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Best Women's Skis of 2016

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The Samba combines a classic square-sidewall, directional design with a lightweight core, giving this ski a strong and traditional yet graceful feel.…

The Samba combines a classic square-sidewall, directional design with a lightweight core, giving this ski a strong and traditional yet graceful feel. The early-rise tip and tail love to sniff off-piste for adventure, and camber underfoot aches to rip into the groomers. A 98-millimeter waist is beefy enough to stand up to any terrain and to bigger, more powerful skiers, but it’s also light enough not to be exhausting for your quads. “You can trust it. Anywhere,” said a tester. “Seriously saucy,” said another.

Dimensions: 131/98/116

Lengths: 152, 159, 166, 173

Radius: 19 

Price: $780

More on these skis here.

Less weight, more strength. That’s what the R&D guys spend most of their time obsessing over, and the latest innovation from Atomic’s war room is…

Less weight, more strength. That’s what the R&D guys spend most of their time obsessing over, and the latest innovation from Atomic’s war room is Carbon Tank Mesh. The CTiW has a layer of the stuff, along with a strip of metal laminate along its length, to make it über-stable. Testers agreed this ski is the ultimate crud crusher, with tenacious edge bite and a generous shovel that blasts through anything in its path. It’s balanced and versatile with a “super-clean feel.”

Dimensions: 129/90/113  

Lengths: 153, 161, 169 

Radius: 14.9 (161)

Price: $725

More on these skis here

 


The Aura is interesting: two sheets of titanium give it the backbone of a race-bred carver, and gradual full rocker gives it the attitude of a…

The Aura is interesting: two sheets of titanium give it the backbone of a race-bred carver, and gradual full rocker gives it the attitude of a laid-back pow surfer. No wonder it earned top scores in both Edge Grip and Flotation. Last year CK Völkl made this classic charger more approachable, but testers once again didn’t find it lacking in bite or snow contact. “Zippy and powerful,” said a tester. “Velvety transitions,” said another.

Dimensions: 132/100/118

Lengths: 156, 163, 170

Radius: 19.3 at 163

Price: $875

More on these skis here.

The only ski in the series with metal in it, and with good old grippy camber underfoot, the 100 was especially appreciated by our arc-loving…

The only ski in the series with metal in it, and with good old grippy camber underfoot, the 100 was especially appreciated by our arc-loving ex-racers. As you’d expect, it has a traditional feel, and you can’t ski it on cruise control while thinking about your grocery list. But chuck it into that tight chute and you can trust it with your life. “Great everyday ripper for someone charging the whole mountain.”

Dimensions: 140/100/130

Lengths: 166, 174

Radius 16 at 166

Price: $850

More on these skis here. 

New to the Nordica collection, the Santa Ana is the sister of the Enforcer. It has a balsa-wood core, which is intended to give the damp strength of…

New to the Nordica collection, the Santa Ana is the sister of the Enforcer. It has a balsa-wood core, which is intended to give the damp strength of metal without the weight. Testers loved it for being a hard-charging yet playful ride, a nice mix of old-and new-school tech. It feels smeary and smooth in soft snow yet has the ability to rail turns on bulletproof. “A solid ski you can trust to haul ass on, yet was very maneuverable.”

Dimensions: 133/100/121

Lengths: 153, 161, 169, 177

Radius: 15.5 at 169

Price:$799

More on these skis here. 

Unlike the Temptation 100 that medaled in this category, the Savory 7 is one you can use on autopilot. “So easy, I planned my dinner party and put on…

Unlike the Temptation 100 that medaled in this category, the Savory 7 is one you can use on autopilot. “So easy, I planned my dinner party and put on ChapStick while skiing soft bumps,” a tester wrote. Many test cards described it as familiar and safe, predictable and reliable. Overall, it’s a comfortable ski that would be great for a huge range of women. “You can smear an easygoing turn or turn it up to high performance,” said another tester. 

Dimensions: 136/106/126

Lengths: 162, 170, 178

Radius: 17 at 178

Price: $850

More on these skis here. 

“It’s like borrowing your dad’s car: stable, reliable, surefooted.” This ski hugs the ground and prefers long, fast arcs. It laughs at the afternoon…

“It’s like borrowing your dad’s car: stable, reliable, surefooted.” This ski hugs the ground and prefers long, fast arcs. It laughs at the afternoon chunder that throws lesser boards around. Featuring graphene, a post-Space Age material only one atom thick, the Great Joy manages to be both light and strong—the holy grail of ski construction. It’s not particularly playful or nimble, but it loves to mach through all snow conditions. Best driven by experts.

