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The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024

From hard and fast groomers to soft and deep powder, all-mountain skis are always up to the task. Simplify your quiver with one of the best all-mountain skis of 2024.
Patagonia Untracked Jacket; (photo/Jason Hummel)Editor Will Brendza testing skis at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Jason Hummel)
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With all-mountain skis, versatility is the name of the game. Though the definition of “all-mountain” varies by retailer and brand, all of the skis on this list perform well across a broad range of skiing styles and snow conditions.

With every new season, the market is packed with many high-quality models, and it can be daunting to sift through the seemingly endless options. To help streamline your selection process, we’ve included our favorite all-mountain skis in a variety of sub-categories. Our selections include the best all-around, the best for beginners, and the most playful.

If you’d like to learn more about all-mountain skis and how they’re defined, check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ section at the end of this article. Also, have a look at our comparison chart to steer your decision-making. Otherwise, scroll through to see all of our recommended buys for 2024.

Editor’s Note: We updated our All-Mountain Skis guide on November 9, 2023, to include ten freshly tested and newly launched products.

The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024

Best Overall All-Mountain Ski

Völkl Mantra M6


  • Profile Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
  • Sidecut radius 19m (184)
  • Best for Intermediate to expert skiers looking for one ski to do it all
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 96
  • Sizes (cm) 163, 170, 177, 184 (tested), 191
Product Badge The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • This versatile ski can handle anything the mountain throws at it
  • It’s the closest thing to a one-ski quiver on the market


  • Chattery on very hard snow
  • If you ski a lot of ice, look for something with metal construction
Best Budget All-Mountain Ski

Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings


  • Profile Rocker in the tail, mild camber underfoot
  • Sidecut radius 16m (size 176)
  • Best for Beginners looking to progress and develop new skills
  • Other available waist widths None
  • Sizes (cm) 152, 160, 168, 176
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Great value
  • Progression-oriented


  • Not ideal for softer snow and deep powder
Runner-Up Best All-Mountain Ski

Salomon QST 106


  • Profile 25% tip rocker / 58% camber / 17% tail rocker
  • Sidecut radius 19m (size 181)
  • Best for Fast skiers who want a hard charger ideal for western mountains
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 92, 98
  • Sizes (cm) 167, 174, 181 (tested), 188
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Quick edge-to-edge
  • Stable
  • Confidence-inspiring


  • Handles groomers well but doesn’t carve as well as skis with harsher sidecut
Best Women’s All-Mountain Ski

Black Crows Camox Birdie


  • Profile Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
  • Sidecut radius 18m (size 162)
  • Best for Female skiers who want a capable ski for the whole mountain
  • Other available waist widths (mm) N/A
  • Sizes (cm) 156, 162, 168, 174
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Stable
  • Versatile
  • Fairly light


  • Higher price tag
Most Playful All-Mountain Ski

Atomic Bent 110


  • Profile Camber under foot, tip and tail rocker, convex HRZN tip and tail for 10% additional surface area
  • Sidecut radius 18m (size 188)
  • Best for Playful big mountain skiing on soft snow
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 120, 100, 90, 85
  • Sizes (cm) 172, 180 (tested), 188
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • A super fun ski that loves to shift, pivot, and surf down the mountain
  • Poppy and capable in the air
  • Rides over soft snow adding to the playfulness


  • Doesn’t charge through variable snow as well as stiffer skis
Best Lightweight All-Mountain Ski

Elan Ripstick 96


  • Profile Camber underfoot, rocker tip, and tail
  • Sidecut radius 18m (size 180)
  • Best for Double-duty inbounds and touring ski
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 116, 106, 88
  • Sizes (cm) 164, 172, 180 (tested), 188
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Powerful for a light ski
  • Carves well


  • Chatters on hard snow and at high speed
Best for Intermediate Skiers

Fischer Ranger 102


  • Profile Camber under foot, tip and tail rocker
  • Sidecut radius 19m (size 183)
  • Best for Intermediate-level skiers
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 116, 108, 96, 90
  • Sizes (cm) 155, 162, 169, 176, 183 (tested), 190
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Approachable for many skiers, from low intermediate through expert


