Welcome back to Roofbox Reviews for 2019: Our no bullshit, in-depth ski reviews, by ski bums for ski bums. No sponsored athletes, no 'we took 3 runs at a ski test'. Brands send us the sticks and we spend a solid chunk of our own seasons shredding them. Then when, we feel we've spent enough time on a ski to judge it fully, we tell you what we honestly think about the pros and cons of the ski and who we think it will work for. It's a matter of pride for us that 'NS Tested' means something, that these reviews can't be bought and that we advise you as best as possible what you should be slinging in your roofbox.
Ski: Liberty Origin 112
Available Lengths: 176 cm, 184 cm (reviewed here), 192 cm
Core: Bamboo, Poplar, Carbon Stringers
Reported Weight (Each Ski): 2150grams
Mount: Recommended (-9cm)
Binding: Atomic Warden
Days skied: 5
Reviewer height/weight: 5'11, 175lbs
Review Location(s): Crystal Mountain, Summit at Snoqualmie, Mount Bachelor
Conditions skied: Firm groomers, soft groomers, corn, powder, chopped up/leftover powder
New for 2018-2019, the Liberty Origin 112 replaces last year’s Origin 116, sporting a redesigned camber and rocker profile. The tip rocker profile is long, reaching deep into the ski. The tail rocker is less pronounced. Underfoot, there is 2mm of traditional camber. There is a small amount of taper in the tips, but it is barely noticeable. Overall, they’re a pretty traditional shape, with a recommended mount point pretty far back on the ski, though they are still twintips. Given the rocker, I expected them to be good in powder. The real test would be in variable conditions and to see whether, given the mount and shape, they are also a ski that can jib.
First Impressions/The Tune:
My first impression of the Liberty Origin 112 was on a super variable spring day, with gnarly frozen off-piste, not yet soft groomers, and with the kind of hangover that puts you almost out-of-body. Long story short, it took me a second to get used to the skis, but once I did, they were a lot of fun, especially after I got the tune dialed, skied them sober, and on a deep pow day.
The first thing I noticed was the tune. Straight out of the box, the skis were razor sharp, like way too razor sharp. I used to be a racer back in the day, but ever since then, I haven’t really put much time my bases and edges. For the most part I’ll just ski a ski straight out of the plastic. Until now I haven’t skied a ski that felt like it really needed to be detuned. On the harder, not yet un-frozen spring groomers, the Origin 112 sort of bounced down the steeper sections, with the cambered part of the ski trying to bite in, rather than sliding predictably. So after this weird hooky, hungover day I hit the whole edge pretty aggressively with a hard shop stone to detune them, and this changed the behavior of the skis completely, and for the better.
The Origin 112 has a very aggressive tip rocker profile, both in its depth and splay, the tips are relatively softer than the tails, too. The tips are not noodles by any means though. Regardless, this combination obviously isn’t your typical groomer ski. These skis can handle groomers, however, and sun-softened groomers are actually a lot of fun. Here they tracked well and could lay down some nice carves.
On harder snow, the tips definitely do flap around a bit, as to be expected with the rocker profile. This means they can’t really be driven super hard into turns. Given the pretty far back mounting point, this is how I wanted to ski them. This hard snow performance might take away some of the ability for the Origin 112 to serve as a one-ski-quiver type of ski, but as I’ll continue to explain, I think they could be great as part of a two ski quiver, paired with something with better hard-snow performance.
On softer groomers and smooth corny runs, they are a lot more fun. The big rocker is punished less, and you can drive the skis harder. I had a fun time laying down some railroad tracks once I got a hang of the tune.
While the Origin 112 got a tad bit skinnier than its predecessor the Origin 116, it is still a kick-ass powder ski. I got to ski about a foot of powder at Crystal Mountain this spring. It was definitely a lighter variety than the typical heavy PNW snow, with a bit of a crust underneath. The skis did an awesome job of staying above the crust layer all day. Obviously the softer tips and big tip rocker are a big help here. Any ski with these design assets will be awesome in powder, so not a lot of surprises here.
The long tips allow you to drive them well, and definitely lend more towards a traditional style than an upright centered newschool powder ski. Think of them as more of a charger than a jibber, though more stylistically - as they’re still pretty easy to ski. They won’t fight back like a some burly chargers, they strike a nice balance there.
In about a foot of snow I definitely didn’t feel out-gunned. I think these would be a great powder ski for all but the deepest days, especially in a location like Colorado where 6-8” powder days are the norm.
The tails of the Origin 112s are relatively stiff, which means even while they are short, they provide a lot of confidence and won’t wash out. The tail rocker, which is a lot more subtle than the tips, also helps in this regard. This also gives a nice stable platform to land on. These skis aren’t going to wheelie out from underneath you when you try and stomp airs.
Chopped Up Powder:
This is where the Origin 112 really surprised me. Towards the tail-end of the powder day, things obviously got chopped up. I thought the big tips might have gotten knocked around by the choppy snow, but they did a good job of trucking through. While the tips are a bit softer, the skis stiffen up quickly towards the middle of the ski. In thicker PNW snow it’s hard to find a balance between a softer ski that will get bounced around in choppy snow and a big stiff ski that will get deflected by firm piles of skied out snow. I think the softer tip and stiffer body of the Origin 112 might do the trick pretty well.
Construction/Durability: While I definitely haven’t put a ton of days on the Origin 112, the construction looks and feels pretty bomber, with no durability issues to report.
The Mount Point:
I mounted mine on the recommended line. At nearly 10cm back from center, there is a lot of tip. This made the skis feel pretty “traditional” rather than pivoty. The stiffer and less rockered tails definitely let you ski them with confidence at this mount point, but I think they might become a little more lively mounted up a bit from the line. If I were to remount them, I would probably move the midsole up 2 or 3 centimeters from the line. I am a more traditional style of skier, but coming off my current powder skis (Black Crows Anima), I think this would be a welcome change. Plus, I still wouldn’t be worried about tip dive in powder given the rocker. At recommended, they certainly don't feel like a jibby ski.
I’m just south of 6’ and weigh about 175lbs, and I found the 184 to be a pretty great length. I used to ski pretty big skis (191 ON3P Wrenegade and 191 ON3P Billy Goats), but have recently gone shorter (185 touring skis, and 182 Black Crows Animas). There are times that I’ve felt the Animas were too short, like in choppy snow. With the long tips of the Origin 112 I definitely haven’t had that problem, and never felt like I needed a longer ski.
Conclusion/Who Are They For:
The Liberty Origin 112 is a fun soft-snow-focused ski that would make a great powder quiver ski for skiers that prefer a more traditionally shaped ski. If jibbing, popping, and surfing around is your powder style, you might find the Origin 112 a little bit too damp. The mount point is also too far back and the tail is too flat for comfortable switch landings. On the other hand, if you appreciate predictability and stability, preferring to drive your skis, rather than stay centered and pivot, the Origin 112 is an awesome choice.
I would be a bit hesitant to rock the Origin 112 as a one-ski-quiver given the hard snow and groomer performance, but it can still be a daily driver out west, as it really is fun on everything but straight up hard groomers.