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10 Best Ski Brands

Searching For The Best Ski Brands

Whether new to the slopes or an avid adventurer in the world of winter sports, there’s a freedom in skiing that just can’t be replicated anywhere else. The rush of the wind, the swerve of the skis against the snow – it’s as close as we can get to flying without wings. 

And that’s just the downhill variety, we won’t even get started on the fun of cross-country skiing. No matter the style or slope, there’s one common denominator to getting the most joy from it – finding the best ski brands to even out the journey.

Skis are too often underrated as being a common entity. We’re here to say not all are born equal. The build of a ski can make a huge difference in the comfort, speed, and overall run with features working differently for each individual.

While the experience of finding the right fit can be personal, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few good places to start checking out. Starting with our top ten best ski brands, we’re here to help you find that right fit from brand name to important info when buying. 

The process of purchasing may not always glide smoothly, but this article should help things along the way.

10 Best Ski Brands

#1: Nordica

Best Ski Brands

Search any slopes from the bunny hill to the Black Diamond and the name Nordica will pop up. The brand’s boots have been for skiing since Adriano and Oddone Vaccari brought the name to life in 1939, so it’s safe to say that they’ve paved their way in the industry. 

Known for high quality, fair pricing, and considerable selection, it only felt fair to open this best ski brands article with such a classic.

Here’s the deal, this brand didn’t actually start with skis – they started with the boots. Originally working with leather and hand-stitching, this company became the first to pilot the plastic-shell ski boots so well known today. 

Later adding in a leather layer for the first inner lining, Nordica refused to settle, continuing forward to find the newest advancements possible for a lighter, comfortable ride down the slopes or cross country.

With the addition of skis to their lineup in the ‘90s and 2000s, this brand completed their lineup to become a name synonymous with their favored sport

Now offering an extensive selection from racing and freeski options to all-mountain and on-piste, this brand prides themselves on being in the top ten for men, women, and children’s skis and boots.

We have to note that skis aren’t a purchase to be made lightly. A solid set from Nordica goes from $350 to $850, and the lower price really is a bargain as most skis sit at a much higher price. That said, this brand’s wide selection based on gender, use, and size makes a huge difference in narrowing down exactly what’s needed for that perfect glide.

Highlights

  • Extensive range of skis, boots, and accessories
  • Categorized by activity-type and terrain
  • Heritage brand from 1939
  • Featured in the Olympics
  • Beginner tips and videos online

#2: Blizzard

Best Ski Brands

We’re moving from Italy to Austria with the next selection on our list of the best ski brands on the market. Starting up in a similar era, Anton “Toni” Arnsteiner brought Blizzard to the world in 1945 from his small hometown nestled near the mountains. 

This brand, unlike our first mentioned, actually started in the world of skis themselves.

Focusing on how to maintain that perfect glide, Blizzard took to working with polyethylene on the surfaces (a common base still used today). They also introduced both fiberglass and metal components into the skis for a stronger and lasting build that withstood the temperatures and pressures each blade underwent during the journey downhill.

Since 1958, this name has made its way into the Olympics and World Cup titles, securing victories with Frieda Elnzer, Franz Klammer, Mario Matt, Leo Slemett, and many more over the years. 

Blizzard’s success with speed, performance, and passion make them a top choice for athletes, always following through on their promise of quality and style. Since their initial launch, the company has partnered with Tecnica to include ski boots and shoes to their inventory as well, but their specialty will always reside in the stunning skis they started with.

The prices are a bit hard to narrow down from the brand site. While they do list some pairs between $750 to $900, many of their top skis have no listed price and require contacting the company directly for more information. 

We wish we could give a more well-rounded perspective on pricing here, but with only a few pairs to pull from, that’s the best we can give when it comes to this brand.

Highlights

  • Offers a wide inventory of skis, boots, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children
  • 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships brand
  • Year-long warranty
  • Retailers offer demos
  • Tuning recommendations available online

#3: Atomic

Best Ski Brands

Another brand born from the Austrian mountains, Atomic joins the crowd with a 1955 launch date from the mind of Alois Rohrmoser. 

