Looking to upgrade your ski gear? Or are you new to skiing and want to get the most out of your gear investment?
In either case, we know you want gear that will help you adapt to your environment with ease. The best snow skis will last you years if you treat them with care.
Choosing snow skis takes time and research. New shapes, materials, and designs can prove overwhelming. We’ve got you covered.
No one ski performs every task without imperfections. Do you know the difference between all mountain, big mountain, backcountry, carving, powder, and park and pipe skis?
Do you know which type is right for you?
This is your complete guide to choosing the best snow skis. We’ll break down the terminology used by retailers and recommend quality products for each category.
Let’s jump in!
More often than not, all-mountain refers to a broad range of skis. These skis range from modified carving skis to less exciting versions of big-mountain skis.
All-mountain skis work the majority of the time, in the majority of skiing conditions.
Think about your skiing ability and style. What is your preferred terrain and skiing condition? Knowing these answers will help you narrow down the right skis for you.
The anatomy of most all-mountain skis today include traditional camber with either an early-rise tip or tail rocket. This means easy handling and turning in many different conditions.
Big Mountain Skis
Big mountain skis remain steady at high speeds. They’re built wide to improve your handling in various snow conditions.
You can choose from full rocker for deep, softer snow to a healthy mix of camber and rocker for other conditions.
Big mountain skis best suit experienced skiers who like to speed through steep terrain littered with technical obstacles.
Also known as alpine touring skis, backcountry skis utilize a light-weight build. They offer notches in the tip and tail for those looking to attach climbing skins.
Trade-offs exist with backcountry skis. They’re more likely to remain damp on hard snow and will sustain damage easier to their base and edges.
The best snow skis in the powder ski category offer increased flotation and handling in the softest of snow.
Powder skis vary in size and shape, but almost always, rockers dominate the powder ski profile. This versatility makes a powder ski a great everyday choice.
Carving skis provide skiers who spend their time on groomed, smooth trails with an easy choice.
They’re the most narrow when it comes to waist width with less than 85mm. Since they’re limited in where they perform, you’ll want to maximize maneuverability with a short turn radius and a full camber profile.
A Note On Choosing The Best Snow Skis
Most categories of snow skis offer some sort of variation. To place any particular ski in a box is a big mistake.
The best snow skis for you depend on your ability level, preferred terrain, and the condition you ski in most. The best test of a snow ski’s fit is time on the track.
Now that you know the ins and outs of snow skis, the next step is making your choice. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself flying down the slopes with ease!