Best Overall Women's All-Mountain Skis
Stable at speed
Great off-piste in powder and chop
The Volkl Aura
is the most versatile, high-performance ski in our review, earning it this award three years running. It is extremely stable at speed and full rocker makes it fun in powder and bumps. It's damp and eats chop for breakfast, while feeling like a race car at speed. It performs surprisingly well on piste, despite needing to be driven more than the models that won carving points. It holds an edge extremely well and has edge-to-edge quickness despite its rocker. This model is for an expert, and it will drive if you are not ready to stay on top and ski with authority. If you are an advanced skier looking for sticks that you can go anywhere and take on anything with, consider the Volkl Aura.
Best Bang for the Buck
Great off-piste and in soft snow
Excellent in chop
Takes some getting used to
The Blizzard Samba
is another hard-charging contender for the experienced female skier, and at a lower price than the Aura, it takes our Best Buy Award at $650. The Samba likes to dance its way through all kinds of conditions, keeping you floating through powder while remaining stable on groomers and hardpack. The Samba excels in variable conditions. For some, it will take a bit of time to figure the Samba out, but with patience you'll get in the rhythm.
Best Bang for the Buck
Armada Victa 93
Easy to ski
Decent float in powder
Poor crud performance
Affordable and for the intermediate skier looking to get off the trails, the Armada Victa
wins the Best Buy Award with its steadfast performance AND
$500 price tag. The Victa are softer planks, but they have great carving performance, with a narrower 93mm waist, which provides edge-to-edge quickness on groomers. A fat, rockered tip plows through soft crud and floats on top of the powder. The Armada Victa can take your skiing ability to the next level at a reasonable price.
Top Pick for Best Carving Performance
Head Great Joy
Short turn radius
Fun in the powder
Can be hooky in crud and bumps
All of the products in this review are all-mountain, but some are more specialized and perform better than others in certain terrain. The Head Great Joy
wins Top Pick Award because it is the most fun to carve on-piste. Its dramatic sidecut profile springs you in and out of 15.3-meter turns and its full sidewall construction provides great edge hold. Our testers love to carve snappy turns on this model. Although the Great Joy's stood out for carving, they can surf powder too! Their exaggerated fat tips and plump 100mm waist have great float in deep powder. Our expert testers tried these in a longer length, and we would suggest sizing up if you're on the fence in choosing a length.
Top Pick for Best Powder and Soft Snow Performance
Rossignol Soul 7 - Women's
Great float in powder
Tips deflect in crud
The first time we laid eyes on the Rossignol Soul 7
, we knew it was special. Then we wiggled through powder stashes and knew we were in love. The Soul 7 wins our Top Pick Award for best powder and soft snow performance, because this is where they shine. Unique tip and tail shape and a 106mm waist floats you through coldsmoke and Sierra cement alike. They are an impressive all-around performer, neck and neck with the Aura for best all-mountain performance, but they are slightly less stable and will buck you in crud more than the Aura. That said, we love carving responsive turns on the Soul 7, and they're a great choice for the variable West Coast conditions.