Dimensions: 141/98/124  

Lengths153, 158, 163, 168, 173  

Radius: 14.3 (168)

Price: $750
More on these skis here. 
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The Kenja has long been a favorite with our testers, but this year Völkl makes it even better. A new tapered tip lets it dive into turns…

The Kenja has long been a favorite with our testers, but this year Völkl makes it even better. A new tapered tip lets it dive into turns effortlessly, and more rocker makes it more playful and forgiving than its predecessor. A slightly wider waist adds versatility and enlarges the sweet spot so it performs even when you’re not 100 percent on it. Meanwhile, Völkl doesn’t fix what’s not broken: A wood core with a sheet of metal maintains its grip on groomers for that stuck-to-the-snow feel. “This ski does it all.”

Dimensions127/90/106

Lengths: 153,161,169

Radius: 16 at 169

Price: $825.00

More on these skis here.

Less weight, more strength. That’s what the R&D guys spend most of their time obsessing over, and the latest innovation from Atomic’s war room is…

Less weight, more strength. That’s what the R&D guys spend most of their time obsessing over, and the latest innovation from Atomic’s war room is Carbon Tank Mesh. The CTiW has a layer of the stuff, along with a titanium strip along its length, to make it über-stable. Testers agreed this ski is the ultimate crud crusher, with tenacious edge bite and a generous shovel that blasts through anything in its path. It’s balanced and versatile with a “super-clean feel.”

Dimensions: 130.5/90/114

Lengths: 153, 161, 169

Radius: 16 at 169

Price: $725.00

More on these skis here

A perennial favorite, the Black Pearl is a rare gem indeed: a hard-charger that’s never punishing. It’s quick and responsive, anticipating your moves…

A perennial favorite, the Black Pearl is a rare gem indeed: a hard-charger that’s never punishing. It’s quick and responsive, anticipating your moves before you make them. It rails on groomed and is eager to coax the tentative into an honest carve. It’s smooth, calm, and balanced, with a rebound energy that instantly puts a smile on your face. “It’s appropriate for so many skier types,” said a tester.

Dimensions: 115/78/100

Lengths: 151, 156, 163, 170

Radius: 16 at 163

Price: $750.00

More on these skis here.

“It seems like the whole ski is a sweet spot,” lauded a tester. “It’s ridiculously easy to recover from being too forward or back,” said another. The…

“It seems like the whole ski is a sweet spot,” lauded a tester. “It’s ridiculously easy to recover from being too forward or back,” said another. The Saffron 7 is a nimble, fun, easy everyday partner. It has light swing weight for pivotability and generous tip rocker (which some complained was too much for the category) for surfing over crud. It’s not going to slice through ice, though, so it’s best suited for softer Western snow. It’s one of the more versatile options ability-wise.

Dimensions: 128-98-118

Lengths: 162, 170, 178

Radius: 16

Price: $700

For more info on this ski, click here.

There’s just something about the Temptation series. These skis feel buttery and calm, and they trench on groomed so easily, testers said the 88 felt…

There’s just something about the Temptation series. These skis feel buttery and calm, and they trench on groomed so easily, testers said the 88 felt like a “turning machine.” You’ll be grazing your hip on the ground, and at the end of the day your thighs will think you’ve just been walking the dog. Air Tip reduces swing weight (and makes pretty patterns when the sun shines through), and the wood core is responsive and solid. “Energetic carving and swooping GS turns.”

Dimensions: 135/88/124  

Lengths: 156, 164, 172
Radius: 13 (164)

Price: $750

More on these skis here.

The all-new Glory line is the women’s version of Dynastar’s well-received Powertrack series and is one of the more piste-centric offerings of the…

The all-new Glory line is the women’s version of Dynastar’s well-received Powertrack series and is one of the more piste-centric offerings of the group. “Creamy and smooth, quiet and controlled,” said a tester. “Dynamic and eager, yet polished,” said another. It has plenty of energy in and out of the turn, and a Cham-like pintail makes for easy transitions and maneuverability. It’s an expert ski that expects good input, but it never makes unreasonable demands. Rockered tip and tail, camber underfoot.

Dimensions: 125/89/109

Lengths: 159, 166, 173

Radius: 17 at 173

Price: $700.00

More on these skis here. 

