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Frontside Skis

10 Frontside Skis That Don’t Have a Speed Limit

Like to ski fast? These are the skis you can kick into high gear without worrying about engine failure.

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It goes without saying that a frontside ski that’s designed to be skied primarily on groomers and hardpack should offer plenty of stability underfoot.

By stability we mean the ski acts in a predictable manner—its flex is consistent from tip to tail, it provides a steady platform underfoot, and there’s no weird feedback when you decide to change speed, directions, or turn shape.

The last thing you want in a frontside ski is chattering in the tip, an unpredictable flex when you pressure the ski to kick it into gear, or the feeling that the ski is about to buckle beneath you. After all, chances are you’re cruising the frontside of the resort at higher speeds than when you’re skiing ungroomed terrain, so you want a ski you can count on when you’re hightailing it down the fall line.

Enter our Stability at Speed skill category, one of eight we judge skis in at our annual SKI test. When considering a ski’s performance in the Stability at Speed department, testers look for skis that give them the confidence to put the pedal to the metal.

Skis that score high marks in Stability at Speed tend to get lots of hype, especially from our testers who are ex-racers or particularly aggressive skiers. But there’s reason for more intermediate or conservative skiers to pay attention to this test score, too: Skis that rank high in stability often make great teaching tools for skiers struggling to progress beyond the blues because they offer such a solid platform underfoot.

So if you’re an ex-racer looking for a ski that will let you carve up the frontside like you’re back in the race course, or more of an intermediate skier looking for something that will give you the confidence to level up, check out these frontside skis that scored the highest in the Stability at Speed category in our 2020-’21 SKI Test.

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Just one little word of caution before you pull the trigger on any one of these: Skis that score high in stability tend to feature metal in the core, be heavier and stiffer underfoot, and sometimes border on burly. If you’re looking for an effortless cruising ski, these are not it. But if you’re in need of speed and willing to work a little for it, you’re in the right place.

Related: 10 Skis That Won’t Punish Your (Occasionally) Sloppy Skiing Habits

Most Stable Frontside Skis – Men’s

Stöckli Stormrider 88

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.85/5
  • Overall Score: 4.45/5
  • Overall Rank: #1
2020-21 Stöckli Stormrider 88

Tester comment: “Such a smooth ride! The metallic top sheet must be a snow magnet because it held on the snow and never chattered or bounced like a freight train on rails. Also nimble and quick when you want to make short turns. Ideal for advanced to expert skiers, but also an approachable ski for the aspiring advanced skier.” —Mike Britt

Learn more: 2021 Stöckli Stormriderr 88 Full Review

Blizzard Brahma 88

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.73/5
  • Overall Score: 4.35/5
  • Overall Rank: #2
2020-21 Blizzard Brahma 88

Tester comment: “The Brahma feels sturdy and wants to go fast. If you get off your game it’s going to take off on you. At high speeds it’s damp and strong on edge. But it’s happy making shorter radius, skidded turns as well. The ski might be a little demanding for most skiers, but if you can handle it, it will reward you.” —Jon Sexauer

Dive deeper: 2021 Blizzard Brahma 88

Fischer RC1 86GT

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.56/5
  • Overall Score: 4.06/5
  • Overall Rank: #4
2020-21 Fischer RC1 86GT

Tester comment: “Fun and fast ski. Made for hardpack-charging and hip-dragging. PSIA, here I come.” —Kevin Sommers

See how it stacks up: The Best Men’s Frontside Skis of the Year

K2 Mindbender 90Ti

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.35/5
  • Overall Score: 4.16/5
  • Overall Rank: #3
2020-21 K2 Mindbender 90Ti

Tester comment: “A nice blend of power and finesse! Possesses a gentle, smooth feel that masks the raging power beneath. An even flex makes it predictable and solid in any turn shape. Not the quickest, snappiest tool in the shed, but that might take away from its other fine attributes.” —Peter Donahue

Learn more: 2021 K2 Mindbender 90Ti

Völkl Kendo 88

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.28/5
  • Overall Score: 3.85/5
  • Overall Rank: #11
2020-21 Volkl Kendo 88

Tester comment: “Fun and aggressive frontside carver. Quick and snappy, but stable. A little stiff and unforgiving, definitely have to drive the ski with a forward stance. But it’s a great frontside ripper for an aggressive/advanced/expert skier. Less aggressive skiers would probably feel overwhelmed.” —Nick Loomans

Go deeper: Völkl Kendo 88 Strengths and Weaknesses

Most Stable Frontside Skis – Women’s

Stöckli Nela 80

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.72/5
  • Overall Score: 4.44/5
  • Overall Rank: #1 (tied with Head Kore 87 W)
2020-21 Stöckli Nela 80

Tester comment: “One turn on the Nela 80 and you know that you’re skiing one of the most beautifully constructed skis on the mountain. Directional, responsive, and easy to arc. Never had a moment where I was thrown off balance. They are smooth and predictable. I would put anyone on this skis—they’d help any ability shine and improve their skiing.” —Courtney Krause

Read more: 2021 Stöckli Nela 80 Full Review

Nordica Santa Ana 93

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.7/5
  • Overall Score: 4.13/5
  • Overall Rank: #3
Nordica Santa Ana 93

Tester comment: “A very balanced ski. A beginner or an expert could have a nice ride on these. Stable but with personality and soft enough to offer some forgiveness. Poppy and quick in the bumps but also an all-around badass that just wants to zoom down the groomers.” —Jessi Hackett

Learn more: Nordica Santa Ana 93 Strengths and Weaknesses

Fischer RC1 86GT (Unisex Ski)

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.56/5
  • Overall Score: 4.31/5
  • Overall Rank: #4
2020-21 Fischer RC1 86GT

Tester comment: “Little miss, little miss, can’t do wrong! A TRUE all mountain ski—GS turns, bumps, trees, attack, cruise, short turns, long turns. This ski has a full repertoire of awesomeness. It feels velvety underfoot and holds arcs like a boss. I’m smitten.” —Robin Barnes

Head Kore 87 W

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.55/5
  • Overall Score: 4.44/5
  • Overall Rank: #1 (tied with Stöckli Nela 80)
2020-21 Head Kore 87W

Tester comment: “This ski rips. It’s fast and stable throughout every element of the turn. It’s a little damp and maybe not the quickest to respond, but it crushes and makes for a fun ride down the mountain. Ideal for skiers who carve up the frontside or for those just learning to carve.” —Renee Geary

See how it compares to the other #1 frontside ski: The Best Women’s Frontside Skis of the Year

Blizzard Black Pearl 88

  • Stability at Speed Score: 4.5/5
  • Overall Score: 4.24/5
  • Overall Rank: #5
2020-21 Blizzard Black Pearl 88

Tester comment: “A powerhouse laying arcs. Torsionally rigid to hold at speed yet flex nicely in the bumps and trees. For a strong, get after it skier.”
Robin Barnes

Learn more: What’s Great (And What’s Not So Great) About the Black Pearl 88


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