  • Slow edge-to-edge, limited pop
Best of the Rest

DPS Koala 111


  • Profile Camber underfoot, 20% rocker tip and 20% rocker tail
  • Sidecut radius 18m
  • Best for Freestyle skiers in powdery conditions
  • Other available waist widths 103, 118
  • Sizes (cm) 168, 176, 184, 189
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Playful, enjoys popping off features, smearing large turns, and anything inbetween
  • Arcs well on edge, rocker tail allows you to pivot whenever
  • Great soft snow ski


  • Low speed, small turns are quite difficult with this underfoot width
  • Stiffness of the ski make it tricky to handle in tight spots

Icelantic Shaman 99


  • Profile Large rocker tip, camber underfoot, flat tail
  • Sidecut radius 15m
  • Best for All mountain skiers that love laying edges over
  • Other available waist widths 110
  • Sizes (cm) 168, 176, 182
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Can make many different turn shapes
  • Shines in almost all conditions


  • Not a great ski for skiing backwards (if that’s your thing)
  • Tips flap at high speed

Faction Dancer 2


  • Profile Rocker tip, underfoot camber, flat tail
  • Sidecut radius 15 m, 17, 18, 19, 21
  • Best for Intermediate to expert skiers who want a versatile ski for the whole mountain
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 96
  • Sizes (cm) 163, 171, 177, 182, 187
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Highly versatile and playful
  • Solid edge hold and control


  • A bit narrow for powder days
  • Tends to place the skier in a backseat stance

Blizzard Rustler 9


  • Profile Rocker-Camber-Rocker
  • Sidecut radius 14 m, 15.5, 17, 18.5
  • Best for Groomer-leaning all-mountain skiers looking for a stable ride
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 96
  • Sizes (cm) 164, 172, 180, 188
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Incredibly stable and damp
  • Great on groomers and hardpack


  • A bit slow edge-to-edge in bumps
  • Sacrifices a bit of maneuverability for stability

Dynastar M-Pro 99


  • Profile Directional rocker, camber
  • Sidecut radius 15 m (162), 18 (170), 20 (178), 22 (186)
  • Best for Long GS-Style turns and fast skiing
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 97, 98, 99
  • Sizes (cm) 162, 170, 178, 186
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Great on hardpack and for those who like high speeds
  • Excels in a variety of snow conditions


  • Not the most maneuverable
  • Not a great choice for beginners

Line Blade Optic 96


  • Profile Rocker-Camber-Rocker
  • Sidecut radius 18 m
  • Best for Intermediate to expert skiers who prefer long radius turns and don’t shy away from any part of the mountain
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 96
  • Sizes (cm) 163, 170, 177, 184
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Exceptional carving ability, for their weight and stiffness
  • Handled most conditions and terrain on the mountain well


  • Medium-long turning radius makes them less nimble

DPS Kaizen 105


  • Profile Directional rocker
  • Sidecut radius 18 m
  • Best for Discerning, powder leaning all-mountain skiers with an immodest budget
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 105
  • Sizes (cm) 155, 163, 171, 179, 184, 189
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Damper than previous DPS models
  • Handmade in the USA


  • Can feel sluggish edge-to-edge and when initiating turns
  • Phantom treatment may need to be supplemented with wax for maximum speed

Zag Slap 92


  • Profile Double rocker, moderate camber
  • Sidecut radius 18 m, 19, 20
  • Best for The primarily on-piste skier who likes to sample peaks and powder when conditions are ripe
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 92
  • Sizes (cm) 173, 178, 185
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Great performance on groomers and hard pack
  • Responsive and nimble


  • Not the most aggressive ski for expert skiers

Elan Playmaker 101


  • Profile Surf Rocker, Tip and Tail
  • Sidecut radius 18 m (180)
  • Best for Playful freeskiers who want a good hybrid ski for the sidecountry and backcountry
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 101
  • Sizes (cm) 164, 172, 180, 188
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Very lightweight, nimble and playful
  • Would be a great 50/50 ski


  • Not the most stable or reliable on hardpack and ice
  • Lacks power for carving

Rossignol Sender 106 Ti


  • Profile Directional Rocker
  • Sidecut radius 21 m
  • Best for The intermediate to expert all-mountain skier who loves powder and prefers a traditional, directional shape
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 104, 106, 108
  • Sizes (cm) 180, 187, 194
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Incredibly maneuverable and easy to ski
  • Versatile performance


