Pugski Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
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19 VMT 76 TC.png
Liberty V76
Dimensions: 126-76-106
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 172, 179
Construction: All New

Doug Briggs (179): Liberty showed me that my conception of them as a freeride company was all wrong. The V76 is an outstanding ski. Easy to ski, ready to go, it handles the piste like a thoroughbred. I would consider this ski for my quiver if I had a vacancy.
  • Who is it for? Skiers looking for performance and forgiveness in a ski.
  • Who is it not for? Conformists.
  • Insider tip: Remember, you heard it hear first: the Liberty V-Series is damn good.

Drahtguy Kevin (179): "Smooth and eager to please" describes this ski to a T. Getting in and out of turns is quick and energetic. A secure feel underfoot made me want to go faster and faster on the groomed and off. Whatever I threw at this ski was devoured with ease and comfort. One of the surprises of the testing season for me.
  • Who is it for? People looking for a more on-piste-oriented ski who like to dip their toes off piste as well.
  • Who is it not for? Skiers unwilling to try an “off brand.”
  • Insider tip: You’ll be hearing more about Liberty in the future.

Philpug (179): Hmmm. Where did Liberty come from and when did they get on Pugski's radar? Well, it started last season when a mutual friend of Liberty and I suggested I look at them. While we didn’t have time to get them on the snow then, their finish did look far better than they did in years past. Fast forward to this year, the VMT (Vertical Metal Technology) collection caught our attention because of their shape; then our partners at SkiEssentials.com announced that they were going to carry them, further solidifying their position in our testing rotation.

The VMT’s shape just looked like fun, and any time a manufacturer brings a new flat ski in the low 80s, it draws our attention. The vertical metal additions to the bamboo core increase torsional rigidity and spring to the ski. These are not race skis, but they don’t claim to be, either.
  • Who is it for? For those who miss the Blizzard Latigo or Scott Black Majic, here is a sweet replacement.
  • Who is it not for? Those not open to nonmainstream brands. Your loss.
  • Insider tip: Call Ski Essentials, and order NOW.

Tricia (172): Liberty Skis had not been on my radar, but this time I gave them a shot. The V76 is not a ski I would normally associate with a company like Liberty, which has big-mountain roots, but this ski is so much fun, I took four laps on it and spent some time in moguls in Hallelujah Bowl exclaiming, "Hallelujah!" What a fun fun fun ski. Edge hold is good, tip initiation is right where it should be, the tail is forgiving in the moguls. This ski breathed life back into my legs after two solid days of testing.
  • Who is it for? A skier looking for a versatile frontside-biased ski.
  • Who is it not for? I guess I wouldn't bring it on a heli trip.
  • Insider tip: Not enough Fs in fun for this one.

UGASkiDawg (179): I had never been on a Liberty ski before and was very pleasantly surprised by this ski from brand everyone pegs as pure free ski company. The V76 rewards goods technique but doesn’t demand it. It stands up to power on piste but is versatile enough for forays off the groomed.
  • Who is it for? People looking for a fun and forgiving but rewarding frontside ski with some versatility.
  • Who is it not for? People who want their skis to do only one thing well.
  • Insider tip: Check out their other skis; I sure will!
19 VMT 82 TC.png

Liberty V82
Dimensions: 129-82-110
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186
Size tested: 179
Design: All New
Doug Briggs (179): I always thought Liberty was just a park and freeride ski company, but this ski changed my mind, big time. The 82 is stable and right at home making turns of all sizes. A real eye-opener.
  • Who is it for? Someone looking for a nice all-around performer.
  • Who is it not for? The biggest of chargers.
  • Insider tip: Yes, the accolades are true.

