If you're looking for perfect skis for some powder magic, check out our 2023 Best Powder Skis List and make your pick. We've gathered the greatest models and have created this list to help you select the ones that will suit you the best.
Most of our crew are pow enthusiasts and it was amazing to share all our experiences while trying & testing all these awesome skis. Whether you want to do a trip to Powderhorn Mountain or are more into untracked terrains and skiing the trees, we have got your back.
If you want to learn more about powder skiing, there's a Buying Guide at the end of our review, so feel free to check it out as well!
- Camber underfoot
- Early rise in the tip and tail
- Power & stability
- Rocker/camber hybrid
- Light woodcore
- Pure fun
Top Powder Skis For Season 2023:
By adjusting the shape of the ski, lowering the widest points and lengthening the rocker, the BLANK brings playfulness to all types of turns, yet also maintains reliability.
A 112mm waist takes you from pillows to powder with confidence. Camber underfoot and early rise in the tip and tail adapt to whatever the mountain throws at you.
Double sidewalls and Cork Damplifier create confidence-boosting stability when dropping in.
This Solomon model is simply put - a true masterpiece. It offers great capacity, stability, and playfulness. With 112mm underfoot I didn't expect such responsiveness and powerful performance on the snow. Riding these skis was really enjoyable because they were easy to work with from the start.
They excelled at floating in a foot of snow (I guess they would show the same results in even deeper snow) and are also reliable when going fast.
- stable & confident
- not the lightest option
The versatility of these skis is what made me really like them. I had tried Solomon models before and they were all super cool, but this model was something different and I would recommend it to all the skiers who want to ride on the deep pow but also do some carving.
These powder-loving skis are going to be an amazing choice for those who enjoy playful and powerful, super floaty rides.
One of the most award-winning skis to ever grace the mountain, the Atomic Bent Chetler 120 is a pillow-bashing, powder slashing ski legend.
Constantly evolving since its inception in 2008, the latest iteration not only floats better in deep snow but redefines what’s possible in big mountain terrain.
The Powder Rocker profile offers the perfect amount of tip and tail turn-up and camber underfoot delivering epic performance through deep turns, side hits, and nose butters.
If you are familiar with Bent Chetler then you know that this ski was designed with deep powder playful ski in mind. With some changes in construction and features, all the versions are carrying the same idea - ideal for fresh snow.
The Chetler 120 is considerably lighter than previous models (Karuba core) and that is a big plus and a bit surprising since it's around 120 mm wide. The reduction in weight didn't compromise the stability and this ski showed excellent results on the snow.
- good for backcountry touring
- not for chopped-up snow
This is an amazing choice for riding the deep pow, but one thing is for sure - this is not the most beginner-friendly ski. It is meant for more experienced skiers who can really benefit from all this model has to offer.
Once you get used to these skis, you will see how effortlessly they float and how maneuverable they are. Whether it is backcountry skiing or just slashing between the trees, this mountain slayer will surely provide some fun time.
The ZX108 is looking to introduce a new generation to the quality, precision, and performance of Kastle skis.
With a fat, fun, freeride-y shape, the ZX108 is more casually known as the "Drifter." The name does say what it does, implying that you can ski sideways on these things as you can frontwards.
This type of playful personality is in high demand lately, as most of the focus on ski companies has been made to increase the number of skiers in soft, fresh, and deep snow.
Kastle ZX aka "Drifter" is a pow-loving ski that is super playful and fun. With 108 mm underfoot the ZX is a floater and handles deep pow with ease. The more affordable price point is something we should definitely mention since the price is one of the factors to consider when shopping for skis.
The Kastle's premium brand quality is well-known and the awesome materials and superb construction of this model are just a proof of that (poplar and beech wood core).
- playful turns
- stable & agile
- not ideal for heavy crud
Considering their 108 mm waist, these skis are super versatile within their width range. They are precise and intuitive and not hard to control. Even though they are marketed as skis for more experienced skiers I believe total beginners would quickly learn how to handle these skis when it comes to fresh powder rides. They are fun and agile, meant for awesome soft snow performance.