  • Shorter effective edge
  • Not the best for carving

Nordica Enforcer 94


  • Profile Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
  • Sidecut radius 18.2m (size 186)
  • Best for Skiers looking for a high-performance and versatile daily driver
  • Other available waist widths (mm) 88, 100
  • Sizes (cm) 165, 172, 179, 186, 191
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Versatile
  • Well-made
  • Handles hardpack and ice well


  • A bit narrow for skiing deep powder
  • Extremely common in rental fleets — it won’t stand out from the crowd

Völkl Kendo 88


  • Profile Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
  • Sidecut radius 17 (size 177)
  • Best for All-mountain skiers with a penchant for hard carving
  • Other waist widths available None
  • Sizes (cm) 163, 170, 177, 184
The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2024


  • Durable
  • Stable
  • Great hard-charging ski


  • Not ideal for beginners
Generally, all-mountain skis are made to handle a variety of conditions including groomers, hardpack, ice, and light powder; (photo/Jason Hummel)

All-Mountain Skis Comparison Chart

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Profile, Sidecut Radius, Best For, Waist Width, Sizes.

All-Mountain SkisPriceProfileSidecut RadiusBest ForWaist WidthSizes
Volkl M6 Mantra$750Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail19m (size 184)Intermediate to expert96163, 170, 177, 184, 191
Salomon QST 106$65025% tip rocker / 58% camber / 17% tail rocker19m (size 181)Fast skiers92, 98167, 174, 181, 188
Nordica Enforcer 94$800Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail18.2m (size 186)High-performance skiers88, 10065, 172, 179, 186, 191
Black Crows
Camox Birdie
$850Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail18m (size 162)Female skiers who want a capable skiN/A156, 162, 168, 174
Atomic Bent 110$700Camber under foot, tip and tail rocker, convex HRZN tip and tail18m (size 188)Playful big mountain skiing on soft snow120, 100, 90, 85172, 180, 188
Elan Ripstick 96$750Camber underfoot, rocker tip, and tail18m (size 180)Double-duty inbounds and touring ski116, 106, 88164, 172, 180, 188
Fischer Ranger 102$800Camber underfoot, tip and tail rocker19m (size 183)Intermediate level skiers116, 108, 96, 90155, 162, 169, 176, 183, 190
DPS Koala 111
$799Camber underfoot, 20% rocker tip and 20% rocker tail18m (size 168) Freestyle skiers in powdery conditions103, 118
168, 176, 184, 189
Icelantic Shaman 99
$849Large rocker tip, camber underfoot, flat tail15m (size 176)All mountain skiers that love laying edges over110168, 176, 182
Faction Dancer 2
$750Rocker tip, underfoot camber, flat tail15m, 17, 18, 19, 21Intermediate to expert skiers96163, 171, 177, 182, 187
Blizzard Rustler 9
$750Rocker-Camber-Rocker14m, 15.5, 17, 18.5Groomer-leaning all-mountain skiers looking for a stable ride96164, 172, 180, 188
Dynastar M-Pro 99
$900Directional rocker, camber15m (162), 18(170), 20(178), 22(186)Long GS-Style turns and fast skiing97, 98, 99162, 170, 178, 186
Line Blade Optic 96
$700Rocker-Camber-Rocker18m (size 177)Intermediate to expert skiers96163, 170, 177, 184
DPS Kaizen 105
$1,549Directional rocker18m (size 155) Discerning, powder leaning all-mountain skiers with an immodest budget105155, 163, 171, 179, 184, 189
Zag Slap 92
$779Double rocker, moderate camber18m, 19, 20The primarily on-piste skier who likes to sample peaks and powder when conditions are ripe
92173, 178, 185
Elan Playmaker 101
$699Surf Rocker, Tip and Tail
18m (size 180)Playful freeskiers who want a good hybrid ski for the sidecountry and backcountry101164, 172, 180, 188
Rossignol Sender 106 Ti
$900Directional Rocker21m (size 180)The intermediate to expert all-mountain skier 104, 106, 108180, 187, 194
Rossignol Experience
76 Skis
$480Rocker in the tail, mild camber underfoot16m (size 176)BeginnersN/A152, 160, 168, 176
Völkl Kendo 88$700Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail17m (size 177)All-mountain skiers with a penchant for hard carvingN/A163, 170, 177, 184
All-Mountain skis are designed to experience on-piste terrain, which is any marked and groomed run, as well as handling some off-piste descents in-bounds or in the backcountry; (photo/Jason Hummel)

How We Tested All-Mountain Skis

At GearJunkie, we have one goal, and that’s to provide you with the best advice we can to help you choose the gear that fits your skills, style, and budget. We work hard to learn everything we can, and then we share that information with you. It’s the same information we’d share with our friends on the chair lift, and we charge no premium. This is our best advice, period.

