What makes a women’s ski different than the men’s? The answer is nearly always the same: lighter-weight materials and a softer flex. Here’s the thing: Lightweight, soft skis are not better suited for a woman’s body type. Rather, they are qualities applied to equipment made for intermediate skiers. The industry assumes—and market trends support them—that, generally speaking, there are fewer aggressive female skiers than men. As a result, many of the best female skiers are on men’s skis. But it doesn’t have to be that way. What follows are the women’s skis that stood out at Powder Week. The Powder Queens skied full throttle across all of Big Sky, and these skis held edges, turned without too much tip flop, rammed through crud, and floated on pow—just the way we wanted. —Julie Brown

To browse the rest of the skis in the 2016 Buyer’s Guide, click here.

Armada VJJ 2.0

Nordica La Nina

4FRNT Hoji W

K2 Luv Boat 108

Dynastar Cham W 2.0 107

Atris Birdie

ON3P Jessie 100

Nordica Santa Ana

Head Great Joy

K2 Fulluvit 98TI

Atomic Vantage 95 C W