Best All-mountain Skis 2021

Best All-mountain Skis 2021

Published: Oct 28, 2020

If you are a regular skier, buying your own ski equipment rather than renting may be a better option. Owning your own ski gear will save you money in the long run and the thought of having your own skis that best suit your wants and needs will make your time on the mountain worthwhile and all the more delightful. But what type of skis do you really need? There are plenty of them out on the market, and our list of the best all-mountain skis will help you narrow down your options.

Best all-mountain skis: our quick answer

 

Go to Comparison Table

Best overall

1. Volkl M5 Mantra

Volkl M5 Mantra

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 134 - 96 - 117mm

Weight: 4.47 lbs.

Ability Level: Intermediate-Expert

Volkl Ski International was founded in 1923 in Germany. It is a sports equipment company that initially manufactured skis and expanded into making its own snowboard line, outerwear, and tennis gear.

What we like about the M5 Mantra is that this ski can easily handle all conditions. It is equipped with Titanal Frame Technology for a stable and smooth ride, regardless of your speed limit. It has a tip and tail rocker, but the ski's edge still engages when making turns at high speed and has an outstanding torsional rigidity to help the edges hold. With the M5's camber and side cut form, it will be easier to carve at lower speeds and to play with the size and shape of your turns.

The M5 has a multi-layer wood core, which is a combination of beech and poplar to make it extremely durable and light. Its full-length sidewalls provide optimum power transmission, and are constructed with P-Tex 2100 Base, a high-density and high molecular polyethylene base that is highly durable and has great gliding characteristics.

Besides, it has a 21m turn radius, which is quite long but easy to shift from edge to edge, making a shorter radius carving turn. The skis can also handle crud or any unpacked snow. Plus, its weight is adequate enough to easily control and maneuver in soft snow as it has a wide tip and tail and enough rocker in the front to keep you on top for most powder days. Its moderately upturned tail allows it to release ably in soft snow. Meanwhile, its narrow waist, lighter weight, and flex will allow you to control the skis, no matter where you choose to take them.

What we do not like about the Volkl M5 Mantra is that they lack full metal sheets that we can found on other Volkl Mantra skis. Plus, they have a bit of rocker in the tip and are prone to minor chattering. Despite these minor issues, the M5 is an excellent all-mountain ski that can hold its own in any type of terrain. It performs excellently and will surely put a smile on your face.


 

Best for kids

2. Atomic Punx Jr

Atomic Punx Jr

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 122 - 85 - 112mm

Weight: 2 lbs

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Some of the best all-mountain skis for kids come from Atomic Skis, a brand that was founded in 1955 in Austria. This company mainly sells skis and other skiing equipment, apparel, and protective gear.

What we like about the Atomic Punx Jr is that it is a super maneuverable ski due to its Full Cap construction with no sidewall and a top sheet that folds down over the edge. It almost has no rocker in the tail to make the edges hold and gives a better grip and stability for effortless skiing. Plus, it is made with a Structured Topsheet and Densolite Core, a foam core that dampens vibrations. It features the flex, sidecut, and cambers to allow it to arc so that kids can start carving turns. Additionally, the size-specific dimensions on the Atomic Punx Jr ensure optimum turning radius depending on the height and weight of the child.

What we do not like about the Punx Jr all-mountain kids skis is that they don't come in a lot of designs or colors. Other than that, these are some of the best all-purpose kids skis due to their versatility. They were built for young shredders from age 6 to 11, and belong in the intermediate to advanced skill category.


 

3. Armada ARV 84 Junior Skis

Armada ARV 84 Junior Skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 120 - 84 -109mm

Weight: 2.5 lbs

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Armada was founded in 2002 in Utah and mainly manufactures ski poles, ski-related soft goods, and technical outerwear. The Armada ARV 84 Junior is also available in an adult version.

What we like about the ARV 84 Junior is that this ski is versatile enough to be used by beginners or intermediate skiers, meaning you do not have to go and look for another pair of skis as your child gets better because it will work just fine. It is designed with a medium flex range, a Cap construction, a lightweight Pop-Lite Core for easier and stable control, and an S7 base that will allow your child to keep control, even at increased speed. The ARV 84 is available in six different sizes — the 156mm has a turning radius of 15.5m, but all have a standard ski profile and a twin-tip shape for a better skiing experience.

