Whether you're looking for new skis or
a snowboard for yourself or a gift for someone special (hint,
hint), we've got the latest sticks and boards, plus tips on
where to take them.
Not so very long ago, all you had to say was, "I'm going skiing,"
and people knew exactly what you meant. The recipe was easy: a
hill, a chairlift, and the simple-but-sublime freedom afforded by a
pair of skis on snow. But as with so many sports, the age of
specialization has caught skiing, and it's not letting go. In fact,
skiing - and the requisite gear - seems to become more fractured
every year. You've got all-mountain, carving, and powder. There are
cruising models, gender-specific skis, and integrated ski/binding
systems. And that's before you consider snowboarding. It's enough
to send even the most ardent winter sports enthusiast winging
To help you make sense of it all, we've rounded up the best skis
and snowboards in each of the five most popular categories. Not
sure which category you belong to? Never fear: We've provided
skier/rider profiles for each. By the time you reach the end of
this article, you'll be able to walk into your local ski shop, pick
out your gear, sling it over your shoulder, and say, "I'm going
skiing." And know exactly what you're talking about.