Whether you’re searching by brand, category, or through a tester, we’re sure that there are great skis for you here. Once you get to a certain zone of width, style, or construction, the differences become less and less important, and for a lot of skiers, sizing, pricing, graphics, and availability become the next most-meaningful step to take.
From groomed runs to moguls to the steep-and-deep freeride terrain, all-mountain skis are designed to take on the entire mountain. They usually feature a waist between 85-100mm and are sold without bindings. The majority of all-mountain skis feature wood cores and two sheets of metal—but there are exceptions that include no metal at all in favour of keeping the ski light and more playful. It’s hard to beat the versatility of an all-mountain ski, though these skis can be too wide for those who spend the majority of their time on groomers, and too narrow for those who ski mountains blessed with regular and bountiful snowfall.
Truth is, the line can be blurry between these two ski categories since ski manufacturers started throwing everything they have at producing well-rounded and versatile skis. As a result, you can now find narrow all-mountain skis that also rail on groomers and frontside skis that can hold their own in crud. That said, there are still some key differences between frontside and all-mountain skis, the biggest being that frontside skis are primarily designed for on-trail performance, while all-mountain skis (even the narrower ones) are engineered to tackle conditions and terrain off the groomers.
Most skis are unisex and not gender-specific. Many brands produce the ski with the exact same construction technologies for both genders, but often create two different top sheets to appeal to men vs. women. A handful of brands are making truly women’s-specific skis, where the ski takes a woman’s physique into account when building the ski. Men and women can ski on the same ski but may want to choose different lengths depending on their height and their skiing ability.
With proper care and regularly performed tuning by a professional ski tech, skis can last for 200-300 days on snow depending on the size and aggressiveness of the skier. Larger skiers and people who are harder on their equipment will not get as many days on snow before the wood core, edges, or other aspects of the ski become compromised. Bindings should be tested by a professional ski tech every season, and replaced when they do not meet standardised norms.