7 Best Women’s Skis to Nailing the 2022-2023 Season

womens skis best 2019
7 Women’s Skis That Rip All Over the MountainGetty Images

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For some people, skiing is something the whole family can enjoy together over the holidays. For others (like us), skiing is life — all responsibilities get sidelined during winter months to spend every imaginable moment on the mountain. No matter which side you fall on, everyone can agree that skiing is a great way to make a few happy memories during the winter months. And using the correct skiing and snowboarding gear, particularly the best women's skis that suit your abilities, style, and terrain preference can make or break your time on the slopes.

The Best Women's Skis

What to Consider

Skis have come a long way from being long, skinny, metal-infused planks. And we understand that to the untrained eye, buying skis can be quite overwhelming due to the never-ending range of shapes, designs, and features, each boasting its own “unique” advantages. To help you be less intimidated and more informed, we’ll explain the most important factors to consider.


All-mountain skis are the most common. As the name implies, they're made to roam the entire mountain, including groomed runs, moguls, and even powder.

  • An all-mountain front ski has a thinner waist and is best for high speeds and hard carves on groomed terrain.

  • An all-mountain back ski has a fatter waist, which is better for un-groomed terrain and mixed snow conditions.

  • Powder skis are the fattest of them all, and their best use is for first tracks in knee-deep snow.

And those are just a few types.

Rocker and Camber

  • The camber is the upside-down arc underneath the center of the ski, which contacts the ground when you stand on the ski. Camber helps you initiate and finish turns, and it gives the ski a sense of energy.

  • The rocker is the upturned portion of the ski at the tip and tail. A larger rocker in the front improves flotation on powder, but this reduces the proportion of the ski that is in contact with the ground, which can then decrease stability at high speeds and compromise power in turns.


The length you choose depends on many things, including experience level, terrain preference, height, and weight. Generally speaking, a heavier expert skier will ride longer skis, while a lighter, less-experienced skier of the same height will size down. Length should not be a guess, though — use this chart to figure out what dimensions suit you best.


A ski’s width is measured in millimeters at the widest part of the tip, the narrowest part of the waist, and the widest part of the tail (referred to as “tip-waist-tail”). Of these measurements, waist width is the most relevant, as it directly affects performance.

Generally speaking, a narrower waist (under 90-95 millimeters) is best for frontside skiing, a wider waist (95-105 millimeters) is an all-mountain ski, and anything bigger (105 millimeters and above) thrives in unmaintained conditions. A ski that's too narrow won’t float well in powder, and a fat ski might be harder to manage on groomers, so it’s important to consider the trade-offs based on what type of terrain you frequent.

Note: The number in each product title below refers to the waist width, e.g. Nordica Santa Ana 98 has a waist width of 98 millimeters.

How We Chose

The past few years were quite unpredictable, and we think that a killer 2023 ski season is the best chance at redemption. As of Feb. 1, 2023, most mountains in the mountain west (Colorado, Utah) have received far more than average snowfall to date. And with all ski resorts back to normal operating procedures, we've been clocking as many laps as possible this season.

To us, skiing is life. Seriously. We literally make zero weekend plans — other than skiing — for 4-5 months, so we never have to miss a powder day. And we hope you are just as stoked as us. So we’ve combined our obsession for skiing with our knowledge of the industry to provide you with the most relevant information in hopes that you, too, will feel the stoke.

To compile this list of 2023’s best women’s skis, our editors thoroughly examined a wide variety. We carefully considered design, shape, construction, size, and, of course, style. Some skis were selected based on positive firsthand testing experiences (of the men’s equivalent), and others were chosen based on hours of research on current technology, trends, and surveys of user reviews.

Check out our picks for the best women's skis of 2023, including beginner options for the learner, intermediate skis for the all-mountain explorer, and expert planks that can slay the toughest lines. And don't worry, we have a guide for men's skis, too.

