Ski Review 2020
SKI REVIEWS 2020
Click on the name of a model to view a full review
Völk Racetiger SL [click]
Type of ski : Slalom
Völkl usually offers performance-oriented skis and the Racetiger SL won't change our mind. The ski well deserves its name. The reviewers' comments speak for themselves: "aggressive", "beastly", "nervous", "a weapon"…
The level of performance is therefore at the top in this "leisure" slalom category. It is a powerful ski, "precise and incisive", with a lot of energy. The grip, high-speed stability, and a "big boost out of the curve" were particularly appreciated by the reviewers.
Typical of a Slalom, it is nevertheless very comfortable on wider curve radii. But its versatility stops there. The Racetiger SL has a natural tendency to anchor, which allows it to offer the best grip and curve handling. On the other hand, slid or skidded handling is not its cup of tea. It is possible, but require a fine balance.
The Racetiger SL is not for everyone. The rider must be very present and is unforgiving of mistakes. It requires a good centre of gravity, commitment, speed… and a good physical level.
It is a high-performance ski that we recommend to skiers of excellent to expert levels, who prefer performance above all.
Liked: High performance
Very energetic ski with a powerful rebound
Curve radius versatility...
Disliked: Physically and technically demanding ski
Not very tolerant
Ski struggles slightly in cool handling...
Völk Mantra V.Werks [click]
Type of ski :
Already much noticed during the pre-tests, the Mantra V.Werks quickly won over the Proskilab reviewers. To put it bluntly, the "V.Werks" version has nothing to do with the classic version of the Mantra "M5" reviewed last year and renewed by the brand this year. The edge lines, construction, weight and behaviour are very different. It must be said that the Mantra V.Werks is a unique ski on the market.
First of all, the ski surprised the reviewers with its behaviour on the piste. It proves to be remarkably lively, stable and reassuring, very gripping for this category on packed snow, including at very high speed. It offers rather particular sensations, that of a ski that is both very light and solid underfoot, very thin, deforming longitudinally while maintaining a high torsional rigidity.
The ski is light (1,680 kg according to Völkl, in 178 cm) without being a lightweight for a backcountry or freeride touring ski. It does, however, appear to be lighter underfoot, probably due to the "3D" construction designed to reduce inertia when pivoting. The "Ice.off" covering helps to avoid storing snow on the ski. The weight–performance ratio is exceptional.
The reliability of its behaviour, its grip, its lightness underfoot, and the liveliness of the ski make it a ski that gives a lot of sensations. The Mantra V.Werks is a ski on which the reviewers had a lot of fun.
Off-piste, its lightness, the finesse of the ski, the almost inexistence of the sidewalls, the width at the waist of 99 mm make it a very comfortable ski in powder snow. It also defends itself very well in choppy snow, thanks to its ease of pivoting.
It requires a certain technical level to make the most of it. The reviewers noted that it skied on the front while pressing on the housings. It's also a little less comfortable in small curves.
A freeride touring ski par excellence, comfortable on all terrains, the Mantra V.Werks from Völkl is not cheap, but offers behaviour that is unique on the market. It's a very wholehearted recommendation from the Proskilab reviewers for all those who prefer technical excellence without paying too much attention to their wallet.
Recommended by our reviewers!
Liked: Excellent behaviour on the piste, "fast and sound" ski
Stable and reassuring, gripping, able to go very fast for this category
Lively ski, with a go...
Disliked: Aimed at medium/large curves; is a little less comfortable in small curves
Ski that wants to be skied on the front if you don't want to be surprised ...
Völk Racetiger GS [click]
Type of ski : Giant slalom
Völkl has earned a reputation as a performance-oriented brand on both piste ski and all-mountain skis. We have been reviewing skis for 14 years and it is clear that this reputation has rarely been denied by Proskilab reviewers.
This will not be the case of the RACETIGER GS, which stands out as the "performance" ski of this comparison.
The ski likes to go fast, wants "to just accelerate" and has the means to do so. The "demonic" grip, the exceptional stability, the quality of the curve handling and the homogeneity of the supports in turns were praised by the reviewers. Very-high-speed stability is exceptional.
One of the reviewers wrote "performance over pleasure!" Because the ski is all about efficiency. It requires commitment and positioning, especially at the beginning of curves. Comfort and versatility are reduced to their simplest expression. In particular, cooler, moderate-speed, slip and skid handling is outside its domain of choice. The ski needs speed and lacks agility at low speeds. It is not the ideal ski for cruising or slow-speed riding.
The RACETIGER GS from Völkl does not fail the brand's promise. It's an uncompromising ski for efficiency. We recommend it to committed skiers from very good to the expert and competitive levels, from medium to heavy size who want behaviour close to that of an FIS ski.
Liked: Very high level of performance
Exceptional stability and grip
Acceleration in curves
Regularity and robustness of the supports in curves...
Disliked: Technically and physically demanding skiing
Uncomfortable at low speed and on short turns
Requires being placed
Effective ski but unplayful...
Völk Yumi [click]
Type of ski :
The Völkl Yumi, tested last year, doesn't seem to have changed much and retains the same qualities, particularly on piste.
The testers all remarked on the exceptional accessibility of this ski. The Yumi is easy, intuitive and doesn't require any special instructions or skill level to ski. Very forgiving, it builds confidence and allows technical progression.
The performance on piste was judged "very good" across the board. The ski is at ease in all conditions and is especially enjoyable in softer snow. Some testers would have nevertheless appreciated a little more liveliness underfoot.
With a waist measuring 84mm it is the narrowest of the skis tested in this category and so its performance off-piste suffers a little, but the Yumi remains reliable and very "pleasant" meriting a special mention for its ability to cope in variable terrain. The testers recommended it for those "taking their first turns in powder and in more challenging conditions".
