Ski Review 2017
SKI REVIEWS 2017
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
Völk Racetiger Speedwall SL UVO [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Like the Hero Elite ST, the Racetiger Speedwall SL from Völkl stands out for the excellent compromise between performance and accessibility, as well as its multi-talented scope of use.
Overall accessibility is excellent, even if some reviewers felt it was less convincing than a Rossignol. Its extremely sound and adaptive performance means that can be effortlessly exploited in every situation.
Turn initiation is easy and precise. Once in the turn, the ski accelerates fast while retaining its incredibly strong grip. Impulsion at the end of the turn is a bit more energetic than with the Rossignol, so turns can be linked at a devilish rate.
A bit more sporty than the Hero Elite and very slightly more demanding, the Racetiger is a ski we recommend for good to expert riders looking for a performance-oriented ski without wanting a racing beast that will cause havoc with their thighs after three runs down.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Good overall performance
Accessible and user-friendly
Sound, adaptive behaviour, good flex distribution
Easy and precise turn initiation and entra...
Disliked: Nothing special...
Völk Mantra [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
With several "Best ski" awards under its belt in recent years, Völkl's Mantra is one of the best skis on the market in this category. It remains top again this year, despite the increasingly strong competition in this highly lucrative segment.
The ski doesn't seem to have changed since last year, and confirms its main quality: its totally amazing on/off-piste versatility!
On piste, the Mantra has a lively and playful character. Initiation is remarkably fast and easy, giving the impression of real lightness under foot. Turn performance is excellent from every angle. The excellent grip means you can engage in hard, steep terrain with no worries.
Easy turn initiation, tolerant (as long as you don’t ski too far forward), shifting very easily from carves to skid turns, it's a very user-friendly and comfortable ski that demands little physical or technical engagement. Whether you're out for audacious tricks or skiing "cool", this ski can do it...
The ski reiterates its excellent performance and easy handling off-piste, where the ski remains stable even in the crud or on uneven surfaces. Flotation in deep snow is excellent and rotation remains very easy, even in transformed snow.
We recommend the Mantra to a wide range of riders, first because of its great accessibility, which means intermediary to good skiers will be able to make progress both on and off-piste. Second, more experienced skiers looking for a sharp tool to cut a dash on all terrains will love its fantastic versatility.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Lively and playful
An easy and tolerant ski, light under foot
Grippy and stable
Easy carve/slide/skid transition
Cushions the terrain and rides t...
Disliked: Lacks stability at very high speeds...
Völk Racetiger Speedwall GS UVO [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Riders are instantly at ease with the RaceTiger GS UVO. In downhill rides, comfort and accessibility are noticeable straightaway. Above all, its comfort is exceptional for this category of racing-oriented ski. It absorbs the terrain extremely well and requires remarkably little effort for steering. "A leather upholstered BMW" one of the PROSKILAB™ reviewers commented.
The Racetiger is a very reassuring ski for intermediary skiers. Easy to handle, docile, especially at ease in turn initiation, it will go where you take it without flinching.
The ski is extremely versatile in a wide variety of turns (including skid turns), remaining in beat with the rider.
Turn performance and grip are very good, although not exceptional. When pushed in very dynamic turns at very high speed, the Racetiger starts to show signs of weakness. The rocker and relatively flexible tip make the rides less precise, especially when there's a lot of weight towards the front of the ski. There's a lack of impulsion when coming out of turns due to the somewhat weak rebound.
The ski would have excelled in the "High performance carvers" category, but is weak in terms of pure efficiency in the Giant slalom category. However, it remains a very good ski that we would recommend for a wide range of skiers from intermediate to very good, and, above all, for riders who want to progress from carving to Giant slalom turns.
Liked: Consistent behaviour, sound and reassuring
A very comfortable ski that absorbs the terrain and requires very little physical engagement
An easy, d...
Disliked: Performance slightly less convincing in very dynamic turns
Tip tends to lose grip if there's too much weight in front, and floats at high speed (rock...
Völk Racetiger RC UVO [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
The Racetiger RC UVO from Völkl is not the best performer, nor the most playful or the easiest ski in the selection, but it's the ski that combines all these qualities with the greatest consistency.
The first thing the reviewers noted is that the Racetiger RC is happy on every type of slope, every type of snow, in all rides and radiuses. The quality of this performance-oriented ski is amazing. As one reviewer put it, "it's versatility at its purest!"
