There's nothing in the world quite like deep, fresh snow. Make sure you have the right tools clamped to your boots for making the most of every turn, as well as being able to get to and from the good stuff.

  • What: Extra-wide skis designed to float you down the mountain
  • Who: Young bucks might use these every day, and with sidecuts that make hard snow fun, you might want to, as well
  • Where: Places that see huge dumps, trees with day-old sloppy leftovers,

    and the last untouched of the season in your super-secret-stash

BEST IN TEST: Blizzard Rustler 11

2021 Blizzard Rustler 11 Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 Blizzard Rustler 11 Men's Deep Snow Ski

The Blizzard Rustler 11 didn’t just win Best in Test in the Deep Snow category this year, it absolutely dominated the entire field. With the highest scores in six of eight categories, it’s clear there is one fat ski to rule them all for 2020-'21. Whether testers were sniffing out soft snow in the tight trees of Taos, jumping off the numerous drops under the Kachina Chair, or just carving the final stretch of snow on their way back to the test corral, they couldn’t find any issues with the Rustler 11. Schiller: “This ski was always underfoot and comfortable no matter where it went.”

2021 Blizzard Rustler 11 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.28/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 164, 172, 180, 188, 192
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 143-116-123
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 21 (188 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

Shop for the Blizzard Rustler 11: Backcountry | Skis.com

Check out all of 2021's Best in Test Skis

Read more about the Blizzard Rustler 11

Nordica Enforcer 110 Free

2021 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free Men's Deep Snow Ski

With a proprietary wood core, carbon chassis laminate, and two full sheets of metal, the Enforcer 110 Free makes skiing all conditions just as fun as skiing in powder. Perhaps more importantly, the Nordica deep snow ski makes skiing in fluff even more magical. This ski is incredibly damp when going fast in all conditions, which is one of the reasons it earned the highest category score for Stability at Speed. But it can still shred pow like a champ, even at more moderate speeds. Syrovatka: “A really great ski—dare I say perfect—if you're on top of your game.”

2021 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.12/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 169, 177, 185, 191
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 140-110-129
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 18.5M (185)
  • MSRP: $900

Buy the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free: REI | Amazon

Read more about the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free for 2021

BEST VALUE: K2 Mindbender 116C

2021 K2 Mindbender 116C Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 K2 Mindbender 116C Men's Deep Snow Ski

While the Mindbender 116C wasn’t the widest entry in the Deep Snow category, it did provide one of the most stable platforms, earning the highest category score for Flotation. Testers found the 116C in the 186cm length to be especially easy to ski, ideal for strong intermediates and advanced skiers looking to add a powder ski to their quiver. Don't be fooled, however, as the widest Mindbender can happily handle experts. Sexauer: “An approachable powder ski that you wouldn't need to feel guilty grabbing on a day when the hill reports under 12 inches.”

2021 K2 Mindbender 116C Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.08/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 179, 186, 193
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 143-116-133
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 22.9 (186 cm length)
  • MSRP: $850

Purchase the K2 Mindbender 116C: Backcountry 

See all of the biggest Mindbender's scores from SKI Test

Dynastar M Free 118

2021 Dynastar M Free 118 Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 Dynastar M Free 118 Men's Deep Snow Ski

Testers were practically universal in labeling the new M Free 118 with one word: “FUN!” Built with a poplar wood and PU core combination, this freeride-oriented pow ski can be driven hard from the cockpit or taken on more playful terrain when skied in a more upright stance. At Taos, the test crew enjoyed this big Dynastar ski the most when they were pivoting in between, around, and popping over soft bumps in trees and dynamic steeps. Larsen: “Go ahead and send it! Whether you are in manky snow or fresh pow, this ski makes you feel like a pro.”

2021 Dynastar M Free 118 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.03/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 180, 189
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 145-118-135
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 24 (189 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

Shop for the Dynastar M Free 118: Skis.com

Get more info about the Dynastar M Free 118

Head Kore 117

2021 Head Kore 117 Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 Head Kore 117 Men's Deep Snow Ski

The widest Kore ski proved to be best suited to aggressive skiing at Taos. The generous rocker in the tip and tail, combined with the strong-but-lightweight construction of caruba, KOROYD, carbon, and graphene gave testers the ability to ski hard on soft snow and still stay agile in bumpy terrain and tight spaces. Don’t let the feathery weight fool you, the Kore 117 can handle the gnarliest skiers in the world, and loves long hikes to faraway powder stashes. Jay: “Demands assertive skiing and rewards it with a strong backbone.”

