Best Powder Skis

The Best Powder Skis: Top 7 of 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

Every skier relishes floating through deep fluffy stuff, but without the proper equipment it can be challenging. The best powder skis are capable of making waist deep snow feel like a dream.

Using a wide and stable design, powder skis will give you the weightless feeling you’ve been dreaming about. They have the capability to make off-piste much less tiring, giving you maximum enjoyment on the mountain.

In this guide, review the best powder skis on the market. Weighing up the pros and cons of each option, we have included the information required to find the skis that suit your style.

Best Powder Skis At A Glance

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Summary

Price

    • 112-116mm waist provides great floatation

    • Rocker profile improves float and responsiveness

    • Sturdy yet lightweight design is super stable

          

          

    • 116mm waist is ideal for powder

    • Tip and tail rocker is 'surfy' in deep snow

    • Camber underfoot supplies hardpack edge hold

          

          

    • 118mm waist provides float on the deepest days

    • Wood core offers a playful and poppy feel

    • Symmetrical rocker is great for switch skiing

          

          

    • 120mm waist for seriously deep snow

    • Rocker and camber gives float and edge hold

    • Lightweight yet durable and powerful wood core

          

    • 108mm waist enough to keep ski afloat in powder

    • 3D radius sidecut allows grippy turns on groomers

    • Super strong frame is stable at speed

          

          

    • 115mm waist floats in powder yet remains nimble

    • Tip rocker is safe and responsive in powder

    • Caruba core is damp and stable at speed

          

          

    • 117mm width for steep and deep lines

    • Camber underfoot improves stability

    • Light and flexible Koroy construction

          

          

    Why Do I Need The Best Powder Skis?

    Powder skis are unique in design. With a super wide waist and increased length, they are specifically made to increase surface area.

    In practical terms, this increased surface area leads to improved floatation in the powder. Gliding over the surface is the most efficient way to enjoy deep snow, with powder skis making this possible.

    Aside from their sheer size, powder skis often come in various designs that all intend to improve your off-piste prowess. Rocker, weight and taper all play key roles in the performance of a ski.

    The best powder skis aim to give you the sought after ‘surfing’ feel that so many skiers crave. If you’re serious about off-piste, they’re a must-have item in your ‘quiver’.

    Best Powder Skis
    Powder skis enhance your deep snow experience

    How To Choose The Best Powder Skis

    Width

    Waist width is the most obvious difference that separates powder skis from their on-piste counterparts. Usually ranging between 100 and 130mm in width, they are purpose build to provide maximum flotation.

    If you’re more of an all-mountain skier that also enjoys a good powder day, you might look towards skis between 100 and 110mm. Although their narrower width will give you slightly less float, they will be more manageable on harder snow.

    If you’re serious about maximising powder performance, anything over 110mm is sure to ‘float your boat’. They won’t be so responsive on-piste, but you will feel great surfing deep snow.

    Hint: If you’re looking for one ski that will enhance your piste and powder skiing, we have also reviewed the best all-mountain skis.

    Best Powder Skis
    Get wide skis for that powder surfing feeling

    Length

    It’s not just width that increases with powder skis; it’s also length. The optimal length is usually around 10cm longer than your average piste skis.

    Increased length will increase the surface area of the skis. Overall, this will further improve the powder float you can achieve.

    In addition, it will give you a longer edge on the ski to achieve performance on the piste. Since powder skis have a long rocker tip, the effective edge length is reduced, with a longer ski making up the shortfall.

    Rocker

    The term ‘rocker’ refers to the tips and tails of the skis being curved upwards. By lifting the ski tips and tails away from the deep snow, they become more manoeuvrable.

    It will also protect against the dreaded ‘tip dive’. Not only is this an embarrassing experience, but also a potentially painful one.

    Most dedicated powder skis will use a ‘full rocker’ profile. Turn initiation will be much easier in deep snow. However, with less effective edge to work with, you will be sacrificing a lot of piste performance.

    Some powder skis that can also work on the piste use a rocker/camber/rocker design. Using a traditional camber shape through the middle of the skis with help you negotiate harder snow. However, they do lack the turning capability of true powder skis when it gets seriously deep.

    Turn Radius

    Most powder skiers aren’t too worried about snappy short turns on hardpack. Fortunately, powder skis just aren’t designed for that type of skiing.

    The average powder ski will have a turn radius anywhere from 20 to 30 meters. You will often find dedicated powder skis to be straighter, with ‘all-mountain’ powder skis shortening their radius in search of piste performance.

