Zip Down the Slopes on the Best Skis
Before you throw yourself into that bottomless powder pit, dizzying big mountain face or ceiling-free big air, you better be sure that you have the right pair of sticks locked to your feet. These days, you can get a specific pair of skis for each of the aforementioned scenarios. But in an overflowing market place, you had better know which make and model you're looking for. Here is a simple lists of the best skis in 2021 by category.
K2 A.M.P. Rictor Skis
Volkl Kenja Women's Skis
Line Honey Badger Ski's
Nordica Patron Skis
Volkl 2021 Kendo 88 Skis
K2 A.M.P. Stinger Skis
Rossignol Pursuit 11 Skis
Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis Mens
Blizzard Viva Sport IQ Skis
Elan Zest Skis
Blizzard Bonafide Skis
Armada TST Skis
Kastle MX 88 Skis
Rossignol Experience 98 Skis
Dynastar Cham 87 Skis
Fischer CRS Skating VASA Cross Country Skis 2013
Rossignol Delta Course Classic NIS AR Skis
Atomic Skintec Skis
Salomon Equipe 10 Classic Cross Country Skis
Madshus Cadenza 120 Cross-Country Skis - Classic Touring (For Women)
G3 Empire Ski
Atomic Ritual Ski
Volkl Shiro Skis 2013
Rossignol S7 W Skis
Icelantic Nomad RKR Skis
4FRNT Hoji Skis
K2 Pon2oon Skis
Dynafit Huascaran Skis
K2 SideSeth Skis 2013
Atomic Atlas Skis
Atomic Automatic Skis 2013
Liberty Mutant Ski
Armada Magic J Skis 2013
Nordica La Niña Skis
Blizzard Gunsmoke Skis 2013
Rossignol Scratch Skis
Salomon Threat Skis
Scott Jib TW Skis
Armada ARW Skis
Line Park Afterbang Park Skis
Best Ski of 2021 Reviewed in Detail
If you want some skis that will excel in some of the toughest conditions, then the K2 A.M.P. Rictor Ski should be at the top of your list. They are designed with an All-Terrain Rocker that will have you charging through all kinds of landscapes and conditions. These skis do a fantastic job of cutting through the ice and they don’t even get bogged down in slushy conditions. Because of the Progressive Sidecut, they have a great edge that leads you gracefully in and out of turns. This sidecut especially enhances the performance of wider waisted skis. The Mod Technology does a great job of absorbing vibrations upon impact.
The Volkl Kenja is a women’s ski that will charge downhill anywhere on the mountain. The Bio-Logic Geometry, with a wider tip and narrower tail, reduces the stress on the knee and leg muscles which keeps fatigue at bay and keeps you on the slopes all day. The narrower tail allows you to come out of the turn with less effort. The Tip Rocker helps you initiate turns quicker. The Power Box construction provides great stability and edge hold when maintaining higher speeds.
Whether you are off piste or tearing up the groomers, the Line Prophet 98 is your best shot. You can ski utilizing a variety of turn sizes and shapes with the special 5Cut Side Cut feature. The ski is extra durable with the Fatty Edge and Fatty Base for extra thickness and durability. The Directional Flex allows for a softer tip that floats and takes you into your turns with ease. The stiffer tail provides you with a great deal of stability and power at higher speeds.
These skis will stand out in the snow. In fact, they will scream at you with their design and color. They definitely live up to their appearance. You can charge groomers with confidence and ease, even with all the bumps and chop. They are a great carving ski since they are very quick from edge to edge. The Nordica Patron Skis are a very efficient ski in tight spaces, especially since they are so lightweight and swing around very quickly. The mellow tip rise also makes them an extremely stable ski.
This ski performs well in wet snow, ice, and powder. The Volkl RTM Skis are easy to roll from edge to edge which make it a very clean carving ski. The full rocker profile gives you a smooth ride no matter where you are on the mountain. The Extended Wood Core and the Dual XTD Transmission Powered by Steel results in an extremely forgiving ski even at top speeds. The extended low profile makes the ski easy to maneuver.
