When you’re looking for the best backcountry touring skis for this year’s season, there is a lot of information to sift through on how to find out what the best options are. In this article, we’re going to look at the top five best touring skis you can get your hands on for the upcoming season. This will put you on the slopes with the best equipment possible.
The DPS wailer 110 pro skis build on the previous model and feature a longer radius that allows more contact with the powder in areas of variable snow conditions. These skis have never felt undermanned at full speed, or during periods of odd conditions on the hill.
The new DPS wailers feature the world’s most advanced ski construction with pure carbon skis. These are then melded with the finest supporting materials, an aspen wood core, and wide profile Rockwell steel edges. This ski is the perfect big mountain and alpine touring ski.
- Fastest and hardest world cup race bases
- carbon fiber interior gives the strongest ski imaginable
- Partial twin tip and long turn radius
- not suited for high variables of changing terrain
If you’re looking for a ski that can go well off the beaten path and explore beyond the resort, then the Majesty Supernova LTD skis are for you. The medium turning radius gives you maximum control through glades and the side stashes of snow. These skis can have you going through all-mountain resort skiing, to backcountry glades in a seamless transition.
The flat tail, rockered tips give this ski a ton of speed. The fiberglass construction gives it a good amount of flex without being too stiff. The core is made of wood, and it comes with a beautiful brushed matte graphic design.
- ultra versatile ski that can shred all-types of terrain
- medium turning radius for quick navigation through glades
- fast base
- fiberglass laminate
Some of the lightest skis available, the Armada tracer 108 skis are far from being flimsy. Armada has a reputation of being some of the best touring skis, and these do not disappoint. The partial twin tip gives you some versatility on the edges, and the medium turning radius is excellent for shredding in tighter spaces.
The shape makes them perfect for higher density snow and gives the skier maximum stability. The olefin fiber mixed with carbon are ultra-resistant, and a layering of fiberglass gives this ski its distinct flex pattern.
- mix of carbon, olefin, and fiberglass laminate
- lightweight woods and hard laminates create a very durable ski
- great for alpine touring
- not as versatile in all-mountain terrain
These skis are the ultimate powder crushers for big mountain skiing, and still, have the lightweight frame to do long distance touring. The large radius creates a very stable ski that is still easy to pivot through tight turns and moguls.
The multilayer wood core made of beech and poplar wood give this ski an extremely durable core composed of hardwood in the binding area, and a softer more flexible wood throughout. The full carbon jacket gives it a high stability and the lightest weight possible in its class. The base is composed of a high molecular polyethylene which gives it a great wear resistance and perfect wax absorption. This ski is one of the fastest on the market and is highly recommended for any top skier.
- Ultra-durable carbon jacket and flexible wood core
- lightweight and very fast base
- fast durable alpine ski
- more for big mountain and alpine racing, not much glade or backwoods skiing
The black crow’s ova Freebird skis are designed as a super light touring ski designed to speed downhill. The short turn radius on these skis is perfect for backcountry and touring, and the moderate flex makes them perfect to tackle almost any snow condition you will find. For any epic traverse, you need to get your hands on these.
The wood core is made of paulownia, and the laminate is composed of a mix of fiberglass and carbon. The titanal binding reinforcement gives it an extra strong grip on the bindings, and the lightweight frame of the ski weighs in at just under 1200 grams per ski.
- super lightweight
- short turning radius and flexible bend
- great for alpine touring, and not much else
What to consider when choosing Touring Skis
When you’re looking for the perfect ski for touring, you need to first narrow down exactly what you want to get out of your skis. You can narrow down alpine touring based on conditions of snow, the terrain in the area, and regional differences.
If you’re looking to get once or twice a year, then you want to consider reliability of the product and affordability. You might put much less emphasis on the weight and versatility of each spec. If you’re a huge tourer, then having multiple sets of skis is not uncommon. This may help spread out the wear and tear on your sets.
If you’re an intermediate to upper-level skier, then you want to find a ski that is not too beefy. You’d want one that is a bit more specialized and less forgiving than the all-around beginner types. You might want to consider a ski that is nice and light, but still not as highly-specialized as the top end skis.
You also want to keep your fitness level in mind, and how long you stay out on your average day on the slopes. If you’re less fit, find yourself a lightweight ski. This is because an average day could see you walking upwards of 3000 feet!
Depending on your goal on the mound, you’re going to want to specialize your skis. In areas with narrow passages and forested areas, go with a ski that is versatile and can pivot quite easily. The larger alpine skis are more suited for firmer snow and large open areas.
Snow type matters a lot. If you’re skiing at the same time every year, you can find a pair of skis to adapt to the weather. Wide skis perform much better in the poor snow conditions, and the reversed cambered skis are much better at turning in poorer conditions. In firm snow, consider getting narrow cambered skis.
Some people have a type of ski they always find themselves riding, and will not stray from that familiarity. The carbon skis are much stiffer and give less bend, which makes them perfect and more stable at high speeds on firm snow, and light skis can give you much more air and bounce around more in steep terrain.
If you’re fully committed on one type, at least try to find a ski that offers a ton of balance and versatility, as touring conditions can vary considerably every day and season.
Why do people make a big deal out of finding the perfect touring ski?
People want to make sure they get the most of their purchase. And you always want to feel like you picked the best product to hit the mountain mix. You want to find something that is light enough to carry up the mountain, but versatile enough to not be flying off the slope in uneven terrain.
Narrow skis are much better for the firmer terrain, while wide skis are better for powder and difficult snow. The compromise to find the best ski is to consider your terrain choices, fitness level, motivation, and all-around skill level.
You could carry wide stance skis and heavy bindings and beat everyone down the hill no problem, but you’ll have a very difficult time going up the hill if you aren’t helicopter skiing.
The easiest solution is to find a ski that you have found to work in almost any condition, give or take a few weaknesses, and you can adjust the weight of the bindings or possibly drop down a size, though this may affect the weight distribution of your ski.
Do I have to uphill climb and what’s the best way to get to the top?
In pretty much every case outside of helicopter skiing, you’re going to have to climb uphill if you want to get to the best parts the mountain offers. You can go to a resort and take the lift to the top and go off the track from there usually. But you’ll find yourself in an area where you’ll have to walk to get back to any populated area. The most efficient way to travel with your skis uphill is to get climbing skins.
They form a nice adhesive on the bottom of your skis that make it much simpler to walk uphill. You can tear them off after and store them in your pocket for the next run. If you have snowboarding friends they must carry snowshoes in most cases, which is much more inefficient than the skins.
There are lots of variables that go into choosing the perfect touring ski. Make sure you pick one that is very balanced if you aren’t an expert and always ask yourself honest questions on your skill level, fitness level, and main goals you want to achieve with your skis. If you can figure these variables out about yourself, then EVO can help you find the perfect ski for touring.