2019 Völkl

Discussion in '2019 Reviews by Brand' started by Pugski Test Team, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Pugski Test Team

    Pugski Test Team Testing skis so you don't have to. Pugski Ski Tester

    Mar 5, 2017
    19 Deaon 74 TC.png
    Völkl Deacon 74
    Dimensions: 125-74-104
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 163, 168, 173, 178
    Size tested: 178
    Design: All New

    Drahtguy Kevin: Volkl introduced these new skis with a big online campaign. I was excited to see what the big deal was. Both models have the same damp, quiet ride that is solid yet forgiving of errors. They hold the turn well but offer no real bang for your buck at the end. The Deacons felt noticeably heavier than most other skis in this category.
    • Who are they for? Intermediates and above who want a fast and mellow ride.
    • Who are they not for? Skiers looking for a high-performance feel.
    • Insider tip: The UVO puck on the tip works to quiet the ski.

    UGASkiDawg: The Deacon is a new high-performance frontside piste ski from Volkl. It rewards good technique and desires to be driven at all times.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who love that Völkl feel and have the chops to stay on top of a damp, high-performance frontside ripper.
    • Who is not for? Those who would rather ride a ski rather than drive it.
    • Insider tip: Don’t expect a poppy ride but a stable, predictable ski with no speed limit.

    19 Deacon 76 TC.png
    Völkl Deacon 76
    Dimensions: 122-76-103
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 171, 176, 181
    Size tested: 176
    Design: All New

    Ron: I couldn't help but think of Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues" when I clicked into the new Volkl. Hmm, jazz and Völkl? Yeah, not so much but here's where they are similar, smooth, powerful, and exacting. I think there are some differing opinions amongst the testers, but I really like this ski. The 76 has a great on-snow feel. The tip engages so smoothly yet is precise; once engaged, it pulled me through the turn and I could feel the entire length of the ski. The tail is fairly stiff but was workable and when you wanted it to release, it was compliant. The 76 is damp, stable, and glued to the snow. It does like speed but is manageable and responsive enough at slower speeds. This ski has a lot of energy but it's not exactly a two-year-old golden retriever. It is much more serious in a very good way but still has enough "fun" to it. I could own this ski.
    • Who is it for? Those with skills who want a smooth, precise carver. Those who prefer a more calm and predictable ski capable of high speeds.
    • Who is it not for? Intermediates should go elsewhere, as those who are looking for pop and liveliness.
    • Insider tip: The 175 will be plenty of ski for most. This is a damn fine ski.

    Doug Briggs: The Völkl Deacon 76 is a fun ski for those who like to charge on the slopes. It has an easy-to-find sweet spot, but does require more input than skis like the Rossi Hero Elite MT Ti. Grip is good, and the ride is exciting.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who like a performance ski with plenty of snap.
    • Who is it not for? Anyone who won't take charge.
    • Insider tip: The ski requires input; you need to stay centered.
    Philpug: Are you serious? No, not you Völkl, you the consumer? If so, how serious? Just serious? Or serious-as-a-heart-attack* serious? Well, Völkl has a new collection of skis that covers all aspects. I will start with the heart-attack-serious version, the Deacon Pro, because it has Marker's piston plate on it, the same plate Marcel Hirscher uses in the World Cup. No, I didn’t get to ski it, but I want to.

    We did get to ski on the consumer versions of the Deacon, the 74 and 76. These skis go back to the heritage of the older Racetigers, nice and strong hard-snow skis, much more so than the Codes. They felt a bit sluggish at lower speeds but solid once you got them going. It is nice to see a simple sandwich construction return from Völkl.
    • Who is the 74 for? Simple, short-radius turners; East Coast skiers.
    • Who is the 76 for? Even simpler, long-radius turners; West Coast skiers.
    • Who are they not for? Those who prefer a lively, overly reactive ski.
    • Insider tip: Go for the Pro if you want to get the nth degree out of the Deacon, with the Marker race plate and a base that is race finished. I did notice a little chatter from the UVO, but that could have been because they were early-production skis.
    *No one actually suffered a heart attack during either the testing of the skis or the writing of this review.

