Best Downhill Skis: Our Top 10 Picks

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Skier using a downhill skis

Are you planning on hitting the slopes this winter? Are you in the market for a trusty pair of downhill skis?

If so, this is the article for you. In our 2019 guide to the best downhill skis on the market, we review 10 of our favorites. We will cover everything from the positives to the negatives, giving you a holistic understanding of each of these products. Follow along, and in the time it takes to ride down the bunny slopes, you will have all the information you need to get the best gear for your trip.

Product FAQ


Little girl going downhill with her downhill skis

1. Aside From Downhill Skis, What Essential Gear Should I Add To My Shopping List?


The most important part of skiing is getting from the top of the slope to the bottom in one piece. Without a fully stocked arsenal of reliable skiing gear, though, this is difficult to pull off. Aside from downhill skis, you should be sure to add the following items to your shopping list:

First Things First

You will need a pair of boots and poles to accompany your downhill skis. Be sure to buy boots and poles of the same (or higher) quality as your skis. You can spend a thousand dollars on the most fantastic skis, but if you match them with shoddy boots and poles, you will never enjoy your skis the way they are meant to be enjoyed.

Sec​ond

You will need a ski jacket and pants. Like a lot of other ski equipment, you can rent these items. However, if you want to the best fit, it would be a good idea to get your own personal apparel. Remember that you can always wear your ski jacket and pants off the slopes as well. Depending on where you live, it might be a good idea to have these clothing items regardless of whether or not you ski.

Third

You are going to need a pair of goggles. Many novice skiers make the mistake of substituting their favorite pair of sunglasses for true goggles, failing to realize that the slightest bit of snow or wind can make them more of a hazard than an asset.

Fourth

You should definitely invest in a ski helmet. For various reasons, some skiers forego a helmet. They might believe it makes them look goofy. They might believe helmets are only necessary for experts who take on the most challenging slopes at the most intense speeds. Either way, regardless of your level, you should always ski with a helmet on. Even the bunny slopes can be hard enough to cause serious head injuries. Do not take the risk.

Fifth

All skiers need gloves or mittens. Better yet, save yourself some grief and opt for waterproof and breathable gloves. Basic ski gloves tend to get soaked through, especially when you fall.

Sixth

Next on your list should be both a base layer and a mid layer. Do not make the mistake of hitting the slopes with no other dedicated ski apparel than your ski jacket. To stay both dry and warm, you should have at least two layers of thermal insulation under your jacket.

Seventh

Of course, you should also never forget your ski socks. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need the thickest ski socks, especially if you own a pair of boots with proper insulation. Contrary to popular belief, thinner socks can keep your feet warmer than thicker socks, as they allow more room to hold a cushion of warm air between your feet and the inside of your boots.

Finally, make sure you buy some sunscreen. Yes, it might be winter, but at high altitudes, even the winter sun can wreak havoc on your skin.

2. How Do I Select The Proper Size For My Downhill Skis?


There are four things to consider when deciding on an appropriate ski length.

First, consider your height. With your ski tails on the ground, the tips should reach around the height of your nose or eyes. Second, factor in your weight. If you have a larger frame, you should choose longer or wider skis. Third, how much experience do you have? Shorter skis are easier to turn with, making them ideal for novices. On the other hand, longer skis will produce wider turns. Fourth, what terrain will you be skiing through? If you need to get through narrow trails requiring sharp turns, you should get shorter skis.

3. What Are The Different Ski Parts Called?


A ski has three parts: the tip (shovel), the waist, and the tail. The tip is the front portion. The waist is the slimmer, inner section that holds your feet. The tail is the end opposite the tip.

4. Where Can You Buy Downhill Skis?


You can find them in most stores carrying outdoor sporting goods. You can also buy them online, on sites like Amazon.

5. What Are The Different Types Of Downhill Skis?


  • All-Mountain Skis
  • All-Mountain Wide Skis
  • Powder Skis
  • Backcountry Skis

How We Reviewed


The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We selected these five parameters in order to give you the most comprehensive and least biased reviews possible. With this information, we believe you will be able to find the best skis for your needs.

Overall Price Range Of This Product (And Similar Products)

Downhill skis range from $ to $$$. The main price determinants include build quality, skier experience level, and durability.

What We Reviewed


  • Nordica Enforcer 93
  • Salomon QST 99
  • Rossignol Soul 7 HD
  • Armada JJ 2.0
  • Line Sick Day 110
  • HEAD Total Joy Ski
  • Coalition Snow SOS
  • Rossignol Experience 77
  • Atomic Vantage 85
  • DPS Wailer Backcountry

1.) Nordica

Nordica Enforcer 100 Ski 2019 - Blue/Red 169
  • Nordica Enforcer 100 Skis (Ski Only) 2019 Blue/Red 169

Featur​​​​es

The Nordica Enforcer 93 is the winner of many awards, including the 2017 SKI Magazine "Gear of the Year" award. These skis have been designed with versatility in mind. They come with Marker Griffon ID Bindings. They are best suited to downhill skiing on groomed and powder terrains. They have a waist width of 93 millimeters.

Pros

  • These downhill skis are great for groomed runs with their tapered tip design
  • They provide strong, all-around performance
  • They are easy to control during sharp turns

Cons

  • There are not wide enough for slopes with a high amount of powder

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Warranty

You can request details from customer service.

Featur​​​​es

The Saloman QST 99 features a spaceframe wood core full sandwich sidewalls, the Ti Power Platform, and a premium construction of CFX super-fiber. Its side-cut measures 138/99/120mm against a length of 181cm.