Whoever loves playful turns and a great time on the snow should give these skis a chance.
The softer tip floats & initiates turns easily while the stiffer tail provides power, stability & high-speed control.
Five different radiuses are blended into the ski's sidecut. The result? A wide variety of turn shapes and an intuitive feel.
A blend of lightweight paulownia and maple creates the best strength-to-weight ratio in our line.
With 125 mm underfoot and even bigger shovels, these skis are floating on the snow like a boat on the waves. Pescados are some serious powder-loving skis and they feature what we call an iconic design. With directional flex, they provide needed stability and power and are shorter in size than a regular in combination with massive waist width making them reliable and easy to maneuver.
- amazing design
- wide shovel and waist
- floats like a boat
- great at high speeds
- might be too wide for some riders
When it comes to shape, there is their recognizable swallowtail style and rocker-camber-rocker profile. They look like they came from a snowboard line and with wide underfoot you really feel the difference in the ride (so smooth).
These have to be the skis that showed one of the best performances on the deep snow, they are exceptional at floating and staying on top of the snow no matter the depth. They are also lightweight and stable at the same time, making them an incredible choice for all soft powder lovers.
This super-light, carbon-made ski is the backcountry pow's dream. With effortless floatation and intuitive handling, this is an epic pow ski for perfect ski adventures!
A combination of materials such as wood, fiberglass, and plastic makes these skis really agile and comfortable.
Its rocker design and progressive shape will have you floating on the deep pow like a boat.
La Machine stands out of crowd of Faction's more traditionally designed ski lines. This model is specifically made for powder days and that makes it unique. They showed great performance on both shallow and deep snow and are even solid at carving (not ideal though). If you are constantly searching for rides on really deep snow, then you are going to love this big powder machine. They are versatile, somewhat lightweight, great fat powder skis.
- not heavy
- stiff enough
- not for firm chop or crud
- not for total beginners
This model is stable and forgiving enough which makes it appropriate for intermediate and less experienced skiers who want to ride the pow. More advanced riders will enjoy carves and drifts and will completely make good use of these skis.
When you get used to them, you will realize how easy it is to control your riding style since these skis are pretty predictable and reliable. They are definitely going to provide fun times and make you love riding pow even more.
The K2 Reckoner 112 is a well-balanced freeride ski that can handle more than just deep powder.
This ski has a heavy freestyle influence which is reflected in its shape, profile, and construction.
It’s designed around the park skier that needs something to handle those BC jumps and pillow lines, or just for skiers that want a playful and surfy powder ski for those deep days at the resort or side-country terrain.
This all-terrain twin rocker ski is surely a know-it-all. Super versatile and fun, K2 Reckoner 112 is a model suited for both beginners and experts. Not the most powerful skis in their range, but they show some great efficiency and performance in deep snow and at high speeds and big airs.
They are true big mountain-designed skis that you are going to love. These skis are a dream come true for every skier who wants one ski to do powder, groomers, and steeps.
- reliable & stable
- good in soft chop
- twin rocker
- not a super damp ski
This model is great for going downhill and is super easy to slash and also stable at high speeds. I loved how nice it was to make turns and create an awesome flow. The combination of profile, shape, and construction makes these skis very comfortable and maneuverable. What surprised me was how good they showed in soft choppy snow, so if you want to conquer the mountain, get ready for a fast and fun ride with these skis.
The Armada ARV 106 Skis are fun. They're fast, sturdy all-mountain twins that are designed to let you do whatever you want, whenever you want, without having to worry about the conditions or what skis you've selected from your quiver for the day.
They're quick edge to edge on groomer days, stable on landings and at speed, and have enough rocker and surface area to handle the deepest powder days.
One thing that sets them apart from other all-mountain freestyle skis is Armada's Smear Tech that's featured in the tips and tails.
