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The very best freeride skis for the 2023-2024 season, that’ll evoke dreams of deep powder way off the beaten track.

Best Freeride Skis

Freeride skis now form a huge part of the overall ski market, which is great news for you, the buyer, with an ever-expanding range from all the big brands, as well as a hefty dose of independents too. 

We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, testing more than 80 pairs of skis and have whittled down our selection of the best freeride skis for the 2023-2024 season.

2024 freeride skis

Salomon QST Echo

Best for: Regular off-piste tourers that want a wide freeride ski 

RRP: £680

The rightly popular Salomon QST range keeps evolving, and this, a touring version of the  standard QST 106, is set to be a popular choice among advanced and expert skiers. A Karuba/Poplar wood core balances power and weight nicely, while Basalt fibres layer in strength, and cork in the tip and tail provides dampening as needed. 

There’s also a titanal edge-to-edge insert, which might boost the weight - 1530 grams (per ski) - but also improves power and makes the package work for both touring and performance off-piste riding. 


Verdict: For any freeride skier that wants a genuine tool for performance off-piste riding and wants to access some of that under their own steam, then the QST 106 Echo could be a great choice. 

Overall rating: 9/10

Salomon QST 98

Best for: Advanced and expert skiers looking for an all mountain ski that leans a little more towards the off-piste terrain

RRP: £550

The Salomon QST 98 joins a Quest range cast that have quietly, without fuss, become classic go-to ski for reliable all mountain and off-piste ability. The 98 sits slap bang in the middle of the range, and benefits from this positioning in terms of versatility and balance - even more so than its peers. 

A Poplar wood core is reinforced with titanium laminate through the middle, which gives excellent control and stability, enough for experts to be happy, but plenty to encourage  strong intermediates.  Light enough to handle a freeride touring binding, this is a ski that won’t let you down - across the board. 


Verdict: For a one ski does it all option, the Salomon QST 98 has to be right up there as a top choice.

Overall rating: 9/10

Dynastar M Pro 99

Best for: Strong technical off-piste skiers that want a fun ride across the whole mountain 

RRP: £620

Sitting around the middle of the four model Dynastar M Pro range, the Dynastar M Pro 99 is a technical freeride ski designed to tackle all types of terrain, versatile, but mainly off-piste. 

A hybrid wood core combines with a titanal frame to offer a solid and responsive edge change on a huge variety of snow and terrain conditions. On hardpack the 99mm grips better than you might expect for a ski of that width, and stability on groomed runs is top-tier. While they’re not for beginner off-piste explorers, expert riders will love these technical skis. 


Verdict: For expert, technical, aggressive freeride skiers that want a versatile ski for the whole mountain the Dynastar M Pro 99 is a winner. 

Overall rating: 8/10

Black Diamond Helio Carbon 95

Best for: Freeride skiers that want a touring set up for shorter and longer routes, with off and on piste capabilities  

RRP: £750

Black Diamond has a strong heritage in mountain gear, and especially off-piste and backcountry hardware, of which the Helio range is something of a standout. This, the Helio Carbon 95 offers considerable performance and balance while still remaining accessible - arguably the most accessible of the Helio range. 

A Paulownia wood core adds lightness, while a small titanal layer underneath the binding area stiffens up the underfoot area. Of course, the Carbon in the name is present and correct, running through the ski to enhance stability without adding too much weight. The result is a ski of top quality that’ll run fine in powder, OK on piste and anywhere else you need it to without drama - truly a one ski does it all solution.


Verdict: Where the Helio Carbon 95 seems to excel is in its ability to cross over into all kinds of terrain and perform really well. Even at this relatively energetic price compared to the competition, it’s a package that’s easily justifiable in terms of versatility and reliability. 

Overall rating: 8/10

Black Crows Justis

Best for: Aggressive freeride skiers who want to push the limits on all terrain

RRP: £795

The Justis will suit aggressive all mountain freeride skiers that want to charge. Despite the powerful feel, they are remarkably playful in all conditions and handle variable snow conditions well. The traditional camber comes with a tip rocker that helps turn initiation, creating a lively feel, and with a smaller tail rocker, this directional ski feels more ‘alpine’ than the others in the range. The Polar wood core is backed up with a double Titanal H-Plate that runs most of the skis’ length.

