These skis are purpose-built for women who shred. Performance is at an all-time high in this category thanks to dedicated efforts by brands to build skis that cater to the female anatomy. The following list features everything from directional, piste-focused skis to ultra-wide, powder-hungry planks and everything in between. These are the best women’s skis of the year.
Fischer Ranger 102 FR WS
Made to maneuver all over the mountain, Fischer’s Ranger 102 FR WS is a fan-favorite for its pocket knife-like versatility. The ski’s carbon sandwich construction paired with a Carbon Nose provides light-on-your-feet confidence whether you’re tearing up fresh corduroy or sneaking out to your secret stash, while the twinned tail allows for switch skiing and easy drifting through a few inches of fresh. Progressive ladies with a penchant for going fast and big will thrive on the Ranger 102 FR WS—no matter if it’s low tide or the deepest day of the season. Fischer maintains a genderless approach to its ski lineup and offers this hot pink option in lengths ranging from 153 cm all the way up to 191 cm.
Elan Ripstick 102 W
Developed in Elan’s designated women’s program, the W Studio, the Ripstick 102 W makes a reprise appearance in the annual Buyer’s Guide for it’s quiver-killing qualities. The ski’s asymmetrical Amphibio profile means there’s a designated left and right ski—with more camber on the inside edge for insane edge grip and more rocker on the outside edge for extra float. Carbon inserts on the inside edges provide unwavering stability at high speeds. The wood core of the Ripstick includes two carbon tube inlays to create a powerful-yet-poppy plank with dynamic capabilities and the wide shovel helps plow through variable conditions. At 102-mm underfoot, this beauty shines bright in all conditions.
Armada Reliance 102 Ti
In September 2019 at a tea shop in Park City, Armada held a panel to address its women’s ski collections. The majority of the 25-person, all-female panel agreed that only a few companies were really investing time and resources into making a “ripping” women’s ski. That needed to change… Read the full review in our Deep Dive into the Reliance 102 Ti.
Blizzard Sheeva 10
Back in the Buyer’s Guide by popular demand, the Sheeva 10 is unchanged for 2022 because… well, Blizzard knows when it has a great thing going. This ski falls right in the middle of the brand’s Sheeva lineup, which was developed by Blizzard/Tecnica’s Women2Women program to provide strong women skiers with the performance-driven gear they crave. Featuring Blizzard’s Carbon Flipcore D.R.T. (Dynamic Release Technology) the build offers more play in the tip and tail while maintaining control and stability underfoot. A progressive, wide-body design with an increased amount of rocker in the tip and tail accounts for the ski’s impressive versatility. Traditional camber underfoot delivers premium edge control for ripping around the mountain. Aggressive lady rippers in search of a reliable ride, look no further.
Nordica Santa Ana 98
Carving, boosting, smearing, or slashing, the Santa Ana 98 is a workhorse of a ski, one built for hitting the resort day in and day out, regardless of conditions. Skiers don’t look to Nordica for the funky, head-turning ski shapes that flip the industry on its head, but have come to rely on the confidence and capability a Nordica ski can provide for experts and intermediates alike… Read the full review in our Deep Dive into the Santa Ana 98.
K2 Mindbender 98Ti
K2’s Mindbender 98Ti Alliance bares a fresh new topsheet design but the construction that landed this ripping freeride ski in last year’s Buyer’s Guide remains the same for 2022. Aggressive female skiers hail the versatility the Mindbender 98Ti Alliance offers—she pops and plays with ease and cuts through chunder to provide an incredibly quiet and stable ride. If you’ve got a need for speed, the Y-shaped layer of Titanal that runs the length of the ski puts you in the driver seat while the all-terrain rocker profile and modest 98-mm waist width makes it agile enough to respond on a dime in technical terrain. No slope is safe from total domination if you’re clicked into the Mindbender 98 Ti Alliance.