Wanting to provide all skiers with the best experience, this brand is all about gifting gear that rings with confidence. Conquer the slopes without fear and take in the beauty of the breeze, the trees, and the freedom that accompanies a strong glide.

Experience has always been key to this brand and, while they may have been a lesser-known name in the early years, they really stood out after 1988. 

This year set Atomic apart from the rest as one of their engineers, Rubert Hubert, created the first powder skis based on the slope and width of a snowboard. This creation allowed for fresh powdery snow to be experienced with ease, providing a new sense of freedom to the industry.

Since then, the brand has been acquired by Amer Sports, but that hasn’t held back their dedication and passion to the pastime. If anything, Atomic is easily listed as one of the best ski brands worldwide, securing reliability, initiative, and creativity with every new product released.

Categorized by men, women, children, and athletes, this brand suggests products suited to size and skill level for each buyer along the way. The type of ski (racer, piste, all-mountain, and freeski) really does determine the pricing. 

While some skis are designed for a thicker and longer blade, others sit with a light and minimal style to glide the slopes. Either way, there’s quite a range from $480 all the way to $1,250 prices.

Highlights

  • Expansive stock from skis to boots to accessories
  • Diverse selection for specific skill levels and terrains
  • Fun and flashy styles
  • Memory Fit boots
  • Two-year warranty

#4: Elan

Best Ski Brands

Amongst the rank of other top brands, Elan came aboard in 1945 from the minds of Rudi Finžgar and nine other close friends. The group determined that the world needed a solid ski brand dedicated to the craft and passions that accompanied the winter sport. 

Despite their snowy passion, the company actually took to crafting pieces for a wide collection of outdoor activities, but that’s not how their name made it into the limelight.

The real winner for this brand came about in the 1960s with the invention of screen printing. This (now) simple solution allowed easy decoration of skis to personalize and stylize their appearance. 

Starting with plastic skis, they soon mastered the technique for fiberglass and metal skis as well, allowing all materials to showcase fun designs unlike any others on the market.

Throughout years of service, this brand has maintained two core qualities: innovation and craft. Their alp-bound workshop locations have stayed solid over years in the industry, handcrafting each item to create high-performance pieces ready to conquer the lightest of snow.

Alongside their top quality, this brand offers some decent costs. While (again) it depends on the ski type, prices tend to range between $450 to $1,000.

Highlights

  • Bright and stylish range of skis and accessories
  • Ski selector tool
  • Test locations to try out the best fits
  • Autographed cards and stickers from the team
  • Skis sold waxed, tuned, and ready for the slopes

#5: Rossignol

Best Ski Brands

Expanding beyond our typical repertoire of skis, Rossignol takes on a wider variety, selling alpine and cross country skis, snowboards, bikes, clothing, accessories, and more. One of the older names in the market, this company came about in 1907 when Abel Rossignol first polished some pieces of wood for a fun slide through the Alps. 

Since that moment, the business has been pushing for the best, wanting skiers to surf and slide their way through every location.

From early on, this brand has been associated with the best of the best. In 1936 they appeared in the Olympics, going on to sign a deal with medalist Emile Allais to sponsor the brand in the following years. 

By 1970, this brand topped the list as the #1 Ski Manufacturer worldwide, moving their attention then to conquering the snowboard, ski boots, and other apparel. Now with over 50 million pairs of skis made in their lifespan, this brand shows no signs of slowing down.

Known for their iconic winter sports and lifestyle selection, it’s no wonder this brand remains near the top of our list. They don’t take advantage of their popularity either, using their name to support green initiatives. Their latest promotion plants a tree for every item purchased – why save some money when you could be saving the world?

Last thing we need to check out for this brand? Cost. We’ll admit, despite being a top brand, they start their prices fairly low from $400 before heading up into the exclusive selections for $1,000 price tags. Not too shabby overall.