The design and construction of this model show the intentions of the Armada team to create skis that will be suitable for both park rats and pow riders. They will especially be convenient for skiers that prefer wider platforms. They are good for cruising the park and with 106 mm underfoot they are going to offer lots of fun on the snow. The Armada ARV is created for all the big mountain, powder, and park enthusiasts.
- enough width and rocker
- good float
- not the most stable
- might be too wide for some skiers
It gives off a surfy feel thanks to the Smear Tech design with easier tip and tail edge release. If you are a freestyle rider who likes to jump from park to powder, then this ski is going to be right up your alley.
The Armada ARV could easily become your one ski quiver since it is reliable and great in both worlds. It is not the most efficient ski out there, but it does the job really well, so it would make a great option for your everyday skiing adventures whether it is going to be a park or powdery mountains.
This Kore model sits right between the 105 and the 117, offering you the best of both worlds in terms of float and versatility.
It’s plenty wide enough to handle any deep snow, but narrow enough to provide you with the confidence and stability to handle dicey snow conditions.
It all starts with a Karuba and Poplar wood core which then gets enhanced by Carbon, Graphene, and an additional damping layer.
This is one snappy, technical and light ski that is going to offer lots of fun on the snow. Head Kore skis are super light and great for ski touring. The tips are pretty stiff though so it will take more effort to rise off the snow. I'd say that these skis are decent when it comes to flotation considering their waist width. These skis would be the top choice for skiers who need stiff and light skis that are not too hard to manage.
- great core
- might feel too stiff
- not for beginners
Lots of power and stability of these skies come directly from the core-the mix of karuba and poplar wood gives the snappiness and lightweight features but also makes this ski easy to control.
Taking into account their weight, these are probably the most agile skis in that range. With 111 mm underfoot they will surely provide you with confidence on the deep snow and will show great performance for cruising around the resort.
When they start measuring snowfall at our favorite resort in feet instead of inches we opt for the Blizzard Rustler 11 Ski.
These powder skis combine a fat 116mm waist with a rocker in the tip and tail to ensure we can float through the deepest snow, pivot on a dime and slash.
Additionally, the lightweight core makes this ski ultra playful and ready for some untouched pow.
This is one really playful ski so don't expect it to do any serious stuff. Not ideal for groomers; it shines on fresh powder and deep snow. It's awesome for tree skiing but is not the best at carving. "Live the moment" is the motto of Blizzard skis design, so if you're a laid back skier who wants to enjoy floating on the snow, being playful and relaxed, this would be the right ski for you.
- playful & fun
- for fresh snow
- easy to pivot
- not for carving
- not for groomed and firm snow
Blizzard Rustler 11 is a ski quiver that shines in fresh, chest-deep snow and you will be amazed to see how this thing turns in soft pow. It's easy going, controllable but as I mentioned, it won't do the job on firm terrain.
Out of the Rustler line, this model has the least metal in construction to ensure the lightweight (it is still stable and damp). It also has the most rocker to allow the best performance on the snow. Simply put-this is a true pow ski.
Thanks to the construction, shape, and profile, this killer deal is perfect for powder hounds and soft-snow enthusiasts all over the world.
Built much the same as the other skis in Fischer's FR line, the 115 has a wood core with metal binding retention inserts as well as a carbon nose.
Lighter skis float better, so the less weight there is to stay on top of the fresh, the better.
The Fischer Ranger 115 is quite similar to the 102 model except it has more width and is designed with deep pow in mind. It is fairly predictable and not too hard to control.
With less rocker in the tail and more traditional construction, it is not the most playful ski out there. On the other hand, it is versatile enough for 115 and user-friendly. I would add it is forgiving and suitable for intermediate skiers.
- not playful enough
- not the best option for touring
This is not an ideal ski for touring considering the weight, but if you need your skis wide, then this weight is acceptable. With the metal plate underfoot this ski is stable and features a milled core that gets thinner at the edges (less metal for a more floaty feel). The design, shape, and profile all add up to a winning formula. These big sticks are just great for deep pow days.
