2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Freeride Skis

This year, we’re mixing things up. We’ve historically organized skis solely based on width, but we’ve realized this approach can ignore a ski’s purpose. So for 2018, we dove into the psyche of our testers—who hammered the slopes of Powder Mountain, Utah for a week in March—to hone in on what skis were best suited to certain pursuits.

Here are our freeride favorites.

These skis are all about the descent, prioritizing downhill-focused stability over weight. They target the upper end of width (118 to 98 mm underfoot) and offer varying degrees of rocker and stout construction for confidence in conditions from crud to hardpack. They’ll bring power into the backcountry, but demand muscle going up and down.

Want to see in-depth tester feedback on these products? Subscribe now to get the 2018 Gear Guide, packed with reviews of all the Editors’ Choice winners, plus more than 200 other must-have skis, splitboards, boots, bindings, apparel and accessories.


Atomic Backland FR 109 W

$725 – atomic.com | SIZES (cm): 159, 167, 175 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 113/109/123 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 7.5 lbs. (175)

“Bottom Line: It’s best-friend material—holds steady through the crud and lets loose when the conditions are right.”

Head Kore 105

$800 head.com | SIZES (cm): 171, 180, 189 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 139/112/129 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 7.7 lbs. (180)

“Bottom Line: Best for bigger or strong-legged skiers who prefer straight lines to squiggles.”

Blizzard Rustler 11

$840 blizzardsportusa.com | SIZES (cm): 164, 172, 180, 188, 192 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 142/114/132 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 8.6 lbs. (180)

“Bottom Line: A heavy charger that’s not for the faint of heart.”

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