Best Powder Skis of 2021

Powder Skis

Published: July 14, 2021

Powder skis let you stay on top of the snow, and enable you to ski faster and more efficiently. They also allow you to have more control through turns.

Powder skiing is not that easy because it is all about control through resistance, and it takes time to master the techniques. But if gliding through knee- to waist-deep powder is your strong point, then powder skis are for you. However, it may be a bit confusing and frustrating to look for big, wide, fat skis that perform better in deep snow. That is why we have come up with a list of the best powder skis to help you decide which suits you best.

Best Powder Skis: Our Quick Answer

 

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Best overall

1. Blizzard Rustler 11

 

Blizzard Rustler 11

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 188 cm (7.5 in)

Available lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188, 192 cm (64.5 – 75.6 in)

Turn Radius: 16/17.5/19/21/23m (52 – 75 ft)

The Blizzard Rustler 11 is a very versatile pair of skis, and is very stable in powder. It is most suitable for skiers with advanced to expert skills.

What we like about the Blizzard Rustler 11 is that this model’s dimensions and solid shape will encourage you to drive the skis hard, and will provide adequate support and easy release in deeper snow. Its flex pattern is nice and pretty solid, plus, it weighs just around 2,052 grams (4.5 pounds). It has a rocker-camber-rocker profile to reduce pressure on the edge, and will make the skis easier to handle, and increase flotation on powder snow at all speeds. Its core is a combination of ISO, poplar, beech, balsa, and paulownia, and has a unidirectional carbon frame for a great performance with a light and easy feel. It features Carbon Flipcore D.R.T laminates to increase the skis’ playfulness without the added weight, and without sacrificing stability.

The Blizzard Rustler 11 are very easy to handle, and will still allow for plenty of fun carving on softer groomed runs. On moguls, the skis have more responsiveness, stability, and precision. It is also easy to pivot and slide through moguls even in a pretty lazy way. The skis’ flotation is pretty good for its width, and you won’t have any issues with tip dive, even in a foot of pow. These skis have a lot of tip and tail rocker, and are so light that they’re able to slash, and offer a nice landing platform for jumps.

What we do not like about the Blizzard Rustler 11 however is that they do not provide a lot of energy and rebound out of a carved turn. This model also lacks weight for the more variable or bumped-up groomers. All in all, the skis are fun and intuitive, and will also suit intermediate skiers. It is a good option for those looking for playful powder skis to use in soft and deep conditions.


 

Best for kids

2. Volkl Confession Jr. Skis

Volkl Confession Jr. Skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 132 mm (5.2 in)

Available lengths: 143, 153, 163 cm (56.3 – 64.2 in)

Turn Radius: 14.9/17.5/20.3m (49 – 66 ft)

The Volkl Confession Junior skis are designed after the adult version, and are a very good choice for young skiers with advanced to expert skills.

What we like about the Confession Jr. skis is that they’re stable, and float well in deep snow. They have a full rocker profile, which is a smooth and gradual blend from tip to tail with matching side cut and a symmetrical flex pattern. This profile gives extra maneuverability in soft snow, and will allow young skiers to smoothly carve on groomed terrain. These skis have a twin tip construction, and a combination of beech and poplar in the core to make them more durable. The skis also have full-length sidewalls to allow for a more direct and strong power transmission, a sintered high density, and a high molecular polyethylene base with great gliding characteristics. The Volkl Confession Jr. are modeled after the adult version, but without the Titanal strips to make it lighter, and therefore easier for young skiers to control.

What we do not like about the Confession Jr. skis is that they lack pop and buttery spin abilities. Other than that, the skis are damp and powerful, have the ability to power through chop, and are a great choice for young skiers who are ready to venture out on powdery terrains.


 

3. K2 Poacher Jr. skis

K2 Poacher Jr. skis

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 75mm (3.0 in)

Available lengths: 129, 139, 149 cm (50.8 – 58.6 in)

Turn Radius: 10m (33 ft)

The K2 Poacher Jr. skis are a good choice for young skiers with intermediate skills who are looking to progress and up their skiing game.