Highlights

  • Wide range of inventory from skis to snowboard to bikes, accessories, apparel, and more
  • Student discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns
  • Plants a tree for every purchase

#6: DPS Skis

Best Ski Brands

One of the newer names on our list of the best ski brands, DPS Skis only came to join the crowd in 2005. Co-founders Peter Turner and Stephan Drake combined their visionary and engineering tendencies to craft a brand dedicated to design, roots, and engineering. 

Wanting absolute peak performance for their athletes, DPS put all effort into launching a brand for the pros, enthusiasts, and supporters of true skiers.

Constantly working towards creating the latest pieces, this brand has proudly already produced “the world’s first and only pure pre-pregnated carbon fiber sandwich ski, a convex three-dimensional shoveled ski with radical edge bevel, and a paradigm-shifting permanent, one-time application base treatment that provides increased glide across all snow conditions.” 

Sounds like the brand has a lot to their name, but they’ve barely begun.

Working primarily with carbon technology, DPS roots their creations in sustainable manufacturing. Using durable materials to reduce future waste while considering the environmental impacts of each resource included, DPS hopes to provide buyers with skis that will last a lifetime (or just a few decades of fun).  

We will say that although this brand offers fewer than 30 ski styles and sizes to choose from, they manage to conquer the word range surrounding prices. 

With their cheapest skis sitting at $500 (not too bad), their exclusive top-of-the-line pieces go as high as $1,450 for the more dedicated professionals.

Highlights

  • Skis, gear, and accessories for the passionate skiers
  • Riders Collective Membership for discounts
  • Demo Direct Fitting program
  • Phantom Wax creator for consistent glide
  • Two-year warranty

#7: Dynafit

Best Ski Brands

Stepping off the slopes for a second, we’re turning to Dynafit who began their venture in 1950 with ski boots. Actually, throughout their years in business, they’ve maintained a pretty consistent focus on boots over all other aspects. 

They definitely offer up a selection of skis, gear, and accessories, but the craftsmanship of their ski boots is unparalleled.

With multiple Olympic gold medals to their name, Dynafit’s IAS Golden Seal of Approval really says it all. This brand has proven time and time again that their products know the meaning behind quality and performance. 

We’ll be honest, they don’t have much history posted on their line of skis, but their boots alone show passion for the sport and its athletes.

This one is all about quality work, so it shouldn’t be surprising when we mention prices typically sit between $600 to $1,200 for their skis. While they’re not as low as other brand listings, they definitely don’t quite hit the mark left behind by others. A nice middling cost for a top-tier brand.

Highlights

  • Large inventory of ski boots, skis, gear, and accessories
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Majority of products made in the Alps
  • Compatible with other brands
  • Ski sizing guide

#8: Black Crows

Best Ski Brands

Another newer name on the market, Black Crows came to join this industry in 2006 after the founders sought the need for a single location that combined form and function. 

Wanting to bring a focus to the aesthetic aspects of skiing alongside the need for efficiency and performance, pro freeskiers Camille Jaccoux and Bruno Compagnet joined forces to launch a brand that balanced the two facets in a single piece.

Based on the notion of a wide-spanning powder ski that could tackle every turn with ease, this duo went against the trending slim skis of the market to craft their own dream design, the Corvus

Yearning for the utter freedom that accompanied freeskiing, their continuing creations all centered around four core values: reliability, durability, performance, and play

Naming themselves after the Chough, a black crow that can withstand altitudes of over 4000 meters, they mimicked that joy in flight, freedom, and fun in every product manufactured from that moment on.

We will say, this brand really does offer one of the lowest prices in the game. Their skis start around $210 and move all the way up to a line sitting around $1,050. It’s a huge gap, but there seems to be something to fit every skill level throughout the range. 

It’s a great place for beginners to take that first step in owning a solid pair of skis.  

Highlights

  • Extensive line of skis, apparel, and accessories
  • Ski Sauvage test for skiers
  • Detailed material lists
  • Free returns
  • Two-year warranty

#9: Vöelkl

Best Ski Brands

Vöelkl makes their mark on this list of the best ski brands as one of the last remaining ski manufacturers in Germany – it has to mean something to be nearing the last of your kind, right? It definitely helps that they’re the second oldest name on this list. 

