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7 Best Skis For Intermediate Skiers of 2024 Guide – [Top All Mountain and Carving Skis]

Updated October 12th, 2023

best skis for intermediate skiers

Congratulations, you have learned to parallel turn are no longer a beginner skier. You’ve joined the ranks of the intermediate skier now who can go off exploring more of the mountain. You want a ski you can ski groomers with but you would also like to try going into the trees or maybe some bumps. You love skiing and want to buy your own skis now. What is the best type of ski for intermediate skiers?

For the adventurous types who dream about powder days and glade skiing, all-mountain skis are the way to go. The 95mm waist width All Mountain Ski is the most all purpose, does everything okay, take it anywhere at any ski resort ski. It turns easy. It can carve up groomers. It floats up in powder and turns easy. It makes afternoon crud and slush enjoyable.

For those who dream about carving trenches in fresh corduroy in the morning and making perfect turns, there is a different answer. Look for a carving ski that is designed for carving and easy turns on groomed surfaces.

The 7 Best Skis for Intermediate Skiers

All skiers are not the same and they have different styles and terrain they like to ski. Let’s take a look at the best all-mountain skis and best carving skis for intermediates.

Best all mountain skis for intermediate skiers

Best carving skis for intermediate skiers

Best all mountain skis for intermediate skiers


1 – Nordica Enforcer 94

Nordica Enforcer 94 product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 180cm ski – 127mm, 94mm, 115mm
  • Turning Radius – 17.1m
  • Stiffness – medium-high
  • Weight – 1540gram

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Summary

The Nordica Enforcer 94 is a hard charging ski that can still tear it up on groomers. It is one of the most popular all mountain skis available for good reason. It has a rocker camber rocker shape that can hold an edge on firm hardpack. It is a stiffer all mountain ski that can charge but still easy to control for intermediate skiers. The 94mm waist width still allows it to float up on powder or afternoon crud snow. This ski is best suited to fast aggressive skier type. It is also available in 2 wider widths. We recommend sticking to the 94mm for intermediates and skiers still developing their turning technique.


2 – Blizzard Rustler 9

Blizzard Rustler 9 product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 180cm ski – 127.5mm, 94mm, 117mm
  • Turning Radius – 17m
  • Stiffness – medium
  • Weight – 1960gram

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Summary

The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a more mild mannered ski for those who want an easy to turn ski that is comfortable off-piste or on groomers. The Rustler 9 is a lighter weight all-mountain ski that is softer to be easier turning and able to make tighter turns and carve better than its wider Rustler 10, and 11 cousins. The 94mm waist width is a good compromise for carving ability and float in powder. For those who want a faster ski, check out the Blizzard Brahma or Blizzard Bonafide which are stiffer, heavier, and harder charging skis than the Rustler.


3 – Volkl M6 Mantra

Volkl M6 Mantra product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 180cm ski – 135mm, 96mm, 119mm
  • Turning Radius – 18m
  • Stiffness – high
  • Weight – 2070gram

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Summary

The Volkl M6 Mantra is an all mountain ski that likes to go fast. It has stiffer construction that is more at home railing large radius turns than trying to do quick turns in trees or moguls. It’s 96mm width gives it good float. This ski is happiest charging down a wide open alpine bowl on a powder day. If it can’t have that, then it’s still a lot of fun flying down groomers digging big turn trenches.


4 – Salomon QST 92

Salomon QST 92 product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 180cm ski – 128mm, 92mm, 116mm
  • Turning Radius – 16m
  • Stiffness – medium
  • Weight – 1800gram

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Summary

The Salmon QST 92 skis are a softer, lightweight all mountain ski that is easy to turn and is wide enough to have good float. They are lighter weight skis that like to ski slower doing tighter turns. This makes them more forgiving and easier to ski than some of the stiffer all mountain skis like the Enforcer and M6 Mantra. If you like to take it easy and cruise on groomers but still want to float up on crud, slush and powder days, then the QST is a good choice. I recommend sticking to the 92mm width for most intermediate skiers. The 98mm width skis become much harder to carve and develop turning technique. 