What we do not like about the Armada ARV 84 is that they do not suit expert young skiers, but will surely be appreciated by recreational skiers. In conclusion, the ARV 84 skis are made easy for children's use. They are great for learning and improving their skills.


 

4. Atomic Backland Girl Skis

Atomic Backland Girl Skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 99 - 78 -91mm

Weight: 2 lbs.

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Another one of best all-mountain pair of skis for kids is the Backland Girl from Atomic. They are best used by young skiers who are already intermediate to advanced skiers.

What we like about the Backland skis is that they are made with Bend-X technology, which puts a special flex in the binding area to allow even the lightest kids to be able to bend their skis and make turns, even in power. This pair of skis has an all-mountain tip rocker that is versatile and performs well on any snow. Besides, it has a Desolite core that reduces vibrations and will keep things smooth when going down through rough terrains. It also features lightweight Atomic topsheets, hardened steel edges for durability and edge grip, and a 7000-series sintered base that allows for increased speed and is easy to maintain.

What we do not like about the Atomic Backland Girls skis is that they are not for an absolute beginner as they will find this pair of skis a little too fast. Thus, the Backland is only suitable for children who are confident in their skills to go explore the whole mountain.


 

Best for women

5. Salomon Womens Stance 94

Salomon Womens Stance 94

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 124 - 94 - 106mm

Weight: 3.7 lbs

Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

The Stance W 94 is part of Salomon's newest ‘Stance' all-mountain collection. We have listed down below this pair of skis' features, quality, performance, and more, so you can see why it is one of the best in our list of women's all-mountain skis.

What we like about the Stance W 94 is that it is lighter and more flexible than its men's counterpart due to the blend of karuba and poplar wood in its core. Plus, it has a metal twin frame laminate to provide stability and strength. The lighter wood core is in between two sheets of metal, with the top sheet having two cutouts in the forebody and tail, which allows for a more natural movement and flex without making it too soft nor heavy. The sidewalls of the Stance 94 are fully sandwiched between metal sheets to give it a ton of precision and power during a carved turn. Besides, these skis are wide enough to float with a 94-mm underfoot, and narrow enough to produce good torsional rigidity and carving power.

These skis are made with a Titanal frame, and as a result, are incredibly easy to maneuver. You're going to get the precision and power of a much lighter ski!

They also provide plenty of power to carve up the hill and an impressive grip on the edge through a full turn. Plus, the cutouts in the forebody allow for an easier release.

What we do not like about the Salomon's Stance W 94 is that they lack that certain fun factor and playfulness in powder due to their stiff construction. Other than that, these all-mountain skis are a fantastic option if you are looking to take your skills to the next level in terms of terrains and conditions.


 

6. Atomic Vantage 90 Ti Ski

Atomic Vantage 90 Ti Ski

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 124.5 - 90 - 111mm

Weight: 3.5 lbs

Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

The Atomic Vantage 90 Ti women's ski is ideal for upper-intermediate to advanced skiers who aim to tackle a whole new terrain and snow conditions.

What we like about the Vantage 90 Ti is its capability to be an all-mountain performer. With its 90mm underfoot and two metal sheets, this surely will impress a lot of skiers. Indeed, these skis are light, easy, and have a floaty tip, which allows the skis to be quick and playful. They are also maneuverable enough and the extra camber will make skiing through bumps more fun and will ease carving turns.

These skis are perfect for those who are improving their carving turns, and are adequate enough for other turn-types and terrains. They are also a good choice for snow up to six inches of light powder. The skis are light and have a nice rebound when at the end of a short turn.

In regards to the construction, they are made with Atomic's Prolite technology for lighter and stronger materials. Reinforcements are then added to key areas for optimum performance without adding weight. The Energy Backbone adds some extra power while the Titanium Tank Mesh adds stability and edge grip when you are at higher speeds. Finally, the Power Woodcore is loaded with energy and spring for each turn you make.

What we do not like about the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti is that if you already have the skill and ability to carve up a storm at higher speeds, these skis will have trouble keeping up and will start chattering. They are also not ideal for flotation in deeper snow due to their structure.