Vöelkl comes in with a 1923 entrance to the world of winter sports and they’ve remained steady ever since.

Despite the older start, this brand actually maintains their position in the world of skiing due to their constant innovation and use of technology in collaboration with more traditional craftsmanship techniques

Employing only the best in the realm of engineering, they maintain core values of passion, hard work, and technique through their progressive methods. Always looking to improve upon what already exists, their work in Bavaria never truly takes a break as the next invention is always just within reach.

We do have to say that this brand works more for the products than the money. They take their cuts from retailers but don’t actually sell their own products directly. As a result, it’s difficult to track their price range as it can change depending on the distributor, but we’ll say a quick search turned up prices from $700 to $1,000.

Highlights

  • Wide range of skis, poles, bags, and skins
  • Durability project
  • Sustainable use of raw materials
  • Online dealer-finder tool
  • Guided factory tour online

#10: Salomon

Best Ski Brands

We’re finishing up our list of the best ski brands with France’s own Salomon. This 1947 name first appeared in a small workshop in Annecy, France before taking off on a larger level. 

Throughout their growth, this brand persevered, marking innovation and experience as their two key missions in crafting the best for their customers.

The world of winter sports really owes this brand for their bindings. Moving away from traditional leather straps, Salomon brought lift and self-release heel pieces to the world of sports, making a huge difference to skiers tackling the slopes solo.

In fact, this business topped out as the #1 binding manufacturer in 1972, so you know they have to be legit.

Since then, Salomon moved their ventures to the ski boot (1979) and the skis themselves (1990). With millions of products sold, it’s not easy to catch up to the rampant success this one has found on the market since their initial launch. 

Now that they’ve conquered the gear itself, they’ve moved attention to more sustainable efforts of achieving high quality and durable designs with the best eco-friendly materials and production possible.

We will say that Salomon comes in with a reasonable range for pricing. Their pieces typically sit between $450 to $700, making their most expensive pairs equal the cheaper end of other brands. A great first pair to purchase, Salomon delivers on quality, performance, and pricing every time.

Highlights

  • Range of winter sports equipment, gear, attire, and accessories
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Sustainability project in effect
  • Two-year warranty
  • Simple returns

Shopping For The Best Skis: What to Consider

Best Ski Brands

We may have listed off some of the best ski brands, but we don’t want to leave customers scrambling to figure out the next steps. Instead, we’re offering up what we deem to be the most important criteria to keep in mind while ski shopping. 

Some sit quite simply while other aspects may slip the mind too often, so we’re narrowing in on what features need your focus when buying from the best brands.

Brand  

While some big names are better known for their materials, durability, and designs, we will say now that sometimes the smaller brands can be just as effective. The real trick to check into just how well the brand can be trusted? The warranty.

Warranty and repairs say a lot about a brand and their credibility. Do companies cut it off after a season of use or will they own up to any issues with the product for a longer duration? A simple check on brand sites should give a good idea of warranty policies, but be sure to check into reviews for unbiased opinions as well.

Materials and Durability 

Though it may not seem difficult, skis come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. From fiberglass to carbon fiber to aluminum, rubbers, and more, there are a number of pieces in use to create different effects on the terrain. Some foam cores can be lighter while wood cores offer more durability.

It all comes down to what you as a customer want to achieve with those skis and what care level you’re willing to submit to. Skis can’t just be left rotting in the corner. 

As with any big purchase, each material comes with its own set of care instructions to ensure lasting quality and lifespan. Do some research, narrow in on what the planned use will be, and figure out what materials will suit that best.

Size and Style 

Size really does matter sometimes, and skiing is one of those times. Ski lengths typically correlate with height and weight, but there are other factors to consider as well. Longer blades make for more difficult turns, so shorter sizes are often recommended for beginners.

The best way to find the style and size for each individual is to ask a professional. From sizing guides to personal fits, there are hundreds of connections online and in-person that will offer insight as to what each size and style brings to the table in terms of abilities, difficulties, and fit.

