There is nothing better than skiing in deep powder. To get the best possible powder experience, you’ll need a good ski designed to handle a thick layer of soft snow.
We have after many considerations, after reading many customer reviews and after much research found 5 skis perfect for those days of deep powder skiing.
Without further ado, here are the best powder skis the 2019-2020 ski season:
Best Powder Skis 2019
How to Choose Powder Skis
We have already discussed how to choose skis, so instead of repeating what’s in that guide, we’re going to focus on powder skis specifically.
The best powder skis are made for charging hard in deep snow. They are wide and long to get the maximum amount of surface area. If you are a skilled skier that can handle powder skiing, getting a ski that is forehead height or above can often be worth it for the added stability and power.
You’ll usually find powder skis at a width of 100mm underfoot or more. For pure powder skiing, they might be as wide as 125mm or more. The really wide powder skis will be hard to ski on packed conditions but will give excellent flotation and control in deep powder.
If you are a skier that want to charge hard in deep snow, consider a ski with a directional tip rocker. For pure powder performance, a full rocker is the way to go. If you are a jibber that wants to ski switch in powder, a hybrid rocker is probably the best ski profile.
Ordinary powder skis are heavy and bulky. They are great if you can take the lift, snowmobile, or even the heli to that nice powder run. However, if you know you’re going to be skinning up the mountain, you’re going to need something more lightweight. That’s where touring skis come in.
In touring skis the number one priority is a low weight. They are made of lightweight materials and are designed for you to get both up and down the mountain with ease.
Touring skis are often less wide than ordinary powder skis. For long tours and alpine ascents, you might go for something as narrow as 70-90mm for less weight. For your all-around touring skis expect a width of around 90-105mm. The ski profile is the same as in ordinary powder skis, but you won’t see a full rocker. A full rocker design makes it hard to attach the skins. Even if you get the skin to attach you won’t gain much traction.
This guide features mostly regular powder skis, but we also cover an excellent touring ski.
Best Powder Skis Reviewed
Nordica Enforcer 110
The Nordica Enforcer 110 has a width of 110mm. It’s wider than most all-mountain skis but not still not as wide that it’s hard to ski in any other conditions than deep powder.
The wood core is made of Balsa wood, a lightweight but durable material. On the sides of the skis, there’s a full sidewall construction. This construction gives the ski durability and added power transmission to the edges for easier and more powerful turns.
It has lots of rocker in the tip and tail. The rocker eases up turn initiation and makes the ski float over the powder. Under the foot you’ll get a camber profile for better edge hold. This hybrid rocker design makes the Nordica Enforcer a stable powder ski capable of good skiing performance in any condition.
The turn radius of the ski is 18,5m for the 185cm model. It’s a suitable turn radius for all-mountain skiing, but if you are charging hard in deep powder, you might want a bit longer turn radius for really long turns with tons of power. One of the most common complaints of the Nordica Enforcer is that it can feel damp at the top of the turn.
If you are an advanced-to-expert skier that is looking for an all-around powder ski, then the Nordica Enforcer 110 is definitely a model to consider.
|Playful and surfy feel in powder|
|Lightweight yet stable|
|Performs well in all conditions|
|Some dampness in the turns|
|Not the longest turn radius|
Atomic Bent Chetler
The Atomic Bent Chetler is a classic powder ski designed after input from professional backcountry legend Chris Benchetler.
The shape of the ski is based on Atomic’s Horizon tech. It has a curved 3D base that increases the surface area for added performance in deep snow. The core of the ski is made of poplar wood. It has a full sidewall construction that allows the ski to hold the edge well, even on the occasional ice patch.
With a rocker-camber-rocker profile, it provides both stability and excellent powder performance. The camber underfoot offers added stability and better edge hold. The rocker in the tip gives improved powder performance. The rocker in the tail has only a 10% angle, so more of the ski remains in contact with the snow for better stability. If you are skiing in the woods, the rocker also helps with really nimble turns, so you don’t have to worry about hitting a tree.
With a smooth and responsive flex, it’s easy to press against, has great pop, and provides loads of power and stability.
The Atomic Bent Chetler comes in two different width options, 100mm and 120mm underfoot. If you want a really wide powder ski for the best possible powder experience, and that’s your only priority, then go for the Atomic Bent Chetler 120. If you want a more versatile option, go for the Atomic Bent Chetler 100. With the Atomic Bent Chetler 100, you get good performance in deep powder, soft snow and even in packed conditions.
|Hold the edge well on any conditon|
|Surfy and playful feel in powder|
|Nimble turn initation|
|Unstable at high speeds on packed conditions|
|The Bent Chetler 120 is only suited for deep snow|
Salomon QST 118
The Salomon QST 118 is a playful powder skier that can handle even the deepest pow.
With a 118mm width underfoot, it’s a wide ski that will offer plenty of floatation. It’s light and wide enough for excellent powder performance.
One of the big selling points of the Salamon QST is the C/FX technology. C/FX means Salamon has reinforced the poplar wood core by layering it with carbon, metal, flax, and koroyd. This gives the ski a nice damp feeling without having to add metal or making the ski heavy. It’s one of the lighter powder skis on the market, and by the end of the day you’ll feel less fatigue and have more energy for the next day of skiing.