    Stability at speed is often the primary deciding factor when it comes to powder ski sidecut. With a long and straight design, they are designed to perform wide and sweeping turns down big mountain faces.

    Best Powder Skis
    The best powder skis are usually pretty straight

    Best Powder Skis Reviewed

    Blizzard Rustler 11

    Blizzard Rustler 11 Powder Skis

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 164, 172, 180, 188, 192
    • Waist Width: 112mm, 114mm, 116mm
    • Turn Radius: 19m (@ 180cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 4lb 7oz (@ 180cm)
    • Best For: Hard Chargers

    If you’re a strong skier looking for a powder ski that can match your ambition, the Blizzard Rustler 11 is a great choice. Its titanal laminate sandwich construction leads to a stiff ski with exceptional stability, no matter how hard you’re charging.

    Despite its tough design, this ski is surprisingly playful in the powder and crud. Additionally, their super-wide waist and rockered profile gives them the floaty feeling that all powder skiers dream about.

    The Blizzard Rustler 11 is a powerful freeride ski that will accommodate sweeping turns down big powder faces. Stiff, durable, reliable and somewhat playful; it’s an exceptional powder ski.

    Pros

    • Waist wide enough for powder floatation
    • Stiff enough for high-speed stability
    • Carbon frame maintains lightness
    • Carving on hardpack is possible
    • Powerful through crud and chop
    • Playful feel thanks to wood core
    • Rocker profile aids powder performance

    Cons

    • Not well suited to skiing in tight spaces
    • Only carvable at high speed

    Faction Prodigy 4.0

    Faction Prodigy 4.0 Powder Skis

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 179, 185, 191
    • Waist Width: 116mm
    • Turn Radius: 22m (@ 185cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 4lb 13oz (@ 185cm)
    • Best For: Playfulness

    If you’re looking for a playful power ski, it’s hard to beat the Faction Prodigy 4.0. Combining a soft tip and tail rocker with a ‘poppy’ wood core, they are nimble through dense treelines and tight couloirs.

    Using a 116mm waist with 22m radius, these skis are surfy through the deep stuff and are capable of railing when required. The wood core gives these skis the strength to match their playfulness, providing a solid base for rock drop landings.

    The Faction Prodigy 4.0 are a provide a great combination of strength and manoeuvrability. If you’re looking for a fun-loving powder ski you won’t be dissapointed.

    Pros

    • 116mm waist surfs powder with ease
    • Soft tip and tail are super playful
    • Poppy feel
    • Responsive and nimble when necessary
    • Strong and damp wood core
    • Sturdy enough on landing

    Cons

    • Not the most durable build
    • Tip and tail a bit soft for piste performance

    Rossignol Blackops Gamer

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 176, 186
    • Waist Width: 118mm
    • Turn Radius: 25m (@ 186cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 5lb 10oz (@ 186cm)
    • Best For: Backcountry Freestyle

    The Rossignol Blackops Gamer skis provide a lively feel with enough stability to stomp anything in your path. Designed by big mountain freestyle skiers Parker White and Chris Logan, they are stiff enough when skiing at speed and have a secure feeling when landing in powder.

    Coming with a 118mm waist and a poplar wood core, they are extremely lively and poppy in deep snow. The use of a tip and tail rocker enables responsiveness in powder and allows you to smear turns with ease.

    Rossignol have produced the Blackops Gamer to be lively and fun when it’s steep and deep. It’s got enough strength to withstand big drops, while also maintaining stability when charging.

    Pros

    • Lively at all times
    • 118mm waist for the deepest days
    • Tip and tail rocker are responsive
    • Poplar wood core gives a poppy feel
    • ABS inserts give stability at speed
    • Strong enough to stomp anything

    Cons

    • Lacking the versatility for use on harder snow

    Atomic Bent Chetler 120

    Atomic Bent Chetler Powder Skis

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 176, 184, 190
    • Waist Width: 120mm
    • Turn Radius: 19m (@ 184cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 3lb 10oz (@ 184cm)
    • Best For: Flotation

    The Bent Chetler 120’s are atomics widest skis and are designed for the deepest days. Using a super surfy style, they combine a lightweight design with three-dimensional tips and tails to provide maximum flotation.

    The use of a carbon backbone adds a degree of stiffnes, which works well to keep it strong and powerful at speed. In addition, the lightweight wood core provides a perfect sweet spot for big landings.