The ski gives a feeling of freedom: you can go where and how you like. The Racetiger RC manages every situation with extreme panache: carves, slides, skids, long and short turns, soft snow, hard pack... all that's left is to enjoy yourself.
Performance is very good although it doesn't match up to that of the Hero Elite. Once in the turn, the ski is very stable with solid pressure. Its grip is good or even excellent in long turns at full speed when the ski is obviously very happy.
The PROSKILAB™ reviewers noted a slight lack of character however, and the need for engagement in short-radius turns when the ski was more physical. In particular, the front rocker slightly hampered its speed in turn initiation as well as its liveliness.
"I loved it", "super ski", "good ski", "fantastic"... there's no doubt, the reviewers all loved the Racetiger RC! It's a pure pleasure machine for good to very good riders looking for a top-performing and very versatile ski for sports-oriented performance on the pistes, without necessarily wanting a tool that's too lively.
Liked: Very good overall performance
Excellent accessibility, intuitive handling
Good long turn qualities
Disliked: Slight lack of character and vivacity
A bit more physical in short-radius turns
Völk Flair SC [click]
Type of ski : Women's recreational groomers
This year, Völkl suggested the Flair SC to replace the Adora which won the "Best ski" distinction last year. Like its predecessor, the Flair SC stands out for its excellence, narrowly missing the "Best ski" distinction.
It is extremely user-friendly even for the riders with the fewest technical skills. Rotation is easy and even intuitive, turn performance is healthy and it's a remarkably stable ski. Skid turns are adaptive and consistent.
The Flair SC is very forgiving if positioning is not quite right and the ski is reassuring. Piloting the tracks is easy, giving beginners the confidence they need.
Very easy and comfortable, the ski is nonetheless a bit less efficient at a faster pace. At higher speeds and in carved turns, its performance begins to deteriorate.
In this category we're looking for skis that are accessible for the least skilled riders who are nonetheless capable of progressing to carves and more advanced techniques. While the Flair SC is perfect for the first aspect, it's less convincing in terms of performance and so just missed out on the "Best ski" distinction.
It's a model that we strongly recommend for beginners and improvers who want to move on to parallel skid turns.
Liked: Exceptional user-friendliness
Tolerant, reassuring behaviour
A light ski
Excellent turn performance
Disliked: Not very adaptive in carving and less happy at higher speeds...
Völk Flair 73 [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
We already noted the qualities of the Flair SC from Völkl in the 'Women's intermediate cruisers' category, especially its user-friendliness and its comfort. The Flair 73 stands out in this 'Top-of-the-range' category, this time for its excellent performance.
The ski is effectively relatively stiff for this category, making it more efficient than most. The ski is capable of going very fast while retaining its great stability and strong grip. Its just as happy on hard pack as on steep slopes. It's also a very highly strung ski with rapid take-off and a very lively kick. Particularly maneuverable and playful, it's the ideal ski to zip down the reds and the blacks with short-radius turns.
On the other hand, riders need to be well positioned, especially coming out of turns when the stiff tail can drag the rider backwards.
The Flair 73 is an excellent ski for experienced skiers, especially those who love to carve and understand how to position themselves fore and aft in the turn.
Liked: Very good overall performance
A highly strung, responsive ski
Disliked: Tail a bit stiff that needs to be well placed coming out of turns, otherwise you'll find yourself rejected backwards....
Völk Kendo [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
Like the Brahma, the Kendo has become a solid market reference. After getting a "Best ski" distinction last year, it continued to do extremely well this year.
It's still a stiff, predictable, extremely stable and grippy ski, that behaves incredibly well and loves to go fast. We reviewed a 22m radius waist model, which obviously prefers long-radius turns, if possible at very high speeds.
However, it's happy on all terrains, both on piste and off the beaten track. The ski is "solid" in all conditions and won't let you down, even on steep slopes and hard pack. Its stiffness is also an advantage in difficult snow, especially in the crud where it won't let a few mounds of snow distort it.
On the other hand, the ski requires engagement and concentration as well as good technical skills. Some reviewers also noted the "German car" comfort: you feel safe but it’s firm under foot!
You've got it: the Kendo was not designed for riders who like to float along enjoying the view. It's not really for learner freeriders either. This is heavy stuff, and in this category, it's probably one of the best skis on the market for good to expert athletic riders looking above all for performance.
Liked: Good overall performance
Stability and turn hold at high speeds
Solidity in difficult snow
A gutsy and energetic ski that loves speed
Disliked: A relatively demanding ski that requires physical engagement and good technical skills