Verdict: Great for hard-charging, powerful skiers looking for aggressive turns.

Overall rating: 8/10


Faction Dancer 3X W

Faction Dancer 3X W

Best for: Strong women skiers looking for a full on freeride ski 

RRP: £629

London/Verbier based Faction Skis has replaced its Dictator range with the new Dancer collection and the women’s specific 3X is 106mm under foot, making it one of the widest skis on the women’s market. These are full-on, hard charging, powerful freeride skis that demand respect from riders of all levels. They will handle high-speed descents on virtually all kinds of terrain, including epic, deep powder days. Despite this, they are still playful enough in all conditions, all over the mountain.
 – but when it comes to dancing, think more mosh pit than ballet.

Verdict: Advanced female freeride skiers will get the most out of the Dancers.

Overall rating: 8/10


Scott Pure Mission

Scott Pure Mission

Best for: Aspiring Jérémie Heitz' 

RRP: £580

Scott has taken elements from its Superguide range, such as beech wood core, but added carbon stringers and a layer of titanal to reinforce the ski. All of this goes into making a freeride-specific model that nonetheless feels super grippy and solid on piste. Their natural playground is found away from the marked runs, however. Yes they might be on the narrower side for deep powder but the floatation is remarkably good. Most skiers will be more than happy with these skis when it gets snorkel deep.

Verdict: An accessible freeride ski that’s powerful yet playful in the deep stuff.

Overall rating: 9/10


Nordica Santa Ana 93 

Women's best freeride ski

Nordica Santa Ana 93

Best for: Women wanting to have a lot of fun on a mix of terrain.

RRP: £525

Nordica’s true tip technology makes the Santa Ana stable but playful, with a lighter wood tip than traditional ABS plastic. It also has a blunt nose profile and partial twin tip which is great for impromptu backwards skiing.

Full ABS side walls from tip to tail give enhanced edge hold in any conditions and the ski is surprisingly responsive, making for fun short and snappy turns.

The Santa Ana’s sympathetic profile make it ideal for off piste fun but with the bonus of high-performance features for harder conditions.

Verdict: Somehow cheaper than the others in the category but skis a little better.

Overall rating: 10/10


Buy Nordica Santa Ana 93 Skis: $699.99 at Amazon (US)

Buy Nordica Santa Ana 93 Skis: £480 at Ellis Brigham <<Best Deal>>

K2 Mindbender 108Ti 

Best for: Freeride purists for whom the mountain is a playground

RRP: £635

K2’s bright Mindbender 108Ti is a mid-fat banana that is simply bursting with life and feels super eager to take you for a ride. It’s fun all over the mountain, and on test proved surprisingly strong through crud for a ski with so much give in the flex, as well as being way more agile than it has any right to be. This model has a Y shaped titanal plate that softens the edges at the back, and this combined with a tapered shape means you can easily force the tail around in tricky snow. While off-piste you will love the ability to recover turns in crud and smear them out in powder, but on hard pack the tail is far too inclined to slide out and does take some getting used to.

Verdict: This is clearly going to be many people’s dream ride for fun in all conditions.

Overall rating: 9/10


Buy K2 Mindbender 108Ti Skis: £721.99 at Amazon (UK) <<Best Deal>>

Buy K2 Mindbender 108Ti Skis: $924.95 at Amazon (US)

Head Kore 105 


Best for: Dedicated freeriders tackling a variety of conditions.

RRP: £665

Head’s freeride range of skis – the Kore family – has scored highly with our testers in recent seasons, but does it still hold up? The key factor in the high performance of Head’s Kore range of skis in recent years has been largely down to their LYT technology, which seems to give remarkable stiffness and power transmission to a ski which should feel twice as heavy. Despite the power bristling beneath your feet, the Kore 105 is not exactly playful. There is certainly pop in the construction, and it’s pretty easy to manoeuvre the ski but it’s just not as lively as say the Kore 99. Nevertheless, it charges. Not the best on piste, but that’s not what it’s for. 

Verdict: Powerful, with excellent float, and responsiveness. Great on all backcountry terrain.

Overall rating: 9/10


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