If you already have your snow legs on, buying the best skis for intermediate skiers will be more by instinct than a recommendation.
The main difference between your first runs and the challenges you are planning to put ahead of you now are the types of tracks you are going after. Unlike the groomed trails you started with, you will now aim for something slightly harder and more exciting.
For this, there are some really fun models that can help you gain additional power, handling, or flexibility, giving you more options on the terrain of your choice.
Finally, because the price of making the ski beautiful on the outside is comparatively smaller on higher-end models, you will be able to find some stunning pieces in this part of the market. With a bit of knowledge and some self-searching, you will be skiing on the best skis in no time.
Our Picks for Intermediate Skiers
The best way to find the best skis for you is to explore the variety. Most skis will be all-mountain and appropriate for all types of terrain, but that may not be what you are looking for.
Additionally, there are a couple of very innovative entries in 2019 that have made a real splash. Unlike former years, the skis now are stronger, faster, better looking, and less expensive that skis from the same class just a few years ago.
Finally, if you have enough confidence, you can just opt for the pair of skis that look the best for you, even if that means losing that additional edge.
Not just Volkl as a company, but the specific Mantra line has been a skier favorite for the last decade. The new model doesn’t disappoint, making one of the best all-mountain skis on the market today.
Different to the Mark 4 the M5 has a narrower waist and is significantly lighter, adding to the versatility of the gear. Additionally, the ration between the nose, the waist, and the tail performs quite good on both powder and carving tracks.
Finally, Volkl has reduced the radius from 23 to 19 meters, which is still not optimal, but you will be able to pull that tight turn with a bit of leg work.
- Multi-layer wood core
- Titanium backbone
- Carbon tips and tail
- 134/96/117 Measurements
- Very Light
- Very Durable
There is no question that the Like Sick Day 88 gives the best value of all intermediate skis.
For just a few corners cut from the Mantra M5, these skis cost about half the price. They are quite firm and handle nicely, especially in carving tracks.
The nice curvature of the skis makes it more than adequate for most types of terrain, but the wide 127mm nose (5 inches) will also help you traverse powder, even with an 88mm waist.
In the end, the handling on this skis is what makes them so special and so deserving of the intermediate class. They are very forgiving and will allow you to test your limits without risking your limbs or your wallet.
- Quite Durable
- Stable for Most Terrain
- 127/88/113 Measurements
- Best Value on the Market
The Armada are not only high-quality intermediate park skis, but it seems like each model is a piece of art. The ARV 86 is no different, and not only will it give you an edge in the half-pipe, but you are sure to be noticed.
This is an incredibly lively ski as it combines a ‘’Pop-Lite’’ core wood with a denser, stiffer kind of wood to give that extra spring to your step.
But, the ARV is not just for the park. You will be more than able to make any mountain your own as the skis handle excellently, have quite a bit of power, and can easily handle light powder.
The measurement will vary on the length, with the nose ranging from 114mm to 118mm and the tail from 108mm to 112mm. As all models have the same waist width, you might want to opt for a shorter model as to get that slight reduction in the turn radius.
- Very lightweight
- Medium turning radius
- Very durable
- 114/86/108 Measurements
- 17m at 163cm Radius
If you want to stick to carving, but would like to try some more demanding tracks, than the DPS Cassiar is the ski for you.
Unlike most other skis, this model flattens out the sidecut, giving improved steering in both harder and thicker snow in exchange for some mobility when walking. Depending on the terrain this can be either a deal breaker or something you have always wanted.
The 3¾ inch waist is very versatile and the go-to width for all-terrain skis today, but where this model shines is carving tracks and light powder.
- Rocker Tip
- UHMW Sidewalls
- 20m at 191cm Radius
- 133/94/113 Measurements
This is the most powerful model on this list, and something not to be taken lightly. It is made for precision slalom carving and is almost a professional model.
The sidecut is very curvaceous, with the waist being only 72mm or 2 & 4/5 of an inch. By all means, the Salomon Blast is very high-tech. The core is made from hardwood with metal laminated through. The edge is upgraded to be high-tech with the Amplifier Technology, and the turn radius on the shortest model is an incredible 13m.
While this is still an intermediate ski, you will be able to find it in several top range competitions.
- Extremely Powerful
- Very Lightweight
- Titanial Sidecuts
- Wood/Metal Core
- Edge Amplifier Technology
- 121/27/106 Measurements
- 17m at 175cm
Intermediate Skiers Buyer’s Guide
The biggest issue when trying to find the best skis for intermediate skiers is knowing where you will be using them.
Additionally, you will need to know the extent of your ability, as too much power at the wrong track can be bad for ones health. Be confident in your experience, but not overconfident to a fault.
The best course of action is first to investigate the next destination where you will be skiing and to buy appropriate skis for that place. Most skis from out list are all-mountain types and will be good in most areas, but there is a chance that you will want special.
Know Where You are Going
The main thing to do when switching your beginner skis for intermediate ones is to find out where you want to ski next. Perhaps you will choose some tracks that are not as groomed as you are used to, or maybe you want to try out the part rides and do some tricks.
Each track will have different skis that are perfect for it. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go on powder tracks with park skis, but only that they will not perform just as well.
If you adjust your skis to the locale you are going to, as well as your style, you will be certain to take as much as possible from your equipment. Getting the maximum in enjoyment and experience is what it should be able about, after all.
Sometimes called all-mountain, these are the skis good for all types of tracks. They have a good enough sidecut for carving but are wide enough for powder.
To use them in parks you will need to go shorter than usual.
Powder refers to snow. Fresh snow needs wider skis. If you want to ski on virgin tracks, you will need something to keep you above the snow during your descent.
Most tracks are carving tracks, as they refer to packed snow that is already hardened. Good carving skis have a good edge capable of cutting the snow.
Parks are specific tracks that have rails and half-pipes where you can do tricks, flips, and similar acrobatics. These skis are shorter but have a lot of power in them and glide across the snow easily.
What to Look for?
The general rule of thumb when picking the best skis for intermediate skiers is to choose the design first, then the way they feel, and finally the way they look.
Once you know the track you will be skiing on, and have a made a shortlist of models that are good for them see which ones will fit the best. If you have your own bindings, this will be a question of weight, but if not you should pick a fitting size.
Finally, good looking skis make you feel good, and you should pick the ones that are more your style.
Aesthetics may not be essential, but they are important, and you should always pick something that you like to look at.
There are a lot of excellent skis for intermediate skiers, and the hardest thing about making a top list is choosing which ones will be the best fit for most people.
To get the most out of your skis, you will need to be aware of your own style of riding and use the experience you already have. Going outside of your comfort zone is good, but only if it makes you happy.
Joy is the primary goal of skiing, and with the skis on the list, you will have an opportunity to make your experience even better than before.