What Are Big Mountain Skis?

You’ve probably heard the term thrown around at the ski hills and at our shop, and just like the industry, there are a lot of terms to get used to, and one we will be talking about is big mountain skis.

When it comes to some of the terms in snow sports, some people are often confused as to what they can mean, especially if they believe it affects them.

So, we want to debunk any issues surrounding this term, including how big mountain skis differ from powder or all-mountain skis. We hope that this can help determine if you would want to ride a pair. Hopefully, this post will explain more about these types of men's skis and women's skis and whether or not they might be right for you.

What Makes Big Mountain Skis Different?

Let’s first break down the term. Big Mountain Skiing is commonly referred to as freeride or extreme skiing. This means the skis would have to handle the steep terrain, powder, and stability at high speeds.





The main traits of a big mountain ski are fairly identifiable when you take into account what they are used for as we stated just before. So, to make it easier, let’s explain a little further:

  • Single Core Construction – Handles better on steep terrain, especially at higher speeds.
  • Wider underfoot – Floats easier in powder
  • Traditionally longer lengths (Rider height or taller) – Stability at higher speeds
  • Dampening properties – Reduced vibrations from ride

Dampening is one of the most crucial characteristics in skis today, but when it comes to big mountain skis it can be highly effective in the overall experience. The idea is to use certain materials and construction methods to help absorb and cancel vibrations. This can be as easy as making the ski more solid and heavy, or in some brands using different materials like Titanal, fibreglass and honeycomb structuring.


In recent years, new technology has played a big part in ski profiles, and you’ll find almost every ski on the market has tip rocker which helps increase maneuverability. The issue with big mountain skiers is the need of stability which rocker lacks in comparison. You will still find 90% of the skis on the market for big mountain riding are slight rockered at the tip, a bit of camber underfoot for stability and control, a massive turn radius because of its wider under foot and a flat tail to offer the best potential of control and power.
We suggest that any novice skier should steer clear of this type of ski (for now) as most inexperienced skiers find the increased width and length hard to move. See our Choosing The Right Ski Guide to find the best ski for you.

What we want you to take away from this post is, if any of this information is resonating to you and you feel your next ski should mimic some of these features, maybe big mountain skis should be investigated.

Check out our current stock of big mountain skis in-store or online at Snowcentral today.