Regardless of the number of years you’ve been on the slopes, making the correct ski choice can be a challenge.

As part of its annual review of new skis, realskiers.com, the go-to site for in-depth ski evaluations, has determined the best skis for older skiers. Most of the selected skis have relatively soft flex, which helps them engage the snow with minimal exertion. Regardless of one’s physical condition, using skis with these characteristics allows older skiers to turn more easily and to ski longer without tiring.

Those who visit a variety of areas in different regions and who experience different snow conditions, may want to acquire a “quiver” of skis, each of which can be used for different terrain and different conditions. An alternative is to rent equipment when you get to the mountain. For example, Eastern skiers who tote their narrow skis to Alta, would be better served with a pair of wider powder skis.

We strongly recommend trying before buying. Start by choosing the most suitable ski category for the terrain and snow and working with a quality ski shop, preferably one at or close to the mountain so you can switch out demo equipment throughout the day. That said, this information also can be useful to those running across previously owned boards at a Swap or Sale.

BTW, SeniorSkiers.com subscribers are eligible for a 50% discount off subscriptions to realskiers.com.  This is a limited time offer.  Click here to request your promo code.


Recommended 2023 Skis for Senior Skiers

The Best 2022 Skis for Senior Skiers has 29 selections from Blizzard, Dynastar, Fischer, Head, K2, Kastle, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Stockli, and Volkl. Ten of the recommended skis are identified as women’s skis, which sometimes are engineered for female size and physique.

The selections fall into four groups, organized by range of ski width, which helps determine the terrain where its performance is optimized.

Specific recommended skis follow:

FRONTSIDE

75MM-84MM
Fischer RC One 82 GT
K2 Disruption 78 TI
Stockli Montero AX

WOMEN’S FRONTSIDE

75MM-84MM
Blizzard Black Pearl 82
Nordica Santa Ana 84

ALL-MOUNTAIN EAST

85MM-94MM
Nordica Enforcer 88

WOMEN’S
ALL-MOUNTAIN EAST

85MM-94MM
Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Head Kore 85 W/91W
Nordica Santa Ana 88/93

ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST

95MM-100MM
Dynastar M-Pro 99
Head Kore 99
Volkl M6 Mantra

WOMEN’S ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST

Blizzard Black Pearl 97
Dynastar E-PRO 99 
Kastle FX96 W
Head Kore 97 W

BIG MOUNTAIN

101MM-113M
Blizzard Rustler 10
Fischer Ranger 102 
Head Kore 111
Nordica Enforcer 104/110 FREE
Rossignol Sender 104 Ti
Salomon QST 106/Stance 102
Volkl Blaze 106

WOMEN’S

Fischer Ranger 102
Rossignol Rallybird 104 Ti
 

21 Comments

  1. I’m surprised not to see the Blizzard Rustler 9 on the list. It’s construction , with some rocker make it a good all round ski, frontside or backside for senior skier. I’m 74 and ski around 90days a year. It’s narrower side
    Cut also puts less stress on senior bodies, but you get the same performance in soft snow as Rustler10.

  2. Looking for new skis last season, I found very few rentals/demos available narrower than 84mm.
    Totally had to rely in reviews and purchased a ski w/o a demo (something I told myself never to do). Fortunately, the ski is perfect for me.

  3. As a 69 year old the thought has been creeping into my head that my time for a suitable “senior” ski might coming soon. So when I saw this article I was excited to read the recommendations. However I’m left scratching my head wondering who in the world would would think that any of the skis listed would be suitable for a senior. The article states that seniors should lean towards a ski with softer flex. I tend to agree with that statement. Yet most of the skis listed are some, if not the, stiffest skis on the market. The Enforcer, Mantra, Kore, M-Pro, Sender, etc are all skis designed for hard charging aggressive skiers. Hardly the type of ski (softer flex) recommended for seniors who may be slowing down some. A softer flexing ski is not going to be loaded with metal and most of these skis are. The only skis in that list that I believe really belong there are the Blaze, possibly the Ranger. There are a lot of skis out there like these out there, but unfortunately they are not on this list.

