Pros: Wood core, dampness, graphics
Cons: ELP, inconsistent performance, construction quality
Me - 6'1" 190lbs level 7-8, aggressive skier in PNW. Demo, try new skis often.
These were my 3rd Volkl freeski in 2 years. Owned 185 Bridge - liked but far too stiff for there length, 177's would have been great but too little edge length. Not sure they deserved such high praise, kind of a ex racers twin.
2008 Katana - great ski, construction a bit too light and bent them but otherwise a great highly versatile ski. Bit much energy for heavy PNW snow but otherwise a deserved benchmark ski in it's size /style category.
Volkl 2010 Gotama - sadly I never had the older models which I suspect I would have loved based on my current skis and experience with the Katana's.
Initially I liked the skis combination of traits and ski ability. worked pretty much everywhere but as I got to ski them more I noticed my skiing getting worse and kept having to adjust my style of skiing more than usual for the conditions. I recently picked up a pair of Kastle MX78's for frontside skiing and feel out of love with my Gotama's almost overnight. A few days on the MX78's and the skis litter ally schooled me in what I was doing wrong and the bad habits I had developed skiing the Gotama's. I came to appreciate the traditional camber underfoot, dampness, superior stability and quality of the Kastle's. After a epic day in 2 ft of fresh in Whistler with less than stellar results on the Got's I put em up for sale.
I search reviews and suspected that the Elan Olympus, much like a slightly softer Katana with tip rise might be a good choice. Found some mint used ones in a 183, bit shorter than my usual size which I felt may be a good thing since I found the 190 Kantan's a bit of a handful in trees. The result? an absolutely superior choice for me at least in every ski situation I have encountered in the past month. Much better in pow, more maneuverable, as stable, lighter, much, much better on the groomers and superior quality bases (their flat, and much faster) and top sheets that don't peel and chip. They ski like a traditional ski everywhere you want them to and are a riot in powder. They let me transfer between ski's easier an improve on my skiing.