Best Skis For beginners

Best Skis For Beginners: Top 8 Men’s & Women’s 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

If you are new to the world of skiing, every aspect of the experience can seem like a challenge. From learning the right technique, to choosing the best equipment, each element is a learning opportunity.

One of the best ways to make sure you maximise your on-slope potential is by getting the right ski gear. When it comes to equipment, choosing the best skis can make a sizeable difference to your performance.

In this article, we have analysed all the options to bring you the best skis for beginners. We assess the key points and analyse the pros and cons, giving you the information required to make an informed decision.

Best Skis For Beginners At A Glance

Best Skis For Beginners: Men’s

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Summary

Price

  • Balanced rocker profile for easy turn initiation

  • Responsive and energetic feel

  • Ideal to take you from beginner to intermediate



  • Very responsive and easy to turn

  • Accessible and easy-to-use for true beginners

  • Very lightweight yet solid construction


  • Lightweight wood and carbon design

  • Stiffened tail for on-piste edge grip

  • Rocker tip and forgiving flex adds manoeuvrability

  • Great edge hold on hardpack snow

  • Lightweight design is playful and poppy

  • Stiff and solid yet accessible design

  

  

Best Skis For Beginners: Women’s

Photo

Summary

Price

  • 'Visco dampeners' absorb shocks for a smooth feel

  • Rocker/camber combination is forgiving

  • Light and playful carbon/wood construction

  

  

  • Consistent and reliable performance

  • Solid grip on hardpack snow

  • Ski profile is playful and feels lightweight

  

  

  • Superlight wood and carbon construction

  • Rocker/camber combo is easy to control

  • 'Intellifibers' make skis damp and stable

  

  

  • Rocker tip provides shock absorption and stability

  • Wood core construction reduces vibration

  • Lively and forgiving flexibility

    

    

Why Do I Need The Best Skis For Beginners?

Getting the best skis for your ability level can have a huge impact on your development. When it comes to choosing equipment, skis should be one of your main priorities.

The best skis for beginners are designed to be forgiving enough to make the learning experience as pain free as possible. However, if you make the wrong choice you could be set for a challenging day on the slopes.

Every pair of skis has unique advantages, characteristics and features; so choosing the best beginner skis is not an easy task. However, every option in this guide is designed to make sure you have the platform needed to master the basics and take your skiing to the next level.

Best Skis For Beginners
Every Ski Has Its Own Advantages, So Make Sure You Read This Guide Carefully

How To Choose The Best Skis For Beginners

Width

The width of a ski can have a huge impact on its performance. When choosing beginner skis; you want a ski that’s wide enough to provide a stable base, but not so wide that it inhibits your ability to turn.

The best skis for beginners are generally between 70mm and 80mm wide. This is an ideal width to learn basic turns on groomed ski slopes.

If you stick to skis within these width parameters, you are sure to find an option that is forgiving and easy to use. Although many skis on the market are above 80mm, these are better for heading off-piste and are not ideally suited to basic ski turns.

Best Skis For Beginners
Narrower Skis Are Generally Easier To Turn

Length

Choosing skis that are the right length can make the learning process a lot easier. Ski length should be measured against your height, with the ideal beginner ski length being between your chin and mouth.

Longer skis are popular with advanced skiers, but beginners will find them difficult to control. Shorter skis are much more responsive when turning and stopping, making your experience on the slope easier.

Learning the basics on skis that are manageable, lightweight and easy to control is going to make your experience a successful one. Shorter skis are often a sure-fire way to make your life easier while learning the basics.

Construction

Your skis are going to see a serious amount of wear and tear, so making sure they are durable is important. Durability is predominantly affected by quality of construction and type of materials used.

The materials used to make a ski can dictate its performance, most notably by affecting its flexibility. The best beginner skis are generally more flexible, making them easy to control.

The most forgiving skis are usually made using a soft wood or foam core. However, there are some alternate materials being used, so make sure you keep an eye on how each one will affect performance.

In addition, be sure to pay attention to the structural materials used to create skis. Metal, carbon and fiberglass are all common components used in durable products; so make sure these materials are present.

Turn Radius

The turn radius of a ski is the length of turn that it will naturally create on the snow. This means that a ski with a smaller turn radius will complete a short and quick turn, while a ski with a larger turn radius will complete a long and sweeping turn.

The best skis for beginners have a shorter turn radius, making them easy to control. Additionally, having a shorter turn radius makes it less tiring to manoeuvre your skis around a turn.

Generally speaking, the ideal turn radius of beginner skis is around 10m to 15m. This length will allow your skis responsive and easy to control.

Best Skis For Beginners
The Turn Radius Of A Ski Makes A Big Difference To Its On-Snow Feel

Style

The best type of skis for beginners are carving skis. Carving skis are designed to provide a natural turn shape on groomed ski slopes.

There are many other types of skis on the market, including powder, park, all-mountain and freeride. Although these skis might seem tempting, they are more one-dimensional than carving skis and will not serve you well when learning the basics.

