Best Skis For Crud

The Best Skis For Crud: Top 5 of 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

Skiing crud can be tough. It’s an unpredictable terrain that poses a serious test to the technique of any skier.

Crud has become an increasingly common snow type in modern ski resorts. With an abundance of new skiers looking to try their hand ‘off-piste’, it doesn’t take long for fresh snow to turn choppy.

In order to master this common terrain, it’s important to have the right equipment. A solid pair of skis can go a long way, providing you with the stability required to excel on uneven snow.

In this guide, we have reviewed and analysed the best skis for crud. Every option on this list has the attributes required to improve your performance.

Best Skis For Crud At A Glance

Photo

Summary

Price

  • Titanal frame is damp and powerful

  • Rocker/camber profile is great on variable terrain

  • 96mm base is stable through choppy snow

      

      

  • Carbon frame is stable for a lightweight ski

  • Titanal layer dampens vibrations

  • 135mm tips have plenty of float in fresh powder

      

      

  • 94mm waist is nimble and stable when carving

  • Metal laminates absorb crud vibration

  • Rocker/camber profile has easy turn initiation

      

      

  • Hybrid core is stable at high speed

  • Metal laminates are damp on choppy terrain

  • Rockered tip surfs over crud and powder

      

  • Terrain specific metal improves dampening

  • Carbon chassis is lightweight and stable

  • Rocker tip is manoeuvrable yet powerful

      

      

Why Do I Need The Best Skis For Crud?

If you want to make the most of the mountain, you need the right equipment. You need to be prepared to ski crud, which is often found next to groomed slopes or underneath the chairlift.

Although most skiers try to avoid crud, having the right skis will make you feel more confident. By promoting power and balance on uneven terrain, they can make a big difference to your performance.

The best skis for crud use an versatile design that is capable of dealing with variable snow. They are designed to handle challenging terrain and are strong enough to feel secure at speed.

Tip: If you’re looking for a ski to attack every snow type, we have also reviewed the best all-mountain skis.

Best Skis For Crud
Using the best skis for crud will improve your performance

How To Choose The Best Skis For Crud

Flex

The flexibility of a ski always has a big impact on its performance. When looking for the best skis for crud, you should prioritise skis with a stiffer flex.

Firmer-flexing skis will offer greater stability on uneven terrain. Their increased strength is better at digging into the snow, meaning you won’t get ‘bounced’ around as much.

You will also find more stability at high speed with a stiffer flexing ski. This is valuable when marking rounded ‘sweeping’ turns that require solid edge hold.

Skis that are too flexible lack the power required to excel in crud. Although you might find them easier to manoeuvre, you might be in for a bumpy ride.

Best Skis For Crud
Crud skis generally have a stiffer flex

 Waist Width

In general, waist width directly corresponds with the type of snow your skiing. However, the variable nature of crud snow means there is no specific snow type.

When skiing crud, you will often find yourself hitting a patch of ice with one turn and a lump of powder with the next. Hence the need for a versatile ski, with the best skis for crud usually measuring between 90-110mm in width.

Skis with a ‘medium/wide’ width will provide float in areas of deep powder. They will also provide a stable platform as you cut through the crud.

  • If you tend to ski crud because you’re looking for fresh powder, you will be better looking towards the wider options (100-110cm). These skis perform the best in deep snow, while also fuelling your ambition when it gets choppy.
  • If you spend most of your time on the piste, skis on the narrower side will suit your style (90-100cm). Not only will they perform in the crud, but you they will also be responsive on groomed slopes.

Hint: If powder is your priority, we have also reviewed the best powder skis.

Profile

When skiing crud, you never know what type of snow you will be smashing through. The best skis for crud often use a rocker/camber/rocker profile that is designed to be efficient in a range of snow conditions.

  • The rocker or ‘early rise’ tips and tails give them the ability to ride over lumps, bumps and ice boulders. In addition, it can make the skis more responsive when skiing deep snow.
  • Using a camber through the middle of the skis improves their edge grip on hardpacked and icy snow. In addition, it will further increase stability and responsiveness.

Crud is a ‘blend’ of multiple snow conditions. It requires a ski that’s comfortable in a range of scenarios, making a versatile rocker/camber/rocker profile ideal.

Best Skis For Crud
Crud skis use a profile designed for a range of snow types

Best Skis For Crud Reviewed

Volkl M5 Mantra

Volkl M5 Mantra Crud Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 170, 177, 184, 191
  • Dimensions (mm): 134 – 96 – 117
  • Weight: 4lb 9oz (@ 177cm)
  • Turn Radius (m): 19.8 (@ 177cm)
  • Best For: Overall

If you’re a hard charger looking for a ski that can smash through crud, the Volkl M5 Mantra is a great choice. Using a blend of rocker and camber, they’re great at surfing over off-piste terrain and capable of holding an edge on hardpack.

The use of a titanal frame and multilayer wood core makes these skis super damp through choppy terrain. They are also some of the most powerful skis you will find, using a lightweight and responsive tip that does not get deterred by uneven terrain.

The Volkl M5 Mantra’s offer stability at any speed and on any terrain. The frame and core construction is great at absorbing vibration and they will bust a straight line through the toughest snow conditions.

