The 8 Best Women’s Powder Skis of 2021

With 100-plus underfoot, these powder boards were born to play off-piste.

Think powder planks are flimsy and noodly? Think again. Today’s deep snow skis don’t just surf, they can also turn on a dime and rail at speed.

  • Who: Storm chasers and eternal optimists
  • What: Big sticks featuring more rocker in the tip and tail to help you stay afloat
  • Where: Let the snow report be your guide

BEST IN TEST: Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free

2021 Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free Women's Deep Snow Ski
2021 Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free Women’s Best in Test Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Nordica

A lot has changed about the Santa Ana 110 this year, though one thing hasn’t: She still dominates in powder and crud. But this year, she’s not just a top choice for ladies who know how to bend a stiff ski. The all-new Santa Ana 110 Free makes skiing deep snow effortless even for intermediates thanks to only one layer of metal, and a tip using less heavy plastic in the sidewall to further reduce the ski’s swing weight. Testers gushed about how quick, fun, and forgiving the new version is not just in the pow, but everywhere else, too. Bremner: “Exceptionally energetic and inspiring.”

Watch: SKI Reviews – Nordica Santa Ana Family

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2021 Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.32/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 161, 169, 177
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 139-110-128
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 15.5 (169 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

Head Kore 105

2021 Head Kore 105 All-Mountain Wide and Deep Snow Ski
The 2021 Head Kore 105 Women’s Deep Snow SkisPhoto courtesy of Head

Testers unanimously agreed that you can do no wrong on the Kore 105, calling this unisex ski exceptionally balanced and accessible to skiers of varying abilities. Thanks to Head’s lightweight Kore design, our female testers were able to command this ski without issue, changing up turn shapes at will and ranking it one of the quickest skis in the category. They also loved how this narrower pow ski performed on hard snow and on edge, agreeing it would also make a great all-mountain wide ski. Barnes: “I expected burliness but got buttery and playful with a side of solid.”

2021 Head Kore 105 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 3.98/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 162, 171, 180, 189
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 135-105-125
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 17.8 (180 cm length)
  • MSRP: $875

BEST VALUE: K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance

2021 K2 Mindbender 115c Alliance Women's Deep Snow Ski
The 2021 K2 Mindbender 115c Alliance Women’s Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of K2

Patience is key to understanding the new women’s Mindbender 115C. Testers who hopped on and tried to send it without first getting to know this ski ended up working harder than necessary. More patient skiers realized that if you let this ski do its thing—that is, rip huge arcs down the fall line—it really comes to life for you. Featuring a maple/aspen core, K2’s Spectral Braid, and the brand’s Powder Rocker profile, this ski was designed to charge the steep and deep. Gibbons: “Versatile, high-performance powder ski for a confident skier.” 

2021 K2 Mindbender 115c Alliance Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.11/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 165, 172, 179
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 140-115-129
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 20.4 (172 cm length)
  • MSRP: $850

Fischer Ranger 115 FR

2021 Fischer Ranger 115 FR deep snow ski
The 2021 Fischer Ranger 115 FR Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Fischer

“A ski for ladies who choose their ski days wisely and call in sick on pow days,” as one tester put it. With 115mm underfoot, a Titanal mounting plate, and a twin-tip profile, the new Ranger 115 FR was born to crush mega pow days. But this ski will also bust through crud left between storms and hold an edge on dry days, making it more versatile than a pure deep snow ski. That said, forgiveness is not one of its strong suits and it prefers skiers who will go along for the high-speed ride down the steeps. Northrop: “Welcome to the Indy 500 on skis! Wants a rippin’ lady.” 

Watch: SKI Reviews – Fischer Ranger FR Line

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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

Blizzard Sheeva 11

2021 Blizzard Sheeva 11 Women's Deep Snow Ski
2021 Blizzard Sheeva 11 Women’s Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Blizzard

You’d be hard-pressed to find another powder ski that can keep up with the Sheeva 11 on firmer snow. Testers were impressed by how stable this fat ski felt on edge—but then, this ski’s construction, featuring a multi-layer wood core, Titanal, and carbon, was designed to come alive at speed. The downside to this beefy construction: The Sheeva 11 is not the most user-friendly pow ski in the category. But if you’re willing to throw your weight around, the Sheeva 11 will reward you. Barnes: “Like a rocket ship—will launch you down the steep and deep.” 

