Skiing is a sport that people tend to fall in love with rather quickly.
There are so many different places to ski and types of skiing, it will be hard to ever get bored when you are a skier.
When you first get into skiing, it can be a bit overwhelming.
Since there are so many different types of skis on the market, you have to have a certain amount of knowledge to be able to figure this all out.
We have put together a list of twenty types of skis to help you understand which could be the best for you.
Some of these categories will overlap a bit but it helps to have a broad understanding of the choices that you have when shopping for or renting skis.
20 Types Of Skis
1. All-Mountain Skis
All-mountain skis are great for skiing the entire mountain.
These are some of the more popular types of skis because of their versatility.
It really doesn’t matter if you are dealing with heavy snow, ice, or powder, the all-mountain skis are designed to work well in any condition.
All-mountain skis come in many different widths and shapes, so they will work regardless of the type of skier that you are.
In addition, you will notice that the centers of the skis are going to be mid-size, which will help to give balance but still allow for plenty of speed.
2. Powder Skis
Powder skis are great for lighter and deeper snow.
If you are going to be skiing in some soft conditions, this is a ski that you will want to consider.
The powder skis have side cut shapes that help them get through challenging weather conditions.
You will likely find that the better you become at skiing and the more you get into it, the more different types of skis you will accumulate.
The powder skis are a great choice to have if you know that you’re going to have some light snow ahead of you.
3. Big Mountain Skis
Big mountain skis are simply made for big mountains.
If you are learning to become a great skier in any conditions, the big mountain skis are a smart choice.
The big mountain skis come in a variety of different sizes, and they are going to typically be quite a bit heavier as well.
The big mountain skis are designed a bit more for the serious skier as opposed to something like the all-mountain ski.
Since these are made for serious skiers, you may also see a slightly higher price when shopping for the big mountain skis.
If you enjoy catching air at a high rate of speed, this is a set of skis that could work out quite well for you.
4. Carving Skis
A carving ski is a good choice for those who enjoy taking lots of turns when they ski.
The ski has a narrow waist so that you can be very quick with a ski like this on.
The carving skis are great when you are trying to move from edge to edge.
When wearing carving skis, you will be able to carve your way through the snow.
Those who enjoy wearing carving skis are into both speed and performance.
These carving skis are available in different models to be suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers.
This is not necessarily an advanced ski, but you must be prepared to learn how to use this the right way to get the most out of it.
5. Park Skis
- Best Use: Park & Pipe
- Skill level: Intermediate
- Rocker: Park Rocker (15%Rocker Tip/Camber/15% Rocker Tail)
- Tip/Waist/Tail: 122/85/112
- Flex: 6/10
Park skis are sometimes called freestyle skis.
The freestyle or park skis are for those who like to spend time doing tricks as opposed to simply speeding down a mountain.
If you like to do jumps and show off how agile you are, then the park skis could be a perfect choice for you.
Most of the time, a ski like this is going to be narrower to add to the capabilities that it has.
In addition, the edges on the park skis are going to be quite durable because of the way those edges are used when you are performing with the park skis in place.
6. Pipe Skis
Pipe Skis are essentially the same thing as park skis.
When you are using pipe skis, you will have something that allows you plenty of movement and the ability to perform tricks.
As you can imagine, the weight of the pipe skis is also important, and it can be quite specific to the ski.
Ensure that if you purchase pipe skis or park skis, you are ready for the type of skiing that goes along with these unique options.
7. Alpine Touring Skis
Alpine touring skis are sometimes called backcountry skis as well.
With this type of ski, not only can you go downhill, but you can go uphill as well.
This allows you to explore some terrain a bit more than you would with something like an all-mountain ski.
Most great skiers will tell you that the most essential part of your alpine touring skis is the fitting.
These have to be perfectly fitted to your foot in order to be the right fit for skiing.
Without the right fit, they won’t feel too good when you have to go up a mountain.
Overall, the alpine touring skis are lightweight and an excellent choice for those that enjoy exploring.
8. Women’s Skis
- Best Use: Park & Pipe
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Tip/Waist/Tail: 116-88-110
- Rocker: All-Terrain Twin Rocker (Rocker/Camber/Rocker)
- Flex: 6/10
Women’s skis are a bit different than men’s skis.
If you need something that is shorter, lightweight, and soft as well, the women’s skis should work nicely for you.
Since women tend to have less body mass than men, they don’t have as easy a time controlling their skis.
These skis are especially important for women skiing downhill.
9. Kids’ Skis
Similar to the way women are with their center of gravity, it is also essential to ensure that kids are fitted with the proper skis.
Without the right fitting, most kids are not going to be successful in their skiing career.
Getting started skiing is difficult, and it is essential to ensure that you are using the proper equipment and that you are fitted the way you should be.
Don’t make your kid try and figure out a mountain using your skis, but give them a chance to ski on their own with a set of properly fitted skis.
10. System Skis
A system ski is for those who are a bit more advanced and involved in skiing.
With a system ski, you will need a certified ski fitter to get the bindings attached and adjusted to the ski boots.
System skis are going to leave you ready to attack the mountain after a quick stop with a custom ski fitter.
The camber is the profile that you will see in many of the skis on the market.
Camber is one of those things that can be used to describe a feature on the ski, but it can tell you exactly what type of ski that you are using.
It is important to understand what camber is and how it works.
Not only does this come into play when you purchase a camber ski, but it also matters that you determine the camber on any of the skis that you may be deciding to use.
The camber skis are essentially those that have a curve in the middle of the board.
