9 Best Powder Skis of 2023 (For All Skiers)

by Simon Naylor | Updated: August 28th, 2023 |  Recommended Gear

Ready to venture beyond the groomed slopes into uncharted powder - then you'll want a wider powder-specific ski to make the most of it. Your typical all-mountain ski will struggle in deep snow.

Powder skis over a wider underfoot (110-120mm) which allows you to float through powder and weave a fresh line. Within the powder ski line-up - we've got a range of options - from hard chargers to playful twigs. For expert movers to those making their first transition into ungroomed powder. Let's get stuck in. The best powder skis are the Blizzard Hustle 11.

powder skiing lines

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Our Lineup of the Best Powder Skis

  1. Our Top Pick: Blizzard Hustle 11 Skis 🏆
  2. Best Premium Pick: Armada Whitewalker 116 Skis
  3. Best All-Mountain Freeride Ski: Faction Prodigy 4 Skis
  4. Best Budget Pick: Atomic Bent Chetler 120
  5. Best Powder Ski for Intermediate Skiers: DPS Foundation 112 RP Skis
  6. Favorite Playful Powder Ski: Line Skis Pescado
  7. Best for Extremely Deep Snow: Faction La Machine Max
  8. Most Playful Ski: Black Crows Nocta Skis
  9. Best Resort Ski: Völkl Blaze 114 Skis

1. Blizzard Hustle 11 Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability Level: Advanced-Expert
  • Dimensions: 145-114-135mm (for 180 cm length)
  • Pros: Lightweight, Versatile Powder Performance, High Stability
  • Cons: Advanced expert-level ski, not ideal for mid-density to heavy snow, potentially overpowering for Intermediate skiers

Our Experience

The Blizzard Hustle 11 Skis deliver impressive powder performance for a skilled rider. The highlight of the Hustle 11 is its TrueBlend Free Core—made with a blend of Beech, Poplar, and Paulownia woods—which makes them incredibly lightweight without compromising stability.

Featuring a Rocker Camber Rocker profile designed for much easier handling and increased flotation in deep powder. Despite their freeride prowess, we’ve found the Blizzard Hustle 11 Skis provide excellent grip on packed snow, making them a solid performer on all types of terrain.

Equipped with advanced Carbon D.R.T. technology, these Blizzard Hustle skis hark back to the legacy of the acclaimed Rustler series and add an additional kick to arguably some of the popular and versatile powder skis on the market.

Key Features

  • Rocker Camber Rocker profile for easier handling and increased floatation.
  • High-performance-oriented TrueBlend Free Core.
  • Carbon Flipcore Technology for improved strength and stability.
  • Equipped with Carbon D.R.T., featuring a shorter Carbon and fiberglass insert for less weight.
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall for added stability, power transmission, and durability.
  • A versatile ski is suitable for big mountain, powder skiing, and alpine touring.

Final Verdict

These are our top pick for a reason. Blizzard offering is perfect for advanced to expert skiers who love tackling deep powder and exploring in the backcountry and need a ski to perform at the highest level.

2. Armada Whitewalker 116 Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability Level: Advanced-Expert
  • Dimensions: 140-116-136mm (for 192 cm length)
  • Pros: Versatile, high-speed stability, exceptional control
  • Cons: Not ideal for beginners, maybe too playful for traditionalists

Our Experience

The Armada Whitewalker 116 Skis are equally at home freestyling in the terrain park as they are in powder. The pin-shaped tips and tails allow for effortless maneuverability and quick turns in deep snow, while the camber underfoot provides stability and control on groomed runs.

Whether it’s floating down pillow lines, tackling steep faces, or weaving through rolling glades the Whitewalker 116 Skis deliver exceptional performance. They provide a playful, youthful character that seems to invite skiers to go big, go fast, and go deep.

Key Features

  • AR Freestyle Rocker for unparalleled ease through unpredictable snow and solid carving ability.
  • Graduated Flex (Tip: 9, Mid: 7, Tail: 10) for balanced performance.
  • Pin-tip and tail design.
  • Caruba Core for an exceptional blend of lightness and dampness.
  • AR75 Sidewall ensures improved edge pressure and smoother turns.
  • Smear Tech offers a unique feel in all snow conditions, enhancing floatation and reducing the likelihood of catching in crud.

Final Verdict

if you crave a ski that breaks the norm and invites you to embrace the entirety of the mountain as your playground, then the Armada Whitewalker 116 Skis could be the powder skis for you. For advanced and expert skiers who love to mix up their skiing style - they manage to balance freestyle playfulness with stability and control. Whitewalkers stand out as a unique, dare we say, cult-worthy choice.