Best Overall

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F212745&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Santa Ana 98 Skis for Women</p><p>$749.95</p><p>rei.com</p>

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Santa Ana 98 Skis for Women



Sure, it would be nice to have separate sets of skis for groomer and powder days, but we understand that’s generally unreasonable. That’s why Nordica made the Santa Ana — for those who shy away from nothing — regardless if you’re blessed with freshies, just cruising the frontside with your crew, or stumble upon some “Unmarked Obstacles” signs.

But what’s so special here? Nordica’s “All-Mountain Rocker” profile gives it all away with the name — a smooth rocker at the tip and tail combines with 50% camber underfoot — the perfect combo to stay on top of fresh snow and be fearless on hardpack. Its 14-millimeter sidecut radius is shorter than many comparable skis, giving you better edge contact and allowing for shorter, quicker turns.

The Santa Ana is stronger than expected, with a lightweight balsa wood core that's sandwiched between a single layer of Titanal. By cutting out a layer of metal and extending the wood core all the way to the edge of the tip and tail, these skis are lighter without sacrificing stability. Put simply, you can ski confidently without being pushed around when snow conditions are variable, but it won't feel like you're muscling around heavy metal planks, either.

We think Nordica's 98-millimeter Santa Ana is the just-right middle ground, delivering the all-mountain charger that you need for daily resort use if you live in a Western state with solid annual snowfall. Nordica also makes the smaller Santa Ana 88 and Santa Ana 93 for those who prefer a narrower ski, plus an Unlimited Series for backcountry adventures.

Best Powder Ski

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F212818&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Atris Birdie 105 Women's Skis</p><p>$899.95</p><p>rei.com</p>

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Atris Birdie 105 Women's Skis



When you’re the type of person who never misses a chance for freshies — whether that’s being first in line on a powder day, hiking out of bounds for some hard-earned side-country stashes, or generally always seeking something bigger and badder — Black Crows Atris Birdie should be a frontrunner in your search for the perfect set of sticks.

The Atris Birdie 105 is the female-specific version of the “unisex” Atris, with a shape that begs you to jump off the deep end. The Birdie is slightly lighter and softer, making it easy to maneuver with less force, thus leaving you more gas in the tank to go the distance from dawn to dusk. They have a dual rocker profile that is super easy to maneuver, with a tip that rises progressively to stay on top of deep snow without sacrificing stability in turns. This rocker shape lends nicely to a classic camber underfoot, which provides solid ground contact and stability without sacrificing powder float and performance.

Put simply, these are a storm chaser's weapon of choice. And we will join you in praying that the snow gods deliver this year more than ever before, because we all need an outlet in 2023.

Best East Coast Ski

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F212929&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Black Pearl 82 Skis for Women</p><p>$599.95</p><p>rei.com</p>

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Black Pearl 82 Skis for Women



When you grow up skiing on the East Coast, icy slopes are the norm. Even though you aren't blessed with the same dry, fluffy snowfall that Utah and Colorado see, you still have gobs of fun racing on slick, hard, unforgiving slopes. And to do so successfully, you'll need a ski built for the job, such as this set from Blizzard.

What differentiates this ski from others in this list — thus making it an “East Coast ski” —are the thinner waist and stiffer flex. The Black Pearl 82s have a greater amount of camber and a narrower 82-millimeter waist that is easier to roll from edge to edge, so you spend less time searching for grip and more time laying down massive carves. It’s a much firmer ski than others, too, which is ideal for ripping fast on hard-pack and stable in chopped-up afternoon crud — but is not ideal for powder or parks.

This ski from Blizzard delivers the just-right combination of edge grip, responsiveness, quick maneuverability, and stability. It's the perfect set for advanced skiers in warmer climates who like to ride hard, fast, and in control (of course).

Best Resort Ski

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F214388&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Secret 96 Women's Skis</p><p>$750.00</p><p>rei.com</p>

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Secret 96 Women's Skis



The secret is out. Volkl's Secret 96 is capable in pretty much every situation — especially for skiing fast — but they won’t blow your mind in any one area. So if consistency, predictability, and fun are what you're after, this is your ski.