What we like about the K2 Poacher Junior skis is that they’re built with quality materials, and have the same vibe and look as the full-sized adult version. These junior skis feature an all-terrain twin rocker for added versatility and control in all conditions; an Aspen core that is lightweight and resilient, and a triaxial braid for its laminates for a pronounced torsional strength. They also feature Dura Cap construction in their sidewalls, which is a process that envelopes the core and internal materials within the top layer of the ski to make it more durable and forgiving. Overall, the Poacher Junior skis perform well on moguls, groomed terrain, and downhill. They’re durable, allow for good carving turns, and will give young skiers a smooth ride.

What we do not like about the K2 Poacher Jr. skis is that they suit upper intermediates and advanced young skiers more than those who are just starting out with the sport. Other than that, the skis are very fun to use, lightweight, and will be a good guide for progression.


 

4. Atomic Backland Girl

Atomic Backland Girl

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 122mm (4.8 in)

Available lengths: 140, 150 cm (55.1 – 59.0 in)

Turn Radius: 10.7/14.2m (35 – 47 ft)

The Atomic Backland Girl skis are designed for young ladies to ski throughout the entire mountain, whether the snow park or the groomers, and even off-trail.

What we like about the Atomic Backland Girl is that they’re versatile, and suitable for beginners to upper intermediate skiers. They have an all-mountain rocker, which is a combination of 10% tip rocker, 90% camber, and a flat tail for reliable performance in a wide variety of conditions. They also have a directional shape and a densolite core—a foam core that is agile and has the ability to dampen vibrations. The skis feature a structured top sheet for its laminates to increase durability, and a full cap construction with no sidewall, where the top sheet just folds down over the edges and allows for easy handling and superior durability. Finally, they also feature Atomic base and edges to allow the skis to stand up to anything at any speed, and to give them more strength and a perfect grip.

What we do not like about the Atomic Backland Girl skis is that they don’t have enough features that make them more versatile and suitable for advanced and expert young skiers. However, these skis are still a good choice for those who are just starting out, and for kids who want to make progress.


 

Best for women

5. Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free

Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 110mm (4.3 in)

Available lengths: 161, 169, 177 cm (63.4 – 70.0 in)

Turn Radius: 14.5/15.5/16.5m (48 – 54 ft)

The Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free skis are perfect for big mountain and powder terrains. They will suit advanced to expert lady skiers who are looking for playful and floaty skis.

What we like about the Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free skis is that they’re great powder skis with more versatility. They feature a powder rocker, which consists of a gentle, early-rise rocker tip to allow for easy turn initiations and easy release. Their true tip shape makes the skis lightweight, playful, and maneuverable. Their core consists of Energy TI Balsa, which is a race-inspired technology full wood core with a metal sheet for quality power transmission, torsional stability, and edge grip. The laminates consist of a carbon reinforced chassis that weighs 35% less than traditional glass, and allows an increased strength and stability, and a more playful and versatile pair of skis. The size and shape of these skis’ Titanal layer are specifically engineered for their width to make it more stable when needed, and more flexible when you want. The Santa Ana 110 Free skis have the narrowest metal, which is ideal for soft snow and ripping around the mountain. The reduced amount of wood and sidewall in the skis’ tip lightened their swing weight, allowing for more maneuverability and quicker response. The 110mm underfoot will keep you afloat on deep snow, and has optimum strength and stability for all-mountain skiing.

What we do not like about the Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free however is the lack of stability in higher speeds. All in all, they’re among our top choices for best women’s powder skis. They’re quick, stable, and perform well in crud.


 

6. Blizzard Sheeva 11

Blizzard Sheeva 11

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 140 mm (5.5 in)

Available lengths: 156, 164, 172, 180, 188 cm (61.4 – 74 in)

Turn Radius: 14.5/16/17.5/19 m (48 – 62 ft)

The Sheeva 11 are said to be Blizzard’s widest women-specific skis, meaning they’re great in powder, and suit advanced to expert lady skiers better.