    • Agree with your assessment of the Senior ski listing as ridiculous….I am 84 and still get in 30 days a year skiing in Colorado. I am tall and skinny so don’t have the bulk or strength to flex a stiff ski….I have been skiing for 70 years and flex has always been a major consideration…will take a softer ski any day for most conditions in the Rockies…..I am truly a fitness skier that loves to carve and make short turns

  4. Richard Kunz says:

    Several local ski shops offer free demo days at my local mountain. There is a vast difference in the feel of brands and models. The best way to avoid buyers remorse is to demo a ski before purchase. Read the reviews, narrow your choices, talk to friends, talk to your local shop.

  5. You failed to mention Renoun Skis. I tested numerous skis last year, and they won out, hands down! I bought a pair of 88s and 98s and the same for my wife. She loves them too.

  6. Do you ever ride a lift as a single or ride a quad with a ski buddy and two strangers? As a subject of discussion, I like to turn to what they are comfortable with, and I think the easiest subject is on the skis they are on. Once, at the top, I lag back to watch them get on their way and I watch them make about 4 – 8 turns and decide their caliber and judge their evaluation provided on the chair based on what I now see. After a season, I have a pretty good handle on what skis I am interested in. Since I maintain a quiver, I am not in a hurry to buy my next ski, but I do like to grow into having another ski for my quiver. A new pair allows me to retire one that I have tended to keep on the home rack instead of riding on the car rack. It may be next year, but I narrow down my choice(s) by reading blogs on each ski that piques my interest. By then, I get a full snow year of blogs. Demo-ing only gives you a chance to judge on 1 type of snow. Then, I go about saving at least 50% of the cost or more and buy a season leftover for the upcoming season. Buying skis is much like buying a car. Even though the new models are out, the leftover ski is brand new and skis just like the new model.

  7. I have a small quiver in the range 68mm to 82mm underfoot. SL cheaters (hard pack, now where is that ice?) and an 80/20 all mountain / front side ski. I like their slightly stiff flex for the turn holding and some rebound. A few years ago I tried non Ti skis from a couple of brands and to be honest they scared the whatever out of me. Dubious handling at a rate of knots. Generally I keep the speed down, but there are situations where it is going to be fast. Oh, my age. Late 70s. Ski ability, advanced on a good day.

  8. Since body parts were referenced, let’s expand on that. It is harder to roll a wide ski on its edge, and doing so, increases stress on the knee. This has been reported in a number of ski publications.

    • Agree, but companies seem to be pushing wider and wider skis. My new skis are 81mm, the (very) old ones are 66mm. I was looking in the 78 – 82mm range.

    • I agree that wider skis may be harder on the knees but let’s define “wider”. Most people in the ski industry define wide as anything over 95 mm under foot. How many times have we heard that 95 is the perfect width and could amount to a one ski quiver. Regardless, I’ve been skiing on an 80 for a few years now and love them. They have performed well for me, even on my annual trip out west. However I have demoed a few 88 mm skis and have noticed no difference on the groomers. The key point is that we are only talking a few millimeters difference in overall width. Not enough to make much difference when rolling a ski on edge. But where those few millimeters make a difference is in float because they run the entire length of the ski. I did notice a difference with the 88s in deeper snow. So the bottom line is I wouldn’t be too concerned about knees on any ski under 90. Possibly even 95.

  9. Lets face it, most skiers are piste skiers. Even the few times I have been out west most of what I skied on were groomers. For this kind of skiing anything above 80mm just makes it more work. If the conditions get a little icy wide skies become a hazard made even so with all mountain skis where you need all the edge you can get. Last year I went back to the old standard and bought a pair of Rossignol Hero Elites TI. All I can say is WOW!
    It is a fully cambered ski and is extremely responsive and agile. At 78mm it works well under most ski conditions from early morning hard pack to late afternoon crud. It has a medium turning radius, but it’s almost meaningless as it’s quick in the short turns and effortless in long ones. I am guessing but I would think most ski makers have some model similar to this. Ditch the wide skis folks, you don’t need float on the pack.

