The Best Gear for Hard-Charging Women: Skis

Your typical buyers guide has about two hearty pages of gear. But the fact of reality is we usually have no idea who tested them, if they skied them more than a couple runs, what type of skier they are, and (get this), if they were actually tested by a girl. But we realize the need for quality women’s gear these days, which is why we summoned the crowds to bring you some of the best gear in the industry. By women, about women, for women. No bullshit - just killer gear for the girls who want it.

ON3P Jessie  

Jessie 98
Park - All Mountain
127-98-121

 

Reviewer: My name is Erica and I’m a product of the Midwest- which means lots of tow ropes and ice. After my first season in Jackson Hole, I have become a lover of skiing big mountain terrain as fast as I possibly can. My favorite skis are stiff, burly, and can help me conquer any line or condition that comes my way.

The Jessie 98 is an essential part to ON3P's new women's line, which is in its second production year. ON3P didn't cut any corners with this one- the ski has the same durable construction as any other ON3P ski. I took the 176cm Jessie 98 out on Mt. Hood July-August '16 for a total of about 10 days and rode everything from fresh icy corduroy, to thick summer slush.

The Jessie is true to ON3P's 'Freestyle Rocker Profile'. It has elliptical rocker and elliptical sidecut which translates into an energetic ski that's playful and poppy, but has strong camber underfoot, as well as a powerful edge, allowing you as a skier to charge and carve hard.

When I look for skis, and especially women's skis, I require a pair that has enough bomb-proof strength to keep me charging through whatever the variable conditions are- I can happily say the Jessie met this standard.

This ski is aggressive enough to be an everyday asset to progressive women's skiers.

Jessie 108
All Mountain- Powder
138-108-124

Reviewer: WASSUP. I'm Kenzie Lisac, and I grew up skiing on Hood with my family. I raced for years and years and ended up calling it quits as a J1 FIS racer to dabble in the world of free skiing. I moved to Montana to ski the jagged ridges of pow in the Rockies. I bought my first pair of boots that weren't race boots when I moved here and skiing suddenly became that much more kickass! I love a hard charging ski that I can control! I'm average size but my skiing demands a ski that is indestructible and versatile.

When I moved from Oregon to Montana I picked up the ON3P women's ski and fell in love with their hard charging design, the Jessie 108.  


This ski is no shrink and pink; it's not for the faint of heart in women's skiing. This ski charges and demands your control. This is not the typical women's ski, it charges like a men's ski but is designed for the weight and flex of a female skier. In my experience, they turn on a dime. The Jessie skis like a race cut ski on the firm stuff, and floats like a fat tip pow ski in the heavier snow. They are heavier than most women's skis, but it doesn't interfere with spinning or flipping. This ski likes to react with how you ski on it. Are you a park skier? They are flexible and easy on rails and easy to maneuver. Big mountain skier? They are stiff enough to hold an extremely steady landing off cliffs or jumps and charge hard through any of the crud in the middle of your straight line.


I fell in love with the idea that these skis are HAND-MADE. A fine young dude/lady spent their work week perfectly crafting your ski so that it is exactly to their riders specs. I think the idea of a hand-crafted small ski business is something this industry should embrace. The hard work that goes into making these skis is nothing other than utterly impressive and worth every penny.


There are plenty of women skiers out there that need a soft shorter ski; I skied on a women's ski like that for years and I improved ten-fold. The only way to maximize your ability is on the ON3P Jessie. They are bomb proof (never had a core shot or a busted edge, EVER) and they are playful yet serious when it comes to intense terrain. I will never ski anything other than the ON3P product. Highly recommended, lady to lady. Shred on.

 

4FRNT HOJI W
All Mountain- Powder
129-112-120

Reviewer My name is Sammi! I shred in Bozeman, MT. I moved from Tahoe for bigger, badder mountains. My favorite skis let me get surfy. I'm all about finesse and super fast sunglasses.

The 4FRNT Hoji W is a full rocker ski for babes. At 112 underfoot it’s ideal conditions are snowy, big mountain lines. If you've skied the Hoji then you're pretty familiar with how this skis. The Hoji W is lighter than the Hoji, which makes it more maneuverable, and honestly feel better on your feet. 4FRNT's women's skis feature "contour cores" meaning the core weight is 5cm back from their men's ski.

