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Frontside Skis

10 Skis That Will Make Your Life Easier In Moguls

These frontside skis are playful and quick enough to help you navigate the minefield.

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If there’s one secret to skiing moguls, it’s to choose the right ski for the job. Don’t get us wrong—nothing but lots of practice and experience will help you perfect that zipper-line, but the right ski can certainly make your life easier in the bumps.

What is the right ski for moguls? We’ll answer that by pointing out the wrong ski for moguls: A ski that’s too wide, too aggressive, too heavy, and too stiff.

Related: How wide is too wide for resort skis?

As legendary mogul skier Glen Plake likes to point out, one reason many skiers struggle in bumps is because they’re on a ski that’s too wide. A wide ski is cumbersome in tight terrain—the more material you have underfoot, the more effort it takes to swing that material around quickly. And quick is the name of the game in moguls.

An ideal mogul ski for recreational skiers is between 80mm-90mm underfoot, though some narrower or wider skis can also get the job done depending on other construction characteristics and the skill of the skier. Besides width, you’ll also want to consider a ski’s sidecut and flex profile.

In moguls, you’ll find that the less edge angle you use in your turns, the better. If you try to carve your way down a bump run, you’ll keep picking up speed and find it difficult to make shorter-radius turns. If, on the other hand, you keep your skis’ bases relatively flat on the snow throughout your turns to skid, pivot, and slide over and around moguls, controlling speed and making short turns becomes much easier.

By design, some skis are engineered to tip on edge whether you really want them to or not. These skis typically feature less rocker and a more dramatic sidecut, recognizable by their hourglass shape. To make life easier in the bumps, you want a straighter ski with a rockered tip (and perhaps tail) and less sidecut because it makes skidding, sliding, and pivoting skis more effortless.

Finally, a softer ski with an even flex profile makes bashing bumps far more enjoyable and less jarring than tackling a mogul run on stiff, burly planks. Heavy skis with two full sheets of metal aren’t fun in bumps. Lighter-weight skis with poppy, responsive wood cores, on the other hand, can be a blast.

There is no one right ski for moguls. But if you plan on spending a significant amount of time in the bumps, you can do yourself a favor by choosing a ski that’s designed to be quick, maneuverable, playful, and forgiving. Here, we rank our top picks that received the highest marks in those skill categories at SKI’s 2022 gear test.

2022’s Best Skis for Bashing Bumps

Armada Declivity 88 C

Mogul Score: 4.23
Gender: Unisex

With category-topping scores in Quickness, Playfulness, and Forgiveness, the all-new Declivity 88 C was one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 SKI Test. The well-placed rocker profile and relatively soft shovel make turn initiation a breeze.

2022 ARMADA DECLIVITY 88 C

What testers say

“Super playful, yet stable and very easy to control. Easy to maneuver and throw around around in bumps and off-piste. Rips the groomers with great energy. A great all-around frontside ski that will do everything.” —Nick Loomans

K2 Reckoner 92

Mogul Score: 4.23
Gender: Unisex

A twin-tipped ski, the Reckoner 92 features a gradual rise on both ends which provides a shortened effective edge and allows the ski to grow with skiers as they develop their skills and confidence.

2022 K2 Reckoner 92

What testers say

“Short, forgiving, poppy. The Reckoner is a little jib stick that is so easy to control it put a grin on my face. It won’t stand up to bigger, more aggressive riders, but younger or less aggressive skiers could easily ski it in all conditions without concern. It won’t push anyone around, but it’s easy and fun, and I don’t think skiing needs to be anything but that.” —Jon Sexauer

Rossignol Experience 86 Ti

Mogul Score: 4.15
Gender: Unisex

For all the Titanal and tech in this ski, the Experience 86 Ti is a sprightly ski that earned high marks in Forgiveness and Quickness thanks in large part to Rossignol’s new Drive Tip, which is a shovel made from directional carbon fibers and a soft visco damping material. It’s a ski that nearly every ability of skier can enjoy.