3. Faction Prodigy 4 Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced
  • Dimensions: 140-116-132mm (for 185 cm length)
  • Pros: Exceptional Float, Strong Performance in Powder, Sustainable Build
  • Cons: Not Ideal for Beginners, Less Responsive on Icy Terrain

Our Experience

The Faction Prodigy 4 Skis deliver an exceptional powder skiing experience. With their wide dimensions - 140mm tip and 116mm waist - and rockered profile, these skis effortlessly float on deep snow, allowing you to glide through powder with ease.

Built with a Poplar core and reinforced with carbon fiber, the Prodigy 4 Skis offer a combination of strength and lightweight performance.

One of the standout features of the Prodigy Powder 4 is its responsive and playful nature. The ski's pop and energy inspire confidence to take on bigger lines and deeper snow. Despite its powder-friendly design, it doesn't feel too cumbersome or sluggish on groomers, making it a versatile choice for those seeking one-quiver ski for their mountain adventures.

Key Features

  • Extensive Rocker-Camber-Rocker profile for reliable control and float.
  • Flex Rating of 8 (1=Soft, 10=Stiff) with progressive Moustache Flex.
  • Elliptical Sidecut delivers fast pivot and easier turn initiation.
  • Directional Twin shape for performance downhill and freestyle play.
  • Powerful Poplar Wood Core for flex, pop, and vibration absorption.
  • Microcap Full Strength Sidewall ensures stunning edge hold and stability.

Final Verdict

Whether the day heralds a fresh dumping of snow or adventure into the backcountry’s untouched powder, these skis shine.

4. Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Advanced to Expert
  • Dimensions: 143-120-134mm
  • Pros: Exceptionally powerful despite lightweight, excellent edge control, high aesthetic appeal
  • Cons: Too heavy-duty for regions not frequently experiencing heavy snowfall, may be unmanageable for beginner or timid intermediate skiers

Our Experience

The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 skis embody the spirit of powder skiing. Designed in partnership with pro skier Chris Benchetler, this ski showcases a beautiful colorful graphic. These skis are beautifully eye-catching, yet the real charm lies in its performance.

The integration of a poplar wood core in combination with a carbon insert delivers a ski that's feather-light but packs a powerful punch, offering significant weight-power balance. Perfect for heavy landings and floating through the snow at speed.

The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 also excels in handling speed. Make no mistake this is an exciting prospect for expert riders, might prove overwhelming for beginners or intermediate riders who are not so daring.

The large waist size is ideal for regions that are consistent in deep-powder, but not quite suitable for limited snow. The size options are generous, but the smallest size might still be a hair too large for even confident but short-statured skiers.

Key Features

  • Powder Rocker: Combines 30% Tip Rocker, 40% Camber, and 30% Tail Rocker
  • HRZN Tech Tip and Tail: A cutting-edge design featuring an ABS sidewall construction combined with a horizontal rocker resulting in splendid surface area for excellent floatation
  • Light Woodcore: Made from poplar wood, designed to optimize the ski's weight without compromising shock absorption or stability
  • Carbon backbone: An ultra-lightweight carbon insert that runs the length of the ski, hence, providing exceptional agility and edge hold
  • Dura Cap Sidewall: Provides power transmission while also adding durability
  • Atomic Edges: Offer perfect grip and superior wear resistance.

Final Verdict

The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis offers an exhilarating experience for advanced and expert skiers. For those seeking an enduring, capable ski in deep powders. Not for you, if you're a timid powder skier.

5. DPS Foundation 112 RP Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: 140-112-125mm
  • Pros: Intuitive and versatile, excellent turning ability, good stiffness
  • Cons: Heavier than other models, not ideal for backcountry skiing

Our Experience

In our experience, DPS Foundation 112 RP Skis form a perfect gateway into the realm of powder skiing, especially for those making the transition from groomed resort runs. The beautiful blend of bamboo/poplar wood core and carbon stringers offers both strength and sufficient stiffness. But the true champion is its RP shape, an acronym for "resort powder". This unique attribute propels the ski high on the easy-to-turn scale and proves itself a winner in fluidity while skiing on ungroomed slopes and side-country terrain.

While these skis are unquestionably well-suited for the snowy days at the resort, they might not be the best pick for those seeking true backcountry experiences. The pair, particularly in 178 cm length, tilts the scale over 8.5 pounds, which is heavier than what we typically expect from the brand. However, the DPS Foundation's non-riding features are all top-notch, placing these skis in a league of their own.