    Völkl RTM 81
    Dimensions: 128-81-109
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 156, 163, 170, 177, 182
    Size tested: 177
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Drahtguy Kevin: (from last year) Völkl tweaked the build of this ski and made it better. The added fiberglass increased the stability and feel. The stated 17.9m radius is easily manipulated shorter or longer. Cruise? Sure. Dial it up and arc? Why not. Bumps? Bring 'em on. I couldn’t find a thing this ski couldn’t handle admirably.
    • Who is it for? Skiers wanting to Ride The Mountain.
    • Who is it not for? Powder hounds.
    • Insider tip: Click in and enjoy the show.
    Völkl RTM 84 UVO
    Dimensions: 131-84-112
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 162, 167, 172, 177, 182
    Size Tested: 177
    Design: New Construction

    UGASkiDawg: (from last year) Now this is the Völkl I remember, lots of power and edgehold, and great fun when you paid attention. It was like a freight train running down the mountain, always wanting to go faster and faster. I did not take this thing into the bumps but I can guess the 177 would have been for a handful for me. It’s not more powerful than an MX84/89 or Monster 88, which are two comparable skis, but for me it was more demanding. It is a brute force engine of destruction if you’ve got the skills!
    • Who is it for? If you looking to get from the top to the bottom in a hurry across all types of terrain and you love to be challenged and rewarded in equal measures, this is the ski for you!
    • Who is it not for? Anyone who doesn’t like to go fast.
    • Insider tip: If you are a finesse skier, size down.

    19 RTM 86 TC.png
    Völkl RTM 86 UVO
    Dimensions: 132-86-114
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 167, 172, 177, 182
    Size tested: 177
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Drahtguy Kevin: (from last year)The new build benefits the 86 as much as it did the 81. The 86 adds the UVO stabilizer near the tip, and it is noticeable. The silky feel increases as speed is ramped up. Entering and exiting turns caused giggles of delight. The power, stability, and edgehold made me want to reach deeper in all areas and snow conditions I took her through. Did I mention the silky feel? Where’s my extra money ….
    • Who is it for? Skiers looking to explore every inch of the mountain.
    • Who is it not for? Snowboarders. Hell, they'd probably like this ski, too.
    • Insider tip: Skis like this can spoil a fella.

    Völkl Kanjo
    Dimensions: 123-83-104
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 154, 161, 168, 175, 182
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    FairToMiddlin (182): (from last year) The Kanjo has a stated sidecut of 21.6 m, and it feels every bit of it. At 84 mm underfoot, it is a bit of a head-scratcher. In my voice memo, I called it “the most leisurely all mountain ski." Most skis this width are tighter turning by design, but the Kanjo requires some additional steering to keep down, or some extra room to roam. It wants to motor. Motoring is pleasant on the Kanjo, however; it has a strong, damp construction and feels stable at speed and in choppy off-piste conditions, like Sail Away Glades.
    • Who is it for? Off-piste aficionados who prefer a narrower ski. Imagine a current Bonafide that is 84 mm underfoot.
    • Who is it not for? All-mountain skiers who have a strong focus on the front side -- unless you’re a midweek skier with lots of space to yourself.
    • Insider tip: You might have guessed by now, the Kanjo skis long. Feel free to size down without worrying if you will end up with a skittish ride.
    Philpug (175): (from last year) Völkl, Völkl, Völkl … we were getting along so well ever since you started offering your very good 3D Ridge skis. For years, we have asked for years, for a men’s version of the Yumi. But of the old Yumi. Seriously, a 19.6m radius on a 175cm ski for an intermediate to advanced skier? No. This isn’t a men’s Yumi, it is a Kendo lite. The new Kanjo (a name to misspell, mispronounce, and most importantly miss the target). Ladies, this goes for the new Yumi, too. To quote our commander in chief, “Sad, very sad.”
    • Who is it for? Skiers who aren’t strong enough to ski a Kendo.
    • Who is it not for? Intermediates, this is a ski that skis big.
    • Insider tip: Not the playful ski that we wanted.