2021 Head Kore 117 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.80/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 171, 180, 189
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 145-117-129
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 24.6 (189 cm length)
  • MSRP: $925

Learn more about the Head Kore 117 ski

Fischer Ranger 115 Free

2021 Fischer Ranger 115 FR deep snow ski

The 2021 Fischer Ranger 115 FR Deep Snow Ski

Despite its intimidating shape, strong sandwich sidewall construction, and bright color scheme, testers found the Ranger 115 to be quick edge-to-edge and particularly maneuverable in the trees. The big yellow planks from Fischer could also hold their own in wide open bowls of deep snow, and the Aeroshape design helps get them up to speed in a hurry. The best overall quality for these skis, however, is their balanced nature to do it all everywhere they went at Taos Ski Valley, and do it all well. Gleason: “The fine-tuned balance of playful ease and solid control shines.”

2021 Fischer Ranger FR 115 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.78/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 172, 178, 188, 196
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 144-115-134
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 20 (188 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

See more info about the Fischer Ranger 115 FR

Armada WhiteWalker

2021 Armada WhiteWalker Men's Deep Snow Ski

The 2021 Armada WhiteWalker Men's Deep Snow Ski

This new deep snow ski from Armada relies heavily on the influence of professional skier Sammy Carlson, a PNW-based rider who knows how to ski pow. The WhiteWalker has one of the most unique shapes in the category with a full caruba wood core, significant amount of carbon integrated into the shovel, and pintail twin tips. Designed to surf, float, and fly through everything, these sticks are best suited to deep snow, but testers agreed they are always fun. Rogan: “Modern powder ski that likes to go fast and prefers a long sideways slash compared to a high-speed arc.”

2021 Armada WhiteWalker Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.77/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 185, 192
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 139-116-135
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 18 (185 cm length)
  • MSRP: $950

Read more about the Armada WhiteWalker ski

Atomic Bent Chetler 120

2021 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 men's deep snow ski

The 2021 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Men's Deep Snow Ski

There is a reason the bases of the Bent Chetlers are so cool: These skis are made to catch as much air as possible. The super-playful and poppy Bent Chetler 120 is also designed to float and smear turns in the softest snow they can find. Outside of powder, these wide planks still prefer sliding and popping off everything, and testers had a ball on the playful terrain of Taos, even where it wasn't very soft. But, as you might expect, these Atomics are best in the soft stuff. Caven: “Grip it and rip it, bud. The balance of the ski is spot on. Good for someone who wants to blow through blower.”

2021 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.76/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 176, 184, 192
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 143-120-134
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 19 (184 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

Shop for the Atomic Bent Chetler 120: REI | Backcountry | Skis.com | Amazon

See the full scoresheet for the Bent Chetler 120 at SKI Test

See the best women's powder skis of the season

Related: 2021's Best All-Mountain Wide Skis for Dudes

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Get skinny: Men's Frontside skis for 2021

People Also Ask

What are powder skis?

Generally speaking, powder skis (or deep snow skis) are fat. They tend to have 110mm+ waist widths, generous rocker profiles, and very large turn radii. While they float like a dream in soft snow, many powder skis can perform well in choppy snow as well, and a very special few—most notably the Nordica Enforcer 110—can actually hold an edge quite well on groomed terrain. For the most part, however, these skis are rarely defined as one-ski quiver options and are instead used only when conditions warrant, e.g. powder days.

What are the best powder skis?

  1. Blizzard Rustler 11
  2. Nordica Enforcer 110 Free
  3. K2 Mindbender 116C
  4. Dynastar M Free 118
  5. Head Kore 117
  6. Fischer Ranger 115 Free
  7. Armada WhiteWalker
  8. Atomic Bent Chetler 120

What length should powder skis be?

