All-Mountain Skis

10 User-Friendly Skis That Will Forgive Your (Occasionally) Sloppy Skiing Habits

These forgiving skis won’t punish you for imperfect form or technique.

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Every year at SKI Test, we ask our testers to rate how forgiving each ski is. In other words, we want to know how user-friendly it is. Because while there are amazing, powerful, exciting skis out there, some of them do not tolerate mistakes. And those skis can be a lot of work.

But some skis are built to be more accommodating and don’t punish you for getting in the back seat every once in a while. These skis tend to be made from lighter-weight materials and feature more rocker in the tip and perhaps the tail.

When rating a ski in the forgiveness category, testers assess whether the ski makes turning, edging, and tackling unfavorable conditions easier. Skis that require a lot of effort or force to bend to the skier’s will, or skis that punish a skier’s imperfect technique, score lower in forgiveness.

On that topic: Are wider skis easier and more forgiving? Our gear experts weigh in

Some of our readers may skip over this category when reading our annual Gear Guide, because a ski’s forgiveness score may be less important to them than, say, stability at speed or hard-snow integrity. But a ski’s forgiveness score can be telling and a good indicator of how much work this ski is going to require from you; or how accessible it will be to intermediates who are still developing their technical skills.

Related: How we rank and review skis in our annual Gear Guide

If you’re someone who values fun, effortless skiing over technical prowess and power, dive into this list of the most forgiving all-mountain skis from SKI’s 2021-’22 test to find a ski that will work with you on the hill, not against you.

2022’s Most Forgiving All-Mountain Skis

Fischer Ranger 94 FR

Though this ski features the same bomber construction as the wider Ranger 102 FR, this version is quicker and more playful thanks to its narrower waist. It’s a supremely fun all-mountain tool for ladies who live for short turns.

  • Forgiveness score: 4.29/5
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 94mm

What testers say

“This ski exudes energy in every turn. Intermediates will grow confidence in leaps and bounds and experts will relish in honing their skills.” —Erika Northrop

Rossignol Black Ops Escaper

Part of Rossignol’s redesigned Black Ops all-mountain line, the Escaper is a slightly scaled-down version of the burlier Sender 102 Ti, though it’s still a solid and dependable ski for all-mountain conditions.

  • Forgiveness score: 4.14/5
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 98mm
2022 Rossignol Black Ops Escaper

What testers say

“Enjoyed these a lot. Versatile and forgiving, playful and fun. Good on all conditions, though probably not ideal on ice. No major complaints, I’d ski them any day.” —Dustin Cook

Armada Declivity 92 Ti

The Declivity 92 Ti may have a skinnier waist for an all-mountain ski, but it’s robust measurements int he tip and tail give it true all-mountain capabilities with a sharp turning radius.

  • Forgiveness score: 4.12/5
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 92mm
2022 Armada Declivity 92 Ti

What testers say

“Armada did a lot of homework and learned lessons from the classic brands. Armada successfully shaped and cultured the Declivity series to build their own ultra user-friendly all-mountain ski. The ski has all the best attributes: it’s stout and stable yet forgiving. A rowdy ski for the masses.” —Matt Schiller

Dynastar M-Pro 99

Testers love light yet sturdy the M-Pro 99 is. Thanks to its wider waist, it offers a stable platform, but it’s still maneuverable and quick thanks to tip and tail rocker and ligtherweight construction materials.

  • Forgiveness score: 4/5
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 99mm

What testers say

“Smooth as. All the way around, these skis were easy and predictable in all terrain and all snow conditions. Arcing long radius turns across groomed terrain is an absolute delight, making shorter skid turns off a groomer into the crud and through moguls is also enjoyable. The skis performed better when driven a bit harder, but is also just fine when ridden without as much input.” —Jon Sexauer

Fischer Ranger 99 Ti

The large sweet spot on the Ranger 99 Ti can coax any skier into a more forward stance and teach them how to drive a ski from the front, which is how this ski likes to be operated.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.96
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 96mm
2022 Fischer Ranger 99 Ti

What testers say

“Stout and stable, has a lot of power behind it. Mere mortals can absolutely still ski it, but has the power for someone who really knows what they’re doing.” —Otto Gibbons

Völkl Secret 96

The new Secret 96 is much more playful and forgiving than her wider sister, the Secret 102, thanks to a new Tailored Titanal frame construction. This makes it more approachable and less demanding than other Völkls.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.94/5
  • Gender: Women’s-specific
  • Waist Width: 96mm
2022 Völkl Secret 96

What testers say

“This is a Secret I want to share with all ladies who want an easy maneuvering ski that they can take off piste to challenge themselves in a variety of terrain.” —Erika Northrop

Stöckli Nela 88

While the Nela 88 technically scored its lowest mark in the Forgiveness category at SKI Test, it still scores higher in that department than most other skis we tested, which is just a testament to how excellent this ski really is.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.9/5
  • Gender: Women’s-specific
  • Waist Width: 88mm
2022 Stöckli Nela 88

What testers say

“An amazingly smooth ski that is still playful and energetic. This was the 21st ski I tested today and it made me feel like it was one of my first. Fresh, easy and confidence wrapped into this ski.” —Tracy Gibbons

Salomon Stance W 94

The Stance W 94 is one smooth operator and continues to impress our ladies with how unflappable it is. It will get you from A to B without drama, and without asking for directions.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.9/5
  • Gender: Women’s-specific
  • Waist Width: 94mm
2022 Salomon Stance W 94

What testers say

“The ski was so comforting it felt like I was on a sleigh ride with a hot toddy.” —Erika Northrop

Armada Reliance 92 Ti

Featuring an elongated tip rocker but fully cambered tail, this ski is designed to be playful in the front, business in the back. Relax, ski it with an upright stance, and let this ski do what it was made to do, and it will show you a good time.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.85/5
  • Gender: Women’s-specific
  • Waist Width: 92mm

What testers say

“Such a blast of a ski. Tons of energy in each turn and it just wants to get on its edge and party. This would be a ton of fun for an advanced skier looking to cruise around, but also for a beginner who is learning how to find the energy out of a turn. I’d recommend to all.” —Courtney Harkins

K2 Mindbender 99 Ti

Like most K2s, the Mindbender 99 Ti gets points for how maneuverable and easy-going it is. Ski it on groomers or take it off-piste—it won’t let you down wherever you choose to explore.

  • Forgiveness score: 3.86/5
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Waist Width: 99mm
2022 K2 Mindbender 99Ti

What testers say

“Fun, playful, yet stable. Easy to turn and maneuver, and versatile in all conditions. Skis off-piste well and all rips the groomers. A nice balance of energy and stability. A nice all mountain ski that many different intermediate to advanced ability levels would be able to enjoy.” —Nick Loomans

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