What we like about the Blizzard Sheeva 11 is that they have an adequately accessible flex pattern, but remain very supportive in the middle. Their midsection feels stable, and the tips and tails are forgiving. The skis are also surprisingly impressive on groomers. Once you’re on edge, it will feel more responsive and have a strong edge hold. The Blizzard Sheeva 11 also feature a rocker-camber-rocker profile, which reduces pressure on the edge of the tip and tail to make the skis easier to handle, and to increase their ability to float on powder.

They have a women-specific design concept, which makes use of the Carbon Flipcore D.R.T Technology for a lighter core, performance, and playfulness. Their core is a combination of ISO, poplar, beech, balsa, and paulownia, and is incorporated with a unidirectional carbon frame for a great performance, with a light and easy feel. The laminates consist of Carbon Flipcore D.R.T, unidirectional Carbon Frame, D.R.T Titanal, two layers of fiberglass compound, and an anti-shock layer. All these increase the skis’ playfulness without adding any more weight. The skis also have a sintered graphite base and a Sandwich Compound Sidewall for superior performance and durability. Finally, the Blizzard Sheeva 11 are well-balanced, and have an accessible feel when it comes to moguls. Yet, they still feel forgiving and fairly predictable on firm, crusty, and cruddy snow. They offer adequate flotation, making them easy to control, and they perform excellently well in powder.

What we do not like about the Blizzard Sheeva 11 however is that they feel slightly chattery on rough, refrozen crud. Although it is still manageable, it is definitely best suited for soft snow. Overall, this is still a playful pair of skis, easy to turn even in deep snow, and it is great for deep turns and longer, faster turns. It feels very intuitive, and will definitely make you enjoy skiing in powder.


 

7. Volkl Blaze 106 W

Volkl Blaze 106 W

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 146mm (5.7 in)

Available lengths: 158, 165, 172 cm (62.2 – 67.6 in)

Turn Radius: 13/14/16m (43 – 52 ft)

The Volkl Blaze 106 W is a lightweight and playful pair of skis that is suitable for all-mountain, and even alpine touring.

What we like about the Volkl Blaze 106 W is that it is a fairly strong pair of skis that will allow for quick, carved turns, and will feel less hooky when making bigger turns. It features a tip & tail rocker profile, and a 3D radius sidecut to deliver maximum versatility, stability and smoothness. It has a multi-layer wood core, which is a combination of beech and poplar. Its laminates consist of Titanal Power Plate to deliver necessary strength to the skis; and inserts made of elastic TPU material on the edges of its tip and tail, which absorbs shocks and ensures better stability. Additionally, these skis have full-length sidewalls and P-Tex 2100, high-density, and high molecular polyethylene base. The Blaze 106 W are a great carver, and are easy to pivot. They’re very intuitive and comfortable when making a variety of turn shapes. Each ski comes at an average weight of 1,787 grams, which is light compared to other skis within the same category, and is definitely above average when it comes to flotation. The Blaze 106 W may look like very directional skis, but they’re ultra surfy, and you would not have any problem when slashing your way through tight, steep, and deep trees as it allows for both slarved and carved turns.

What we do not like about the Volkl Blaze 106 W however is that it is not that fun to ski on firm, rough snow with them, although they do absorb harsh vibrations well. Overall, these are the best powder skis for trees. They give a really nice balance of precision and edge hold. Plus, they carve and track well through rough snow, and they’re easily controlled through tight trees and bumps.


 

Best for men

8. Rossignol Blackops Gamer

Rossignol Blackops Gamer

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 118mm (4.6 in)

Available lengths: 176, 186 cm (69.3 – 73.2 in)

Turn Radius: 22/25m (72 – 82 ft)

The Blackops Gamer are best for hard chargers, whether in powder or big mountain. This model is Rossignol’s narrower addition to their Blackops line.