Because of the increased amount of rocker built into most powder skis, it's suitable to have longer skis for deep snow to increase the amount of usable edge on hard and variable snow. Shorter powder skis will likely float and feel more nimble than longer versions, but can also sometimes feel like riding a pogo stick due to the increased floppiness that is caused by generous rocker in the tip and tails.

The 6 Best Deep Snow Skis of 2020

Chris Bivona testing powder skis at Monarch

Chris Bivona going deep at Monarch Mountain, Colo.

There are the privileged few who spend their entire winters cruising the deep drifts of Japan and British Columbia, but the rest of us need deep snow skis that can get us from those first perfect turns in virgin powder, through the choppy leftovers of the afternoon, and back to the chairlift lap-after-lap while staying in control. We took this year’s crop of deep snow skis and a tight-knit testing crew to Monarch Mountain, Colo., where we lapped the soft snow under the Garfield Lift, took the ski area’s snowcat to the powdery glades of Mirkwood Basin, and then ranked, rated, and argued about the best big skis of the season. These are the ones that came out on top.

BEST IN TEST: 2020 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free

Nordica Enforcer 110 Free 2020

The 2020 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free.

The Enforcer 110 Free wins not for being the floatiest ski, but for being the most versatile powder ski on the market. With a 110mm waist and plenty of rocker in the tip and tail, this ski is surfy when the snow is bottomless, but two sheets of Titanal sandwiching a full wood core means riders will also have a ball when the snow isn’t perfect. [$900, BUY NOW]

Buy SKI's Best in Test men's Powder ski on Amazon: 2020 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free

2020 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free Overall Score: 4.01/5

Read more about the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free's scores here

2020 Atomic Bent Chetler 120

Atomic Bent Chetler 120 ski 2020

The 2020 Atomic Bent Chetler 120.

With spoon-shaped tips and tails—which Atomic calls HRZN tech—and a light wood core with integrated carbon, the redesigned Bent Chetler 120 earned the highest marks for quickness and maneuverability, a paradox considering its girthy 120mm waist. Nearly every tester commended its playfulness but found the ski could still charge hard when needed. [$900, BUY NOW

Check it out on Amazon: 2020 Atomic Bent Chetler 120

2020 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Overall Score: 3.99/5

Learn more about the Atomic Bent Chetler 120's performance at Monarch Mountain

2020 Elan Ripstick 116

Elan Ripstick 116 ski 2020

The 2020 Elan Ripstick 116.

When pushed hard at high velocity, these big planks’ performance lived up to their name, but testers also found that the skis were just as happy at moderate paces. Thanks to the hollow tubes that run longitudinally through the core, the Ripstick 116 remains manageable and nimble in all conditions, with a number of testers claiming the skis are easy like Sunday morning. [$950, elanskis.com]

2020 Elan Ripstick 116 Overall Score: 3.99/5

See how the Elan Ripstick 116 ranked in other categories

2020 K2 Mindbender 116C

K2 Mindbender 116c ski 2020

The 2020 K2 Mindbender 116C.

The biggest Mindbender has an innate ability to steamroll crud and choppy snow like a big orange tank. That doesn’t mean these big bad skis can’t fly like fighter jets on more welcoming terrain of any variety. Testers didn’t find the Mindbender 116C to be particularly playful, but it is strong, stable, and constantly seeks the fall line. [$850, BUY NOW]

Buy it on Amazon: 2020 K2 Mindbender 116C

2020 K2 Mindbender 116C Overall Score: 3.98/5

Get more details about the K2 Mindbender 116C

Shop Talk 2020: K2 Mindbender 116C

Video not displaying correctly? Watch it here.

2020 Faction Candide 4.0

Faction Candide 4.0 ski 2020

The Faction Candide 4.0 for 2020.

If you ever wondered why Candide Thovex seems to catch way more air than humanly possible, these skis are the answer. The pro skier’s powder-oriented pro model were veritable pogo sticks at high speeds, maximizing amusement on the powdery, rolling terrain of Monarch Mountain. The ski’s dialed-in swing weight felt like a perfect crossbreed of a freeride ski and a park ski. [$999, BUY NOW]

Available on Amazon: 2020 Faction 4.0

2020 Faction Candide 4.0 Overall Score: 3.92/5

Check out more scores for the 2020 Faction Candide 4.0

2020 Scott Scrapper 115

Scott Scrapper 115 Ski 2020

The 2020 Scott Scrapper 115.