Pros

  • 96mm waist floats in powder and carves on piste
  • Camber underfoot holds an edge on hardpack
  • Carbon tip is responsive when necessary
  • Frame provides great dampening
  • Powerful enough to smash through any snow
  • Wood core feels stable at speed
  • High level of stability at any speed

Cons

  • Power sacrifices an element of playfulness

Blizzard Rustler 10

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 164, 172, 180, 188
  • Dimensions (mm): 133 – 102 – 122.5 (@180cm)
  • Weight: 4lb 7oz (@ 180cm)
  • Turn Radius (m): 17.5 (@ 180cm)
  • Best For: Crud/Powder

If you’re a powder skier looking for some skis that can handle the crud, meet the Blizzard Rustler 10’s. With a 102mm waist and a 133mm rocker tip, they are capable of surfing over deep snow while remaining firm on variable terrain.

The use of a titanal layer does a great job of dampening vibrations on uneven surfaces. In addition, they are playful and lightweight while still maintaining stability with the use of a carbon frame.

The Blizzard Rustler 10’s are a perfect companion for fresh or tracked powder. Providing floatation, power and dampness; they have all the characteristics required for off-piste skiing.

Pros

  • 102mm waist floats in powder
  • Wide and soft tip is responsive in deep snow
  • Titanal layer dampens vibrations
  • Camber underfoot can hold edge on groomers
  • Lightweight core and frame
  • Powerful enough to hold a line through crud
  • Poppy without sacrificing stability

Cons

  • Slightly soft feel means slightly less power

Nordica Enforcer 94

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 165, 172, 179, 186, 191
  • Dimensions (mm): 127 – 94 – 115.5 (@179cm)
  • Weight: 5lb (@ 186cm)
  • Turn Radius (m): 17.1 (@ 179cm)
  • Best For: Crud/Piste

If you’re looking for skis that can carve groomers and smash crud, the Nordica Enforcer 94’s might be your best bet. Using two sheets of metal and a high-quality wood core, these skis are stable and powerful on variable terrain.

With a versatile 94mm underfoot width, these skis are easy to get on edge and can satisfy your carving needs with a combination of security and energy. Turn initiation is made easy with the softer rocker tips, while still maintaining stability through the stiffer tails.

The Nordica Enforcer 94’s excel on hardpack and crud snow. The well-designed wood and metal core is damp on uneven terrain, while they offer supreme power and stability when carving groomers.

Pros

  • Metal laminates dampen vibration
  • Wood core is stable at high speed
  • Nimble and energetic on-piste performance
  • Stiff enough for carving stability
  • Soft tip rocker improves turn initiation
  • Powerful construction doesn’t get bounced around
  • Versatile 94mm width for powder performance

Cons

  • Can feel unforgiving in deep snow

Dynastar M-Pro 99

Dynastar M-Pro 99 Crud Skis

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 162, 170, 178, 186
  • Dimensions (mm): 127 – 99 – 117 (@ 178cm)
  • Weight: 4lb 3oz (@ 178cm)
  • Turn Radius (m): 20 (@ 178cm)
  • Best For: Best Of The Rest

The Dynaster M-Pro 99 skis are designed to be powerful and damp in any conditions. Their use of stiff metal laminate gives them great shock absorbing capability and a super secure feel on uneven terrain.

Constructed using a hybrid wood and PU core, these skis remain lightweight without sacrificing stability at speed. The use of a 99mm waist and rocker tip makes them surfy in the powder and allows them to glide over crud with ease.

If you’re looking for a solid yet lightweight pair of hard charging skis, the Dynastar M-Pro 99’s are a great choice. The use of a metal and wood core makes them stable on any terrain and at any speed.

Pros

  • Metal laminate dampens vibration
  • Lightweight wood core
  • Surfy and manoeuvrable feel in powder
  • PU core construction feels lively
  • Stiff frame feels smooth at any speed
  • Nimble enough for tight terrain
  • Responsive on any snow type

Cons

  • Top price bracket
  • Might be too stiff for some skiers

Nordica Santa Ana 93

Key Features

  • Available Lengths (cm): 151, 158, 165, 172, 179
  • Dimensions (mm): 125.5 – 93 – 112.5 (@165cm)
  • Weight: 4lb 4oz (@ 172cm)
  • Turn Radius (m): 15.5 (@ 165cm)
  • Best For: Women

The Nordica Santa Ana 93 is a powerful women’s ski that’s strong enough to smash through the choppiest of snow conditions. The use of a ‘terrain specific metal’ construction gives these skis excellent dampening capability when skiing crud, while still retaining a responsive feel.

Using a carbon chassis keeps the weight of the skis down and adds an element of playfulness. Lightweight rocker tips make for a responsive and manoeuvrable feel in deep snow, adding to their versatility.

If you’re looking for a solid all-round women’s ski that can perform on crud, the Nordica Santa Ana 93’s are a good choice. They have the power needed for tough terrain, while still remaining responsive enough for a great day on the mountain.

Pros

  • Dampening metal core
  • Lightweight carbon chassis
  • Core feel is stable yet responsive
  • Light rocker tips are manoeuvrable
  • Stiff carving edge hold on hardpack
  • Light enough for deep snow floatation

Cons

  • Not the most forgiving skis
  • Can get some chatter at high speed

Summing Up

Skiing crud can be a challenging task. However, the right equipment can make your life much easier.

The best skis for crud provide the strength and stability required to power through choppy snow. They have the capacity to deal with a wide range of conditions, making them some of the most versatile skis around.

All the skis on this list have the attributes required to excel on variable terrain. Take the time to assess all the options to find the one that suits your style.