No matter if you want a playful ski for small jumps, butters, and rails or want a stable park ski to hit the biggest kickers, our guide of the best park skis have you covered.
Choosing the right park ski takes some consideration. To help you select your next ski for park skiing we created this buying guide that will help you choose the ideal ski for your ski style. Before we go into details on how to choose park skis, let’s have a look at the best park skis 2019-2020:
Best Park Skis 2019-2020
How to choose park skis
The first step in choosing a good park ski is to know how to select the right ski. Once you know the basics, let’s have a look at some park specific considerations you’ll need to make if you want to get the most out of your park skis.
What width is suitable for park skis?
The standard width range of park skis is somewhere between 85-100mm. Wider skis will give you a bit better stability and won’t latch on to slushy snow as easily. Skinnier skis have lower swing weight and will be quicker edge to edge. The width on park skis is not the most important thing in the park but if you want a more versatile ski that can handle off-piste skiing, get a bit wider ski.
What Length should you go for?
Generally, you should go around forehead length but depending on your ski style you could either go a bit shorter or a bit longer.
A longer ski will give you more stability on jumps and added speed. The downside with longer skis is that they have more spin weight, something you’ll most likely notice on rails. A shorter ski will be more agile, and rails will be a bit easier. If you get a too short park ski, you’ll lose too much stability.
What flex is the correct flex?
A softer flex gives you a more playful ski. It will be easy to press up hard and is nice for butters. Softer skis also have a bit more forgiveness when you jump on and off rails. Just be aware that a ski with softer flex is often more likely to break. Stiffer skis give you more stability on jumps. They provide a bit more pop and more forgiving landing. If you are a jibber that wants a playful ski, go for a softer one. If you want to do big jumps, go for a stiffer one.
Rocker vs. Camber
A rocker ski is going to be very flexible, playful and will do great nose and tail butters. A rocker profile will allow a creative ski style perfect for someone that prefer to ski smaller features, rails and jibs.
A cambered ski profile will provide more stability and stiffness. This profile is best suited for someone that wants a ski that can handle big jumps and high impact. If you want to go fast and huge, a camber profile is the way to go.
Best Park Skis Reviewed
Armada ARW 86: The Versatile Choice
The Armada Arv is a fun and playful ski that will not only do great in the park but all over the mountain.
With a medium flex, it’s stiffer than many other park skis on the list. The medium flex combined with a camber profile underfoot gives the ski good stability and great response edge to edge.
The core is made of poplar wood, a light and dense material that will give power for the big features without adding excess weight.
This park ski is best suited for advanced to expert skiers. To fully enjoy this ski you need to be a bit aggressive and know what you want to do to have control.
With rocker in the tip and tail, it can handle a greater variety of conditions. Both the tip and the tail is also soft enough to get a playful feel, perfect for doing nose butters. The rocker camber rocker construction gives added flotation in softer snow. However, it is on the narrower side so it’s not ideal in deep powder.
The biggest weakness of the Armada ARW is the performance in hard packed conditions. If you try to carve at high speed at hard-packed or icy conditions, the ARW tend to lose grip and don’t hold the edge well. However, this is not a ski made for someone that prefers carving groomed slopes. This is a ski for a jibber that treats the whole mountain as one big snow park.
|Stable landings even on big jumps|
|Light but durable construction|
|Versatile ski that will perform well all over the mountain|
|Poor carving performance on groomers|
|Demands a skier that can handle the stiffer flex and quick turn initiation|
Fischer Nightstick: Pure Park Skiing
The Fisher Nightstick is a pure park ski. It has a width of 84mm underfoot. With a fully cambered design and a narrow width, it’s not the kind of ski you take off-piste. This is the ski you bring to the snow park when you want maximum stability.
Under the matte black and yellow graphics is a is beech and poplar wood core with carbon technology to increase stability and keep it lightweight. The titanium reinforcement under the foot helps when sliding rails and boxes. It’s a durable ski that you can trust and depend on, so you can be confident it won’t break when sliding rails.
It’s a quite stiff ski. It has nice pop that won’t decrease over the season. However, the stiff feel means it won’t be as playful as the more soft skis on the list. It will be harder to do butters and won’t have such a surfy feel.
With a 22m turn radius, it has a bit longer turn radius than most park skis. The added turn radius gives it a more mellow feel when carving off jumps without sacrificing maneuverability.
If you are an advanced-expert park skier that want a ski that will stay stable even on the biggest of jumps, then the Fisher Nightstick is the ski to go for.
|Excellent stability on big jumps|
|Josh Christensen Won Slopestyle finals in Sochi 2014 with this ski|
|Not the most playful ski|
|Not the best outside of the snow park|
Faction Candide 2.0: The All-Mountain Choice
The Faction Candide 2.0 is an all-mountain ski designed by ski legend Candide Thovex. Even if it’s more of an all-mountain ski than a park ski, it’s still a favorite of park skiers all over the world thanks to its excellent park performance.
