The Five 2023 Men’s Freeride Skis Curated Experts Love

Published on 05/17/2023 · 6 min readAfter demoing several different skis at Powder Mountain Resort, Skiing Experts Brandon Westburg, Hayden Wright, Theo G., and Thomas Harari list their top five favorites for men's freeride skis!
Hayden Wright, Ski Expert
Theo G, Ski Expert
Thomas Harari, Ski Expert
By Curated Experts Hayden Wright, Theo G, Thomas Harari and Brandon Westburg

Curated Experts tested dozens of skis at Powder Mountain in Utah, and now we're breaking it down into our top five favorite freeride skis with Brandon Westburg, Hayden Wright, Theo G., and Thomas Harari sharing feedback on their experience demoing the skis. A quick note before we jump in, that we are unsponsored by any brands, these are our honest opinions on which skis we liked the most for freeriding.

Watch the video below to follow along!

[Hayden] Coming in at number five for our favorite freeride ski is the DPS Koala 103. Only 103 millimeters underfoot. Still not too wide to slide on those rails or hit the boxes in the park. It's definitely stable underfoot and has a lot of flex in the tip and tail, making it awesome for pressing and doing butters.

[Theo] I've found the Koala to be exceptionally light, super playful, and really precise on the curve. In terms of stability. There isn't any metal in this ski, it's composed of poplar, bamboo, really light materials with some carbon stringers.

I found the Koala 103 to be exceptionally playful. I took it off a bunch of little side hits and jumps. It's got a low swing weight and plenty of pop.

[Hayden] The DPS Koala is dialed in for rails, park jumps, big mountain lines, backcountry booters – whatever you need, the Koala 103 is going to be there for you.

[Hayden] Coming in at number four for our favorite freeride ski is the Dynastar M-Free 99.

[Thomas] Dynastar claims that this is an all-mountain freeride ski with a rocker tip and tail.

[Theo] This is a full twin tip that's an all-mountain option. It's not a carving ski. It's going to perform really, really well for you in fresh snow, in the trees, and in a little bit lower snow areas. This is a really utilitarian, versatile freestyle all-mountain option. It holds an edge really well. It has super early rise tips and tails, which give it, although only 99 millimeters underfoot, nice float in powder. I immediately started smiling once I veered off groomed terrain.

[Thomas] This is a great ski for trees. It has a lot of rocker. It’s looking to pivot quick turns, and will do really well in the trees.

[Hayden] Coming in at number three for our favorite freeride ski is the Faction Prodigy 3.

[Brandon] The widest ski in the Prodigy series definitely has purposes in the park, but I totally see what Faction means by making the entire mountain your playground. With the 3, we're looking at 106 millimeters underfoot and a nice progressive flex throughout the whole ski. I had a ton of fun popping this thing around, catching air, and it remains super stable. It would be that ski that's just able to handle a lot of stuff, you know, if you're wanting to ski the steeps or if you're going on a trip where there's going to be an excellent storm in the forecast. The Faction Prodigy 3s are an awesome, poppy, energetic ski. It is made for the skiers and riders that just love boosting off things, popping, pressing – a really fun ski overall. I would not recommend the Faction Prodigy 3 for a real beginner skier.

[Brandon] I would recommend the Faction Prodigy 3 to those intermediate, advanced, and expert all-mountain park skiers, powder skiers as well. If you like more of a narrow park ski with a little less swing weight, this ski might not entirely be for you, but I'd feel confident recommending it for those intermediate skiers looking to get into all-mountain and powder skiing, all the way up to those advanced skiers.

[Hayden] The number two ski for the freeride category is the Black Crows Atris. Black Crows claims that the Atris is the everybody's all-mountain ski. There is no metal in this ski. It is a poplar wood core paired with fiberglass layers. That being said, if you were to throw it on the brakes real quick, you might notice a little bit of chatter and end up pressing on the tips of the tails.

[Brandon] It is a full twin tip, as you can see on the tail here, so skiing switch, I felt very confident. I got to bang out plenty of turns at higher and lower speeds while skiing switch. I think this is a really great all-mountain freestyle-oriented ski. It was a ton of fun to ride, a lot of pop on this ski.

If you like a ski that is extremely damp and stable at top speed, I wouldn't quite recommend the Black Crows Atris. It has more of a fun and playful feel at top speed. I would recommend these skis to a variety of ability levels looking for an all-mountain, big mountain, powder ski, or something that's just playful and fun. It's a fun mix between a freeride and an all-mountain ski, in my opinion. You should feel confident landing switch, doing some threes, or catching some air with plenty of stability on the landing. Overall, I had a great experience, catching air, putting it down, and having a fun day on this ski.

[Hayden] And our number one favorite freeride ski is the Line Blade Optic 104s.

[Brandon] Line claims that the Blade Optic 104 is their most versatile ski in the Blade Optic collection. It does have a lot of metal in this ski, and it's great for those big mountain lines, all-mountain, and anything in between. I've been really liking it so far. There's just enough metal to keep this thing extremely stable, but it's still poppy, playful, and super fun.

[Hayden] If you're only looking for one ski and you're more of a freerider, I will emphasize that, this is a freeride ski. This isn't going to be for beginners who are still learning the basics. The skier that's going to excel on these is intermediate to advanced freeriders who are looking to jump, jib, and go all over the mountain. You're not just on the groomers. You've got your parallel turns down. It's a great option for that ski that can kind of handle a little bit of everything. If you get a surprise powder day on your ski trip or vacation, you're not going to be disappointed.

Final Thoughts

Did your skis make the list? If you're in the market for some new skis and aren't sure where to start, @sellableLink@{"sellableId":"AgAAADAA-7dq7U7OQI-bME0lTb9ANw","text":"connect with a Skiing Expert here on Curated"}@sellableLink@ for free, personalized recommendations. They’ll help you get unstuck and find the perfect set of skis for your needs.

Ask them a question – you'll get a custom response within 24 hours!
Hayden Wright
Ski Expert
Theo G
Ski Expert
Thomas Harari
Ski Expert
Brandon Westburg
Ski Expert
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