Product Range

Not every brand offers up all of the necessities. Some focus on solely the skis and boots, which are a great start, but that’s not all that’s needed for a good time on the snowy slopes. 

Consider helmets, gloves, coats, poles, waxes, and a number of other accessories that will come in handy should this hobby really pick up. Sometimes it’s easiest to get it all from one location rather than scouting a bunch of different sources.

Skill Level 

Remember when we said size works with skill level? There are actually a number of factors at play surrounding skill level. All-mountain styles tend to be best for beginners as they stay short, are easy to control, and tend to be on the cheaper side.

The more advanced skiers can venture into more specific categories, longer blades, and much more. There are endless options once skiers can actually manage the slopes, so don’t give up or think the peak has been reached. There’s always another mountain to tackle.

Budget 

The big one to consider? Budget. Newer skiers may not want to go crazy in cost, so keep the prices in mind while searching through the best ski brands. 

They’re never going to be a cheap purchase, so go in knowing that any skis bought will be an investment piece. Keep them in good shape, get to work, and re-sell when ready to move up to the next bracket.

FAQ

Are longer or shorter skis better for beginners?  

Any new skier will likely be a bit panicked at the sight of all of the options on the market, but we’re here to help. The simple fact is the really fancy styles aren’t for the newbies. In fact, stay far away. There are a few things to search for in buying beginner skies:

  • Short length
  • All-mountain style
  • Wide turn radius

These aspects all make it easier to control the skis while on the move, no matter what the speed. It may not be a lengthy, detailed list to search for, but even these few criteria can make a huge difference in creating a comfortable and controlled experience for beginners.

Are wider skis harder to turn? 

Despite everyone picturing slim to mid-width skis, they actually come in a variety of sizes. Each width highlights different abilities of the skis themselves, making it easier to pull off certain turns, jumps, tricks, and other fun moves.

Typically, wider skis take much more effort in turns, making the slimmer style a more popular sensation in racing and speed sports. However, we have to note that wider skis do have their own pros to add:

  • Better powder performance
  • Lighter interiors
  • Better hardpack performance
  • Better binding flex

Every ski shape has its own pros and cons. It’s all about narrowing in on skill level, terrain, and expectations to determine what would be the best fit.

Can a beginner use performance skis? 

We’ll technically say that yes, beginners can use performance skis, but they really shouldn’t. Different skis are made for different skill sets and, while beginners love the idea of going fast, it’s not always the best move when starting out. 

There are three key areas that differ between beginner and performance skis:

  1. Gradient – how steep the slope is
  2. Speed – self-explanatory
  3. Terrain – how smooth the snow on the slope is

Things get more difficult with more advanced skis, so it’s best to start beginners on the path of least resistance. Stick to the bunny hill for a bit. It’ll make a big difference in the long run.

How can ski accidents be prevented? 

Whether new to the game or advanced, skiing can take a toll on athletes so it’s important to take precautions and plan ahead to avoid the worst. Sometimes accidents happen, but the best way to circumvent their occurrence is by following a few simple steps:

  • Stay fit – good conditioning can lessen the pain of being out for long hours
  • Warm up – we all know that stretches can be annoying, but no one argues they’re effective. Take time on the smaller slopes before going big
  • Hydrate – as with anything in life, hydration is key to keeping a clear head and strong endurance
  • Learn the ski lift – this one is a big thing to master for skiing. Getting on and off safely avoids a number of accidents

Be careful, follow the rules established by the hills, and take time with every action. Don’t rush things or you may not end up being the only one hurt.

Final Thoughts

Best Ski Brands

As with anything new, skiing can be a bit scary to start out. Once the slopes have been hit a few times and the right pair of skis are set, everything glides into place. All it takes is time, research, and above all else, practice.

Don’t be afraid to try new avenues and explore a classic winter sport. There are dozens of stores to choose from and our top ten list of the best ski brands only skims the surface. Do personal research, talk to professionals, and just have fun.


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