Overall, if you are looking to explore a bit more on your skills, these skis will be the perfect coach. They will provide you with stability and fun on the groomers, which makes them perfect for intermediate to advanced skiers.


 

7. Elan Ripstick 94 Womens Skis

Elan Ripstick 94 Womens Skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 134 - 94 -109mm

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Ability Level: Upper Intermediate-Expert

Elan was founded in 1945 in Slovenia. This company specializes in sporting goods and is best known for its skis and snowboards. The Elan Ripstick 94 made it on our list of the best women's all-mountain skis because they are some of the most fun and versatile skis, and suit all skill levels.

What we like about the Ripstick 94 is that they are packed with new and interesting technologies, such as the Amphibio Rocker that will allow you to easily and smoothly shift from turn to turn. They also feature new TNT technology, which consists of a Tubelite Woodcore that puts two carbon tubes through the length of the skis for stability, combined with Vapor Tip inserts that make the skis lightweight and able to eliminate tip wobble while increasing maneuverability. The tip shape and rockered edge also makes them float perfectly even on deeper snow.

The Ripstick 94 perform excellently through all varieties of cruddy snow. You will love how light they feel on your feet and how much fun they are to use! Indeed, they can move smoothly between sharp carved turns and provide versatility through various terrains.

What we do not like about the Elan Ripstick 94 is that the inside ski has a more rockered edge which makes it difficult to carve, although the outside ski easily grasps and digs into snow.

Overall, we love how lightweight and responsive these big mountain skis are. They are fast in short turns and smoothly stable on longer turns, making them an absolute ripper ski for advanced to expert skiers, and a wonderful coach for upper-intermediate skiers.


 

Best for men

8. Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 135.5 - 104 - 125.5mm

Weight: 4 lbs.

Ability Level: Intermediate-Expert

Blizzard is a sports equipment company that specializes in the production of alpine skiing gear, specifically skis and accessories like ski bags and backpacks. The company was founded in 1945 in Austria.

What we like about the Blizzard Rustler 10 is that this ski uses a Carbon Flipcore DRT construction. This Dynamic Release Technology (DRT) allows to easily release the edge. Plus, its wood core has a single layer of Titanal metal that tapers and ends as it reaches the tips and tails. This helps keep the chatter down and dampen vibration from varied snow. Besides, the unidirectional carbon fiber at the tip and tail boosts performance and allows for easier turns.

The Rustler 10 can perform at speed and excels at short, quick turns. Having more length also helps increase stability. With this pair of skis, you will also find it quick to transition from edge to edge while carving. It is responsive and has a fantastic edge hold. Plus, the relatively stiffer tails give out the power that you will feel in a deep carve. Although it has a moderately soft flex in the tips and a bit of rocker up front, it still performs well through the crud with the help of the Titanal layer that dampens the vibrations.

The Rustler 10 have a 104-mm underfoot and 135-mm tip that keep the skis afloat even through soft, fresh snow. Plus, the Carbon Flipcore DRT allows the ski to flex side to side and will let you turn in soft snow with grace. Its soft tip is forgiving during takeoff and landing, while the lighter tail also helps you land perfectly.


What we do not like about these men's all-mountain skis from Blizzard is that at 188cm in length, some may find the skis too short. However, that does not affect their performance, although some may find the length to be an important factor.

In conclusion, this is a great all-around ski that is easily maneuvered. It performs at its best on soft snow, it is light and soft enough for air or for skiing between bumps, and it is also user-friendly and suitable for an intermediate or advanced skier.


 

9. Kastle FX96 HP Ski

Kastle FX96 HP Ski

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 133 - 96 - 119mm

Weight: 3.7 lbs

Ability Level: Expert

Kastle was created in 1924 in Austria, focusing mainly on skis. The brand surprisingly disappeared from the market in 1998, but returned in 2007, once again producing skis and setting an impressive standard for industry leaders.

What we like about the Kastle FX96 HP is that this ski is constructed with a crisscrossed carbon-fiberglass laminate, which is wrapped around beech, poplar, and paulownia wood core, which dampens the ski and reduces its weight. The Hollowtech 3.0 also increases stability and optimizes swing weight with minimal chatter at high speed. Its blended rocker and camber help ease transitions and its short turn radius offers more powerful carving. Plus, the 3D-shaped core adds to its torsional rigidity.