Pros

  • The width makes for smooth transitions from groomed to powder terrains
  • These skis are very lightweight
  • They are relatively affordable

Cons

  • They are not the best for handling bumps

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

You can request a warranty from customer service.

3.) Rossignol Soul

Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis Mens Sz 180cm
  • Sidecut: 136/106/126
  • Radius: 18m @180cm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg/pair @180cm

Featur​​​​es

The Rossignol Soul 7 HD comes in four different lengths: 164, 172, 180, and 188cm. At the standard length of 180cm, it has a radius of 18m and a 136/106/126 side-cut. It weighs just 3.8 kg per pair. These skis feature the Air Tip 2.0 technology with extra reinforcement. They have a carbon alloy core for the perfect balance of strength and maneuverability.

Pros

  • These are extremely versatile, suitable for both backcountry and all-mountain skiing
  • They have a fantastic design

Cons

  • They are a bit wide for all-mountain skiing
  • They could be more stable at high speeds

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Warranty

You can request it from customer service.

4.) ARMADA

Armada Bdog Skis Bassett Hound Mens Sz 165cm
  • AR50 Sidweall
  • Pop-Lite Core
  • AR Freestyle Rocker

Featur​​​​es

The Armada Metallica x JJ 2.0 downhill skis measure 138/117/134mm. They feature the EST Freeride Rocker, which includes the traditional camber underfoot, a rockered tip, and tail. They come with 1.7mm Impact Edges and advanced AR50 hybrid cap and sidewall construction. These skis have a limited edition Metallica collaborative design.

Pros

  • They have a tight turning radius
  • They are easy to maneuver, especially over powder

Cons

  • They are not the best for long sessions of riding groomed runs

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

You can request it from customer service.

5.) Line Sick Day

Line Sick Day 95 Skis
  • Dimensions: [all sizes] 130 / 95 / 115 mm
  • Profile: Tip Early Rise-Camber-Tail Early Rise (7-5-5)
  • Capwall construction with Maplelite Macro Block core

Featur​​​​es

The Line Sick Day 110 Downhill Skis are best suited for use on powder and feature a tip and tail rocker profile. With their early-rise tips and early taper, they fly high over powder with a minimal tail drag and hooking. They have been constructed with solid maple in their cores and lightweight aspen at their tips, making for optimal durability and decreased swing weight.

Pros

  • They hold their edge well
  • They are very lightweight
  • They float on top of the powder

Cons

  • They can get unstable under choppy conditions

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

You can request the warranty from customer service.

6.) HEAD

HEAD Total Joy Ski 2019 - Women's White/Black 158
  • Best Use: All Mountain/Carving
  • Tip/Waist/Tail (mm): 133/85/113
  • Tail Shape: Flared

Featur​​​​es

The HEAD Total Joy Skis are ideal for downhill skiing through groomed, and powder runs. They use tip rocker ski cambers, and they feature ERA 3.0 technology, which provides easy steering and maximum edge grip with minimal vibration.

Pros

  • They are highly maneuverable, despite their weight
  • They can handle most snow conditions
  • The edges hold well

Cons

  • These skis are a bit heavy

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Warranty

You can request the warranty from customer service.

7.) Coalition Snow

Coalition Snow La Nieve Backcountry Ski, Size 168, Multicolor
  • Coalition Snow skis are designed by women, for women
  • Basswood core with an Ash laminate makes this ski lightweight without sacrificing stability and stiffness
  • Wide 113mm waist and shovel tip provide extra flotation in the deepest snow

Featur​​​​es

The Coalition Snow SOS skis are perfect for downhill skiing over both groomed and powder terrains. They come in two waist widths: 105mm and 109mm. These skis have been designed by women, for women.

Pros

  • They are specially designed for women (by women)
  • They can handle all kinds of terrain
  • They are highly responsive

Cons

  • They can be difficult for novices to handle

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

You can request the warranty from customer service.

8.) Rossignol Experience

Rossignol Experience 77 Carbon Skis with Xelium Bindings
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Featur​​​​es

The Rossignol Experience 77 skis are designed for downhill skiing over groomed and powder terrains. With their blend of rocker and camber, they have been constructed with versatility in mind. They feature patented Air Tip technology, making them ideal for soft snow. They come with Xpress 11 bindings.

Pros

  • They are easy to turn with

Cons

  • They are prone to skidding and sliding

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

They come with a one-year warranty.

Featur​​​​es

The Atomic Vantage 85 downhill skis are best suited for groomed and powder terrains. These skis feature 15% rocker in the tips, 75% camber underfoot, and 10% rocker in the tails. With their poplar cores, they are extremely lightweight while retaining high levels of stability.

Pros

  • Their width make them great at transitions

Cons

  • Turning could be easier

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Warranty

You can request the warranty from customer service.

Featur​​​​es

DPS Wailer Backcountry Skis have a waist width of 99mm and tip, and tail rocker ski cambers. They have been designed to float and maneuver easily in powder. They feature lightweight balsa cores with pre-preg carbon and fiberglass laminate.

Pros

  • They are incredibly lightweight, making them fantastic in powder

Cons

  • They do not perform as well on groomed runs or harder snow

PRICE

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Warranty

You can request it from customer service.


The Verdict - The Best Downhill Skis


Man in a snowy mountain with his downhill skis

After reviewing these 10 pairs of downhill skis, we walked away with the most favorable impression of the HEAD Total Joy Skis. These skis cost $750. Their weight provides a high level of stability, and they are able to maintain a level of maneuverability you would expect from far lighter skis. If you plan on hitting the slopes, you can find no better companion.

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