What we like about the Blackops Gamer is that they have a balanced feel, and give you an option to drive the skis hard. You could ski it centered, and it would feel balanced in the air. And you could also drive it hard at high speeds. These skis have a rocker profile that is more suited for freestyle powder skiing, which has fairly deep top and tail rocker lines, high and nearly symmetrical tip and tail splay, and a very even, symmetrical overall look. They also have more camber compared to other skis with a similar width. The Blackops Gamer feature a high pop flex and a poplar wood core, which is extended to increase snow contact and torsional stability. The laminates consist of a Damp Tech insert, Diago Fiber, and ABS Beam, designed to absorb shock well, reduce weight, and enhance responsiveness. These also allow for more grip and smoothness. Additionally, they have rectangular sidewalls, 100% recycled steel, and have been constructed using PEFC certified materials to help reduce its environmental impact.

On powder, the skis feel solid on edge. It is very easy to throw sideways in all depths of fresh snow, and you would not have any problem piloting them through tight chutes and trees. They float really well, and you would not have to worry about the tips diving either. On soft chop, its big, rockered and soft tips absorb impacts, and the skis are strong enough to blow up soft parches.

What we do not like about the Blackops Gamer however is that you should be physically strong to be able to drive the skis through a firm crud or tight spots. Other than that, the skis best suit hard chargers and playful skiers who prefer skiing fast through chop and variable snow.


 

9. Icelantic Nomad 115

Icelantic Nomad 115

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 115mm (4.5 in)

Available lengths: 171, 181, 186, 191 cm (67.3 – 75.2 in)

Turn Radius: 16/19/20/22m (52 – 72 ft)

The Icelantic Nomad 115 are powder skis that best suit skiers with advanced to expert skills. You could also take these on big mountain.

What we like about the Icelantic Nomad 115 is that they have a good amount of tip and tail rocker, and a flex pattern that offers big mountain performance. The skis feature a 36cm tip rocker, a 2mm camber, and a 3cm tail rocker. The core is made of 100% poplar wood for strength and power, and the laminates consist of 20mm rubber foil, carbonium topsheet material, unilateral fiberglass, matte fiberglass mounting plate, and ETXL 2200 Tri-Axe fiberglass. Additionally, they have Durasurf 2001 P-Tex sidewalls, Durasurf 4001 sintered P-Tex base, and 2.2 mm steel edges. The Nomad 115 are longer and less tapered, which is appealing to skiers looking for big, meaty powder skis without the weight of big and heavy skis.

On powder, the skis float really well, therefore encouraging carved turns. You also won’t have any issues with tip dive, and you can break them free into slashes. This model is stable when skied hard through soft chop, and does a good job in absorbing vibrations. Plus, it also has the ability to be skied hard and fast through firm chop and crud. Overall, the Icelantic Nomad 115 can effectively hold an edge, even on firmer snow, and their accessible flex and generous rocker profile enable the skis to be fairly maneuverable and forgiving.

What we do not like about the Nomad 115 however is that they don’t feel quick in bumps, and that their fat tails get hung up a bit on steep and tight moguls. All in all, a lot of skiers will get along with this pair of skis, as it is fairly forgiving and intuitive, and will provide the needed stability in chop and variable snow.


 

10. BLACK DIAMOND Boundary Pro 115

BLACK DIAMOND Boundary Pro 115

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 115mm (4.5 in)

Available lengths: 175, 185 cm (68.9 – 72.8 in)

Turn Radius: 21/22m (69 – 72 ft)

The Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115 are a limited edition of the Boundary 115, and are most suitable for skiers with advanced to expert skills.

What we like about the Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115 is the excellent, playful deep snow performance. These skis feature a modern rocker profile, a poplar core, and a pre-preg fiberglass layup on the laminates, and flat-top construction for increased power and stiffness. They are built for those who prefer a fun, responsive performance with a flat, solid-core construction for added torsional stiffness. They allow for more powerful turning, improved responsiveness, and increased stability. They also have a pretty strong flex pattern, and are stiffer longitudinally. They weigh about 2,240 grams (almost five pounds), which is a fairly average weight compared to other skis of the same caliber. They feel light enough, yet can crush through windblown snow. They’re very responsive in deep snow and trees, and work well on steep terrain as well. They are a blast in powder and in the air, and are stable through all sorts of crud. The skis also allow for beautiful carving turns on steep, hard groomers. They’re stiff enough for hard charging, but bouncy enough for playful skiing.

