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.
- Salomon QST 92 Skis · 2022
- K2 Mindbender 85 Skis · 2022
- Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis
- Salomon Stance 90 Skis
- Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis
- K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Women's Skis · 2022
- Salomon QST LUX 92 Women's Skis · 2022
- K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2022
- Rossignol Blackops Sender Ski
- Line Pandora 84 Women's Skis · 2022
Salomon QST 92 Skis · 2022
The QST 92 is the second narrowest in the line, and does perform very well on front side carving but its features make it a good all-mountain option. It uses a less rockered tip and tail compared to the other QST models and combines it with a longer active edge to create a smooth entrance into carves. This along with the poplar core, cork damplifier, and Solomon's unique carbon and flax material create a damper more powerful feel than many other carbon skis. They are not particularly heavy weighing in at 1850g in the 177cm size and they maintain a bit of that rockered tip to help with the ski floating and making it a great all-mountain option.
K2 Mindbender 85 Skis · 2022
The K2 Mindbender 85's combine a forgiving design but still offer the edge hold and carvability that most entry-level skis don't. This ski is perfect for shredding groomers at Alfton Alps but will also be a great asset to your quiver when you're skiing out west. With all-terrain rocker these skis will truly perform great in all conditions. The short low rise in the tail will also help add extra control when you're in variable snow. The aspen core is lightweight but still resilient enough to dampen the chatter at fast speeds. Once you realize the capabilities of this ski, you'll wonder how you were ever riding those crusty old rentals.
This is the perfect all-mountain ski for progressing your skills from intermediate to advanced! Break beyond the groomers and explore the trees, bumps, and even the fresh soft snow with control and confidence. A strong edge hold and great carving ability make ripping groomers super fun, while the all-terrain rocker is designed for versatility in variable conditions.
Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis
The Rustler 10 is a playful ski that thrives in soft off-piste conditions, but metal underfoot gives it some chops in firmer conditions as well. At 104mm underfoot, this ski floats extremely well in powder due to its rocker profile and lighter tips and tails, but it's still fun to carve and can hold an edge when you need it to. With its lightweight build and forgiving flex, this ski is quick and nimble and is great for moguls and trees.
A nice all-around ski. 102 is a very versatile waist width. This ski can go anywhere on the mountain. Easy to ride, stiff enough to punch through ice and crud, yet playful enough to enjoy it in the powder! Stiff underfoot, yet playful into the tip and tail, this ski will keep a smile on your face from the groomers to the powder and everything in between! The metal underfoot gives you a great edge hold to ensure worry-free carving!
The Rustler line has metal underfoot, but not in the tip/tail. The result is a ski that can carve really well on groomers, but is pretty lightweight overall and has nice flex at the ends that let it be really maneuverable in trees, bumps, powder.
Salomon Stance 90 Skis
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.
Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Skis
One of the best all-mountain skis year in and year out! A really versatile ski that can truly handle all conditions. The combination of a poplar/beech wood core, carbon and fiberglass laminates, and minimally tapered tip and tail rocker make for an all-mountain performer with a really intuitive feel. They excel at carving strong turns and being strong and lively in varying snow conditions, but they are surprisingly fun and capable in softer conditions as well.
This is a GREAT resort ski that will serve you at Stratton when the conditions get firmer. This ski will have awesome edge hold on harder snow. However, the slightly wide waist will allow you to venture into fresh snow and more variable terrain as well when you take those trips to Colorado!
A classic for a reason! Really versatile all-mountain ski that loves skiing groomers but is also capable in softer conditions. They feel precise and have great edge control on groomers, and they have a bit of rocker for that welcome few inches of fresh snow!
K2 Mindbender 85 Alliance Women's Skis · 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.
The K2 Mindbender 85 is a quick turning all-mountain ski for the woman looking for a lightweight responsive ski spending 70% or more of the time on groomed terrain or exploring some trees and side hits. It's not going to excel in powder but how many powder days are you really skiing this year?