Scott has some of the best freeride athletes in Europe on their team, and based on the performance of these boards, those athletes clearly do not mess around when it comes to ski design. These burly planks earned top marks in Stability at Speed and Hard Snow, and testers noted their versatile demeanor makes up for limited playfulness. It was also an unofficial top pick for straight-lining. [$800, BUY NOW]

Check it out on Amazon: 2020 Scott Scrapper 115

2020 Scott Scrapper 115 Overall Score: 3.91/5

Read more about the 2020 Scott Scrapper 115

2019's 9 Best Powder Skis for Men

Tim Dyer at Deer Valley

Tester Tim Dyer goes deep in 2019 at Deer Valley.

If you've never been on fat skis when it's deep, you're missing out on floaty turns, longer days, and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

BEST IN TEST: 2019 Nordica Enforcer 110

2018-19 Nordica Enforcer 110

2018-2019 Nordica Enforcer 110.

Veterans and rookie testers agreed that this ski is still the top-dog of big planks—having now won Best in Test two years in a row. It still stands out as the most versatile powder ski on the rack. Sporting a full wood core with carbon sandwiched between two sheets of metal, the Enforcer 110 proved to be as capable in powder as everywhere else. Schiller: “Category defining, as stable as they come.” Read more about the Nordica Enforcer 110 here.

  • Strengths: Versatility, Crud Performance; Weakness: Forgiveness
  • Overall Rating: 4.29 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 140-110-129
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 169, 177, 185, 191
  • Radius (in meters): 18.5
  • MSRP: $899 (BUY NOW)

2019 HEAD Kore 117

2019-2019 HEAD Kore 117

2018/2019 HEAD Kore 117.

Testers raved about the girthy-yet-light Kore 117. Its wide platform executed well in tight spaces, but really shined when it had room for big turns on soft snow. With the same innovative triaxial woven carbon layer, KOROYD, and karuba wood core with graphene-infused tips found in the rest of the Kore family, it remains lightweight but can drop the hammer. Catino: “Perfect blend of race feel and freeride shaping.” Check out the HEAD Kore 117's other scores here.

  • Strengths: Versatility, Quickness; Weakness: Hard-Snow Integrity
  • Overall Rating: 4.04 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 145-117-129
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 180, 189
  • Radius (in meters): 24.6
  • MSRP: $925 (BUY NOW)

BEST VALUE: 2019 Armada Tracer 108

2018/2019 Armada Tracer 108

2018/2019 Armada Tracer 108.

Armada modified the rocker profile and taper region for the Tracer family this year, which was most appreciated by testers in the 108-waisted version. With Titanal reinforcements underfoot plus damping Xrystal Mesh material running the full length of the ski, its noticeably lean stature danced through crud with playfulness and snap. Dyer: “Easily handles everything you will encounter with a powder ski.” Read more about the Armada Tracer 108 here.

  • Strengths: Crud Performance, Versatility; Weakness: Flotation
  • Overall Rating: 4.01 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 134-108-126
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 164, 172, 180, 188
  • Radius (in meters): 19
  • MSRP: $825 (BUY NOW)

2019 Rossignol Super 7 HD

2018/2019 Rossignol Super 7 HD

2018/2019 Rossignol Super 7 HD.

The largest member of Rossi’s 7 family, the Super 7 HD remains one of the most sought-after skis on the rack for powder hounds seeking that signature, surfy float. With a lightweight carbon alloy and paulownia wood core, ample rocker, plus a near-perfect swing weight thanks to the reinforced, eye-catching translucent emerald Air Tip 2.0 in the shovel and tail, the Super 7 HD would be anyone’s friend on a powder day. Rogan: “You can ski powder all day long and not get tired.” Check out more details regarding the Rossignol Super 7 HD here.

  • Strength: Playfulness; Weakness: Stability at Speed
  • Overall Rating: 3.98 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 140-116-130
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 172, 180, 188
  • Radius (in meters): 21
  • MSRP: $900

2019 K2 Pinnacle 118

2018/2019 K2 Pinnacle 118

2018/2019 K2 Pinnacle 118.

