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Best Intermediate Skis 2024

Published Oct 9, 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!

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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 intermediates?

A frontside or all-mountain ski is a good match for an intermediate skier. Skiers who enjoy jumps and rails should also consider a park ski. A true race-inspired carving ski and wide powder skis will be a bit too challenging for someone who is still developing their skills.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
Answer by ·

What is the best width ski for an intermediate skier?

The best width ski for an intermediate skier is highly dependent on snow conditions and skier personality. A skier on the East Coast will want a narrower width ski than a skier on the West Coast. Additionally, a frontside skier will be better off with a narrower ski whereas a wider ski is the better choice for an off-piste skier.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
Answer by ·

What flex should an intermediate skier look for?

The flex profile for an intermediate skier is dependent on the skier type. A softer flex pattern is more appropriate for a playful skier spending time in the moguls and trees. A stiffer flex pattern is ideal for high-speed carving on groomers.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
Answer by ·

Are longer skis harder to turn?

Once a skier is no longer using the "pizza" shape and is able to exclusively make parallel turns, a longer ski will actually provide more benefits than hinderances. A longer ski will have more stability at speed, and will actually make it easy to make those large, sweeping turns on groomers and open bowls. Short, quick turns will become more difficult, but a skier with strong skills will only feel a marginal difference.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
Answer by ·

Best Intermediate Skis for Stability at Speed

For intermediate skiers who like to go fast, take a look at the skis in this category. They have a stiffer flex and construction that offers excellent control, minimal chatter, and therefore a smoother ride at high speeds.
Top Pick

K2 Mindbender 89Ti Skis · 2024

$489.97
$699.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Strong edge hold

  • Stability at speed

  • Hard snow carving

  • All-mountain skier with a preference for groomers

Not ideal for
  • Requires a strong skier

  • Deep powder

The K2 Mindbender 89Ti is the perfect all-mountain ski for an East Coast skier or for someone who values groomer performance. It has phenomenal edge hold paired with great dampening for those icy days, yet it is light enough and features a freeride profile to allow for fun in the soft snow and on off-piste terrain.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
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Salomon Stance 90 Skis · 2024

$559.96
$699.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • High-performance carving

  • Good edge grip 

  • Fast turn initiation

Not ideal for
  • Deep powder

  • Not as capable off-piste

The Stance 90 from Salomon attains stability and power with the use of two titanal laminates. The titanal laminates deliver the dampness and torsional rigidity desired by a hard-charging skier looking for control and precision in their skiing style. Salomon uses recessed windows in the top layer of titanal to increase the maneuverability in the tips and tails, allowing hard-charging skiers the flexibility to charge through the bumps and crud with the same confidence found on-trail.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Best Intermediate Skis for Carving

These skis are for the ones who just can’t wait to lay into their turns on freshly groomed runs. With narrower waist widths, deeper sidecuts, and more camber in their profiles, these skis are ideal for carving on-piste.
Top Pick

Völkl Kendo 88 Skis · 2024

$419.99
$699.99
40% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Versatile turning radius

  • Highly responsive

  • Stability at speed

Not ideal for
  • Deep powder

  • Stiff 

The Volkl Kendo 88 rewards an aggressive skier with lively responsiveness and high-speed stability. The Kendo 88 is a consistent favorite amongst East Coast and frontside skiers who want power and dampness on hard packed snow. These skis are also quite capable in moguls and trees and reward good form with quick turns.