Head Kore 97W
Since Head first introduced its freeride-focused Kore series, it has been received with overwhelming stoke and that energy continues with its brand-new offering, the Kore 97 W. Deceivingly strong for how light it is, the Kore 97 W really shines off-piste. The karuba/poplar wood core is sandwiched between triaxial-woven carbon for an incredibly light-yet-responsive ride and graphene is fused in the rockered tip and tail to reduce swing weight without sacrificing stability to plow through variable conditions. Because of the focus on weight savings, this ski is just begging to explore the backcountry but she has no problem navigating the resort, too. Ladies looking for a lighter touring ski that hasn’t lost its backbone, the Kore 97 is your one-way ticket to Shredsville.
Fischer Ranger 94 FR WS
The little sister to Fischer’s Ranger 102 FR WS, the Ranger 94 FR WS offers just as much personality in a leaner package designed for resort dominance. Rocker in the tip and tail with camber underfoot accounts for the ski’s playful nature while its Sandwich Sidewall Construction and Carbon Nose provide uncompromising stability in every kind of snow, from creamy powder to leftover chunder. Transition from the groomers to the bumps and trees without hesitation, ski backwards (if that tickles your fancy) and guarantee yourself a good time when the conditions are unknown. As Fischer does with its entire Ranger line, the Ranger 94 comes in a myriad of lengths to subtract gender from the quiver equation.
Atomic Maven 93 C
Brand-new to Atomic’s lineup, the Maven series is a bitchin’ blend of the brand’s racing and freeride technologies destined for a rowdy good time all over the mountain. A poplar wood core combined with a Titanal layer underfoot and carbon stringers in front of and behind the binding, dubbed Omatic Core by the brand, creates the ideal balance of stability and flex. Atomic’s Flow Profile—the combination of tip and tail rocker, shovel taper and HRZN Tech Tips—adds up to a ski that bites in hardpack just as well as it floats in fresh. The Maven 93 C’s 93-mm waist makes it ideal in all kinds of terrain and the super clean topsheet design adds to the bad-assery of this ski. Designed for powerful female skiers, the Maven 93 C delivers day-in and day-out, all over the resort.
Icelantic Maiden 111
The topsheet artwork of Icelantic’s Maiden 111 was inspired by ancient Japanese culture and that tells you everything you need to know about where these skis shine the brightest: in the deepest powder you can find. A Hybrid Flight Core utilizes poplar and paulownia wood to give this freeride ski a lighter and poppier feel for effortless play all over the mountain. Rocker in the tip and tail, combined with a wide, 111-mm waist, account for the ski’s impressive float qualities while camber underfoot provides enough edge contact to throw these puppies around and shut ‘em down on a dime. The heaviest hitter in Icelantic’s women’s collection, the Maiden 111 is made for ladies with a penchant to ski the deepest and steepest lines imaginable. It’s one of the best women’s powder skis of the year.
Line Pandora 110
Line opened Pandora’s Box when it comes to women’s-centric ski design with its Pandora 110—but we’re not complaining about it. While the Pandora 110 is most at-home in the pow, the brand’s dampening THC construction makes these planks plenty capable in the chop and chunder. Early Rise tip and tail rocker allows the Pandora to effortlessly float in fresh but also engage on hardpack thanks to its centered contact points on the ski. A core blend of paulownia and maple gives the Pandora the best strength-to-weight ratio of any of the brand’s offerings, so whether you’re looking for your favorite resort stash, heading out of the backcountry gates or ripping bumps under the lift, the Pandora 110 is ready to rock. Pow hounds who want to emulate the style of Hadley Hammer, this ski’s for you.