We put all of these skis through rigorous testing during our team ski week at Crested Butte, Colorado. We also skied many models for dozens of days throughout the winter season.

Among our ski testers is custom ski builder Albert Kim, who has worked in many ski shops over the years, testing hundreds of pairs of skis. He eventually worked for Wagner Custom Skis in Telluride, molding desired ski attributes into a one-of-a-kind ski for customers. He enjoys being the first one out on steep, tight terrain and skiing as fast as he can.

Leading the test runs season after season is GearJunkie Editorial Director Sean McCoy, in addition to other all-mountain skiers who contributed feedback for this guide. For context, McCoy is 5’8″ and 155 pounds. He’s an aggressive skier with 40 years of experience.

McCoy started skiing at 4 years old, slogging across snow-covered golf courses with his parents on ancient wooden cross-country skis. That was in the 1970s. He now tends to favor wider skis in his home mountains in Colorado.

Since then, McCoy has skied literally hundreds of pairs of skis on four continents. As GearJunkie’s lead tester, he certainly considers himself an expert skier. But he’ll be the first to admit that there is a lot he doesn’t know, too — and is open to learning more.

GearJunkie pools talent with a team of ski testers comparing notes on skis during our annual ski test week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. We also ride many pairs of demo skis each year to gather impressions over various types of mountains and snow.

While testing skis, we assess a range of factors including each design’s stiffness, maneuverability, and playfulness as well as the ski’s energy, damping, chatter, weight, shape, edge hold, and turn initiation.

The base and edge tune also influence how a ski performsWe considered what type of skier and conditions are the best fit for each ski.

In addition to our team’s field experience, we consider the most popular, innovative, award-winning, and bestselling skis on the market as well as a broad range of price points and a variety of features and applications.

Finally, we meet with brands throughout the year to learn about their top products. We carefully research these skis before selecting only the most promising for real-world testing.

The result of these hundreds of hours of work is the buyer’s guide you see before you. And we will update this guide multiple times each year to keep it timely and relevant to help you pick the best all-mountain skis for your needs.

All-mountain skis support your exploration of non-groomed trails at the ski area; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How to Choose the Best All-Mountain Skis

All-mountain skis are designed to handle a broad range of skiing styles and snow conditions. If a single-quiver ski exists, it’s likely an all-mountain ski.

What Does ‘All-Mountain’ Mean?

While some skis are made for a specific purpose — racing or ripping through the terrain park, for example — all-mountain skis are much more versatile. With any of the excellent skis on this list, you’ll be free to roam around the resort as you please, from the trees to the groomers and back again.

There is no official set of traits and specs a ski must have to earn the all-mountain title. Many brands and retailers have their own unique all-mountain criteria. Generally, versatile skis that can serve as an effective quiver of one have a few key characteristics in common.

First, most men’s all-mountain skis have a waist width between 75 mm and 105 mm. This spectrum represents the middle ground between super-narrow and super-wide skis — which is perfect for all-mountain use. Though, some all-mountain skis are even wider, which we dive into below: check out “powder-leaning all-mountain skis.”

Second, most skis in this category have a relatively traditional profile. With camber underfoot and some degree of rocker at the tip and the tail, a traditional profile offers a high level of usability from the fresh powder to the hardpack.

If you aren’t looking for a ski built for racing, carving, powder, cross-country, backcountry, or park, then you’re looking for an all-mountain ski; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Different Types of All-Mountain Skis

All of the skis on this list prioritize versatility and can readily venture onto all parts of the mountain. Still, “all-mountain” is ultimately a spectrum that contains multiple subcategories of skis. Many skiers like to explore the whole mountain and still maintain a preference for a certain style of skiing.