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Head Kore 87 Skis · 2024

$419.00
$699.00
40% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Lightweight

  • Supportive edge

  • A full day of skiing

Not ideal for
  • Deep powder

The Head Kore 87 features a supportive edge that allows for a stable ride while being very lightweight. The Kore has a versatile turning radius, making it fun for carving as well as in tight trees and moguls. The Kore 87 is an excellent option for someone who wants to carve and hit bumps but doesn't necessarily have the desire or access to bowls and powder.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
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·

Best Intermediate Skis for Advancing Your Skills

For those intermediate skiers who are striving to continue to advance their skills and explore new terrain, look no further. Skis in this category have a combination of features which makes them super versatile, so skiers can have the confidence to challenge themselves on new terrain and in various snow conditions.
Top Pick

K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2024

$349.97
$499.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Easy to maneuver

  • Lightweight

Not ideal for
  • A strong and/or heavier skier

K2 utilizes carbon in the Mindbender 90C to allow the ski to be more approachable and forgiving for skiers looking to progress their skills. The carbon is strategically braided throughout the length of the ski to reduce the overall weight and increase the maneuverability of the ski without compromising high-speed carving performance. At 90mm underfoot, a progressing skier has access to high on-trail performance as well as enough width to begin exploring off-piste.

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Elan Ripstick 96 Skis · 2024

$487.49
$749.99
35% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Highly versatile on and off piste

  • Stable yet forgiving

Not ideal for
  • Deep powder

The Ripstick 96 from Elan is an energetic and lightweight ski that can be skied fast and hard but remains forgiving while a skier is progressing their ski ability. At 96mm underfoot, the Ripstick 96 is an ideal width to carve hard-pack groomers and explore soft snow in the bumps and trees. The use of carbon instead of metal allows the ski to be light enough for maneuverability while also providing the energy and stability needed for high-speed turns.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Best Intermediate Skis for Variable Terrain

For those who are starting to take their skills off-piste and want skis that can go with them, 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 an intermediate skier can handle anything the mountain throws at them.
Top Pick

Blizzard Rustler 9 Skis · 2024

$749.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Wide-range of turn shapes

  • Quick turns in trees and bumps

Not ideal for
  • Chattery on hardpack at high speeds

Blizzard reaches a broad audience with their Rustler series by creating a ski that is evenly balanced for a variety of terrain. The Rustler 9 is 92mm underfoot and is aimed at both East and West Coast all-mountain skiers looking for a daily driver that performs equally as well on hard-pack as off-piste in the bumps and trees. The Dynamic Release Technology (D.R.T.) is a shaped titanal layer that allows Blizzard to give the Rustler 9 stability and control underfoot while keeping a low swing weight in the tips and tails.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Salomon QST 98 Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Great one-ski quiver

  • Quick turns in tight trees

  • Soft snow floatation 

Not ideal for
  • East coast skiers and icy conditions

The Salomon QST 98 excels in a variety of terrain thanks to the combination of shape and materials. Salomon uses a woven fiber layer consisting of carbon and flax to provide the QST 98 ample strength and the dampening characteristics needed for groomer laps. The early rise rocker in the tips and tails allow the skis to float easily in soft snow and make the skis easier to maneuver in tight spaces such as trees or moguls. The long tail rocker and partial twin tip design also makes the QST 98's highly capable in the terrain park.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Best Intermediate Skis for Icy Conditions

Calling all East Coast and Midwest intermediate skiers who frequently find themselves on hardpack and icy snow. The skis in this category have a stiffer flex and narrower waist widths, allowing them to hold a strong edge on hard and icy surfaces.
Top Pick

Atomic Maverick 88 Ti Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Stability at speed

  • Hard-pack terrain

  • Reliable edge hold

Not ideal for
  • Deep Powder

  • Off-piste

Atomic uses their Omatic Core (blend of thin metal laminates and a lightweight wood core) to accomplish a versatile blend of stiffness and flex in the Maverick 88 TI. The flex profile achieved allows the Maverick 88 TI to remain strong yet nimble and forgiving in sketchy snow. The minimal tail rocker encourages the Maverick 88 TI to be damp and stable when skied on hard-pack groomers or icy conditions.

