Best Powder Skis

Powder skiing is the ultimate ski experience for many skiers. Though many new styles have emerged over the years, from the park to all-mountain, nothing can replicate the sheer joy that comes from a great powder day.

Experienced skiers know that it’s important to watch the weather and head to the hills on a potential powder day. However, if you’re just starting you and have never skied powder before, your first day won’t be easy. That is why you need the proper equipment.

Regardless of your experience, if you plan on chasing powder (which I fully recommend), you want to enjoy the ride as much as you can. Getting a pair of good powder skis will enable you to tackle even the deepest of snow with ease. This article will take a look at some of the best powder skis available to help you make many memorable ski days.

Quick Summary

  • If you love skiing powder, you’re going to love the K2 Catamaran Skis. These were built to float effortlessly in the deep conditions that epic powder days are made of, and they live up to that standard. These are intentionally asymmetrical to allow more maneuverability than large powder skis. That allows them to slice powder like a warm knife through butter.
  • The Icelantic Nomad 115 is another amazing powder ski. It features a tip and tail rocker in addition to a poplar core that allows for a stable-but-playful feel. This model is not just of premium quality, it feels much more fun than the average powder ski as well. If you live for the bounce or lively feel of a steep-powder run, you’ll love the Nomads.
  • The Volkl Confession skis were designed to rip steep powder with ease, and they are great to use when the snow starts coming down hard. These are best suited for those who really like to tackle challenging, big mountain terrain. That is because they are strong, but light enough to carve in a fun and playful way. This ski is a favorite among many professionals.
  • Another well-respected and long-standing powder ski is the Atomic Bent Chelter. This model has been in the Atomic lineup for going on ten years now, and they keep getting better and better. The skis feature a super-light karuba wood core on top of a horizontal rocker that allows them to float on top of the deep stuff.
  • Every powder enthusiast will love the HEAD KORE 117. These skis feature a karuba wood core but expand on that construction with graphene and koroyd. Those attributes stiffen the core without adding too much extra weight. As such, they can easily float along powder while also cutting through any other condition that might come your way.
  • The Nordica Enforcer is yet another solid powder ski. It is a pretty large ski built with two sheets of metal. That might make you think it is heavy or hard to move, but it zips along the slopes with ease. The Enforcer features a tip and tail rocker that provides extra bounce, while the heavy-duty construction means you can carve up anything out there.
  • The Elan Ripstick is a stable ski that holds up in powder conditions and gives you control when zooming at high speeds. This model has a core made of three different types of wood – beech, poplar, and paulownia. That combination, alongside built-in carbon tubes, gives the skis a fun and powerful feel.
  • The Mindbender 116 is another fantastic powder ski from K2. This model has an innovative Carbon Spectral Braid built into the ski, which gives it more torsion control over a variety of conditions. This is a good option for skiers with many abilities, as well as ones that can handle deep powder. The 116 width size listed here is the best option in the powder as well.
  • If you’re looking for a backcountry ski that excels in deep powder, the La Sportiva Vapor Float is a great option. The first thing you’ll notice about these skis is their weight. Their lightness comes from the Kevlar and carbon construction, which adds on strength without bogging you down. That causes you to feel as if you’re floating through the powder.
  • The Dynastar Menace Proto skis have a poplar core option that works well in powder, but are versatile enough to handle a range of different conditions. These skis have a very ‘floaty’ feel when using in powder conditions, and they easily keep you on top of the snow. They also feature a tip and tail rocker in addition to the wooden core.

Who Should Get This

If you want to enjoy powder skiing, you need to get powder skis. Many of the skis listed here work well in most conditions, but they truly shine when the snow starts coming down hard. If you try to tackle deep powder conditions in a smaller, narrower ski, you are likely to be left frustrated and burnt out in no time.

If you’re a serious skier, you probably have different skis for different situations. If you are lucky enough to be able to have multiple skis, I would always suggest adding powder skis to the lineup. When the conditions are right and you find you find yourself in the midst of a big storm, you can pull out the powder skis and go
Beginners rarely need powder skis. Though they can use some of the items listed above, true powder conditions are best suited for those who have at least intermediate experience. Expert skiers will also get the most out of them. I’d always tell any skier to get out on a good powder day, but the conditions demand more work skills that not all beginners possess.