If you are looking for skis that are better suited to exploring ungroomed snow, then we have also written a guide detailing the best all-mountain skis.

Camber or Rocker

Whether a ski is shaped using camber or rocker can have a significant impact on the way it performs.

Cambered skis are the most traditional ‘convex’ shape you often see, where the tip and the tail naturally touch the floor and the middle of the ski is raised. This shape allows full contact of the ski on the snow at all times, helping to maintain edge grip when carving.

Rockered skis use an alternative ‘banana’ shape, meaning the contact point is below the binding with the tip and tail raised. This shape has become increasingly popular with beginners due to its raised tip allowing for easy turn initiation.

In addition, some skis are now produced using a ‘hybrid’ of these two traditional shapes. These skis often feature a slightly rockered tip and tail for easy turn initiation, combined with a cambered middle for edge hold.

Best Skis For Beginners
Choosing Between Camber And Rocker Isn’t Always Easy

Best Skis For Beginners Reviewed: Mens

Rossignol Experience 76 Ci

Rossignol Experience 76 Ci

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 146, 154, 162, 170
  • Waist Width (mm): 76
  • Turn Radius (m): 13 (162cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Advanced Intermediate

The Rossignol Experience 76 Ci is a ski that is capable of progressing your skills from beginner to advanced intermediate. Their ‘Poplar Woodcore’ construction provides a responsive and energetic feel.

These skis use ‘cap’ construction and a carbon insert that provides a forgiving amount of flex without sacrificing durability. Additionally, their rocker/camber profile provides vibration dampening and easy turn initiation.

If you are looking for skis that are capable of lasting for many seasons, the Rossignol Experience 76 Ci might be your best bet. They provide all the attributes needed in a beginner ski, with the stability and durability required to improve your ability.

Pros

  • Wood core is responsive
  • Forgiving flex
  • Great shock absorbent feel
  • Carbon insert provides stability
  • Lightweight construction
  • Rocker/camber combo is playful
  • Good for beginners and intermediates

Cons

  • May feel too athletic for true beginners

Head V-Shape V4

Head V-Shape V4 Beginner Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 149, 156, 163, 170, 177
  • Waist Width (mm): 73
  • Turn Radius (m): 12.5 (170cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Head have produced the V-Shape V4 to provide a beginner ski with all the features necessary to accommodate your improving technique. Its composite wood core is incredibly lightweight and provides liveliness on groomed slopes.

The use of graphene in the skis allows them to maintain a degree of stiffness and stability without adding weight. Additionally, their combination of wide tips and a narrow waist gives an easy and responsive turn feel.

The Head V-Shape V4 are some of the most easy-to-use beginner skis on the market. They offer the accessibility and lightweight feel of a good beginner ski, with the control and stability for solid performance.

Pros

  • Composite core is light and lively
  • Solid feel for a beginner ski
  • Very lightweight underfoot
  • Reliable design
  • Quick & responsive turn initiation
  • Durable construction
  • Good for beginners and new intermediates

Cons

  • Lacks stability at higher speeds
  • Limites when advancing to variable terrain

Atomic Vantage 75 C

Atomic Vantage 75 C Beginner Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 154, 161, 169, 177
  • Waist Width (mm): 75
  • Turn Radius (m): 15.1 (161cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Intermediate

The Atomic Vantage 75 C Skis use an ultra lightweight construction and accessible design that is ideal to help beginners progress their technique. They are built using a wood core and ‘carbon mesh tank’ that makes them exceptionally lightweight and durable.

These skis have a soft flex that is forgiving for beginners, while still maintaining the power needed for edge grip on hardpack snow. In addition, they use a camber/rocker blend to provide a combination of edge grip and turn initiation that can satisfy both beginners and intermediates.

Atomic are one of the biggest brands in skiing and they have proved with the Vantage 75 C that they can produce a great beginner ski. If you are looking for a lightweight and mobile ski that can also provide some grip, then this is one of your best options.

Pros

  • Super lightweight construction
  • Durable and strong design
  • Forgiving flexibility
  • Playful feel
  • Easy turn rocker tip
  • Good edge hold
  • Nimble when changing edges

Cons

  • Lacks some power at speed

K2 Disruption 78C

K2 Disruption 78C

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 156, 163, 170, 177
  • Waist Width (mm): 78
  • Turn Radius (m): 15.6 (170cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Intermediate

The K2 Disruption 78C is a hardpack focused ski that provides superb control in east coast conditions. Despite being an ‘entry-level’ model; we were impressed by its ability to hold an edge in icy conditions to produce well-rounded turns.

The skis have an overall energetic and poppy feel thanks to the underfoot camber design. In addition, they have an accessible yet solid feel that feels damp in variable snow conditions and instils confidence.

The K2 Disruption 78C is perfect for new beginner to intermediates looking for skis that will improve their turning technique. By using a tough strong yet playful design; they have a great range of attributes to support your learning experience..

