Sometimes you need to buy skis on a budget. We get that! That's why our experts take customers' budgets into consideration every time they make recommendations. So check out this list of the most-recommended skis under $500 to get started. Note, however, that we don't believe in "best of" lists here at Curated – everyone is different and we believe in finding the best gear for you and not generally for the masses. Want to make sure you're getting the right pair? Chat with a Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best skis for you.
- Head Kore 93 Skis · 2022
- Salomon QST LUX 92 Skis · Women's · 2022
- K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Skis · Women's · 2022
- Salomon Stance 90 Skis · 2022
- K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis · 2022
- Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis · 2022
- K2 Mindbender 99Ti Skis · 2022
- Salomon QST Spark Skis · 2022
- Salomon Stance 96 Skis · 2022
- Head Kore 105 Skis · 2022
Head Kore 93 Skis · 2022
Very popular over the last few years. Super lightweight, easy to maneuver quickly, 93 underfoot means you can get edge to edge quickly but still float in a little bit of snow. The construction of this ski makes it light but stiff so it will go fast and cut through the crud.
Salomon QST LUX 92 Skis · Women's · 2022
Just about anything you throw at it and is one of the most approachable skis for a wide range of skiers. The QST line is impressive in its versatility: hard snow groomers? Check. Want to jump off into the trees? Check. Moguls? Check. At 92 underfoot, this ski works well on both coasts, the Rockies, and the midwest.
K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Skis · Women's · 2022
K2 uses an 85mm waist width with their All-terrain Rocker (giving a gradual rise in the tip with a short, low rise in the tail) to produce an incredibly versatile ski for the intermediate to advanced skier. The ski's shape provides versatility for both easy turn initiation on groomed snow, and floatation in soft snow when you travel out west. They also have an Aspen Veneer Core for lightweight and long life. K2 uses a short turning radius on this ski, for a skier who prefers controlled, shorter turns.
Salomon Stance 90 Skis · 2022
High performance skiing mostly on groomed trails. This ski has a metal laminated construction similar to the ever-popular Nordica Enforcer line, but with a strategic design that reduces the overall weight, making the ski more friendly for all-day riding and a little easier to maneuver. This ski has a ton of power in it, but in a package that is accessible to a solid intermediate and up.
It's a ski for the one who enjoys groomers, but also likes to adventure into the slop on the sides of each run. Since it has metal laminate, it holds a solid edge when needed, but its also a bit more forgiving than something like the atomic vantage 90ti.
Great for ripping up the groomers and getting into some fun little pow laps here and there.
K2 Mindbender 90Ti Skis · 2022
These are a 2022 version of an amazing ski! The K2 Mindbenders are a solid ski from a great manufacturer. The 2021 version of these skis sold out fast! They do have a titanal layer that will make them strong and stable on groomers and icy conditions, so they'll be a bit heavier than the options above. However, these are a much more intuitive ski vs. the Enforcers. These skis won't have you in the backseat as they're much more forgiving. 177cm, 90 waist, these will be a great intermediate-advanced ski that will feel strong and stable, but still forgiving. These will be heavier than the options above.
A slightly more piste-oriented all-mountain ski that likes to get on edge and go fast. At 90mm underfoot this ski is exceptionally quick edge to edge. With titanal metal in the core its a stiff and stable ride that rips hard and fast. Slight rocker in the tip gives it off-piste chops and float in softer snow. The stiff flat tail however is great for finishing turns and propelling you into the next.
Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis · 2022
The Sender is a new lightweight 104mm underfoot ski from Rossignol. Compared to the metal-laminated Sender TI, the Sender has a more forgiving flex and is considerably lighter, making for a more playful and maneuverable ski. With its wide tips and tails this ski initiates turns easily and is a blast to carve, and the balanced flex pattern provides a smooth ride and good stability at speed.
Awesome brand new ski from Rossignol that performs incredibly well in all conditions. Not too heavy, but has enough weight behind it to feel very stable with no tip chatter at high speed. Carves extremely well on groomers and hardpack while also charging in post-storm powder and leftover soft stuff.
High speed long turns or tight tree pivoting. Very capable even at slow speeds—as long as you're thinking of where you'd like to be, the Senders will go.