With a width of 102mm underfoot, it’s quite wide for a park ski. Even if it’s a bit wider than most park skis, it’s still super easy to maneuver and have a smooth performance all over the park. The added width also makes it a more versatile ski that you can take all over the mountain. Unlike most park skis, it has good stability at high speed on groomed runs. The biggest downside when it comes to how it skis is the relative short turn radius of 16m. It’s convenient to have really short and responsive turns when doing skiing in the woods but a longer turn radius would probably make for an even smoother overall skiing experience.
The Faction Candide 2.0 has a rocker/camber/rocker profile. The tip rocker makes it super fun off-piste with great flotation in soft snow. The camber profile underfoot gives it the stability you’ll need when cruising at high speed or for smoother landings. On the sides of the skis, you’ll get a full sidewall for added durability and maximum edge hold.
The medium to stiff flex gives the ski tons of stability yet a playful feel. This ski is best suited for advanced to expert skis. It’ s quite wide with a firm flex, so if you are more of a beginner to intermediate skier some options are easier to ski such as the K2 Sight below.
|Stable on landings|
|Responsive and easy to maneuver|
|Fun off piste|
|Short Turn Radius|
|Too stiff for beginner-intermediate skiers|
K2 Sight: Most Affordable
The K2 Sight is a really affordable park ski with a width of 88mm and a turn radius of 19.5m.
With a rocker camber rocker profile, you’ll get the best of both worlds. The camber underfoot combined with the narrow waist makes it great ski edge to edge, no matter if you are in the park, the pipe or in the backcountry. The tip and the tail are elevated so you get a bit looser feel and will keep the ski catch-free on rails. Another advantage of the rocker tip is that it’s easier to ski in soft snow.
K2 has decided to sacrifice a bit on playfulness for added stability and durability. It’s stiffer than most K2 park skis. This makes it stable when hitting jumps and when you have to land really hard. It has a strong, stable pop. However, if you want to do butters or want a soft surfy feel, it might be too stiff for you.
The K2 Sight is a really durable ski. The aspen core is reinforced with fiberglass for greater stability and more consistent flex. The Twin Tech Sidewall construction decrease chipping and tipping along the tail of the ski and give an overall longer durability
With a weight of 1929g @ 179cm per ski, it’s quite hefty for being an 88mm park ski. If you are a beginner or an intermediate park skier, the added swing weight won’t bother you much. However, if you are an advanced or an expert park skier you might want to look for a ski with less swing weight.
|Strong, stable pop|
|Not the most lively ski|
Völkl Revolt 95: The Beginner-Intermediate Alternative
If the K2 Sight is not for you and you still want a really affordable beginner to intermediate park ski, the best contender is the Völkl Revolt 95.
The Völkl Revolt 95 is versatile twintip ski made of a multi-layer wood core reinforced with carbon stringers for added pop. It has a nice and poppy feel that is great on rails and is stable enough to handle even big landings with ease.
Most park skis have a fully symmetrical shape. The Völkl Revolt has directional sidecut. It’s 10mm thinner in the tail than in the nose. This means it will be easier to do correct turns, but it also means that it will ski differently forward and switch.
The 21m turn radius is versatile. With a 21m turn radius, you can both do fast, small turns or use the full turn radius to make powerful wide turns.
The biggest downside of the Völkl Revolt is the durability. The durability is not bad but the edge is thinner than most park skis these days, so it’s easier to break the skis if you are skiing hard in the park.
Another issue with the Völkl revolt is that it doesn’t really stand out. It’s a playful ski, but there are more playful and surfier skis out there. It can handle huge airs well, but there are better skis that can handle big landings even better. However, the one thing that most park skis can’t beat is the affordable price.
|Playful and poppy|
|Nice turn radius|
|Above averge swing weight|
|Not the most durable ski|
|Doesn’t stand out|
There are many good park skis on the market, so choosing the best one isn’t always so easy as one might think. One of the key things to think about before getting a park ski is to consider if you prefer a playful or a stable ski. The really playful parks skis are great for fun jibbing, rails and butter but won’t be as stable as the less playful park skis made for large kickers.
We have looked at 5 different park skis. All are the best park skis in their categories and suit different park skiers. If you want a good beginner-intermediate alternative, consider the K2 Sight, a playful park ski that is a blast to ski. Another good beginner-intermediate option is the Völkl Revolt. It’s a bit less playful but more versatile and stable on bigger jumps. If you can handle a ski that demands a bit more from the skier, then our recommendation would be the Faction Candide 2.0 or the Fisher Nightstick. These are two really stable park skis that can handle huge kickers. If you want a versatile park ski that you can take all over the mountain your best bet would be the Armada ARW 86.
No matter what ski you end up going for, we hope you’ll enjoy it for many good days in the snow park.