Additionally, depending on where you live, you may be dealing with certain types of snow conditions on a regular basis. In these cases, it’s very helpful to have an all-mountain ski with design elements that best support your specific personal or place-based needs.

Taper is when the widest point of the ski is towards the ski’s center while the furthest ends are narrower like the middle; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Groomer-Leaning All-Mountain Skis

Skis in this category will perform at their best on groomed runs and firm snow conditions. Typically, groomer-leaning all-mountain skis have a relatively narrow waist width between 75 mm and 90 mm.

Skis in this category will also prioritize edge hold, stiffness, and high-speed stability. While groomer-leaning all-mountain skis tend to sacrifice some performance and float in the deep powder, they’re great for hard carving and speeding down firm runs with minimal chatter.

This category is especially worth considering for skiers in the Midwest and East Coast regions. On this list, the Völkl Kendo 88 is a top-notch groomer-leaning all-mountain ski.

A huge variety of ski models exist within the all-mountain category; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Powder-Leaning All-Mountain Skis

Powder-leaning all-mountain skis are the opposite of their narrower groomer-leaning counterparts. Generally, skis in this category have a waist width between 95 mm and 112 mm. If powder lines are your jam, these are the skis for you.

Skiers in regions with lots of snowfall should consider this category. For maximum floatability and a bit of added flex, check out powder-leaning all-mountain skis such as the Atomic Bent 110.

Alpine skier carving with Atomic all-mountain skis
An all-mountain ski needs to have stability at high speeds for ripping groomers while being nimble enough for steep tree runs and narrow chutes; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Freeride and Freestyle Skis

While all-mountain skis can be quite wide, freeride skis are another subset of design and they are all generally wider. That width is an asset for powder, ungroomed territory, and off-piste adventure. They also typically have an upturned tip for float and maneuverability.

What differentiates an all-mountain ski is that it thrives on groomers and also manages ungroomed terrain or powder. All-mountain skis are generally easier to control. Freeride skis excel more on ungroomed terrain and powder but can also be used on hardpack. The preference also comes down to a skier’s experience, style, and preference.

Freestyle skis are tailored for parks, tricks, half pipes, jumps, and jibs. Overall, you’ll see these designs are often shorter in length, symmetrical, lighter weight, poppy, and feature twin tips.

A key variable is a ski’s profile, which alters how the base and edge interact with the surface of the snow, influencing the overall balance, feel, and power transfer; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Waist Width

Waist width is the width of a ski at its narrowest point. All-mountain skis typically have a waist width between 75 mm and 105 mm. Within the spectrum, narrower skis are generally better for carving on hard surfaces, while wider widths are better for floating through soft snow and powder.

Many ski models are available in multiple waist widths. For example, the Elan Ripsticks are also available in waist widths of 116 mm, 106 mm, 96 mm, and 88 mm. For each ski on this list, we’ve listed the waist widths they come in.

An all-mountain ski is the type of ski you want if you plan on shredding lift-served terrain in-bounds; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Ski Length

Ski length is a major consideration, and most of the models on this list are available in multiple lengths. In the past, a skier’s height would determine their ideal ski length. These days, the process is significantly more complicated.

While skier height remains an important factor, there are many other considerations for identifying the proper ski length. Shorter skis are easier to handle, which makes them a good choice for beginners. Shorter skis are also more nimble for quick turns if you’re a tree hound or love bumps.

Longer skis have more surface area, which means that they feel more stable at high speeds and float better in powder. A skier’s weight may have an impact on a ski’s flex and power transfer. This sizing chart is an effective tool that will help you consider all of the relevant factors.

Skier descends groomed slope with town below in the distance
A heavier, hard-driving ski like the Nordica Enforcer can blast through chunder and packed powder but is more difficult to turn than a shorter, lighter ski; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Ski Profile: Camber vs. Rocker

A ski’s profile is a major contributor to its overall performance. Today, the market is full of skis with all kinds of different profiles, from traditional to experimental and everything in between.

Skis with a more traditional camber profile are shaped like an upside-down letter “C” and rise up underneath the foot, making contact with the ground at the tip and the tail. While skiing, your body weight pushes the base of the ski against the snow.

During turns, the camber shape provides some lift and pop, which propels you into your next turn. For pure carving purposes, traditional camber is still the leading ski profile, and many skis on this list feature some variation on the traditional camber shape.

