Have you ever skied down a ski run and noticed that the slope was dotted with large lumpy mounds of snow? Those are moguls. Without the best mogul skis, these snow bumps can be intimidating and lead to serious injury.
In this guide, I’ll review the best mogul skis available for 2023 and how to choose the best one for your needs. Your mogul ski primer starts now!
My Review Process
I’ve been skiing for a quarter century, including seven years as a ski instructor. When I first started out, moguls were terrifying. Not only was it hard to get comfortable with the terrain, but I was also experimenting on skis that weren’t meant for moguls. This made learning a lot harder.
I’m here to save you time and effort while helping you avoid injury. Mogul skiing demands practice and patience but armed with one of the skis below, you’ll be ready to shred those bumps in no time.
Mogul Skiing Terms
While most locations accept mogul as the official term, in many areas, they are informally called bumps. If you hear someone say “bump skiing,” they’re talking about moguls.
There are various ways to ski moguls. For intermediate skiers, it’s best to ski across a number of moguls, make a turn, and ski across a few more. This pattern slows you down but gets you through unscathed.
My pick for the best overall moguls skis are the Head Kore 93s. Traditionally billed as all-mountain skis, you get a lot of versatility here, including excellent bump performance. The skis are nimble, easy to turn, and smooth at speeds.
Like many thinner skis, the Kore 93s have trouble handling soft snow and can get knocked around in crud. Mogul aficionados may prefer a more specialized offering.
That being said, with a bit of rocker and camber underfoot, the Kore can handle moguls, trees, and the rest of the mountain. It’s a rare combination and one of the undeniable benefits of the Head Kore 93s. Best of all, the lightweight design and maneuverability mean they’re easy to handle for beginner-intermediate skiers.
The Volkl Kendo 88 is a bump-slaying star for advanced skiers. The skis are fast, maneuverable, and offer precision performance. On top of that, they are a dream on groomed front side runs because of their excellent carving capabilities.
These skis sport a stiffer tail, and their less flexible design demands a competent skier to control. You’ll have to use a combination of pressure, lean, and body position to get the best results.
The upshot is that the phenomenal edge control on the Kendo 88s makes skiing harder snow a breeze. If you want a ski that absolutely rips across groomers, bumps, and firmer snow, the Kendo 88s are up to the challenge.
These skis are the ultimate intermediate tool. If you’re getting away from rentals, you’ll love the maneuverability, excellent control, and smooth ride. The lightweight construction and freestyle rocker design also aid in turn initiation in the bumps or tight trees.
Like others, the skis come without bindings. Make sure to purchase some to complete your kit! Additionally, for very advanced and expert skiers, you may want something a little stiffer, like the Kendos. However, for a large swathe of skiing abilities from beginner-intermediate to early advanced, these skis make playing in the bumps a great experience.
The Black Pearl 88s are the best women's moguls skis and a perfect choice for shredding bumps. They carve like a dream, are highly maneuverable, and remarkably stable.
The skis demand a strong skier and aren’t the best for beginner intermediates because it takes a lot of power to control. Like other skinnier skis, they also sink in the fresh snow, which isn’t ideal. However, if you want to ski fast, carve, and maneuver through tough bumps, it’s hard to go wrong with the Black Pearl 88s.
With a 94 mm waist size, versatile performance, and great stability, the Rossignol Experience 94 Ti’s are the best all-mountain mogul skis. The progressive sidecut and all-terrain rocker profile allow for easy turning and maneuverability in the bumps.
The Experience skis have trouble staying afloat in the powder due to their thinness, which is why the Head Kore nabbed my best overall award. They also aren't as springy as you’d like to see for tricks and aerials. However, if you love mogul fields, carving, stability, and speed, these Rossignol Experience skis are ready to rip.
The K2 244 skis are my choice for the best short mogul skis. These mogul-specific models are built and designed specifically for tight bumps, which means you get excellent maneuverability. The skis also sport responsive edge-to-edge transitions with a thin profile, tip rocker, camber, and a slight rocker in the tail.
The catch is this type of ski won’t provide much stability once you start going faster. They’re a fantastic choice for intermediate skiers and mogul enthusiasts but aren’t as versatile as other offerings. However, if you want to ski moguls often and well, these skis are hard to beat.