    19 M5 Mantra TC.png
    Völkl M5 Mantra
    Dimensions: 134-96-117
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 170, 177, 184, 191
    Sizes tested: 177, 184
    Design: All New

    Philpug: First, the good: Völkl did everything right with the new M5 Mantra. It went back to its roots and narrowed the ski, to 96 mm underfoot. It made the flex more balanced, tightened the turn radius, and, most important, brought back camber. These are all positives, the ingredients for a great all-mountain ski. So the M5 should be a winner, right? I know I was excited to get on it ....

    Not so fast. The jury is still out for me. I don't like saying it, but occasionally there are skis that I just cannot figure out, and the M5 is one of them. I really wanted to like this new Völkl, but for some reason we did not get along. Trust me, it was not for lack of trying. I skied it at Copper, Snowbasin, Mammoth, and Mt Rose. I skied it in the 177 and 184. I skied it with the bindings fore and aft. So, four mountains, four types of snow, two sizes, and three mount points. Nothing.

    I have never been more frustrated with a ski that I know is supposed to be good. So, until the light bulb goes off for me, you will need to rely on other reviewers' opinions about the M5.
    • Who is it for? Those who long for the first-generation Mantra, a truly trend-setting ski.
    • Who is it not for? While the new M5 is more accessible, it is still not a ski for the meek.
    • Insider tip: Sell your Mantras that are 98mm and above and put your order in now. Daddy’s home. Oh, and look for the upcoming M4 to replace the Kendo.
    Drahtguy Kevin: A totally new Mantra welcomes camber back to the build. Groomers were sensational atop the M5 with great initiation and an energetic exit. Multiple turn shapes were a snap. The softened tip caused some dismay off piste as it deflected easily in heavier crud. The M5 embraces the “build 'em light” mantra, making this ski feel much narrower than the 96 mm it is.
    • Who is it for? Skiers who spend most of their time on groomers but like to try the trees and bumps on occasion.
    • Who is it not for? Chargers who live off piste. The ski may not have the spine you desire.
    • Insider tip: The inclusion of camber puts this ski back on the path to greatness.

    Völkl 100Eight
    Dimensions: 141-108-124
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 173, 181, 189
    Size tested: 189
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Drahtguy Kevin: (from last year) As with the RTM models, the 100Eight got a fiberglass wrap-around. It is noticeable on hard pack – not what the ski is built for – but not so much in softer snow, bumps, and trees. With zero camber, the 24.5m (189cm) radius doesn’t really apply, at least not for me. The pivoty nature of the 100Eight leads to a narrower feel while its grip is marvelous when desired. Another ski for the “to buy” list.
    • Who is it for? Fun-seekers willing to investigate stashes.
    • Who is it not for? The unimaginative.
    • Insider tip: Doesn't ride like a zero-camber ski.
    Philpug: (from last year) I still cannot get over Völkl's 3D Ridge. Where I thought previous generations of Völkls felt heavy and damp (often to the point of dead), these new sticks ski fantastic. I am usually not a fan of reverse- or zero-camber skis, but it works here.
    • Who is it for? The value-conscious skier.
    • Who is it not for? Those who like pop out of a ski.
    • Insider tip: One of the few skis in this range with zero camber.

    19 Flair SC TC.png
    Völkl Flair SC Carbon
    Dimensions: 122-72-105
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 150, 155, 160, 165
    Size tested: 165
    Design: Carryover

    SkiNurse: Great frontside carver. In the beginning, I had a problem with the chatter. @Drahtguy Kevin and @FairToMiddlin encouraged me to make this ski my bitch and to drive it. So, I did. Wow. What a difference! It was responsive, quick, and FUN!
    • Who is it for? The skier who is not afraid to drive a ski.
    • Who is it not for? The timid.

    Tricia: (from last year) Völkl’s Flair line, which was introduced last year, is back with the SC E as the leader in its class with a beautiful shape and UVO technology; this ski turned on a dime, held an edge, and made every bump in the run feel smooth. I handed this back to the rep reluctantly, but with a giant grin on my face.
    • Who is it for? Advanced skiers, here is your precision groomer ski.
    • Who is it not for? The meek.
    • Insider tip: This is last season's SC UVO with a binding change; the vMotion3 is GripWalk-compatible.

