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Best Beginner Skis 2024

Published Sep 28, 2023 by Curated Experts
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How we tested

When you’re looking for the right skis, nothing beats advice from a Real Expert. Every ski on this list has been tested by someone who knows skiing inside and out. People who wake up at 4 am to go for a tour, who know the difference between powder, crust and cord — you know the type. Collectively, our Real Experts have tried hundreds of skis from different brands, and they’re given no incentives to choose one over another.

If you’re looking for more personalized advice, you can chat with one of our Real Experts and get product picks — for free!

What's Curated?

Curated is the home of Real Experts. We’re where you go when you’re buying something big (like new skis), and you need advice from someone who just gets it. Our product picks are always free, unbiased and personalized to your needs, plus we only stock trusted brands. Get a Real Expert to find the right product for you.

What type of ski is best for beginners?

A beginner will have a easier time learning how to ski on skis that are narrow and short. This allows for easy turning and less weight, which prevents them tiring out quickly. Many ski brands design easy-to-use skis for beginners that have the ideal features, including a narrow width, lightweight core, and shorter lengths, at a reasonable price.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
Answer by ·

Can a beginner use all mountain skis?

A beginner can use all mountain skis, though it is recommended they use a frontside ski (aka a ski that is meant for groomers). Beginners rarely stray from the groomed runs, so it is more important to have a ski that performs best in these conditions. While an all mountain ski does perform well on groomers, they often have more weight and width that can make them harder to turn for someone who is learning.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
Answer by ·

How much should I spend on my first skis?

Major brands, such as K2 and Rossignol, understand that the cost associated with getting into skiing can be hard to overcome. As a result, brands like these often design an easy-turning ski for beginners that is lighter construction and doesn't have a lot of the technical features found in a more advanced, high-end ski, which helps keep the cost down. And, beginner skis often come with bindings in a package, which is more budget-friendly. While a high performing skier often will pay around $1000 for skis and bindings, beginners can find new skis with bindings between $400-600.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
Answer by ·

Are shorter skis better for beginners?

In order to have an easier time learning the basics, a beginner should seek out shorter skis. Generally speaking, the best length skis for a beginner should be between the chin and the mouth of that person. When beginners are starting out, they use a "pizza" formation to allow for slower movements and quicker stopping. A short ski will allow them to stay in the pizza shape with less risk of crossing their tips and causing a fall.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
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Best Beginner Skis for Easy Control

For those who are new to skiing and still getting comfortable linking turns and controlling their speed, take a look at the skis in this category. These skis are generally lightweight, have narrower waist-widths, and have construction that makes them easy to control and maneuver, so they are a great choice for those beginner skiers.
Top Pick

K2 Mindbender 85 Skis · 2024

$314.97
$449.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Advancing from beginner to advanced

  • Edge hold

  • Versatility 

Not ideal for
  • A bit too wide for a brand new skier

  • Deep powder

The K2 Mindbender fills a unique gap for a lot of skiers. This ski is easy to control for a beginner, yet the width and shape of the ski will provide support for someone who wants to try harder runs. This is a ski that a beginner can own for many years and still enjoy as they progress into an advanced skier. It is a stylish ski with a design that matches K2's advanced lineup.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
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· · Read the full review
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Runner Up

Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings · 2024

From $311.97
$479.95
Up to 35% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • First timers

  • Learning the basics

  • Comes with bindings

  • Easy turning

Not ideal for
  • Can be grown of out of more quickly

  • Deep snow

Rossignol has designed the Experience 76s to be used by beginners looking to get on the mountain for the first time. They are lightweight and narrow, which allows for easy turning with minimal effort. These skis are a great option for someone who wants an upgrade from rentals that will last them for many years.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
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· · Read the full review
Ideal for
  • First time skiers

  • Comes with bindings

  • Learning the basics

  • Easy to turn and control

Not ideal for
  • An advancing skier will find them too easy

  • Deep powder

The K2 Disruption 76s are designed with a true beginner in mind. They are lightweight and easy to turn, allowing for a skier to spend all day on them without getting tired too quickly. They come with bindings, making them an excellent value for someone looking for their first pair of skis.

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Best Beginner Skis for Progression

These skis are for the beginner skiers who have their eyes on those blue squares and black diamonds. With wider waist widths and a construction that can handle higher speeds and more challenging terrain, they are ideal for beginner skiers looking to advance their skills.
Top Pick

Atomic Bent 90 Skis · 2024

$439.96
$549.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • First park ski

  • Variety of terrain and conditions

  • Those wanting a ski with a balanced flex for carving and pivoting

  • Tighter turns both on and off the trail

Not ideal for
  • Not as stable as other skis

  • Deep snow

  • High-speed runs as it can feel unstable and show tip chatter

The Atomic Bent Chetler series has some of the most beautiful skis on the market. The Bent 85s are a great option for a skier who wants to try the terrain park for the first time. This ski makes it easy to learn how to do jumps and rails.