What we do not like about the Black Diamond Boundary Pro is that they have some speed limit, and are not the perfect skis for slow jump turns. Overall, this pair is a go-to option for everyday skiing. It can do pretty much everything, as it is a ski for a variety of conditions and uses.


 

Best all-mountain powder skis

11. Volkl Mantra 102

Volkl Mantra 102

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 102mm (4.0 in)

Available lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm (66.9 – 75.2 in)

Turn Radius: 17/19/20/22m (56 – 72 ft)

The Volkl Mantra 102 are designed for hard-charging skiers. This model performs well in powder, but also suits all-mountain riding.

What we like about the Volkl Mantra 102 is their Titanal frame construction, that assures a more efficient and lively performance, maintains stability, and adds energy. These skis also have a tip and tail rocker profile, a 3D radius sidecut for maximum versatility, and will allow you to switch from long arcs to short turns at any speed. Their core is a combination of beech and poplar, which are extremely durable. Additionally, they have carbon tips for high reliability, without the added weight; full-length sidewalls for strong power transmission, and a P-Tex 2100 sintered base. The Volkl Mantra 102 are traditionally shaped, with a minimal tip and tail taper. They have an even, round flex pattern, which makes them a very strong pair of skis that stands out from other directional skis. Each ski weighs around 2,230 grams (almost five pounds), which is good for inbound skiing, and tends to blast through snow better than lighter skis. Even with this weight, the skis are still surprisingly forgiving and manageable.

On powder, the Mantra 102 feel very versatile. Overall, they perform well through any powdery terrain. They give an average float, and with them, you will not have to experience tip dive. One of the things that makes this pair stand out is that it can be skied from a variety of stances.

What we do not like about the Volkl Mantra 102 however is that they require a bit of effort to be able to keep the tips from diving when in soft variable snow. They particularly don’t feel good when skied from the backseat, and are not recommended for beginners and intermediates. Overall, these are strong, damp, and powerful skis that suit a lot of different conditions and terrains, and will remain composed even at higher speeds.


 

Best for beginners

12. Blizzard Rustler 9

Blizzard Rustler 9

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 92, 94mm (3.6 – 3.7 in)

Available lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm (64.6 – 74.0 in)

Turn Radius: 14/15.5/17/18.5m (46 – 61 ft)

The Blizzard Rustler 9 are our top choice when it comes to the best powder skis for beginners, as they are versatile and can also accommodate all-mountain riding.

What we like about the Blizzard Rustler 9 is that they can be used to ski in a pretty wide range of conditions. They have a rocker-camber-rocker profile, which reduces pressure on the tip and tail to make the skis easier to handle, and have an increased amount of tip and tail rocker for an ideal flotation at all speeds. They have an early rise tail that is designed to be playful in softer snow. The core combines ISO, poplar, beech, balsa, and paulownia with Carbon FlipCore technology, resulting in great performance and a light and easy feel. The laminates consist of a Carbon FlipCore D.R.T, unidirectional carbon frame, D.R.T Titanal, an anti-shock layer, and two layers of carbon fiberglass compound. These skis also have sandwiched compound sidewalls and a sintered graphite base.

Finally, the Rustler 9 are pretty playful skis with an energetic flex pattern, and a rocker profile that makes it easier to slide around. They also feel comfortable when carving turns, and offer pretty good edge hold on soft groomers. Plus, they feel intuitive and easy on off-piste snow.

What we do not like about the Blizzard Rustler 9 is that you can feel a bit of chatter when you push the skis hard. However, this might not be an issue for the majority of skiers. Overall, these are some of the best powder skis for beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced skiers who prefer a narrower ski that is easy to turn, stable on edge, and has lots of energy.


