We have the annual privilege of testing the year’s new ski gear, at on snow demos at Stratton and Okemo in Vermont, Copper Mountain Colorado, and SkiWelt in Austria. We’re like kids in a candy shop sampling all the bright shiny new skis. Here are our top picks for the best new skis for 2016-17 for chics who rip.
Nordica’s Santa Ana is not just another pretty in pink ski, though shout out to the graphic artist, these wild sounding skis are super fun to ski in all conditions, in 93mm or a big 100mm, the sister ski to the award winning men’s Nordica Enforcer has eco-friendly balsa wood keeping it light but strong – just like we ladies long for. Bring on those Santa Ana storms.
Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is a perfect mid-sized ski that’s versatile for varying conditions. Your Pearls, are smooth but substantial, ready for groomed, powder or mixed snow. We have loved the Black Pearl in Back when first introduced in 2012, now the Blizzard Black Pearl is blue. What’s a girl to do? Ski.
Rossignol Temptation 100 is the big sister - with metal, not for the timid, but rewarding for gals who want to rip and grip. This tester was never a fan of the flimsy Rossi Saffron or Savoury 7.
Volkl 100Eight is a strong girls’ ski (108mm) with metal for mixed snow but rocker for that forgiving float in deeper snow. The Volkl 90Eight W is another great new women’s ski (98mm)- just the right balance of substance and float.
HEAD Great Joy is just that for females. Head's lightwood core with graphene (a thin carbon layer) keeps this 98mm ski solid but supple – a great joy to ski like its name.
Atomic’s Vantage 90 has a weird wide tip shape, and our tester didn’t feel the love for the look or feel of the ski – too floaty not stellar in any ski category. And she once loved Atomics more than words – word.
Best Frontside Carving skis for Women
Rossignol Temptation 88 are amongst the best ladies carving skis – forgiving and fun but firm on the front side. Smooth and supple enough in the glades and deeper snow. Oh and they’re pretty versus the men's or unisex - generic Rossi 88s.
Blizzard Viva X8 is a continuous winner as a female front side ski. Heather calls it the Little Black Dress of women's skis – but now its blue. This sweet ski is a great GS style carver with 81mm underfoot but still grips and rips on the hard pack crap you must slay to get to après ski last run of the day.
Nordica’s Wild Belle is another winner with our female tester, a light quick female ski, 88mm, comparable to the Rossi Temptation 88 which we love. Our furry pom pom hat is off to the former ski boot maker – Nordica is churning out top skis for front side carving and crushing bumps, slush, deeper snow and for leaving slow men on their Wild Belle tail.
Volkl Flair, modelled after Volkl's Yumi, is cute and petite but packs a punch on groomed terrain in varying waists – like women – lol- 73 to 81mm underfoot, its smooth and silky but sticks.
Head Super Joy is super fun. It sports a funky blunt tip – resembling a mascara wand, but these skis are great on groomers, so you’ll be well-groomed with your mascara on board. What lady skis without waterfront mascara, right?!
Fischer KOA 80 and 84 are fun forgiving ski for females that don’t want a super demanding ride, light and quick for short radius arcs.
Women’s Best Powder Skis – The Bold and the Beautiful
Blizzard Sheeva 108 is an Austrian powder house ski for Sheila’s who ski to surf deep snow on steeps and bust through slush is spring without dropping a bra strap.
The Rossi 7 series now includes the Rossi Soul 7 HD W for women to improve upon the women’s powder ski line up of Saffron, Savoury and Star 7 for girls. The Souls have more soul if you’ll pardon the pun, with carbon and basalt weave, they're more elastic and responsive than the floaty honeycomb cutout tip. The Soul HD for women will complement the women's’ of Rossi’s Temptation and Rossi Experience for big snow days.
Nordica La Nina 113 is a big ski for big snow fall days ladies, let’s hope we get some of that this year’s predicted la Nina weather pattern snow prediction, warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.
Salomon’s QST Stella 106 are versatile and very fun for free riding females. Stiff enough with great float and fabulous topsheets, just not super quick in tight trees. We loved the Salomen Lumens at 99 underfoot, these are bigger for better snow.
Head's Big Joy 110s are floaty and fast skis best for deep snow, let’s hope we get big joy on our slopes for our female tester to try these Heads.
We have not demo skied any of K2s latest women’s skis - the K2s OOLaLuv 85, K2 LuvBoat 105 or FullLovIt95, Dynastar Chams (we’re not Cham fans so far) or Dynastar Glory, or Kastle's BMX, so check back for more ski reviews.