2021 Blizzard Sheeva 11 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.08/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 156, 164, 172, 180, 188
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 139-112-129
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 16 (164 cm length)
  • MSRP: $840

Völkl Blaze 106 W

2021 Völkl Blaze 106W Women's Deep Snow Ski
The 2021 Völkl Blaze 106 W Women’s Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Völkl

Testers who ski with an aggressive, forward stance loved the new Blaze 106 W, calling it maneuverable and poppy yet stable at speed. Those who don’t drive their skis so hard had a difficult time coaxing this ski’s playful personality out of her. With a multi-layer wood core and Titanal power plate, this ski isn’t the lightest in the category and does require steering. But if you’re on top of her, she’ll do it all for you with gusto. Bremner: “Tremendously balanced and has a flex that eats up bumps like mini-apps (we all know how big the bumps are in actuality).”

2021 Völkl Blaze 106 W Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.05/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 158, 165, 172
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 146-106-128
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 14 (165 cm length)
  • MSRP: $700

Salomon QST Stella 106

2021 Salomon QST Stella 106 Women's Deep Snow Ski
2021 Salomon Stella 106 Women’s Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Salomon

One of the favorites from the All-Mountain Wide category last year made its debut in the Deep Snow category at the test this year. Testers still loved it, but called it an all-mountain ski with powder capabilities—not necessarily a bad thing for most female skiers. Ladies loved its happy-go-lucky attitude, responsiveness in tight places, and willingness to show up in crud. More accessible to intermediates than most in this category, this ski would make for a great introductory ski to playing in pow. Geary: “Ego-builder ski! Like a Labrador, happy and eager to please.”

2021 Salomon QST Stella 106 Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.00/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 159, 167, 174
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 137-106-123
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 17 (167 cm length)
  • MSRP: $900

Atomic Backland 107 W

2021 Atomic Backland 107 W Women's Deep Snow Ski
The 2021 Atomic Backland 107 W Women’s Deep Snow SkiPhoto courtesy of Atomic

The new Backland line was designed primarily for backcountry touring, though testers found the women’s Backland 107 also makes an approachable pow ski for the back bowls of the resort. Atomic’s HRZN Tip tech places a horizontal rocker in the nose of the ski, and testers agreed the increased surface area combined with the ski’s lightweight core promotes exceptional float. The one complaint: the tip tended to deflect in crud and at high speeds. Gleason: “Light and feathery. Great for untracked powder like coming out of an apron of a couloir.”

Watch: SKI Reviews – Atomic Backland 107 W and Backland 117

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The 2021 Atomic Backland 107 W Factsheet

  • Overall Rating: 4.00/5
  • Available Lengths (In Centimeters): 159, 167, 175
  • Tip-Waist-Tail Dimensions (In Millimeters): 136-107-123
  • Turn Radius (In Meters): 15.8 (167 cm length)
  • MSRP: $850

People Also Ask

What are the best powder skis for women?

  1. Nordica Santa Ana 110 Free
  2. Head Kore 105
  3. K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance
  4. Fischer Ranger 115 FR
  5. Blizzard Sheeva 11
  6. Völkl Blaze 106 W
  7. Salomon QST Stella 106
  8. Atomic Backland 107 W

What are powder skis?

Skis with wide waists (generally more than 100mm underfoot), a big shovel and more tail rocker. The big shovel and wide waist increase the surface area of the ski, allowing it to float above the snow rather than dive into the snow like narrower skis with more moderate tip rocker would. Because powder skis generally have more significant rocker than all-mountain skis, the effective edge length is reduced, meaning powder skis don’t perform as well on groomed, hardpack snow. Powder skis are also usually heavier than narrower skis because more materials are used in the construction.

What length powder ski 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.