K2 Mindbender 99Ti Skis · 2022
This ski is engaging, stable, and powerful. Their construction using a maple and aspen core with a Y-beam made from titanal gives this ski an exceptional feel on groomers and when you're carving. The front of the skis has a very engaging leading edge due to the metal over the edges. While the lack of metal over the tail edges makes the ski a bit more playful in the rear. Overall this ski is one made to charge through the chop and crud you'll find on the mountain and while it can handle the soft powder due to its width, its is less of a freeride ski compared to an all-mountain ski.
K2 has been classic in the all-mountain scene forever. These have a solid sidecut to allow for easier turn initiation, while the oversized tips create ideal floatation on the pow pow. The added Titanul is great for stiffening up the ride a bit so you can charge through the chop and crud.
Salomon QST Spark Skis · 2022
A tremendous all-mountain ski that is prime for the east coast conditions and cruising over groomers. A great ski to step into and get your footing on skis and getting your turns linking up nicely. This ski is a great twin tip to cross the whole mountain and jump into the park for a bit if you want. This ski is light and a great offering from Salomon.
Salomon Stance 96 Skis · 2022
Amazing powerful turns on groomed terrain, and at 96mm underfoot this ski can hack the cruddy and the soft when the skies open up. This ski has a double sheet of metal, so it really grabs those groomers for an incredible turn. It is surprisingly light and can hack pretty much anything you throw at it!
Two sheets of metal gives more playfulness and maneuverability. The built-in tail rocker gives playfulness. More leaning on the freeride side but has a lot of power and energy. A great blend of power and playfulness.
A 96 waist will get you through all but the deepest days on the mountain. The construction reduces weight while maintaining strength and stability at speed or in the crud.
Head Kore 105 Skis · 2022
Coming in around 1850g per ski at this length, the Cochise and Mantra are around 2300g, but due to Head's unique build construction, these perform more like those heavier skis. They obviously will deflect and chatter more than heavier skis, but these are very impressive for their weight. Easy on the legs too!
This is an ideal one ski quiver for powder, resort chop, or side country and backcountry laps! It's light, maneuverable, playful and fun! A real top favorite for doing it all!!
K2 Mindbender 88Ti Alliance Skis · Women's · 2022
This is a great option for an intermediate to expert-level skier. These skis offer great edge grip and versatility in a 88mm width. Stable and precise in the forebody of the ski as well as underfoot, and the skis' metal taper allows for a more playful and fun release from the turns. This ski is stable, quick, playful, and forgiving.
Salomon QST Spark Skis + M10 GW Bindings · 2023
A great ski from Salomon that includes bindings and has a great 85mm waist width for those groomers in New England. The rocker profile on this ski will help you get some float in some light powder and when navigating through some late afternoon crud! This is a great ski to learn and to grow on!
Any terrain, any snow! This ski is fun and forgiving - bindings included in the price too makes it an awesome price point option!
Dynastar M-Menace 90 Skis + Xpress 11 GW Ski Bindings · 2023
With a tip and tail rocker for easier turn initiation, the Dynastar Menace 90's will help to open up more of the mountain for the beginner skier looking to progress. A poplar wood core means a nice, springy feel and solid construction. With a width of 90mm, these have enough width underfoot to help keep you on top if some fresh snow falls. They won't let you down once you improve thanks to their construction and partial twin tip--all the better if you ever decide to throw a 180!
Völkl Blaze 94 Skis · 2022
Lightweight performance ski that's happy everywhere from ice to powder! A solid hybrid touring ski or happy just as a daily driver. Volkl's 3D radius for intuitive and easy turning at any speed, wide enough to float.
Salomon Stance W 80 Skis + M10 GW Bindings · Women's · 2023
Titanal metal in the core adds stability while Carbon windows in the tip and tail will lower the swing but provide a snappy ride when carving!
Dynastar M-Pro 99 Skis · 2022
Steep, chalky terrain, variable snow conditions, and big fast GS-sized turns. You can lay over the ski and trust it to not wash out, and it'll smooth out rough, afternoon groomers. This ski is a great balance of stability, suspension, and pop. If you can drive into the turn, it'll spray up a ton of snow and launch you out of the exit. The tapered, rockered shovel never feels stuck in the turn or pulls harder than you want. It makes for a predictable ride in variable terrain and choppy snow. The weight is a good compromise between the maneuverability you get from a lighter ski and the stability and suspension from a heavier ski.
