The Five 2023 Men's All-Mountain Skis Curated Experts LovePublished on 05/18/2023 · 7 min readAfter demoing several different skis at Powder Mountain Resort, Skiing Experts Brandon Westburg, Daryl Morrison, Hayden Wright, Rob G., and Theo G. list their top five favorites for men's all-mountain skis!
Curated Experts tested dozens of skis at Powder Mountain in Utah, and now we're breaking it down into our top five favorite all-mountain skis with Brandon Westburg, Daryl Morrison, Hayden Wright, Rob G., and Theo G. sharing feedback on their experience demoing the skis. A quick note before we jump in, that we are not sponsored by any brands, these are our honest opinions on the skis.
Watch the video below to see the skis in action or to follow along in our conversation!
[Hayden] Coming in at number five is the DPS Koala 103, a personal favorite of mine.
[Theo] I was fairly surprised when I saw that DPS advertises and claims that the Koala 103 is a good park ski. First impression, this ski is exceptionally nimble, very light, and holds an edge well, which is true to DPS and their unique construction. Just incredibly agile. I found the Koala to be exceptionally playful. I took it off a bunch of little side hits and jumps. It's got a low swing weight, it’s got plenty of pop.
[Hayden] Tons of pop on these guys, super fun. Featuring a full twin, early rise in the tip and tail, and tons of camber underfoot, it's great for laying arcs and slashing around in slushy conditions. The DPS Koala 103 is dialed in for rails, park jumps, big mountain lines, backcountry booters. Whatever you need—the Koala 103 is going to be there for you.
[Hayden] Coming in at number four in our five favorite all-mountain skis is the Dynastar M-Free 108.
[Theo] Dynastar markets the M-Free 108 as a do-it-all, all-mountain freestyle ski. It’s in the wider waist width category at 108mm underfoot. In terms of carving, the M-Free 108 exceeded my expectations. You can lay it on edge, carve GS turns. It's not a snappy, energetic carver as most piste skis are. When you do lay it on edge, it's confidence-inspiring, and you can put down trenches. I was on groomed firm terrain and in some fresh snow.
These are great skis on a powder day. This is going to provide an enormous amount of float. It has really wide shovels in the tips, which give you float in combination with the rocker that Dynastar has engineered into the ski. If you're looking for a playful, really versatile, pivotable, yet stable and charging all-mountain mid-fat pow ski, this is your ski.
3. Blizzard Rustler 10
[Hayden] Coming in at number three for our all-mountain ski is the Blizzard Rustler 10.
[Daryl] Blizzard claims that this is going to be a really great all-around ski for someone who's looking for something to dabble in powder with, ski on a daily basis. It can stand up to a lot of hard charging but can also be nimble in trees, bumps, and everything. I had a really good time on these. These things can charge really hard. They definitely require a confident driver. If you are more of a timid skier or tend to ski in the back seat a little bit, there are definitely better options for you. But these will reward someone who's really forward and really looking to ski aggressively. They're super fun, they have a lot of energy.
[Theo] This is a great ski at high speeds, that’s because it is heavy, has a metal layer. You’re not worried you’re going to lose it.
[Daryl] This does have a full twin on the back, so you can ski switch if you want to, though the ski is not designed to be skied backwards, it's not symmetrical—definitely a directional twin. So the more you increase the length of the ski, the higher the turn radius is going to be. So maneuverability is definitely impacted by that. The longer the turn radius, the less the ski is going to want to come out of a turn and jump into another one lower than its basically marketed turning radius. So keep that in mind with these skis.
[Theo] These skis are ideal for skiers on the East Coast who are looking for the widest ski in their quiver and find that often they are skiing spring snow or tracked-out post-storm crud in the woods. Skiers on the West Coast who are looking for a daily driver and aren't spending time in the park. They are really going to appreciate the performance of the Rustler 10 on lower snow days in the trees and all across the mountain.
[Daryl] So if I were looking to go out on a powder day where we got 12 inches to 24 inches or so, I think that these would be a really fun option.
2. Head Kore 99
[Hayden] And then all-mountain ski number two, we have the Head Kore 99s.
[Rob] Head claims that this ski is a light, versatile, all-mountain charger, and they hit the nail on the head. This 99-millimeter waisted ski is an all-mountain ski for a variety of conditions. This is not a carving ski, it’s not a freestyle ski. It's definitely a freeride all-mountain ski. But, for a 99-millimeter waisted ski, I could not believe the carves I was getting and the performance I was getting when carving on the ski. It's easy to put on edge, rides really smoothly. The tip holds up even if you're driving through the ski. It's a really great ski for aggressive all-mountain skiers.
Because this ski is so light, one of the trade-offs is that it's not super damp. When I was riding over refrozen terrain, I felt a fair amount of chatter. That's a trade-off I'd be willing to make. It's a light ski that's also very stiff. A lot of light skis are soft and kind of noodly, and don't hold up to aggressive skiing technique. This does it, and it does it in spades. I do not think this would be a good ski for beginners or even lower intermediates. This is a ski that responds really well to aggressive input. It is agile and light, so an advanced skier who’s got aims to get better could really enjoy this ski. But if your goal is just to cruise groomers, there are other choices that are probably better for you.
[Hayden] Coming in at first place for our favorite all-mountain ski is the Line Blade Optic 104.
[Brandon] Line claims that the Blade Optic 104 is their most versatile ski in the Blade Optic collection. It does have a lot of metal in this ski, and it's great for those big mountain lines, all-mountain skiing, and anything in between. I've been really liking it so far. There's just enough metal to keep this ski extremely stable, but it's still poppy, playful, and super fun.
[Hayden] If you're only looking for one ski and you're more of a freerider, I will emphasize that, this is a freeride ski. This isn't going to be for beginners that are still learning the basics. The skier that's going to excel on these is intermediate to advanced freeriders that are looking to jump, jib, and go all over the mountain. You're not just on the groomers, you've got your parallel turns down. This ski is definitely one to consider—a great option for that ski that can handle a little bit of everything. If you get a surprise powder day on your ski trip or vacation, you're not going to be disappointed.
Did your skis make the all-mountain list? Let us know in the comments of the Youtube video. If you're not sure what skis are best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best skis for your needs.