We had the opportunity to tour the MarkerVolkl booth at the SIA Show in January with Marketing Director Annie Beck, who told us about some of the new and improved products that will be of interest to EpicSki members for the coming season.
These Are for The Girls
Volkl will be replacing the venerable Attiva line with an entirely new line of front side skis for women called Essenza, with five new models. The new skis have progressive tip rocker added to Volkl's proprietary Bio-Logic technology specifically for women skiers, including:
- An ultra-light wood core that makes the skis more lightweight and more maneuverable, which means less fatigue and stress on the knee joints
- Sidecut geometry that is wider in the tip and narrower in the tail is designed to yield a tighter turn radius on the front of the ski and a longer radius toward the tail. "The narrower tail allows the skier to finish the turn with less effort, reducing the load on the knees," says the company brochure.
- The flex pattern that is stiffer toward the front of the ski and softer toward the tail, for a quick initiation and an easy exit from turns
- The profile of the ski that raises the toe to create a more level, "ergonomic" stance enabling more balanced muscle action between the quads and the hamstrings, which protects the knee joint and prevents fatigue
The progressive tip rocker brings the contact point just in front of the toe piece. "The added ease, smoothness and maneuverability is especially compelling when combined with our adjusted stance, geometry and flex. Turn engagement is gradual yet direct, and the flow from turn to turn is greatly enhanced." (Company brochure)
Volkl's Women's Skis -- the Essenzas are on the left:
All are sold as system skis with coordinating bindings (except the entry level model) and have waists ranging from 73mm to 79mm and lengths from 141 to 166 cm. The Allura with a 75mm waist is perfection as a frontside daily driver while the Charisma (79mm waist) is more of an all-mountain performer. Annie Beck said that when she demoed the skis, she had recently given birth and was terribly out of shape, but both skis were so easy-going that she never felt the least bit disadvantaged for the time she'd been off skis. "That experience convinced me of the benefits of having rocker on a pair of skis," she said.
Here's a video interview of Annie Beck by Trekchick from the SIA Show:
VWerks Mach Schnell!
These ultra-high-end skis in two models, the RTM (129-84-111) and the Code (122-76-104), are lightweight over-achievers on frontside groomers. They have a Metal-Tex Hybrid construction with titanal, aramid, and carbon fibers and an ultra-light wood core. The integrated binding interface with the ski is "created to deliver the ultimate power transmission and light weight." (From the Company brochure.)
V-Werks and the Essenza line of women's skis both use the Bio-Logik extra light sensor wood core made of Paulownia and Poplar woods. The skis are lighter because of lighter system binding weight due to lighter components and innovative interfaces between binding and ski.
"For 2012/2013 Volkl has placed considerable emphasis of engineering and technology that make equipment light are and more responsive, while also improving their strength and resilience. Both the ski chassis and the binding system have been adapted in models throughout the line." (Company brochure.)
The VWerks ski won the 2012 ISPO Award for On-Piste Skis for innovation, design, and performance. According to award information, the skis weigh approximately 5.7 kg at 176 cm, have an XTD Transmission Sidewall construction with hollow carbon shells (hollow tech), Full Rocker construction, iPT Wideride xtraLIGHT binding and are made in Germany.
Other news from the unisex side:
- The popular Kuro big mountain ski now has a strip of metal on each side for torsional rigidity.
- The Shiro was the hottest-selling powder ski last year.
- Kendo has added tip rocker.
- The Kink and Step park'n'pipe models have a new directional design with the tip wider than the tail.
Kids and Rocker = Better Success!
Volkl's Garmisch factory did a blind test of different prototypes of junior skis -- including full rocker, tip rocker, and traditional camber -- and found that tip rocker was the most beneficial design for teaching juniors 3 years and up to ski, increasing the probability that they will take to skiing for life.