This ski is on the lighter side in its category, and is overall more for finesse than force. It's not a crudbuster, but it's sturdy and reliable. The edgehold is solid but not hooky like a race ski. It doesn't beg for speed, but can handle it just fine on the smoother terrain. It will ski well for someone who likes a dynamic style over a point-it-and-go mentality.
This 99mm underfoot ski will perform well in any condition. It is a wood and polyurethane core with a metal layer that runs edge to edge underfoot, but narrows in the tip and tail, giving support while keeping the ski energetic.
Salomon Stance 84 Skis · 2022
This is a strong ski that likes to lay down trenches on the groomers. Its shape and layup give it an amazing amount of versatility for skiing styles and terrain. Salomon used a single sheet of titanal with carbon in the tips and tails to combine strength with a low swing weight. This makes these skis extremely easy to ski, yet provides stability in carved turns. The camber underfoot with slight tip/tail rocker aid with versatility for those days when the snow turns softer.
These are as at home carving the icy steeps as they are on perfectly groomed corduroy. The Stance 84 excels regardless of conditions. A progressive sidecut coupled with a lively wood core is agile and reliable, while all-new titanal and carbon construction grips the snow, making for a smooth, enjoyable ride.
Atomic Maverick 95 Ti Skis · 2022
The Maverick 95's are very fun inbounds and can hold an edge very well on piste, but can also be nimble in the sidecountry with decent floatation in powder for a 95mm-underfoot ski. This is partially thanks to Atomic's HRZN tip and tail technology, which makes the skis more forgiving and floaty. The Titanal inside the ski helps keep the ski damp, which means it feels smooth and stable in rough snow. Good for intermediate - advanced skiers, east coast skiers, groomers, side country, high speeds.
The Atomic Maverick 95 is a master class in all-mountain perfection. Titinal Top sheet gives this ski a super powerful response over ice and crud, quick edge to edge, and plenty of surface to float with in deep snow. For those who like tight hard charging lines but don't want to be limited in where you can go.
Salomon QST Lumen 99 Skis · Women's · 2022
A great all-mountain ski that will do a little bit of everything very well! They integrated cork into the construction to help with damping the ski at higher speeds. Being 99 underfoot with a decent rocker in the tip, they will stay afloat in powder while also being able to hold an edge on those groomers!
Everything, there really isn't much this ski cannot do. The wood construction really allows this ski to stand out from the pack with unmatched pop and energy out of every turn. This will be a great ski to really feel stable at high speed and have less chatter than others in this category.
Völkl Deacon XT Skis + vMotion 10 GW Bindings · 2023
Dynastar M-Menace 90 Open Skis · 2023
The Dynastar Menace is a great all-mountain ski that will perform in a variety of conditions! At 90mm underfoot and a rocker/camber/rocker profile, there's enough floatation for the occasional powder day, but it's still narrow enough for versatility and performance on groomers, packed snow, trees - you name it!
Great all-mountain, a resort-focused ski that will hold up in any conditions and offer a very versatile ski. A poplar wood core which will have you feeling like this ski can handle anything: will absorb any sort of crud on the trail, be elastic enough that you can really push its turning ability, and won't be too heavy in general. The cap construction on this will make it feel lighter while not giving up any of that stability and control you will find in a heavier ski. It will initiate turns well and go from edge to edge with ease.
K2 Mindbender 108Ti Skis · 2022
They stay true to K2's builds with an energetic frame that will really push into turns and hold an edge on anything. The tip and tail rocker keep you floating on powder and add plenty of maneuverability. Titanium added to the build will ensure that the skis stay stable at any speed. And the cool top sheets don't hurt!
Brand new 2022 model! At 108mm underfoot, these things are made for powder. These are made for hard charging skiers - a bit on the stiffer side with a longer turn radius. All-terrain rocker to help you maneuver through all conditions.
Head Kore 93 Skis · 2021
Really popular ski in the past few years. Super lightweight, easy to maneuver quickly, 93 underfoot means you can get edge to edge quickly but still float in a little bit of snow. The construction of this ski makes it light but stiff so it'll go fast and cut through the crud.
The narrow waist and substantial build will allow you to rip anything from cord to crud. It has a layer of metal in it that will offer stability while the 14m turn radius provides a quick turn engagement.
