Skiing is an ever-evolving sport. Not just in terms of equipment and technology, but in terms of skill as well. All skiers go through a natural progression, starting as beginners and steadily moving up to advanced. As they grow through that process, their gear tends to grow with them.
The following sections will look at the equipment that sits between new and advanced. You should always tailor your skis to your skill level. If you’re someone who knows the mountain and is ready to take their skills to the next level, the models in this guide are for you.
- The Nordica Navigator 75 CA is an excellent model for intermediate skiers just moving away from their beginner routes. This model gives you a good bit of control but doesn’t hold your hand the whole way through. In addition, it has the ability to handle both off-piste and groomed runs. As an added bonus, it is quite affordable as well. That makes it an excellent option for intermediate skiers on a budget.
- If you’re an intermediate skier who wants to head off-trail, the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 might be the ski for you. This model utilizes a wood/carbon core that gives you quite a bit of power and maneuverability. Both of those are extremely useful off the beaten path. In addition, the 100mm underfoot allows you to float in all different snow conditions. You also don’t have to work as hard to steer these, making them great for skiers in the trees.
- The Rossignol Experience 88 Ti Ski is a great model for intermediate skiers looking to take their craft to the next level. While definitely not for newbies, these items are some of the best options for experienced intermediate skiers looking to tackle tougher terrain. The Experience 88 Ti Skis can handle all different conditions, and they also provide great control, performance, and construction.
Who Should Get This?
All of the skis in this guide are obviously geared towards intermediate skiers. That means those who already have their snow legs but who are not quite ready for the tough runs or more-advanced models. They are for anyone who needs a bit of extra help but who still isn’t ready to get seasoned models.
It is also worth noting that many of the following models can also be used for more advanced beginners. While they are not for those who are just starting out or who still need to get comfortable on a pair of skis, they do make solid options for newbies who want to move up to something that takes a little more skill. If you’re someone who’s ready for the next step, the following models are for you.
Best Skis for an Intermediate Skiers: What to Consider?
Always pay attention to ski length. While more advanced skiers want longer models that, when standing, measure to the top of their head, intermediate and beginner skiers should get skis that measure near their chin. The compact frame allows you more control and gives you the ability to make quicker, tighter turns. Both of those are essential for intermediate skiers.
Going hand-in-hand with length is width. Your ski’s waist width largely depends, not as much on skill, but on the type of skiing you want to do. Skiers who only hit groomed trials want skis with a width of around 85mm, while those who go both on and off-trail can use a width between 85mm and 95mm. Skis with a width between 96mm and 110mm are good for skiers who go on and off-piste, while 111mm and up is for people venturing into ungroomed terrain.
Intermediates also need to get tough skis. When you’re zipping around the mountain, it’s easy to fall down as you learn. You need skis that can take a beating. Strong materials are essential, as are models that come from trusted brands. Some skis utilize wood cores, while others have a mix of different materials. It all comes down to how much protection you need.
Best Skis for Intermediate Skiers: Our Picks
New skiers ready for intermediate gear should check out the Nordica Navigator 75 CA. This ski is sleek, versatile, and quite affordable. However, don’t let the low price fool you. The model has the ability to handle a wide range of conditions and comes with various attributes that enable you to tackle bumpy, off-piste runs. It is also one of the sturdier intermediate models on the market and comes with safe bindings that hold up after extended use.
What We Like:
- Offers solid control
- Versatile, great on groomed and off-piste slopes
- Safe bindings
- Good value
What We Don’t Like:
- On the narrow side
- Not a great choice for more advanced intermediates
If you’re looking for a versatile ski that can hold up in both on and off-piste conditions, check out the Atomic Bent Chetler 100. This ski is easy enough to maneuver on groomers, but also has the power needed to push through tough snow. In addition, the 100mm underfoot provides excellent floatation and the tip and tail rocker allow these to glide in a range of different conditions. It also comes with a clean, striking look.
What We Like:
- Wood/carbon core
- Easy to steer
- Versatile, works in numerous conditions
- Good on and off-piste
- 100mm underfoot
- Tip and tail rocker
- Unique design
What We Don’t Like:
- Won’t hold up to extreme conditions
- Could be more durable
If you’re an intermediate skier who will soon move to advanced, the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti is the way to go. This ski is not just versatile, being able to handle many different on and off-piste conditions, but it also has a great turning radius and is easy to maneuver. The solid construction offers extra power and performance, while the all-terrain rocker gives you even more ways to handle different parts of the mountain.
What We Like:
- Great carved turns
- All-mountain capability
- Quick turns, easy to maneuver
- Smooth design
- Solid construction
- Offers great performance on all terrain
- Easy to use and operate
What We Don’t Like:
- One of the more expensive options
- Not for new intermediate skiers
Useful Tips and Information
Skis, no matter what level they’re for, are an investment. As such, you need to take special care of them. There are many ways to improve your ski maintenance, which then ensures your pair will stay in good shape year after year. If you want help with that process, consult this helpful article.
All intermediate skiers can enjoy the above models. However, differentiating between the popular ski styles is not always easy. Sometimes beginners don’t know when they are ready to move up, and the same goes for intermediate skiers. If you want to better understand the difference between intermediate and advanced skiers, check out this quick video.
Skiing is a sport where your equipment advances with you. Being a beginner can be an exciting experience, but once you’re ready to move on from that you need the right gear. All of the premium models listed here will help you transition and take your skiing to the next level. Just do research on what you need and where you’re at in your career.
What are your favorite ski brands? Are there any we didn’t cover 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.