Ski manufacturers are finally making women specific skis, not just pink versions of the Top Men’s Skis. What’s even more compelling is that at Copper Colorado’s On Snow Demo, where ski industry insiders get to demo next year’s gear, guys were skiing on women’s skis, and they were all smiles (even though they claimed they were “just curious”)! Here are our picks for the best new women’s skis for powder, groomed packed snow, and all mountain one-quiver skis.
2018 Best All Mountain Skis for Women
Volkl Secret is a new women’s ski that’s so good its hard to keep a “secret”. Modified after the popular men’s Volkl Mantra M5, which is totally redesigned in its 5th generation to our rave reviews for 2018, The Secret is fast, fun, grippy, like a Mercedes on the Autobahn, and just the right width at 96mm to glide through light pow and crud, 134/96/117. We’d like to keep this German-engineered Volkl gals ski a “secret” but like good gossip – its best shared with our best skiing girlfriends.
Armada Trace 98 is a great gals ski, fun and lightweight but surprisingly stable when you need speed and power on packed powder or groomed. Graphics are ho hum color block, but this American ski is so fun to rip around the mountain, with a wide rockered tip, but tapered waist, and no rocker tail, it leaves just a “trace” of carved turns in the snow.
Blizzard Black Pearl 98 is the #1 women’s ski, and we agree. With its Austrian heritage, the Pearl is pretty snappy and fast, but smooth and silky in less-than perfect snow. While the Pearl is not a big pow skis, its versatile for the gal like me who wants to primarily ski groomed packed powder on the frontside and occasionally explore off-piste with a confident stable ski. Only thing missing, the pearl graphics – instead its pretty in blue with a feather, so BYOP – bring your own pearls ladies.
HEAD KORE 93 was modeled after Head’s wildly popular Wild Joy ski series. Guys were skiing on them and loving them so Head brought this unisex ski to market. The KORE is ideal, fast and reliable on hard snow, loves to carve smooth arcs, and has just the right amount of snap and stability. Head’s top sheet of polyester fleece (giving it a warm fuzzy look), and lightwood patented core of graphene (a thin carbon layer) keeps this 96mm ski solid but supple enough for ligth pow. Head Kore comes in 93, 105 and 117. We still love Head’s Joy series too, which ranges in width up to 110mm.
Nordica’s Santa Ana 93 is not just another pretty girl’s ski, though shout out to the graphic artist, these wild sounding skis are super fun to ski in all conditions, in 93mm, the sister ski to the award winning men’s Nordica Enforcer has eco-friendly balsa wood keeping it light but strong ladies. Bring on those Santa Ana storms, also available in the Santa Ana 110 for big snow.
Top Women’s Skis for Groomed Snow
Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is our perennial favorite, a perfect mid-sized ski that’s versatile for varying front side conditions. Your Pearls are smooth but substantial, ready for groomed, powder or mixed snow. We have loved the Black Pearl since it was first introduced in 2012, now the Blizzard Black Pearl is blue and purple.
Rossignol Temptation 88 HD this season makes some minor tweaks, its lighter and more carv-a-licious, still a great front side ski for confident intermediate to advanced women.
Nordica Astral 88 is pretty and pink but still strong enough to hold up under moderate carving pressure, on groomed boulevards. 88, 84 and 78 are the waist widths available. A little too forgiving at times, this would be a perfect intermediate women’s ski.
Faction gets a fist pump from this female tester for the first time. The ladies Faction Prodigy at 96mm is fast and grippy zippy on hard snow, with just enough float, read: this Indie is not for cream puffs.
Blizzard Alight 6.9 is an Austrian race-style ski for girls who want to arc perfect slalom turns on the front side. This black speed machine ski is not for the timid, its fast, sharp and precise. 69mm underfoot, its quick like a pocket size box-cutter.
Women’s Wide All Mountain Powder Skis
Rossignol Soul 7 HD – W is tweeked and perfected as a mid-fat powder ski this season. For years, Rossi’s Soul 7 has been a floaty fab pow ski, but this women’s version now has less vibration, yes it floats with its air tip but it carves and rips on the flats or groomers at speed, and its female specific- finally! The Cock rocks… you know the Rossi roster symbol which they should bring back to feather up the boring color block graphics!
Armada Tracer 108 is a wide but wonderful women’s powder ski. Its just light enough to float through powder or mixed snow, but still holds an edge on hard pack. Lightened up from Armada’s successful JJ line, this is a great ski for aggressive gals who want a versatile but still responsive powder ski.
Nordica’s Santa Anna 100 is surfy but serious when it comes to plowing through crud or pow. A better ski design than Rossi Temptation 100 for ladies which was a master of none, and discontinued after season one.
Blizzard Sheeva is for the strong powder skiing Sheila’s who wants to surf deep snow on steeps and bust through crust without dropping a bra strap. The Sheeva 10 at 102mm & 11 at 112mm are versatile, light but reliable. The graphics are turquoise and pretty terrific too.
Have ski questions, comments or recommendations as to your favorite skis? Drop us a line at [email protected]