Pros

  • Easy turn initiation
  • Carves well on hardpack
  • Stability at reasonable speed
  • Powerful enough for advanced beginners/intermediates
  • ‘Poppy’ and playful feel
  • Stiff enough to satisfy advancing abilities

Cons

  • Not the most forgiving options
  • Lacking off-piste attributes

Best Skis For Beginners Reviewed: Women’s

Rossignol Experience 76 Ci Women’s Skis

Rossignol Experience 76 Ci Women's Beginner Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 138, 146, 154, 162, 170
  • Waist Width (mm): 76
  • Turn Radius (m): 12 (154cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Advanced Intermediate

These Rossignol Experience 76 Ci Women’s Skis are ideally suited to take you from beginner to advanced intermediate. Their carbon and Poplar wood core provides enough stability to be comfortable at intermediate speed, while still remaining forgiving enough for beginners.

These skis have a rockered tip that uses ‘VAS’ technology to reduce vibrations for a smooth feel. They also have a lightweight and flexible feel, with minimal energy required to make the skis react.

Rossignol have produced the Experience 76 Ci to combine the comfort of beginner skis with the power needed to progress onto intermediate terrain. They have achieved this using high quality materials and a durable design, making them some of the best beginner skis for women.

Pros

  • Carbon and wood core is stable
  • Forgiving flexibility
  • Damp and smooth feel
  • Response and reactive
  • Easy turning tip
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Could be too athletic for some true beginners
  • Not the best on ungroomed terrain

Elan Wildcat 76

Elan Wildcat 76 Women's Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 144, 150, 158, 166
  • Waist Width (mm): 76
  • Turn Radius (m): 11.5 (150cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Intermediate

The Elan Wildcat 76 Women’s Skis are designed to make learning the basics as easy as possible. They feature a laminate wood core that is soft, flexible feels playful on hardpack snow.

These skis are designed using a combination of rocker and camber, making them quick and energetic throughout the turn. The tip of the ski is soft to allow for effortless turn initiation, while the overall ski profile gives them superb carving grip for a beginner model.

If you are looking for a manoeuvrable set of beginner skis that can also produce a well-rounded turn; the Elan Wildcat 76 is one of your best options. They have a flexible design that is playful on the piste and the stability needed to help you progress your ability.

Pros

  • Lightweight laminate wood core
  • Playful rocker/camber feel
  • Consistent and reliable performance
  • Easy turn initiation
  • Grips well on hardpack
  • Accessible and easy-to-use
  • Stable when learning the basics

Cons

  • Too soft for advancing intermediates
  • Less durable than some competitors

HEAD Pure Joy Women’s Skis

Head Pure Joy Women's Beginner Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 143, 148, 153, 158, 163
  • Waist Width (mm): 73
  • Turn Radius (m): 10.9 (158cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner

Head have produced the Pure Joy Women’s Skis to be as lightweight and manageable as possible. They have a graphene and Karuba wood core that is designed to be exceptionally light and easy to handle.

These skis use ‘Era 3.0 technology’ that provides underfoot camber for edge grip, combined with an early rise tip for easy turn initiation. They also use ‘intellifibers’ within the tip of the ski to fend off vibration, making for a smooth feel.

The Head Pure Joy are some of the best beginner skis for women. Their soft and forgiving build, coupled with their dampening and easy turn technology, make them a great option for anyone looking to master the basics.

Pros

  • Super lightweight design
  • Easy to handle
  • Easy turn initiation tip
  • Good shock absorbing ability
  • Playful feel during basic turns
  • Durable and light design

Cons

  • Don’t expect too much edge grip
  • Not the most stable at speed

Salomon S/Force 7 Women’s Skis

Salomon S/Force 7 Women's Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 140, 150, 160, 167
  • Waist Width (mm): 73
  • Turn Radius (m): 11 (150cm length)
  • Ability Level: Beginner – Intermediate

The Salomon S/Force 7 Women’s Skis provide the lightweight stability needed to help skiers progress through beginner and intermediate ability levels. They are constructed using a poplar wood core that has a lightweight and snappy feel on the piste.

These are great all-round skis, with an ABS sidewall providing edge grip and a rocker tip making them damp and stable. They also feature a ‘semi sandwich’ sidewall which allows the skis to remain rigid enough for intermediate speed, while maintaining the flex necessary for beginners.

If you are looking for skis that can take you from beginner to advanced intermediate, the Salomon S/Force might be your best bet. They are built using a quality design that makes them an excellent choice for anyone looking to move up from the beginner slopes.

Pros

  • Lightweight wood core
  • Snappy ‘quick turn’ feel
  • Edge grip sidewall
  • Shock absorbing rocker tip
  • Rigid enough to maintain some stability
  • Great for beginners and intermediates

Cons

  • Not the most forgiving option
  • True beginners might find it too rigid

Summing Up

Finding the right skis can be a confusing task. With so many options to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Every ski has a different set of features and is suited to a different style. Be sure to read the key features and assess the build quality of every product when making your decision.

The best skis for beginners are designed to improve your performance and make learning the basics easy. If you stick to the options on this list, you are sure to find a pair of skis that can take your ability to the next level.