The Damp Tech inserts at the tip reduce ski vibrations to absorb irregularities in the terrain.
The double LCT ABS construction is an adaptation of Line Control Technology on wider skis to improve line control with power and energy.
A high Pop factor describes a ski with rebound and high-octane flex for young skiers.
These are some incredible skis for fresh deep powder, but they are not super versatile to really rely on them in other conditions. This is not going to be an ideal choice for carving or fast rides. It is surfy in powder and floats great, and I would recommend this Rossignol Black Ops ski for those soft powder days because this is where these skis excel and shine (even with only a 104mm waist width).
- great for deep & soft pow
- good for speedy snow rides
- not the most stable
- not versatile enough
Although lightweight, these skis are still stiff enough considering how much they weigh. Some of our colleagues noticed they are not super stable, but they are confident at high speeds on soft and deep powder. Bouncing and turning was quite easy and these skis are a great choice for smooth snow. They are meant for awesome floating and making big turns in mixed snow.
Buyers Guide: How To Choose Skis for Powder?
There's something so magical and freeing about landing on soft, untouched snow. It's like you're a kid again, playing and laughing. Your skis seem to fly through, yet you have complete control over your movement and speed. You can't help but grin ear-to-ear as you feel the snow spraying up on your face with each turn.
If you love powder skiing, then read on and find all you need to know about this amazing winter activity!
Why Is Deep Snow Skiing So Fun and Playful?
Deep pow provides a cushiony, forgiving surface which makes turns easier and avoids any potentially dangerous impacts in the event of a fall. Additionally, deep snow can provide an exhilarating experience as you power through untouched powder.
Powder skiing is a type of skiing that is geared toward navigating through deep, fluffy snow. Unlike traditional skiing on hard-packed and groomed trails, powder skiing requires its devotees to traverse terrain filled with obstacles like trees, moguls, and rocks. Because of this, it is a far more challenging and technical type of skiing. Pow skiers search for deep snow conditions and off-piste slopes that are untouched by lift systems or ski patrol.
Powder skiing is one of the most satisfying feelings you'll ever experience.
How To Pick The Right Powder Skis?
To find the best powder skis for you, try following these tips:
- Determine your ability level: It’s important to know your skiing ability level when choosing powder skis. Beginner skiers should look for skis that are wider and have a more stable feel. Intermediate and advanced skiers should look for more narrow, performance-driven powder skis.
- Choose the width of the skis: Wider skis will generally float better in deep powder, while narrower skis are better suited for carving turns in deeper snow. Skis wider than 100mm are considered powder skis, but you’ll want to keep in mind your skiing ability level when deciding on the width of your powder skis.
- Consider your weight: Weight is an important factor to consider when selecting powder skis. Heavier skiers should opt for a slightly stiffer ski, while lighter skiers can go with a softer flex pattern.
- Check out reviews: One of the best ways to find out which powder skis are right for you is to read reviews by other skiers. Reviews can provide valuable insight into the performance of the ski, as well as its overall feel on the mountain. (So, just scroll up).
Why Do Skiers Measure the Width Waist Of Their Powder Skis?
Skiers measure the waist width of their powder skis to determine how stable the ski will be when turning on soft snow. Generally, wider skis have higher stability, while skinnier skis are lighter and more maneuverable. Selecting a ski with the right waist width can help the skier find the right balance between stability and agility.
The waist width of powder skis typically ranges from 98mm to 120mm. The size that is best for you will depend on your weight, ability level, and skiing style. Generally, lighter skiers should look for a narrower waist width between 98-106mm, while heavier skiers should look for a wider waist width between 106-120mm.
Ski Profile: Camber and Rocker
Camber skis are a type of ski with a camber shape, meaning that the middle of the ski is slightly raised relative to the edges. This gives the ski increased edge grip and responsiveness for carving turns. Camber skis are good for intermediate to advanced skiers, as they require more skill to maneuver and can be unforgiving on less-than-perfect runs. It's usually seen as two arches or crescent shapes along the length of the ski. A camber ski profile allows for greater edge control and sharper turning, making them great for carving turns on the slopes.