You don’t need to sink a lot of money into your first pair of skis. The K2 Stinger is one of the more affordable beginner men’s ski on the market. It features a Catch Free Rocker with a raised tip and tail that makes initiating turns easier and results in better stability throughout the turn. The ski is constructed with a Glass Web weave which makes it a more forgiving ski. The construction also includes a special suspension system that absorbs vibrations which results in better control.
The Rossignol Pursuit 11 Carbon Xelium Ski is a men’s beginner ski that will take you to that next level. The combination of technologies make this a powerful first ski. This ski features a Power Turn Rocker that consists of a slight rocker or rise at the Diamond Tip that makes for easier turns and better control. The camber is the area of the ski that generates an upward arch. The more camber there is, the better the edge contact and grip on the snow. This ski excels in the power and grip department because of its high traditional camber. The Easydrive Technology provides a softer sidecut for smoother transitions.
You might just melt the snow with this smoking hot pair of skis. This unisex ski is known for its versatility that results from its special All Mountain Rocker feature. The tip naturally rises when weight is applied to the ski. This gives the skier an additional lift in the snow, preventing the edges from catching, which makes turning a lot easier. With this ski, you can also progress into more challenging terrains with its Step Down Sidewall that enhances the grip of the ski’s edges onto the snow, which is extremely important when learning to carve turns. The Cap Fiber construction also makes it a very forgiving, lightweight ski.
This ski is a perfect introduction to the world of women’s skiing. The Blizzard Viva Sport IQ is constructed with an IQ Sandwich Composite Sidewall that creates a very soft, forgiving ski. Between the special sidewall and the stiff edges, this ski offers great hold for beginners. The IQ Integral Composite Core makes this ski an incredible lightweight ski that is stable and easily controlled. You will get in a lot of smooth runs with this ski. The Power Frame increases stability and enhances grip.
This ski will keep you on your feet. The Elan Zest QT is a women’s ski designed with just the right amount of rebound when cruising down the slopes. The Early Rise Rocker will float you right over the snow and quickly transition you in a position to change directions quicker. The narrow waist provides for an easier, controlled, and more manageable turning radius. The Full Power Cap Construction which includes the Dualite Woodcore with fiberglass produces a very lightweight and forgiving ski.
Blizzard Bonafide Skis - Best All-Mountain Skis
You don’t always have to sacrifice performance with a one ski quiver. The Blizzard Bonafide is the best versatile ski on the market because it performs well on any terrain whether it is freestyle, backcountry, powder, or groomers. Blizzard sets itself apart from all other brands with its unique rocker molding technique which gives the ski a relaxed, natural bend rather than a forced, artificial shape even from the beginning of its construction. The ski is manufactured with a rocker tip, and even less common, a rocker tail, which enhances forward and backwards maneuverability, especially when gliding atop deeper snow. The Flipcore 3D Technology and cambered underfoot increases edge hold and stability, making it a great ski for carving on groomers.
These skis would even make Travis Steeger proud. Made in his memory, the Armada TST skis have a rockered tip that guides you smoothly through crud and floating over hard-packed heavy snow. The rockered tip also enhances your pivoting capabilities. With a short turning radius, the TST has great control in turns with the flat tail giving it just the right amount of pop. The traditional camber is efficient enough to hold edges well on groomers and even produce a good grip on ice. This versatile ski will slay the mountain with its carving ability. The Amarada TST generates great rebound on moguls with plenty of playfulness.
Kastle MX 88 Skis - Best All-Mountain Skis
Not the cheapest ski on the market by any stretch, but the Kastle MX 88 lives up to its price and really delivers. The technology of this ski features a larger Hollowtech oval which cuts down on the weight and vibration of the ski and results in better stability. The width of the MX 88 makes it an extremely versatile ski that floats well in powder and carves well in hard-packed snow. This ski runs solely off of standard camber without the addition of rocker in the tips. The elliptical radius sidecut generates quicker turns resulting in more pop and better control.
The Rossignol Experience 98 will take you wherever you want to go and at an affordable price. The Auto Turn Rocker makes turning easier, floating effortlessly, and carving more precise. The extended sidecut helps grip the snow better when skiing at higher speeds. The skis provide just the right balance between stiffness and flexibility in any terrain or condition. The Rossignol Experience 98 produces a very powerful smooth run, even in the toughest conditions.
