The 8 Best Women's Beginner Skis

Published on 11/23/2023 · 12 min readLearn what sets a beginner ski apart and go over some of the best options for women's beginner skis with Ski Expert Hunter R.
Hunter R., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Hunter R.

Photo by FamVeld

It’s exciting when you have made the decision to finally invest in your own skis!

Rental skis are nice for a few seasons, but there's a multitude of reasons to invest in your own gear instead of renting. From the time you’ll save standing in rental lines at the ski resort to the money you’ll save in the long run to the feeling of comfort that having your own gear brings! Finally being able to get familiar with your gear so you're not spending an hour or two of every ski day getting comfortable skiing on whatever new skis you’ve been given is incredible.

You’ve made the right choice investing in your own gear! Now for the big question: which ski is the right ski for you?

Below is a list of women’s skis that are awesome for a beginner or first-time ski buyer. They are all great skis but vary a little in their specific strong suits so make sure to check them all out to see which one would work best for you!

What Makes These “Beginner” Skis?

Beginner skis have a narrower width compared to other skis, since in the beginning, you’ll mostly be skiing on groomed terrain. They have a softer flex, making for easier turn initiation, and a smoother ride going over bumps. And lastly, most beginner skis come in a package deal with bindings, which saves you the hassle of figuring out which bindings match to which skis, and ends up saving you some money!

Now let's get to the list of best women's beginner skis!

1. K2 Disruption 75 Alliance Skis

(Sold with ERP 10 Bindings)

The K2 Disruption is one of the best all-around, simple skis in the beginner category. The waist width of 75 mm and its rocker/camber/rocker shape make it versatile for easy cruising and turning down greens, blues, blacks, or whatever you're looking to ski. It has a composite core, which is soft, forgiving, and lightweight, and something called I-Beam Technology in the laminate which gives it a precise, controlled feel on turns.

It is a pretty narrow ski, so it won’t handle off-trail skiing as well as other options on this list or as non-beginner-specific skis, but it will hold its own and carry you over any frontside terrain or snow conditions you may encounter. The Disruptions come with an ERP Quikclik binding which is easy to use and reliable.

  • Waist Width: 75 mm
  • Turn Radius: 11.8 m (in the 156 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with ERP 10 Bindings

2. Elan Wildcat 76 LS Skis

(Sold with ELW 9.0 GW Shift Bindings)

The Elan Wildcat 76 LS skis are a great option for anyone looking to have a ski that will grow with them. Elan is well known for its Amphibio TruLine Technology, an advanced design that helps with both the initiation and the control of ski turns. This technology works by adding more structural material to the inside edge of the skis, which provides more edge grip and stability to power the turn, and less structural material to the outside edge of the skis which allows for an easier, smoother transition once you're actually in the turn.

Note: because of this technology, these skis do have a left and right specific ski.

Even with that added material on the inside of the ski, the Elan Wildcat 76s is one of the lightest skis on the market, making them easy to control as you are getting used to skiing. Part of this low weight is thanks to the binding system they come with. These bindings are attached by a special binding plate called the LightShift system which uses a plate-in-plate design as opposed to normal bindings that attach through a set of screws into the ski. Not only does this system save you weight, but it allows the skis to feel much more responsive compared to normal binding systems. The binding plate also has two vibrational absorbers, one on the front and one on the back which reduces the chattering feeling you’ll get on other skis when turning (especially in icier conditions).

It will be a bit narrower for areas that get a ton of new snow. But for those (especially East Coasters or Midwesterners) looking to progress quickly on the frontside before taking their newfound skills to off-trail terrain, this is the perfect beginner ski.

  • Waist Width: 76 mm
  • Turn Radius: 11.5 m (in the 150 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes

3. Atomic Cloud Q8 Women's Skis

(Sold with M10 GW Bindings)

The Atomic Cloud Q8 is a great option for beginner skiers, especially, those who tend to find themselves in icier conditions. It has a lightweight design with bulletproof edges and a shape that makes for easy control when you’re just starting out on your journey as a skier.

The ease of control is mostly due to the internal construction of the ski. The internal layer contains an Energy Backbone down each ski edge and across the center middle which helps them feel responsive and makes you feel like you are putting less work to go in the direction you want them to go. The internal layer also includes a Densolite core which is a material that keeps them feeling agile and dampens vibrations so you can focus on your turns.

These are a bit more durable than some of the others on the list, in part thanks to their edges. The edges are made from steel five times more wear-resistant than regular steel which makes for the perfect strength and grip when you need it on the slopes and contributes to a more durable ski overall. These come with the Marker M10 bindings which are a great, reliable binding for brand-new to intermediate skiers.

  • Waist Width: 75 mm
  • Turn Radius: 13.5 m (in the 154 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with M10 GW Bindings

4. Salomon Women's Stance 80 Skis

(Sold with M10 Bindings)

Wider than a few others on this list, the Stance from Salomon is a great option that will keep up with you as you progress and help you out quite a bit on your mission to perfect your turns. The frame on these has a Titanial laminate throughout the whole ski which makes for a damp ski that will feel grippy and stable in a variety of speeds, terrains, and conditions. There are also two carbon windows on the frame (one on the front of the ski and one on the back) which makes for an engaging, easy feeling while in your turn and an explosive feeling when coming out of turns so you can jump right into your next turn.