The Kastle Fx96 HP performs excellently at high speed, is damp and stable in any snow condition, and the edge seems to hold adequately when down on steep chalky terrain. It has a 96-mm underfoot but can still transition easily from edge to edge. These skis provide plenty of power transmission, pop and edge hold, which allow them to carry themselves through nasty conditions and absorb vibrations well. Additionally, the FX96 HP are consistent in terms of energy and stability.

What we do not like about the Kastle FX96 HP men's all-mountain skis is that they have a burly and unforgiving nature and require more power to direct them through the snow. Thus, they are better suited for expert skiers as they are more able to control these types of skis. With that being said, the Kastle FX96 HP perform superbly in all conditions and are another perfect choice for all-mountain skis.


 

10. Rossignol Experience 88 TI

Rossignol Experience 88 TI

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 127 - 88 - 117mm

Weight: 4.07 lbs

Ability Level: Intermediate-Expert

Skis Rossignol S.A, or Rossignol, has been around since 1907. It was founded in France and mainly manufactures Alpine, Nordic, and snowboard equipment, as well as outerwear and accessories. The Rossignol Experience 88Ti is one of their popular products that has been redesigned to offer you a better skiing experience.

What we like about the Experience 88 Ti is that this pair of skis can handle high-speed skiing as it is consistently damp and stable. With plenty of camber underfoot and a bit of rocker on its tip and tail, the edge hold is pretty powerful through speedy turns. The ski feels powerful and responsive and is quick to transition from edge to edge. Some changes were made to the tips of the Experience 88 Ti to make it more floaty and easy to maneuver in powder. Besides, its narrow waist and progressive sidecut will allow you to navigate through smaller and medium-sized bumps.

Regarding the construction, Rossignol uses its Line Control technology along with the Titanal Layup, which consists of a vertical laminate of metal that is placed in the center of its wood core, making the ski stable and powerful. The Air Tip VAS is said to lighten the swing weight and absorbs impacts, while the integrated Visco dampener will filter terrain shocks and stabilize the ski. The changes to the skis design and material made it more enjoyable in a wide range of conditions.

What we do not like about the Rossignol Experience 88Ti is that if you are not a particularly aggressive skier, you might find that the ski is not poppy nor performing enough for you; It will also require more of your energy to keep it under control through the crud.

Overall, Rossignol has made the Experience 88 Ti a better all-mountain ski that is stable at speed and carving. It is also designed to be more versatile and is best suited for an advanced or expert skier.


 

Best for beginners

11. Salomon QST 99

Salomon QST 99

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 139 - 99 -120mm

Weight: 3.7 lbs

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

The QST 99 have been redesigned, along with the entire line of QST skis to make this more powerful, relatively lightweight, and a quick all-mountain ski that is suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers.

What we like about the Salomon QST 99 is that this ski has been made with C/FX Superfiber, a carbon and basalt laminate, to further stabilize the ski, increase vibration absorption, and give it more energy. The old Koroyd tip technology was also replaced with a Cork Damplifier to make it lighter and damper. Given its 99mm waist, the ski is quite quick to transition from edge to edge, and fun for carving down soft groomers at moderate speed with medium radius turns.

The Salomon QST 99 have the ability to float easily through the deepest powder days, due to their large rockered shovel and wide waist. They also make it easy to slash the pow in open terrains and quickly shift to short poppy turns. They are comfortable in the air and have enough pop to get you airborne. They are also light enough to maneuver and the soft flex pattern increases their playfulness. Additionally, they have a solid torsional stiffness and can lay over carving turns.

What we do not like about the QST 99 men's all-mountain skis is that the tips are still quite chattery, despite Salomon's addition of the Cork Damplifier. They increased slightly in stability, but do not hold a solid edge in steep and chalky off-piste run and lack quality edge hold on firm conditions.

Overall, these skis are adequate for beginners and intermediate skiers as they perform well in easy conditions. They were designed simpler, but are still fun in soft and predictable snow conditions.