I skied this ski in the 179cm at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky resort in March of 2016. During this period the was packed powder, and groomed runs.
 

For a full rocker ski, it wasn't that difficult to get on edge however, you can't use your entire edge effectively. It can also become chattery if you back off of them. You've def got to be ended the entire time, and this is where I prefer the men's ski with a stiffer core.

The Hoji is my favorite full rocker ski. The Hoji W was a lighter version of it. I absolutely loved it. It's maneuverable, playful, yet stiff enough to take on difficult lines and hold their own. If surfing is your jam, and you like sliding around, the the Hoji W is a ski I wouldn't pass over.

 

ARMADA VJJ 2.0
All Mountain- Powder
130-116-126

Reviewer: My name is Calina, I'm Minnesota bred but the mountain girl in me can't be tamed. Currently living in the beautiful state of Montana for nursing school but let's all be real; I am really here for the skiing. Throw me a ski that can hold an edge going full speed down a groomer and I'll be a happy girl. Throw me a ski that can come out of a powder run then rip down said groomer after hiking the ridge at Bridger Bowl, I'll be even happier.

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The VJJ 2.0 from Armada is a rocking powder ski that has all you need to get you ripping all over the mountain. This was the first ski that ever gave me the “F**k yeah, this is why I ski and I can’t be stopped” feeling. I rode about 6 days on these skis last season at Bridger Bowl and got 1 day of touring in near Yellowstone National Park before I was out for the season, shoulders am I right? The worst. I was riding everything from powder and steep terrain that required quite a bit of maneuvering to bumps and groomers with a smile on my face the whole time.

The 2.0 came out during the 2016 season after some revamping on the originals, and boy did the changes they made absolutely slay. It has a superlight wood core, a wide shovel, and a sturdy sidewall to keep you floating on that fresh “pow-pow”. The rockered tip and tail give you a ton of mobility, float and playfulness while the camber underfoot gives you stability while turnin’ and burnin’.  As an ex-racer from Minnie (blahblahblah yeah cool you raced, so did everyone else) I look to dig my edges into ice and carve out those turns, these skis like to play but force them too much on ice and they won’t like it. I like to keep these skis in my quiver for days where I know there is fresh snow to be found but may need to work my way to it. As for the days that are fairly dry and those deeper layers are icing up, I tend to grab another pair of skis from my quiver but darn-it do I wish I could grab my oh-so-gorgeous VJJ’s instead.

Mix it up with a touring set up to get you ripping some backcountry turns; you won’t regret it!

 

K2 Remedy
All Mountain- Park
124-93-118

Reviewer: My name is Taylor, I am from Park City, UT and love those PC HOT laps! Unless there is lots of pow you will find me there. My favorite type of ski would be 92+ underfoot so I can hop in and out of the park easily being able to ride the whole mountain.

The K2 Remedy 92 is the perfect ski for all terrain riding. I love ripping turns on groomers in the morning and then going to park. With these light weight but not too skinny skis you'll be ripping up the entire mountain not having to change them it for another pair. I have ridden these in pow, moguls, park, pipe, groomers and slush. I highly recommend this ski!

Rossignol Super 7 HD
All Mountain- Powder
140-110-118

Reviewer: “Born and raised in the PNW, I've grown up skiing race skis, so I am still amazed by the diversity and variety of free skis available these days. I've skied everything from World Cup race skis to a short soft powder ski, but I will always be loyal to a ski that doesn't control me. I love a ski that responds to my movements and actions, but can charge through the terrain of the mountain.”

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I rode the Rossignol s7's for four years. Literally skied almost 4 years of 60+ day seasons on these skis and I cried when they broke. In hindsight, these skis were probably too soft for the way I ski, but for anyone who has trouble controlling a stiff ski, the s7's are a wonderful option. They respond so well to any type of movement. The wide tip and narrow tail are optimal for powder days to keep you afloat without being a full blown powder plank. The side cut is great for laying down a race style turn while also providing a shape that rips big mountain terrain.

This ski maximizes your opportunity to move; they are a ski that you control, not a ski that controls you. They are bomb proof ( four years! ), and they are crucial for the women’s ski movement. These skis made me a better skier. I suggest this ski to anyone who wants a playful plank that will help you improve, or to anyone who needs one ski to rule them all.