    Völkl Flair 81
    Dimensions: 128-81-109
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 148, 156, 163, 171
    Size tested: 163
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Tricia: (from last year) Völkl’s new Flair line (Fair Lightweight Agile Intelligent Reliable) is exactly what they say it is. The Flair 81 is a super fun and easy ski for groomers with enough kick in the butt to put a grin on the face of any advanced woman skier. Really nice, responsive, and powerful -- and friendly when you want to get a little lazy.
    • Who is it for? Advanced women looking for a good frontside ski.
    • Who is it not for? Beginners.
    • Insider tip: Don’t be afraid to drive it.
    SkiNurse: Great front size carver. In the beginning, I had a problem with the chatter. @Drahtguy Kevin & @FairToMiddlin encouraged me to make this ski my bitch and to drive it. So, I did. Wow. What a difference! It was responsive, quick and FUN!
    • Who is it for? The skier who is not afraid to drive a ski.
    • Who is it not for? Again, not a ski for the timid.

    Völkl Yumi
    Dimensions: 123-84-104
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 147, 154, 161, 168
    Size tested: 168
    Design: Carryover/NGT

    Tricia: (from last year) This popular ski from Völkl has gone through some changes this year with a little bit different shape. I didn’t notice much difference in the overall performance or turn shape, but I felt that it was slightly damper and added a level of stability that may inspire a timid skier.
    • Who is it for? An intermediate skier looking for inspiration.
    • Who is it not for? Someone who prefers steeps and chutes.
    • Insider tip: If you’re a Yumi fan of years past who is looking to move up to a stronger version, this is your ski.

    AmyPJ: So, I skied this ski three times, because the first day, I really loved it. It was easy to turn, absorbed lumpy bumpy snow and poorly formed bumps. It was really easy to ski on the man-made “powder” that I was skiing all day. But on the second and third days, it felt stiff and planky, which was surprising for a Yumi. Völkl added metal under the foot, which changed the character of the ski, I think. Visibility was also quite poor on Days 2 and 3, which meant I was skiing more defensively aka slowly. It’s possible I just wasn’t able to drive the ski in those conditions, which is a dealbreaker for me. I need a ski that gives me confidence in poor light and does not punish me for skiing more slowly. This ski wants to go fast. The other factor might be that I should have tried a longer length.
    • Who is it for? Someone who wants a ski that plows through anything, and also likes to ski fast.
    • Who is it not for? A lighter-weight, more cautious skier.

    19 Secret TC.png
    Völkl Secret
    Dimensions: 130-92-113
    Radius: [email protected]
    Sizes: 149, 156, 163, 170
    Design: All New

    Tricia: (163) It's no secret that Völkl took the lead for women’s freeride skis back in 2006 when the Aura stole the hearts of women everywhere. But after more than 10 years and five different constructions, the Aura is no longer around. The all-new Secret, with a 92mm waist, piqued my interest for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that its shape is closer to my favorite version of the Aura, which was 94 mm wide. While the Secret is not a replacement for the Aura, it has a real chance of stealing the hearts of the women who started loving Völkl when they were introduced to the first Aura.

    The day I had a chance to try the Secret was prime for asking a lot from a ski, with springlike conditions that varied from scraped-off snow to slush piles. The Secret was incredibly good at holding an edge and sliced through the slush effortlessly. The thing that stood out for me was the energy that I got out of it while powering through the spring crud. This Secret could be your weapon of choice as an all-mountain ski.
    • Who is it for? A woman looking for a daily driver with energy and finesse.
    • Who is it not for? A woman looking for a damp cruiser.
    • Insider tip: The cat's out of the bag with this Secret.

    SkiNurse: (156) Originally coming off the lift, felt kinda dead under my feet. And, like the 90 Eights that I tested a two seasons ago, I was surprised how easily it initiated the first turn. While coming down Ptarmigan at Copper, which was hard packed, it liked to make turns at a rate of speed and held a solid edge.
    • Who is it for? The skier that wants to trust a ski in any condition.
    • Who is it not for? The timid.

