Finding the right powder ski for you is essential stuff for days when the snow gods decide to dump snowfalls north of 20 cm on us. Powder skis carry a unique blend of heavy rocker, shovelled tips and tails with an extremely wide underfoot section to give them buoyancy and floatation in the soft stuff.
This increased floatation gives powder skis the unique ability to eliminate any unwanted tip dive, while keeping the skis manoeuvrable in deep snow for quick slashes and snorkel-induced shredding. So here goes. We’ve broken down all the important traits of a powder ski and recommended some of the finest out there right now. Now, finally, you can sleep easy. Now, finally, you can say you know the best powder skis for this winter.
What Makes A Great Pair Of Powder Skis?
Ski shaping and construction has progressed tenfold over the past few years, with more and more designs that make skiing the deep stuff not just easier, but a total blast – leaving you with fresher legs to keep going lap after lap. Here are a few of our recommended shapes and designs to look out for that go towards creating a great pair of powder skis.
Width and Length
Two pretty important features in making a handy powder ski are of course width and length – they’re the two attributes that give the ski larger surface area, after all. A large surface area equals more float when the going gets deep.
Modern skis with a waist width varying between 90 – 110 mm are considered a good all-mountain setup, with 110 mm plus the de facto powder width. We’ve only got two skis under a 110 mm waist width featured in this list of best powder skis.
Sizing for a big mountain / powder ski is relatively simple – because of the use of rocker in the tips create a shorter effective edge, advanced and above skiers will want to size 10 cm longer than your all mountain boards.
Rocker is the technique used to raise the tips and tails of the ski, so that when the ski is lay on a flat surface, a section of the tips and tails of the ski is lifted off the floor – this raised section is called rocker. Rocker avoids the dreaded tendency for skis to ‘tip dive’ and keeps the skis tracking well through deep snow.
While rocker helps in the deep stuff, it has the opposite effect on firm snow, as the effective edge that is able to contact the snow beneath becomes less, the more the tips and tails are raised.
Tip / Tail Taper
Taper refers to the technique used by ski brands to bring the widest point of the tip and tails closer towards the middle of the ski. Identified by a tip and tail that resemble a paddle of a canoe, taper gives skis that ‘surfy’ feel people love to describe skis, by avoiding the hooky feeling of traditional sidecuts.
The Best Powder Skis Of 2021 – 2022
What a list. We’ve packed it full of powder shapes that make powder skiing just that bit more enjoyable; fully rockered, twin tipped, soft noodles and stiff missiles – we’ve brought in the best to bring your powder dreams to life (kind of). Enjoy the turns.
- Scott Pure Pro 109Ti
- K2 Mindbender 116C
- Head Kore 111
- Black Diamond Impulse 112
- Line Sakana
- Faction Candide 5.0
- Atomic Bent Chetler 120
- Whitedot Ragnarok ASYM
- DPS Wailer Alchemist 112
- Armada Tracer 118 CHX