Drahtguy Kevin (179): From tip to tail, this ski is a winner. This ski is smooth and easy just like its skinnier little brother. Multiple turn shapes are simple and secure. High-speed cruising is a delight, and the silky feel makes you want to extend your day.​
  • Who is it for? Want to fill the midsection of your quiver? Here you go.
  • Who is it not for? People scared of change. Liberty is upping its game.
  • Insider tip: Check out the base structure on these babies.
Andy Mink (172): Much like its narrower sibling, the V82 is a very solid, very fun ski. It wants you to enjoy doing what you want to do. What it gives up in edge-to-edge quickness to the 76 (which isn't much!), it gives back with a little more capability in softer, chunkier, or other sometimes more challenging conditions. Even though there is only 6 mm difference underfoot, it is enough to notice. Can't decide? Get them both!
  • Who is it for? The intermediate to advanced skier looking for a bit wider narrow ski for the bottom end of the quiver.
  • Who is it not for? A stronger, heavier skier may overpower this ski, but I doubt it.
  • Intermediate tip: If you like the V76 but need a bit more float for those light powder on groomer days, this may be the ski for you.

Ron (179): Liberty has been around for quite some time but, I have to admit, never on my radar. The Colorado-based brand just seemed too newschool freeskier to me. I was wrong. New for 2019, Liberty's new Vertical Metal Technology (VMT) stacks metal vertically in the ski, which is, if I am correct, a first. I first got on the V82 and was less than enamored, but after Phil discussed the tune with the national sales rep, they quickly prepped another pair for us to try. I mention this because Liberty cared about its skis where, sadly, others don't. That tells you something about the brand and the people behind it. Upon the re-test, I found the V82 to be a blast. The VMT has a feel that is very damp and connected to the snow. It engages very well and holds the turn consistently, without you having to steer or correct its path. At the same time, you can break the turn and go right into short- and medium-radius turns. This is a versatile ski that has a fun, energetic ride to it. I was quite surprised by this ski; it is another I could own.
  • Who is it for? Skiers looking for a versatile frontside carver that can dabble off piste, and who like a more damp feel with some pop and energy; early adopters.
  • Who is it not for? Those looking for a wide carver with race chops.
  • Insider tip: Don't overlook this brand! See www.skiessentials.com.

19 V92 TC.png
Liberty V92
Dimensions: 133-92-120
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186
Design: All New

Drahtguy Kevin (186): Everything the thinner Liberties bring to the on-piste game, these take off piste. Super secure and solid with outstanding edge grip and a tail that happily obeys orders, the V92 makes soft crud and bumps unnoticeable. Groomer performance is exceptional for a ski of this width.
  • Who is it for? Off-piste lovers who still like to rip the corduroy.
  • Who is it not for? Skiers seeking groomer performance only. These skis are too good not to take all over the mountain.
  • Insider tip: The entire V-Series family is worthy of a demo. Don’t be surprised if a purchase follows.

Philpug (179): As we have said with the other V-Series, Liberty was the surprise of the show for us. The Vertical Metal Technology (VMT) created a pop that I had never really felt in its skis before. Liberty also moved from a 100% bamboo core to a mixture of bamboo and poplar (and carbon), which allows the ski to stay quieter on the snow. All of this together creates a design that works.
  • Who is it for? These ski like a wide carver that handles crud well.
  • Who is it not for? Old thinkers. Forget what you thought Liberty was -- I know I had to.
  • Insider tip: Liberty is no longer sitting on the sidelines. It is moving to the adult table with some very well-designed and -built skis.

19 Origin TC.png
Liberty Origin 90
Dimensions: 126-90-112
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186
Size tested: 179
Design: New Construction