Women should be on skis that are at least as long as they are tall. This is especially true for powder skis, since they generally have more tip and tail rocker and therefore less effective edge, meaning the ski will ski shorter than its actual length.

Women’s Powder Skis at a Glance:

  • Who: Powder-seekers anonymous; those who recently got out of a snowcat or heli
  • What: CAUTION: Wide Loads
  • Where: First tram, rope drops, and untouched fields of dreamy powder

2020’s Best Deep Snow Skis for Women

Renee Geary testing powder skis at Monarch Mountain
Tester Renée Geary feasting on powder at Monarch Mountain, Colo.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

BEST IN TEST: 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 110

Nordica Santa Ana 110 2020
The 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 110.Photo courtesy of Nordica

A wide-waisted ski that excels in both flotation and hard snow performance is a unicorn, something believed to only exist in a skier’s fantasy. And yet, here is the Santa Ana 110, a women’s-specific powder charger with a balsa wood core sandwiched between two sheets of metal that took home top scores in seven out of nine skill departments. The most versatile ski in powder skiing. [$900, BUY NOW]

Nordica Santa Ana 110 Overall Score: 4.31/5

2020 Head Kore 105

Head Kore 105 w pow ski
The 2020 Head Kore 105 Unisex Ski.Photo courtesy of Head

Technically a unisex ski—but technically awesome—the Kore 105 comes loaded with the same great tech as the award-winning Kore 99 W in a wider body better suited to storm chasing. Featuring a responsive Karuba wood core reinforced with a graphene-Koroyd-carbon integration, this ski blends quickness, flotation, and stability at speed. [$875, BUY NOW]

Head Kore 105 Overall Score: 3.98/5

2020 Armada ARW 116 VJJ

Armada ARW 116 VJJ ski 2020
The Armada ARW 116 VJJ for 2020.Photo courtesy of Armada

The fattest ski in this category also got major props for how well it handled less than favorable snow conditions (read: the days between storms). The VJJ can smear even in crud, while a poplar-ash wood core makes the ski light yet damp and powerful. Fans of the Armada Trace 108 who are looking for something a little fatter and with more backbone will dig the reinvented ARW 116 VJJ. [$825, BUY NOW]

Armada ARW 116 VJJ Overall Score: 3.65/5

2020 Blizzard Sheeva 11

Blizzard Sheeva 11 ski 2020
The 2020 Blizzard Sheeva 11.Photo courtesy of Blizzard

Despite a fat waist, the Sheeva 11 chomps at the bit to be engaged on edge and will do whatever you ask it to—float, dance through trees, charge the bumps—as long as you go fast. The ski received the lowest marks in Forgiveness but wears that distinction like a badge of honor. Ladies keen on charging will love the Sheeva 11’s damp multi-layer wood core and aggressive demeanor. [$840, BUY NOW]

Blizzard Sheeva 11 Overall Score: 3.63/5

2020 Völkl 100Eight W

Volkl 100Eight W Ski
The 2020 Völkl 100Eight W.Photo courtesy of Völkl

This ski has a full rocker profile, but you wouldn’t know it from the way it performs in packed powder, crud, and even the groomers. Thanks to a damp multi-layer wood core reinforced with lightweight yet sturdy carbon stringers, the women’s 100Eight is a powder-meets-all-mountain ski that will keep you afloat on deep days but also shine on days when the snow report misled you. [$825, BUY NOW]

Völkl 100Eight W Overall Score: 3.57/5

2020 Atomic Vantage 107 C W

Atomic Vantage 107 C W ski 2020
The 2020 Atomic Vantage 107 C W.Photo courtesy of Atomic

Surfing powder is supposed to be fun, and the Vantage 107 C W delivers on that front. Testers loved its Powder Rocker, which makes initiating turns and weaving in and out of Monarch’s tight trees a piece of cake. Atomic lends its new Prolite construction and carbon tank mesh technology to this powder ski, minimizing weight despite the wider waist, and certainly maximizing performance. [$775, BUY NOW]

Atomic Vantage 107 C W Overall Score: 3.35/5

The 9 Best Women’s Powder Skis of 2019

Kristi Brown at Deer Valley
Tester Kristi Brown at Deer Valley.Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

Sometimes size does matter, ladies, especially if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that sees regular double-digit snowfall throughout the season. And today’s powder boards don’t have to be relegated to powder days because the offerings in this category are more versatile than ever: more sidecut, more camber, more manageable waist widths, and shorter turn radii.

