7 Best Beginner Skis For Women (…and 2 to avoid)

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For women just getting started with skiing, the choices can be tricky, especially if you are just getting started.

If you want to get right to the best beginner skis for women, its the Rossignol Experience W 78 Ca Skis. This is a very popular ski for beginners and for good reason.

Keep reading for more details and a full breakdown of more picks that may be better for your specific needs.

Top Pick

1. Rossignol Experience W 78 Ca Skis ​+ Xpress 10 GW Bindings

Rossignol Experience 78 is an affordable entry-level model, which makes it a popular choice for many women.

Available in sizes: 138, 146, 154, 162
Turn Radius: 9, 10, 12, 13

Rossignol Experience 78 is an affordable entry-level model, which makes it a popular choice for many women who like to mostly ski on the groomed greens and blues. But that does not mean it doesn’t handle some off-piste skiing with its medium-width waist.

There is almost no rental office without these or its similar predecessors in Europe, US or Australia. Rossignol have been producing affordable skis of beyond average performance for skiers of all levels worldwide. The graphics have been changing for a bit through the years, pay attention to the specs when buying.

Seeing them in rental fleets guarantees me to think these skis are durable and makes beginners and first timers come back to the resort year by year.

As the name Experience suggests, these skis will be perfect for any woman who wants to start skiing and progress. Potential pick for your first real ski after an introductory season of rentals, or a starter setup for an ambitious beginner.

They often come in deals with the bindings for under 500$. In my opinion, as a beginner you do not have to go over the 600$ mark when buying the pair of skis with the bindings.

Runner Up

2. Head Easy Joy

Comfort matched with advanced features makes this boot great for skiers venturing onto harder trails.

Available in sizes: 143, 148, 153, 158, 163
Turn Radius: 9.6, 10.5, 11.3, 12.2, 13.3

The name says it all. Easy Joy is designed to boost women’s confidence on the slopes and to be easy-to-turn. The width of this ski is 70 mm under foot so you will not be taking any off-piste trips with this ski, but it will be more than happy to spend joyful times with you on the frontside. Full price for a pair with bindings is 575$. 

Element Joy ski is very lightweight which helps beginners to gain confidence and control, no matter the weather conditions. However, they work best when the slopes are well prepared and firm. 

Budget Pick

3. Elan Element W

Forgiving to learn and bring you to the smooth carves everyone is dreaming about when they come from their first ski trip

Available in sizes: 144, 152, 160, 168
Turning Radius: 10.6, 12, 13.5, 15.2

Offering similar size to radius ratio like Rossi’s Nova, Elan Element can be bought in length of 168 cm and is suitable for ladies who are a bit taller. With its longest size of 168, this ski can still be playful and forgiving for a beginner. 

Element Skis are equipped with Groove Technology that ensures even flex for balance and control in every turn. Elan is a Slovenian company known for producing good quality products for not such a high price.

As a Slovene with a ski instructing career, I have seen many ladies progress rapidly on these skis in just a couple of hours. Price for a pair with ELW 9 or EL 10 SHIFT bindings is still 400$ in some stores.

A great ski if you want a pair that will be forgiving to learn and bring you to the smooth carves everyone is dreaming about when they come from their first ski trip.

Transition Skis

4. Elan Wildcat 76

The Elan Wildcat 76 are perfect for the athletic woman who wants to level up her ski skill quickly.

Available sizes: 144, 150, 158, 166
Turn radius: 10.1, 11.5, 13.9, 14.4

Skis can last you multiple seasons and if you are already an ambitious person who is athletic, you are probably looking for some skis that will keep you entertained for a couple of seasons.

Elan Wildcat definitely shines on the piste, but they can excel in some short turn shallow powder skiing on the slopes after the storm! 

It is a popular choice among female skiers who want a versatile ski and take it to the resort. It is one of the lightest skis on the market which makes it lady friendly and very forgiving. Amphibio technology gives the ski a very strong edge hold and nice, smooth entrance into the turn. It also means that the skis are left and right, giving it an unique feel. 

Transition Beginner Skis for Freesking

Okay, you have found skiing to be a fun time to spend outdoors, but you want more. You are probably athletic and agile, the challenge of conquering the basics of skiing technique was not there for more than a few days or even hours. 

Maybe you have met someone who inspired you to peek into the world of freeskiing or social media did its part. Welcome sister. 

