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Best Ski Brands For 2022 | The Top Ski Companies On Our Radar

These ski brands have been cooking up some of our favourite skis, bindings, boots and clothing in the market

Taking a step back and looking at the best ski brands behind our favourite ski technologies and designs is an all too often neglected affair. It’s easy to get sucked into specific ski gear – we’re thinking skis, ski bindings, ski boots and ski jackets – without considering the brand that shape, craft and, ultimately, release these products to market.

Here at Mpora we sometimes, we’ll admit, fall into this tunnel vision mindset too. And, that’s exactly why we’ve decided to write this guide to the best ski brands. And yes, we know that to some extent judging what makes the best ski brand is an entirely subjective task. But, rest assured, these opinions have been formed by years of testing, skiing, and reviewing the best ski kit out there. 

We’ve looked to include a range of ski brands – from companies that would have made skis for your great grandparents, to fledgling brands that are aiming to disrupt the old guard of the ski industry. If you’re keen to check out more of the products made by these ski brands, then be sure to head over to our Ski 100 where you can check out our in-depth product reviews.

The Best Ski Brands For 2022

Head

Embarrassed by his lack of style and finesse during his first ski outing on the slopes of Stowe, Vermont, Philadelphia-based Howard Head set out to improve the previously lacklustre performance of traditional wooden skis. Howard achieved this by producing the first metal ski: one that gave a lighter, more efficient and more technical ski compared to its wooden counterparts.

Head Skis has grown from strength to strength since its beginnings in 1950. Now using a wide range of advanced materials (such as Carbon and Aramid), Head produces everything from burly freestyle skis, to world cup winning downhill skis. They also offer a diverse range of ski boots to suit every need and foot shape.

In an effort to diversify itself away from skis and boots, Head bought the legendary binding manufacturer, Tyrolia, in 1989. This buyout meant Head and Tyrolia could join forces to produce dialled-in ski, boot and binding combinations that work together seamlessly. We’ve long been fans of what Tyrolia have been doing with their Attack and Adrenaline series.

Check out Head Skis here

K2

Founded in 1962 by brothers Bill and Don Kirschner, K2 Skis became known for developing fibreglass ski technology. This technology promised to be lighter and livelier than metal skis, and looks to have done the trick. K2 still makes some excellent fibreglass skis, such as the Reckoner series, while also making use of the modern metal Titanal which can be found in the Mindbender Ti series.

We’re big fans of the skis that K2 are turning out, and are glad to see them dive into the world of ski boots in recent years. This was a pretty logical choice, given their recent purchase of Full Tilt. With that in mind, we’re looking forward to seeing what K2 serve up in the ski boot world of the future.

Check out K2 Skis here

Line

‘Skiing the wrong way since ‘95’ is the mantra that Line Skis live by, and they’ve nailed that to a tee ever since their founding 27 years ago. Line was founded by Jason Levinthal as a way to provide an antithesis for the straight, stiff and uninspiring skis of the ‘90s. This resulted in ‘ski-board’ skis – essentially a pair of twin tipped ski blades that could spin and trick easily.

It wasn’t until 1999 before Line began pressing full length twin tipped skis. These skis, which were designed with freestyle legend Kris Ostness, were years ahead of their time, offering an extremely playful and pivotable ride – something that was rarely felt in the ‘90s.

By 2001, Line were really killing it in the freestyle scene. Adding the likes of Skogen Sprang, Mike Nick, Dash Longe, Mike Wilson and Eric Pollard to their team, Line were at the forefront of freeskiing progression as it was spreading to the masses. The final team member we listed, Eric Pollard, was also instrumental in the design and shaping of Line skis – many of which we still ride to this day.

Check out Line Skis here

Black Crows

There arguably isn’t another brand that screams French freeski culture more than Chamonix-based Black Crows. Founded by pro freeskiers Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet, Black Crows are identified by their clean designs, witty sidewall phrases and marketing campaigns that wouldn’t look out of place at the Paris fashion week.

We’re glad to report though that none of the above comes at the expense of performance. We’ve been consistently impressed by the Crows’ progressive shaping techniques and powerful builds. The ranges they put out usually consist of a regular and ‘Freebird’ build, with the Freebird range representing a lightweight and slightly less performance-focused construction for uphill efficiency.

Check out Black Crows Skis here

Black Diamond

Black Diamond has its roots in climbing and alpinism equipment – and that’s most likely why we see them churning out ski touring and backcountry skis fit to scale lofty alpine peaks. Black Diamond is well rooted within climbing history and was, technically, founded by none other than Mr Yvon Chouinard (the founder of Patagonia and an all-round legend).

Yvon began hand-crafting pitons (the bits of climbing kit you hammer into the rock to save you from a fall), and began selling them from the boot of his car in the Yosemite Valley. This Chouinard side hustle soon became Chouinard Equipment. However in early 1989, after various liability lawsuits and a lack of profitability, Chouinard Equipment filed for bankruptcy. This company was then snapped up by former employee Peter Metcalf, who created Black Diamond Equipment. The rest, as they say, is history.

Black Diamond still focus on making some top notch climbing equipment these days, but it’s their range of backcountry and ski touring skis that impresses us the most. A combination of lightweight materials that are still able to provide power on the downhill seems to be a trademark of Black Diamond skis.

Check out Black Diamond Skis here

Faction

A star-studded athlete roster, sellout film premieres and some of the sickest topsheets in the business. Thanks to their incredible recent work on the freeskiing scenry, very little needs to be said about Swiss-based Faction Skis.

