More camber, flatter tails, and the return of the turn. Many brands entered more skis in this category of our annual SKI test than in All Mountain Wide, indicating the narrower trend is catching on in a big way.
Women's All-Mountain Narrow Skis at a Glance
- What: Versatile skis that ride the entire mountain, but lean in for firm conditions
- Who: Women who want a ski that can do it all, and do it all really well
- Where: All over the East and the frontsides of the West
BEST IN TEST and BEST VALUE: Blizzard Black Pearl 88
We know, this ski always wins. But believe us, it’s for good reason—it’s been the top-selling ski across both men’s and women’s models for years running. It’s balanced, forgiving, strong, lightweight, and incredibly versatile for conditions, terrain, and ability levels. Blizzard overhauled it two years ago, making it lighter and stronger with a new carbon frame. Lay on it and trench, then instantly back off and feather it—it happily obliges. Truly a one-ski quiver. Greene: “Comfortable, reliable, versatile.” Read more about the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 here.
- Strength: Versatility, Overall Impression; Weakness: Playfulness
- Overall Rating: 4.21 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 126-88-110
- Lengths (in centimeters): 145, 152, 159, 166, 173
- Radius (in meters): 14
- MSRP: $720 (BUY NOW)
Vertical sidewalls, low camber, two sheets of metal, and no speed limit—this ski rages down the fall line. The proudly Austrian-made LX 85 earned No. 1 in Stability at Speed, Crud Performance, and Hard-Snow Integrity, but it happily sucked up bumps, slalomed trees, and played in the chop too. It’s damp, smooth, and stuck to the snow with a delicious bite on hardpack. It’s best for girls who love their edges. Bremner: “Short turns, long turns—all of it fun and with mirrored disco ball flashes!” See more details about the Kästle LX 85 here.
- Strength: Crud Performance, Hard-Snow Integrity; Weakness: Forgiveness
- Overall Rating: 4.1 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 126-85-109
- Lengths (in centimeters): 144, 152, 160, 168, 176
- Radius (in meters): 14.5
- MSRP: $999
Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion
Holy Stöckli! This ski rips so hard it should come with a warning label and a free helmet. It’s humming with potential energy that tore trenches all over Deer Valley’s Empire Canyon. It’s built with a responsive, lightweight wood and fiberglass core that will eat up whatever you throw at it—provided you’re in the driver’s seat (it doesn’t tolerate skidders). This ski makes mounds of frozen ocean feel like plowable pillows of fresh. Handmade by Swiss engineers—and man, can you feel it. Gibbons: “They lit me up.” Check out more about the Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion here.
- Strength: Versatility, Hard-Snow Integrity; Weakness: Forgiveness
- Overall Rating: 3.99 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 129-85-113
- Lengths (in centimeters): 154, 161, 168
- Radius (in meters): 15.8
- MSRP: $999
Atomic Vantage 90 Ti W
The latest from Atomic’s war room is Titanium Tank Mesh, a strong, light layer that’s the building block of the entirely revamped Vantage Ti series. Instead of stripping weight out of a ski, Atomic starts with a chassis as thin as fine china—light shines right through it—and then adds reinforcement where needed. The result is a light, stiff, poppy ski that happily snaps off tight turns in the trees and then grips high- speed groomers like it’s on rails. Humes: “Set the edge and forget about it.” Read more about the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti W here.
- Strength: Flotation; Weakness: Crud Performance
- Overall Rating 3.93 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters) 124.5-90-111
- Lengths (In Centimeters) 153, 161, 169
- Radius (In Meters) 16.5
- MSRP: $725 (BUY NOW)
K2 Alluvit 88 TI
The Alluvit 88 TI still has damping metal, but K2 changed to an aspen and fir BioKonic core this year, which distributes its mass to the edges to provide better precision while reducing swing weight. No. 1 in Flotation and No. 2 in Playfulness and Forgiveness, the Alluvit is smooth-flexing, easy, and comfortable for a wide range of abilities. Testers remarked it’s a total blast— diving eagerly down the fall line without requiring quads of steel or a Jedi’s mental focus. “Refreshingly easy,” said Greene. “It read my mind.” Check out all the details for the K2 Alluvit 88 TI here.