Key Features

  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker (RP Profile): Features 45% Tip and Tail Rocker with 55% Effective Edge for balanced edge control
  • RP Shape: Notably easy to roll from edge to edge, offering nimbleness and excellent float for a fun powder skiing experience
  • Foundation Core: Comprises an Aspen core bundled with Unidirectional Carbon stringers
  • Triaxial Fiberglass and Unidirectional Carbon Stringers: Deliver strength and stiffness
  • Urethane Sidewalls: Offers durability and impact resistance
  • World Cup Race Base: Ensures an extremely smooth ride in varied snow conditions

Final Verdict

Based on our experience, DPS Foundation 112 RP Skis are a worthy contender amongst powder skis. Zealously crafted to introduce skiers to the bliss of powder skiing, its attributes are user-friendly and resourceful in both the resort and off-piste settings. The perfect blend of balance, agility, and stiffness provided by the unique RP shape and Foundation core, is a hallmark of excellence while on the slopes.

Although they are a bit heftier making them less ideal for the backcountry, their versatility and overall high-performing attributes firmly earn them a spot on our recommended list. If you are an intermediate skier with a desire to experience the thrill of powder skiing, these skis would be a smart and rewarding choice.

6. Line Skis Pescado

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Advanced to Expert
  • Dimensions: 158-125-144mm
  • Pros: Unique swallowtail design, excellent float, and control in deep snow, fun and playful
  • Cons: Only available in one length, not as versatile for varying snow conditions

Our Experience

The LINE Skis Pescado has a niche all its own. Tailor-made for the consistent thrill-seeker, the Pescado offers an innovative approach to skiing deep powder like a pro. The distinctive swallowtail design is destined to keep the tail deep in the snow while letting the tip excel, allowing for remarkable control and carving capabilities.

Moreover, the large 158-millimeter shovel coupled with the soft flex in the tip accords the ski's great float and durability. The stiffer tail further simplifies turning, making the Pescado an absolute joy for off-trail riders keen on showcasing their creativity.

However, the joy of the Pescado might come with a size constraint for some riders. Only available in a 180-centimeter length, it might not be suitable for skiers who prefer shorter, more maneuverable skis. The Pescado thrives in deep powder but may fall short in all deep snow conditions due to its unique profile.

Key Features

  • Early Rise™: Features a Rocker Profile of 20mm Tip, 4mm Camber, and 1mm Tail, enhancing the ski's lift in deep snow
  • Directional Flex: A softer tip for easy initiation of turns and a stiffer tail for stability and control
  • 5-Cut™ Geometry: Provides a variety of turn shapes and an intuitive feel
  • Swallowtail: Offers excellent float in soft snow and encourages the ski to sit back in powder
  • Partly Cloudy™ Core: A mix of lightweight Paulownia and Maple resulting in a robust strength-to-weight ratio
  • Sidewall Construction: Absorbs vibrations and maintains powerful energy transmission.

Final Verdict

The LINE Skis Pescado, with its unique swallowtail design and wide-sidecut, is well designed for deep snow and off-piste powder rides. If you're an advanced or expert-level skier who loves the thrill of deep powder, doesn't mind a bit of a challenge, and can accommodate the longer length, the LINE Skis Pescado is a singular ski that provides a unique experience.

7. Faction La Machine Max Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Dimensions: 148-126-139mm
  • Pros: Designed for deep powder, lightweight yet stable, offers great float
  • Cons: Limited versatility, not designed for variable conditions

Our Experience

La Machine Max Skis are an absolute treat to ride in the deepest powder. Hailing from the freeskiing hub of Verbier, Switzerland, the Factions latest offering - is skillfully designed purely for obscene amounts of powder. The soft flex at the tip along with the ultra-wide ski bases delivers maximum flotation. Stability and maneuverability are ensured by the stiffer materials used underfoot.

While the La Machine Max shines in deep powder, its overall versatility in shallow or tracked snow takes a hit. The skis' shorter effective edge may be somewhat uneasy on hardpack and unpredictable snow. This ski is tailored more towards confident riders who are in reach of abundant snowfall. If you need a ski for more mixed conditions - there are narrower options in Faction's La Machine line to consider.

Key Features

  • Rocker-Camber-Rocker: Great control and agility, perfect for deep powder
  • Flex Rating of 6: Offers an ideal balance between stiffness and flex
  • Elliptical Sidecut: Provides intuitive pivot and easy turn initiation
  • Lightweight Paulownia wood core: Reduces weight without sacrificing performance
  • Full Carbon Weave: Offers stability and stiffness throughout the entire length of the ski
  • Microcap Full Strength Sidewall: Combines the benefits of a sandwich sidewall construction and cap construction for durability and stability

Final Verdict

The ski's design, incorporating generous dimensions as well as lightweight but rigid materials feel stable throughout. If you have deep powder in abundance the Faction’s La Machine Max, with its exceptional float and durability, could well prove to be the ultimate companion.