 

Best for intermediate

12. Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 139 - 106 - 126mm

Weight: 4.1 lbs

Ability Level: Intermediate-Expert

Rossignol has been around for over a century, providing quality Alpine and Nordic skis, as well as snowboards and mountain clothing. With that being said, we're sure that the Rossignol Soul 7 HD will be an excellent coach for intermediate skiers.

What we like about the Soul 7 HD is the fantastic floatation and maneuverability. This ski's 106mm waist width allows it to be floaty, while the centered sidecut makes it easy to maneuver and operate shorter turns. Plus, the Air Tip 2.0 makes it light and lowers swing weight.

The skis have an 18-meter turn radius at 180cm in length, which allows for incredible speed control. We also found the underfoot to provide some stability due to its carbon-alloy combination in the core. Thus, they excel at short radius and quick carving turns as the skis feel damp underfoot and are capable of absorbing vibrations.

The Soul 7 HD have a playful characteristic. They will make you recover quickly when you make a mistake as they're quite soft and damp. This model is one of the most maneuverable amongst skis with the same width, which makes it the best skis for intermediate skiers or those who like to play at moderate speeds.

What we do not like about the Rossignol Soul 7 HD is that when ramping up speed, the tips begin to chatter. Besides, this is not the most powerful ski. If you want to charge, you'll need a heavier and stiffer ski. You also won't feel a full contact on edge because of its tip shape and rocker.

Overall, its design is soft and has consistent flex that is ideal for big powder days. Plus, it is light and easy to use in soft, deep snow, and provides a stable platform that will surely guide you along as you polish your skills.


 

Best budget all-mountain skis

13. Line Sick Day 88

Line Sick Day 88

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 127 - 88 - 113mm

Weight: 3.6 lbs

Ability Level: Beginner-Advanced

Line Skis, or simply Line, is a company that was founded in 1995 in New York. The brand mainly produced short, twin-tip skis, and then expanded to making full-length skis for freestyle skiers, as well as ski poles, streetwear, and accessories. The Line Sick Day 88 is the best budget-friendly pair of skis they've got.

What we like about the Sick Day 88 is that it is an all-around ski that is not expensive but still offers good characteristics. Its 88mm waist makes it versatile enough to perform even in hard snow. It is also a great option if you like to play at moderate speed.

Plus, it has a powerful edge hold for short turns, is stable, and absorbs bumps well when you reach higher speed. We also found it to perform well when carving on piste, giving us a smooth edge-to-edge transition due to its soft tip and little rocker. The skis are also wide enough to float over powder and lively over bumps.

In terms of construction, this ski has a stiff, almost rocker-free tail which allows for easier turns and carving into ice, thus giving a versatile 17-m turn radius. It is also constructed with a light Aspen MacroBlock wood core that gives plenty of pop.

What we do not like about the Line Sick Day 88 is that it is not ideal for hard-chargers and would not be comfortable on unforgiving snow. You will also feel a bit of tip flap and chatter when you are at top speed. But overall, it is a viable choice for beginners who want a solid option that will give ample support as you start to develop techniques and skills.


 

14. Dynastar Menace 90

Dynastar Menace 90

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 118- 90 -108mm

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Ability Level: Intermediate

For playfulness and fun, the Menace 90 is a good choice. If you are an all-mountain skier who is looking for an affordable pair of skis that is versatile enough for tricks, the Menace 90 has you covered.

What we like about the Dynastar Menace 90 is that this ski has a lighter build due to its Cap construction. It is an all-mountain twin-tip ski with a 90-mm underfoot. Besides, it has no metal between its poplar wood core, which allows the ski to have more snap and pop. The ski can easily take on moguls, trees, powder, and groomers and keeps turns interesting with its 23-meter turn radius. Also, it is lengthy at 180mm, but its quickness and lightweight will make you feel right at home and will help you make easy turns with a smooth finish.

In addition, the Menace 90 provide that forgiving soft-snow performance, offer a quick edge-to-edge transition, and are easily maneuverable.

What we do not like about the Menace 90 is that because of the metal-free Cap construction, they score low on torsional stiffness and edge hold. Other than that, if you are looking for an all-mountain ski that will give you fun, speed, and versatility, the Menace 90 will surely get you wherever you want to go on the mountain.