Best carving skis for intermediate skiers

5 – Blizzard Thunderbird SP 7.7

Blizzard thunderbird product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 167cm ski – 123mm, 77mm, 105mm
  • Turning Radius – 14m
  • Stiffness – medium
  • Weight – 1700gram

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Summary

The Blizzard Thunderbird SP 7.7 is a narrow waist width ski with medium flex that is happiest carving trenches on fresh corduroy. It has a generous sidecut making it easy to turn and carve. It has enough stiffness that you can tear it up and go fast and still feel stable. It has enough early rise in it’s tips to handle crud and deeper snow okay without digging in. If you are a relaxed skier who love carving up corduroy in the mornings than the Thunderbird SP 7.7 is a good choice.


6 – Atomic Redster Q9.8 Revo S Skis

Atomic Redster product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 173cm ski – 134mm, 84.5mm, 118.8mm
  • Turning Radius – 14.4m
  • Stiffness – medium-high
  • Weight – 1641gram (including binding)

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Summary

The Atomic Redster Q9.8 is an 84mm width all mountain ski that is rock solid and smooth carving up groomers. It is on the narrow side of all mountain skis or the wider side of carving skis. It won’t have the float that a 90-95mm width ski will but it will be much easier to carve and hold an edge. The ski is on medium to high stiffness with good playfulness and energy retention. You can feel it release out of turns and launch you into the next turn.


7 – Rossignol Experience 78 C

Rossignol Experience 78 product image

Specifications

  • Dimensions 178cm ski – 125mm, 78mm, 111mm
  • Turning Radius – 16m
  • Stiffness – medium-high
  • Weight – 1550gram

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Summary

The Rossignol Experience 78 C is Rossignol’s attempt at the perfect resort ski. It has a wide early rise tip with lots of torsional stiffness so it won’t flutter or shake when going fast but will float up in powder. It has a 78mm width waist that likes to carve and have fun on the groomers. This is a ski for someone who primarily likes to stick to the groomers and carve turns. It will handle an occasional trek off into deeper snow and off-piste skiing.


Are you still confused about what to buy? Talk to an expert at Curated.com

Intermediate skier on groomed run

Best Type of Skis for Intermediate Skiers

Now that you’re an intermediate skier what do you need from your skis? You need a few things. You need skis that are easy to turn. You need skis that are stiff enough they won’t vibrate like crazy when you start going faster. You need skis that will work well when you decide to start venturing off the groomed runs. You don’t want a pair of skis that will only be good for a season or so before you need to upgrade again.
When you hit the intermediate level it’s time to get some skis with decent performance. You need some versatility to them.

Front Side Carving Skis

Traditional parabolic carving skis are great for digging trenches in freshly groomed corduroy. After the first couple of hours, the snow is all clumped and rutted. Your parabolic or front side skis have a tendency to dig into every clump of snow and they float over nothing. They give a pretty rough ride once the corduroy is gone. If you like to go out and ski early in the morning on fresh corduroy going fast carving then there is no better ski.

All Mountain Skis

This brings us to the All Mountain Ski. All mountain skis are designed to work well on both groomed runs and as an off piste ski for ungroomed areas. They are not the perfect on piste ski for skiing groomers. They aren’t the perfect ski for skiing deep powder snow. They tend to do everything pretty well. They are sometimes referred to as a freeride ski. The only real difference between a ski marketed as “all mountain” or “freeride” is that sometimes freeride skis are a little stiffer.

These skis are wider under your foot. They are available with a waist width from 80mm to 120mm. I find the sweet spot to be 90 to 95mm in width. At that width, they don’t put the edge of the ski way outside of your boot and still feel good carving turns. They have enough width to float up in powder. A wider ski in the 105 to 120mm starts feeling weird on groomers and they put more force into your knee joints because the edge of your skis is farther offset from the center of your foot.

All mountain skis have a generous sidecut like parabolic skis. This makes them easier to turn. As an intermediate skier still working on your turns you need something easy to turn.

Most all mountain skis have a bottom shape called a “rocker, camber, rocker” shape. A carving ski will be a pure cambered ski. A powder ski will be a pure rocker ski. The tips and tails of your skis rise up called rocker. This helps them float over the snow. Tail rocker makes the skis turn easier. Cambered means that the middle of the ski is bent up. This gives more spring to the ski and grip on firm snow and ice.

Best Intermediate Skis FAQ

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com