Ron: After my experience with the VMT, I decided to jump on something different. Although this ski wasn't on the list of targeted demos, I wanted to get a better feeling of what Liberty was offering. The Origin 90 didn't disappoint. This ski is just pure all-mountain fun. I wouldn't suggest this as an East Coast all-mountain ride, but for out west, it is a hoot! The Origin 90 in 179 skied a bit short for me with some rather pronounced rocker, so if you tend to like longer skis, go to the 186. The ski looks like a freeride model with softish tapered tips and tails, but underfoot it is pretty beefy. You aren't buying this for crisp, precise tip engagement, but it does hook up well enough on the groomed and once it does, you can stand over the center and arc it. I did get it up to speed and experienced tip flap, but nothing that affected its performance. What makes this ski so much fun is its energy and pop. This ski also is quite damp. I didn't get it off piste but I can totally envision ripping through soft bumps and trees. Yep, I could own this ski for days when I just wanted to bomb around the mountain in soft snow with a big grin on my face.
  • Who is it for? Just about any level of skier who likes a fun, poppy, energetic ski.
  • Who is it not for? Those looking for precision, exactness, and boring skis.
  • Insider tip: Demo if you can for proper length.

Liberty Helix 98
Dimensions: 133-98-121
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186
Size tested: 179
Design: All New

dean_spirito: When you think of a brand like Liberty, it can be easy to overlook the fact that it has been refining its craft for more than 15 years. In that time, it has become one of the ski industry’s largest independent ski manufacturers, and for good reason. The Helix 98 is undoubtedly the best $500 ski I’ve ever been on. It is fast, playful, and a ton of fun all over the mountain. The thing that impresses me most is its flex pattern. Bamboo makes for a fantastic core; it is easy to bend but always comes back. This is what makes the ski feel so stable at speed, despite being relatively soft with generous rise in the tip and tail. The Helix 98 is extremely versatile and would make for a great one-ski quiver.
  • Who is it for? Any intermediate to expert skier looking for a playful one-ski quiver.
  • Who is it not for? Heavier skiers and those who demand a stiff ski.
  • Insider tip: At $500, the Helix 98 might be one of the best deals on the market.

Women
Liberty Genesis 106
Dimensions: 138-106-128
Radius: [email protected]
Sizes: 157. 164, 171
Size tested: 171
Design: NGT

Tricia: This is a ski that I shouldn’t have taken out in the conditions we were skiing, but I really really wanted to try it. Conditions were low snow, groomers, some skied-out crud. I liked the flex and overall performance of this ski, but she needs me to take her out on a powder day.
  • Who is it for? A woman looking for a versatile powder ski.
  • Who is it not for? Groomer Greta.
  • Insider tip: Prepare yourself for fun.
 

Eric Edelstein

ExoticSkis
Industry Insider
Posts
143
Location
Vermont and France
I totally agree with the quick reviews of the new Liberty VMT lineup. Dan Chalfant's crew at Liberty has totally nailed these new frontside VMT carvers. Hopefully we'll have a full review of the VMT 76 in Vermont conditions by mid December. The rides we took at the Stratton demo event over several days, and the multiple days we had on our test skis here in Vermont last Spring were triple-thumbs up. Great skis with a unique feel and personality any carving fanatic will immediately like. Yes, freeride-oriented companies can indeed crank out some ripping hardpack carving skis!

Also, the Helix 98 is a stunningly versatile, one-ski-quiver candidate...even for East coast conditions at 98mm underfoot...it wowed everyone who has tried it...stay tuned!
Skis just keep getting better and better...:golfclap:
 

Jerez

Out on the slopes
Skier
Posts
895
Location
New Mexico
Tricia: This is a ski that I shouldn’t have taken out in the conditions we were skiing, but I really really wanted to try it. Conditions were low snow, groomers, some skied out crud. I liked the flex and overall performance of this ski but she needs me to take her out on a powder day.

Indeed. Promise you won't be disappointed. This ski is wonderful in all genres of "powder." Dependable and confidence inspiring and so easy to ski! Especially good as a soft snow tree ski. I love my Envy (the "old" version of the Genesis so much and I can't wait for them to come out with a shorter version of the VMT 76. Have set aside my moola to be first in line to buy.
 