Like many Armada skis, the ARV 86s are here to play. These are the best freestyle mogul skis out there. They combine excellent maneuverability with playful pop, good edge control, and a lovely rockered tail and tip. The rockered bend increases their nimble nature, which makes tree skiing, bump skiing, and landing tricks a lot of fun.
The downside to rockered tips and tails is less control at speed. These skis also get knocked around in crud or hardpack. But if you’re a park skier or aspire to ski moguls and trees, the Armada ARV 86s can handle them with ease.
These skis are a lot of fun for moguls and park skiing. I love their responsive, maneuverable, and playful nature. Plus, the fully rockered tip and tail make quick turning a breeze, and the lower price point is awesome.
The issue with these and several other dedicated mogul skis is that they shine brightest on the bumps. They begin to lose stability when you start hauling down groomers or traveling over variable terrain. If you are a mogul hound, park skier, or a fan of long tree lines where maneuverability is a must, you won’t be disappointed.
This is a delightful pair of skis for advanced and expert mogul skiers. The stiffer and skinnier profile means you’ll be using your muscles a lot more for control. But when you do, the skis are very responsive. They’re also fun freestyle skis for the park and are stable at higher speeds.
Unlike true all-mountain skis, I’d stay away from softer snow with these. The lack of float is noticeable. However, when you want to ski as many runs as possible and tack on some moguls in between, reaching for a pair of Faction Moguls is a good move.
Buying a pair of skis is a big deal. You have to consider your skiing style, ability level, and the construction of the skis. Use the following points to help you find the best skis for moguls.
Similar to all-mountain skis, moguls skis cost between $300-800. There are exceptions on the more expensive side, but they may be too specialized to give you all-mountain performance.
Ski length corresponds to skier height. Measure yourself in cm from head to toe. Then, measure yourself from the top of your shoulder to your toes. A correct ski length for you is somewhere between those two measurements.
Within that range, longer skis will be more stable but require more energy to control. Shorter skis will turn easily, which gives you more control but offers less stability at higher speeds. Generally, shorter skis are more fun in moguls.
Mogul skiing involves navigating the narrow spaces between the tops of the bumps. Wider skis have more trouble maintaining flow, which makes bump skiing less enjoyable for the average mogul skier.
When hunting for dedicated mogul skis, you want a thinner profile. The tips and tails can be wider (see sidecut below), but the width should be less than a typical all-mountain ski. The best bump skis have a ski waist of 75-95mm.
A skis profile refers to its shape and design. There are two general types: rocker and camber. A cambered profile is an upward bend underneath the bindings. A rockered profile is an upward bend at the tail and/or tip of the ski. Rocker bends can be the same in both tip and tail, or feature a flatter tail type.
Mogul skiers want maneuverability and precision, so a combination of the two profiles works best. Look for skis that feature a rocker/camber/rocker profile. The bends in this scenario allow for easy turning and maneuverability (rocker), along with control and speed (camber). This is often referred to as an all-terrain rocker.
Skis are not straight lines; the tip is the widest part, followed by the tail. The skinniest part is in the middle, also called the waist width. The sidecut is the combination of these three width measurements (tip, waist, and tail).
If you tip your skis onto their edges due to their hourglass shape (wide-thin-wide), they will make a turn effortlessly, with different turn shapes depending on how far you tilt them. Mogul skiers prefer skis with less dramatic sidecuts and smaller turning radiuses.
Skis are not two-dimensional and have sidewall construction to reinforce and harden their vertical component, which offers added durability and benefits bump enthusiasts.
My favorite overall mogul skis are the Head Kore 93s because they’re great for intermediate skiers, mogul skiing, and all-mountain versatility. Nipping on their heels are the Kendo 88s, which are more for advanced skiers, but their edge grip is fantastic for icier terrain.
Traditionally, mogul skiers used all-mountain or racing skis. Nowadays, there are specific skis that give you an advantage in mogul skiing, but you can still use all-mountain or racing skis.
Mogul skiers tend to emphasize shorter ski lengths and widths. A narrow profile helps skiers make quick turns and stay nimble in the bumps.
Like regular skis, the overall length of a mogul ski corresponds to your height. Vertically, a mogul ski should come up to or just over your shoulder height.
Generally, lighter skis are better for moguls. They are easier to flick around, which is necessary in mogul fields. A heavier ski demands more energy per turn, so it’ll tire you out faster.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.