Wondering what are the differences between Freeride and All Mountain skis?
All-mountain skis are designed for skiers who want to do a little bit of everything – from groomed runs to off-piste skiing. But they are more suited for groomed terrains. All mountain skis are narrower than all-mountain skis, which makes them lighter and easier to maneuver.
Freeride skis, on the other hand, are designed for experienced skiers who want to spend most of their time skiing off-piste. They are usually wider than All mountain skis, which makes them more stable and easier to control in these conditions.
In this post, I’ll break down the most important differences like flex, camber and turning radius between the two types of skis in detail so that you can select the one that suits your skiing style the most.
Freeride vs All Mountain Skis: Detailed Comparison
The main difference between all mountain skis and freeride skis is that all-mountain skis are relatively narrower, softer, have more camber compared to freeride skis and are more suited on-piste skiing.
Freeride skis on the other hand are wider, have more rocker and a larger turning radius compared to all mountain skis and are designed for off-piste skiing like on deep snow and powder.
Plus, freeride skis are generally more expensive than all mountain skis.
Also check out our great guide on all mountain vs carving skis here.
Let’s take a look at some of these features in greater detail:
|Feature||Freeride Skis||All-Mountain Skis|
|Width||Wider underfoot, typically 100-120 mm||Narrower underfoot, typically 80-100 mm|
|Length||Longer than all-mountain skis, typically 180-190 cm||Shorter than freeride skis, typically 160-180 cm|
|Flex||Stiffer flex rating, designed for advanced skiers||Softer flex rating, designed for intermediate to advanced skiers|
|Rocker Profile||More rocker in the tip and tail, less camber underfoot||Less rocker in the tip and tail, more camber underfoot|
|Bindings||Typically have wider brakes to accommodate wider skis||Typically have narrower brakes to accommodate narrower skis|
|Terrain||Designed for off-piste, powder, and ungroomed terrain||Designed for on-piste, groomed runs, and some off-piste terrain|
|Price||Typically more expensive than all-mountain skis||Typically less expensive than freeride skis|
|Weight||Heavier than all-mountain skis||Lighter than freeride skis|
All mountain skis are narrower than freeride skis.
Narrower skis often do well on on-piste and groomed runs while wider ski types like freeride skis are the perfect match for powder and off-piste because they help the skier float well.
This is another reason why all-mountain skis won’t do well on powder.
All-mountain skis often have a waist size around 85 mm to 105 mm while freeride skis are around 100 mm – 120 mm.
Rocker and camber are both equally important factors to consider when comparing freeride vs all mountain skis as they are used to decide how well the skis handle the terrain.
All-mountain skis have more camber than freeride skis which gives them a better edge control that is especially useful when carving.
On the other hand freeride skis have more rocker than all mountain skis which helps absorb bumps and other small obstacles that are often found off-piste. Plus, more rocker helps the skis float well on powder.
Most freeride skis are larger than all mountain skis, making them more stable but not as maneuverable as the shorter all mountain skis.
This makes riding freeride skis harder compared to all mountain skis.
Most freeride skis are stiffer and have a higher flex rating than all mountain skis. Freeride skis have a flex rating of around 5 – 8 while all mountain skis are softer and fall in the range 3 – 5.
Because freeride skis are stiffer, they offer more stability when you are shredding down the slope at high speeds.
Turning radius is another essential factor to consider. All mountain skis have a smaller turning radius than freeride skis making them ideal for faster turns like carving.
Freeride skis have a bigger turning radius which is good for balance but is not very good at sharper turns. The larger the radius the harder it is for the skier to turn.
Freeride skis are best for more experienced skiers who know what they are doing. These skis’ shape, length, width, and stiffness are designed for skiing in ungroomed terrain. If you plan on skiing off piste and powder a lot, freeride skis are for you.
All mountain skis are great for on-piste skiing and are a good choice for beginners. They are easily maneuverable and offer stability. Plus, you could do a bit of off-piste skiing with these without any issues.
If you wanna do a little bit of both, all mountain skis are your friend. If you are a beginner and still don’t know which type to get, we recommend buying a pair of all-mountain skis. And if you want to try out how freeride skis would feel, you could always demo skis.
Both freeride and all mountain skis are versatile and are of high quality and they are really popular among skiers. But the type you should purchase depends primarily on the terrain you intend to ski. Moreover, the time you spend skiing and how experienced you are also deciding factors.
Apart from these factors, no matter which type of ski you select make sure that you are comfortable on them. If you are a beginner I recommend purchasing all mountain skis because you’ll be skiing on groomed runs for some time.
Can You Use Freeride Skis On-Piste?
Yes, you can use freeride skis on-piste but freeride skis are more like powder skis without the fat and are made for riding off-piste.
Can A Beginner Use All-Mountain Skis?
Yes, they are good for beginners, because all-mountain skis are easy to control. And new skiers often find all-mountain skiers comfortable for them and it allows them to try off-piste a bit as well.
Can You Carve With All-Mountain Skis?
Yes you can carve with all mountain skis, as they have a good sidecut radius plus more camber which does a good job at helping flex the skis hold their edges.