 

Best for big skiers

13. Blizzard Cochise

Blizzard Cochise

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Waist Width: 108mm (4.3 in)

Available lengths: 171, 178, 185, 192 cm (67.3 – 75.6 in)

Turn Radius: 23, 25, 27, 29 m (75 – 95 ft)

The Blizzard Cochise are among our choices for the best powder skis for big guys and heavy skiers.

What we like about the Blizzard Cochise is that they’re great for hard chargers. They feature a rocker-camber-rocker profile to make it easy to handle, float on powder, and grip on packed snow. This model has a more aggressive tip shape to aid in turn initiation, and a modern early rise tail shaper to make it playful in softer snow. Its core consists of poplar and beech with Carbon FlipCore technology, for a light and easy feel. The laminates on the Cochise is a combination of a bi-directional carbon tip and tail, a multi-directional fiberglass, a binding reinforcement layer, an anti-shock layer, and two layers of Titanal. Additionally, it is built with ABS or phenol sidewalls, and has a sintered graphite base. The Cochise skis are fun and stable, but also very strong, with a remarkable flex pattern. Each ski weighs about 2,237 grams (nearly five pounds), which is quite heavy, but will easily be controlled by bigger skiers.

What we do not like about the Blizzard Cochise is that they’re heavy and difficult to maneuver for some skiers, so it requires more effort to control them. All in all, these are an incredibly stable skis that float well on powder, and have good edge hold. They’re the best for hard chargers.


 

Best for chopped-up powder

14. K2 Mindbender 116C

K2 Mindbender 116C

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 116mm (7.4 in)

Available lengths: 179, 186, 193 cm (70.5 – 76 in)

Turn Radius: 22.9m (75 ft)

The K2 Mindbender 116C are our top choice of skis for chopped-up powder because they can handle the conditions with precision and power.

What we like about the K2 Mindbender 116C is that they plane very well in deep snow, without any issues with tip dive. They handle fresh snow well, and have excellent flotation. They feature a powder rocker for that unmatched floatation and surfy feel, while ensuring edge hold in firmer conditions. This model’s core combines maple and paulownia to allow for power, energy, and lightweight performance. Its laminates consist of Carbon Spectral Braid and Carbon Boost Braid to allow for torsional and longitudinal stiffness, and for added pop and rebound. Additionally, it has SlantWall sidewalls to reduce weight, while retaining excellent edge hold. The K2 Mindbender 116C are pretty easy to throw sideways, and are quite light. When you need to make quick adjustments, it’s just easy to flick around. These skis are very versatile in powder. They will allow for making big, arcing turns, and can easily be controlled through deep snow in tight trees. In soft snow, the skis encourage a more playful style. They will allow for quick jump turns, and to pop your way around the mountain. The skis’ tail is light and forgiving, which makes it easier to pivot and slide around. Finally, on groomers, the skis carve very well for their size, and can initiate carved turns easily and predictably.

What we do not like about the K2 Mindbender 116C however is that they’re not that suitable for hard chargers, as they perform better on soft snow. They’re also not a super damp charger. All in all, the skis are quick, easy to control, and can be used in a wide variety of terrains. They’re perfect for those who are looking for skis to use in chopped snow, with excellent float and maneuverability.


 

Best budget-friendly powder skis

15. Fischer Pro MTN 77

Fischer Pro MTN 77

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Waist Width: 122mm (4.8 in)

Available lengths: 157, 164, 171, 178 cm (61.8 – 70.1 in)

Turn Radius: 16m (52 ft)

The Fischer Pro MTN 77 are among our best value choices when it comes to powder skis. They best suit recreational to advanced skiers, and work well all over the mountain.

