There are many skiing disciplines, but few are as rugged as freeriding. There is something exhilarating about going off-piste, especially when venturing out into a winter wonderland of snow and ice. However, in order to undertake such an excursion, you need the right equipment.
The following skis are excellent models for anyone brave enough to tackle the backcountry. Each one comes with special construction or a larger size to give you more control in the deep powder. They also utilize these attributes in a way that similar skis cannot match.
- When it comes to braving freeride terrain, few skis can match the Kastle BMX 105. This pair not only looks fantastic, it offers excellent results in many different conditions. The skis have two titanal sheets wrapped inside a silver fir and beech wood core. That combination creates excellent stability and helps the BMX 105s cut through both powder and tough snow without slowing down.
- Crafted from a unique blend of carbon, graphene, and wood, the Head Kore 99 is an incredibly responsive and versatile pair of freeride skis. They stand out from similar models because they are suited for any and all conditions. These allow you to zip around deep powder with ease but are also stable enough to tackle harder snow. You never know what you’re going to encounter on the mountain. These keep you prepared.
- The Scott Scrapper 105 is the perfect freeride ski for riders who want to go fast. Though they look rather mundane, this pair can handle any environment with ease. They are stiff in the middle but softer in the nose. That combination makes them extremely solid for uneven terrain, giving you a strong base that generates a lot of power. On-piste they don’t turn as well as they could, but off-piste they are all about power and speed.
Who Should Get This?
Any freeride skier, regardless of how much they ski or how experienced they are, will appreciate the items analyzed in this guide. Each model brings something unique to the table, which then enhances your time on the mountain. If you like conquering uncharted territory, these models are for you.
These skis are especially useful for riders who want extra support when traveling through uneven or choppy snow. The larger base provides excellent stability and gives more control in rougher terrain. Just note that many freeride skis, while great off-piste, don’t always hold up on groomed runs.
Best Freeride Skis: What to Consider?
When picking out skis, you always need to be aware of how much they weigh. A good weight differs from discipline to discipline, but freeride skis tend to sit somewhere in the middle. The one you pick depends on what you want from your time in deep powder. Heavier skis are not as easy to use as lighter ones, but they tend to give much more control. They are usually stiffer as well. Always choose a weight that best suits the way you ski.
It goes without saying that off-piste skiing can be rough. When embarking on a freeride you need skis that are able to handle bumps and uneven snowbanks without shaking or losing control. As such, you want a product that can absorb or “dampen” shocks and vibrations. That means stiffer skis built with tough materials. Wider options help in this area too, especially models that utilize a strong core.
Most freeride skis tend to be larger than standard options, which offers more power and control in unpredictable terrain. However, the size you choose depends on your ability. While large skis are great at high-speeds, not every freerider wants to go fast. Newcomers to the discipline should look for smaller skis to start, while advanced freeriders want longer options that provide extended lift and stability as they zip through the snow.
Best Freeride Skis: Our Picks
If you want skis that are able to handle all types of snow, the Kastle BMX 105 should be your choice. This pair is not just strong, it is able to plow through rough terrain with ease. It also provides you with an excellent grip on uneven ground and gives you a solid base you can ride down any mountain. Its sharp design is quite eye-catching as well.
What We Like:
- Great grip around turns
- Stable and strong
- Able to power through all types of terrain
- Responsive – allows for greater control
- Sleek, eye-catching appearance
What We Don’t Like:
- A bit heavier than other models
2. Head Kore 99
The Head Kore 99 are a pair of freeride skis that manage to be lightweight without sacrificing performance. These excel as a result of their inherent versatility. Made with a special graphene, wood, and carbon core, the skis have the ability to easily handle both fresh powder and hard-packed snow. The edge grip works as intended, and the balance allows you to go both fast and slow as needed.
What We Like:
- Lightweight, but stable
- Premium construction
- Versatile, able to handle any terrain
- Cuts down on vibrations
What We Don’t Like:
- Can wobble in extremely rough or bumpy conditions
Freeride skiers who prioritize speed should check out the Scott Scrapper 105. This model is very responsive off-piste, giving you a solid platform from which you can generate a lot of power. The Scrapper creates a lot of speed and is perfect for skiers who like to ride hard. Their stability is especially important, as it makes them easy to land on.
What We Like:
- Creates a sturdy base
- Generates power and speed during freerides
- Stiff middle, soft nose
- Easy to land on
What We Don’t Like:
- Drab appearance
Useful Tips and Information
Freeriding is a great way to enjoy the winter. However, it can also be a bit dangerous if you aren’t fully prepared. This guide will help you better understand the discipline and know-how to properly prepare.
In addition, if you want to get more out of your freeride skiing, this video has a few handy tips on how to enhance your off-piste experience.
Freeriding is one of the best experiences you can have while cruising around the mountain. However, as with any off-piste terrain, you need to be ready for whatever nature throws your way. That is where the above skis come in handy.
All of the models in this guide provide you with great feedback, control, and stability. Though there are slight differences between models, each one has the right makeup to get you plowing through deep powder or bouncing across hard-packed snow.
Do you have your own favorite pair of freeride skis? Are there any you wanted to see in this guide? Let us know below.
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.