Tired of skiing with two planks firmly on the ground? Looking to spice up your skiing? Grab yourself a pair of freestyle skis and get airborne. Designed to bring out the most creative, playful, and stylish elements of your skiing, a pair of freestyle skis really can turn the mountain into your playground (excuse the cliché, but it exists for a reason).
“Freestyle skis really can turn the mountain into your playground”
Despite what the monumental level of trickery currently displayed in freeskiing films and competitions might suggest, freestyle skis tend to be pretty inclusive in terms of ability level (with a few competition-specific exceptions). This accommodating nature comes from their soft to medium flex range, relatively light weight, and optimal manoeuvrability.
Best Freestyle Skis For 2021
- Head Oblivion 84
- Faction Prodigy 1.0 X
- K2 Poacher
- Armada ARW 86
- Faction Prodigy 2.0
- Armada ARV 86
- Volkl Revolt 87
- Line Honey Bee
- Atomic Bent Chetler 100
- ON3P Jeffrey 96
Here’s a bit of a dive into the features to look out for when making your freestyle ski purchase:
Lay a pair of skis flat on a surface and you’ll most likely see the ski rise up from said surface. The rise, most prominent from the waist, is something we call camber. This rise means that when the ski is weighted, it will have an even distribution of weight throughout the whole length of the ski rather than exclusively at its midpoint. If you’re looking for skis with a lot of energy and bite in firm snow, then look for skis with a liberal use of camber underfoot.
Rocker is essentially the opposite to camber. It’s the upwards curve into the ski profile, usually in the tips and tails. Rocker shortens the contact length of the edges, requiring less effort to steer your skis into turns. Fully ‘rockered’ skis will have minimal contact points on the snow, as the tips and tails are heavily raised above the surface. This makes for extremely manoeuvrable skis that sail through deep snow, at the cost of bite on firm snow.
Similar to all-mountain skis, most freestyle skis these days combine camber underfoot with rockered tips and tails. This blend combines all the good stuff of camber and rocker together to create an extremely versatile rocker profile. Camber underfoot ensures the skis can hold an edge at speed on kicker take-offs and landings. Meanwhile, rocker allows you to whip, press, and swivel your skis around at will. Plus, lift in the tips and tails also minimises the chances of your skis snagging on rails or features.
Generally speaking, if you’re looking for an ultra-stiff park ski for exclusive use on larger park jumps, opt for maximum camber. A healthy dose of rocker will help you out if you fancy a more playful ride trying your hand at natural features, jumps and jibs.