Salomon QST LUX 92 Women's Skis · 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 90C Skis · 2022
Someone who wants a lively ski with some snap to it without the extra weight that is added from the Titanal laminate and for those who have got their technique down that they don't care for the extra stability to sacrifice their versatility. Constructed instead with a carbon boost braid, the woven-in stringers add in more pop and rebound - these feel quite energetic, but without lugging around all that metal so they don't feel sluggish or heavy at all. A great all-terrain rocker is found in the front and when that is parlayed with a 90mm waist and a rocker/camber/rocker profile you just need to know that these will do amazing in dumps of fresh snow and will feel float lifting you right above the powder. Again, these come with a graciously short turn radius that is quick edge to edge and will be a natural to take through the trees for you.
This is a powerful all-mountain ski. It has an aspen wood core which really reduces the weight of the ski, while not affecting its performance. It has a super precise initiation of turns, allowing you to really control the length and type of turn you want to create with it. This ski will be quick and nimble. It will perform high on groomers as well as everywhere on the mountain! The camber underfoot will allow the ski to grip the snow and feel stable and in control throughout turns. The 90mm underfoot will also allow the ski to have a bit of surface area and control on a snowy day when the trails may be a bit more variable.
The K2 Mindbender has been a staple for the brand for years and with good reason! This ski is an all-mountain machine that likes to rip up the groomers and slash through any chop that might get in your way. At 90mm underfoot, this ski is pretty quick from edge to edge and can float through a bit of the fresh stuff. Stiff through the tips and the tails with the flagship carbon fingers running through the ski from the bindings, the Mindbender 90c is great for a growing beginner and intermediate skier!
Rossignol Blackops Sender Ski
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.
Line Pandora 84 Women's Skis · 2022
A groomer-oriented ski. A softer top initiates turns easily while a stiffer tail provides power and stability at higher speeds. Line uses a 5CUT Multi-Radius sidecut, meaning there are 5 different radiuses blended into the ski's sidecut offering a wide variety of turn shapes. Carbon material stretches from tip to tail for added stability. A thin core and sidewall in the tip make it 100g lighter for reduces wing weight. In addition, Line used an Aspen core for the lightest and most agile feel!
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.
Blizzard Black Pearl 97 Skis Women's Red
The Black Pearl is known for its stability and power, while still being quite accessible and not overly demanding. This is a ski that will handle anything you throw at it.
Arcing turns on groomers, a smooth and stable ride at speed, dipping into the trees on occasion, these boards will do it all but feel most at home on resort trails.
Another great go anywhere do anything ski designed specifically for women who charge.
K2 Mindbender 90C Alliance Women's Skis · 2022
An amazing all-mountain ski built around fun, balance, and performance! The versatile 90mm and all-mountain rocker shape provides decent flotation in powder, holds an edge well in variable conditions, and is a good length for your height. Easy to turn, and designed for the more aggressive skiers on the mountain!
Great for intermediate to advanced skiers who like to ski a bit on groomers and a bit off trail. At 90mm underfoot these skis will be nice and quick edge to edge, but their shape also offers pretty good float in fresh snow!
Rossignol Blackops Holyshred Ski
Versatility, these things do a bit of everything without the old stigma jack of all trades master of none. They're just plain fun. It's capable at all speeds without the demanding nature of some more traditional metal laminate options and you can feel good about the purchase because Rossi is using a good chunk of recycled materials though the entire Black Ops Line.
All mountain/park oriented ski with twin tips, medium turning radius, and 98mm underfoot. Pretty stiff. Good for people ripping down the mountain at hair whipping speeds.
98mm. A great all mountain twin tip that blends power with playfulness. Amazing compression damping and great edge grip.
Völkl Secret 92 Skis Women's
This ski will handle groomers and powder with easy! Responsive and damp meaning you'll have a super smooth ride!
This ski will handle groomers and fresh snow with ease. Responsive and damp making for a super smooth ride!
All-mountain skiing - anything from icy East Coast groomers to powdered tree runs!