8. Black Crows Nocta Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Advanced to Expert
  • Dimensions: 139-122-132mm
  • Pros: Exceptional performance in deep powder, playfulness, impressive stability in soft chop
  • Cons: Not ideally suited for variable conditions, a bit heavy for backcountry touring

Our Experience

As you might expect, the Black Crows Nocta is a ski that thrives where the snow is deep. With its ultra-wide 122-millimeter waist width, it is tailor-made for surfing through the deep powder blankets, be it in Japan, Alaska, or British Columbia or if you're lucky enough - a local resort on the heaviest powder days of the year. The kind of float the Nocta offers is, indeed, hard to exaggerate. For the Nocta there are no limits to how much snow is "too much". The weight factor might pose some inconvenience if you’re on a touring adventure, earning turns the hard way.

But in our experience, when the conditions are deepest, you'd definitely want the Nocta underfoot. Not just a one-trick pony, the Nocta endures even when the snow is tracked up and not as pristine. In fact, in the world of powder skis, it stands out as one of the most stable skis in soft chop conditions.

Key Features

  • Reverse Camber: Assists in easy pivoting and effective carving
  • Medium Flex: Offers a balance between stiffness and compliance
  • Straight Sidecut: Provides high-speed stability
  • Paulownia/Poplar/Paulownia Core: Delivers a balance between weight and strength
  • Fiberglass Laminates: Enhances overall stiffness and performance
  • Semi Cap Construction with ABS Sidewalls: Offers durability and protection

Final Verdict

This ski does more than just survive in powder, it thrives, making every powder day an unforgettable experience. The Black Crows Nocta stability in soft chop, sets it apart from other powder skis in the market.

9. Völkl Blaze 114 Skis

At a Glance

  • Category: Powder Skis
  • Ability level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Dimensions: 154-114-136mm
  • Pros: Excellent float in powder, impressive maneuverability, great stability
  • Cons: Not ideally suited for playful, freestyle skiing, may lack the weight for high-speed skiers

Our Experience

In our experience, Völkl’s Blaze 114 is a powder ski that offers an exciting mix of inbounds and backcountry features. As the widest ski in the Blaze line, this model encourages big, graceful turns in deep snow.

This ski manages to strike a balance. On the one hand, it's light enough for touring. On the other hand, it exhibits all the characteristics of a satisfying on-piste powder ski. If you're a skier looking for a one-ski quiver for powder skiing—be it within or beyond the resort —Völkl Blaze 114 would be a strong candidate to consider.

Key Features

  • Tip & Tail Rocker: Ensures easy maneuverability and efficient carving
  • Hybrid Multilayer Woodcore: Selected for its balance of sustainability and performance
  • 3D Radius Sidecut: Delivers a combination of stability and flexibility
  • Full Sidewall: For direct and robust power transmission
  • Suspension Tips & Tails: Provide enhanced stability and smoother float
  • Titanal Binding Platform: Delivers a thin, layer underneath the binding to assure stability and strength

Final Verdict

The Völkl Blaze 114 delivers an enjoyable experience for those seeking a powder ski with impressive versatility. Its ability to offer excellent flotation, maneuverability, and stability in deep snow makes it an attractive option to consider.

Though it might not cater to freestyle skiers or those seeking ultra-high speeds, for skiers who enjoy both resort and backcountry ventures, it hits the sweet spot.

What Are Powder Skis?

Powder skis are a specialized type of skis designed to optimize performance in deep snow conditions. Their wider and longer which allows for improved floatation on powder, giving skiers the ability to effortlessly glide over soft snow - instead of digging in and being buried.

Powder skis are wider by a few millimeters to several centimeters compared to traditional skis. This extra width helps distribute the skier's weight over a larger surface area, reducing the chance of sinking into deep snow. It's like having a magic carpet ride, gliding smoothly and effortlessly through the fluffy stuff!

Powder skis are typically made with a rocker or reverse camber design, which means that the tips and tails of the skis are raised off the ground while the center remains in contact with the snow. This makes them more maneuverable and allows for easy turns in deep snow.

While you can just about ski with regular skis in deeper snow - powder skis are specifically designed to enhance the experience and make it more enjoyable - allowing you to venture further into deeper snow.

Because powder skis are wider than traditional skiers, they tend to have a larger turning radius. So you'll have wider, more swooping turns instead of tight, quick turns.