Rocker skis are a type of ski designed for powder skiing. They are characterized by their lifted tips and tails which provide better floatation, greater agility, and a more playful skiing experience. Rocker skis are more suited for lighter, softer snow and are usually preferred by freestyle skiers who favor the buttery feel that rocker skis provide in powder. Rocker skis don't hold an edge as well as cambered skis, so they can be more challenging to ride in deep pow.
Turn Radius (Sidecut)
The turn radius of powder skis can vary depending on the type of terrain they are designed for. Generally, a larger turn radius (sidecuts) will offer a more stable ride while a smaller turn radius will offer quicker edge-to-edge transitions in tight areas.
For powder skiers, a turning radius of 18-20m is typically preferred. This creates a longer, drawn-out turn that is both stable and relatively easy to manage. When it comes to powder riding, bigger turns tend to create a better float, making them ideal for deeper fluffy snow conditions.
Materials, Cores, and Laminates
The materials used in ski construction can range from lightweight wood to flexible plastic, such as polyethylene. Composite materials, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber, are often used due to their strength and durability.
The core is the main component of the ski and provides its overall shape and stiffness. Common cores include wood, foam, and honeycomb materials. Each type of core has its own unique properties, allowing for different levels of performance depending on the desired use of the ski.
Laminates provide a protective layer to the top and bottom of the ski and help protect it from adverse weather conditions. Laminated layers are typically composed of a hard base layer and a softer layer on top. The soft layer helps absorb shocks while the hard layer helps protect against wear and tear.
The best part is the sound of the powder being kicked up underneath your skis.
What Is Powder Ski Gear?
Powder ski gear is specialized ski equipment used in deep powder skiing, which involves skiing on fresh, untracked snow. This gear includes wider skis for better flotation, adjustable bindings, and high-performance ski boots. The wider skis allow the skier to float on the snow without sinking in, while the adjustable bindings provide a low center of gravity and superior control on the slopes. The high-performance boots grip the snow while providing comfort and traction. This type of gear is designed to help skiers navigate through challenging terrain with ease and enjoy the thrill of skiing in deep powder.
Gear is important with pow skiing because, without the right gear, you won’t have the fun that powder skiing can offer. Having the right gear will give you the floaty feeling that you need, allowing you to really enjoy the powder and all its associated challenges. The right ski equipment will help you stay warm, offer you good traction, and keep you safe from avalanches. Make sure to bring some useful ski stuff as well, like solar fire fighter, wrist guards, wax for skis, etc.
How To Ski In Powder?
If you want to try powder skiing and make some awesome memories on the deep soft pow, do some preparation:
- Make sure you have the right skis – You will need skis that are appropriate for powder skiing, like wider and longer skis.
- Use the right technique – You will need to practice a slightly different technique when skiing in powder. This involves keeping your weight back and driving into the turn while keeping your upper body upright.
- Have a good understanding of the terrain – It is important to familiarize yourself with the terrain when skiing in powder. Look for entry and exit points for runs so that you can stay safe and away from obstacles.
- Take your time – Powder skiing is not a race, take your time so you can enjoy the experience without risking an injury.
- Practice making smooth turns – When skiing in powder, it is essential to practice smooth, consistent turns in order to gain confidence and control.
What is the best powder terrain?
The best powder terrain typically consists of a combination of steep, open runs and deep untracked powder. This type of terrain is often found in alpine regions with high levels of annual snowfall. The best powder skiing and snowboarding destinations include Canada, Alaska, the Alps, Japan, and the Rocky Mountains.
These areas usually have a good mix of natural features such as chutes, cliffs, and trees combined with wide-open bowls and groomed pistes. It is the ultimate playground for advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for an adventure. Powder skiing or snowboarding can be a thrilling experience, but it is also one of the most challenging disciplines in the sport.