After a solid debut last year, the 2019 Pinnacle 118 further impressed the test crew. Generous shovel rocker combined with a fir and aspen wood core, beefed up with K2’s signature carbon boost braid, garnered the ski positive comparisons to Cadillacs and downhill mountain bikes. It might look big and bad, but as soon as it was on snow, testers gushed about the fun factor these planks provided. Elling: “Maybe the best [expletive deleted] powder ski ever made.” See more details about the K2 Pinnacle 118 here.

  • Strength: Flotation; Weakness: Stability at Speed
  • Overall Rating: 3.97 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 145-118-135
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 177, 184, 191
  • Radius (in meters): 23
  • MSRP: $900 (BUY NOW)

2019 Elan Ripstick 106

2018/2019 Elan Ripstick 106

2018/2019 Elan Ripstick 106.

The first thing testers noticed about the Ripstick 106 was its light weight.
The second? It’s quick and nimble, making it a joy to ski in tight tree runs and steep, rocky chokes. Featuring a full wood core with two carbon channels that run the length of the ski, plus composite inserts in the tips, this ski is quick and agile at moderate speeds and tackled a faster pace with dampness and quiet assertion. Megroz: “Playful, energetic, and so easy to turn.” Read more about the Elan Ripstick 106 here.

  • Strength: Quickness; Weakness: Crud Performance
  • Overall Rating: 3.89 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 140-106-122
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 167, 174, 181, 188
  • Radius (in meters): 18.1
  • MSRP: $900 (BUY NOW)

2019 Dynastar Proto Factory

2018/2019 Dynastar Proto Factory

2018/2019 Dynastar Proto Factory.

The latest addition to a long line of Dynastar’s hard-charging freeride skis, the Proto Factory isn’t for the meek. Testers were divided: those who allow their skis to finesse turns had trouble finding the sweet spot, but the bigger guys had a ball, especially at high speeds. The full poplar wood core keeps these fatties a bit lighter than expected, and a stout, poppy tail makes the Proto a top candidate for enthusiasts of Full Send. Larson: “The ultimate big mountain powder charger, just don’t skip leg day.” Check out the rest of the Dynastar Proto Factory's scores here.

  • Strengths: Flotation, Crud Performance; Weakness: Forgiveness
  • Overall Rating: 3.88 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 145-118-135
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 189
  • Radius (in meters): 24
  • MSRP: $900

2019 Scott Scrapper 115

2018/2019 Scott Scrapper 115

2018/2019 Scott Scrapper 115.

The Scrapper 115 proved to be a solid all-around performer, but most at home in soft snow, crud, and could blow up leftover piles of powder like a rock star. The paulownia wood core with carbon stringers, combined with twin-tip rocker and Titanal reinforcements, delivers a playful yet powerful ride. A few testers claimed they skied best with a more upright, new school stance, but the Scrapper 115 pleased the traditionalist just as well. Dyer: “Lets me bound down the mountain without touching the brakes.” See more details about the Scott Scrapper 115 here.

  • Strengths: Playfulness, Flotation; Weakness: Quickness
  • Overall Rating: 3.87 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 142-115-131
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 182, 189
  • Radius (In Meters): 23
  • MSRP: $800

2019 Kästle BMX 115

2018/2019 Kästle BMX 115

2018/2019 Kästle BMX 115.

The crew unanimously praised the BMX 115’s velvety flex pattern and phenomenal glide, and they found it would crush choppy conditions without a second thought. The ski’s silver fir and beech wood core and semi-cap sidewall construction is traditional and powerful; it also took some muscle to get through tight spaces. Add in a dual rise in the shovel and tail, plus a translucent Hollowtech tip, and the BMX 115 looks as handsome as it skis. Sexauer: “If you have the will, this ski will show you the way.” Read more about the Kästle BMX 115 here.

  • Strength: Crud Performance; Weakness: Forgiveness
  • Overall Rating: 3.81 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 141-115-130
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 177, 185, 193
  • Radius (in meters): 3.81
  • MSRP: $1,049 (BUY NOW)

Note: Many of the links on this page lead to affiliate partners. SKI receives a small compensation when purchases are made for a limited time after clicking these links.

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