Following SIA there are a number of on snow demos to allow people in the industry chance to test the new skis they just saw at SIA. Luckily for me I have the opportunity to go to the Whistler one happening at the moment and this means I can get on loads of next years skis and get some quick reviews up.
I only have 2 days and I cant get on everything so this being Newschoolers I am going to concentrate on the more park and freeride skis but if there is anything you want testing post it up in the comments and I will do my best to get on them.
I can get on Salomon, Atomic, Armada, Line, Rossignol, Fischer, Nordica, Stockl, Blizzard, Head, Scott and what I will be reviewing in this article Volkl.
Also check out the review system for all the new gear previews being added at the moment
Now onto today's Reviews.
115 - 87 - 115
Size tested 177
Ill be upfront straight away, I have not skied a Volkl ski for about 7 years and I have never tried one of there twin tips so I was going into this test pretty much blind.
The first ski I tested was the Wall. The Wall is Volkl's top end park ski used by team riders such as Nick Geopper. It is a full camber, symmetrical ski with a full sidewall construction. Interestingly though looking at the top sheet it looks like a cap ski and I actually had to check if there was sidewall.
The location of the test center means that doing park laps is not really possible with the time limitations, so instead I am using a fun all mnt route under red chair and into Dave Murry which still has quite a few hits and rollers to test the skis.
Instantly I found that the skis hooked up really nicely. There was no skidding and they carved really consistently. During testing I did not actually know the Wall was symmetrical and when the rep told me when I got down I was amazed. They really do carve very well.
On the first few hits and rollers the pop was very evident. The ski got air borne with no effort and was consistently stable on landings.
One thing that really surprised me was how playful the tails were. For a seemingly quite stiff ski the tails are actually quite soft and are really easy to butter. I was finding they have a really nice flex point mid way from tail to heel piece.
Overall I was hugely impressed by the wall. I can honestly say it was the best park ski I tried today. They are stiff enough to carve hard and ski fast but without losing the playfulness I like in the tip and tail.
112 - 85 - 112
Tip and Tail rocker
Size tested 179
After the wall the next ski I tried was the Step. Like the wall the Step is symmetrical and full sidewall but this time some tip and tail rocker is added and the ski is softened overall. The step is also slight narrower then the wall but I really could not feel any difference.
Skiing the Step I found the flex is much softer, I was finding I was struggling to hold an edge on the harder snow at speed. To be honest I don't really think my test run was that well suited for the skis with me on them. These skis would be really fun in the park for jibs. The softer flex made it really easy to get up on the tip and tail and the symmetrical shape made switch riding very easy.
They still felt nice and light and had just as much pop but for me at 5'11 and 160lbs I found the flex a little soft for what I was doing. So if you are a smaller rider or like the idea of the wall but prefer a softer ski give the Step a try.
122 - 89 - 112
Tip and Tail rocker
Size tested 179
The final ski I tried was the Kink. Unlike the other two the Kink is a directional ski and is also the widest of the three. The flex felt similar to the Step but the tail felt slightly stiffer. Unlike the Wall and the Step the bindings were not centered and in fact they were mounted pretty far back and personally I would have preferred them forward.
I like a directional ski and I found I could handle the softer flex better on the Kink. They were easier to carve then the Step and would actually make a pretty good all mnt twin. The pop was still good and they felt more stable to me then the Step.
I would like to try them again mounted further forward but I did enjoy the Kink, I think it would make a good all mnt park ski.
Well that was all I got chance to try from Volkl today but if you would like any other skis testing let me know.
I will be posting up Brand Articles like this over the next few days so keep checking back.