From early season laps to encouraging ladies to get comfortable on edge, these frontside tools with slimmer waists take skiing back to the fundamentals.

If you live on the East Coast, or you just prefer your snow groomed whenever possible, then these are great do-it-all skis. They have traditional camber and more edge contact to stick to snow like white on rice. So pick a groomer—or a mogul field—and put these tools to some good use.

BEST IN TEST: Head Total Joy

2020 HEAD Total Joy

The 2020 Best in Test Head Total Joy.

The Total Joy touts much of the same technology as Head’s KORE series—a karuba wood core, Allride Rocker, and graphene in the tip and tail to lighten the load. That said, the Total Joy is an entirely different ride. With an 85mm waist, she’s more at home carving corduroy at speed than smearing turns in bumps and crud. And while the KORE 93W will gladly help an intermediate skier break through, the Total Joy prefers already confident skiers who like to get edgy with it. Geary: “Super snappy."

Head Total Joy Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.27 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 134-85-113
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 148, 153, 158, 163, 168
  • Radius (In Meters): 14
  • MSRP: $750 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Best in Test Head Total Joy

BEST VALUE: Fischer My Pro MT 86

2020 Fischer My Pro MT 86

The 2020 Fischer My Pro MT 86.

Testers named the My Pro MT 86 the quickest ski in the frontside category, praising it for its responsiveness and playful edge-to-edge transfer that allows for all kinds of turn shapes, but particularly zippy slalom turns. While similar to the My Ranger 96 Ti in construction, the My Pro MT 86 features Air Carbon instead of Air Tec in the core, making it lightweight while adding dampness to make it reliable and steady at speed on hardpack. Kennen: “Fun on and off the groomer. Perfect blend of pop and dampness.”

Fischer My Pro MT 86 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.24 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 127-86-114
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 147, 154, 161, 168
  • Radius (In Meters): 15
  • MSRP: $550

Read more about 2020's Best Value Fischer My Pro MT 86

Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion

2020 Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion

The 2020 Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion.

Our testers unanimously agree that this ski is worth the higher price point. They loved the SR 85 Motion last season, and continue to applaud the new model as a fun frontside tool that will do anything you tell it to—before you’ve even formulated your command. Featuring a beefy sandwich sidewall, a lightweight balsa-Pachaco wood core, and a women’s-specific flex pattern, the Stormrider 85 Motion is the perfect blend of burly and playful in a narrow package. Humes: “Off-road ski that performs on-piste like a boss.” 

Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.2 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 129-85-113
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 154, 161, 168
  • Radius (In Meters): 14.4
  • MSRP: $999

Read more about the Stöckli Stormrider 85 Motion

Elan Ripstick 88 W

2020 Elan Ripstick 88 W

The 2020 Elan Ripstick 88 W

Think the Ripstick 94 W is hot? You should see her sister. The all-new Ripstick 88 W features the same technology and construction as the Ripstick 94 W, but thanks to a slimmer bod she’s even more agile and maneuverable. While the Ripstick 88 W prefers to live life on edge and favors those who ski accordingly, she’s just as eager to show off in the bumps for the right skier. Krause: “These skis move real fast and can handle the speed. For women who dabble in hard snow or bumps.” 

Elan Ripstick 88 W Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.15 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 130-88-105
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 149, 156, 163, 170, 177
  • Radius (In Meters): 14.2
  • MSRP: $700 [BUY NOW]

More scores for the 2020 Elan Ripstick 88 W

Völkl Kenja 88

2020 Völkl Kenja 88

The 2020 Völkl Kenja 88.

If your mission is to slice up the frontside, you’ll want a ski that’s well versed in the art of the carve underfoot. Surprisingly light considering its multi-layer wood core reinforced with Titanal, the Kenja 88 moves with agility and speed over the mountain, leaving precise slashes in the snow in her wake. Strong ladies will love this ski both on and off-piste, while intermediates may find the ski easier to command on groomed terrain. Northrop: “Moves through terrain like it’s been there before and knows the way.” 

Völkl Kenja 88 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.13 / 5 
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 129-88-111
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 149, 156, 163, 170
  • Radius (In Meters): 15
  • MSRP: $775 [BUY NOW]

Check out more details for the 2020 Völkl Kenja 88

Nordica Santa Ana 88

2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88

The 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88.

Nordica’s Santa Ana freeride line now includes a model specifically designed for early season laps. The Santa Ana 88 features a new lighter weight, vibration-damping tip and full-length carbon stringers to increase quickness and maneuverability. While this ski performs best on edge, it will let you smear and pivot turns in the bumps if you ask nicely. Only the most willful skiers will get the Santa Ana 88 to perform in the chop. Northrop: “This ski has pent-up energy that wants to be released at every turn.”

