Ski Tests Value Buy

Group verdict

Value for money is crucial here and we really found it - the Blizzard Magnum 7.4 will suit a huge range of skiers and, at $849, its combination of versatility and performance easily makes it the best value ski on the tests and it also takes the gold in this category, by a mile. Coming in with silver are the Elan Waveflex 78, the Head Peak 78 LT and the Scott Punisher.

Target skier

Our brief to ski manufacturers was for a ski/binding package that would sell for $1200 or less. The skier is a solid, confident or athletic intermediate to advanced skier looking for an all-mountain ski that will take them up through the ability level and still perform.

Skier ability
On the ski school rating scale, these skis will suit classes 4 to 2.


Armada El Ray
Armada El Ray
Comments: Versatile for a park ski and likes the longer turns; Kent. They don't mind a bit of pace, work best in the soft; Chris. Light and negotiable but too soft for heavier skiers; Macca. Verdict: One for lighter and maybe younger skiers - good value.

Blizzard Magnum 7.4
Blizzard Magnum 7.4
Comments: Perfect edgehold and sidecut for high-end intermediates to cruisy experts; Kent. Lively, solid, responsive and lots of fun; Chris. Verdict: Best value buy on the tests; suit a broad range of skiers.

Elan Waveflex 78
Elan Waveflex 78
Comments: Give it heaps and it just hangs on; Rod. Very solid, top ski for the category; Sam. Verdict: Solid ski, best suited to skiers who want to drive it, rather than hang on for the ride.

Fischer Motive 76
Fischer Motive 76
Comments: Fun, light, responsive and in no way demanding; Rod. Good first buy, especially for cruisy intermediates; Shane. Super forgiving but still lively; Macca. Verdict: Lighter build pitches it towards less aggressive skiers (the 2011 ski has some design differences to our test model).

Head Peak 78 LT
Head Peak 78 LT
Comments: It'll grow on you and you can grow with it - advanced or intermediate, this is a great ski for Oz; Macca. Great ski for the category, performs well and easy to initiate; Rod. Verdict: Another medallist, top choice.

K2 Impact
K2 Impact
Comments: A forgiving all-mountain cruiser; Rod. Reliable, stable performer - set the edge and enjoy the ride; Pete. Verdict: For less aggressive and maybe lighter intermediates.

Kastle LX72
Kastle LX72
Comments: Very precise from edge to edge and keeps giving when pushed; Kent. Very precise - would best suit skiers in the upper end of the ability range; Peter. Verdict: See above - Kastle performance, but more demanding than some.

Nordica Hot Ignitor CA Xbi
Nordica Hot Ignitor CA Xbi
Comments: Good fun - very responsive and easy to mix up the turns; Kent. Nice ski - builds confidence and would go anywhere; Peter. Verdict: Easy turner with a solid feel; rates well, great price.

Rossignol Z76 Aramid Basalt
Rossignol Z76 Aramid Basalt
Comments: Very solid carve-oriented ski for the groomed; Rod. Nice piste performer for the carvers; Shane. Verdict: Tracks true on the groomed, not so great off it.

Scott Punisher
Scott Punisher
Comments: At last! A twinny that performs on the piste and loves getting off it. Could be scary at super speed, but a really good all-mountain choice; Rod. Very impressive edge to edge; Shane. Verdict: Fun ski all over the mountain.

 

jim darby/the snow biz
There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

arnie wilson/from the alps
Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

go flip/flip byrnes
Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.


There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.