    If you’re a powder enthusiast looking for a dedicated deep snow ski, the Atomic Bent Chetler 120 is a great choice. Its poppy and surfy design is super fun to ride, while it also has some of the coolest graphics on the market.

    Pros

    • 120mm width for the deepest snow
    • Lightweight and poppy wood core
    • Powerful when needed
    • Carbon backbone improves stability
    • Great sweet spot for big landings
    • Tips and tails are responsive in deep powder
    • Attractive looking design

    Cons

    • A little bit unstable at high speeds on harder snow

    Volkl Katana 108

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 170, 177, 184, 191
    • Waist Width: 108mm
    • Turn Radius: 19m (@ 184cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 5lb 2oz (@ 184cm)
    • Best For: All-Mountain

    If you’re looking for a powder ski that can also perform on the piste, the Volkl Katana 108 might be your best bet. Using a tip and tail rocker with a 108mm base underfoot, you can expect ample float and responsiveness on powder days.

    The use of a 3D radius sidecut allows you to create sweeping turns on big mountain descents, while also snapping shorter turns on the piste. In addition, they provide great stability in a range of conditions thanks to a titanal frame and carbon tips.

    The Volkl Katana 108 is a popular ski that can deliver in the powder and excel on choppy snow. Its epic all-mountain performance is a great fit for most skiers that don’t see deep snow every day of the week.

    Pros

    • Tip and tail rocker is playful in deep snow
    • 108mm width great for powder and crud
    • 3D radius performs a variety of turn shapes
    • Stable enough for hard charging
    • Easy turn initiation in soft snow
    • Super durable wood and titanal construction
    • Will cut through any snow type

    Cons

    • If you want a lightweight ski, look elsewhere
    • Pure powder hounds might want something wider

    Armada Declivity X

    Armada Declivity X

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 185, 192
    • Waist Width: 115mm
    • Turn Radius: 22.5m (@ 185cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 4lb 15oz (@ 185cm)
    • Best For: Power

    Armada have produced the Declivity X to provide stability when charging down steep and challenging terrain. A generous 115mm waist with a 22.5m turn radius is ideally suited to wide sweeping turns down super-steep powder faces.

    The caruba wood core ensures the ski is damp when skiing technical terrain, while also keeping weight in check. A long tip rocker allows you to skip across powder flats and and smash through variable snow conditions.

    If you’re a powerful skier looking for some planks that won’t hold you back, the Armada Declivity X are a good fit. With power, strength, stability and dampening; they have everything you need to attack the backcountry.

    Pros

    • Cuts through any type of snow
    • Stable at speed
    • 115mm waist for powder surfing
    • Damp enough for variable terrain
    • Great for high-speed sweeping turns
    • Tip rocker glides over soft snow
    • Hard chargers won’t be disappointed

    Cons

    • Not the most playful or lively ski
    • One of the more expensive options

    Head Kore 117

    Head Kore 117 Powder Skis

    Key Features

    • Lengths (cm): 171, 180, 189
    • Waist Width: 117mm
    • Turn Radius: 24.6m (@ 189cm)
    • Weight (per ski): 4lb 13oz (@ 189cm)
    • Best For: All-Round Powder Performance

    The Head Kore 117 offers a playful and lightweight feel, with the stability required for crud and powder. The use of a karuba wood core keeps the ski poppy and playful, with a responsive rockered nose that keeps you floating in the deepest snow.

    Measuring 117mm in width, these skis surf well in fresh snow and provide a great base for big landings. Despite being lightweight and flexible, they are tough enough for steep descents and provide reliable stability at speed.

    The Head Kore 117 have great all-round off piste performance that can handle fast and technical descents with ease. Using a playful design that can also be pushed to the limit, you can rely on them to keep you happy on any powder day.

    Pros

    • Poppy karuba wood core
    • 117mm base suited to deep snow
    • Responsive graphene tip and tail
    • Lightweight and playful design
    • Rockered nose planes over powder
    • Ski is damp enough for variables
    • Stable for a lightweight ski

    Cons

    • Not so happy at low speed
    • Carving ability isn’t great

    Summing Up

    The best powder skis are capable of boosting your performance in deep snow. Designed to give you the floating feeling that’s synonymous with deep snow skiing, they can greatly enhance your off-piste experience.

    Every powder ski on this list has its own key attributes. Take the time to read the features and find the one the suits your style.

    Skiing powder is one of the best feelings on the mountain. Having the right equipment will only help to enhance that experience.