- Strength: Flotation, Playfulness; Weakness: Stability at Speed
- Overall Rating 3.93 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 128-88-110
- Lengths (In Centimeters): 149, 156, 163, 170
- Radius (In Meters): 12.5
- MSRP: $750 (BUY NOW)
Despite its name (new feminine hygiene product?), the Secret proved to be a ninja warrior whose only sign of weakness was that it abhors weakness. (No. 2 in Stability at Speed, tied for No. 2 in Hard-Snow Integrity and last among winners in Playful- ness.) The Secret employs a Titanal frame construction—a metal cutout—that reinforces only the edges to add grip but save weight. Carbon in the tip lightens it up, but this ski takes everything—especially speed—seriously. Bremner: “Slicing and dicing.” Read more about the Völkl Secret here.
- Strength: Stability at Speed, Hard-Snow Integrity; Weakness: Playfulness
- Overall Rating: 3.93 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 130-92-113
- Lengths (in centimeters): 149, 156, 163, 170Radius (in meters): 16
- MSRP: $825 (BUY NOW)
Armada Victa 87 Ti
The Victa 87 TI is like a pop song for your feet: playful, fun, energetic, witty, easy to dance to. Testers loved its firecracker personality, great rebound, and versatility in turn shape and terrain—awarding top scores for Quickness and Playfulness. Good old-fashioned camber carves eagerly down the fall line, tip rocker hungers for bumps, and two sheets of metal stick to the snow. The Victa 87 TI is so fun-loving that it steers clear of crud, but then again, so do we. Humes: “Immediately comfortable.” Check out the rest of the Armada Victa 87 Ti's scores here.
- Strength: Quickness; Weakness: Crud Performance
- Overall Rating: 3.87 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters) 129-87-119.5
- Lengths (In Centimeters) 155, 163, 171
- Radius (In Meters) 16.5
- MSRP: $700 (BUY NOW)
Dynastar Legend W88
This proud Chamonix brand with a “mustache” chevron logo has spawned a cult following for as long as we can remember. The Legend W88 is a solid all-rounder, carving capably and offering a playful, lightweight feel despite two sheets of damping metal. It put up solid scores in Versatility, too, happy-go-lucky wherever it went. Some testers whined that the tip felt squirrely and the tail stiff, but all in all a winner. Greene: “It’s like a Labrador retriever—it just wants to please.” Read more about the Dynastar Legend W88 here.
- Strength: Playfulness, Versatility; Weakness: Flotation
- Overall Rating 3.77 / 5
- Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters) 125-88-109
- Lengths (In Centimeters) 159, 166, 173
- Radius (In Meters) 15
- MSRP: $700 (BUY NOW)
Women's All Mountain Skis FAQ
What is the best all-mountain narrow ski for 2019?
According to our veteran testers who spent a full week testing numerous skis this winter, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is the best women's all-mountain narrow ski for 2019.
What are all-mountain narrow skis?
Do-it-all skis with narrower waists (85mm-92mm), a more moderate rocker profile primarily in the tip, more camber underfoot, and a flatter tail. This kind of profile orients all-mountain narrow skis towards the frontside of the mountain, and these skis generally perform best on groomed terrain or in the bumps. While rockered tips add some versatility, these skis are not designed to be skied in powder.
What size skis should I buy?
Women-specific skis generally come in lengths between 150cm-175cm. While women are usually coached to buy shorter skis because they will be lighter and easier to turn, the idea that women should be skiing short skis is outdated. Ski length should depend on your height, skiing style, and the sidecut of the ski—not your gender.
Women should be on skis that are at least as long as they are tall. If the ski has minimal tip and tail rocker and therefore more effective edge, intermediate women may want a slightly shorter ski because it will make turn initiation easier. If the ski has significant tip and/or tail rocker and therefore less effective edge, advanced women skiers will want a ski that's longer than they are tall.
Along with the ski's profile, turn radius often affects how quick or maneuverable the ski is. Intermediate skiers should look for a ski with a shorter turn radius (12m-15m) as it will be more responsive, while more advanced skiers who like to ski wider turns at speed may want a ski with a longer turn radius (15-18m).
What is the difference between a groomer ski and a narrow all-mountain ski?
Groomer skis, also referred to as on-piste skis, frontside recreational skis, or carver skis, tend to have narrower waist widths than all-mountain skis (between 70mm-85mm). These skis are designed to perform primarily on groomed terrain and for skiers with a more traditional skiing style—that is, skiers who can edge their turns and carve.
All-mountain narrow skis, on the other hand, are more versatile than strict groomer skis thanks to a wider waist and tip (sometimes also tail) rocker. Narrow all-mountain skis are jacks-of-all-trades, at home on groomed terrain but also designed to handle bumps and off-piste crud. They generally also tend to be more forgiving than narrower, piste-oriented skis because most have a rockered profile and therefore a shorter effective edge, making it easier to initiate turns and slide or pivot turns rather than carve.