The Dynastar Cham 87 is a great choice for a ski that does it all. It is designed with a long rockered tip, traditional camber, and a narrow flat tail. This ski has a unique sidecut combination with standard on the underfoot and the reverse on the tip and tail. This unique ski carves and floats exceptionally well and has absolute control over the terrain instead of the terrain controlling the ski. This ski can truly take your skiing to the next level by enhancing your control and grip on edges and your precision in carving. These skis transition well on any terrain and in any condition.
The Fischer CRS Skating Vasa Ski with its features is the total ski package. The Air Core Basalite creates air channels that reduce the overall weight of the ski. It also results in the ideal flex in different temperatures. The chassis is reinforced with Power Edge for durability. The World Cup sidecut which is arrow-shaped enhances the performance and dynamics of the ski. The Speed Grinding base finish optimizes the gliding performance.
The Rossignol Delta Course Classic NIS AR Ski will have you crossing the finish line in no time. The Active Cap construction delivers flexibility while the tip and tail float and glide effortlessly over unknown terrain. It also maximizes the directional stability. The core is made of a Honeycomb construction that produces a very lightweight ski with added strength. The World Cup Numeric Finish optimizes the gliding properties of the ski. The specialized kick zone enhances the kick and grip on the snow.
The Atomic Skintec Classic Ski is all about versatility. The unique thing about this ski is that it offers interchangeable mohair plates. One plate is to enhance your glide while the other enhances your grip. The strips are easy and quick to interchange for abrupt changes in conditions. The step down sidewall results in a short kick zone that maximizes grip and allows for a long glide surface for speed. The kick and glide are great under all conditions.
You can’t beat the Salomon Equipe 10 Classic Cross Country Ski when it comes to long distances and harsh weather. You get an easy, solid kick with its Heel Toe Camber and a fast, consistent glide. This is an extremely lightweight ski making it easy to maneuver. Special technology keeps your feet warm even in the harshest conditions. In the grip zone, there is a rubber grip base which outperforms wax in frigid temperatures.
The Madshus Cadenza 120 Cross Country Skis are ranked at the top for the advanced female skier who wants to maintain speed while cross country cruising. The sidecut delivers great stability when kicking and gliding. The skis are short and easy to control and maneuver. The flex is soft and forgiving which makes turning a breeze. The tip and tail are soft for great flotation and easy turning as well. The skis are made with a fiberglass top and bottom along with an air-channeled wood core that make the ski extremely lightweight.
G3 Empire Ski - Best Freeride Skis
The G3 Empire Skis are a must in deep powder. G3’s widest ski is made with just the right amount of waist to have you efficiently floating right over the white stuff. The Sweet Rise 2, the rocker type that is designed with a lower and shorter arch, and an increased rise in the tail and tip, will have you floating effortlessly over large amounts of powder. This ski also has plenty of pop when carving those turns on steep natural terrain. The PowerRide construction consists of a mix of double sheeted titanium, fiberglass, and wood.
The Atomic Ritual will have you attacking all areas of the mountain with confidence and ease. The All Mountain Rocker provides skiers the ultimate performance on versatile terrain. The progressive sidecut enhances the skiers stability, edge hold, and acceleration while performing turns off piste. The special shape of the Titanium Backbone technology results in increased stability and maximum edge grip when turning. This ski combines just the right amount of rigidity and flex to make this a superb ski even in the most challenging conditions.
You can travel on any terrain with the Volkl Shiro Skis. You will be in charge whether you are on or off piste. The vertical sidewalls are made out of poplar and beech wood along with Volkl’s famous Power/Tough Box Powered by Carbon. This results in a ski that provides great stability and edge grip. The low profile of the rocker along with the tapered tail reacts efficiently and maneuvers well when making quick, tight turns. The shovel tip will have you dodging trees like a pro.
This versatile ski will have you floating on air even at high speeds. You don’t have to put a lot of effort into Rossignol’s S7 W Ski because the Powder Rocker Technology puts just the right amount of camber in the center of the ski which makes them grip well on the snow. The rocker in the tip makes it float dreamily over the snow and the tail results in effortless steering and control. The Centered Sidecut focuses all the power in the center of the ski which leaves plenty of room for playfulness in the tip and tail. The Spoontip enhances your control in powder with its wide, raised tip.