BEST IN TEST & BEST VALUE: 2019 Blizzard Sheeva 10

Women's powder ski Blizzard Sheeva 10
Photo courtesy of Blizzard

The Sheeva 10 wins the category not for being the most surfy, but for being the most versatile. A layer of Titanal underfoot gives it torsional rigidity while carbon in the tips and tails allows for more torsional twist, making it easier and more playful in pow. It all adds up to a solid foundation with a light touch. “A great powder ski for the intermediate or an all-mountain tool for the hard-charger,” said Gleason. Read more about the Blizzard Sheeva 10 here.

  • Strength: Forgiveness, Balance of Skills; Weakness: Stability at Speed
  • Overall Rating: 4.25 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 132-102-122
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 156, 164, 172
  • Radius (in meters): 14.5
  • MSRP: $720

2019 Armada Trace 108

Women's powder ski Armada Trace 108
Photo courtesy of Armada

Today’s Armadas are versatile enough for the mainstream yet anything but boring. The Trace 108 is case in point—it shines with personality. It’s a playful powerhouse that floated through powder dreamily and had the backbone to bite into hardpack. The layup? Xrystal Mesh to damp the ski’s rebound, camber underfoot, rocker fore and aft. “Smooth and flowy,” said Knight. Check out more details about the Armada Trace 108 here.

  • Strength: Flotation, Playfulness; Weakness: Crud Performance
  • Overall Rating: 4.07 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 132-108-125
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 156, 164, 172
  • Radius (in meters): 17
  • MSRP: $825

2019 Elan Ripstick 102 W

Elan RipStick 102 W women's powder ski
Photo courtesy of Elan

It’s ticking with whiz-bang tech, like Vapor Tip inserts and Tubelight wood core, but all you need to know is that the Ripstick 102 is a lively shredder. This ski can weave through the trees, carve perfect arcs on groomers, and float above the crud. A few testers dinged the shorter length for Stability at Speed, but those who skied the longer length had no quibbles. Ambrogi-Yanson: “Nimble and easy to drive.” See more info about the Elan Ripstick 102 W here.

  • Strength: Quickness, Balance of Skills; Weakness: Stability at Speed
  • Overall Rating: 4 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 143-102-120
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 156, 163, 170, 177
  • Radius (in meters): 17
  • MSRP: $800

2019 Nordica Santa Ana 110

Nordica Santa Ana 18-19 women's powder ski
Photo courtesy of Nordica

The Santa Ana 110 is a refined thoroughbred: smooth, solid, and dependable. Nordica sandwiches a lightweight wood core in two sheets of metal, giving this ski a damp and stable feel. It has the width to float above the bottom chunder in moderate pow and is utterly unflappable in afternoon chop. Generous camber underfoot makes it more directional than smeary, and remains best for advanced and expert skiers who like to go fast. “There for you when you need it,” said Gleason. Read more about the Nordica Santa Ana 110 here.

  • Strength: Stability at Speed, Flotation; Weakness: Playfulness
  • Overall Rating: 3.94 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters): 139-110-128
  • Lengths (In Centimeters): 161, 169, 177
  • Radius (In Meters): 15.5
  • MSRP: $899 (BUY NOW)

2019 Rossignol Soul 7 HD W

2018/2019 Rossignol Soul 7 HD W ski
Photo courtesy of Rossignol

If you don’t already know all about the seminal Soul 7, you should probably stop reading and reconsider your priorities. This iteration is amplified with a carbon and basalt fabric that makes the ski more damp and crisp (“high-def”) without compromising its playfulness. Now in its second year, the Soul 7 HD continued to wow testers with its easygoing nature and can-do attitude in soft snow (No. 1 in Flotation). It’s a teaching tool for intermediates and a solid standby for experts. “Super forgiving and easy,” said Gibbons. See more of the Rossignol Soul 7 HD W’s scores here.

