If your skiing dream involves sphincter-puckering steeps that lead to aprons of untracked powder, the Stoke is your fantasy, realized. It’s only moderately wide (105mm at the waist) compared to some of the fatties we tested, but also the lightest, thanks to a wood core reinforced by beech and bamboo stringers (as opposed to heavier metal ones).
Vertical sidewalls strengthen the ski and facilitate quick edge-to-edge energy transfer when you need to make tight turns down a narrow chute. And an early rise shovel lifts the entire front end off the snow, reducing resistance and improving floatation in a variety of conditions. “I knew these featherweights would float through powder,” says a female tester who put 25 days on the Stoke and flatly refused to send them back to the manufacturer (we eventually made her).
“But I was shocked at how easily they powered through crud and across wind-slab. And they were so light (when paired with a Dynafit binding), that even at six months pregnant, I still felt strong after 3,000 vertical feet of skinning in Iceland’s Glacier Fjords region.”
Nitpick: The same qualities that make the Stokes so nimble also limit them on bulletproof hardpack (where they tend to chatter). Choose them for long tours and technical descents, but skip them if you prefer cliff drops and high-speed GS-style arcing. Pair them with Dynafit’s Speedskin FT system ($210).
7 lbs. 2 oz. (182cm); 164cm, 173cm, 182cm (130/106/120 for all three lengths); 191cm (130/106/120); dynafit.com