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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Review: 2011-2012 Volkl Katana, 191cm

    Got a couple days on the new Katana in Las Leñas.

    So far, nothing but positive things to say about this ski. It's built for speed, super stable, pretty badass.

    Take a look:

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-re...l-katana-191cm

    Tomorrow, I'll get day #3 on the Katanas off of Marte. New snow, steep lines, stoked.

  2. #2
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    Nice review!!

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Took the Katana out to slay some South American pow.

    Here's the update and the review's conclusion:

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-re...l-katana-191cm

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
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    Portland, OR
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    One of the most informative reviews I've read. Great job!

    A few questions, if you have a chance:
    1. How drastic is the difference in maneuverability/versatility compared to the Gotama with the added width under foot?

    2. Any experience to make a comparison to:
    A. ON3P Wrenegades?
    B. DPS 112?
    C. Line Prophet 115?


    Thinking about making the Katana my daily ski (live in Portland, OR). I'm a big dude (6'1" 230lbs) with a racing background so a big stiff ski with more of a directional feel than a surfy feel is what I'm looking for (don't like surfy/pivoty...makes me skittish).

  5. #5
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    Katanas are flat cambered, so you can either surf them or ski them slightly more directionally in my experience. They are stiff, but ski super easy because of the shape. If you're used to trad camber and like that, these might not be your flavor. I haven't skiied anything else on your list.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Lobotomy View Post
    One of the most informative reviews I've read. Great job!

    A few questions, if you have a chance:
    1. How drastic is the difference in maneuverability/versatility compared to the Gotama with the added width under foot?

    2. Any experience to make a comparison to:
    A. ON3P Wrenegades?
    B. DPS 112?
    C. Line Prophet 115?


    Thinking about making the Katana my daily ski (live in Portland, OR). I'm a big dude (6'1" 230lbs) with a racing background so a big stiff ski with more of a directional feel than a surfy feel is what I'm looking for (don't like surfy/pivoty...makes me skittish).

    I have not skied the Gotama. However, given that ski's design compared to the Katana (Gotama has more tail rocker, twin tip, and narrower underfoot) I would imagine that the Gotama is slightly more maneuverable at slower speeds.

    I have not skied the Wren or Prophet (hope to get on those this season)

    I have skied the Wailer 112s for about half a day in some light pow. I will tell you right now, the Katana is a far more stable ski at speed. I too have a racing background and would prefer the Katana over the 112 (especially in pow), mostly because I prefer a more substantial tail. The 112 has more taper from tip to tail than the Katana, and thus is going to act more pivoty in the soft stuff.

    For someone of your height and weight, I think the Katana could do nicely as an everyday ski. I considered it, and I'm some 70 lbs lighter than you. As you've read, I moved the mount point forward a bit, and it was surprisingly nimble for its stiff flex and weight

    Personally, I would take at the Nordica Girish over the Katana, simply because, while the Katana's flat profile under foot is fantastic in pow, I prefer to have a ski with some camber for firmer conditions.

    Camber vs flat underfoot for a ski like this....that's up to you

    If you think you'd like the Katana, please take a look at the Girish before pulling the trigger:

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-re...a-girish-185cm

    Hope this helped....let me know if you have any other specific questions

  7. #7
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    Oct 2008
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    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtbthree View Post
    I have not skied the Gotama. However, given that ski's design compared to the Katana (Gotama has more tail rocker, twin tip, and narrower underfoot) I would imagine that the Gotama is slightly more maneuverable at slower speeds.

    I have not skied the Wren or Prophet (hope to get on those this season)

    I have skied the Wailer 112s for about half a day in some light pow. I will tell you right now, the Katana is a far more stable ski at speed. I too have a racing background and would prefer the Katana over the 112 (especially in pow), mostly because I prefer a more substantial tail. The 112 has more taper from tip to tail than the Katana, and thus is going to act more pivoty in the soft stuff.

    For someone of your height and weight, I think the Katana could do nicely as an everyday ski. I considered it, and I'm some 70 lbs lighter than you. As you've read, I moved the mount point forward a bit, and it was surprisingly nimble for its stiff flex and weight

    Personally, I would take at the Nordica Girish over the Katana, simply because, while the Katana's flat profile under foot is fantastic in pow, I prefer to have a ski with some camber for firmer conditions.

    Camber vs flat underfoot for a ski like this....that's up to you

    If you think you'd like the Katana, please take a look at the Girish before pulling the trigger:

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-re...a-girish-185cm

    Hope this helped....let me know if you have any other specific questions
    Will take a look at the Girish. I'm certainly not opposed to a little camber. I rode the Nordica Enforcers for a day in 2007 and did not like the feel at all. Turned me off from Nordica. Not sure how much the Girish has taken from that design, if anything (that was ages ago in ski design). Will check it out.

    Quick question, any major changes on the 2011-2012 Girish compared to the 2011?

    Your info and others here on the DP112 has been very informative. Not the style of ski I'm looking for.

