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  1. #1
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    All Things Volkl Thread

    We need a comprehensive thread for all things Volkl. I know there are a lot of Volkl fans here. The best thing that has come out of all my time on TGR is discovering Volkl skis and I want to make a single thread where they can be discussed. There are individual threads for the K108, M102, and an old BMT thread but it seems like half of those threads are comparisons between different Volkl skis so I say lets move that discussion here.

    Here is my Volkl quiver. I bought the 100eights here which started my Volkl obsession. Reverse camber Volkl skis are the pinnacle of ski performance as far as I'm concerned. I briefly had a pair of BMT 94s but sold them to Tgapp before I realized how unique and special they were (worst decision ever). I bought the Rise Above 98 here (same shape as VTA 98), but the tails took some effort to break free in heavy snow and crust. They were fantastic on firm snow but I sold them because I mostly tour in soft Wasatch snow. I bought the Blaze 106s cheap as a backup for the 100eights, but I just got these V-Werks Katanas which I plan to use as my primary inbounds setup. It's impressive how similar the VW Katana is in shape to the the 100eight. Same rocker profile, very similar sidecut, and almost the same length (181 100eight and 184 Katana). I would love to find some 4th gen full-rocker Mantras and some full-rocker metal Katanas to try. I demoed the M6 and M102 Mantras last weekend and they are great skis, not as effortless off-piste as the full-rocker Volkls I've been on. The rep at the demo tent said that they will not be carrying over an BMT skis into 2023, hopefully we can change that in the future.

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  2. #2
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    the 100eight was rad but one of the worst durabilities of any volkl ski in recent years. I broke multiple pairs on stuff they shouldn't have broken on.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboocoreONLY View Post
    the 100eight was rad but one of the worst durabilities of any volkl ski in recent years. I broke multiple pairs on stuff they shouldn't have broken on.
    I heard that which is why I bought the Blaze, and now the Katanas. Fortunately the 100eights are still trucking after a season and a half

  4. #4
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    I used to wonder what was up at Volkl. In the days of the AC all mountain skis they had super high, stiff camber, almost like a double cambered classic XCD ski. They must of got into some good hallucinogens as they replaced those with the flat( though they called them full rocker) RTM skis.

    Skied that ski and immediately bought a pair for primarily mid-Atlantic use. Then the M4s,OG Katana, and BMTs, came out. How they went from double camber to those still baffles me, but thankfully they did. Ended up with BMT 94s next. Now have 109s and 122s hoarded for when I can spend more time in the Wasatch.

    Then when they announced they were going back to camber, I was doubting that call. But the skis I’ve skied since then, Kanjo for MidA and 90eights with Shifts for one ski travel, I’m not sure I even feel the camber. It’s so minimal and soft underfoot they feel flat to me. Beside the pivot-ability, I think the design really lets the skis flex underfoot which arcs carves really well.

    Pretty much don’t want to ski anything else.

    Although I heard a podcast with Julien Regnier, the lack Crows ski designer, on how much he liked how the M4 skied that he incorporated some of that feel in some of his skis. Intrigued by some of those.

  5. #5
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    Two years ago my resort skis were all or mostly Blizzard. Now I’m a Volkl guy, again. Had the gold Gotama which I loved and a black Mantra of the same vintage that was meh. I just really like the feel of these new Volkls, and the sizing works way better for me than the Blizzards.

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    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  6. #6
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    I learned how to really ski on P60 SL skis when I was a teen and have primarily skied on Volkl's ever since. I have a pair of OG 100 eights which keep delaminating underfoot, and I've glued them back together 5 times now. I've probably put about 500 days on those skis.

    Over the years there have been many skis from them which I regret not picking up on the cheap when I've had the chance. BMT 94, 2020 100 eight, Nunataq, One...sleeper skis. Not to mention countless used pairs of explosivs, gotomas, mantras, katanas etc, all come to mind.

    Haven't heard much about the Blaze 94 yet...
    So I got a pair @ 186cm which I mounted tele for a spring snow ski. 6 days on them so far. Banger tele ski. I find it to be surprisingly stable for its weight, real easy to carve large or tight radius turns and anything in between. The rocker camber rocker profile is real nice with a long gradual rocker in the tip and tail with minimal camber underfoot. I've always preferred traditional mounts, though eyeballing the Blaze 94 I decided to mount it at +1.

    Planning to pick up a pair of Kendos for a groomer zoomer next season.