Best Powder Skis: What to Consider

Size

When powder skiing, a larger size ski translates to more surface area, and that lets you float over the snow. Most powder skis are longer and wider than other ski types,which is what you want on the powder. If you want an all-mountain type that can still handle big powder conditions, choose one with a good width. You’ll notice that all of the below models are fairly large and wide.

Construction

There are many different types of construction that go into ski technology. These can vary from brand to brand and model to model. Typically, you want to look for a ski that has a solid wood core surrounded by metal or composite elements for maximum strength and flexibility. The edges and outer laminate should also be well-constructed. Look for durable, long-lasting materials.

Weight

Weight also comes into play when choosing powder skis. Many people assume that, as powder skis are longer and heavier than normal ones, they weigh more. While that can be true, many models are built with lighter materials. Just note that a heavier ski, though usually faster, can be harder to maneuver in variable conditions.

Play

I like skis with a lot of play. That means they’re easy to maneuver, fairly flexible, and are able to be controlled when turning and carving through a range of different conditions. Stiffer, less playful skis allow for speed on groomed runs, but a powder ski with a lot of play enables you to pop, bounce, and turn through the deep snow.

Shape

Shape is another consideration when picking out powder skis, and that choice comes down to either personal preference or desired capability. I personally prefer a more symmetrical shaped ski, which means the tip and tail have a similar shape. You might prefer a more asymmetrical design with drastic differences between the tip and tail. Whatever you choose comes down to how you like to zip around the slopes.

Best Powder Skis: Our Picks

1. K2 Catamaran


The K2 Catamaran will allow you to float on deep powder like a catamaran along the water. These skis are large in size, but they still offer plenty of play and flex to bound through deep snow. They also feature an aspen core with a denser fir on the outside that adds to the unique feel of the ski. These truly excel in powder and make a great choice for anyone chasing those big deep days on the mountain.

What we like:

  • Large but light
  • Very playful powder ski
  • Carbon Braid Boost design adds strength
  • Lively feel

What we don’t like:

  • Not much to dislike, they’re even affordable for powder skis

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Icelantic Nomad 115


The Nomads are a personal favorite all-mountain ski for when the snow gets deep. These skis have a symmetrical design and a poplar core, two features that enable any skier to tear up difficult conditions without sacrificing play. The width of these skis are great for powder conditions, and the playful-yet-sturdy nature allows them to perform well in deep snow.

What we like:

  • Symmetrical design
  • Well-constructed
  • Balanced feel
  • Great all-around option
  • Awesome graphics

What we don’t like:

  • Not as big or as flexible as other powder skis

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Volkl Confession


Volkl has been making quality skis for years, and they keep turning out skis to meet the needs of high-octane skiers who like to charge. The Confession is a model that goes above and beyond the needs of any powder skier. These skis are built to conquer the mountain and are best-suited for expert skiers looking to ski at high levels all day long.

What we like:

  • Strong, sturdy ski
  • Solid construction featuring Titanal band and carbon stringers
  • Strong but lightweight
  • Rocker-camber-rocker profile is great for powder skiing

What we don’t like:

  • Not very forgiving
  • For expert skiers only

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. Atomic Bent Chetler


This Atomic ski model is a long-standing success in the world of powder skiing. These powder specific skis keep getting better and better, now moving on to their tenth edition. They feature a light karuba wood core and a horizontal rocker that enables them to cruise on powder. They are able to handle steady use in deep snow and allow you to charge, turn, and bounce at your leisure.

What we like:

  • Carbon-reinforced for added strength
  • Do well in powder
  • Excellent pop
  • Can tear through difficult conditions while being playful

What we don’t like:

  • No complaints, this is a solid powder ski

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. HEAD KORE 117


The HEAD KORE 117 skis are another awesome choice for powder. The model is easy to handle and enables skiers to tackle a wide range of conditions. The karuba core reinforced with graphene and koroyd provides strength, flex, and a playful feel. The Kore 117 is also lightweight for a powder ski, which means they are easy to maneuver.

