The Cham 97 won a bounty of ski test booty last year, and it didn’t disappoint in 2013/2014 either. Testers gave it high scores for float, versatility and stability, with lower marks for carving. “The fat tip floats on top of snow,” Gaudet said. “It’s a great all-around ski for varied conditions like soft, cut-up snow.” The freeride model gets its unique shape from a five-point sidecut, designed with a progressive tapering in the tip and tail, traditional camber underfoot, a long rockered tip and a narrow pintail. Construction includes vertical sidewalls and a lightweight wood core with Titanal. “It can feel a little heavy, but it’s solid and stable in the turn and felt bomber underfoot,” Flickinger said.