Black Crows Atris Birdie
Black Crows’ Atris Birdie is a Buyer’s Guide stalwart for its ability to hit Mach speed, take flight off big cliffs and handle sketchy runouts. At 108-mm underfoot, with a slightly extended sidecut, the Atris Birdie belongs on the biggest lines you’ve ever dreamt about skiing—just ask Michelle Parker. A poplar wood core keeps this big-mountain plank poppy and playful while a double rocker profile (rocker in the tip and tail) accounts for this songbird’s ability to maneuver on a whim. A progressive flex in the tip and tail gives the ski a bit of wiggle room in softer snow but a stiffer flex in the center of the ski ensures total confidence when the runout toughens up. Whatever you want to achieve on skis, the Atris Birdie will do it with flying colors.
Völkl Blaze 106 W
Völkl’s Blaze 106 W is back for its second season since its inception last year, and had our testers sending thanks to the ski gods for its powder-slaying capabilities. A hybrid wood core in the Blaze 106 W utilizes harder wood under the binding and lighter wood surrounding it to garner the benefits of a lightweight ski without compromising any performance. The most notable feature of this 106-mm waisted freeride ski, however, is its 3D Radius Sidecut—a longer radii in the tip and tail for long, stable turns at higher speeds and a shorter radii in the center of the ski to ensure quick-turn maneuverability. On the Blaze 106 W, you can seamlessly transition from a morning spent in the backcountry to a few afternoon resort laps without having to switch out your setup.
K2 Mindbender 106C Alliance
Like a great life partner, K2’s Mindbender 106C Alliance is the kind of ski you want to have around 24/7. The 106-mm waist provides enough platform to float in fresh while its all-terrain rocker profile—low, gradual rise in the tip, traditional camber underfoot and low, short rise in the tail—gives the ski a strong edge hold when it hasn’t snowed in days. The brand’s patent-pending Spectral Braid Technology, which uses a special blend of woven fibers, combined with vertical stringers running the length of the ski, makes it incredibly nimble without losing any of its power and stability. Ladies looking for a single ski to ride throughout the entire season, the Mindbender 106C Alliance will satisfy any and all of your all-mountain needs.
Nordica Santa Ana 104
By now it’s no secret that Nordica’s Santa Ana line is a popular choice among big-mountain rippers who bare the Venus symbol, and that sentiment extends to the Santa Ana 104 Free—making its second-straight appearance in our Buyer’s Guide for it’s full-throttle skiability. Catered to ladies with a penchant to put the pedal to the metal, this ski’s extended beech wood core with carbon layup and one layer of terrain-specific Titanal provide stability where you need it and flexibility where you want it for a confident, rippin’ ride. Its modest, 104-mm waist is wide enough to enjoy a fresh dump and, with lightweight ABS plastic in the tip, you’ll be plundering week-old crud with fresh legs all day. Take ‘em to the bottom without ever hitting the brakes.
Salomon QST Stella 106
Salomon has yet to take its foot off the gas since developing its award-winning QST series and it’s hauling ass into 2022 with a complete overhaul of the freeride line. The subtle-yet-significant changes to the women’s QST Stella 106—namely, combining a high-density piece of ABS underfoot with a full-length sidewall for maximized edge grip—garnered heaps of praise from our testers. The tips continue to feature cork for reduced chatter and a layer of carbon/flax/basalt weave—which Salomon calls C/FX—create a predictable and responsive flex for one of the most versatile rides on the market. Slaydies looking for an intuitive ride right out of the box, the newly designed QST Stella 106 will satisfy all of your cravings.
Head Kore 103 W
Head continues to build on its über-successful freeski Kore series with the addition of the all-new Kore 103 W. Designed to be light enough to save energy for bell-to-bell skiing—whether that be lift-served or on the skin track—stout enough to charge as hard as your heart desires and nimble enough to squeeze through those couloirs you’ve been eyeing, these skis are just begging to be mounted with a hybrid touring binding. A multi-layer carbon construction sandwiches the karuba-poplar wood core for an astoundingly light-yet-stable ride. Graphene fused in the rockered tip and tail also make it lighter and much more responsive in the deep. For women looking to go further and deeper in the mountains, the Kore 103 W will have you leaving your mark on the rowdiest lines.