What we like:

  • Great for all types of skiers
  • Excellent in powder
  • Strong but playful
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

What we don’t like:

  • Not the best option for extremely deep snow
  • Can be a little slow

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

6. Nordica Enforcer


This is an aggressive ski for advanced level skiers with a lot of experience on the mountain. If you have the chops, these skis will allow you to shred anything that comes your way. They have a dual poplar and beech wood core that allows for a nice spring. That is then surrounded by layers of Titanal that add strength and stability. These are burly, heavy-duty skis built to meet the needs of high-demand skiers.

What we like:

  • Aggressive feel
  • Great for advanced skiers
  • Carves through powder
  • Strong

What we don’t like:

  • Not for beginners

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

7. Elan Ripstick


The Elan Ripstick is a powder ski that can also hold up at high speeds. That versatility adds to the comfortable and sturdy feel by giving the skis the ability to work in both powder and regular conditions. These feature three different types of wood in their core, and the composite tip keeps chatter down. A solid, all-around ski that can perform really well in powder.

What we like:

  • Does well in powder but also at high speeds
  • Flexible and bouncy for a heavier ski
  • Composite tip

What we don’t like:

  • Traditional camber
  • Old school look not for everyone

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

8. K2 Mindbender 116


Another solid offering from a well-known brand, the K2 Mindbender can handle a variety of conditions on the mountain and can make a good powder day even better. These skis feature a Carbon Spectral Braid that allows the tip to feel more rigid than the tail while still giving plenty of flex and play. These also have a carbon-weave design that allows them to float and surf over powder in a fun way.

What we like:

  • Well-engineered
  • Good for all abilities
  • Nice size to meet the needs of powder skiing without being too large

What we don’t like:

  • Small for a powder ski
  • Flat tail not a personal preference

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

9. La Sportiva Vapor Float


Just as the name implies, these skis will help you float over the powder. La Sportiva designed these with the backcountry in mind. They are really, really light; a feature skiers will notice immediately. This is due to their Kevlar and carbon construction, a combination that makes them durable, but much lighter than wood-based skis.

What we like:

  • Excellent for backcountry powder pursuits
  • Innovative lightweight design

What we don’t like:

  • Does not perform well on groomed runs
  • Not a fast ski

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

10. Dynastar Menace Proto


These are a versatile and agile take on a powder ski. They have a tip to tail rocker that tapers the ski and gives it a maneuverable feel/play out on the mountain. These also have a floaty feel when on powder that accentuates the already enjoyable deep snow sensation. They are on the heavier side, which makes them better suited for experienced skiers.

What we like:

  • Very versatile
  • Unique feel
  • Sturdy but flexible

What we don’t like:

  • On the heavy side
  • Not suited for smaller skiers

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips & Resources

Powder skiing takes some getting used to. It is probably my favorite form of skiing, but it can be difficult if you’ve never done it before.

If you want to learn how to powder ski, you need practice and experience. Check out this video for some good tips and tricks on how to correctly move through deep snow. There are also some common mistakes that skiers inexperienced with powder can make in this video.

If you’ve never skied powder before, a good lesson with a hands-on instructor can go a long way. While you can always go for it on your own, having someone help you navigate the elements can really pay off.

Final Thoughts

I’ll go ahead and say it: powder skiing is the best. There’s really nothing like it. If you’ve never experienced the sensation before, pack up your ski gear and go chase snowflakes all winter long! While powder skiing can provide endless smiles and memories for years to come, you also need to be prepared for the task. Having the proper gear helps you get the most out of a powder day.

Remember that powder days don’t happen all of the time. Savor the ones you’re lucky enough to experience and be sure to stay out as long as you can. Your legs might start to burn, but the memories will be more than worth the effort!

To me, powder the ultimate skiing experience. It’s something that should be savored, cherished, and respected. Now get out there and go find some deep snow.

Have you ever had a powder day before? What is your favorite memory of that trip? Let us know below!

Leave a Comment