2022 ROSSIGNOL EXPERIENCE 86 TI KONECT

What testers say

“Really great ski, easy to ski. Feels like a long-radius slalom ski or a cheater GS ski, but also performs well off-piste in crud and bumps. Very stable, very smooth. Would be a great frontside ski for intermediate to advanced skiers as it can be enjoyed by all.” —Nick Loomans

Völkl Blaze 86

Mogul Score: 4.09
Gender: Unisex

The Blaze represents a newer, more playful direction for Völkl, and based on this ski, testers like where the brand’s going. Unlike most Völkl skis, the Blaze 86 doesn’t feature any metal; instead, a multilayer wood core give it the backbone it needs to tackle most resort conditions and terrain. And the reduced weight, generous tip and tail rocker, and softer flex make it more playful than many of its brethren.

2022

What testers say

“Can’t believe I’m saying this, but it beats the Kendo. This ski is so stable, and so accessible to rip on. No extra brute force needed, this ski is perfect for most intermediates and up. Such a fun ski.” —Mark Syrovatka

Dynastar M Pro 90

Mogul Score: 4.02
Gender: Unisex

Can there be such a thing as the perfect early-rise shovel? Testers were inclined to say yes. The perfectly placed lift created a turn initiation that testers described as “lightning-bolt quick” and “silky smooth.”

2022 Dynastar M-Pro 90

What testers say

“Fun old-school feel. Lots of rebound and push out of this ski. Fun to lay it over but amazingly responsive in crud and bumps. A perfect one-quiver tool.” —Luke Larsen

Dynastar M Pro 84 W

Mogul Score: 4.35
Gender: Women’s-specific

Dynastar’s Hybrid Core—a combination of poplar wood and PU—makes this ski so easy to swing around and enter into and exit out of turns. The M Pro 84 W definitely has a speed limit, but it sure is easy and fun.

2020-21 Dynastar M Pro 84 W

What testers say

“Smooth, easy, confidence-builder. Prefers groomers and moguls over crud. Huge sweet spot.” –Tracy Gibbons

K2 Reckoner 92 Alliance

Mogul Score: 4.33
Gender: Women’s-specific

Skiing moguls is this little ski’s calling. Featuring a pronounced twin-tip profile and lightweight construction, the Reckoner 92 makes boppin’ around in the bumps easy and fun.

2022 K2 Reckoner 92 Alliance

What testers say

“For more of a beginner skier, these would be perfect. They’re noodle-y and so simple to get around bumps and trees. They’re easy to ski and would make anyone feel great. I overpowered the hell out of them, but even on the groomers, they’d make little slalom turns that beginners would enjoy and want to just … keep skiing. I think that’s a good sign!” –Courtney Harkins

Stöckli Nela 80

Mogul Score: 4.30
Gender: Women’s-specific

Thanks to a light balsa core, tip and tail rocker, and smooth flex, the Nela 80 is a solid ride for the intermediate, but also a fun ripper for the expert. According to testers, the Nela 80 stands out for her versatility above all else.

2022 Stöckli Nela 80

What testers say

“This ski works with you. It has a way it likes to turn, but is also happy letting you take the lead. It does a great job at high speeds, but also is totally fine skidding short, slow turns. I think most anyone could ski this as a great one-ski quiver in the East or Midwest. Overall, a great ride.” —Courtney Harkins

Nordica Santa Ana 93

Mogul Score: 4.17
Gender: Women’s-specific

It’s not the easiest or most forgiving ski on this list, but advanced and expert skiers who have learned how to bend stiffer skis will appreciate the Santa Ana’s ability to tackle anything you throw at it, including moguls.

2022 Nordica Santa Ana 93

What testers say

“Step up the drive a tad and go anywhere. Moguls, crud, medium to large turns, small and short turns—this ski offers stability and predictability everywhere. Tail releases very easily so the skier determines turn shape.” —Tracy Gibbons

Rossignol Experience 80 C

Moguls Score: 4.07
Gender: Women’s-specific

The Experience 80 C is the little sister of the Experience W 86 Basalt and offers the same benefits of Rossignol’s vibration-damping Drive Tip Solution but in a smaller, even more user-friendly package. The Experience 80 C also features the brand’s Adaptive Flex technology, which ensures that more intermediate and expert skiers alike can get this ski to bend to their will, a nice trait when you’re taking on a mogul field.

2022 Rossignol Experience 80 C

What testers say

“This ski is a spitfire. It’s reassuring and rock steady. It performs well in short turns, slow skids, and medium radiuses. This is a great ski for a gal looking for a ski that she can improve on without outskiing it in a couple of seasons.” —Robin Barnes

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