  7. #7
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    Yet another day where the snow was questionable, yet another day swapping sticks at lunch. Yet another day that the M102 vindicated its spot in my quiver by giving no fucks about the conditions. Eventually I will learn my lesson and/or stop getting new toys and default to them when there is chance of mank. They will continue to come out on every trip until I find something more versatile, which right now is looking unlikely.

    So please do not let me get on a K108.

  8. #8
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    Can I suggest you post some links to, at least the most recent, review threads for at least the modern volkl offerings?

    It's a good reference section to continue the conversation and there's a lot of good info in there that may or may not get repeated here.

    Edit: here are the threads I know about...



    "Katana 108 - the resurrection"

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

    "Mantra 102 - where to mount it?"

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

    "2021/22 Volkl Mantra M6"

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

    "Review: Volkl Blaze 106, 179cm"

    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
    Last edited by Shorty_J; 04-09-2022 at 08:43 PM.
    Goal: ski in the 2018/19 season

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeMagnet View Post
    Yet another day that the M102 vindicated its spot in my quiver by giving no fucks about the conditions. So please do not let me get on a K108.
    Three zero-f's days on M102 last weekend, trigger pulled on K108 today. Kinda wish K108 was K112, but still pretty excited to get on them next season.

  10. #10
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    All Things Volkl Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shorty_J View Post
    Can I suggest you post some links to, at least the most recent, review threads for at least the modern volkl offerings?

    It's a good reference section to continue the conversation and there's a lot of good info in there that may or may not get repeated here.
    2nd

    I’m a volkl fan, but using older models. Was a fan on my explosives until they finally died. Currently a fan my full camber mantras. All tele. They’ll die someday and I go to several ski swaps every autumn, so I may pick something up if the price is right.

    What are the big diffs between the 9eight and the m6? What about the katana and the 10eight?

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    What makes the M102 so Zero’F worthy?

    Loving my ‘23 Kendo & will likely do a Revolt 104 addition next fall.

    Currently in the quiver

    V mogul
    RaceTiger SL
    RaceTiger GS
    Kendo
    Revolt 87 - biggest surprise for myself / see below
    OG Explosiv

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  12. #12
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    primarily chiming in to restate my absolute love of BMTs. They are some of the best touring skis ever made imho - I cannot say enough good things about them, all widths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    It's impressive how similar the VW Katana is in shape to the the 100eight. Same rocker profile, very similar sidecut, and almost the same length (181 100eight and 184 Katana).
    The KVWs preceeded the 100eight. The construction and recommended mount point is different enought that they should ski similarly, but still differently - with KVWs being stiffer and more capable.

    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    What are the big diffs between the 9eight and the m6? What about the katana and the 10eight?
    Not to come across as harsh here, but like everything? Their shape, construction, mount point and so on.

    The only thing these two pairs of skis have in common are that they are directional skis made by Volkl. One is a budget, more approachable ski for the masses - the other either 11 layers of carbon or carbon frame performance skis.

    So while they seem kinda similar at a glance and still ski somewhat similarly at slower speeds, the latter two should be a lot more capable, have a way higher performanec ceiling and be more durable. And cost a shit ton more

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post
    What makes the M102 so Zero’F worthy?
    The bits and pieces of construction and shape and what each does to performance combine better than just about every other ski out there.

    -Heavy enough to smooth out chop; not so heavy they become a chore to move.

    -Stiff enough to stay composed at speed; not so stiff they plank up in crud.

    -Fat tip planes above medium-depth snow and rides over ruts in chop; narrower waist makes it nimble edge to edge.

    -mild taper gives a strong effective edge and slight camber locks it in; long but very shallow rocker lines make it easy to release when needed.

    And then the 3d sidecut gives turn versatility. The caveat of the m102 versus other do-alls like the enforcers would be that it isn't demanding perse, but still commands proper technique to make work. I won't enjoy the ski in waist-deep, or "sun-fucked breakable pizza box wind slab" but those are conditions that need specialty tools. For everything else my thoughts are "there are skis that would work better on this terrain and snow, but I'm not bringing 7 skis to the hill just to see which one I should be using today."