Skis made for freeskiing are usually twin tips, meaning that the tails are twisted upwards like ski’s tips, or less. This helps us to keep adding tricks in our bag and ski backwards (“switch”) easier. Skis for this kind of skiing can perform quite well while skiing traditional, the most potential you will bring out of them in the park or even the backcountry. Below you can find two picks to express yourself on the white canvas.

Freesking Skis

5. Atomic Bent 85

An entry level do-it-all ski that also had to the looks to get attention on the lifts.

Available sizes: 150, 160, 165, 170, 175
Turn Radius: 11.6, 13, 14.5, 16, 17.6

One thing that sets these skis apart is their design. Not only do they boast an eye-catching aesthetic that’s bound to turn heads, but they also tell a story of innovation and craftsmanship.

Atomic designed the Bent series with a major help of their team rider Chris Benchetler, with Bent Chetler 120 being revolutionary award winning ski in the freeski sport.

Bent 85 can handle powder days, groomers, rails and boxes. It is on the wider end of the width spectrum for beginners, happy to tackle new terrain and keep you floating in fresh snow.

It is never boring with an entry level do-it-all ski like these, be prepared to answer some questions in the lift lines. 

Freesking Skis

6. Völkl Revolt 81 Skis 2023

Park oriented, this ski is a popular choice for young skiers

Available sizes: 148, 158, 168, 178
Turn radius: 13.9, 16.3, 18.9, 21.8

Völkl Revolt 81 is For a skier who wants a rock-solid twin tip that can conquer the park as well as ski the whole mountain. 

Park oriented, this ski has a surprisingly good edge hold for a twin tip. A popular choice for young skiers who are just learning or have been tossing tricks for some time already. 

Freesking Skis

7. K2 Mindbender 85 W

Comfort matched with advanced features makes this boot great for skiers venturing onto harder trails.

Available Sizes: 149, 156, 163, 170
Turn Radius: 12.1 meters at 163 cm 

If you are an adventurous woman, willing to explore new terrain of any mountain and not busting the bank, this is the ski for you. 

85 millimeters under foot is the perfect width to maintain carving performance on firmer snow, but it still provides the necessary platform to handle ungroomed terrain where you would typically find a lot of varying snow conditions.

Wider “shovels” of the tips give the ski extra float and maneuverability when it comes to off-piste turns.  

What skis should a beginner avoid?

Beginner skiers should avoid skis designed for advanced or expert levels, such as high-performance or aggressive models. These skis might be less forgiving and harder to control for those new to skiing. Skis with excessive stiffness, width, or specialized features are best left for more experienced skiers. I would not recommend going over 95 mm in waist, avoiding metal materials in the ski structure and excessive weight. 

For example, skis like Salomon QST Stella 106 or Volkl Blaze 106 are popular in stores but they are really only suitable for more advanced skiers. 

What are the pros of owning a pair of skis?

Nothing is wrong with renting the skis. They are usually beginner skis (you can also rent intermediate or advanced ones if you fit in this category) of good quality and last the rental companies for many seasons. But let me tell you why people stick with renting just a couple of times. First of the many reasons is saving money in the long-term. It turns out that when skiers get hooked and know that ski holidays are on future calendars from then on, first skis will be bought. 

No more standing in rental queues and wondering if the office has set the skis correctly or racing down the mountain to catch the drop off time. 

But most importantly, in my humble ski instructor opinion, skiers who keep renting and switching between skis, do not progress as well as beginners who invest in a pair of skis to get used to them. 

What makes them beginner skis?

Beginner skis are mostly made to be skied on groomed terrain we will refer to as frontside. To achieve quality skiing on prepared slopes they will usually have the following characteristics:

  • Narrow waist
  • Short radius (up to 16)
  • Softer flex
  • Light weight
  • Can buy with bindings
  • Robust topsheet 

Ski companies make women’s skis in shorter lengths than men’s which helps women have multiple choices on the market. Topsheets of women’s skis are designed to be more appealing to women too. 

Skiing being an extreme sport, skiers of all levels constantly thrive to safety which comes with control. Keeping your skiing in control is almost always determined with how efficient and comfortable we can make a turn. Light skis with a narrower waist, shorter radius and softer flex will be easier to turn and control for a beginner. For all the adrenaline junkies out there, the more control you will have, the more fun and thrilling the turns will get and speed will follow!