A "perfect ski" for this category, the Völkl Yumi is an excellent choice for intermediate to very good skiers who are looking for a ski that performs well on piste and can reliably support them on their first off-piste turns when conditions are favourable.
Liked: Excellent piste performance
Intuitive, easy to get to grips with
Ideal for learning to ski off-piste
Disliked: Less at ease off-piste
Missing 'character' compared to the Mindbender 88Ti...
Völk Kendo 88 [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 70/30
After the Mantra, here is the Kendo, one of the references of this market segment, renewed by Völkl and derived into two versions for the occasion: the 92 and the 88. Here, we're reviewing the second one.
The modifications are similar to the Mantra M5. The ski is narrower with a waist that goes from 90 to 88 mm. The construction changes and adopts, more or less, that of the Mantra with two plates of the Titanal in a horseshoe shape. The radius loses about 2 metres to reach 18.6 m in the size reviewed.
As soon as you put your feet on the Kendo 88, you understand one thing: the ski is made to go fast. It is certainly more agile and reactive than its predecessor, but nevertheless expresses itself better in large turns at high speed. According to the reviewers, "it needs speed and space to express itself". The grip is "excellent", the stability "exemplary", and we can feel the Völkl DNA. On the other hand, the ski is probably a little more demanding than its predecessor and requires presence and commitment.
Off-piste, the ski behaves very well with a special mention in choppy snow where its rigidity allows it to "split" lumps of snow. The bouyancy in powder remains good despite the reduction in width on this new version.
An "excellent ski", the Kendo 88 from Völkl has an extra dose of agility compared to its predecessor while aiming for performance. It is the perfect ski for sporty and committed skiers looking for the ideal mix of power and versatility.
Liked: General high-level performance
Ski that likes to go fast
Transition to choppy snow...
Disliked: Physical and demanding ski...
Völk 90Eight [click]
Type of ski : All Mountain 50/50
While we asked Völkl to put the Mantra M5 in the competition this year, the manufacturer wanted to offer us the 90Eight in this category. It is an excellent ski, but a little light in this rather demanding programme. The Mantra M5 has not changed and we recommend our reviewers interested in a more performance-oriented ski to refer to the test carried out last year.
The 90Eight shines when you leave the pistes. Its considerable waist width, its lightness, and its very-well-distributed flex work wonders: the ski proves to be at ease on all terrains, in all circumstances. It switches to choppy snow well, floats in powder, pivots well. It's a delight…
On the piste, its behaviour is generally good, but the ski, which is rather flexible, lacks a little manoeuvrability as well as high-speed handling. It is not the ideal ski to attack an aggressive scull on hard snow, but it is comfortable in "cool" handling such as large turns at moderate speed.
The 90Eight from Völkl is a versatile ski, capable on all terrains with a preference for off-piste. We recommend it to good to excellent skiers who want a ski that is really at ease off-piste, but also to freeride touring fans.
Liked: Excellent off-piste behaviour in all conditions
Ski that absorbs the terrain well
Comfortable on the piste in cool handling...
Disliked: Lack of character; expresses itself mainly on the piste
Less responsive than some of its competitors
Fairly flexible, limited at high speed on the p...
Völk Deacon 74 [click]
Type of ski : On-piste cruisers
The "Best Ski" last year, the Deacon 74 from Völkl appeared more powerful but also more demanding this year.
The Deacon 74 is made to go fast, very fast and for big curves. The stability of the ski, the curve holding, and the "powerful" grip are high-flying. "A rail", the reviewers say. The ski just asks for acceleration and a lot of energy.
The ski requires adaptation time, commitment and attention. At low speed, entry into curves is more tedious and the ski is hard to deform.
We recommend the Deacon 74 from Völkl to skiers of excellent to expert levels, of medium to heavy sizes, who seek performance above all.
Liked: High-flying performance
Skills in large curves and at high speed
Disliked: Technically and physically demanding skiing
Rigid ski that requires speed and engagement to deform it
Requires adaptation time...
Völk Flair SC Carbon [click]
Type of ski : Women's high-end
The Flair SC (Slalom Carver) Carbon is defined by Völkl as being "a rigid but light piste ski, made for short turns".
The overall performance is good, although not the best in the category. The testers enjoyed the compromise between performance and comfort: "not too rigid" but with a "good rebound".
The ski is "easy and fun", especially suited to short turns but capable of wider radius turns when necessary.
The Völkl Flair SC Carbon is a good, "pleasurable" ski, suited to short turns, light, but relatively consistent and universal. We recommend it for intermediate to very good skiers.
Liked: General performance
Disliked: Split opinions from the testers on the reactivity of the ski. Some testers noted a lack of rebound....
Völk Racetiger RC [click]
Type of ski : Men's recreational groomers
In this category, we are looking for skis that are accessible at the lowest technical levels but that nevertheless let the skier advance.
In particular, the ski is expected to be able to pivot easily (i.e. to be turned when flat), the skid handling is progressive and homogeneous, and the ski behaves correctly when the skier is in a centred or slightly rear position. Once these qualities have been acquired, we look at the ability of the ski to support the skier in progressing towards cut handling.
Very clearly focused on performance, the Racetiger RC from Völkl is not comfortable in the first part of the programme. Skidding or sliding "cool" handling is not very intuitive. The ski has a natural tendency to anchor and cut. It is not at ease when flat and must be put on the edge with commitment.
The Racetiger RC from Völkl is clearly too performance-oriented to do well in this category. It is a good ski, but it is intended for skiers with a very high technical level, who master cut riding.
Ease and stability at high speeds and in large curves
Rigid and gripping ski...
Disliked: Ski is not at ease in skid handling
Not very calm behaviour when weakly taking angles...