6 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.
More: Learn how to bump like Glen Plake
An ideal mogul ski for recreational skiers is between 70mm-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 to scrub speed. 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 2023 gear test in Sun Valley, Idaho.
2023’s Best Skis for Moguls
Rossignol Experience 82 Ti
Mogul Score: 8.28/10
Overall Score: 8.66/10
The Rossignol Experience 82 Ti is a true frontside ski with two sheets of Titanal to establish stiffness, countered with a poplar core to give it plenty of recoil and energy. It’s lightweight and forgiving, yet also has the ability to nuke turns at high speeds.
“I was surprised how nimble it’ll and energetic it is for such a damp ski. This is a ski that could make lots of abilities happy. It cruises and charges all the same, giving back as much as you want to give it.” —Chad Jacob
Read the full review of the Rossignol Experience 82 Ti and see how it scored in every skill category
Armada Declivity 82 Ti
Mogul Score: 7.75/10
Overall Score: 7.84/10
What sets the Armada Declivity 82 Ti apart from other top performers in the frontside category is that it’s not just for experts. While there’s plenty of power for a strong athlete to tap into, it is approachable for someone looking to increase their frontside skills throughout a season.
“The ease of initiation is surprisingly quick and fun to play around with. This is a fun groomer ski with an off-trail personality. Feels like an all-mountain ski that flips to a groomer ski with the roll of the ankle.” —Chad Jacob
Read the full review of the Armada Declivity 82 Ti and see how it scored in every skill category
Salomon Stance 84
Mogul Score: 7.38/10
Overall Score: 7.25/10
The Stance 84 is pleasantly lively and versatile, thanks to the combination of poplar wood and a layer of Titanal with carbon windows. While previous reviews of the line criticized the skis’ dampness and lack of energy, the Stance 84 is a pleasant departure—it’s poppy, playful, and energetic.
“It performs like a dream! Surprisingly awesome. Hands down the most versatile ski I I’ve been on in years. It rails groomers like a GS ski but slams bumps like an all-mountain tool. Beautiful piece of engineering.” —Tommy Flitton
Read the full review of the Salomon Stance 84 and see how it scored in every skill category
Stöckli Nela 88
Mogul Score: 8.17/10
Overall Score: 7.77/10
The Stöckli Nela 88 is a versatile ski that bombs down corduroy, crushes soft snow turns, and holds an edge at all speeds while still being playful in the bumps and soft snow thanks to its light freeride-designed tip.
“Take this ski into any terrain and snow conditions. It’s fun and easy on soft groomers as well as in bumps and crud.” —Abby Ghent
Read the full review of the Stöckli Nela 88 and see how it scored in every skill category
Rossignol Experience W 82 Ti
Mogul Score: 7.8/10
Overall Score: 8.12/10
With a natural desire to initiate a turn and the perfect amount of metal to build confidence throughout it, the Rossignol Experience W 82 Ti is a dream on groomers while being surprisingly playful in the bumps and soft snow.
“I thought because of the weight and stiffness of this ski it was going to be hard to maneuver in bumps but it did great. This ski is a groomer ski with an excellent off-piste capability bonus. You can schmear it, you can carve it, you can go fast or slow—whatever you want, this ski will deliver.” —Abby Ghent
Read the full review of the Rossignol Experience W 82 Ti and see how it scored in every skill category
Armada Reliance 88 C
Mogul Score: 7.18/10
Overall Score: 6.69/10
While the Armada Reliance 88 C wasn’t one of the frontrunners of the women’s frontside category, it did impress testers with its approachability, energy, and versatility. Testers called it a great frontside tool for intermediates who are beginning to explore a variety of terrain and snow conditions at the resort, including bumps.
“Fun for the skier who likes a little zip and pop out of their skis without putting in a lot of effort. If you like to pop in and out of the sides of the runs and change up your turn shape along the way, this is a nice nimble ride.” —Tracy Gibbons
More 2023 Gear Reviews
The best women’s frontside skis of 2023
10 skis that rail on hardpack and were made for early season turns
Can wide all-mountain skis hack it back East?