain ski is accessible to a wide range of skiers from beginners to experts.
3rd: Line Pandora (any version). I can’t think of one female friend that has not owned a pair of the Pandoras and most of them still have a pair in their quiver. For years I skied the Pandora 110 and loved them because they were predictable, stable, and playful. While the Pandoras have undergone changes over the years, I don’t recall an iteration that most people disliked. A ski that has been persistently popular for almost the entire decade and continues to be a well-loved ski certainly deserves a place on this list.
1st: Nordica Santa Ana 100: I agree with everything that Jonathan, Luke, and Sam said about the Enforcer 100, and I’ll add the women’s version which was extremely similar. For someone who often felt let-down by many women’s skis through most of the decade, and as someone who skied men’s skis through most of the decade, I was so damn happy to step on the Santa Ana 100 and feel a ski as damp, versatile, and reliable as the men’s version.
2nd: Rossignol Soul 7: I probably sold a couple hundred Soul 7’s to a couple hundred happy customers over the last ~6 years. This ski was brilliant, insanely influential to the entire industry, skied well, and as long as you weren’t a mega person or prioritized lots of stability and damping, the Soul 7 would probably work for you. It was one ski that I I had few qualms about in terms of putting a huge range of skiers on it. And to this day, with some minor changes, it still totally rips.
3rd: Armada TST: Thankfully, my skiing style has changed a lot over the last decade, and while I have also evolved in terms of what I like in a ski, the TST was a pretty rad ski. As I mentioned above, the TST was a rare ski at the time in that it featured lots of taper and rocker at the tips, but with a more traditional shape and camber profile at the back of the ski.
1st: Moment Deathwish. I’m not going to try to be some arbiter of taste here, saying what the “best” ski of the decade is. But this is my favorite one, and I bet if you skied a day or two on it you’d really like it, too.
2nd: Atomic Bent Chetler 120 & Moment’s touring skis. I’m giving this second-place award to a general category, not a specific ski. It’s really cool that, by the end of the decade, companies are figuring out how to translate all the best parts of their inbounds skis to a very lightweight package that is an absolute blast to ski. Here’s to more touring-friendly playful skis!
3rd: K2 Shreditor 112. Again, I know this isn’t the “right” answer, but I really loved this ski, and I miss it. I still think K2 really nailed it with their whole Shreditor line, and it was really cool to have the option of a good 102, 112, or 122 mm underfoot ski that all felt really similar and skied well. In retrospect, I personally think the Marksman is a let down compared to the 102 and 112 it replaced. Fortunately, it sounds like something like the Shreditor series will soon be coming back under a new name. Here’s to hoping K2 starts the new decade out with something cool.
1st: 4FRNT Renegade: Fast, loose, and adaptable. What’s not to like? “ReflectTech” works, thanks Hoji! It was a very good, very pow-specific ski that does a lot of things a very pow-specific skis isn’t really supposed to be able to do. I’ve been a huge fan of most iterations, and am eager to try out the current one.
2nd: Blizzard Cochise: The early Cochise models hit the sweet spot of what a silky smooth weapon of a ski is supposed to be. Later models lost the magic a bit as they got more tapered and more carbon-y, but I think the Cochise set the stage for a renaissance of big-mountain chargers to follow.
3rd: Volkl Mantra: If you picked up a pair of Mantras from any year this decade, you’d be on a pretty good, versatile ski. The spiritual successor to the immensely important Volkl Explosive, the Mantra had a lot to live up to and a lot of people wanting to see it fail. But how many skis have been in a manufacturer’s lineup for 15+ years? There is a reason the Mantra is still here.
1st: Duh — Line Pandora. As Kristin said, there are very few female skiers I know that didn’t own a variation of this ski. And despite changing over the years, I’m still a massive fan of the current Pandoras.
2nd: Blizzard Black Pearl 98. It’s such a versatile ski that’s light and easy enough for some beginners, but strong enough for some experts.
3rd: Rossignol S7. Now, there are much better skis than the S7 at this point, but for many people, it was the first very tapered and rockered ski they got on and made skiing much easier for many folks.
I discussed in detail all of my picks, rationale, and honorable mentions in our GEAR:30 podcast, so here I’m going to keep things brief. But if you want to hear more about why I picked what I did, I highly recommend listening to our GEAR:30 conversation.