 

15. Rossignol Black Ops Smasher

Rossignol Black Ops Smasher

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 119 - 90 - 109mm

Weight: 4 lbs

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Rossignol has replaced its 7 series line of skis with the Black Ops series. The way Rossignol made these new ones more traditional, in terms of shape and rocker profile, is really interesting.

What we like about the Black Ops Smasher is that they have a soft and flexible construction. The poplar wood core and Cap construction help balance the skis' weight, flex, and stability. Besides, they give a medium pop factor and the powder rockers allow them to effortlessly float. Additionally, their centered sidecuts will give you playful maneuverability and control. They are a stable pair of skis with good flex, and they rip hard turns quickly. They also have a good tip-to-tail shape and allow you to smoothly transition from edge to edge.

The Black Ops Smasher scored high for stability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold. Thus it is a good choice of skis, especially for aggressive skiers. It is also suitable to ski at the park as it is playful and buttery smooth.

What we do not like about the Black Ops Smasher is that they may be too wide for beginners and too slow to turn for upper-intermediate skiers. But then again, their lightweight construction, soft and flexible waist, and minimal camber underfoot make these a good value option for all-mountain skis.


 

16. Head Kore 93

Head Kore 93

Click to view on amazon.com.

Dimensions: 133 - 93 -115mm

Weight: 3.5 lbs

Ability Level: Beginner-Expert

The last best budget all-mountain skis on our list are the Head Kore 93. The Head Sport or Head Ski company was founded in 1950 in Maryland, and has its headquarters in Austria. Head produces a wide range of products, specifically for skiing, snowboarding, swimming, tennis, and other racket sports. The Head Kore 93 are some of the skis that have quickly gained a legendary status.

What we like about the Head Kore 93 is that they are light, stable, and quick enough for a wide variety of snow conditions and terrains. The materials used for these skis contain no metal. Instead these skis are composed of a Karuba wood core, Koroyd, Carbon, and Graphene, which is a light and strong material.

The Kore 93 have a slightly different shape and size compared to the bigger skis on the Kore series. Even without Titanal metal, they still hold a surprisingly good edge and perform well in a majority of conditions. You can make quick and easy turns with these skis and have lots of energy throughout their arc. The camber underfoot will surely give you that pop when carving a fresh groomer. Plus, you can transition from edge to edge quickly and adjust your turn, shape, and width fairly well.

These skis are adequately easy to drive through all sorts of crud with minimal tip deflection, and despite having a 93-mm underfoot, they still do an excellent job staying afloat thanks to their large tip and generous tip rocker. The wood core and camber underfoot, with soft-rockered tips and tails, give these plenty of pop and are super light, which makes it easy to throw around.

What we do not like about the Kore 93 is that they lack stability at the speed limit and tend to flop around a bit. They also do not have the most effective dampening capability when blasting down in cruddy conditions.
Overall, the Kore 93 are still fun to ride in powder, are a blast to play around the mountain, and can still handle chopped-up pow and frozen chunder. They are reasonably priced and may be the best value for a men's all-mountain ski.


Best all-mountain skis Comparison table

FotoAll-Mountain Skies Ability Level DimensionsWeight
Volkl M5 Mantra

1. Volkl M5 Mantra

Intermediate-Expert134 - 96 - 117mm4.47 lbs.
Atomic Punx Jr

2. Atomic Punx Jr

Intermediate-Advanced122 - 85 - 112mm2 lbs
Armada ARV 84 Junior Skis

3. Armada ARV 84 Junior Skis

Beginner-Intermediate120 - 84 -109mm2.5 lbs
Atomic Backland Girl Skis

4. Atomic Backland Girl Skis

Intermediate-Advanced99 - 78 -91mm2 lbs.
Salomon Womens Stance 94

5. Salomon Womens Stance 94

Advanced-Expert124 - 94 - 106mm3.7 lbs
Atomic Vantage 90 Ti Ski

6. Atomic Vantage 90 Ti Ski

Advanced-Expert124.5 - 90 - 111mm3.5 lbs
Elan Ripstick 94 Womens Skis

7. Elan Ripstick 94 Womens Skis

Upper Intermediate-ExpertDimensions: 134 - 94 -109mm3.3 lbs
Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

8. Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

Intermediate-Expert135.5 - 104 - 125.5mm4 lbs.
Kastle FX96 HP Ski

9. Kastle FX96 HP Ski

Expert133 - 96 - 119mm3.7 lbs
Rossignol Experience 88 TI

10. Rossignol Experience 88 TI

Intermediate-Expert127 - 88 - 117mm4.07 lbs
Hyke&Byke Snowmass Sleeping Bag

11. Hyke&Byke Snowmass Sleeping Bag

MummyDown Fill3.23 lbs
Rossignol Soul 7 HD

12. Rossignol Soul 7 HD

Intermediate-Expert139 - 106 - 126mm4.1 lbs
Line Sick Day 88

13. Line Sick Day 88

Beginner-Advanced127 - 88 - 113mm3.6 lbs
Dynastar Menace 90

14. Dynastar Menace 90

Intermediate118- 90 -108mm3.3 lbs
Rossignol Black Ops Smasher

15. Rossignol Black Ops Smasher

Beginner-Intermediate119 - 90 - 109mm4 lbs
Head Kore 93

16. Head Kore 93

Beginner-Expert133 - 93 -115mm3.5 lbs

FAQs

What is the difference between freeride and all-mountain skis?

Freeride skis have an underfoot of 100-120mm, so they tend to be wider than all-mountain skis. Also, the majority of freeride skis are designed to be used mainly off-piste, although they also perform well on piste. Free riders are also known as big mountain riders; they are mostly at home in the backcountry, riding chutes, tree runs, and can tackle some demanding terrains. Thus, freeride skis will have a better edge hold and a medium stiff flex because this allows for faster edge-to-edge transition at high speeds. Meanwhile, all-mountain skis have more of a mid-flex to make a compromise and do everything you can throw at it.

 

How long should all-mountain skis be?

All-mountain skis are wider, ranging between 80 to 100mm, and often, but not always, feature a rocker at the tip to help them stay afloat on soft snow. The length, on the other hand, depends on your level. If you are a beginner-intermediate skier, the ski should be two to four inches shorter than your height to maximize agility and allow you to progress. If you're an advanced skier, your skis should be longer or be the same as your height. They could also be 2 inches shorter to be more stable and floaty. And if you're an expert who can use about any ski, you can actually add a few inches to boost floatation and allow for solid stability at higher speed.

 

Buying Guide

With a basic understanding or knowledge of the different types of skis, their constructions, and how to choose the right length, you will be able to make your pick from the wide array of skis on the market.

Choose a ski based on your preferred terrain: You should consider the snow conditions where you want to ski most. It is important to match your equipment to the type of terrain you'll be skiing on and the snow condition.

All-mountain skis are designed to do everything on the slopes and have the ability to take on just about any condition on the mountain.

All-mountain wide skis can seek out powder and plow through crud and bumps, and can carve and turn as well. Thus, they are your ‘do-anything-anywhere' type of ski. Their widths range from 95mm to 105mm, and they have the ability to do just about anything.

Freestyle skis mostly have twin tips that can ski forward and backward. They are mostly for skiers who enjoy spending as much time in the air as in parks.

Powder skis have over 111-mm underfoot for maximum flotation and stability in deep snow. Plus, they have lots of rocker.

Race skis will allow you to go as fast as you can at all time, from the starting to the finish line.

Alpine touring skis are usually an extremely lightweight type of skis. They come in a wide range of waist widths with equal abilities for going up and skiing down through fresh snow.

Gender-specific skis

No matter your gender, you should always be comfortable with what type of ski best suits your abilities.

Kids skis are soft and forgiving to help them grow, progress, and love the sport. There is no dissimilarity in the construction between boys' and girls' skis. Most kids skis are perfect for all levels of young skiers, but the most daring and aggressive young rippers typically ski on wider or freestyle-oriented skis.

Women's skis are specifically made for ladies. Even the most aggressive women skiers should be on women's skis because of women's anatomical shape, weight, and stance.

Men's skis can also be unisex skis, but they are more geared towards men in terms of abilities, shapes, sizes, and adaptability to any type of terrain.

 

Skill level

Beginner skiers are first-time skiers. They are very new to the sport and are still learning the basics.

Intermediate skiers have more control over their skis, although they still ski cautiously on more challenging terrains at moderate speeds.