Hands down the standout ski from 2019! Kind of a unicorn ski because of how light but stiff it is! Totally rips hardpack, but is relatively light for the uphill!
Fischer Ranger 94 FR Skis · 2021
A snappy ski built with precision and energy to spare, the Ranger 94 FR is part of Fischer's Freeride series for serious all-mountain riding! These planks were engineered to excel at everything the mountain has to offer - carving down groomers, venturing off-trail, navigating through trees, and lacing right moguls. This energetic ski will practically get you airborne between turns if you push it hard enough, while its generous rocker profile and twinned tips make it easy to release from turns and perform above its class in powder and chop. It is also fairly lightweight to help keep leg muscles from becoming too Jell-o-ey after a long day on the slopes. A great option for intermediate skiers who want to hone their skills across the whole mountain, or advanced skiers looking for a ski they can push hard and reap the rewards.
Equally at home in the fluff and on the hardpack. These have outstanding maneuverability in tight spots thanks to the lighterweight build and the especially light tips. Camber underfoot and plenty of stability railing groomers as well.
Head Kore 97 W Skis · Women's · 2022
97mm waist for an easy ski to move edge to edge on hardpack and will still offer enough float to handle storm days in CO. These skis are on the stiffer side and have a long traditional camber, so they'll hold an edge on any icy day on the East Coast no matter how fast you turn. The rocker and modern sidecut add a lot of maneuverability making the ski both stable and playful!
Spring, pow, crud, groomers, you name it! An aggressive but playful ski that is easy to turn but damp at speed.
K2 Disruption 76X Skis + M3 10 Compact Quikclik Bindings · 2022
K2 uses a lightweight Aspen core with tip-to-tail I-Beam construction, which reinforces the center of the ski to provide stability and precision in your turns. K2 also uses their Catch Free Rocker profile to help with turn initiation, especially before you get your speed up. They have a short turn radius that favors someone who likes to make smaller, quicker turns.
Atomic Maverick 100 Ti Skis · 2022
No speed limit on this ski! With a Flow Profile and OMatic core, you do not have to worry about what the weather maybe or how fast you are going. Built to hold an edge and them float in the powder, you will have a season or two or three or more with this ski since it will last because of the Dura Cap Sidewall construction. Do you want a do-it-all ski? This is it!
Dynastar M-Pro 84 W Skis · Women's · 2022
This is a great ski for getting the most out of groomed runs. The poplar wood core is strong and naturally damp, so these skis retain good suspension qualities without needing the extra weight of metal laminates. The 5 point side-cut and short turn radius make initiating turns a breeze - even on hardpack - and the tip rocker gives them enhanced stability across varying conditions.
Extremely damp and forgiving, with a great feel on edge the M-pro 84 has a tight turning radius and is primed for riding on piste. Its poplar core and partial titanal insert make this ski both forgiving and stable, and the 13m turning radius makes this ski great for riding groomers even when conditions are tough.
Titanal frame in the construction keeps this ski stable and strong on edge! Able to handle super firm conditions and variable snow, but also isn't super demanding and can handle some fresher snow you may encounter.
K2 Sight Skis · 2022
An amazing all mountain twin tip ski for a great value. You can shred the park, groomers, trees, moguls and anywhere else on the mountain with these. With an 88mm waist width these skis are narrower park skis that are perfect for the icy east coast but can still take on variable snow and crud with ease making them ideal for occasional trips out west. This ski will do a bit better than the Volkl in Colorado but won't be as easy to maneuver the ski edge to edge when skiing the icy east coast.
The Sight is a great all mountain ski with big park ambitions. The flex pattern of the Sight keeps it stable on landings and flexible in the tips so you aren't limited when trying to progress in the terrain park. Carbon fiber added to the core gives this ski plenty of strength and keeps things damp and due to K2's all terrain rocker, the sight will perform beautifully where ever you decide to take them.
With an aspen wood core and carbon stringers, these skis have a ton of energy and pop to them with some added stability built in that other twin tips sometimes lack. Great for trees, bumps, and making the mountain your playground, the Sight skis are incredibly versatile.
Fischer Ranger 92 Ti Skis · 2022
Ripping groomers, with two sheets of Titanal these skis walk the walk. The larger spoon on the tip and early rocker is great for deeper snow, but doesn't take away from the carving performance.
Super fun carver that has metal in the core for stability, but a carbon nose to reduce weight!
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