Picking the right skis can be a challenge. There are so many choices and with a ski package in most cases being well north of $800, choosing wrong can be costly and leave you feeling burned. Given the opportunity to test out many skis for 2016/2017 prior to them hitting the shelves this fall, we are happy to say that there truly is something for everyone. It seems there is something in every line for every skier.

We are also confident that any shop will be able to fit any skier with the right ski for the type of terrain they ski most often. There is one thing to remember about this. Make sure you are truthful with the person servicing you. Tell them the types of conditions you actually ski, not the types you hope to ski. So often we think about the ideal conditions, or the 1 trip we take out west, but forget that most of the time we are skiing on man-made hardpack, or less than ideal conditions. Choosing a ski that with fit your need 90% of the time will make you most happy.

2017 Ski Trends

One thing to keep an eye on is that about everything we tested has a sweet spot around the 90mm waist width. In our opinion this is a trend that has been a long time coming and becoming more “acceptable” here in the Midwest. We encourage you to get the stigma out of your head that if it’s over 80mm that you cannot turn it. Wrong. Technology is at a point where skis are easier to “roll over” and have great edge hold while providing the ability to ride a variety of terrain. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting back into the sport, we encourage you to get out to a demo or two this season and see what the manufacturers have been up to.

With that, contributor Mike Buczek gives his rundown on a number of skis you’ll find out there for the 2017 ski season. Make the jump to any of the skis featured below.

Blizzard Bonafide

Nordica Enforcer

Elan Ripstick

Fischer Ranger

Line Supernatural & Sick Day

Salomon QST Series

2017 Blizzard Bonafide

This is hands down my favorite ski. It is unchanged from last season, but why change something that is not broken. I have to be honest. I own this one. I’ve owned a few different versions of the bonafide and I have to say, I can’t see myself changing. I know this is my ski because I skied many models that would be considered its competitor and I still liked it the most when I skied it after everything else.

2017 blizzard bonafide review

What it is and who’s it for?

For those that are unfamiliar with the bonafide, it is a 98mm waisted ski, with 2 sheets of titanium. It has rocker in the tip, camber underfoot and rocker in the tail. For the aggressive or powerful skier, it is a blast. Someone who is lighter, or can’t “power” the ski through the turn, may not enjoy it as much, but if you can, hold on. It rockets big arcing turns and can bust through crud, bumps and ice. At speed it is unwavering and pops you into each turn. The rocker in the tip and tail makes turn initiation easy as well as allowing you to dump speed if you need to. In 2016 they added carbon to the tip and tail and that is unchanged for 2017. It’s a bomber ski that hard charging skiers will love.

Other 2017 Blizzard Standouts

The rest of the freeride series from Blizzard – The other notable skis are the Brahma and the Peacemaker. The only change to the Brahma for 2017 is the addition of the carbon to the tip and tail. This ski is also a blast. For someone that likes a bit quicker turn, this should be your choice over the bonafide. The peacemaker is also unchanged for 2017, but that is a good thing. This twin tip all mountain ripper comes in at 104 under the foot, but doesn’t feel like it. It doesn’t have metal, but you wouldn’t know it. This is the only ski that I would replace my bonafide with, or maybe just add it to my quiver.

2017 Nordica Enforcer

After a few years, Nordica brought back the Enforcer for the 2016 season. It doesn’t change in 2017 and again, that is a good ski. This 100 waisted, rocker camber rocker ski is the one ski quiver from Nordica. It can do it all. Carve, bump, smear, float. You name it, it can do it. The only thing I would have liked it to do better would be to really hold on during that high speed, GS turn. But for most, it would be a great choice.

2017 Nordica Enforcer Review

What it is and who’s it for?

While 100 under the foot may seem intimidating to most midwest skiers, it doesn’t always ski that way. The early rise tip and tail make it easy to turn short or long. Skid or carve, it can do it. If you read into the fact that most places sold out of the enforcer last year, that should tell you how incredibly popular it was and will be for the next few years.