    AmyPJ: (156) I really liked this ski. It is typical Völkl with metal to smooth it out. It is easy to ski, smooth, and very stable. I would liked to have gotten it into some powder as I think it would have been a blast there.
    • Who is it for? An upper intermediate to expert skier who wants to rip the whole mountain in variable conditions.
    • Who is it not for? Someone who doesn’t want their ski to ski them: as with all Völkls I’ve been on, you need a decent skill set to make it work for you.
  2. ted

    ted Booting up Skier

    Jan 23, 2016

    Re the Kanjo
    FairToMiddlin (182): (from last year) The Kanjo has a stated sidecut of 21.6 m, and it feels every bit of it. At 84 mm underfoot, it is a bit of a head-scratcher. In my voice memo, I called it “the most leisurely all mountain ski." Most skis this width are tighter turning by design, but the Kanjo requires some additional steering to keep down, or some extra room to roam. It wants to motor. Motoring is pleasant on the Kanjo, however; it has a strong, damp construction and feels stable at speed and in choppy off-piste conditions, like Sail Away Glades.
    • Who is it for? Off-piste aficionados who prefer a narrower ski. Imagine a current Bonafide that is 84 mm underfoot."
    I'm looking at this ski as a fun all mountain ski that is good in bumps. But, I can't let my 15 year old daughter get to far ahead of me on groomers, she flys. Kinda like speed myself, will it let me down?

    Interesting you compare it to the Bonafide, which I've never skied but has a rep for being very stable. I t doesn't have to be GS ski stable, but I'd rather not go backwards from an RTM80 which it would replace. In the hand the RTM feels more damp, and the Kanjo feels a little twangy. When I demoed the first rockered generation Mantra it had that same twangy feeling, Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.
  3. ski otter 2

    ski otter 2 Getting off the lift Skier

    Nov 20, 2015
    The Volkl V-Werks Katana 112

    143-112-132, r = [email protected],
    177, 184, 191
    c. 1900 gm/ski @ 184; c. 1980 gm. @ 191 (lighter than most 100mm skis)

    Model Info

    This is an amazing ski that ought to be reviewed. Above is this year's version, maybe unchanged except for graphics. However, I've seen in some places that the current version has no camber, is full rocker. That would be a change, since previously this ski always had slight camber (~2mm or so). Mine do.

    I own both the 184 and the 191 versions. For most things, I prefer the 184s, given my skier profile. But the extra stability of the 191s is nice.
    Last year's version and earlier can be found for close to half price brand new, reliably, so if you like this ski, cost is less of an obstacle than one might think.

    What follows is my own experience with the V-Werks Katanas, going on four years. It fits with the Blistergear descriptions pretty well, except as a lighter weight (150/5'10", and older) skier, I find them better in powder, equal, at least, in crud (to Blister reviewers).

    And these are wonderful in both powder and crud; best I've found - other than the K2 Pettitors, which are at least 500 gms heavier per ski, and hurt my knee since I had a collision with a racing boarder going on three years back. These Katana skis also carve groomers well, but remain playful - no mean feat. Still, they are mostly a soft snow ski, for me. Fast or slow, you choose. To me, fast in trees (partly because of their weight?), though some are faster. Very good in powder bumps. And the Katana is super in spring crud/slush.

    The 191 is also easy, though it likes good technique a bit more. It has improved fore-aft stability (great in powder), but only equal crud performance, as near as I can tell: perhaps because of my lighter weight - heavier guys might find the 191 better in crud.

    The feel of this ski is the best part. What a joy. The only other powder&crud skis I've been on that have such great characteristics of play and yet stability, for me, have been the afore-mentioned 120 K2 Pettitors, 189, and the 116 Moment Bibby Pros (for me, in 184; haven't tried the 191s yet).

    For the past three years, in good powder months, I've often alternated the Bibbys and the Katanas, one day the Katanas, next day the Bibbys. I'm not sure it gets any better.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018 at 9:04 PM

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