The Five 2023 Women’s All-Mountain Skis for Carving Curated Experts LovePublished on 06/23/2023 · 6 min readAfter demoing several different skis at Powder Mountain Resort, Skiing Experts Sara Beeken and Jessica Whittam list their top five favorites for women's carving skis!
Curated Skiing Experts help thousands of people every season find the perfect ski setup for them. From testing dozens of skis in Powder Mountain in Utah, here are our top five picks on our favorite women's carving skis and what Skiing Experts Sara Beeken and Jessica Whittam have to say about them. Just so you know, they are unsponsored and unaffiliated with any of these brands; these are their honest opinions on the skis.
[Sarah] In fifth place, we've got the Atomic Maven 86.
[Jessica] These skis are built with a Dura Cap sidewall, which can really help you dig into your turns. They are also rockered at the tip with a little bit of camber underfoot.
[Sarah] That rocker makes it a little bit easier to initiate turns, and the chamber keeps you feeling stable and a little bit poppy on the groomers. Even though it is a beginner to intermediate ski, I felt like I could do some pretty good carves on it.
[Jessica] Short turns, long turns, wide GS turns, these skis carve very well. I highly recommend these skis to somebody who is mostly carving.
[Sarah] This ski is for the growing beginner or intermediate skier. It could go anywhere in the country: East Coast, West Coast, and for people who are skiing in less snowy conditions, because these skis are 86mm underfoot. The Atomic Mavens are going to excel on groomers, so if you do ski in the West, and you ski mostly groomers, then you could absolutely rip these.
[Sarah] In fourth place, we've got the K2 Mindbender 89 TI.
[Jessica] These are K2's intermediate to advanced-level women's skis. And as a former racer, I really enjoyed how stiff this ski is and how well it performs on groomers. This is definitely going to be a good ski for somebody who likes to go pretty fast and stick to the groomers.
[Sarah] This ski has Titanal Y-Beam technology, which keeps it pretty stiff. It's not a super flexy, playful ski; if you're trying to go in the park or just go cruising, this isn't the ski for you. The Mindbender is pretty quick edge to edge. It's a fairly narrow ski, so it was really responsive and featured great edge hold. I felt good stability through my turns. Also in the chop and chunky snow, it held its edge pretty well. It wasn't too difficult to turn; I did take it in the trees, and it's got a pretty quick turning radius.
I would not recommend this ski for a total beginner or an expert who wants something that's going to perform better in powder. I would recommend it to an intermediate or advanced skier who’s looking for something that's going to do really well on groomers and is looking to explore some trees and do a little bit of off-piste skiing.
[Sarah] Coming in at third place is the Head Kore 91. Head claims that this is a versatile, all-mountain, freeride ski. It's 91mm underfoot, which is one of the more narrow versions of the Kore. It is extremely responsive on the groomers and it holds an edge really well. It's a super durable, strong, fast ski that’s not too heavy.
[Jessica] These skis have a turn radius of 10–14 meters depending on the size, which is pretty narrow. So you can get these skis going in tight slalom turns, and then you can go all the way out into big, GS-carving turns.
[Sarah] This ski is ideal for trees, groomers, bumps, and most places on the mountain. The only place I probably wouldn't take this is in a foot of powder.
[Jessica] Because they're so versatile, I would really recommend these skis to any intermediate skier who's looking to improve. I would say this is more of an advanced ski, but I think that if you are a progressive beginner, or intermediate skier who really wants to keep going with the sport, this would be a great option. You can really keep ripping them until you're an expert.
[Sarah] Our number two ski for women's all-mountain carving is the Blizzard Black Pearl 88. One of the most popular women's skis out there, it's advertised as an intermediate to advanced ski, but I really do feel like it's versatile enough that most anyone can enjoy it.
[Jessica] We took them on the groomers and they were great—they really excelled at short turns. Then we even took them in the trees, and they held their own. Though they're not super wide, so I'd probably avoid too much deep snow with them.
[Sarah] One of the cool features of these skis is called TrueBlend technology, which means within the varying lengths of the ski, the stiffness is adjusted. So the roughly 140+cm models for small female skiers are softer than what you would find in the 170cm versions.
I would not recommend these skis to somebody who's either looking for a playful terrain-park ski, or for a freestyle/freeride ski that's going to hold up well in powder. Further, they’re appropriate for most parts of the country, as long as you're sticking to groomers. They'd definitely be a good daily driver for a skier on the East Coast.
[Jessica] I would recommend these skis to mostly intermediate to advanced riders. Though beginners looking to improve could totally handle it; they might be a little bit hard to get used to at first, but it's definitely a ski that could stick with you for the long run.
[Sarah] Our absolute favorite for women's all-mountain carving is the Volkl Kenja 88.
[Jessica] This year, there are three primary changes to the Volkl Kenjas: a Tailored Titanal Frame; a Tailored Carbon Tip; and a shorter turn radius than in years prior. They’re really easy to control at speed, are “chatter-proof”, and they feel really great at high speeds.
These skis excel all over. I wouldn't say they’re just good for the West, nor just the East, because they're really groomer bulldozers. They really are great for ripping up groomers, or you could go as slow as fast as you want on these skis.
I would say beginners should avoid these skis. Because this is a burlier, groomer ski, it's not as light, nimble, and responsive as some other beginner options. So I would recommend these skis to an intermediate to expert skier. What's cool about these skis is that they reward aggression; if you're an intermediate skier, you'll be able to keep these skis for as long as you want to progress.
Did your ski make the list? Let us know in the comments on the video! If there's any skis that you didn't hear about that you want to hear us talk about, let us know. If you'd like some help finding the perfect ski setup for you, get connected with a Skiing Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. We’d be happy to help you out.