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Everything in life has its rules and restrictions. Even the games we play and the hobbies we enjoy come with their own set of can-dos and can’t-do’s. However, there is a place where rules aren’t the norm. Where they aren’t the law but merely suggestions.

Close your eyes and imagine a long mountain range. One that has been blanketed by fresh snow. A place where going off-piste is encouraged and where any average all-mountain ski simply won’t do.

This is freeriding country.

Freeriding is a type of skiing that takes place on un-groomed terrain. There are no rules or restrictions. Just you pushing your ski’s ability to the limit. Even advanced skiers need some time to relax and let go.

That can be done with the Salomon QSTs. All-mountain skis with a Cork damplifier for some smooth sailing. Sounds great, right? Well, there is plenty more where that came from listed below.

Product

Details

Best Overall

Salomon QST 106 Skis

  • Size: 188cm
  • Sport Type: Cycling

Lightweight Construction

Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis

  • Size: 164 cm
  • Sport Type: Skiing

Best Chatter-free Ride

Black Crows Corvus Freebird Skis

  • Size: 188 cm
  • Sport Type: Alpine Skiing

Best Heavy-Duty Skis

Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis

  • Size:  172 cm
  • Sport Type: SKIING

Best Flotation

Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

  • Size: 164 cm
  • Sport Type: Alpine Skiing

Best Budget Skis

K2 Mindbender 108 Ti Skis

  • Size: 186 cm
  • Sport Type: SKIING

Best Versatile Ski

Head Kore 105 Skis

  • Size: 189 cm
  • Sport Type: Alpine Skiing

Best of the Rest

Völkl Revolt 104 Skis

  • Size: 180 cm
  • Sport Type: Alpine Skiing

The 8 Best Freeride Skis

Freeride skis are different from regular skis in a few ways. For one, a freeride ski is wider than a regular ski. A wider ski floats better when cruising through chopped-up snow and deep powder.

Freeride skis tend to have either a directional shape or a symmetrical shape. They are made for tearing up the whole mountain and have incredible stability. Even the clumsiest skiers can get great soft snow performance with freeride skis.

Take it from me, it took me far longer to learn how to stay upright than I would like to admit. Despite this, even I felt great the first time I tried out a pair of freeride skis. A great freeride ski, like the ones listed below, inspires confidence.

1. Salomon QST 106 Skis

what are freeride skis

To be number one you’ve got to be different than the rest. Do things differently or better, the Salomon QSTS were able to accomplish just that. Starting with their very center. A full poplar wood core that has excellent stability and filters out the annoying chatter that crud brings with it.

This is something that a freeride ski should absolutely have. The ability to silence the chatter and give you a smooth and satisfying experience. Pairing alongside this poplar wonder is a Cork laminate.

Usually, a freeride ski will have a Koryod laminate. This type of laminate does a well enough job of minimizing the effect of any annoying bumps. It also improves edge hold and doesn’t weigh down lighter skis.

best skis of 2021

However, a Cork laminate delivers all of these benefits except that it also dampens your ride up to sixteen times better than Koroyd. Keep in mind that reaching high speeds with these skis is entirely possible thanks to the tapered design that leads into the ski’s tips.

The tapered design also increases skier balance even when traveling at said high speeds.

This is why the Salomon QST is such a great ski. It goes above and beyond what the competition offers.

Features

  • Terrain: All-mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Full Poplar Woodcore
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Cork laminate absorbs vibrations and dampens ride far better than Koroyd laminate.
  • Full wood core for stability and vibration filtering.
  • Tapered shape leading into the tip and tail for the perfect balance when high-speed skiing.

Cons

  • Despite being for intermediates, does not come with ski bindings.

Salomon QST 106 Skis

The price of “Salomon QST 106 Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

2. Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis

freerideski

The less something weighs, the easier it is for you to move it around. This simple dictum explains why the Rossignol sender is one of the most responsive skis on this list. If you really want to experience the “free” in freeriding then you are going to need responsive skis.

Key to the lightweight construction of this freeride ski is its Paulownia wood core. Paulownia wood is much lighter than the types of wood that are used to construct other ski cores. Namely beech and maple.

A Diago fiber laminate has also been added to the structure of this freeride ski. What this laminate does is replace common laminate materials. Further reducing weight and therefore increasing control.

ski powder

Surely, by now you have sensed a pattern. It’s out with the old and in with the new. Every major area of the Black Ops Sender has seen full-scale remodeling. The focus is on weight reduction.

But with all this cut weight, it should be easy to break the speed limit with the Black Ops Sender. Rossignol certainly thinks so and it’s why they added a medium flex pattern that runs throughout the entire length of this low-cambered ski.

With this flex, you can easily leap into the air and count on a stable landing to boot.

Features

  • Terrain: All-mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Paulownia wood core
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • The Paulownia wood core is much more lightweight than competing skis and offers more control.
  • Diago fiber laminate reduces weight and increases responsiveness.
  • Medium flex pattern that adds pop without compromising on stability.

Cons

  • Camber underfoot is low, some skiers will prefer a different style.

Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis

The price of “Rossignol Black Ops Sender Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Black Crows Corvus Freebird Skis

freeride ski

Pink, certainly too much pink. It’s flashy and if you want to make a statement then you’ll certainly get people talking with the Corvus Freebird. In fact, the only thing that won’t chatter is your ride.

The Corvus was made for that big mountain crud that doesn’t let up. With enough stability to make even the best true all-mountain ski blush, there wasn’t a single line blade or corner of these skis that wasn’t optimized for a damp ride.

Slight contours were driven into the side cuts. What these contours do is prevent a straight fall line between your skis and the snow. This results in a much more stable carve because you are no longer on an equal plane with the terrain itself.

skiing powder

A progressive rocker has been included in the tail. This feature turns the tail of your freeride ski into a true rudder. Making it easier to pivot on a dime and change course. Something I truly appreciate, I love design features that find new ways to improve the control that a skier has over their gear.

Taking one look at the price of the Corvus may make you want to pivot away to another ski pair. However, it is important to keep in mind that the quality here justifies the price.

Features

  • Terrain: Big Mountain and Alpine Touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Carbon, Metal, and Poplar Wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Slight contours in the sidecuts for stability when carving.
  • Has a progressive tail rocker that supports the skier and makes it easy to pivot.
  • The width of the waist is robust and easy to find that perfect balance.

Cons

  • Pink, it’s all pink but some may see this as a pro.

Black Crows Corvus Freebird Skis

The price of “Black Crows Corvus Freebird Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis

big mountain skis

You’re always going to need an option that can blast through the toughest terrain without hesitation. The kind of skis that will bravely follow you into the deep powder. Dynastar has such a pair of skis. The M-Free 180s were made for heavy-duty rampaging.

The M-Free 180s have a sintered base that smoothly glides over all kinds of snow conditions. Taking crud and chopped-up snow and making it feel smooth as butter when skating across it.

Of course, one can’t go on heavy-duty charges without being built to take the hits. Fortunately, the sidewalls and base of these skis have a sandwich construction to them. What a sandwich-style construction does is reinforce the build quality of a ski.

skier back top headed

It stacks layers together, with the most durable layers out front and center. This is how these skis are capable of blasting through the untamed wilds. Nothing stops your ride and isn’t that the essence of freeriding?

The best part about the M-Free 180s is that they aren’t overly long for length’s sake. In fact, they are among the shortest skis on this list. Keeping your ride tight and controlled. A great way to increase skier control without cutting weight and therefore durability.

Features

  • Terrain: All-Mountain and Big Mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Poplar and Polyurethane Hybrid Core
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • Get a satisfying glide thanks to the Sintered HD base.
  • Sandwich construction for the sidewalls and base.
  • The short length of the ski makes it easy to take the M-Frees on charging runs.

Cons

  • I think the ski length is a benefit but longer skis offer a damper ride.

Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis

The price of “Dynastar M-Free 108 Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

5. Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

freeride skis

I’m a sucker for pretty graphics and striking colors. This is what leads me to snowboards and skis that I have no business being around. One day I’ll learn, but until then allow me to gush about the Blizzard Rustler 10s and their beautiful gradient blue design.

Underneath this striking display are skis that were made to fly on powder. Well, not just powder but all kinds of snow. After all, the amount of rocker placed in the tip and tail has been increased to ensure consistent flotation across all kinds of off-piste terrain.

Consistency is key here. To ensure that you’ll get a playful and surfy ride no matter where you find yourself, Blizzard has changed up the laminates of the Rustlers. A carbon flip core laminate has been applied to either ski.

rossignol powder skis

The way these laminates make your ride more playful is by increasing the float of the skis. With better float comes a more surfy ride. Attached to this surfy ride is a medium turn radius.

Sure, with this turning radius you won’t be able to retain as much speed as when carving. You also won’t be able to turn as quickly or sharply but the middle-ground design means that you’ll be getting a bit of both ends.

A great look and a great value.

Features

  • Terrain: All-mountain
  • Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Carbon, Metal, and Wood
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • Awesome colors and graphic design with a top sheet that truly lets them shine.
  • Consistent flotation across all kinds of off-piste terrain.
  • Has a Carbon Flipcore laminate that increases the playful and surfy feel of the ride.

Cons

  • Only one year of warranty with purchase.

Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis

The price of “Blizzard Rustler 10 Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

6. K2 Mindbender 108 Ti Skis

best big mountain skis

The K2 Mindbender looks unappealing, to say the least. However, I am old enough to understand that looks are not everything. There are several reasons why the Mindbenders are such a great pickup.

These skis have an incredible all-terrain rocker that was specially made to increase skier control, no matter what kind of terrain you find yourself in. Consistency is what makes the Mindbender true all-mountain skis.

The oversized ABS sidewalls transfer the weight and power of your movements and have them effortlessly telegraphed by your skis. You get more action with less energy being exerted. Power efficiency is what makes the Mindbender great big mountain skis.

skier back top headed

Rounding off this brilliant duality is a fir and aspen core. Ripe with all of the benefits of both but without weighing down the skis. The aspen keeps the weight down, while the fir is responsible for the great shock absorption on display here.