They’re also very light and would be great for a touring setup!

 

Coalition Snow Abyss
All Mountain- Powder
129-112-120

Reviewer: My name is Erica and I’m a product of the Midwest- which means lots of tow ropes and ice. After my first season in Jackson Hole, I have become a lover of skiing big mountain terrain as fast as I possibly can. My favorite skis are stiff, burly, and can help me conquer any line or condition that comes my way.

Meet the Abyss- a part of Coalition's first ski line made for women, designed by women. I was intrigued by the skis ever since the first Kickstarter launch, I've firsthand experienced how some women's skis (for lack of a better term), just suck. Shrink'ed and pink'ed.

I first got my hand on a pair of their skis at SIA, I got to give them the good ole' flex test. Stiff but responsive, just how I like them. I was able to meet up with Coalition's COO, Jenn Sheridan in mid-march to put the Abyss' through the ringer in Jackson Hole. It was a sunny spring day, and we had just gotten 50" over the past week. Parts of the mountain were skied out, but we were able to find plenty of soft snow to play around in.

I'm aggressive on my skis, and I require them to help me charge through anything the mountain has in store- especially in Jackson. We started off the day on some variable groomers, warmer weather gave us some inconsistent slush and bumps, however the Abyss did just fine charging through them. From making wide turns to straight out bombing, the Abyss remained powerful in control while still allowing me to be playful over rollers and side hits. I wasn't hesitant to push the ski's limits.

I didn't get the opportunity to ski the Abyss in fresh, light, powder. However, I still had some fun in some new-ish snow, their performance was no different from earlier in the day. Making turns came naturally, and the stiffness of the ski excelled in deeper conditions.

I recommend the Abyss to the ladies who need a ski without an upper limit- if you love to charge, this ski is for you. And it comes in lengths long enough to keep up with us shredders.

 

Icelantic Oracle 100
All Mountain- Powder
135-100-120

Reviewer: My name is Paige and I grew up skiing Loon Mountain on the East coast!  I started as a weekend warrior at the age of 6. After leaving skiing behind for a few years, I dove back in head first just a couple of years ago. Once experiencing what powder was, I quickly became an addict. This resulted in me moving to Colorado.  I love skis that can keep up without the rattle.  I am constantly bouncing from various terrain types. My Oracles allow me to ski whatever, whenever, with as much speed as I desire!

I fell in love after one run after demoing these skis on the East coast.  I had an amazing powder days at Jay Peak in March!  Theses skis were everything I needed, plus some attitude.  After moving to Colorado I purchased them and threw on some AT bindings.  I now ride them whenever I'm hiking or when there are powder tracks to be found!
These skis respond phenomenally and quickly. I drop into boulders and trees with confidence!  The early rise tip makes it easy to bounce back from crunch to pow. The dimensions allow for an aggressive stance that enable women to tear up the trail after an epic tree line.  I love the playfulness in the skis  that gives the rider the poppy sensation. Thanks to Icelantic, they allow the short women who love their powder, to get just as many lines as the guys!

 

Sego UP Pro
All Mountain- Powder
136-110-127

Reviewer: Hey! I'm Meaghann. I started skiing at 13 and taught the lay of the land at Alpental, a pulse-pounding steep little hill in the cascades of Washington. I spend my time now searching for deeper and scarier nooks and crannies in the PNW and wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just as happy skiing slushy chutes as I am skiing rocky mountain blower. Skiing is fun. I prefer more traditional style big mountain skis. Something that needs you to drive it, so you are always the one making the decision with your skis.

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My world of skiing changed with the Up Pro. This ski wants to go fast. It begs to be in the air. This is a ski that wants you to drive it, and it will ski through anything.  Between ice on the Headwall at Big Sky, pillows in BC, mashed potatoes in the PNW, and blower on Teton Pass this ski performed to a high caliber. The Up Pro is quick to respond with a 20 meter turn radius but is still solid at high speed when you’re only ripping 3 turns down a huge face. Any shredder chick could find their happy place with this ski and honestly, it makes you a faster and more aggressive skier.

Huge thanks to all the contributing reviewers, Ellen Puls for design, Sammi Milner and Rachel Delacour for helping get this started, and every lady out there ripping!