Nordica Santa Ana 88 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.02 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 119-88-107
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 151, 158, 165, 172
  • Radius (In Meters): 15
  • MSRP: $700 [BUY NOW]

See the 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88' full scoresheet

Stöckli Laser AR

2020 Stockli Laser AR

The 2020 Stöckli Laser AR

The unisex Laser AR is a member of Stöckli’s race-inspired line and skis accordingly. Similar in construction to the Laser AX, the Laser AR has a slightly wider waist, bigger shovel, and more rocker to make it more versatile and willing to tackle variable snow conditions and terrain. That said, the Laser AR is still primarily a carving machine that will teach intermediates to get comfortable on edge and give advanced skiers exactly what they expect from a Stöckli: an adrenaline rush. Humes: “Set that edge and forget about it.”

Stöckli Laser AR Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 130-83-112
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 154, 161, 168, 175, 182
  • Radius (In Meters): 13.7
  • MSRP: $1,250 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Stöckli Laser AR

Blizzard Black Pearl 88

2020 Blizzard Black Pearl 88

The 2020 Blizzard Black Pearl 88.

The Black Pearl 88 may not be on top this year, but it still rips. Testers praised the Black Pearl for its dependability on groomers and in the crud. Blizzard’s women-specific technology in the lightweight sandwich construction, soft flex, and friendly turning radius continue to make this a ski that will change many women’s lives. Our testers just wished the uni-directional carbon layer in the ski didn’t make the Black Pearl 88 so single-minded.  Robinson: “Has the power to turn an intermediate into an advanced skier.”

Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.9 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 126-88-111
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 145, 152, 159, 166, 173
  • Radius (In Meters): 14
  • MSRP: $720 [BUY NOW]

The Blizzard Black Pearl 88's full score sheet from the 2020 SKI Test

Armada Victa 87ti

2020 Armada Victa 87ti

The 2020 Armada Victa 87ti.

There are days on the hill when you just want to cruise and enjoy the ride. On those days—or if that’s just your M.O.—hop on the Victa 87ti. A directional ski with generous rocker in the tip and a Titanal-meets-poplar wood core that gives the ski just the right amount of backbone, the Victa 87ti butters and pivots like no other in this category. The ski boosts confidence and demonstrates what skiing’s all about: pure, unadulterated fun. Northrop: “Very forgiving and fun, for a lady who wants to play everywhere.”

Armada Victa 87ti Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.77 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 128-86-118.5
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 155, 163, 171
  • Radius (In Meters): 16.5
  • MSRP: $775 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Armada Victa 87ti

Line Pandora 84

2020 Line Pandora 84

The 2020 Line Pandora 84.

Testers expected the Pandora 84 to be nimble and playful. What they didn’t expect was how reliably the ski also holds an edge on hardpack and how seamlessly it transitions between piste and off-piste. Featuring an Aspenlite core, short turn radius, and directional flex pattern, the Pandora 84 is a great teaching tool that will turn beginners into intermediates and coach experts to lay off a little and just have fun. Kennen: “Lively ski with a huge sweet spot that is easy to find, stand over, and rip on.”

Line Pandora 84 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.75 / 5 
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 122-84-110
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 151, 158, 165
  • Radius (In Meters): 13
  • MSRP: $500 [BUY NOW]

See more info for the Line Pandora 84

Liberty V82w

2020 Liberty V82w

The 2020 Liberty V82w.

Liberty hit the nail on the head with its new V-Series, bringing us more directional, frontside-oriented skis than the brand has produced in the past. Combining a multi-wood core with vertical metal struts, a wide yet flat shovel, and a narrower waist than most in this category, the new V82w is the ideal candidate to take on early season and between-storms conditions with its ability to grip on hard snow and slide over bumps. Brown: “Like an extension of my body, barely need to think about the ski.”

Liberty V82w Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.74 / 5 
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 129-82-110
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 151, 158, 165
  • Radius (In Meters): 12.5
  • MSRP: $850 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the 2020 Liberty V82w

Dynastar Intense 4x4 82 Pro

2020 Dynastar Intense 4x4 82 Pro

The 2020 Dynastar Intense 4x4 82 Pro.

The new Intense 4x4 82 Pro divided our testers into two camps. Some thought the ski had precise edge grip on hardpack and also smeared well in the bumps thanks to its rockered tip; others found the ski too planky to enjoy on anything but groomed terrain, but loved the ski’s performance on edge. One tester noted you get out of this ski what you put into it—drive it with intention, and it will serve you as a jack of all trades. Gleason: “The more you put this ski on edge, the more you get out of each turn.”

Dynastar Intense 4x4 82 Pro Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.59 / 5 
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 130-82-110
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 156, 164, 171
  • Radius (In Meters): 16
  • MSRP: $900 with bindings [BUY NOW]

See more scores for the 2020 Dynastar Intense 4x4 82 Pro

People Also Ask

What are frontside skis?

Do-it-all skis with middle-of-the-road waists (81mm-90mm), 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 deep powder.

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