Backcountry Skis & Pow
Backcountry skis are specialized skis designed for off-piste skiing in the backcountry. They are usually wider than standard alpine skis and have special features such as rocker tips and early-rise tails for enhanced flotation in powder. They usually have metal edges for better grip on hardpack, and a more playful flex than regular alpine skis for better maneuverability in tight terrain.
Backcountry skis are designed for skiing in off-trail terrain, including anything from rolling terrain to steep, icy slopes. Deep powder skis, on the other hand, are specifically designed for skiing in deep, powdery snow. These skis are typically wider than traditional backcountry skis and feature a shape that is both longer and rockered to make it easier to float through deep powder.
Mountain Deep Pow Skiing
Mountain deep pow skiing is a term used by skiers to describe the experience of skiing in very deep, untouched powder snow, typically found in the most extreme terrain and on the highest, most remote peaks. It is a type of all-mountain free-riding style that focuses on skiing through untracked powder snow and requires a high level of technical proficiency and exquisite knowledge of the mountain. The ultimate goal is to get "off-piste" and find some of the deepest, most pristine powder on offer.
The most appropriate skis for pow would be powder skis. They are designed specifically for skiing in deep snow. They're usually wider than most skis and designed with special features like a rocker or reverse camber to help you float on top of the powder.
Yes, the powder can be great for skiing on, as it is lighter and fluffier than packed snow, making it easier to turn and more enjoyable to ride. However, due to the nature of powder snow, it can also be harder to stay upright in, so it’s important to have some experienced guidance if you’re new to skiing on powder.
Powder skis are designed to ski on soft snow. They are usually longer and wider than other skis and have a more exaggerated shape, which makes them more difficult to control on harder-packed snow and groomed terrain. So, while powder skis are not necessarily harder to ski on compared to other types of skis, they may take some time for a beginner to get used to.
Stiffer skis can help improve stability and control in powder, but they are not necessarily better. Choosing the right ski depends on an individual's weight, size, and skill level. Softer skis can also work well in powder, as they can provide a more playful feel and are often easier to maneuver.
Ability level is important with powder skiing because the right techniques should be used to maximize safety, control, and fun. Powder skiing requires a higher level of ability and knowledge of terrain than skiing on groomed runs. It also requires good technique to ensure the skier's safety and to help them dominate the terrain. Without the right level of ability, powder skiing can be dangerous.
The weight of a powder ski will vary depending on the type of ski and its construction. A heavier ski, with metal laminates or a thicker core, will be heavier than a lighter ski with a more traditional construction. Generally, powder skis range in weight from 3.2 to 5 kilograms (7 to 11 pounds).
The Best Powder Skis Are…
This year's best powder skis award goes to freeride Solomon's QST Blank! There's a simple reason behind this decision-we absolutely loved these incredibly versatile pow skis. They are amazing at higher speeds and offer incredible flotation in deep, powdery, untouched snow. With awesome construction and reduced weight, they are super responsive and easy to control & balance.
Every skier looking to explore all-mountain terrain should keep these powder-loving skis in mind. Pow skiing is equal to having fun in the snow, and these skis will provide you with the confidence to flow through snow quickly and securely. The enhanced control and playful nature of QST Blank will make every rider fall in love with them after the first ride!
By adjusting the shape of the ski, lowering the widest points and lengthening the rocker, the BLANK brings playfulness to all types of turns, yet also maintains reliability
A 112mm waist takes you from pillows, to powder, to steeps with confidence. Camber underfoot and early rise in the tip and tail adapt to whatever the mountain throws at you.
Double sidewalls and Cork Damplifier create confidence-boosting stability when dropping in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Snow Gear Product Guru
Anna has been shredding the pow globally from Whistler to Niseko, even hitting the southern Alps in New Zealand. She has been a snowboarder for over 10 years and writes about it from 2017. She is a gear enthusiast, always on a look out for the new equipment to test and try, whether it is a snowboard or ski gear. Anna shares her knowledge as one of our top gear guru's.