Backcountry Skis

Go deep with our backcountry skis

If you're all about the off-piste – a powder hound who likes it steep and deep – then a backcountry ski could be the one for you. Characterised by wide waists and powder-beating profiles, backcountry skis help you to make the most of those fresh dump days and secret sidecountry spots.

Width is key in the backcountry

Skis for deep snow are typically wide in the waist – starting around 105mm underfoot with some models reaching well over 120mm. The wider the ski, the more surface area they have and the more float they give you. A ski that’s a little narrower – think 105 to 110mm underfoot – is going to perform better on the piste, being quicker edge to edge and giving you more manoeuvrability.

Different sidecuts for different speeds

Sidecut and turn radius are also important in backcountry powder skis. Wider and straighter skis are more stable at speed – great for making big turns on deep, open faces. A deeper sidecut and tighter turning radius will make things much easier in those tight tree lines and slower speed situations.

Choose reverse camber for more float

Most backcountry skis have some rocker or reverse camber profile in the tips and tails, with flat sections or a more traditional camber underfoot. You’ll even find some models that have a full reverse camber profile from tip to tail. This reverse camber helps to keep the ski floating up on top of deep powder and cuts through choppy, cruddy snow with ease.

Be honest about what you need

It’s important to remember that really wide and generously rockered skis are often harder to turn and control on hard pack and groomed pistes, so if you’re a beginner or you’re going to be spending more time on-piste, you might want to give them a miss. Don’t be tempted to buy wider skis than you need, just because it’s fashionable or you see your favourite pros riding them!

Versatile tools in the right hands

Despite their width, many modern backcountry skis can be quite versatile, and there’s been a recent trend in the industry towards wider planks across the whole mountain. Many modern backcountry skis will give you a clever mix of progressive flex pattern, sidecut and profile that will deliver fun turns on-piste as well as off.

Need some more help to choose?

Choosing the right backcountry ski is all about finding the right balance. If you’d like to learn more about shape, sidecut, profile and flex, check out our Ski Buyer's Guide. If you’re concerned about sizing, we have Ski Size Guide that’ll walk you through the process of picking the right ski size.

If you have any questions or there’s anything you don’t understand, just get in touch – we’ll be happy to help.