The Best Women’s Skis We Saw at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show

Three times a year, the Denver Convention Center overflows with the latest, and raddest gear. Outdoor Retailer is the biggest tradeshow in the industry and, for us skiers, the Snow Show is what we truly care about.

Every brand you’ve ever heard of – and some you haven’t – give a peek behind the curtain of next winter’s skis. And the 2019/2020 season has a plethora of women’s skis to get excited about.


On-resort or deep in the backcountry, DPS makes some of the surfiest, schmeariest skis in the market. When it comes to creamy turns, DPS has created arguably the best feeling ski ever.

The new Yvette A100 RP (130/100/115 at 163cm) delivers this feeling in spades. With a 15-meter turning radius, a shorter effective edge, and a playful tip and tail, the Yvette can carve multiple turn shapes on hard pack but lives fully up to her potential in the soft or the deep. She can pivot and smear cleanly and quickly, and get back on edge quicker than you can scream out in pure bliss.


You know that friend of yours who got straight As, was class president, beloved by teachers and parents, but would also don a hyper-colored leotard and send it on the weekends? The new QST Lumen 99 is the ski version of that friend.

The QST series has more awards than Bonnie Raitt has Grammys, and likes to party harder than Madonna in 1987. And now the series is even better. The Lumen has a brand new tip and tail shape, and a new bulbous sidecut that makes for creamy smears or trenching carves. Plus, the addition of cork in the tip and tail eats chatter for breakfast.


If it works for TGR maven Hadley Hammer, it’ll work for you. The Pandora series is Line’s freeride women’s collection. Hammer says it can truly handle every condition out there, but with style.

The 104 has floaty versatility with nimbleness and a quick tip swing. The 94 is surfy and carve-able. And the 88 is the frontside, everyday driver. All three feature carbon filaments running within the aspen core, making the Pandora lightweight, agile, and strong.


The Ripstick series has kicked the doors in on the idea that Elan only makes carving skies for Euros.

When it comes to powder and all-mountain performance, these suckers are more fun than a wedding reception dance floor, with none of the next day regret. The wood core is lighter than angel feathers and snappier than an upset grandma. Plus, carbon rods running the length of the ski aid in a confident, sturdy turn combined with a wide platform that’ll float well.

And the Amphibio Tech – an asymmetrical rocker profile – creates a ride smoother than a greased seal on a slip-n-slide.


She’s back! Armada has heard your demands: “Where the hell is our big powder board for super duper deep days?!” Be bummed no more. The VJJ has returned.

The ARW VJJ 116 is a big-bodied, light-but-not-too-light, freestyle powder hunter. Gradual tip and tail rocker, plus a beveled base at the tip and tail, and a poplar and ash wood core combine to make the VJJ an ultra slash monster that’ll plain in the depths inside or outside the boundary.

The amount of turn shapes, style, and technique that the VJJ offers is as endless as your desire to find bottomless snow.


Volkl’s Mantra model has been overachieving with awards and acclaim for more than a decade. Using it as a model for success, Volkl is introducing a brand new Mantra sister, the Kenja (88—129/88/111).

With a poppy-layered wood core, stabilizing titanal frame, and damp carbon tips, the Kendo is a stout-but-not-stiff, all-mountain carver. But don’t think it’s a one-trick pony. Gradual tip and tail rocker allow it to perform well in the chop, bumps, and soft snow. This is a daily driver, all-season-long ski. If you’re looking for a one-ski quiver for on-resort turnin’, the Kendo is a terrific option. Ski it all day, every day.


First and foremost, let’s just take a moment to give a shout out to Blizzard’s Women to Women initiative, whose mission it is to “specifically design authentic women’s products that will take all committed and passionate skiers, regardless of ability, to new levels of confidence, excitement and freedom.” It’s the best thing to happen to skiing since the invention of powder.

Inline with their sharp look at women-specific gear, one of the best skis Blizzard has ever created is the Black Pearl, possibly the most popular women’s ski of all time. Why? ‘Cause it’s super fun and skis everything well. Now, there’s a Black Pearl 82. It has a similar construction to the wider models, but the 82 is a bit more frontside focused. It’s still an all-mountain ski; it just hits the sweet spot between the 78 and 88.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond doesn’t make women’s skis. They also don’t make men’s skis. They just make skis. And when they switched construction locales from China to Austria a few years back, BD skis came to life with character and fun. Downhill enjoyment became equally as important as uphill performance.

The new Helio Recon 105, 95, and 88 is a prime example of this. It’s similarly shaped as the original Helio, but the carbon core has been replaced, and therefore lightened up, with poplar. The construction is similar to the Boundary Pro, which is BD’s greatest, most fun ski. The Helio Recon is the sum of the best parts of BD, kinda like Justin Timberlake and NSYNC.

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