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The 7 Best Powder Skis of 2020-2021 - Men's & Women's

In her 1993 book, Deep Powder Snow, Dolores LaChappelle writes: “Powder skiing is not fun. It is life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality. What we experience in powder is the original human self, which lies deeply inside each of us, still undamaged in spite of what our present culture tries to do to us.” There’s a reason LaChappelle’s out-of-print book now sells for upwards of $350. It’s the same reason you hit snooze five times before groggily getting up to work on weekdays, but your 5 am alarm on a fresh-snow Saturday has you immediately awake and abuzz sans caffeine. It’s the same reason our founder, years ago, found himself selling rental fleets to fund more winters in Whistler. It’s the same reason you are here right now, hunting for the next ski you will glide upon to the most glorious of attainable winter glories. We. Are. Obsessed. With. Powder.

It’s okay. This is an obsession you don’t need to be afraid to feed, and fortunately, this year brings a crop of the best powder skis we’ve seen to date. Make no mistake, the skis below are powder-specific tools to make the most out of days when it’s dumping, but the great news is most of them are still tons of fun to ski when you find yourself on a groomer back to the lift or as things get chopped up inbounds in the afternoon. So, don’t be afraid to go fat and do as Dolores did by living your best powder skiing life this winter when the days that really matter hit.

Armada Whitewalker

Best 2020-2021 powder skis

Sammy Carlson, this skis creator, doesn’t have the dead, icy blue gaze of those who dwell north of The Wall - he’s one of the nicest pros you could ever hope to share a lift ride with. Nonetheless, his pro model powder ski will slash and slay everything in its path like they exist to do nothing else, which is perhaps where the name comes from. The goal with the Armada Whitewalker was to give Sammy a wide and stiff platform for all the surfy, buttery goodness he spreads on his way down the mountain, but also make them light enough so he can access fresh snow going uphill in the backcountry. Together, we think this makes them some of the best powder skis for 2021. With tech like their Smear Tech tips and Caruba wood core, they managed all three in spades. Ample rocker and taper in the tips and tails make them quick to pivot in tight terrain, and the wide, stiff platform can handle anything you or Sammy can dish out. It might be a good idea to make friends with the Whitewalkers...winter is coming.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
139-116-135185, 192$$799.959

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Blizzard Spur

Best 2020-2021 powder skis

Blizzard's flagship powder ski gets a big overhaul by getting smaller for 2021. Used to be the Spur only came in a size that dudes pushing 200 on the scale would want to consider, but Blizzard is bringing its powder performance goodness to the masses by offering it in sizes down to a 159cm. In other great news for lighter weight skiers who get after it on deep days, the Spur gets Blizzard’s updated Flipcore construction with some new tech to make it more user-friendly at slower speed. But, make no mistake, the Spur is still built to charge to go big, and with ample rocker and a whopping 127mm underfoot it’ll have no problem doing that in the deepest snow Ma Nature can deliver. For riders that want an easy-to-ski experience, the Spur is one of the best powder skis for beginner and intermediate skiers.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
147-127-136159, 169, 179, 189$799.95

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Line Pandora 110

Best 2020-2021 women's powder skis

Line Skis tweaked the Pandora from last year ever so slightly with new construction, an evolved rocker profile, some slightly different sizes, and a lush new graphic - and they brought this new waist width to the party. With a 110mm waist, there’s no doubt the Pandora lives for the days when the powder is deep, but when you find yourself in chop or on groomers it will definitely still shred. Line’s progressive sidecut actually allows it to make both long and short turns equally well, so rather than adapting your speed to it, it adapts to you. The blended wood core is designed to keep the weight down, so if you’re looking for a ski to pull dual duty both inbound and touring in the backcountry, the Pandora 110 deserves a solid look.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
144-110-130162, 170, 178$699.95

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Volkl Revolt 121

Best 2020-2021 powder skis

Last year Volkl knocked it out of the park by getting a ton of input from their freeride team to build their dream ski - the Revolt 121. It’s back for 2021 unchanged, except for a trippier graphic that’ll make you feel like you’ve got an audience when you’re charging around in the deep. With some pretty dramatic taper lines, the Revolt is stupid-easy to flick sideways, allowing you to play with the shapes of your turns. It also has plenty of rocker, which helps in the powder department, and a bit of camber that lends an impressive amount of pop out of turns when you inevitably hit a groomer. A middleweight on the scales, the Revolt 121 has Volkl’s classic dampness that just makes it so fun and stable for rallying all over the mountain in powder and chopped up fluff.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
143-121-135177, 184, 191$$649.99

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K2 Reckoner 122

Best 2020-2021 powder skis

Let us stand on the beach and wave a fond farewell to K2’s fabled Catamaran, and turn to the mountains and welcome with open arms it’s new flagship fat powder board, the Reckoner 122. Built with a very similar construction to last season’s new Mindbender 116C, K2’s idea is to make “a big-mountain slayer that can bounce switch and crush pillows.” Indeed, in the deep the Reckoner 122 can be thrown sideways or locked into big, fast GS turns equally well. It’s versatility makes it particularly well suited to terrain with tight trees and chutes. When your glorious powder turns to fluffy chop as the day goes on, the Reckoner 122’s playful, more freestyle-oriented side really shines through. It’ll be stash slashes and sidehits all day long and you’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear about a powder day well-slayed.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
144-122-136177, 184, 191$749.95

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Black Crows Anima Birdie - Women’s

Best 2020-2021 park skis

Black Crows is finally bringing a women’s-specific powder ski to the table that’s wider than 108mm underfoot (although pro Michelle Parker has had no problems rallying around Pow Town atop their ultra-fat Nocta for a few seasons now). With a 115mm waist and only longer lengths available, the new Anima Birdie is definitely meant for a skier who is able to crank the charge-o-meter to 11. That being said, it definitely retains the freestyle-oriented roots of the men’s Anima - rocker in the tip and tail allow for effortless pivoting and playfulness in tight terrain. Where it really shines, however, is charging through a foot or two of freshly fallen snow and then playing high-speed cleanup in the afternoon chop. Caw!

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
144-115-134176, 182$889.90

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Dynastar M-Free 108

Best 2021 powder skis

Known for hard-charging big mountain skis, a few years ago Dynastar enlisted the help of freestyle legend Richard Permin to bring some progressive playfulness into their lineup. We’re glad they did, because the new M-Free 108 is surfy, slarvy and just plain fun for rallying all over the mountain in any kind of conditions - especially powder. It does this with a combination of tapering and rocker in both the tips and tails. The cool thing is, it still has plenty of camber underfoot to make it poppy, playful, and easy to carve on groomers. Its weight doesn’t make it an ideal candidate for all-day touring, but it’s great news for the M-Free 108 retaining Dynastar’s classic smooth ride and all-mountain dampness for charging with abandon. If you’re looking for an able powder ski that’s still versatile enough to bring out on every other day of the year, give the M-Free 108 a good look. The M-Free 108 is probably the most versatile powder ski on this list.

Dimensions (mm)Lengths (cm) Original Price 
138-108-128172, 182, 192$699.95

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