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02-28-2011, 08:00 PM #1one of those sickos
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Review: Voile Charger 181cm (long winded)
Now that I've had a bunch of days on them and since there's not too much other info out there, I thought I'd contribute a review.
Skier and skiing style:
140lbs (no gear), ~5'9", sz 27.5 BD Quadrant boots. I ski very fast uphill and somewhat fast downhill, with so-so technique. My substantial tele background (learned to ski freeheel before switching to rando) makes me try to weight both feet equally, even when I shouldn't. As I get bigger and bigger skis I go faster and faster (keeping up with very skilled snowboarders in powder) and make larger turns. Hucks to 25', lots of smaller ones, love steep powder in trees. Around 80 touring days/year.
I've skied these in perfect lightweight (for Tahoe) powder, too-deep heavy powder, windslab, sastrugi, wind-affected powder, miserable cut-up resort powder, and groomers. Most of it has been touring, with only a couple of resort days. No corn, yet.
The first thing I noticed is their weight: 5# per ski on my digital scale WITH a Dynafit Classic binding. I mounted them on Voile's line (which puts me about 1cm ahead of the BOF @ CORS method), and am happy with that mount. The bases seem durable (only a few scratches), but the topsheets are showing a lot of cuts and scratches, more so than other skis I've used in similar conditions. If this keeps up I may have to smear some epoxy on them...damn cap construction.
How they ski:
My main impression is that they love to go really fast in all conditions, and I haven't found their speed limit. I'm reminded of how it feels riding a real dirtbike on technical rocky trails--if you can hold on, the bike can probably handle whatever you run into. The Charger has a really appropriate name. On a few occasions I've missed my Surface Live Lifes for their playfulness and penchant for all speeds (except for really fast) and all turn shapes. The Voile, OTOH, just wants to go really fast all of the time, which isn't a bad thing, but it is a thing. Hucking is easy--the stiff tails seem to rescue bad landings, and their ability to handle the straightline after confers a lot of confidence.
On groomers they will hold an edge really well, and are surprisingly fast edge-to-edge. Forcing them out of their preferred turn shape (pretty large) requires quite a bit of pressure and concentration, but I'm definitely not a resort skier, so take that for what it's worth.
In variable conditions they are incredibly confidence inspiring--just blaze along and they eat it all up. No tip flapping on windslab/sastrugi, and no tip dive anywhere.
In hand flexing they are stiffer than Atomic Charters, DPS Wailer 105 F2, Surface Live Life & LL2, Dynafit Stokes, K2 Coombacks (much), etc. They feel about the same as Drifters, a bit less stiff than Dynastar Huge Trouble and Goode Carbons. The Charger is definitely a stiff ski, and to be honest while I love them now (about 50 touring days into the season), I am glad to have the Surfaces still in the quiver for a more forgiving option for when I'm not feeling as burly or when I'm out of shape.
In a nutshell:
The Voile Charger is light, stiff, and loves to go fast. It's not so good for hippy turns, not as forgiving as some, not as good for dumping speed as skis with more tail rocker, and offers questionable topsheet durability. I really like the skis and don't anticipate needing anything else for a long while.
I hope this helps.ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.
03-01-2011, 09:18 AM #2
sooooooo so so so so helpful. thank you!
03-01-2011, 08:04 PM #3
thanks. I was seriously looking at getting a pair of these in the fall, but found some praxis BC's for cheap(er) instead. Sounds like I would have preferred the chargers.Originally Posted by Smoke
03-07-2011, 10:26 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
This is a good review. Thanks Climberevan. I have about 25 days on my 181 Chargers with Voile Switchbacks. I agree with just about everything Climberevan said except I find them very easy to turn both inbounds and in powder. These are great in tight trees as long as there is some soft snow. The tip rocker makes initiating a turn at slow speeds very effortless. They have no speed limit. It's great to have such a great high speed ski that does not have to be at high speeds to make a turn. As one would expect at 112 underfoot, these are heaven in deep powder.
My only complaint with my setup is I think the SB is too light for this big of a ski. Of course the trek up is divine and the ride down is great as long as you are in deep snow. If you are in bounds and skiing harder conditions or crud, the SB's feel a little "toey". I hear Voile is coming out with a beefier version next year with a longer toe rail and that will be a big help for skis over 100mm under foot.
I give the ski 2 thumbs up!
09-04-2011, 07:11 PM #5
Actually thinking about dumping the Atlas for the V Drifter. And dumping the Manalsu for the V Vector. And getting the V Charger as the mid ski. All touring.
That would make me an all Voile man [at full fukkin retail, dog fukken dammit! Duct tape on the branding - 'specially that USA text ]
Last edited by neck beard; 09-04-2011 at 07:58 PM.Life is not lift served.
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