Only a few years ago, the women’s Frontside genre looked something like the men’s. Now about all the two different collections have in common is a multiplicity of price points that cover the needs of entry-level skiers and those stepping up to something a bit better. Where the two categories diverge is the high end of the market, where the men ride metal-laden carvers with thick plates, integrated bindings and deeply scalloped sidecuts. Today a woman’s Frontside ski is likely to have a design originally intended for off-trail conditions, with no plate and no system binding. A woman looking for a genuine carving ski will find them tucked away in the Women’s Technical category, arguably the most invisible genre on the American market.

The epicenter of the women’s market has shifted to the All-Mountain East category, with its promise of all-terrain versatility. The women’s Frontside genre has become the home of the step-up ski, a model that will help you improve so you can finally make the move to off-trail skiing. It’s presumed that the already accomplished woman will gravitate to something wider or else use a unisex ski if she really wants a high performance carver.