Skip to Main Content

The 7 Best Beginner Skis of 2021-2022 - Men's & Women's

Skiing for beginners is series of exciting milestones and there are several events in anyone’s progression as a skier that are worth taking note of. Some of them are obvious: your first chairlift ride, your first lap without crashing, your first pow day. And some of them are less obvious but just as exciting. Chief among that latter category is the moment when you decide it’s finally time to invest in your own skis. Sure, rental skis are just fine, but there’s something really exciting about committing to skiing by buying your own setup. No more waiting in line to get your demo bindings adjusted while some tech asks you how much you weigh. No more dealing with questionable rental base repairs. Owning your skis is a physical manifestation of the freedom skiing gives us. It’s the first step towards being able to ski anywhere you want, any time you want.

And luckily, ski brands have made it pretty easy to find a great pair of beginner skis for your first purchase. All of the skis on this list are easy to get along with, you won’t have trouble turning them, and they deal with varied snow conditions well. That said, several characteristics make these skis for beginners stand out from each other, and the rest of the market. That’s why they’re the best beginner skis after all. So we’ll break down those differences and help you figure out which setup makes the most sense for you.

Atomic Maverick 83 ​+ M10 GW Bindings

The best beginner skis of 2021-2022

Atomic’s Maverick 83 is simply the men’s version of the Maven 83. So, like the Maven, it bridges the gap from rental skis to more demanding Vantage skis. The Maverick comes with a beefed-up core to help support heavier skiers, but it’s still lightweight thanks to the poplar layup. Like the Maven, the Maverick has a versatile 83 mm waist width that can handle just about any snow condition. It also comes with the M10 binding, with an adjustable release from 3 to 10.

If you’re looking for the best ski that's affordable and can tear up the whole mountain, the Maverick 83 is possibly the best beginner ski and a good place to start.

Wasit WidthBindings Original Price
83mmM10$499.99 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Rossignol Black Ops Smasher + Xpress Bindings

The best beginner skis of 2021-2022

The Rossignol Black Ops Smasher is the male counterpart to the Black Ops Dreamer, but it ditches norms by having the same price point and construction as the Dreamer. It gets stiffer in longer lengths but has the same full-length wood core, wider shape, and tip and tail rocker as the Dreamer. That means it’s a capable ride for anyone who’s really getting into skiing and is planning on skiing these beginner skis a lot in varied terrain.

This is one of the most versatile skis on this list, and it’s a ski that even your more advanced friends will be jealous of. It’s capable, and affordable, and looks pretty good too!

Waist WidthBindings Original Price
90mmXpress 10 GW$399.95 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Salomon QST Spark

The best beginner skis of 2021-2022

Salomon’s QST series contains everything from groomer destroyers to Alaskan powder weapons, so it’s no surprise that there’s a great beginner ski in the form of the QST Spark. The Spark comes with the same full wood core construction as its more expensive and advanced siblings but in a more accessible package. The 85 mm waist makes it nimble and easy to turn and the twin rocker keeps it playful even in chopped-up snow. It’s even got a partial twin tip if you want to try skiing backwards. Unlike the rest of the skis on this list, the QST Spark doesn’t come with bindings so you’ll need to factor that into the cost.

If you’ve got friends who know and love the QST, this is a great entry point. It will provide a solid platform to learn your fundamentals on, and is a blast all over the hill.

Waist WidthBindings Original Price
85mmNo bindings$399.99

Shop Now >>>

K2 Disruption 75 Alliance + ERP 10 Bindings - Women's

The best skis for beginners

K2’s Disruption 75 takes everything K2 has learned from making high-performance race skis, as well as some of the best beginner skis on the market and combines them into one versatile ride. While some of the other skis in the Disruption line demand an aggressive and experienced skier, the Disruption 75 Alliance is happy to go at whatever pace you desire. The 75 mm waist width makes it even more nimble and easy to turn than a wider ski like the Maven 83, but sacrifices just a little deep snow performance.

K2’s “Alliance” skis are specially designed to work better for lighter riders and women, so the Disruption 75 Alliance is great for newer female skiers. If you generally ski in an area that doesn’t get much snow or like to stick to groomers, the K2 Disruption 75 Alliance will have you progressing from green circles to black diamonds in no time, making it one of the best women’s beginner skis.

Waist WidthBindings Original Price
75mmERP 10$399.95 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Shop All Beginner Skis
See All

K2 Disruption 76X ​+ M3 10 Bindings

The best beginner skis

The K2 Disruption 76X is the male counterpart to the Disruption 75 Alliance. It’s just a millimeter wider but comes in longer lengths and stiffer flexes to fit taller and heavier skiers. It bumps up to an aspen core, from the Alliance’s composite core, which will provide a damper and more predictable ride for skiers going faster.

So, similar to the Disruption 75 Alliance, the Disruption 76X, is one of the best skis for beginners who focus more on making turns on the piste than skiing fresh snow and want something light and predictable.

Waist WidthBindings Original Price
76mmM3 10$499.95 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Rossignol Black Ops Dreamer + Xpress Bindings - Women's

The best beginner skis of 2021-2022

Rossignol is one of the biggest manufacturers of rental skis on the market, so it’s no surprise that they make some great beginner skis as well. The Dreamer is their entry-level women’s ski, but there’s nothing basic about it. The Dreamer is one of the most versatile skis on this list. Rossignol bucks convention and gives the Dreamer a wider 90 mm waist which makes it much more capable all over the mountain than some of the other options here. It will float better in fresh snow, and be more stable in any kind of ungroomed snow than narrower skis. It also has both tip and tail rocker, so it’s easier to break loose and slide through different turn shapes instead of just carving all the time.

A poplar wood core gives the Dreamer plenty of backbone, but don’t worry, it’s still very accessible and easy for beginner skiing. So, if you’re looking for a ski that you can grow into, and won’t let you down as you become a faster and more competent skier, the Black Ops Dreamer was made for you.

Waist WidthBindings Original Price
90mmXpress 10 GW$399.95 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Atomic Maven 83 + M10 GW Bindings - Women's

Best beginner skis of 2021-2022

Atomic’s Maven series is designed to be a bridge for female skiers between rental skis and their more performance-focused Vantage line. That means that while the Maven is still accessible and easy to ski, it will allow you to ski faster and harder than on rental skis, without requiring the skill that the more advanced Vantage skis call for. That makes them a great beginner ski, and also means you’ll have the ability to progress for years on them before you need another ski.

The 83 mm wide waist makes them nimble and easy to turn, but also helps them float in deeper snow. Atomic uses an all-mountain rocker profile on the Maven 83, so they plane up easily in powder but still grip tenaciously on ice. They ship with an M10 grip walk binding, so they’ll work with most inbounds boots on the market. If you or a lady in your life is looking to graduate from rental skis to their own setup and wants something reliable and affordable, the Maven 83 fits the bill.

Waist WidthBindingsOriginal Price
83mmM10$399.99 (with bindings)

Shop Now >>>

Learn More With Our Other Ski Guides:


Discover Our Favorite Gear:

The Best Skis
The Best Women's Skis
The Best Beginner Skis
The Best All Mountain Skis
The Best Powder Skis
The Best Touring Skis
The Best Carving Skis
The Best Park Ski
The Best Ski Bindings
The Best Touring Ski Bindings
The Best Men's Ski Boots
The Best Women's Ski Boots
The Best Touring Boots
The Best Ski Socks
The Best Beginner Ski Boots
The Best Value Skis
The Best Ski Poles
The Best Kids' Skis
The Best Kids' Ski Boots