Frontside skis are the most popular style of skis for women, excelling on the groomers where the majority of skiers will spend their time. Typically less than 85mm at the waist, frontside skis for women are designed to spend nearly all of their time on the groomers with little ability to head off the beaten path when the conditions are deep. As it is the most common form of skiing, you can find a frontside ski for every level of skier, from the first-timers to the frontside experts. We had our team of Skis.com testers hop on dozens of 2018 frontside skis and determine which five stood out the most.
Women’s Frontside Skis Vs. Men’s Frontside Skis – What’s the Difference?
Before we dive into the picks, it’s important to understand just what the difference is between men’s and women’s skis and why getting a women’s-specific ski is beneficial. Women’s skis are designed a little differently than men’s ski. No matter how strong or aggressive of a skier you are, women’s skis are designed to be more efficient and less fatiguing for you. Since women are typically lighter weight than men are, frontside skis for women are typically softer in the tail, making them easier for you to release them out of a turn. Your mass plays a significant factor in how much pressure you can apply to a ski. A softer ski in the tail requires less energy to make it do what you want it to. Women also carry their weight a little differently than men do. Men carry their weight in their beer bellies, while women carry their weight in their hips and backside. This weight distribution causes many women of all skiing abilities to sit slightly in the “backseat” while skiing which results in a lack of total control. To compensate for this different distribution of mass, ski manufacturers have moved up the mounting position on the ski to allow for easier turn initiation and less fatiguing skiing.
Check out our favorites for the top 5 frontside skis for men here.
Let’s Get to the Top Picks
1. Head Super Joy
The Head Super Joy is incredibly lightweight and agile. If you like making smooth, tight turns, this ski will make a perfect option for you. The Super Joy is made with a material called Graphene which is 200 times stronger than steel, but a mere fraction of the weight. Head also makes all of their skis with ERA 3.0 Technology that caters the amount of rocker, rebound and turning radius to the skill level to whom that ski is intended for.
2. Nordica Astral 84
The Nordica Astral 84 has a little bit wider of a waist making it the strongest crud buster and giving it the best ability for heading off piste of any ski on this list. Nordica uses a Balsa Wood Core to serve as a fantastic weight reduction technique without any compromise to performance. One of the highlights of Nordica’s 2018 technologies is the Titanium Hex Bridge. This Ti Hex Bridge adds a strong edge hold and stability, while keeping the weight to a minimum. Strategic cut outs in this layer of Titanium deliver a perfect mix of flex and power.
3. Volkl Flair 81
The Volkl Flair 81 is the most powerful ski on this list, designed for ladies with strong technique who are looking for speed and precision. The 3D Ridge Technology is made with a raised center ridge and a very thin profile over the sidewalls that reduces the weight of the ski while lowering the amount of inertia it takes to maneuver the ski. Volkl’s new 3D Glass has layers of glass behind the sidewalls to add torsional power, improve rebound and edge hold to deliver a fantastic skiing experience.
4. Atomic Cloud 12
The Atomic Cloud 12 features the new Servotec Technology that comes right out of the World Cup race room. Servotec is a free-standing rod that is loaded with tension that extends out towards the shovel of the ski. This rod is connected to an Elastomer to increase rebound and energy to each turn; think of it as a power steering mechanism. A High Speed Sidecut helps grips the snow with power and stability.
5. Rossignol Famous 6
The Rossignol Famous 6 is the most forgiving ski on the list, designed for the intermediate to advanced skier. Power Turn Rocker has the slightest amount of rocker in the tip for quick and deliberate turn initiation. The Prop Tip pulls heavier material away from the tip of the ski that lowers the swing weight and improves maneuverability. A Sandwich Duracap Construction has edge grip underneath the binding platform with forgiveness in the tip and tail.
Our staff had a ball riding all five of these women’s frontside skis, and thought all of them were very deserving of acclaim. To see the 2018 women’s frontside skis that didn’t make the list, check out our full selection.