Advanced/Upper-intermediate skiers have good basic techniques and are more experienced. They are also starting to explore off-trail skiing, are starting to make more aggressive carves on groomers, and ski at moderate speeds on advanced trails in optimum snow conditions.

Advanced skiers are better able to maintain solid technique on more advanced terrains in most snow conditions and ski at higher speeds. Although, they are not the most aggressive skiers.

Expert skiers can ski safely and keep control at high speeds on any terrain and in any snow conditions. They have stronger techniques and aggressiveness in regards to attacking the mountain.

Find your preferred ski length: It is a general rule to choose your ski's length by checking if it reaching between your chin and the top of your head. The starting point for sizing will be your height. Most brands provide a general chart that comes up about the height of your nose.

Shorter skis are more lively and fast at turning in tight spots, while longer skis are floatier on deep snow.

 

Waist width

Skis under 85mm: Best suited for skiers who spend their time mostly on the groomed trails. Suitable for beginners because they're lighter and easier to control, but also adequate for expert skiers. High-powered carving skis usually have this range of waist width, which allows them to be agile and wide enough for the crud and pops up on the groomers.

85-95mm: Mainly used for on-trail skiing, but are also capable for the groomers in the right snow conditions. They are maneuverable on and off the trail, and versatile enough on powder.

96-110mm: Ideal all-mountain waist width for versatility. They have the ability to make medium-to-long radius turns on the groomers, and even float on the deepest of powder.

111 mm: Skis within this waist widths range are suitable for ungroomed terrains. They provide the most floatation in deep powder and are stable enough when things get cruddy or bumpy. They are not the most agile skis, but they are easily manageable.

FIS Legal: Refers to the particular race ski that is in compliance with the FIS regulations for that year.

 

Rocker profile

Rocker: A slightly bent up camber shape that lifts off the surface when the ski is laid down flat on the ground. It makes the ski more maneuverable and helps in its floatation to make it easier for you to speed up. It also absorbs vibrations.

Cambered: This type of ski has the most traditional shape. The center of the ski is raised when it is lying flat on the ground, un-weighted. Cambered skis have the most stability, edge hold, and rebound for on-trail skiing.

Tip rocker/Camber: These skis have a rockered tip with camber on the rest of the ski. This will allow you to turn quickly while the camber gives out stability.

Rocker/Camber/Rocker: These skis have a rocker in the tips and tails. Rockered tips allow for quicker turns and float better in soft snow. Camber underfoot gives stability and edge hold, while a rocker in the tail easily releases the ski from turns and provides better maneuverability. It is the most versatile combination.

Full rocker: They have a U-shape, and their tips and tails rise up when the base of the ski is flat on the ground, usually dramatically. These are mostly used in deep powder as they are floaty enough and have a surfy, playful feel.

 

Tail profile

Twin-tip tail: This is where the tail of the ski is turned up as much as the shovel is. This allows you to ski and land backwards. It will also help your ski release a turn very quickly when you are in bumps or moguls.

Flared: This type has moderately turned-up tail shapes and is slightly tapered. It is a common and versatile tail shape that has a grip at the end of a strong carve turn and will easily release the ski.

Flat tail: These skis are usually aggressive carving skis or race skis. It gives you grip and ample power and requires a little extra effort to exit. They perform best at high speeds.

 

Turn radius

This is measured in meters. It measures the size of an arc that a ski will make when it is tipped on edge. Skis with smaller numbers provide shorter turns while a higher number will make longer turns.

Less than 12 meters:  very short turning skis.

Between 13-21 meters:  medium turning skis that offer the most versatile turn shape.

More than 22 meters:  long turning skis.

 

Flex

This depends on your weight, on how aggressive your skiing style is, and in what conditions you ski.

Very soft: Best for true beginner skiers or children. They are easy to use and more forgiving.

Soft: Best for beginners and improving intermediate skiers. They are very easy to control at slow to medium speeds and will require less energy or technique.

Medium flex: For skiers who will be skiing at a range of speeds, they offer adequate stability at speed and are easily controlled at slower speeds.

Stiff: These skis are most responsive at higher speeds, and thus require speed and technique.

Very stiff: These are for expert skiers, hard-chargers, or the heaviest or most aggressive skiers.


I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

comments


Leave a comment