Line Sick Day 94 Skis · 2022
A really fun all-mountain ski that isn't afraid of ripping through the park! Early rise tips help keep you afloat in powder while the directional flex lets charge hard through any conditions. Thin tips take 100 grams of weight out of the tips for easier maneuvering and rotations if that's your thing. 5-cut side radius allows for varying turn sizes and shapes with ease! Top it all off with a partial twin tip so you're unstoppable in any direction!
Edge hold, crud busting, and float is what this all-mountain ski is about. You can ride groomers or explore off-piste and charge as fast as you can. The Sick day will be a one ski to do it all no matter where you go! For 2022 they reinforced it with Magic Finger carbon filaments to make it that much more responsive!
Fischer Ranger 90 FR Skis · 2022
Standard wood core construction with plenty of camber since there is no metal in the ski. The camber profile makes it snappy and energetic upon turn initiation. At 90mm underfoot you're getting a decent amount of floatation on powder. This is a twin-shaped ski as well which is another playful feature in the ski for those who are curious about freestyle!
Atomic Maven 86 Women's Skis · 2022
Brand new ski from Atomic for 2022 that they released early. This was developed in North America and built in Austria. Made for on-trail riding and off-piste exploring. They are balanced with a blend of power and maneuverability. This will be a solid intermediate ski that experts will enjoy too!
Salomon S/force Fx.80 Skis with M11 Gw Bindings · 2022
A great all-mountain ski for intermediate to advanced skiers. It's equipped with an energetic lightweight core that will help maintain momentum throughout your turns. The layer of titanal in combination with extra material over the sidewall will give you impeccable power transfer and energy so you can enjoy your skiing with stability and control. Rocker tip and contact points help you initiate quicker turns and hold onto surface of the snow without any catching or sticking on the edge. A great ski for the groomed trails all day long.
Traditional camber along most of the skis with a small tip rocker for better versatility and precise response as you carve from edge to edge! These use carbon fiber in the ski to absorb vibrations for a smooth, confidence inspiring ride!
K2 Poacher Skis · 2022
The poachers are back again! K2's flagship park model has made the return for 2022 with a steezy graphics update. For years this ski has made its way through parks and to podiums. The Poacher is a great all-mountain/park ski for someone looking for a nice 96mm waist width that isn't too expensive and has a great flex pattern for all the butters with its carbon stingers and well-blended wood core.
The K2 poacher is a great option for the above-average to advanced skier. It uses carbon stringers over top of the ski to help with energy transfer for a playful yet sturdy feel. This Fir and Aspen double-barrel core is going to be light and nimble but still has that full sidewall construction for performance on trail.
Atomic Bent Chetler 100 Skis · 2022
This surfy sender belongs to those who crave a well-rounded approach to the mountain that includes a good mix of everything! Whether it's powder, groomers, jumps, trees, bumps, or even the backcountry - this ski answers the call and then some - it's impressively lightweight yet super-durable at the same time!! The light poplar wood core is outfitted with wear-resistant edges, sintered bases, and a structured topsheet (2022 is the year for the best graphics too!) which ensures you won't be looking for a new pair in 3 years.
This has a 20/70/10 rocker/camber/rocker profile to give your carves energy and power but also give your tips some lift in the powder. It has a poplar wood core that optimizes weight but also has shock absorption characteristics. With a medium turn radius and the classic Atomic steel edges, this ski has all the performance characteristics you'd want in an all-mountain ski.
The Atomic Bent Chetler 100 skis designed by pro skier Chris Bentchetler has been one of the most popular freestyle do-it-all skis in recent seasons. With a lightweight wood core and full sidewall construction, the Bent Chetlers are made to charge, spin, drop, and jib the entire mountain. Atomic's signature HRZN design is made to cut through powder and choppy conditions by increasing the surface area an extra 10% in the tip and tail.
Atomic Maverick 86 C Skis · 2022
Atomic combined a wood core, metal laminate, and carbon fiber to produce a ski with excellent energy out of the turn and a smooth, damp ride. Camber underfoot with rocker and early taper in the tips and tails give you easy turn initiation and a ski that won't hook in softer snow.
The true all-mountain skier looking for a quick ski edge to edge in a lightweight package that is very responsive under foot.