  14. #14
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    Edit: ^ Ha, beat me to the post button. Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post
    What makes the M102 so Zero’F worthy?
    It strikes a really good balance in a lot of areas. Heavy/stiff enough to always be solid no matter the conditions without being unwieldy, consistent flex so no weird hinge points, just enough extra tip width to float in soft a lot better than previous M's without being hooky, just enough tip rocker to absorb variable snow without being too much and carving/sweet spot suffers, just enough tail rocker to ease release when you want to, without being too much that it releases when you're trying to lay down high speed carves, measures true to length (actually measures a bit longer than stated), etc. I have experienced the "177cm M102 sidecut wobble" when running flat (edge a bit or shift weight to your heels to stop wobble), but it's so good everywhere else it really doesn't matter.

    K108 appears to be same ski but 6mm wider, with a bit softer tail to tip up the plane angle in pow.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid-kapow View Post
    Not to come across as harsh here, but like everything? Their shape, construction, mount point and so on.

    The only thing these two pairs of skis have in common are that they are directional skis made by Volkl. One is a budget, more approachable ski for the masses - the other either 11 layers of carbon or carbon frame performance skis.

    So while they seem kinda similar at a glance and still ski somewhat similarly at slower speeds, the latter two should be a lot more capable, have a way higher performanec ceiling and be more durable. And cost a shit ton more
    So when I look on paper at the mantra vs the 90Eight, the 90Eight looks to me to be the budget ski that’s approachable for the masses. Am I getting that right?

    My 16yo loves his revolt 86’s. They’ve been much more versatile than he expected. In the past (before these skis) his ability to discern between skis has been questionable.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    So when I look on paper at the mantra vs the 90Eight, the 90Eight looks to me to be the budget ski that’s approachable for the masses. Am I getting that right?

    My 16yo loves his revolt 86’s. They’ve been much more versatile than he expected. In the past (before these skis) his ability to discern between skis has been questionable.
    yes to the first - the construction of the m6 is the largest difference.

    The M6 ahs full sheet of metal on the bottom + tailored titanal frame on top + carbon -> is making a ski that is both more damp, but also more precise (and durable). Sure, the 3d radius thing is there as well, but the real driver in making the ski tick is construction. R86s are way simpler, but not necessarily in a bad way - just less ingredients to a different stew.

    The M6 will have a very different balance / mount point to R86s, so if he is love with that ski - get revolt104s, still an awesome ski, just more playful and easy and less directional charger (ish).

    I would suggest reading Blister's takes on both skis and see which fits him or you the best. The older xEIGHT skis still ski well, but had some durability issues and the newer ski are just plain better for most skiers (in fact, the current lineup is really, really good). Völkl also keep on changing the colorway, so finding skis on sale should not be impossible. I also think that a bit of camber, together with low, low rockered zones with limited splay, makes for way more versatile designs - especially on hard snow.

    What Völkl kinda lack imho (in spite of making a shit ton of ski) is a more directional, but still progressively shaped skis. Someting that bridges the gap from the various mantras/rize/blaze flat tails and the Revolts. Something like Dynastar's incredibly impressive M-Free series. So something mounted at 6-8, with a fair bit of tail splay yet primarily directional shape, that like both to be driven and skied from a more upright stance. Sure, it could be that the Blaze skis ski like this in spite of their flatter tails with their shape (rockered zones and pintail esque design), but the metal skis do not imho (which is fine, it is not what they are designed to do).

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the rec for my kiddo. He also has shiros, but could definitely benefit from a 10x- waist ski.

    My curiosity about the xEIGHT skis has vanished but I know understand why so many tele skiers like and recommend them.

  18. #18
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    I added links to the 4 skis with individual pages I know about in my earlier post, #8.

    See above.
    Goal: ski in the 2018/19 season

  19. #19
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    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...%99s?p=6579387

    ^Here’s the 2023 Kendo thread & some Ikon spam with myself skiing the WC SL / X comps / Dalbello SG/GS boot:

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  20. #20
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    My Volkl quiver. M102 with raw Pivots looking pretty sharp. Only two days on them and loving. P30's are courtesy of the dump a few years ago. More of a once a year novelty to take them out but they are pretty awesome. 98-63-86 in a 200cm. Used them yesterday in what ended up being a storm day of 2 to 3 inch of spring porn. So much fun.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    ... I now understand why so many tele skiers like and recommend them.
    yeah, that one is kinda easy - they are skis that still are fairly strong on edge though torsionally compliant, caters well to skiing with a forward stance, while also being really easy to pivot and schmear around. I do not tele myself, but it seems very intuitively rigth that skis like these will be a hoot to tele on.