The best part is that all of what I have just mentioned are available at only half the price as the other skis on this list. Similar quality but at a massive discount.

Features

  • Terrain: All-Mountain and Big Mountain
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert
  • Turn Radius: Long
  • Core: Fir and Aspen Core
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Awesome all-terrain rocker for control across versatile terrain.
  • Available for a fraction of what the other top skis cost.
  • Oversized ABS sidewalls for enhanced power transmission.

Cons

  • Strange graphic and color design, not very appealing.

K2 Mindbender 108 Ti Skis

The price of “K2 Mindbender 108 Ti Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

7. Head Kore 105 Skis

best freeride ski

Versatility is important because you need a pair of skis that can adapt to the terrain and snow conditions that you find yourself in.

The Head kore 105 skis are capable of being your one-quiver skis of choice. Able to be taken on the big mountain, treated as all-mountain skis, and ready for some alpine touring.

They’ve got a medium turn radius to go with their land versatility and a Graphene laminate. This Graphene laminate adds a great deal of durability without completely weighing down the skis. Graphene itself is known for its lightweight yet strong qualities.

skiing powder

The core has been fashioned from Karuba wood and increases the density and durability of the Kore 105s. It’s exotic and it gets the job done, hipsters everywhere rejoice! Caked all over this quality is a polyester fleece that has taken the place of a top sheet.

Lightweight and with an inspired build design, just disregard the uninspired graphic design.

Features

  • Terrain: All-Mountain, Big Mountain, and Alpine Touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Carbon, Graphene, and Wood
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • Graphene is included in one of its laminates. This is a strong yet lightweight material.
  • The top sheet has been replaced by a polyester fleece to reduce weight.
  • The Karuba wood core increases density and durability.

Cons

  • Dull and uninspired graphic design.

Head Kore 105 Skis

The price of “Head Kore 105 Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Völkl Revolt 104 Skis

best freeride skis

The Revolt 104s refuse to be categorized or limit themselves in any way. Yes, these skis are great for freeriding but to call them freeriding skis would be doing them a disservice. The Revolts 104s are out to compete with every ski on our list.

These skis have the best-designed side cuts that I’ve ever seen. These side cuts allow you to transition from a short carve to a large carve without any hiccups. You also won’t be losing any speed or stability as you do so.

skier back top headed

When it comes to terrain versatility, these are the first and only skis on our list that can handle park skiing, pipes, the big mountain, and all-mountain terrain. I’ve got to give credit for this to the multilayered wood core at the heart of these skis.

There is some restraint when it comes to the tip and tail rocker. The ski tips only bend upward when necessary, making for a very stable ride with decent float.

Features

  • Terrain: Park/Pipe, All-Mountain, and Big Mountain
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert
  • Turn Radius: Medium
  • Core: Multilayer wood core
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • Combines several layers of different woods to get a strong core design.
  • Perfectly designed side cuts for stability, speed, and being able to transition from one carve to the next.
  • Tips only bend upward when needed to reduce the drop in stability.

Cons

  • Requires brakes with a width of 15mms more than ski waist.

Völkl Revolt 104 Skis

The price of “Völkl Revolt 104 Skis” varies, so check the latest price at

FAQs

Which Skis Are the Best Freeride Skis?

In general, the best freeride skis are definitely the Salomon QST 106s. These mountain skis give you an incredibly smooth and damp ride. Thanks to their side walls, they even perform admirably on firmer snow.

However, the best freeride or mountain skis are the ones that specifically complement your skiing style. If you carve a lot then get something with a superior edge hold, like the Dynastar M-Free 108s.

Figure out your style and then pick the best all-mountain skis made for that kind of skiing.

Are the Best Freeride Skis Good For Beginners?

A great thing about the Salomon QST 106s is that they can be used by expert skiers and lower intermediate to advanced skiers. Pretty much anyone can get a great and consistent performance from these mountain skis.

My Final Thoughts

The backcountry terrain, the entire mountain, it doesn’t matter where you freeride. Just as long as you are off-piste and there are variable snow conditions. As long as there are no rules or regulations. That is when you know that you’ve found your freeriding home.

Don’t squander your freedom. Strap on the Head Kore 105s and make the most out of their rubber foil-dampened edges. Take the K2 Mindbenders for a spin and use their all-terrain rocker profile to turn the entire mountain into your own personal resort.

If you want more control, better power and stability, and top performance, then you’ll get one of the freeride skis listed above.

Categories: Skiing

Adrian Salazar

My name is Adrian Salazar and I have been wrapped up in the world of water and other extreme sports since the first time I went kayaking. When I’m not working hard trying to deliver the best writing that I can, I am usually out on a lake or hiking up a mountain. My world is completely dominated by writing and the mix of adrenaline and peace of mind that can be achieved while engaging in new sports. I will use my knowledge, experience, and mistakes, to inform you about the best ways that you can become a part of the world of extreme sports. You can count on me to give you my informed and unbiased opinion about any sporting equipment you may need. I know from personal experience that extreme sports are something that you need to head into completely and accurately informed. Let my experience guide you.

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