2017 Elan Ripstick 106

This was a surprise to me. I’ve always liked Elan skis. I even had a pair of Amphiio 88xti’s a few years back. The Ripstick steps up the game. It uses the same amphibio technology that has rocker on the inside of the ski. I was impressed with the way the Ripstick handled nearly everything I threw at it. While conditions at time of testing were varied, I’d love the opportunity to get this in a bit more pow. It felt stable at high speeds through chop and wanted to be throttled down. Snappy edge-to-edge with little to no vibration that you sometimes find with rockered skis.

2017 Elan Ripstick Review

What it is and who’s it for?

As tested, at 106 underfoot, this would be a true 1 ski quiver for most. This ski handles everything well. With the Amphibio technology edge hold and turn initiation come with ease and confidence. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the topsheet. Yes, this is vain and silly, but if I am going to drop a bunch of money on skis, I want them to look cool. Editor Dodge has a pair of the test skis and it’s plain nasty! Flat black with a couple subtle green accents. But hey, the damn thing skis great, so I think I could get over the way it looks.

[Related: 2017 Elan Ripstick Review, First Impressions]

2017 Fischer Ranger 98 & 108

Full disclosure, I’ve never skied a Fischer before in my life, but it clearly won’t be my last! I tried them in a 98mm and 108mm waist and both were definitely among my favorite with my liking leaning more toward the 108mm for my style. While I’m not overly knocked out about their graphics here either, we came to call it the “bass boat” as it resembled the hull of a bass boat and was just missing a crazy flake paint job.

In the 108mm trim it seemed to make the big sweeping turns better, with greater hold than the 98, but both were equally fun. Certainly a ski that could handle whatever you tossed its way. This crud busting, arc laying ski would have the width to ski the deep stuff, but equally fun on a crap snow day.

2017 Fischer Ranger 108 Review

What it is and who’s it for?

Similar to other manufacturers, the Fischer Ranger is a contender in the 1 ski quiver killer market. I think if I were to choose one for around the midwest, I would go with the 98. It is a bit more versatile and wide enough to handle anything local, but not too wide to be a bear to take into some tight spots. If I lived west, or took a few more powder trips, the 108 would be my choice.

2017 Line Supernatural & Line Sick Day

Tied for 5th in my lineup of 2017 skis tested, the Supernatural and Sick Day from Line are legit. I’m not even going to give you a full rundown on these because there is no need to. Both skis go unchanged from 2016 and follow Line’s philosophy of “if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it.”

The Supernatural is available in a wide range of widths from 86mm on up to 115mm. Similar with the Sick Day, 95mm all the way up to a 110mm.

2017 Line Supernatural Review

2017 Line Sick Day Review

What it is and who’s it for?

For those interested in laying out some carves and sticking a touch more traditional, go with the Supernatural. If you like a ski that can carve, but equally smear and slay it, go with the Sick Day.  Both skis take advantage of a wood core. The Supernatural is a bit beefier with 2 maple stringers running alongside the aspen wood core, whereas the Sick Day only has the maple underfoot with an aspen wood core throughout. Early rise rocker is a standard  and something Line calls Fivecut – where they incorporate 5 different sidecut profiles into 1 shape. Don’t ask us how. Hands down you will not be disappointed in either choice.

2017 Salomon QST Series

Also tied for my 5th place is the 2017 Salomon QST series. I had the pleasure of skiing the QST 99mm and thought this ski was great fun to cruise around on. It crushed everything I threw its way. From the race hill to crud, bumps, etc and it excelled. It’s no wonder Cody Townsend likes this series. If you get a chance to try it out, you will also be surprised at how light it is. This ski is equally comfortable on the frontside as it is on a skin track.

2017 Salomon QST review

What it is and who’s it for?

Again, another one of those 1 ski quiver killers, the Salomon QST series offers up a variety of waist widths dependent on your style and terrain skied most days. Choose accordingly. While it has a single sheet of titanium baked into the laminate, this ski remains fairly light.