The sidecut shape is also designed to make it easier to turn. Given the larger waist width than some of the others on the list, the Stances will handle new snow a little better than others by offering a bit more float than something with a smaller waist width. They come with Marker M10 bindings which are high-performance, reliable bindings.

  • Waist Width: 80 mm
  • Turn Radius: 14 m (in the 169 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with M10 Bindings

5. Rossignol Women's Nova 4 CA Skis

(Sold with XPress 10 Bindings)

Out of stock

If you’ve spent much time on rental skis, chances are one, if not most of them, were Rossignol brand. Rental and beginner skis are one of their specialties, and this ski proves it. The Nova 4 CA is a beginner-friendly ski with wider tips and more carbon in the construction compared to other similar width beginner oriented skis, which makes it especially good for those looking to get into some off piste skiing, light powder, or ski at higher speeds.

The wider tip and tail rocker are going to give you a bit more float in new snow and make it a bit easier to maneuver and turn in different types of terrain compared to a lot of other beginner skis whose specialties are on-piste, groomer carving. The CA in the name stands for 'carbon' as these skis have carbon stringers throughout the core. The carbon gives these skis extra stability when cruising at higher speeds or on ice. Most beginner skis are full wood with minimal metal, which is great for keeping a ski light, but also results in a chattery feeling when you start to carve a bit faster on hard snow. That won't be the case with the Nova 4 CAs since the carbon will still keep them light and maneuverable, but also give them extra grip and help you feel super stable as you start to ski at faster speeds. They have a medium pop when coming out of turns which will still help you a bit when initiating your next turn but not as much pop as the Stance (listed above). Their extended core increases the ski’s contact with the snow and gives them a precise, stable feeling, especially at high speeds.

If you are looking for a beginner ski, but don't want your skis to hold you back on trying out new speeds and different types of terrain, the Nova 4 CA is a great choice. They also come with the XPress 10 binding which is a solid and lightweight binding.

  • Waist Width: 75 mm
  • Turn Radius: 12 m (in the 160 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with XPress 10 Bindings

6. Rossignol Experience 76 Skis

(Sold with XPress 10 GW Bindings)

The Rossignol Experience 76 is a great option for someone who doesn't want anything too fancy—just looking for a solid ski that will save them the hassle of the rental line without all the bells and whistles that other beginner skis have.

It has a high-quality wood core that doesn’t take much energy to control and it will give you a smooth ride over bumps and uneven areas of snow thanks to its layer of fiberglass laminate. Fiberglass is a bit more flexible than other laminates used on skis, so these will feel less stiff compared to others on this list. The Experience also has a short turn radius of only 12 meters (the shortest out of all the options on this list), which means it's easy to make effortless, quick turns.

There is technically a men’s and women’s version of this ski but the only difference is the lengths and colors, so they’ll perform exactly the same. The Experience skis come with the XPress 10 Bindings, which are a safe and suitable option for any beginner skier.

  • Waist Width: 76 mm
  • Turn Radius: 12 m (in the 152 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with XPress 10 GW Bindings

7. Völkl Flair 72 Skis

(Sold with vMotion 10 GW Bindings)

The Flair 72 is a perfect ski for a beginner female skier who feels that, though they are new to the sport, they are both excited and ready to put in the work to perfect their skills on the mountain. These have a narrower waist width than most skis, so they’ll be great for frontside carving, easy to handle, and you’ll feel supported and stable in your turns.

It won’t handle ice or harder snow as well as some of the other options on this list, so if you are an East Coast skier, you might want to skip this one. It is also a bit narrow to handle more than a few inches of new snow, so if you expect most of your ski days to have a lot of new snow or be spent looking for powder stashes, it’s not the best ski on this list for you. But if you are in the western part of the country, still learning, primarily looking for a good ski to handle groomers and soft snow, and aren’t expecting to call in sick to work every time there's a powder day so that you can hit the slopes—this is the ski for you. They come with vMotion bindings which deliver a comfortable, controlled connection from your boot to your ski.

  • Waist Width: 76 mm
  • Turn Radius: 12.7 m (in the 158 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with vMotion 10 GW Bindings

8. Salomon QST Spark Skis

(Sold with M10 GW Bindings)

The QST line from Salomon is well known and has tons of different shapes and sizes. The Spark is the more beginner-oriented skis out of the line-up, but it’s technically an all-mountain ski and won’t feel like a beginner ski as much as some of the others. It has an 85 mm waist, so a bit on a wider ski compared to most of the others on this list, but still incredibly easy to turn. The twin rocker makes it handle any kind of snow like a champion and the full poplar wood core makes it feel stable on the snow no matter what speed you’re cruising at.

If you are looking for your first pair of skis, but feel like you’re almost out of that beginner phase, this is going to be the perfect option for you. It’s a unisex ski, so it’s great for anyone. This one does not come with bindings, but reach out to a Ski Expert on Curated, and we can recommend a binding that would be a perfect match.

  • Waist Width: 58mm
  • Turn Radius: 15 m (in the 164 length)
  • Bindings Included: Yes, sold with M10 GW Bindings

Still a little unsure which ski would be best for you specifically, even after reading this list? Or have questions regarding something else such as a different type of ski, how to choose the right ski length, or which helmets, goggles, and ski boots will keep you safest on the slopes this season? Don’t worry! Check in with a Ski Expert on Curated, and we can give you a hyper-personalized recommendation for ski gear that will be awesome for you! Want more? Check out the 5 best beginner skis here.

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