Atomic Maverick 88 TI Skis Black Grey
The Maverick 88 is a true all-mountain ski for those who want to spend the majority of their time off-trail but still want a strong ski on the groomers too. This is a fun, dependable, and balanced ski. They can dampen the crud on the mountain and have the stiffness and flex to put some power in your carves due to the two sheets of metal in them. The rocker and taper in the tips and tails as well as the HRZN tech in the tip give the ski a more maneuverable, versatile, and user-friendly feeling in softer snow and off-piste terrain.
The Maverick lineup from Atomic is a great all-around ski. It absolutely RIPS on the groomers at high speeds and is maneuverable enough to bang through the trees and bumps all day long without sacrificing energy. Its rocker profile allows it to stay afloat in the powder.
Völkl Blaze 94 Skis
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.
Blizzard Brahma 82 Skis · 2022
Known for versatility, precision and being quick, the Brahma is a ski for groomers that you can hop off and ski all-mountain when you want. Reduced rocker profile allows for big or small turns alike. Carbon Flipcore with 2 sheets of metal creates a smooth ride and grip!
Blizzards classic design; two layers of titanal, bi-directional carbon, rubber anti shock layer, and an extra layer of titanal underfoot, these skis are all Blizzard. Hard charging, extremely powerful.
Völkl Blaze 94 Skis · 2021 · 186 cm
This is a new ski from Volkl this year and it's getting rave reviews!! Light enough to tour on but still has Volkl's quintessential edge hold and precision feel. Stable and damp with titanal underfoot this ski carves on groomers!! It has the new 3D radius technology so it intuitively and easily makes variable radius turns depending on speed and terrain!! Absolutely great and versatile ski!!
This is an all mountain ski at 94mm underfoot. It'll handle the tight spots, bumps, trees etc. very well. Light, poppy, and playful!
Atomic Vantage 75 W Women's Skis with M10 Gw Bindings · 2022
The frontside carver who is just starting out or getting back into their adventures on the slopes! An all-mountain rocker can be found in the front of the ski for truly easy turn initiation, this ski is forgiving and good at making you feel capable with its increased edge to snow contact. The capped sidewall included here means that they are durable without feeling stiff. They are a great confidence booster for a first-timer who wants something to escape the rental nightmare with!
This ski will help beginners feel more comfortable on the mountain. It has a lightweight and forgiving design, helping new skiers feel confident in their turn initiation, while not worrying about their control or stability on the mountain. This is a great ski for someone looking to progress further in their abilities.
Nordica Santa ANA 88 Women's Skis · 2022
These are bomb skis for someone who spends most of their time on "frontside" terrain and groomed snow. They are intuitive and smooth, hallmarks of Nordica skis. Nordica uses a smooth rocker profile in tip and tail and camber underfoot, giving great versatility. They also reduced the weight in the tips, aiding in maneuverability. They come with Titanal laminates to provide dampness and stability and full sidewall construction for durability and energy transfer to the edges. They have a short turning radius, and can really lay down trenches on the groomers.
These skis are perfect for frontside carves at 88mm underfoot. They're going to be quick from edge to edge but don't be afraid, they'll hold up in some fresh snow as well. This ski has Titanal in it to provide rigidity where you need it without weighing it down. The perfect all-mountain ski for intermediate and advanced skiers alike.
Line Blade Skis
Line is not known for having good carving skis, they are much more in with the freeride crowd, but these are going to help change that reputation. Responsive, great on edge, but can also handle anything thrown at them!
This ski is super responsive and awesome on edge, its unique metal core lends itself nicely to tearing up groomers but isn't afraid of the occasional dive off piste.
Carving trenches in any condition. Rockered tips also help for sliding, slashing, having fun all around the mountain, and of course, helping float in soft snow.
Blizzard Black Pearl 82 Skis · 2022
Carving, slashing, going fast, going slow, and even a little powder. The Black Pearl is the best selling women's ski of all time, and for good reason. It's fun, capable, light, durable, and simply makes you a better skier. As someone who's looking to take that next step into advanced territory, this ski will be with you while you get there. After you make that step, you'll love it just as much!
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