Freeride or off-piste skiing has been growing in popularity over the past ten years due to the increase in skier ability combined with advances in ski technology making it easier to ride in deeper snow conditions.
Once the territory of the testosterone fuelled extreme ski dude, now the backcountry welcomes all, providing the knowledge, respect and ability is there to handle it.
A ski like the Atomic Backland 102W, a women's specific model, will help you get there, with its easy to turn feel, lightweight manoeuvrability and wide platform under the feet - they float through the powder and power through the crust with relative ease.
On-piste, the performance lacks a little bit of power, especially in the longer radius turns at higher speeds, although they are very easy to steer at lower speeds in both short and long radius turns.
A lightweight wood core and 'powder' rocker tip means they would suit a touring set up if you're looking to do shorter day tours or access the kinds of out of the way places only skiers willing to walk ever make. The underfoot camber helps the skis performance on groomed slopes - but we still feel they are more suited to a recreational to advanced skier, rather than a hard charging expert.
They would suit both someone looking to progress from the piste into powder or spend a season in a ski resort and plan to get away from the marked runs as much as possible.