Frontside skis are always an important style of ski for the vast majority of skiers. So many skiers are delegated to perfecting their turns on the groomers. Whether it be access to large vertical, lack of snowfall or your ability level, Frontside Skis are the most popular style of ski, and each season they sell more than any other style.
What are Frontside Skis?
Frontside skis are designed to spend nearly all of their time on the groomed trails. The waist width of a Frontside ski can range anywhere from 68mm-85mm. This profile allows you quick turns. Skis on the wider side of that spectrum will keep you more stable when conditions get a little bumped up or cruddy. Regardless of your ability level there is a frontside ski for the true beginner up to your hard charging expert. Most frontside skis are a system ski, meaning that they include a binding that enhances the performance of the ski.
Let’s get to the Top Picks
With Frontside skis being such a large category, it’s always tough trying to select just a few for this list. Many hours of testing by the Skis.com staff went into compiling this list of our favorite frontside skis.
The new Rossignol Hero Elite MT is an exciting new ride from Rossi this season. New LCT (Line Control Technology) comes right from their World Cup Race Technology. LCT is a tip to tail band of Titanal that eliminates counter-flexing of the ski to deliver you one smooth ride. The Hero Elite MT also has the Prop Tech. Prop Tech allows the torsional flex of the ski to adapt to changes in the terrain to give you a very responsive feel. This will make a great ski for the strong intermediate up to expert level skier looking for race like performance without having to put so much work into their skiing.
Salomon’s XDR 84 Ti is unchanged this season, but it put out such a strong showing for our testing crew that it had to make the list. Again a great option for the advanced intermediate to expert level skier, the XDR 84 delivers a quick and agile feeling. The CF/X Superfiber Construction keeps the weight of the ski down, yet it feels powerful when you ramp up the speed. A full Woodcore, titanium layer and carbon gives you horsepower with a nimble feeling. Salomon’s Pulse Pad Dampening System is placed directly underneath the binding platform that absorbs vibrations before they reach your feet.
Atomic Vantage X 80 CTi received a nice graphic update this season with some tougher looking colors. Atomic’s Carbon Tank Mesh is made with woven fibers of carbon that adds power and stability to the ski while maintaining a lightweight feeling. The Exo Profile has slanted and reinforced sides that lowers the swingweight and improves maneuverability. The 80mm waist and AMT Rocker gives you the ability to slice short to medium radius turns with a solid edge grip when things get a little icy. A World Cup Base Finish has been added in at the factory so this ski will be flying down the mountain right out of the wrapper.
The new Nordica Dobermann Spitfire Ti FDT is another ski that has a race like feeling, but only takes a fraction of the energy to make it react when and how you want it to. The new Recoil Power Plate FDT has been inspired by World Cup Piston Plates used on FIS race skis. The Recoil Plate allows the ski to have a natural flex and smoother power transfer. The Rapid Race Shovel helps you keep your balance without any sacrifice to turn engagement. The edge hold and stability of this ski is impressive and the tight turning radius will have you bouncing your hip off of the snow.
The Elan Amphibio 80 Ti is the ski on this list that will feel the lightest on your feet. Amphibio Rocker has a rockered outside edge and a cambered inside edge on the tip of the ski which delivers lighting quick turn initiation. The Amphibio 4D Construction has a convex profile in front of the binding platform and a concave profile behind the binding platform that smooth out vibrations caused by firm snow or fast speeds. RST Sidewall drive your energy directly toward the snow for fast and efficient skiing.
When it comes down to it, all of these skis are designed for the same type of skier. A strong intermediate to expert looking for quick turns, solid edge grip, stability and responsiveness. If that sounds like what you are looking for, find more details and on snow reviews of all of these skis at Skis.com