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K2 Mindbender 89Ti Skis · 2024

$489.97
$699.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Stability at speed

  • All-mountain skier with a preference for groomers

  • Strong edge hold

Not ideal for
  • Requires a strong driver

  • Deep powder

The K2 Mindbender 89Ti is the perfect all-mountain ski for an East Coast skier or for someone who values groomer performance. It has a phenomenal edge hold paired with great dampening for those icy days, yet it is light enough and features a freeride profile to allow for fun in the soft snow and on off-piste terrain.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
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Best Intermediate Skis for Pow Days

For intermediate skiers who find themselves knee-deep in powder on the regular, the skis in this category are for you. These skis typically have wider waist widths and profiles with more rocker, allowing the rider to float on top of all that fluff!
Top Pick

Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis · 2024

$799.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Playful and fun

  • Wide-range of turn shapes

  • Floats very well

Not ideal for
  • Power and precision on hard pack

  • Requires a strong skier

Blizzard's combination of Dynamic Release Technology (D.R.T.) and ski shape give the freeride skier plenty of floatation in fresh powder. The D.R.T. provides the ski with the durability needed underfoot but allows for a reduction in weight in the tips and tails to increase floatation. The shape lends itself to a more forgiving and playful style of skiing, so powder seekers can easily slash and pivot in deep powder.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Runner Up

Salomon QST 106 Skis · 2024

$599.96
$749.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Effortless float in powder

  • Fun off-piste, yet capable on groomers

Not ideal for
  • Icy conditions

The Salomon QST line is incredible popular amongst all-mountain skiers. This lineup combines a freeride mindset with strong groomer performance. The QST 106 is the widest in the bunch, allowing for exceptional soft snow capabilities in a daily driver ski for higher snow regions.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
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Best Intermediate Skis for Trees

These skis are for those intermediate skiers who love exploring off-piste in the trees and bumps. With a shorter turn radius and slightly softer flex, these skis are ideal for making quick, tight turns.
Top Pick

Salomon QST 98 Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Quick turns in tight trees

  • Lively and maneuverable

  • Soft snow floatation off-piste

Not ideal for
  • East coast skiers and icy conditions

The Salomon QST 98 has a relatively short turn radius (17 meters in the 183cm length) for an all mountain ski that allows the skis to be turned on a dime. Combining the turn radius with the early rise rocker in the tails makes the QST highly maneuverable in tight trees. Additionally, Salomon's use of carbon, flax and cork in the tips and tails offers a soft flex pattern that gives the skis smeary and playful characteristics that help a skier quickly pivot through the trees.

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Atomic Bent 100 Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Incredibly lightweight

  • Smeary turns in tight trees

  • Playful skier seeking versatility

Not ideal for
  • East Coast ice

The Bent 100 from Atomic is a highly versatile all-mountain ski made for playful skiers in soft snow conditions. Atomic keeps the Bent 100 lightweight and agile by using a poplar wood core. HRZN Tech inspired by surfboards is used in both the tips and tails to allow the ski to be smeary and surfy as a skier turns through trees and tight spaces.

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Runner Up

Blizzard Rustler 9 Skis · 2024

$749.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Wide-range of turn shapes

  • Nimble and playful

  • Quick turns in trees and bumps

Not ideal for
  • Chattery at high speeds

Blizzard combines their Dynamic Release Technology (D.R.T.) with the proper ski shape and profile to give the Rustler 9 the maneuverability needed for a high-performing tree ski. The tips and tails get a reduction in torsional rigidity thanks to the D.R.T. and a playful rocker profile that gives the skier an agile and playful ski to pivot around trees.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Best Intermediate Skis for Versatility

For those intermediate skiers who love skiing a little bit of everything, take a look at the skis in this category. They have medium-width waists and a mixture of features that will provide the versatility needed to comfortably ski a variety of snow conditions, terrain, and even explore different ski styles, without missing a beat.
Top Pick

Salomon QST 98 Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Quick turns in tight trees