Another super fun ski is the Icelantic Nomad RKR Ski. This is an extremely versatile ski with camber underfoot and a rockered tip and tail. You will be ripping and floating down the mountain in these skis in no time. These skis are made out of laminated poplar wood with extra thick sidewalls. The smooth, even flex produces a very stable ride in the backcountry or even in extreme skiing conditions. The snappy graphics will have you skiing with style and grace.
The 4FRNT Hoji excels when it comes to its turning capabilities. The unique full rocker that matches the sidecut makes the skis easy to swivel with amazingly low swing weight. With the Hi-Lite Core, the skis are lightweight and snappy. They will float and turn on a dime in deep snow. These skis can make extremely tight turns. The sweet spot is over the toes and will carve like crazy on groomed snow.
If you want a ski that surfs, smears, charges, and plays then the K2 Pon2oon is what you should consider. It surfs through the fresh soft snow and smoothly cruises through the chunky crud. It goes up on edge with incredible ease. These skis will charge like no other because the tips refuse to sink. With less taper and sidecut you can charge through crud or deep snow at unbelievable speeds. This is a great ski when zipping through tight trees.
The Dynafit Huascaran performs extremely well whether you are railing through crud or surfing through groomed terrain. Even though it has a pretty big turning radius, the ski maneuvers extremely well during turns. It is amazingly lightweight, even with its fat rockered out shovel. This is one of the lightest skis with a waist that fat. The Scoop Rocker and tail rocker enhance your ride over the powder while the pintail lets the ski float a bit higher in deeper snow. The triple-radius sidecuts provide great hold on steeps and ice.
The K2 Sideseth Ski floats well in powder, is stable at high speeds, turns easily in the trees, and handles well in chop and crud. The rocker tip is great for turning in steeper tight lines and in crud. These skis are easily maneuvered in tight spaces and really deliver with increasing speed. The skis are also extremely stable in the air. The ski is stiff for charging hard, thanks to the firm tail in addition to a minimal amount of rocker. The addition of the maple construction in the core enhances the strength and durability of this ski.
The Atomic Atlas will blast through anything. This ski will really charge with maximum stability on any snow surface, even on icy bumps. The ski is unbelievably stable at high speeds, even with a softer tip. It floats great with its long rockered tip and turns well in tight spaces. The powder rocker shape provides plenty of lift in powder. The ski is made with an extremely lightweight wood core which lessens the overall weight. The Titanium Mega Grip enhances edge grip and hold.
This ski is all about quickness when it comes to speed and/or turns. The scaled down rocker and stiffer profile keeps the ski stable when charging down the mountain. The Atomic Automatic provides lots of pop. The narrower, flatter tail comes around quicker with more power and holds the end of turns well. The skis are wider in the tip and waist providing plenty of float when charging deep powder. The Titanium Sprocket Power Booster makes the ski light and responsive, especially on edge.
For a ski that will have you floating on air instead of sinking in the snow, the Liberty Mutant Ski is at the top of the list. Starting with the bamboo laminate core, this ski provides a fast, smooth, and responsive run down the mountain. The Ptex construction makes it a fast ski while the poly-urethane bumper results in a smoother run. For maximum float, this ski is built with Bomb Rocker, which is full tip and tail rocker with slight positive camber underfoot. The full twin tip provides early rise for great flotation over the powder. The Cab4 centered stance allows for earlier turn initiation.
This ski is great for skiing through the side country or backcountry. The Armada Magic J lives up to its graphics with its roaring lion. These skis are stiff enough to have you taking command of the powder. Even though this is a wider ski, the ski is extremely lightweight due to its Hybrid Ultralight Core. Because of the width of the skis, they have a medium turn radius but the CK Stringer, which is a type of specialized weave, adds pop when completing your turns. The AR50 Sidewall Construction ensures a great edgehold every time.
While a La Niña has a substantial impact on the weather, the Nordica La Niña skis have a tremendous impact on the slope. This women’s ski is designed with powder in mind. They have a high rise rocker with a playful tip and tail along with a cambered center. The flex offers a medium stiffness for efficient turns and flotation prowess. The I-Core means the ski is made out of a very lightweight wood. The ABS Sidewall helps absorb all vibrations making for a smoother run.
