The ever-popular 98mm do-it-all ski has been a staple on the ski wall for a few years, catering to those who are ready to step it up and cover more of the mountain. The challenge of this waist width is that it takes a little more effort to get on edge than the average all-mountain ski; the reward is versatility when you want to head off piste, charge the mountain, and gain a little float on a surprise powder day. Indeed, a 98 waist makes a good one-ski quiver for the ski traveler. In our series of cage matches, we'll be taking a look at several women's skis in the 98mm world.
Both the Völkl 90Eight and the Head Great Joy have this magic 98, and I don't think you can go wrong with either. Both promise edgehold, light weight, versatility, and stability -- and both deliver. I would be hard pressed to pick one over the other, but there is one slight difference: the Great Joy hugs the snow a little better, with a slight dampness that adds to its stability, where the Völkl 90Eight has a bit more energy and playfulness.
- Why choose the Völkl 90Eight? You're looking for a lightweight, grippy ski that is energetic.
- Why choose the Head Great Joy? You prefer a lightweight, grippy ski that is damp and stable.
- Other skis in the class: Blizzard Black Pearl 98, Armada Trace 98, Rossignol Sky 7 W.