A rocker profile is the opposite and shaped like a banana — the tip and tail of the ski are lifted higher than the underfoot area. Rocker profiles are newer to the ski design world, but they have plenty of advantages.

When skiing in deep powder, a rocker profile offers extra float and creates a blissful surf-like experience. The downside of rocker profiles is they generally don’t hold an edge as well as traditional camber, so they aren’t ideal for precision carving on firm surfaces. But rocker (also called reverse camber) can be more forgiving while playing on snow and riding switch.

Many of the leading all-mountain skis have a hybrid profile that combines aspects of camber and rocker. To learn more about ski profiles and the nuanced differences between them, check out this handy video from snow sports retailer evo.

A freeride or big mountain ski is a subcategory of all-mountain ski that includes wider, stiffer designs for creative exploration of non-maintained terrain and deeper snow; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Stiffness and Flex

Ski stiffness is a major factor that seriously affects overall performance. On one end of the spectrum, soft skis are easier to maneuver, more playful, and best suited for beginner to intermediate skiers.

Freestyle skiers who love to hit boxes and rails may also want a relatively soft and flexible ski. One of the downsides of soft skis is they’re prone to be squirrelly and chatter at high speeds.

Stiff skis are preferred by intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers who crave speed and long, aggressive carves. Rigid designs offer more stability, which is essential for staying in control when skiing fast.

The downside of stiff skis is they require power and honed technique to steer properly. For this reason, we don’t recommend ultra-stiff skis to beginners.

Most all-mountain skis fall somewhere in the middle of the soft-to-stiff spectrum. Groomer-leaning skis are usually on the stiffer side to best support speed and stability.

Powder-leaning skis may be more flexible in order to maximize surfability and play. If you’re looking for a true do-everything ski, midrange flex is the way to go.

A versatile turning radius on an all-mountain ski is between 16 m and 20 m, which will help you carve medium-size arches; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Sidecut and Turn Radius

The sidecut of a ski refers to the shape of the curve on either side of its length. To some degree, all skis have an hourglass shape, but the radius of these curves has a major effect on steering and stability.

Skis that are much wider at the tip and tail than at the waist will have a short turning radius. A shorter turning radius is perfect for quick and nimble movements.

When skiing tight trees or moguls, a short turning radius is a helpful feature that will help keep you in control. Anything less than 16 m can be considered a short turning radius.

Skis with a longer turning radius are generally preferred for riding fast and carving hard on wide-open groomers. While a long turning radius makes sudden nimble changes of direction difficult, it’s certainly an asset when laying down endless sweeping carves. Anything more than 20 m can be considered a long turning radius.

  • 16 m or less: short turn radius, quick movement
  • 16 to 20 m: moderate turn radius, many all-mountain skis
  • 20 m: long turn radius, large carves

Many all-mountain skis have an all-around turning radius somewhere between 16 m and 20 m. While a ski’s sidecut does partially define its personality, it won’t tell you everything about how a ski will actually feel to use. Other factors — including profile and flex — combine with the shape of the sidecut to define the nuanced capabilities of any given ski.

If you prefer huge carves on the slopes, look for a sidecut that is shallower and above 22 m, which equates to a larger turn radius; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Parts of a Ski

High-quality skis are complex tools that pack lots of technology into a streamlined package. The materials and construction that make up your skis will define your experience using them.

Though there are many different ingredients involved in crafting a ski, the most important ones to be aware of are the core, laminates, sidewalls, and base.

Core and Laminates

The core of a ski is the innermost material that defines the basic structure, flex, and shape. Most all-mountain skis feature a wood core made from poplar, aspen, beech, or a combination. Foam cores are commonly found in cheaper beginner-level skis.

Around the core, layers of metal, carbon fiber, and other materials are added to boost or reduce characteristics such as pop, rigidity, and dampness.

All mountain skier carving a corduroy ski run
One of our lead testers ripping another corduroy lap with the Volkl Mantra M6; (photo/Jason Hummel)


The sidewall is the material along the edge of a ski. Generally, it’s a plastic that protects the sides of the sandwiched core layers. Or, the fiberglass and top sheet layer could be extended to conceal the edge. The sidewall could also be a hybrid construction.