    Katana V Werks mounted forward would probably be even funner, if more torsionally rigid (at least according to soothski) - so more demanding, but also more capable.

    The achilles heel of the xEIGTH series was there ability to stay together, so if you want something like that then just get Blazes. Most people seem to love theirs.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid-kapow View Post
    The older xEIGHT skis still ski well, but had some durability issues and the newer ski are just plain better for most skiers (in fact, the current lineup is really, really good). Völkl also keep on changing the colorway, so finding skis on sale should not be impossible. I also think that a bit of camber, together with low, low rockered zones with limited splay, makes for way more versatile designs - especially on hard snow.
    Really appreciate your analysis and experience but I disagree that their current skis are better than the xEIGHTs for most skiers. I've skied the M6 and M102 and I don't rate them as high as the 100eight for anything but groomers. The Mantras have more sidecut and get hung up on dense/wet snow and bumps more than the straighter 100eight. If I'm skiing softer snow I prefer a ski around 2kg that takes less energy to swing around all day, and the M102 in particular makes sidesteps/hikes/dense moguls more exhausting. Maybe I'm missing your point though, and if by most skiers you are including people who prioritize piste performance then yeah the Mantras will be way better.

    The Blaze series kind of miss the mark for me. While I would prefer a straighter sidecut the shape is very good, I just think the weights are off - too light for primary resort use and too heavy for the kind of touring I like to do. I see why they made them the way they did, perfect weight for the popular "quiver of one" ski with a hybrid binding. If they made a Blaze that weighed over 1900g or under 1550g I would be the first in line to buy

  23. #23
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    yeah, as you say - the appropriate comparison for xEIGHTS is their replacement, aka the various Blaze models. Yes, the Blazes are light and give up on the ability to smash through stuff (but keep the feet fresher for longer at slower speeds / tight skiing), but people who want that in their ski is probably looking at burlier models like their metal skis. The point I was trying to make was that the modern lineup is arguably better than the older skis (if not else then at least from a durability standpoint), not that the metal skis are more appropriate/better skis for most skiers over the xEight-segment skis (that is not the case at all, so we agree there - correct horse for the course and all that). Sorry if I was unclear.

    What the BMT109s and 100Eigths have going for them is that they are faily straight / have a long sidecut, yet are super nimble and can do way tighter turns due to them being fully rockered. So predictable and not like to catch stuff at speed, yet super nimble. Then again, people are kinda saying the same of the wider Blazes.

    Also, what I love about BMTs is that they are so damn predictable. They always tell you if you ski them wrong and you can easily adjust mid turn. Not like some other skis that I have been on that seem fine, then violently wash out. Yes, my tecnique is shit and probably at fault, but still

  24. #24
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    Don't got much to add to this thread that hasn't already been said but the BMTs are honestly totally magic skis. I own both the 94s and the 109s and I can't tell you which one I like more - my answer would probably change depending on which one of them I skied most recently.

    The 94s are so good at skiing trees it's almost telepathic. They are so incredibly responsive, easy to ski, and maneuverable it's unbelievable. Hard snow performance is remarkable for a fully rockered ski, and the 94s ability to switch attitudes from bouncy and effortless to serious billygoating is uncanny. These skis are the embodiment of both predictable and fun.

    The 109s are one of my favorite daily drivers ever - enough float to really have fun on deeper days, with a slightly more damp feel than their younger brothers. They are much more chargy than the 94s, and love to be skied aggressively. I prefer the 109s in either deeper or shittier snow, because of both their mass and surface area. The 94s are the clear winner for tree skiing, corn, and couloirs.

    Durability is amazing on both pairs (I've hit a ton of shit that I expected would rip a hole in my bases but came out with barely a scratch), black top sheets are the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

    Both skis are cold dead hands skis.

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

  25. #25
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    My tele comment is that, based on paper, the xEIGHT skis seem much easier to ski and are more forgiving than the metal layup volkl’s. It harps back to the top selling “tele” ski ever, the “piste stinx,” which was the same ski as the K2 Two. Personally, I was never a fan of any of those skis. I generally like skis where I can’t find the top end.

    So the r104 is their “playful charger?” My current playful chargers are bibby’s, which sometimes fell too wide when I’m in 2D snow or very shallow 3D snow (what’s we’ve been experiencing a lot of in California for the past two or three seasons). The blister review about the r104 being deflected a lot of day old powder steers me away from them, in concept.

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