The Secret has built an excellent reputation as a one-ski quiver. It features a tailored titanal tip and tailored carbon tips, which reduce rigidity and make them more manageable (compared to the Kenja). The Secret is known for being versatile enough to hold high speeds on groomed runs, carving in tight trees, slashing powder stashes, and hopping rollers. Such versatility makes the Secret a great do-it-all option for experienced rippers who like to charge just as much as they like to cruise.

Volkl's Secret, while a bit softer than the Kenja, is still a bit stiffer than many all-mountain skis. It's geared toward more advanced skiers, but they're the perfect choice for mid-level skiers working toward perfecting their craft and who want to grow into their skis. Even though a 98-millimeter waist may seem narrow for the deep goods in the back bowls, the Secret's tip rocker offsets its width, providing plenty of float to seek out freshies. It's an especially good choice for anyone who wants one ski to do it all.

Best Backcountry Ski

For those who will spend all day skinning uphill just to find that one perfect line, a ski designed specifically for backcountry use is a serious game changer. And who better to design skis for ladies than a women-owned, women-operated company — Coalition Snow.

Coalition's La Nieve, with a 109- or 113-millimeter waist, blasts through knee-deep powder smoothly. These skis are a dialed balance of weight savings without sacrificing downhill performance, thanks to a lightweight hybrid wood core made from poplar and birch woods that improve stability and dampening while minimizing weight. Weighing just 7 pounds, 13 ounces per pair for the 168-centimeter length, each stride in the uphill journey will require less output. With all that saved energy, now you can slay that massive, powdery line that you worked so hard to find.

To really solidify their place in the land of powder pillows, these skis have an early-rise tip rocker that floats effortlessly without the need to keep all your weight in the backseat. And the sidecut is best suited for medium-length turns, which is right at home when weaving through tight trees and navigating variable terrain obstacles.

Best All-Mountain Freestyle Ski

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.backcountry.com%2Falpine-skis&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>ARW 96 Women's Skis</p><p>$499.95</p><p>backcountry.com</p>

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ARW 96 Women's Skis



The ARW 96 is Armada's most versatile ski, making it one of our favorite all-mountain freestyle skis and Armada's most popular. It’s capable of high-velocity charging on hardpack, ripping quick twists through aspen groves, and landing switch in powder stashes with style.

These twin-tip skis feature AR Freestyle Rocker — rocker in the tip and tail with camber underfoot — which improves float, style, and fun, whether you're cruising through pine groves or landing switch off 15-foot booters. The turning radius is medium, so these skis are solid for big super-g-style turns and short, showboaty carves through the trees. Underneath, these skis feature the S7 Base — a fast, durable, and low-maintenance material that won't need to be tuned every time you hear some cringe-worthy crunching.

The 100% poplar ash wood core provides a symmetrical medium flex throughout the ski, which means these are best for those who turn the whole mountain into their park and playground.

For intermediate to advanced skiers who need one ski that's playful for butters and rails and jibs and rails (or that's bold enough for bombing groomers and floaty in shin-deep pow), the midsize ARW 96 should be a frontrunner.

Best Budget Ski

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F213295&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ffitness%2Fa29616353%2Fbest-womens-skis%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Mindbender 85 Women's Skis</p><p>$399.95</p><p>rei.com</p>

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Mindbender 85 Women's Skis



Just learning how to ski? Spend less time on your backside fretting over specific techniques and more time fine-tuning your craft with a sub-$400 ski that makes progress easier than ever. As the slimmest in the Mindbender lineup (85 millimeters underfoot), this is a remarkable option for intermediate skiers who want to upgrade from rentals.

The Mindbender 85 features an all-terrain rocker profile, which means the tip begins to rise gradually and closer to the tip of the ski, making it more versatile in all snow conditions. It also has a medium flex (5/10) — the ski has the just-right balance of flexibility and stiffness — which helps the skier initiate turns more easily and finish them with power, improves stability at higher speeds, and can handle variable terrain with ease.

Learn quickly and keep up with the rest of your wolfpack with this high-tech, low-price ripper from K2.

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