A ski’s base is the surface that comes in direct contact with the snow. There are two kinds of bases: extruded and sintered.

Generally, extruded bases are found on beginner skis due to their low maintenance requirements. Skis with extruded bases are increasingly rare, but if you’re looking to prioritize affordability and low maintenance, they’re a reasonable option.

Sintered bases are the norm for almost all high-quality skis on the market. Though these bases require frequent waxing and general maintenance, they’re the best option for consistent all-mountain performance.

DSC03109 copy
Even the best skis require frequent waxing to maximize performance during a heavy winter; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Women’s Skis vs. Men’s Skis

While some manufacturers make unisex skis, many models are specifically designed for either men or women. In the current market, men’s skis tend to have a slightly higher overall weight, increased rigidity, and a slightly setback mounting point to account for the way men tend to balance on skis.

Meanwhile, women’s skis commonly feature a mildly setback stance and are lighter and flexier. Though a women’s ski with enough rigidity for pure hard charging is harder to find, there are some excellent options available. Many women’s skis now possess all of the hard-charging power of any ski on the market.

It’s important to remember all skiers can absolutely enjoy both men’s and women’s models. Ultimately, it comes down to preference. The differences between men’s and women’s models are often subtle, and we recommend prioritizing performance and comfort over a men’s or women’s label.

If you’d like to learn about more women’s all-mountain skis on the market, check out our gear guide that highlights our favorite pairs.

A stiffer flex mixed with minimal tip and tail taper plus a camber-leaning profile can help create a ski that offers a more precise hold on firm snow; (photo/Jason Hummel)

Boot and Binding Compatibility

Skis are only one part of your shredding setup, and your boots and binding are equally important components of the system. It’s crucial that all aspects of your setup work well together to provide the best performance possible.

A high-end pair of skis won’t be able to live up to its potential with low-quality boots or bindings. Generally, you want to match the strengths of your skis with boots and bindings with similar traits. For example, softer, more playful skis will work best with soft and playful boots and bindings.

Aside from this, most boots and bindings can be mounted successfully to most skis, regardless of brand. Still, we recommend checking with the manufacturer’s specs to be absolutely sure.

A pair of skis sits on the snow
While there are plenty of intrepid skiers who will mount their own skis, the local shop will have the tools, templates, and experience to take good care of your brand-new sticks; (photo/Jason Hummel)


What are the best all-mountain skis?

The best all-mountain skis are the ones that suit your skill level, skiing style, and budget. On this list, we’ve included many top-quality options across a broad range of design characteristics.

Our choice for the best overall men’s all-mountain ski is the Volkl M6 Mantra.

alpine skier descending groomer at resort
Sean McCoy testing all-mountain skis at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Jason Hummel)
Are all-mountain skis good for beginners?

Some all-mountain skis are excellent for beginner skiers. As a beginner, your priorities are progression and comfort. With these needs in mind, we recommend you choose a ski that is reasonably flexible and narrow. Flexible skis are easier to maneuver, and they won’t fight you for control.

Skis in the narrower range (about 70-95 mm in waist width) will be easier to shift from edge to edge. They tend to do better on the groomers where you’ll likely spend most of your time as a new skier.

On this list, we’ve selected the Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings as the best beginner ski.

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The Elan Ripsticks are light, surprisingly stable, and a ton of fun; (photo/Jason Hummel)
Can I use my old boots and bindings with my new skis?

Most likely, you’ll be able to use your old boots and bindings with your new skis. Most skis will accept any bindings, though there are some exceptions. Depending on the quality of your old boots and bindings, it may be worth considering an upgrade in order to get the most out of your new skis.

Furthermore, skis can only be remounted two or three times before safety is compromised. Be sure to seek the input of a professional at your local shop if you’re unsure about the remount process.

Are all-mountain skis good for the terrain park?

Most all-mountain skis will perform reasonably well in the terrain park. If you’re a pure park skier, we recommend freestyle skis over all-mountain options.

However, if you enjoy wandering all over the mountain with an occasional visit to the park, all-mountain skis should do just fine. Generally, skis with better-than-average flex and pop are better than stiff and aggressive skis for park riding.

All-mountain skier stands at the top of a ski run
GearJunkie tester Sean McCoy considers his next line while testing the Atomic Bent 110; (photo/Jason Hummel)

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