What we like about the Fischer Pro MTN 77 is that they’re easy to stir, which allows for easier turn initiation. Plus, they have adequate grip in the tail, which inspires confidence even on hard packed snow. This model features an all-mountain rocker, which is versatile enough and will require less effort when initiating a turn; and Razorshape, meaning it has beveled sidewalls and gives the skis a unique look. The core is made of poplar wood to create a balance of weight, dampness, and elasticity. The skis also have sintered bases, and their laminates consist of carbon tech for exceptional torsion properties and a balanced stiffness. They can handle variable terrains, and are forgiving in loose, chopped up snow, and small-sized moguls. This is a solid model, that has a quality build.

What we do not like about the Fischer Pro MTN 77 however is that the features are not suitable for beginners. However, for the intermediate and advanced skiers who are looking for light, easy-to-turn, and stable skis at a good price, this is a good choice.


 

16. Armada Tracer 118

Armada Tracer 118

Click to view on amazon.com.

Waist Width: 118mm (4.6 in)

Available lengths: 180, 188, 195 cm (70.9 – 76.8 in)

Turn Radius: 19.5, 20, 20.5m (64 – 67 ft)

The Armada Tracer 118 are another good value option for those looking for stability, speed, and power in variable conditions.

What we like about the Armada Tracer 118 is that they can handle a multitude of snow conditions. They feature an EST Freeride rocker profile to optimize float and ensure that it stays on rails when carving turns. The core consists of Hybrid Caruba—a combination of lightweight woods and full-length hardwood stringers to save more weight, and allow for agility and maneuverability. The laminates consist of adaptive mesh, laminate matrix, and Titanal binding reinforcement to make the skis more damp and stable, and to absorb vibrations. This model has AR75 sidewalls to provide improved edge pressure underfoot, and a Comp Series base to aid in speed and durability. The Tracer 118 are lightweight, yet stable, and ensure great snow contact. They even hold up on the steepest descents.

What we do not like about the Armada Tracer 118 is that they do not have the required features to make it more versatile and suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers. Other than that, these are a good option for those looking for an affordable and reliable pair of skis to use all over the mountain.


Best Powder Skis Comparison Table

Foto Powder Skis Waist Width Available lengths Turn Radius
Blizzard Rustler 11

1. Blizzard Rustler 11

188 cm (7.5 in)164, 172, 180, 188, 192 cm (64.5 – 75.6 in)16/17.5/19/21/23m (52 – 75 ft)
Volkl Confession Jr. Skis

2. Volkl Confession Jr. Skis

132 mm (5.2 in)143, 153, 163 cm (56.3 – 64.2 in)14.9/17.5/20.3m (49 – 66 ft)
K2 Poacher Jr. skis

3. K2 Poacher Jr. skis

75mm (3.0 in)129, 139, 149 cm (50.8 – 58.6 in)10m (33 ft)
Atomic Backland Girl

4. Atomic Backland Girl

122mm (4.8 in)140, 150 cm (55.1 – 59.0 in)10.7/14.2m (35 – 47 ft)
Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free

5. Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free

110mm (4.3 in)161, 169, 177 cm (63.4 – 70.0 in)14.5/15.5/16.5m (48 – 54 ft)
Blizzard Sheeva 11

6. Blizzard Sheeva 11

140 mm (5.5 in)156, 164, 172, 180, 188 cm (61.4 – 74 in)14.5/16/17.5/19 m (48 – 62 ft)
Volkl Blaze 106 W

7. Volkl Blaze 106 W

146mm (5.7 in)158, 165, 172 cm (62.2 – 67.6 in)13/14/16m (43 – 52 ft)
Rossignol Blackops Gamer

8. Rossignol Blackops Gamer

118mm (4.6 in)176, 186 cm (69.3 – 73.2 in)22/25m (72 – 82 ft)
Icelantic Nomad 115

9. Icelantic Nomad 115

115mm (4.5 in)171, 181, 186, 191 cm (67.3 – 75.2 in)16/19/20/22m (52 – 72 ft)
BLACK DIAMOND Boundary Pro 115

