The 10 Best Skis: The Ultimate List

Published on 09/18/2023 · 8 min readLooking to up your skiing game and wondering which skis will best suit your style? Check out this list of the best skis from Skiing Expert Adam St. Ours!
Adam St. Ours, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Adam St. Ours

Photo by Camron Zavell

This is it, the crème de la crème. The bee’s knees. These are the skis that have stood the test of time and everybody loves. From all-mountain skis to powder skis — some are extremely popular, and some more exclusive and not seen often on the slopes. However, all are unanimously agreed to be at the top of their respective categories for a myriad of reasons.

I’ve helped thousands of customers from all over the country find the perfect ski gear for their unique needs. Each one was different and had their own personalized wants and needs, but these skis keep coming up as top options for many of them. It speaks to not only their high performance, but also their versatility that they can be as capable in such varying terrain and conditions as they are. .

Frontside

1. Head Supershape

  • The Rundown
    • The HEAD Supershape lineup of skis utilizes HEAD’s cutting-edge technology from their world-class racing department and brings it to the resort for the ultimate frontside killer.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Stability at high speed thanks to Energy Management Circuit (EMC) and being light yet stiff thanks to the use of graphene.
    • HEAD packs a punch in terms of technology and performance. At 78mm wide and loads of camber underfoot, they’re quick and nimble on groomers with a turn radius of 14 meters in the 170cm length but not completely out of their element in mixed conditions. If you’re looking for one ski to dominate the entire frontside, from meticulously groomed trails to late season slush and chop, you can’t do much better than the Supershape.

2. Rossignol Experience

  • The Rundown
    • The Rossignol Experience loves to carve big, fast turns on groomed snow and won’t leave you wanting when the snow is soft.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • There’s something for everyone. The Experience is available in a beginner ski all the way up to advanced and expert. The entry-level skis are great to learn on — they’re softer and more forgiving — while the advanced skis feature metal layers (a titanal alloy that is designed as Ti), which provide stiffness and dampening while skiing aggressively. The Experience is also not a one-dimensional ski, as a bit of early rise in the tip, tail rocker, and generous taper in the shovel help turn initiation when the snow is less than ideal.

All-Mountain Narrow

3. Volkl Kendo

  • The Rundown
    • Best-in-class stability and edgehold, the Volkl Kendo is a precise ski that inspires confidence on groomed runs and bumps and in the trees.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • They’ve been on everybody’s “best of” list ever since they came out over a dozen years ago. Not one to rest on their laurels, Volkl has continuously made tweaks to the construction, resulting in one of the favorite skis for anybody who primarily skis hardpack conditions, with the occasional boot-deep powder. The newest version features a multi-sidecut, where the turning radius of the ski varies depending on where you engage the edge of the ski in a turn. This allows you to easily vary the turn shape, increasing the versatility.

4. Blizzard Black Pearl

  • The Rundown
    • The best-selling women’s ski in the world because they combine impressive versatility in a wide range of snow conditions with a smooth and reliable feeling. You know what you’re going to get out of them, and you’re going to like it.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Millions of women around the world can’t be wrong. From beginners to intermediate skiers and beyond, the high performance of Blizzard’s Flipcore technology produces a ski that is strong and supportive but with an even flex and easier turn initiation than any other ski this high performing. Whether you want an easy cruiser for occasional runs off trail, or you live in an area that doesn’t see much fresh snow but want a ski to make the most of a powder day when you do get it, the Black Pearl is up for the challenge.

All-Mountain Wide

5. Nordica Enforcer

  • The Rundown
    • East Coast, West Coast, and anyplace in between — the Nordica Enforcer has you covered.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Simply put, there is not a snow condition or terrain type that the Nordica Enforcer does not feel comfortable on. Available in a wide range of waist widths, depending on how much time you spend on/off trail, they all feature stability at any speed thanks to a dual layer of metal over the entire ski length. It’s no surprise that the Enforcer has some of the most devoted fans of any ski.

