The Best Women’s Resort Skis of 2017
For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today and save 20 percent.
Presenting the three winners from our ski test.
Elan Ripstick 94 W
Head’s Total Joy is a frontside ripper, the Salomon Stella is a big-mountain tool—and the Ripstick falls right in between. It may be the most precise carver on this page, staying positively glued to the snow when laying down everything from short-radius slalom moves to sweeping super-G tracks. It did best in soft snow and bumps, nimbly leaping from turn to turn. “Comfortable, effortless, and powerful,” raved one tester. “For chargers who want a ski with spark, spunk, and personality,” said another. The only caveat: you’ll have to rein it in on steep, icy slopes, where it tended to feel outmatched. Experts desired a bit more heft and stiffness on treacherous lines. 134/94/109
Head Total Joy
Two seasons ago, Head launched what may be the greatest women-specific resort skis on the market with its Joy line. The planks are built around the super-material graphene—a fancy carbon that’s a million times thinner than paper and 100 times stronger than steel. This ski rips, especially considering its light weight. It was almost eerie how such a user-friendly tool could go from screaming down ice to pouncing through powder stashes in the trees. All our testers loved the 85-millimeter-waisted Total Joy, in the middle of the Joy range. Best for those who spend most of their time skiing frontside when snowfall totals amount to just a few inches. If you plan to hit bigger, deeper lines, size up to the Big Joy or Great Joy. 133/85/113
Salomon QST Stella 106
If you’re a westerner who spends most of your time in powder, the Stella could well be the only ski you need. This is a stupidly fun, capable ride that excelled under intermediate and advanced skiers. A 106-millimeter waist means it feels at home on early-morning corduroy and racing through eight inches in glades. It’s lightweight (just 7.8 pounds), with a honeycomb tip and tail that keep it playful. Experts will have a hard time overpowering it on anything except icy couloirs. (In situations like those, some of us were left wanting a heavier model.) “The Stella puts in the work so you don’t have to,” said one tester. 137.5/106/125