News flash: K2 thinks skiing is fun. And testers found it refreshing to ski something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The most playful and…

News flash: K2 thinks skiing is fun. And testers found it refreshing to ski something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The most playful and forgiving ski in the category by far, the new OoolaLuv is a party on your feet. It has a relatively soft flex despite a layer of metal in the construction, and it’s quick and responsive. It’s a great tool for intermediate skiers to grow on, and it can stand up to most experts’ pressure. “You can get away with everything,” said a tester.

Dimensions: 126/85/114  

Lengths: 156, 163, 170
Radius: 14 (163)

Price: $850

More on these skis here

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Leave it to this Austrian brand with a strong race heritage to develop a women’s powder ski that still rips on groomed. It has the expected rocker…

Leave it to this Austrian brand with a strong race heritage to develop a women’s powder ski that still rips on groomed. It has the expected rocker fore and aft to surf through deep, but camber underfoot gives it unsurpassed snow contact when it comes to getting back to the lift. While it’s not the widest ski we tested, and therefore not a pure flotation machine, the Sheeva is the most versatile pow ski in the bunch. (Which, in the hard-snow conditions we tested in, might account for its superhero score.) “You can read the snow through your feet,” said a tester.

Dimensions: 134/104/124

Lengths: 158, 165, 172, 179

Radius: 17

Price: $720.00

More on these skis here. 

The Century 109 is just plain well built, and testers had nothing but good things to say. “Fun and zippy on the groomers and easy to maneuver…

The Century 109 is just plain well built, and testers had nothing but good things to say. “Fun and zippy on the groomers and easy to maneuver off-piste,” said one. “A huge variety of ladies would love it,” said another. It lets you set its agenda—push it hard and the fangs come out, back it off and it politely defers—but it never lacks its own personality. It’s solid, stable, and responsive. Rockered tip and tail for float, camber underfoot for grip, and a lightweight wood core reinforced with carbon for added stability.

Dimensions: 133/109/123

Lengths: 159, 167, 175

Radius: 16.5 at 167 

Price: $725.00

More on these skis here.

 

One tester said it best: “This ski is dynamic, sophisticated, and well bred.” With impeccable manners, it smoothly transitions from pow to groomed to…

One tester said it best: “This ski is dynamic, sophisticated, and well bred.” With impeccable manners, it smoothly transitions from pow to groomed to chunder, with just enough edge to keep things exciting. It’s stable and has a smooth and buttery feel. The core in the rockered tip and tail has honeycomb cutouts, which decrease swing weight to make the ski pivoty and nimble. It’s super forgiving for the lesser skilled but will happily chuck itself into tight trees and dicey couloirs for the adventurous set. “You could lay it over and charge, or relax and have fun.”

Dimensions: 140/116/130

Lengths: 162, 170, 178, 188

Radius: 17

Price:$850.00

More on these skis here. 

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Very rarely does a ski rip so hard and still maintain a sense of humor. Strong in both grip and ease, it will bound down the fall line like a tiger…

Very rarely does a ski rip so hard and still maintain a sense of humor. Strong in both grip and ease, it will bound down the fall line like a tiger one minute and then purr quietly like a kitten the next. It’s extremely energetic, thanks to a lightweight wood core, happily popping in and out of turns. Full camber throughout the midbody and tail gives it great snow contact and edge grip, and a rockered tip keeps it approachable for less aggressive skiers. “A ripping good time,” said one tester.

Dimensions: 125/83/103

Lengths: 147, 154, 161, 168

Radius: 17.1 at 161

Price: $650

More on these skis here. 

Testers were psyched that Scott made it into the winners’ circle with a strong and energetic carver. “Should have been called Black Velvet,” said one…

Testers were psyched that Scott made it into the winners’ circle with a strong and energetic carver. “Should have been called Black Velvet,” said one tester about the Black Majic’s smooth and manageable feel. “Superhappyfuntimes!” gushed another. It has a strong sidewall construction for superior hold, and the generous sidecut invites you to lay it all the way over.

Dimensions: 120/76/110

Lengths: 157, 167

Radius: 18

Price: $900

More on these skis here

The Temptation 84 was polarizing. “Smearing didn’t faze this ski at all,” said one tester. “Best on edges, carving only, very sharp,” said another.…

The Temptation 84 was polarizing. “Smearing didn’t faze this ski at all,” said one tester. “Best on edges, carving only, very sharp,” said another. We think that’s probably because its smooth feel belies the torsional beast inside. It may eat crud for breakfast, but it always puts the napkin on its lap. No metal here, just wood-core responsiveness with carbon dampening. By all accounts, a capable trencher.

Dimensions: 133/84/120 

Lengths: 146, 154, 162, 170

Radius: 12 (162)

Price: $650

More on these skis here