Our family mostly skis in Ontario. We might head to Quebec for a snowy long weekend. And if we’re lucky, our hunt for powder might take us to British Columbia or even Japan. If you are like us, you know that there’s nothing better than a sport that can take you on adventures around the world. But you might not know how to setup the perfect quiver.
At the shop we’re often asked, “What kind of ski can I use in Ontario that can also travel to bigger mountains?” Our usual response is, “Two is better than one.”
If you are investing in the best experience, you need two pairs of skis -- no compromises.
For any side of the hill on any continent, we always recommend Volkl. Built in Germany, this brand sets the bar when it comes to performance and durability.
For carving in Ontario, the Volkl Deacon 84 or Flair 79 are your best bets. These skis are specifically designed for changing snow conditions. Their 3 radius concept allows you to make shorter, slower turns at Caledon, medium turns up in Collingwood and longer turns in Quebec and British Columbia. And the torsional stiffness, derived from 3D.Glass, gives you power, stability, and the best sensation for groomers and mixed conditions.
Volkl Flair 79 + iPT WR XL Binding
The 2020 Volkl Flair 79 womens all mountain ski is the for ultimate front side performance for intermediate to advanced women. Providing ample manoeuvrability and powerful edge hold on piste without feeling too heavy on your feet, it’s damp, it’s stable and it’s powerful on hard pack. We love the all-conditions performance this ski allows for, coupled with great long turn dynamics for a fun ride all the way down the hill.
This is a ski which has a stiff, powerful construction that allows it to give back very high levels of grip and bullet proof stability at speed. Coming out of the turn it gives strong rebound, which accelerates you into the new turn, while its sidecut seems adept and at any type of turn shape. It’s a high energy ski that feels at home when tearing around the piste. Inevitably that stiff flex, and relatively heavy weight in this category makes it less user friendly at slower speeds in powder or chopped up variable conditions, it’s definitely one for fast, confident skiers.
Strong and stable, but slightly rockered through the tip so it gave a nice smooth turn initiation. Beefy and heavy so more difficult for lighter skiers.
Volkl Deacon 84+ LowRide XL 13 Binding
Brand new this season, the 2020 Volkl Deacon 84 All-Mountain Ski is set to be a class benchmark for front side performance. This ski is wider than the Deacon 74 which allows for more float in new snow and will cut through crud or 'elephant snot'. The Deacon 84 provides ample manoeuvrability and powerful edge hold on the front side of the mountain for the high intermediate to advanced skier. Without feeling too heavy on your feet, it is damp its stable and is powerful on hard pack.
If you are a technically good skier who is looking for a ski that is easy to control yet responsive enough to offer a fun day out, cruising some groomed runs in the morning then maybe skiing some bumps or spring snow in the afternoon, then the Volkl Deacon 84 Lowride could be the one for you.
I came off 2017 Volkl RTM 86s to the Deacon 84s this season. All I can say is WOW! Fast, Responsive and a total blast.
Now say you’re venturing into Japow (impossibly light, deep snow) territory. Here, the best complement to your Deacon or Flair would be the Volkl Katana V-Werks. This ski is extremely light, torsionally stiff and floats like no other. In profile, the ski has zero camber underfoot with rocker tip and tail, which adds a playful dimension. It is ideal for ski touring up Mt Yotei -- an inactive volcano -- where the snow will go over your head. Need a guide to skiing Japow? Just ask for Kenji.
Volkl Katana V-Werks
The Katana is a legend. For years it has been the choice of several of Völkl‘s pro big mountain riders. Now, with 3D.Ridge construction and a Full Carbon Jacket construction, the V-WERKS Katana is one of Völkl's signature pieces of technology, made in Straubing. Now featuring an ICE-OFF top sheet its light weight makes the ski incredibly maneuverable, with performance enhanced through its unique combination of materials. Especially when considering its dimensions it's an incredibly light and versatile 112mm wide big mountain ski with full rocker.
They are in a class by themselves when it comes to big mountain powder skis are they are still light enough to tour on. On a low powder day (which didn't happen much) they performed well on the frontside and chopped up snow on ski outs, but obviously they were absolute monsters in the powder and while touring. They were both bouncing off pillows all the way down to the ramen waiting for us at the chalet.
Their swing weight is crazy light, turn initiation is effortless so pounding the bumps or nimbly dancing through the trees is a joy.
Now, if you want a ski that will rule any mountain, the Volkl Mantra M5 has snapped up just about every award this season -- and for good reason. Its wide platform (96 mm) allows for floatation from BC to Japan and its titanium top sheet offers a stable, powerful experience on any local hill. The update from the past season’s Mantra reintroduces camber under foot and reduces the amount of titanal in the tip and tail.
Volkl M5 Mantra
After a few years of meandering in the wilderness with a full rocker design, the Mantra returned to "walking the walk" last season. The Völkl M5 Mantra Skis put camber back into the equation and dropped the weight by using a Titanal Frame construction with metal only around the perimeter of the tip and tail rather than two full wall-to-wall sheets. The result merited a hearty thumbs up from just about every tester we know. This ski remains unchanged for the season but for minor graphic tweaks and we're glad it does.
Ski of the year. The Mantra is back. This was the most fun ski of the day. It had better edge grip and turn initiation on hard snow than the 76mm wide deacon I skied before it. There is a ton of energy through the ski. It grabs the turn and pulls you closer to the snow. Lots of acceleration from mid turn on through. This is a ski comfortable at a wide range of speeds and turn shapes to include an open glide. It would be an appropriate ski for anyone from an advanced intermediate on up looking to really feel the snow.
Fast, solid, consistent, large sweet spot, the ultimate men's all mountain skis.
So, if you are looking for the ultimate ski setup that can take you anywhere - trust in Volkl.