Eric Edelstein

ExoticSkis
Industry Insider
Posts
143
Location
Vermont and France
@Eric Edelstein got me on some larger sticks from Liberty this past season & I was shocked by their performance. Changed my mind as them as a company.
Wait until you get to drive the new Helix 98s.....couldn't get Jeff T. off them during the last weeks of the season at Kmart...
 

missin44

At the base lodge
Skier
Posts
5
My son just turned 16, 130 lb, 5' 7", a bit small for his age but skis well. Lower level ski racer in Colorado, skis 3 days a week. Free skis at Advanced to Expert, leaning more to expert. Skis entire mountain, trees, bumps, steep groomers, skis fast. For past 2 years on High Society FX in a 155. Now he's taller and heavier. Would the Liberty Helix 98 do a good ski to look at? Not locked into brands, any other skis we should look at?
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
Pugski Ski Tester
Posts
22,384
Location
Reno, eNVy
My son just turned 16, 130 lb, 5' 7", a bit small for his age but skis well. Lower level ski racer in Colorado, skis 3 days a week. Free skis at Advanced to Expert, leaning more to expert. Skis entire mountain, trees, bumps, steep groomers, skis fast. For past 2 years on High Society FX in a 155. Now he's taller and heavier. Would the Liberty Helix 98 do a good ski to look at? Not locked into brands, any other skis we should look at?
@dean_spirito our resident freeride coach raved about the Helix 98, so you are on the right track there.
 

ARL67

Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life
Skier
Posts
410
Location
Waterloo, ON, Canada
I noticed all the fellas tested the V76 in the longest 179 length. Did anyone try the 172 ?

I just sold a wider 98 ski in my quiver so I have a skinny ski on the brain.
I was thinking something like the MX74 in 172 ( next size is 180 ) for hard snow front-side duties, based on commentary at Pugski.
But now quite interested in the V76 and mulling over the sizing.
 

Ron

Seeking the next best ski
Pugski Ski Tester
Posts
5,865
Location
Steamboat Springs, Co
I noticed all the fellas tested the V76 in the longest 179 length. Did anyone try the 172 ?

I just sold a wider 98 ski in my quiver so I have a skinny ski on the brain.
I was thinking something like the MX74 in 172 ( next size is 180 ) for hard snow front-side duties, based on commentary at Pugski.
But now quite interested in the V76 and mulling over the sizing.
What I can tell you is that Liberty's run true to length, there is 186 but the testers all ski around that 179 length. I'm not even sure they had 172's. They will ski the same as the 179 though.
 
Last edited:

graham418

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Posts
1,546
Location
Toronto
@ARL67 , Hey Andy, I have the V76 in 172, but I haven't tried it yet. Went to Louis for openers, but they didn't have my skis ready in time. Next time I get to Collingwood I'll be using them. Heading out west on Sunday to Silver Star, but will be taking something else. I will let you know how they are when I finally get to ski them
 
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Ron

Seeking the next best ski
Pugski Ski Tester
Posts
5,865
Location
Steamboat Springs, Co
So far, I have liked everything on the factory suggested mount. the Origin series does have a span for mounting. If you are used to more centered mounted ski's, move it forward from the standard mount line.

On another note, the team has been skiing the 76 on shorter lengths and found them to be super fun.
 

Ron

Seeking the next best ski
Pugski Ski Tester
Posts
5,865
Location
Steamboat Springs, Co
Thanks Ron.

Careful on those 76, next you will be saying you like skiing the Midwest.
Hmm, I'm pretty sure short of concussion, that won't happen :). but rippin around on a 76 or 82 is fun anywhere.

So curious to hear impressions of the Evolv, especially the 90.
Reviews coming up.... but dont rule out the 100 :). The Evolv line is aimed straight at the Bonafide, Mantra M5 class and in a few reviewers eye's, the hit the mark. Think strong ski's but more nimble and not requiring quads like (filling the blank of your favorite pro skier). We tested them on near perfect conditions with 3" of fresh and then in push piles and they cut through the chop with poise and smoothness,
 

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