6. Salomon QST

  • The Rundown
    • Equally appropriate for someone buying their first pair of all-mountain skis or an expert looking for a ski that makes any terrain a casual cruiser.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Easy-going and confidence inspiring on the feet of an inexperienced skier, but predictable and high performing on the feet of an advanced skier, the Salomon QST hits the sweet spot for a wide range of skiers. Featuring five models of varying widths that are all unisex in construction, the only difference between men’s and women’s offerings are the design color and sizes available. They all feature a C/FX carbon weave for strength and a cork damplifier to minimize vibrations.

Powder

7. Atomic Bent Chetler 120

  • The Rundown
    • A powder-eating board that’s nimble and poppy, the Bent 120 features a rocker profile that’s meant for tons of float in soft snow, playful surfy turns, and jumping off everything in sight.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • A mainstay of ski films, the Bent Chetler has epitomized powder freeriding since they came out 15 years ago. Their popularity has only increased with the advent of the Salomon Shift binding and the subsequent boom in backcountry skiing. Their lightweight build and surfy nature is right at home hitting backcountry booters. Recent additions to the lineup have introduced narrower widths for increased versatility, but the easy-going nature that makes a powder day a dream is the same.

Freestyle

8. Armada ARV

  • The Rundown
    • Equally at home in the terrain park as slashing through the trees or in a back bowl, the Armada ARV is the ultimate one ski to make the mountain your playground.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Armada was founded by pro skiers to be a freeride brand, and no ski exemplifies that more than the ARV (or ARW — the women’s version is identical with just different topsheet and lengths). With a soft and forgiving flex, the ARV is best at noodling around at slower speeds, jumps, spins, and especially butters and nose presses. There are no rules, only right.

9. Faction Prodigy

  • The Rundown
    • A semi twin tip with a strong construction that is nimble and poppy, whether in the park or around the rest of the mountain
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Most “all-mountain” skis are just focused on the names on the trail map, but the Prodigy wants you to ski the entire mountain — what’s named as well as what’s between the names on the map. Front and backside? Of course. Terrain park? That’s obvious. Tree runs? Yes, please. What about that natural booter that always forms under the lift? Let’s go! Nothing is off limits on the Prodigy.

Touring

10. Blizzard Zero G

  • The Rundown
    • Lightweight to carry on 10,000-foot vertical objectives, but strong enough to trust on the way down.
  • Why They’re the Ultimate
    • Long before it was fashionable to have hybrid skis that go in and out of the resort, the Zero G was the rare touring ski that you could feel confident skiing on like a resort ski. Utilizing a carbon overlay for stiffness over a Trueblend wood core, the Zero G shines in high alpine faces over lots of exposure, where you need a strong supportive ski to hold.

Connect with an Expert

Photo by Adam St. Ours

While this list isn’t exhaustive by any means, it’s a great starting point for the best skis that have been mainstays in their categories for many years. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a skier, as the depth and breadth of options from ski brands have never been better.

Whether you’re buying your first pair of skis or are interested in adding to your quiver, no matter what kind of skier you are and what you’re looking for in a pair of skis, there’s a model out there that’s perfect for you. If you’re interested in seeing what gear options fit your unique situation, chat with me or one of my fellow Ski Experts on Curated, and we can send over a personalized Curation with the right ski for you.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

Shop Skis on Curated

Head Supershape e-Rally Skis + Protector PR 13 GW Bindings · 2024
$779.00$1,299.00
Völkl Kendo 88 Skis · 2024
$419.99$699.99

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Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis · Women's · 2024
$489.97$699.95
Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis · 2024
$559.97$799.95
Salomon QST Stella 106 Skis · Women's · 2024
$524.97$749.95
Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis · 2024
$559.97$799.95
Armada ARV 94 Skis · 2024
$454.97$649.95
Faction Prodigy 2 Skis · 2024
$419.30$599.00
Blizzard Zero G 95 Skis · 2024
$799.95

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