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Skiing

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 by category.

K2 A.M.P. Rictor Skis 2013

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.

Volkl Kenja Women's Skis 2014

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.

Line Skis Prophet 98 2013

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.

Nordica Patron Skis 2013

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.

Volkl RTM 80 Skis

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.

K2 A.M.P. Stinger Skis

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.

Rossignol Pursuit 11 Skis

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.

Atomic Smoke Skis

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.

Blizzard Viva Sport IQ Skis

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.

Elan Zest Skis

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

Blizzard Bonafide 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.

Armada TST Skis

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

Kastle MX 88 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.

Rossignol Experience 98 Skis

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.

Dynastar Cham 87 Skis

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.

Fischer CRS Skating VASA Cross Country Skis 2013

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.

Rossignol Delta Course Classic NIS AR Skis

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.

Atomic Skintec Skis

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.

Salomon Equipe 10 Classic Cross Country Skis

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.

Madshus Cadenza 120 Cross-Country Skis - Classic Touring (For Women)

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

G3 Empire Ski

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.

Atomic Ritual Ski

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.

Volkl Shiro Skis 2013

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.

Rossignol S7 W Skis

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.

Icelantic Nomad RKR Skis

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.

4FRNT Hoji Skis

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.

K2 Pon2oon Skis

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.

Dynafit Huascaran Skis

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.

K2 SideSeth Skis 2013

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.

Atomic Atlas Skis

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.

Atomic Automatic Skis 2013

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.

Liberty Mutant Ski

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.

Armada Magic J Skis 2013

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.

Nordica La Niña Skis

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.

Blizzard Gunsmoke Skis 2013

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.

Rossignol Scratch Skis

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.

Salomon Threat Skis

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.

Scott Jib TW Skis

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.

Armada ARW Skis

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.

Line Park Afterbang Park Skis

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.

Caryl Cress Ramsey
I am an avid, all-around sports fan, especially at the high school and college level. I enjoy being a spectator so I can analyze and study the strategies involved, just as much as actually participating in the sport. As a Sporting Goods Writer, I have extensively researched and reviewed a wide spectrum of sporting goods equipment that will take your game or sport to the next level.

I am passionate about staying fit throughout the aging process and pushing your body to the limit during a time when your body wants to naturally slow down. I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball, skiing, swimming, hiking, biking, and running. I am also very competitive when it comes to leisure sports and games.
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