You can blow this ski right out of the park. Park and powder blended together make for a wild day of skiing. The new wide rockered tip and tail make you feel like you are surfing playfully through the deep powder. The cambered midsection offers great edgehold and stability. Blizzard is famous for its Flipcore 3D Technology. This gives the ski a relaxed natural bend with the ski coming out of its mold during production the same shape as it went in.
The Rossignol Scratch Skis are at the top of the list for durability. The Power Turn Camber provides lots of power and energy with its high camber underfoot. The Jib Tip, which makes the tip rounder, is especially designed with park and pipe performances in mind. The Jib Absorption System provides an extra layer of rubber for increased shock absorption when landing the rails or big jumps. The special sidewalls decrease the swing weight and cut down on the weight of the skis overall making them easy to spin and control in the air and on the rails. The edges on this ski hold up great on the rails. The flex is a bit stiffer which is great for hitting big jumps.
You might be a threat to the park with these skis. The Composite Monocoque enhances edge grip and is very forgiving on take-offs and landings. The ski also features wide edges with Total Edge Reinforcement for durability, grip, and shock resistance. Traditional camber is great for the ultimate park experience. This ski has tons of camber for getting up on those rails and boxes.
This ski will tear up the park. The Scott Jib TW is very solid underfoot but soft in the tip and tail making it a fun, playful ski. It has a lightweight wood core for easy maneuverability. The traditional sandwich sidewall construction is made with materials that really cut down on the weight of the ski as well. The 3D sidecut makes a huge difference for ultimate edge control. The oversized base edge angle makes it a great ski for spinning. The reinforced steel edge protects the ski from breaking or chipping on the rails.
The Armada ARW is a lively and aggressive women’s ski. The AR 50 Sidewall Construction is great at minimizing swing weight for spins. The Hybrid Double Zone Core with its double density laminated wood creates a strong edge hold when carving. The S7 base is as tough as it comes. This base is excellent for sliding rails or boxes. The ski has oversized steel edges to endure riding the rails.
How about a blend of a skateboard and ski? The core of the Line Afterbang Ski is built like a skateboard with its seven ply layers of Maple veneer. This unique construction for a ski makes this ski extremely durable. The Carbon Olliebrand laminate and flexible construction make this an excellent ski for jumping rails and boxes. This ski has a ton of energy. It has a thicker base and edge for increased durability as well. The Butter Zones create great pivotal points that result in enhanced control when buttering a box.
There is no definite answer to the question ‘Which is the best ski?’ Our list of suggestions above includes skis of all different kinds, best suited for different individuals. The trick to maximize your skiing potential and enjoying the experience to the fullest lies in finding the pair of skis perfect for you. This depends on several factors that require education and guidance. So we are here to help!
Skis are differentiated into 3 types based on gender. Men’s skis are available for men with a range of abilities and interests. There are unisex skis in the market suitable for both men and women. However, it is recommended that women buy women-specific skis as they are customized for the female stance and anatomical shape.
Your skill level defines the ski you buy for yourself. Due to modern advancements, there is an array of ski styles for beginners to choose from but keep in mind your abilities before making your choice.
Novices who are relatively new to the sport trying to link smoother turns and approaching bumps and ice with caution fall into this category. The skis that best suit their skill level have softwood cores, narrow widths, standard camber profiles, and small amounts of tip rocker. These skills will help the user progress to more challenging terrains at higher speeds than before. If a mistake is made, these skis are very forgiving and therefore encourage the user to not quit.
Moderately skilled skiers who can ski confidently on their favorite terrains but may get off-track due to bumps fall into this category. Most skiers are at this level of skill so naturally, there is a huge range of skis available ideal for this skill level.
These skis are stiffer for a better grip with deeper side cuts and a shorter radius. They are wider in size with a fuller camber and rocker.
A skier with solid overall skills and confidence is considered an advanced level. The skis for them will be longitudinally and torsionally stiff for a better grip at higher speeds. This may also pose a challenge at slow paces. These skis are naturally not forgiving so caution is recommended to not overestimate yourself when buying your ski.