  • Strength: Flotation; Weakness: Stability at Speed
  • Overall Rating: 3.94 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 136-106-126
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 156, 164, 172
  • Radius (in meters): 16
  • MSRP: $850 (BUY NOW)

2019 Black Crows Atris Birdie

18-19 Black Crows atris birdie women's powder ski
Photo courtesy of Black Crows

This was the first year the Chamonix brand entered our SKI Test melee, marking its success breaking into the U.S. market. (Its brilliant “soft launch” campaign was to send free skis to all the rad local Jackson bros a few years back.) Our team of discriminating testers were impressed, deeming the Atris Birdie a strong contender and awarding it a No. 2 score in Overall Impression. It’s floaty, stable, grippy, confidence inspiring, and fun. “Playful, dynamic, and versatile,” said Greene. Find out more about the Black Crows Atris Birdie here.

  • Strength: Overall Impression; Weakness: Quickness
  • Overall Rating: 3.93 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 136-108-123
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 160, 169, 178
  • Radius (in meters): 20
  • MSRP: $800 (BUY NOW)

2019 Salomon QST Stella 106

2018/2019 Salomon QST Stella 106
Photo courtesy of Salomon

Testers loved the Stella but quibbled about why: Some felt it was light and snappy, others burly and rock-solid. Perhaps it’s a sign of this model’s versatility—it can shape-shift to be whatever you want. A super-light Spaceframe wood core underfoot sticks solidly to the snow on groomed, and airy tips and tails surf and play in the fluff. Easy to lay over, it ripped instantly on the scraped-off groomer at the top of the lift and truly got into its groove in the powdery trees. Bremner: “Smooth entry, calm hold, and lovely exit.” See more scores for the Salomon QST Stella 106 here.

  • Strengths: Flotation, Crud Performance; Weakness: Forgiveness
  • Overall Rating: 3.93 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 136-106-124
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 159, 167, 174
  • Radius (in meters): 20
  • MSRP: $850 (BUY NOW)

2019 Atomic Vantage 107 C W

18-19 Atomic Vantage 107c W women's powder ski
Photo courtesy of Atomic

The new Vantage 107 C W is a continuation of Atomic’s quest to produce the lightest and strongest gear in the Multiverse. The addition of space-age Carbon Tank Mesh made the ski so stiff that “burly” was a common refrain. Most appreciated its muscle when plowing through afternoon chop, but a few smaller testers complained about a stiff tail that wouldn’t release (likely due to a long test length). Best piloted by turbo-boost-loving experts in soft snow. Brown: “Awesome float and power through crud.” Check out the rest of the Atomic Vantage 107 C W’s scores here.

  • Strengths: Crud Performance, Stability at Speed; Weakness: Playfulness
  • Overall Rating: 3.93 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (in millimeters): 135-107-122
  • Lengths (in centimeters): 159, 167, 175
  • Radius (in meters): 16.4
  • MSRP: $775 (BUY NOW)

2019 Stöckli Stormrider 105

18-19 Stöckli Stormrider105 women's powder ski
Photo courtesy of Stöckli

Screw lightweight—this warhorse bludgeoned its way to the winners’ circle. The Stormrider is more of an all-terrain crusher than pow ski. It’s technically unisex, but even unisexuals would have to eat their spinach to steer this bad boy. With a full wood core sandwiched by two sheets of man-eating metal and handcrafted in the Swiss factory (hence the price), it’s smooth, precise, and believes that pain is weakness leaving the body. “Powerful ski for the gal who wants to charge,” said Gibbons. Read more about the Stöckli Stormrider 105 here.

  • Strengths: Stability at Speed, Hard-Snow Integrity; Weakness: Playfulness
  • Overall Rating 3.72 / 5
  • Tip / Waist / Tail (In Millimeters) 137-105-127
  • Lengths (In Centimeters) 159, 168, 177, 186
  • Radius (In Meters) 16.9
  • MSRP: $1,199 (BUY NOW)

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