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Runner Up

Salomon QST 92 Skis · 2024

$549.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Variable terrain conditions

  • Stable at fast speeds

Not ideal for
  • First time skiers

The Salomon QST 92 is a great option for a beginner who is ready to start exploring harder and more variable terrain. While these skis are lightweight and maneuverable (as expected for a beginner ski), they feature a wider waist to provide support through a large range of snow conditions.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
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· · Read the full review
Runner Up

K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2024

$349.97
$499.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Can support a skier through an advanced level

  • Lightweight and maneuverable

  • Capable in a variety of terrain/conditions

Not ideal for
  • First time skier

  • Challenging conditions like crud or very firm snow

  • High-speed runs where precision is crucial

The K2 Mindbender 90C is a great option for an ambitious beginner who wants to become an advanced skier within a season or two. They are lightweight and easy to turn for someone learning, yet are wider and more stable, making them very handy in trees, moguls, and powder.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake CortesiSki Expert Luke Hinz
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Best Beginner Skis for Intro to Variable Terrain

For those beginner-intermediate skiers who want to start testing their skills off-piste, take a look at the skis in this category. With medium-width waists and side-cuts and rocker profiles that support easy turning and maneuverability, these skis are designed to perform well in various snow conditions and terrain, so a beginner skier can start to explore the mountain with confidence.
Ideal for
  • Comes with bindings

  • Very versatile

  • Supporting a skier as they progress

Not ideal for
  • Brand new skier

The Rossignol Sender 90 Pro is a fully wood ski, which is light and responsive. A fully wood core makes the ski poppy and playful and easy to control. Because of it's responsive nature this ski is an excellent choice for those who want to begin exploring all parts of the mountain. It has great edge hold and will hold an edge well even in icy and variable conditions.

Ski Expert Jake CortesiSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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· · Read the full review
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Runner Up

Salomon QST 92 Skis · 2024

$549.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Variable terrain conditions

  • Supporting an advancing skier

Not ideal for
  • First time skiers

The Salomon QST 92 is a great option for a beginner who is ready to start exploring harder and more variable terrain. While these skis are lightweight and maneuverable (as expected by a beginner ski), they feature a wider waist to provide support through a large range of snow conditions.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
By
· · Read the full review
Runner Up

K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2024

$349.97
$499.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Supporting skiers as they advance

  • Lightweight and maneuverable

  • Capable in a variety of terrain

Not ideal for
  • First time skier

Carbon and wood keep this ski light yet stable and ultimately will help newer skiers enjoy the mountain. It is a middle range width that can go anywhere on the mountain and will even hold it's own in a bit of deeper snow. Soft powder or icy crud, the sandwich sidewall construction will keep this ski stable and ski a variety of terrain and conditions with ease.

Ski Expert Jake CortesiSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Best Beginner Skis for Packages with Bindings

For beginner skiers who are looking for a convenient ski set-up that won’t break the bank, check out the skis in this category. With beginner ski bindings having very similar features across brands, spending time shopping for ski bindings isn’t as essential as an advanced skier looking for something super specific. Ski and binding packages simplify the ski shopping and purchasing process.
Top Pick

Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings · 2024

From $311.97
$479.95
Up to 35% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • First timers

  • Comes with bindings

  • Learning the basics

Not ideal for
  • A progressing skier will advance out of them more quickly

  • Deep snow

Rossignol has designed the Experience 76s to be used by beginners looking to get on the mountain for the first time. They are lightweight and narrow, which allows for easy turning with minimal effort. These skis are a great option for someone who wants an upgrade from rentals that will last them for many years.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
By
· · Read the full review
Runners up
Ideal for
  • Comes with bindings 

  • Brand new skiers

  • Learning the basics

Not ideal for
  • Someone who is progressing

The K2 Disruption 76s are designed with a true beginner in mind. They are lightweight and easy to turn, allowing for a skier to spend all day on them without getting tired too quickly. They come with bindings, making them an excellent value for someone looking for their first pair of skis.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
By
·
Ideal for
  • Very versatile

  • Comes with bindings

  • Built with the beginner in mind

  • Can handle soft snow

Not ideal for
  • Harder to turn

There are few 100mm or wider width skis tailored for the beginner and offered with bindings. The Decathlon FR100 fills that void and offers an excellent 100mm width ski with a lightweight maneuverable construction that beginners can love and grow with. These skis are wide enough to float in deeper snow yet the streamlined shape will allow new skiers to learn the mechanics. It will be hard to outgrow these skis, and they can be used on the easier slopes to everything steeper and deeper.

Ski Expert Jake CortesiSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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· · Read the full review
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Which ski gear is right for you?
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Best Beginner Skis for Value

For beginner skiers who are looking for the best bang for their buck, check out the skis in this category. These skis offer good performance at a friendly price point.
Top Pick

K2 Reckoner 92 Skis · 2024

$244.97
$349.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Park and pipe 

  • Maneuverability

Not ideal for
  • First time skiers

  • Ice and crud

The K2 Reckoner 92s come at an amazing price for a ski that is designed by a major brand. It is durable and reliable while maintaining a lightweight feel. This ski is a great option for someone who also wants to try the terrain park.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
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·
Runners up
Runner Up

Dynastar M-Menace 90 Skis · 2024

$246.97
$379.95
35% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Capable in any conditions

  • Supporting an advancing skiers

Not ideal for
  • Brand new skiers

The Dynastar M-Menace 90 is a great ski that helps intermediate skiers adventure around the mountain and begin exploring powder stashes and trees. The 90mm waist width is wide enough to handle some new snow but will still feel familiar to those upgrading from narrower skis. They hold an edge well and will feel damp in choppy conditions. At the price they are being offered this is an excellent value for a new pair of skis and shouldn't be overlooked.

Ski Expert Jake CortesiSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
By
·
Runner Up

K2 Mindbender 85 Skis · 2024

$314.97
$449.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Supporting and advancing skier

  • Edge hold

Not ideal for
  • First time skiers

The K2 Mindbender fills a unique gap for a lot of skiers. This ski is easy to control for a beginner, yet the width and shape of the ski will provide support for someone who wants to try harder runs. This is a ski that a beginner can own for many years and still enjoy them if they progress into an advanced skier. It is a stylish ski with a design that matches K2's advanced lineup.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Jake Cortesi
By
· · Read the full review