Born in 2006 in Verbier, Switzerland, Faction have utilised some of the best names in the game (Candide Thovex, Sam Anthamatten and Sarah Hoefflin, to name a few), to produce a brand that’s at the of every park rat’s shopping list. They’re pretty handy at shaping skis too, mind.

Their ski designs usually feature lightweight hybrid wood cores, playful rocker profiles and more planet-friendly recycled materials. Their range features everything from metal directional chargers (the Dictator series), to nearly symmetrical freestyle numbers (the CT and Prodigy series).

If you’re someone who likes the idea of putting your money into the companies that produce the planks of wood that go under your feet when you’re skiing, it’s worth noting that Faction is a (largely) skier owned project that you can invest in yourself. They very often open up rounds of investment that you’re able to get involved in. If this is something that interests you, then you can check out their investor page here.

Check out Faction Skis here

Atomic

Atomic was founded in 1955 by Austrian Alois Rohrmoser. Ever since their founding, Atomic has solely focused on downhill skiing equipment and quickly became the only ski brand that created the royal flush of skis, boots and bindings in 1989 (most other ski brands were focusing on producing one or the other).

These days, Atomic has looked to move away from its largely downhill-focused background, and branch into the freeskiing, touring and freeride scenes (although with athletes like Mikaela Shiffrin and Sofia Goggia on their books, they’re still a dominant force in the downhill scene). Their signing of Chris Benchetler was instrumental to this shift towards the freeskiing scene, with the production of the Bent Chetler – a backcountry ski that sold (and continues to sell) like hotcakes.

Check out Atomic Skis here

ATK

It’s (sadly) a pretty rare sight to see a family company kicking about in the largely corporate world of ski equipment. But, we’re glad to report, ATK is an exception. Founded in 2007 by Italian Giovanni Indulti, ATK hand-craft some of the finest ski touring bindings in the industry.

Featuring everything from featherweight race bindings, to stacked-out freeride bindings, ATK blend innovative designs with high-quality materials to produce ski touring bindings that you’re able to rely on whether you’re miles deep in the backcountry, or leading the pack in your local skimo race.

Check out ATK Bindings here

Scott

Although perhaps most famous for creating bikes, goggles and motocross gear, Scott Sports was actually born from the creation of ski poles in 1958. This was thanks to a talented engineer and ski racer, Ed Scott, replacing the traditional bamboo ski pole for a lightweight – and stronger – aluminium design.

Since then, Scott largely had a history in designing motocross and bicycle gear. That was, until 1997, when they started to produce technical winter sports outerwear and skis. Scott’s pedigree of design and engineering knowledge is still obvious in their modern skis, where a range of materials are used to produce a well-tuned ski that’s comfortable in a range of conditions.

One man that’s made full use of this wealth of engineering experience is none other than freeride legend Jeremie Heitz, with the production of the formidable Pure Pro 109Ti. These skis are the tools that Jeremie uses to charge high alpine faces around the world at breakneck speed with minimal turns.

Check out Scott Skis here

Planks

There isn’t a company more ingrained in British freeskiing culture than Val d’Isere born and bred Planks Clothing. Yes, it sounds funny writing that, because Planks was born in the French Alps, in Val d’Isere. It was here where founder James (Jim) Adlington would screen-print Planks logo tees and flog them out the back of his van.

These flew out the van, which meant Jim could print, and sell, more tees. Before you knew it, Planks were churning out thousands of tees per year, while creating some of the most unique and interesting freeskiing outerwear out there. Planks are a skier-owned, skier-managed company that’s all about keeping skiing loose – and we’ve got a lot of time for that.

Check out Planks Clothing here

The North Face

Although today’s fashion trends might tell you otherwise, The North Face has a proud history of creating some of the most technical climbing, skiing and mountaineering clothing on the market. Founded in 1966, The North Face began as a retail store that sold all sorts of climbing and hiking equipment.

This store quickly outstripped its supply so, in 1968, The North Face began designing and manufacturing its own brand of technical mountaineering equipment and clothing. Now, over 50 years since the shop opened, The North Face has continued to refine its selection of technical outerwear. We’ve consistently been impressed with the clever designs of their Steep Series pieces, and frequently rely on them to shield us from the elements while ski touring in the backcountry.

Check out The North Face here

Salomon Skis

Founded in 1947, this mainstream ski brand has one of the biggest histories in skiing.

Winding the clock back, Salomon began when Francois Salomon began producing ski edges in a small workshop in Annecy (in the heart of the French Alps). Francois enlisted the help of his wife and son to get through the initial orders, but the company soon ballooned to what it is today – a multinational brand that covers a range of outdoor sports.

These days, Salomon is owned by large outdoor equipment conglomerate, Amer Sports, who also own the likes of Atomic, Armada and Arc’teryx (this is the reason we see many shared technologies between these brands). Salomon’s athlete roster is a real ‘who’s who’ in the skiing world and their recently unveiled Salomon TV is consistently keeping us stoked for winter shredding.

Check out Salomon Skis here

DPS Skis

Founded in 2005 by Stephan Drake and Peter Turner (the man best known for bringing rocker technology to McConkey’s Spatulas), DPS Skis has kept progressive ski design and engineering at its heart. Stephan and Peter are responsible for some of DPS’ most wild creations, including the world’s first pure carbon sandwich ski, bringing sidecut to a rockered ski and spooned tips and tails – a shaping technique many ski designers now employ.

These days, DPS has looked to diversify its offering from the original carbon constructions. While they still produce some of the best carbon skis out there, they’ve also focused on more affordable fibreglass offerings (a favourite of ours being the DPS Koala 102).

Check out DPS Skis here

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