Because these skis are designed for off-piste skiing in softer snow conditions or powder, the widest powders naturally won't perform as well on groomed runs or hard-packed snow.

How to Choose the Right Powder Skis

When buying powder skis, you'll want to pick a pair that matches your skiing style and ability level. The main types of powder skis you'll come across are all-mountain, freeride, and backcountry. The difference in the ski is the width, length, and design.

All-mountain Powder skis

All-mountain powder skis tend to be slightly narrower and shorter, making them more maneuverable in tight spaces and ideal for those who want a ski that can handle both powder and groomed runs. Typical Width: 105-115mm underfoot.

Freeride Powder Skis

Freeride powder skis, on the other hand, are typically wider and longer for maximum float in deep snow. These skis are designed for those who love exploring off-piste terrain and seeking out the deepest freshest powder. Typical Width: 110-130mm.

Backcountry Touring Powder Skis:

These skis are better equipped for backcountry ski touring where you make uphill ascents with skins and then ski down. They are typically lighter in weight and may have features such as a more pronounced rocker profile or built-in skin attachment points. Typical Width: 95mm-115mm underfoot.

Skis might not be marketed explicitly in these categories but by looking at their width, length, flex, and design, you can determine which category they fall into.

Key Considerations

When choosing powder skis, there are a few key features to consider that can greatly impact your skiing experience:


This measurement, typically taken at the waist of the ski, can greatly influence your skiing experience. As I discussed above wider skis provide better float in deep snow, while narrower skis offer more precision and are easier to turn on hardpack.


The rocker profile refers to the shape of the ski. It can be thought of as the ski's curvature from tip to tail, and it affects how the ski behaves on the snow. Skis with a lot of rocker will float better in powder and turn more easily, while skis with less rocker will provide a better edge grip on harder snow.


The flex of a ski determines how responsive and stable it feels under different conditions. A softer flex makes the ski more forgiving and easier to turn, while a stiffer flex offers more stability at high speeds and in variable conditions. The right flex for you depends on how aggressive you are at skiing and your weight.

Ski flex is not usually measured in a standard numerical range across all manufacturers. Instead, it is often categorized into descriptive terms such as soft, medium, stiff, and very stiff. The flex of a ski can also be influenced by other factors such as the ski's length, material, and design.

For powder skiing, a medium to stiff flex is often preferred, especially for heavier or more experienced skiers. This provides a good balance of stability and responsiveness. A softer flex in powder skis can be suitable for lighter or less experienced skiers who may benefit from a more forgiving and playful skiing experience.


The construction of the ski can affect its overall performance and durability. Different materials and construction methods can make the ski lighter, more durable, or more responsive. The best powder skis typically are made from carbon fiber, fiberglass, and wood cores. Cheaper powder skis are often made from materials such as foam cores or lower-quality fiberglass.


Taper refers to the narrowing of the ski towards the tip and tail. This design feature can affect how easily the ski initiates turns and moves through different types of snow. A ski with more taper will be easier to pivot and slide, while a ski with less taper will provide more edge grip and stability.


The weight of a ski can significantly impact its performance. Heavier powder skis can provide more stability and power through rough terrain, while lighter skis are easier to maneuver and can be less fatiguing over a long day of skiing. Consider the weight of a ski in relation to your own strength and endurance and if you plan to do any uphill ski touring.


While the general rule of thumb for ski length is somewhere between your chin and the top of your head, powder skis are typically longer. This is because a longer ski provides more surface area, which helps you float better on deep snow. Therefore, many powder skiers opt for skis that are at least as tall as they are, or even a bit taller. 

Longer powder skis provide better float in deep snow, while shorter skis are more maneuverable and easier to handle in tight spaces. The right length for you will depend on your height, weight, and skiing ability.


Most powder skis come without bindings, so you'll want to match them with bindings that are appropriate for the type of skiing you'll be doing and your skill level. The main types of bindings for powder skiing are Alpine bindings and Touring bindings. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice will depend on your personal preferences and skiing style.


Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1000 for a quality pair of powder skis. Higher-end skis made from premium materials like carbon fiber and wood cores will typically be on the higher end of that price range. The benefit of paying more for higher-end powder skis is that they often offer better performance, durability, and overall skiing experience.

You can still get a decent pair of skis in the lower price range. For bindings budget an additional $200 to $400, depending on the type and brand you choose.

Expect your new skis to last for several seasons and if you take good care of them with regular waxing and maintenance you'll get 5-10 years or more. Use my Ski Cost Calculator below to work out the payback time compared with the cost of renting each time you ski.

Ski Cost Calculator

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