    The Katana a little bit forward from stock may be the ticket. Psyched to try them out.
    Last edited by Dr. Lobotomy; 08-16-2011 at 12:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    Great BlisterGear reviews!!!! A little off topic... The "directional" comments in the girish and katana reviews kind of articulate what I like on my old generation black budda Gotamas, before Volkl added sidecut. I realize that both the katana and girish are meatier than my vintage of the gotama, but can I safely assume that they may all exhibit this 'directional' quality. I've had a hard time nailing down what exactly I like about my old gotamas, as I don't get on a lot of different skis to draw compares, and am looking for a wider, slightly meatier version with similiar qualities. Not married to the big twin at all, I only ski switch by accident occasionally If my assumption is correct, the girish may fit the bill! thx

  9. #9
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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
    Great BlisterGear reviews!!!! A little off topic... The "directional" comments in the girish and katana reviews kind of articulate what I like on my old generation black budda Gotamas, before Volkl added sidecut. I realize that both the katana and girish are meatier than my vintage of the gotama, but can I safely assume that they may all exhibit this 'directional' quality. I've had a hard time nailing down what exactly I like about my old gotamas, as I don't get on a lot of different skis to draw compares, and am looking for a wider, slightly meatier version with similiar qualities. Not married to the big twin at all, I only ski switch by accident occasionally If my assumption is correct, the girish may fit the bill! thx
    Sounds like you really know what you're looking for. I haven't skied the Gotamas you own, but I'm sure you'd be happy with either the Girish or Katana. Someone asked me which one I would chose, and I said the Girish, but that's after some serious nitpicking (take a look at the comments section at the bottom of the review page, and you can read over that response).
    Again, they're both great skis....

  10. #10
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    Feb 2009
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    nice review

  11. #11
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    May 2012
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    I need some help with sizing. I'm looking at a pair of 2011 Katanas in 183 length, which I can get a great deal on. I'm 5'7'' and weigh 160 lbs. I'm a pretty aggressive skier. Do you think I can handle the 183s or keep looking for a pair of the 177s? Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterTM View Post
    I need some help with sizing. I'm looking at a pair of 2011 Katanas in 183 length, which I can get a great deal on. I'm 5'7'' and weigh 160 lbs. I'm a pretty aggressive skier. Do you think I can handle the 183s or keep looking for a pair of the 177s? Thanks!
    I am 5'10" 180 and owned a pair of 191's. Everyone has a different definition of aggressive but if yours includes mostly big open turns with speed you will be fine with the 183. When it comes to ski length it becomes a pretty easy decision once you get the person to define their preferred turn shape...

  13. #13
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    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianskis View Post
    I am 5'10" 180 and owned a pair of 191's. Everyone has a different definition of aggressive but if yours includes mostly big open turns with speed you will be fine with the 183. When it comes to ski length it becomes a pretty easy decision once you get the person to define their preferred turn shape...
    Thanks, Brian. I love doing big, open turns at high speed, but that tends to be on big open bowls or steep groomers. In steeper, gnarlier chutes, I like to have skis that can do quick, short turns. So I guess I need a ski length that does both. Hoping I can get away with the 183s.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterTM View Post
    Hoping I can get away with the 183s.
    DO NOT get 177s. These are so easy to ski. I'm 5'8" 140#s and the 183s are perfect, if even a touch short in certain situations. Pull the trigger.

  15. #15
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    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyski View Post
    DO NOT get 177s. These are so easy to ski. I'm 5'8" 140#s and the 183s are perfect, if even a touch short in certain situations. Pull the trigger.
    Andy - Thanks for the advice. I pulled the trigger. Went with the 183s.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterTM View Post
    Andy - Thanks for the advice. I pulled the trigger. Went with the 183s.
    You will be VERY happy. They do everything well.

  17. #17
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    Apr 2012
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    I'm 6'3" 205 and went for the 198s. I have a feeling I'm gonna shit my pants the first time I straight line these things.
    relax... I'm a professional.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrav View Post
    I'm 6'3" 205 and went for the 198s. I have a feeling I'm gonna shit my pants the first time I straight line these things.
    I bet man. Those are going to be speed missiles for you

  19. #19
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    Sep 2007
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    That ski rocks. I ski the 183 with a Dynafit FT12. 100+ days last season. Best setup I have ever owned and I have owned a lot of skis.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    I'm looking at a pair of 2012 katana's 183's. I'm 5'7'' 155lbs ski 100+ days a year. Size seems about right, I like 180ish skis usually, though I have an old pair of 186 legend pro's (when the tip was stiff) that are a bit long but I still love them when I'm feeling strong. I'm also looking at the 185 blizzard cochise, anyone know much about these in comparison with the katana?

  21. #21
    Finstah Guest
    They no longer make 183 Katanas, or 190s for that matter.

    After the most recent redesign (for 11-12) the ski is now available in 184 or 191. The current 184 measures closer to the old 190 than it does to the old 183.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrav View Post
    I'm 6'3" 205 and went for the 198s. I have a feeling I'm gonna shit my pants the first time I straight line these things.
    Giddeee up!
    The Passion is in the Risk

  23. #23
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    Jan 2013
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    How are those 198's working out? I'm 6'9" and these have caught my attention big time.

  24. #24
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    FYI I'm reluctantly selling my 197 Katanas (green/blk topsheets) in gear swap.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    SnowBasin
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    198's have been great so far. They came out about like I expected them too. If you're strong enough to handle the bucks they throw at you, they're awesome.

    They're very heavy, as anticipated. I can muscle them through bumps pretty easily, but they provide a serious challenge if you're hoping for any kind of maneuverability in tight spots.

    That's definitely be my biggest gripe, but it was a sacrifice I was aware I'd be making.

    If you're looking to drop stuff, they provide an insane landing platform. Tails are so strong you can always press yourself forward if you get back seat.

    Full rocker, so you'll need packed pow to really like them on groomers, but they bite enough to get down the less ideal stuff.

    I have Donners for the deep deep stuff, so they haven't gotten much time there, but they were really nice in day after fresh and I'd expect them to do well when it's deep.
    relax... I'm a professional.

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