  • Strong on and off piste

  • Soft snow floatation off-piste

Not ideal for
  • East coast skiers and icy conditions

The Salomon QST 98 is an excellent ski for a skier searching for a playful all mountain ski that performs equally as well off-piste as it does on the groomers. The early rise rocker in the tips and tails provide effortless floatation in deeper snow and allow for easy turn initiation on trail. Salomon uses carbon and flax in the tips and tails to make the QST 98 a lightweight and highly maneuverable tree ski that excels in tight spaces. Additionally, Salomon places a titanal insert underfoot to give the QST 98 strong carving and on trail performance.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Runner Up

Line Blade Optic 96 Skis · 2024

$489.97
$699.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Playful and poppy

  • Easy to maneuver

  • Variety of terrain conditions

Not ideal for
  • Powerful and precise carving

  • Icy conditions

The Blade Optic 96 has a playful personality and is well-balanced for a skier splitting their mountain time between groomers, trees, and bumps. The tips and tails are relatively soft which contributes to the playfulness and maneuverability desired by a playful skier. Line uses a unique layering of segmented titanal underfoot to give the Blade Optic 96 strong performance on hard-pack groomers.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Runner Up

K2 Mindbender 89Ti Skis · 2024

$489.97
$699.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Stability at speed

  • Hard snow carving

  • All-mountain skier with a preference for groomers

Not ideal for
  • Deep powder

The K2 Mindbender 89Ti is the perfect all-mountain ski for an East Coast skier or for someone who values groomer performance. It has a phenomenal edge hold paired with great dampening for those icy days, yet it is light enough and features a freeride profile to allow for fun in the soft snow and on off-piste terrain.

Ski Expert Lauren DobbinsSki Expert Michael Cunningham
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Best Intermediate Skis for Value

For intermediate skiers who are looking for a pair of skis that won’t break the bank, check out the skis in this category. These skis are the best bang for the buck, often including bindings in the price. They offer good performance at a friendly price point.
Top Pick

Salomon QST 92 Skis · 2024

$549.95
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Balanced blend of groomer and off-piste performance

  • Easy to turn

  • Solid edge hold

Not ideal for
  • Expert and strong skiers

The Salomon QST 92 fits a wide range of ski abilities and ski styles. This provides a skier with peace-of-mind knowing their investment will continue to align with their ability and skiing style whether they are a low-intermediate cruising groomers or an advanced skier dipping in the bumps and trees.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Runner Up

K2 Mindbender 90C Skis · 2024

$349.97
$499.95
30% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Lightweight and maneuverable

  • Intermediate skier looking to progress

Not ideal for
  • Heavy and/or advanced skiers

K2 utilizes carbon in the Mindbender 90C to give the skier access to a variety of terrain thanks to the lightweight and forgiving nature of the carbon braid. The carbon is strategically braided throughout the length of the ski to reduce the overall weight and increase the maneuverability of the ski without compromising high-speed carving performance. The result is a ski that is ideal for a wide range of ski abilities and a variety of snow conditions.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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Runner Up

Atomic Bent 100 Skis · 2024

$519.96
$649.95
20% off
  • We price match
  • Returnable
Ideal for
  • Playful skier seeking versatility 

  • Smeary turns in tight trees

  • Beautiful, artist-designed graphics

  • Lightweight

Not ideal for
  • East Coast ice

  • Dedicated carving ski

The Bent 100 from Atomic is a highly versatile all-mountain ski made for playful skiers in soft snow conditions. Atomic chose to build a value all-mountain ski by using a simple poplar wood core with precise shaping rather than throwing a bunch of tech and materials into the ski's build. The combination of rocker in the tips and tails and Atomic's Dura Cap Sidewall makes the Bent 100 capable in deep powder and hard-pack groomers. This allows a skier to have a one-ski quiver for a variety of terrain conditions rather than owning a separate ski for each condition.

Ski Expert Michael CunninghamSki Expert Lauren Dobbins
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