  10. Brad Huggins says:

    Have skied the Head Kore in 93 and 99 and it’s very good on all snow types.
    BUT, before you buy in the All-Mountain West category, you HAVE to try the K2 Mindbender.
    Awesome in moderate powder and crud and is killer on the groomers! Only downside-it’s so smooth that you can get going waaayyyy too fast very quickly.
    I’m a level 6+-7, 67, 5’ 10”, 190 man, recreational skier with no incentive other than this being THE best ski I’ve ever skied.

  11. Not sure I see any female seniors weighing in here, but here I am. 68 years young, brand-new knee (May) and ski mostly northeast hardback. I favor a short swing, so currently ski a Volkl Flair 78, which I like. Looking at the Blizzard black pearls in an 82…will definitely try them. If I ski out west or internationally I will likely rent or demo; I don’t think my ski location and style are varied enough to warrant a quiver.

    • For what it’s worth my wife skis, she is 69 and I buy her skis based how she skis. We ski primarily Minnesota so depending on conditions it’s either groomed, ice, or crud. She currently skis 75mm with a short radius. She loves them. The ski industry still pushes wider skis, which are a jack of all trades and master of none. Lately I have gone back to a full cambered 78mm ski from an 86mm all mountain ski. It’s like going from a 4 wheel drive pick up to a Ferrari. Edge hold can’t be beat and they are easy on the legs. At our age, that’s what you want. The problem with the Blizzard Black Pearls is they are a rocker-camber-rocker ski. You loose allot of edge hold on hardpack and I think they would wear you out. If your more like my wife she is prone to pick out ski equipment that matches her outfits. By the way, I had my knee replaced a few years ago and never noticed the difference. Good luck and good skiing.
      TJ

  12. Good information and a wide range of opinions. I believe the ski’s turn radius is also important and may explain why there are very different opinions about the “best” ski. I ski a lot of groomers and moguls and I prefer my skis with a 93mm waist and15.5 m turn radius over my 80mm waist skis with 17.5 turn radius. Both skis are made by Nordica and just based on waist dimension, I would expect the 70mm waist skis to be better on the groomers-especially when the snow is very hard. I am 75 YO, have been skiing for 60+ years, and I ski about 80 days a season at Colorado resorts.

  13. Weight and skiing style are two very important factors which are often overlooked. Important because those are two of the main inputs which cause a ski to bend and carve.
    Heavy &/or aggressive skiers will benefit from a ski with metal in it which tends to make it stiffer. Conversely, a lighter or less aggressive skier will probably prefer a ski without metal.
    As a 150#, advanced Eastern U.S. skier, who enjoys groomers, bumps and woods, I find myself in the middle. My 78mm Head e-Rallies, which have some metal, are great on groomers, and prefer aggressive style. However, being full camber, they give a smoother ride than my rockered Kastle FX 85s.
    Camber in skis provides some suspension, whereas with rocker, your feet are kinda “riding on the ground”, but rocker makes it easier to smear the skis, useful in bumps and woods.
    Realskiers.com, unlike the mags which are supported by ski manufacturer advertising, tends to tell it like it is, and has not been swept away by the “wider is better“ mantra.
    Sure, if you hit the slopes after a fresh snowfall, especially out West, wider is better. But the other 90% of the time….

    • One more thing, a lighter skier can use a ski with less surface area because there is less weight to float. Certainly a factor in powder, although less so on northeastern “firm.“

  14. Jordan Pauker says:

    Have been skiing for almost 70 yrs. Have never had as much fun as skiing on my Armada JJ 116’s anywhere and everywhere. So much fun, not sure it’s legal.

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