The tail and the tip have a rocker profile. Thanks to the light poplar core, they’re really light on the tip and the tail. This makes them playful and easy to get through the turn and do more creative and playful lines.
The camber and the metal reinforcement underfoot gives the ski tons of stability. The only condition it tends to be unstable is on hard packed ice.
It turns well, and even if it’s a quite wide ski, it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver. The easy turn initiation makes this ski good for skiing in the woods and doesn’t demand as much from the skier than other similarly wide skis do.
If you decide to go for the Salamon QST, the binding recommendation is the Salamon Shift, a binding that goes really well with this ski. If you can sacrifice a bit on the powder performance but want a more versatile ski, the Salamon QST 106 is the natural option.
|Can carve well in all conditions|
|C/FX technology for excellent stability|
|Easy to manuever|
|Unsatble on icy conditions|
Elan Ripstick 106: Best All Mountain Powder Skis
The Elan Ripstick skis are not only an excelllent powder ski. They’re great for any kind of weather and snow conditions. These freeride skis will carry you over moguls, powder, off-piste, downhill, tree skiing, and anything else you dare to tackle. These mid-width skis are the perfect solution between skis that are too narrow to offer sufficient flotation and skis that are too wide to perform optimally on hardpack.
These are skis built for performance, as evidenced by the Amphibio Carbon Line construction. The core is made with Elan’s signature TNT technology that gives users the best of lightweight material matched with power. You won’t believe how well these lightweight skis perform under any conditions.
The lack of weight belies the solid yet hollow carbon core. Each ski has a 5mm diameter carbon tube running through it, which proffer stability and rebound. The tips are made of composites that help to minimize vibration as well as to offer an added stability component. A medium turning radius again makes the Elan Ripstick 106 Skis work for all kinds of challenges.
These skis come in four different lengths, including 167, 174, 181, and 188, with varying turning radiuses depending on which length you get. Powder skiers love that these skis are highly responsive, with low to no vibration. Whether you’re racing down a vertical ridge or crossing through backcountry terrain, these skis will do the trick.
|Practically zero vibration, even over moguls and rocky terrain|
|These can easily serve as all-purpose skis if you can only afford one pair.|
|Lightweight and sturdy|
|Not the best floatation in super deep powder|
|May show surface wear and tear more readily than some other skis|
Volkl Confession: For Charging Hard in Deep Powder
The Volkl Confession is one of the best powder skis you can get if you are an aggressive powder skier that wants to charge hard in deep powder.
With 117mm underfoot, it’s a wide powder ski that’s best in the backcountry. It floats well in powder but the thing that makes the Volkl Confession stand out is how fast it is in variable ungroomed terrain. This ski hasn’t a speed limit and even when you are skiing really fast, there’s never any speed wobbles, just 100% stability.
The downside of the Volkl Confession is the performance at groomers. It’s not a hard pack ski and the grip is poor. It’s ok on hard pack as long as you have the space to do big turns at high speed. It’s an alright ski for wood skiing and tighter lines, but not ideal.
With a 23,8 m turn radius, this ski shines when you can do large turns and have an aggressive ski style. The rocker camber rocker construction makes it a stable off-piste ski that will do perfectly in deep powder. The front rocker is curved just enough so you can go fast without having to worry about it getting hooked in vegetation. The tail rocker lets you power through giant turns.
It’s not the most versatile powder ski, but for charging hard in deep powder, it’s one of the best skis you can get.
|26.5m turn radius for huge turns|
|Made for charging hard|
|Not the most versitile ski|
|Poor grip on groomers|
Voile Hyper V6: Best Touring Ski
When it comes to touring skis the first thing to look for is the weight of the ski. The Voile Hyper V6 weighs 1340 g per ski (99mm x 178cm), a respectable weight on the lighter end of touring skis. It has a carbon fiberglass laminate construction with a paulownia wood core.
Even with the lightweight construction, it doesn’t sacrifice anything in skiability. It has a hybrid rocker design with camber underfoot and tip and tail rocker. It’s an overall stable big mountain ski that floats great in powder. With a turn radius of 18.5m (178cm model), it allows for a versatile ski style.
The biggest downside of the construction is the tapered tail. The tip is 131mm and the tail is only 111mm for the 178 cm model. A less tapered tip would help by adding a bit more power in turns, and it would be easier to hold the skin tail clips.
The Voile Hyper is made in America and has a affordable price. If you enjoy ski touring and are looking for the best powder skis, then definitely consider the Voile Hyper V6.
|On the lighter end of touring skis|
|Floats well in powder|
|Too tapered tail|
|Bit narrow for super deep powder|
One of the best feelings you can have as a skier is skiing in deep powder. To get the best possible powder experience, especially when the powder is deep, is to get the best powder skis. No matter if you want a wide pair of powder skis for heli-skiing or a light touring ski for ski touring, we hope you found a ski that suits your ski style.
We hope the ski you decided to go for will help you get the most of the deep snow on many powder days to come.