For decades, women’s ski gear has consisted of cutesy outfits, dainty skis, frail poles, awkward boots, and lots (and lots) of pink. The notorious ski bunny look that was in vogue for so many years is now most definitely passé, and a true Renaissance of women’s skiing is happening right before our eyes. Sure, outfits and ski gear remain fashionable and stylish, but today’s equipment and garb has evolved for the modern, high-performance female athlete. Find these skis for women at major ski shops like Christy Sports from coast to coast.
Taking note of this cultural shift, major ski brands are jumping on board with a bevy of new skis for 2020 that are crafted specifically for women. The days of sliding down the mountain on a pair of toothpicks is long gone, as this year’s crop of skis continues to solidify the truth that female athletes can rip just as good as the boys. The 2020 lineup features top-of-the-line technology from all the big names in skiing. Many companies are revitalizing or improving on existing series, while other brands are shifting gears and launching completely new and revolutionary lines. Let’s take a closer look at some new women’s skis that you’re sure to see on the mountain this season.
Industry stalwart Salomon has completely revitalized its popular QST line, adding cork damper inserts that will replace the Koroyd in previous models to help reduce vibration. The QST series has been one of the best-selling freeride skis over the past few seasons, and recent improvements seem to indicate the company has plans to continue to develop and evolve the series.
The revamped Salomon QST 106 W has a light poplar wood core from tip to tail. The lightweight wood provides stability and power, and maximizes ski-to-snow contact. Equipped with an all-terrain rocker, this ski handles well on all-mountain terrain. Intermediate to advanced skiers will appreciate the handle and feel of this versatile ski. The skis have a thicker sidewall than previous versions, which helps with edge grip on harder snow. (Suggested retail price: $749.99)
Völkl continues a good thing with its new Secret 102 model that builds off the Secret 92 model released last season. The new model offers the same Titanal frame construction, but provides a little more stability in deeper snow. The Secret 102 is the best of both worlds: It rips on groomers, crushes tree alleys, and handles the powder like a champ.
Made of beech and poplar wood, the skis bend up only in the shovel and tail zones, and the moderate setup of tapered tips provides a nice blend of on-piste and off-piste handling. Intermediate to advanced skiers love the short turning radius (a 3D radius sidecut) and all-mountain capabilities of this unique ski. When you’re ready for some big mountain free-riding adventure, take a closer look at this one. It’s perfect for those looking to “grow” into a wider ski. (Suggested retail price: $749.99)
Head skis has done away with its Great Joy and Wild Joy series and replaced them with the new Kore 99 and Kore 93 models. It closely resembles the men’s Kore 99 and 93 models, but has a different shape designed especially for women. The new Kore models are built with LYT technology and are constructed with Karuba, Graphene, carbon and wood. The end result is a high-performance, ultra-lightweight ski with a wonderful feel and pinpoint control, not to mention a silky smooth ride.
The Kore 99 W is the widest ski available in the line for women, and its highly recommended for adventurous female skiers that want to explore all parts of the mountain. These skis are perfect for all trails, terrains and conditions, providing versatility and an excellent boost for powder. The ideal set of skis for the female athlete looking for diversity. You’re sure to be pleased – whether it’s crushing major powder in Colorado or British Columbia, or hitting the harder slopes on the East Coast. It’s a choice freeride ski that won’t do you wrong in any conditions. (Suggested retail price: $699.99)
K2 has ended its Pinnacle and LUV ski lines and introduced the new K2 Mindbender series geared toward intermediate and advanced female skiers. The new series include six new women’s-specific Alliance versions. The new Mindbender line is a bold move away from the previous Pinnacle Series, and geared toward those who want to rip. The series will be available in both men’s and women’s, from 85mm up to 116mm in width.
K2 has also released a new Mindbender series of boots for men and women to go along with the new skis. The boots offer high performance and a 50-degree range of motion in the cuff.
Made primarily for groomers, the new Anthem 80 women’s skis are versatile enough to shred muck or cruise corduroy. The lightweight core is made of aspen and fir wood, providing a strong feel of firmness underneath while not being too stiff. It’s the perfect setup for female skiers who want to ski the front side and the back side. With an 80mm waist, these skis handle well on both tree trails and mogul runs. The speed rocker profile has a slight tip rocker that assists in making hairpin turns, while the camber underfoot keeps you locked in the carve. (Suggested retail price: $699.99)
When it comes to style, design and functionality, you have to hand it to the French for adding a touch of class to the mix. Rossignol has continued its tradition of quality and effervescence with its Black Ops series of skis released in limited quantities last season, and has outdone itself this season with the new Black Ops 98 Women’s ski.
Designed by skier Tatum Monod, the Black Ops 98 W ski is ideal for all-mountain use, big mountain skiing, off-trail runs and even the deepest powder. With a medium width, medium flex, and versatile all-mountain rocker profile, this is a great ski for the intermediate or advanced skier that is athletic and likes to push the envelope.
Just like the name implies, this ski is sleek and stealthy. A traditional wood core keeps makes cruising stable, but with ample energy, power and grip. You’ll feel in complete control on a fresh groomer or floating on top of the fresh powder. (Suggested retail price: $699.99)
Icelantic made news earlier in the year with the announcement of its new Riveter line, which mirrors the company’s Pioneer line for men, and provides a unique balance on its existing Maiden and the Oracle lines. With a thinner profile than its predecessors, the Riveter line offers a wider platform, increased strength and better flex in all types of snow. To date, it’s the company’s best all-around ski for women.
Carving up the slopes is a snap in a pair of Riveter 95 women’s skis. They are built with a strong Poplar core that’s ideal for all terrains on the mountain. A great all-mountain ski for hard pack, powder and groomers. They’re even stable in cruddy and crusty snow. If you love trails and tree runs, this is your ski.
Icelantic has released the Mystic 107, a wider ski to complement its existing Mystic 97. The new backcountry touring ski has awesome graphics and flawless performance. The new Mystic 107 costs around $799.
Icelantic also released the new Oracle 78 women’s ski at a $599 price point. The Oracle collection features the company’s patented Fly-Weight core with a tapered design, substantial sidecut and a rockered tip to deliver maximum performance. (Suggested retail price: $649.99)
Nordica has released the Santa Ana 88 women’s freeride ski for advanced skiers. Continuing the success of the brand’s Enforcer/Santa Ana series, this version is the thinnest model (88mm) offered by Nordica for women, and it’s geared toward carving up the front side of the mountain. A versatile ski, it performs well on all terrains, especially on the East Coast, where runs can be choppy or cruddy. But this ski is built to ski above, on top of, or through any kind of snow. It’s a carver.
The Santa Ana 88 has an Easy-Rise Tip and Tail Rocker that increases control in the turns and makes setting an edge effortless. Carbon stringers and a balsa wood core keep the ski stiff without adding weight, and the 88mm version offers more tension underfoot. You can definitely feel this ski under you when you’re flying down the mountain. (Suggested retail price: $599.99)