The Best Carving Skis

If you love making big, arcing turns at high speeds, you probably want a carving ski. Carving skis are for those familiar with ski racing, but who want to have fun on the mountain outside of race days. These skis are for hard pack only, not for powder, and specifically excel on groomers, through gates, and over machine-prepped snow. These are designed for skilled skiers who know how to lay down a turn and want a performance piece of equipment to use in all firm conditions on the mountain.


Carving Skis Reviews
Volkl RTM 84

The Volkl RTM 84 is one of the most versatile skis in the Carving Category, with the ability to quickly lock onto short swing, medium, and long-radius turns with exceptional grip – as well as an ease of initiation that few carving skis can match. Featuring an exquisitely constructed mix of tip and tail rocker with traditional camber underfoot, along with Volkl’s 3D.Ridge construction, which moves denser, power-transmitting materials underfoot and lighter materials to the shovel/tail and edge, results in a ski with easy to access performance and effortless arc. Ranked as their “Favorite” ski in the Carving Category by 25 percent of our test team, and “Excellent” by everyone else, this is an advanced- to expert-level carver that also features some strong off-piste performance.

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Blizzard Quattro RX

The Blizzard Quattro RX is an amazingly smooth, accurate, hardpack-specific carver with grip, especially in mid to long-radius turns. Built with Blizzard’s Sandwich Compound Sidewall IQ, the ski features a layup of wood, titanium and carbon for damp, consistent ski-to-snow contact, that is at its best on groomed and hard to icy conditions. An even, forgiving flex makes it an absolute pleasure to load the shovel of the ski from turn to turn, especially at higher speeds where the overall stability of the RX is positively confidence building. This is a “groomers-only” ski that loses performance off-piste and does feel out of its comfort zone in tighter turns. We highly recommend it for carvers who make an art out of arcing the groomed.

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Fischer RC4 The Curv GT

As one tester wrote after putting the new Fischer RC4 The Curv GT through its paces, “Another great ski! There are no dogs in the Carving Category.” Which is true. The Curv GT is a great ski, with a nice mix of power, authority and finesse. It absolutely owns the short and medium carve, with an ability to drive right in to some remarkably solid edge grip. A big sweet spot, courtesy of a deep sidecut and an easy, rhythmic swingweight, invite you to transition cleanly and quickly from edge to edge. Some testers did feel as if The Curv GT’s tail was a bit too stiff and felt they had to step out of a turn a little at the finish, and the ski is better at shorter turns than it is in a long radius. Overall, it’s an exciting carver with great response.

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Kastle MX84

The Kastle MX84 is a carving ski that has all-mountain capabilities. Built with the brand’s Hollowtech tip and traditional camber, it’s a GS-style ski that is easy to initiate with continuous sidecut that enhances how well the MX84 grabs – and keeps – hold of a medium-radius turn. Which is not to say the ski can’t also lock into short-swing turns with a precision, or better yet, start hauling down the fall-line with superior grip. The MX84 did earn some of the higher scores in the Carving category for its Turn Shape Variability, which increases its all-mountain capabilities. It is an experts-only ski that needs to be pushed to perform and can feel sluggish and bit planky at slower speeds.

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What is a carving ski?

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When selecting a ski, the dimension that will tell you the most about a ski’s preferred conditions is its waist width, or the wideness of the ski underfoot. In the case of carving skis, you want them to have a waist width between 65-80mm. This narrow dimension allows the ski to have a tight turn radius and quick edge-to-edge action when carving turns on firm snow.

The Best Women’s Skis

For each of our categories, there are men’s or unisex versions and there are usually also women’s specific versions. If you are a female shopping for skis, first determine which type of ski you want, and then look through both the men’s versions and the women’s versions to find the exact model that will work for you.

Women’s specific skis are slightly different than the equivalent men’s versions. Typically, women’s versions come in shorter lengths, lighter weight, and with less stiffness to account for women’s shorter heights and lower body weights. They also come with different graphics to distinguish between the models. Similar to how a women’s jacket is more likely to fit a woman’s body shape better than a men’s jacket, a women’s pair of skis will most likely better fit a woman’s dimensions and be easier to turn and maneuver. However, very advanced women sometimes prefer a stiffer men’s or unisex ski.