Length and size
The length of the ski depends on multiple factors including the ski profile, the user’s height and weight, skill level, and preferred terrain. As a general rule of thumb, beginners are recommended skis that are shorter than their height, that is, the tip of the ski racers just above their chin. This is because it is easier to take turns with shorter skis. Experts on the other hand tend to use taller skis for greater stability especially if the terrain is powder. Generally, the length of the ski should be within 10-15cm of your height.
Weight and height also correspond to the suitable ski length. If your weight is less than the average for your height, go for shorter skis for more stability, and vice versa.
Expert skiers who know their skis will go for a shorter ski if they want a ski with camber and no rocker, and vice versa.
Style and Feel
Skis are usually labeled using three measurements in the form tip width/waist width/tail width. The waist width is the narrowest measurement taken. A wider waist width offers steadiness while a narrower waist width aids in taking quick turns. The suitable waist width depends both on the skill level and the terrain. Here is a list of skis differentiated by waist width for your reference:
. 63-68mm (Race Carver Skis)
. 67-76mm (Piste Carver Skis)
. 75-86mm (Piste / All Mountain Skis)
. 83-96mm (All Mountain Skis)
. 95-110mm (Wide All-Mountain)
. 109-140mm (Powder / Backcountry Skis )
Flex refers to how stiff your ski will be. Ski with an ideal flex can be chosen by taking into account your weight, your style, and terrain conditions.
. Very Soft for beginners and children.
. Soft for beginners and moderately skilled skiers. Easy to control and requires average skills.
. Medium flex is ideal for varying speeds as it offers both control and stability.
. Stiff for experts aiming to ski at higher speeds.
. Very stiff for overweight individuals or aggressive skiers.
Turning radius and Side-cut
The turning radius of the ski is directly related to its side-cut which are the three measurements mentioned above. A bigger side cut results in shorter turns and vice versa. A short turn radius is 10-15m, a medium turn radius is 15-20m and a long turn radius is greater than 20m.
The profile of a ski refers to the flex pattern between the ski and the surface.
The space or tail profile of a ski determines how a ski exits a turn. There are three main shapes:
As the name suggests, twin tip skis have the same tip and tail. The tip and tail are rockered for easy backward moves. They are sought-after by freestyle skiers because of its ability to exit turns effortlessly.
This ski shape is very versatile in terms of usage on different terrains. Not only does it provide excellent grip but also lets the skier exit turns without straining too much.
Suitable solely for higher speeds, flat skis are preferred by race skiers. They require a certain level of time and skill to master.
Camber is the convex curvature at the base of a ski. A ski cambered at the center distributes pressure and provides edge hold on hard snows. Ski racers almost always prefer having cambered skis. Cambered skis may not proe to be very useful on powder snow.
Rocker is basically the reverse shape of camber in which the ski is lifted up at the sides from the ground for better maneuvering, turning and floatation. A rockered ski takes less effort from the skier by staying above the surface and absorbing vibrations from unexpected bumps.
Your riding style and preferred terrain
All-MountainAn all mountain ski is the jack-of-all-trades of skis. A wider waist width for stability and suitable for plenty of skiing styles, the all mountain ski is the second most sought after ski.
Also known as park skis, freestyle skis provide added agility and speed through their twin, durable tips and softer flex. These are generally on the shorter side of the spectrum.
If you are someone who enjoys varied terrains and slopes, this one's for you. Added stability comes from its longer length and stiffer flex.
These lightweight skis are made to go uphill and downhill.
Responsive and stable skis, piste skis have narrow waist width for precise turns and carving.
Made to glide over soft, powdery snow, powder skis have a wide waist width, rockered tips and almost no camber.
Q: What type of ski is best for a beginner?
It depends on a number of things, mainly ‘where’ you are going to ski and your height and weight. Generally, softer, short skis are recommended.
Q: What are ski poles?
Ski poles are stick-like equipment that help skiers with their timing and rhythm. They also help skiers move along flat surfaces in deep snows.
Q: What is the most important quality to look for in a ski?
Depends. Not the answer you wanted but it really does depend on the location and your skill level. In one word, versatility is important.