10. BLACK DIAMOND Boundary Pro 115

115mm (4.5 in)175, 185 cm (68.9 – 72.8 in)21/22m (69 – 72 ft)
Volkl Mantra 102

11. Volkl Mantra 102

102mm (4.0 in)170, 177, 184, 191 cm (66.9 – 75.2 in)17/19/20/22m (56 – 72 ft)
Blizzard Rustler 9

12. Blizzard Rustler 9

92, 94mm (3.6 – 3.7 in)164, 172, 180, 188 cm (64.6 – 74.0 in)14/15.5/17/18.5m (46 – 61 ft)
Blizzard Cochise

13. Blizzard Cochise

108mm (4.3 in)171, 178, 185, 192 cm (67.3 – 75.6 in)23, 25, 27, 29 m (75 – 95 ft)
K2 Mindbender 116C

14. K2 Mindbender 116C

116mm (7.4 in)179, 186, 193 cm (70.5 – 76 in)22.9m (75 ft)
Fischer Pro MTN 77

15. Fischer Pro MTN 77

122mm (4.8 in)157, 164, 171, 178 cm (61.8 – 70.1 in)16m (52 ft)
Armada Tracer 118

16. Armada Tracer 118

118mm (4.6 in)180, 188, 195 cm (70.9 – 76.8 in)19.5, 20, 20.5m (64 – 67 ft)

 

FAQs

Is it harder to ski in powder?

Skiing, in general, is a hard sport, and skiing in powder is not easy. You have to be patient and learn the proper techniques to be able to enjoy skiing in pow. To ski in powder, you should be able to control your skis through resistance or flexing, and extending rather than turning. You also have to be able to put more pressure on the tips in order to get them to float or rebound out of the snow. Once you acquire these techniques, then it will be easier for you to ski and do tricks in powder.

Do powder skis make a difference?

Powder-specific skis make a huge difference because their shape and rocker profile are designed to float better on snow than regular skis. Plus, they have a different width underfoot compared to regular skis. Powder skis tend to utilize rocker profiles where either the tip, or the tip and tail curve up above the snow. Finally, they have wider waist widths to allow for more surface area, which provides more float in powder.

Buying guide

Over the past few years, skiing has developed with more and more designs that make skiing the deep stuff a total blast.
Powder-specific skis are a relatively new concept in the snow sports industry, but that hasn’t stopped ski brands from manufacturing tons of divergent options for ski enthusiasts to dream about. With so many choices out there, finding the right powder skis can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So, we’ve written down some tips about shapes and designs to look out for in a great pair of powder skis.

Width and length

Powder skis are for deep days. This kind of skis is what you need to stay afloat. They have a width of 115mm, or more waist width, and usually have some form of rocker or early rise and a fairly soft flex. Other powder skis have a unique side-cut shape, like a reverse side-cut, where the tip and tail are not always the widest parts of the ski. Many powder skis are also versatile enough to handle mixed conditions and harder snow. Advanced skiers prefer to size their powder skis 10cm longer than their all-mountain skis.

Rocker

For powder skis, there is a method used to raise the tips and tails of the skis. When the skis are laid down on a flat surface, a part of their tips and tails is lifted off the floor; this part is called a rocker. This rocker reduces the tendency of a tip dive, and will keep the skis tracking well through deep snow.

While rockers help in deep snow, they have an side effect on firmer snow, because their edges, which contract the snow beneath, become less when the tips and tails are raised.

Tip/Tail Taper

Taper is a process used by manufacturers to bring the widest point of the tips and tails closer to the middle of the ski, which nearly makes it resemble the paddle of a canoe. The taper gives powder skis a surfy feel, and avoids the hooky feeling of traditional side cuts.

The bottom line is that powder-specific skis are the plumped-up, flexier equivalents of all-mountain skis, which are designed with more surface area and softer flex in mind to help in maximum floatation. Aside from their overall sizable dimensions, and more pronounced rocker profiles, there isn’t much difference in construction compared to all-mountain skis. Most often than not, you’ll find an outlier that utilizes funky shapes or different materials in an attempt to increase deep powder performance. However, most of these skis are followed in the footsteps of traditional alpine shapes.

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