The best thing about camber is that it allows for better landing and an easier time holding on to an edge.
If you are experienced in downhill skiing or park skiing, you may look for the camber technology in the skis that you purchase.
The one thing that any professional skier will tell you is that you must have good turning precision if you are going to go to be using a camber-style ski at some point.
Now that you know what the cambered ski is, you can start to figure out quite a bit about other types of skis and which should be the best for you.
The rocker is essentially the opposite of camber.
The rocker is known to be the best ski choice for softer snow.
With these skis, you will have more ability to turn even when the snow gets a bit difficult to work with.
One of the things that are important to remember is that rocker skis are available in several different types and sizes as well.
The performance impact that you get from the rocker is certainly worth considering as you move into different types of rocker skis.
These skis are known for putting more pressure on the snow at their tip and tail.
When the rocker and camber capabilities start to come together, things will get a bit more complicated.
The rocker/camber ski is a combination of both the rocker and the camber profiles to give a skier a bit more versatility.
The first contact point of this ski is in the back of the tip, while the other is in the tail.
Essentially, this allows better performance in deep snow.
If you don’t want to sink down or feel as though you will get stuck when you are in the deeper snow, this is a great choice.
In addition, with the camber, you will still be able to hold your edge as you ski.
The rocker/camber profile is getting more and more popular, and people are finding that many of the all-mountain and big mountain skis are made like this.
The bottom line is that if you are skiing mountains where you need to float a bit on top of the snow, this is a great ski to help you do that.
We know that the rocker/camber is the perfect option when you need to float a bit on top of the fluffy snow.
If you want that ability to float but also need some performance for a park-style ski, then the rocker/camber/rocker could be the best choice for you.
Essentially, you get that additional camber that allows you much more stability when trying to hold an edge.
You will also find that your turning is quite a bit easier when using the rocker/camber/rocker.
Sometimes beginners find that this style of ski is a good fit for them, even if they are not doing park or freestyle skiing.
The fact that it is a more forgiving ski is a good thing that beginners should be looking for in a ski.
Since these are a bit more advanced, you can expect slightly higher pricing from a ski like this.
A rocker/flat/rocker is for those who are going to be skiing on hard snow.
As you can tell from many of our ski types, they are designed to handle all of the various types of snow conditions.
The snow is going to determine the type of performance you will get.
From there, you have to adjust the style of the ski to work properly for your abilities.
Overall, the rocker/flat/rocker is great for floating and turning on the snow, and you get a lot of the same abilities that you do with the rocker/camber ski.
The biggest difference is that you will be able to hold your edge in the hard snow quite a bit more easily with the rocker/flat/rocker.
Sometimes you will see a set of skis that is simply referred to as a beginner ski.
A beginner ski is more forgiving and easier to maneuver and balance.
With a beginner ski, you will find that skiing seems a bit easier, but it can also feel more restricted.
Those who are just learning how to ski will have less ability when it comes to sharp turns, tricks, and speed.
Most of the time, you won’t want to stay in a beginner ski for all that long if you are serious about the sport and want to take it to the next level.
The beginner skis serve an important purpose and are a smart choice for kids who are interested in getting into skiing.
17. Advanced Skis
Advanced skis are for those who know what they are doing.
If you have been skiing for years, and you are ready to really start performing at a different level, then an advanced ski is essential to consider.
Most people who are using an advanced ski are capable of doing quite a bit and have practiced for years.
The major difference between a beginner ski and an advanced ski will be the forgiveness.
If you make a mistake on the beginner skis, you have some forgiveness, but with the advanced skis, you will feel it, and you may not be able to recover.
Overall, you also may find that companies will make a variety of ski styles and types, but they typically all make a few skis for the more advanced athlete.
These skis can be fun for the companies to make because they can provide the more advanced performance technology and attributes to these skis.
18. Backcountry Skis
- All Mountain Rocker (15/85/0)
- Cap Sidewall
- Ultra Light Woodcore
- Directional Shape
- Glossy Topsheet
A backcountry ski is going to be very similar to the alpine touring ski that we talked about.
When you take a trip to your next ski resort, chances are you won’t see too many people using the backcountry skis.
Again, these are built a bit more for exploring than they are for speeding down a mountain.
In addition, the characteristics of the backcountry ski will prove that they are not necessarily built for working with packed or groomed snow.
You can get the backcountry ski in many different lengths, but most of them will be relatively lightweight.
The majority of backcountry skis also have the camber underfoot so that there is better traction and grip when going up a mountain.
Don’t be surprised if you see the terms touring and backcountry used interchangeably when referring to these types of skis.
19. Race Skis
As the name implies, racing skis are used for high-speed trips down a mountain.
The race skis are not lightweight, but in fact, they are heavier to make sure that the skier can dig into the snow on their way down.
You are going to see that the racing skis are very narrow, and they are not going to float well in powdery snow.
The most important thing to remember about race skis is that, if you are going to compete, you are likely going to have to use specific skis.
Make sure that anything you plan to use is approved and accepted as part of the race you are competing in.
Racing skis are for those who have plenty of experience and ability because the speeds that they get are a bit too much for those who are new to the sport.
20. Cross Country Skis
Cross country skis are narrow and light.
If you are moving along a flat surface, this will be the best ski for you.
Skis can be used to help people travel long distances, and these are going to be your best choice for that.
The classic cross-country skis are used to help you move your feet in a forward motion to cover more distance.
You will find that the cross-country skis are used more like a skating motion.
This is done almost as if you were ice skating.
The skate-style cross country skis tend to be for those who plan to go a bit faster when they are skiing.