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post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ski Make:Volkl
Ski Model:V-Explosive
Ski Length: 165
Snow Conditions Used In: hardpack, cut up powder, glades, bumps
Number of Days Used: 1
Your Ability: 8-9
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: a lot
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 40+
Other Skis You Like: Volkl G3
Your Height/Weight: 5'11" 235
Comments: not a ski that you want to use if you want a ski that does everything. However, this ski rocks in the powder and the trees. East coast tree skiers your ride has arrived. Its so smooth even in the tightest spots. At 165 cm long with a 95 cm waist it'll float in anything and its suprisingly quick for a wide waisted ski. I'm sure if you went longer it wouldn't be as quick. It has the Volkl trademark edgehold on hardpack, but thats not its strongpoint. Does surprisingly well in the bumps for a big ski, but again that could simply be due to the shorter length. One drawback to the ski is it is SO loud when its on hardpack the metalic clanking is quite obnoxious

[ April 27, 2003, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Spongebob Squarepants ]
post #2 of 29
Where and when did you ski this? Is it a demo, or do you own one. I am 6' 190 lbs and thinking about a 173 or a 165 as a woods ski for Stowe.
post #3 of 29

I ski the explosive at 180, and do not find it at all big in tight woods
I match your physical description to the letter.

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I just got them this week Today was my first day out on them. I got the 165 because I usually ski the trees at Whiteface and there isn't a whole lot of space between the trees. It really is a fantastic ski but its not all that versitile : oh well [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

[ January 26, 2003, 06:54 PM: Message edited by: laseranimal ]
post #5 of 29
They're 165's, no wonder they aren't versatile. I think the 180s would probably be perfect for you (given your height and weight), but I'm assuming you got a great deal on the 165s, since no one in the right mind would buy them at that length. If you didn't like the xplosives in a 165 don't embarass yourself by strapping on a pair of "real" skis. Do yourself a favor, and never ski anything shorter than a 170 again, unless you want to be laughed at by your fellow east coast gapers. On the plus side, you would become buddies with the local fruit booters who would think you were one of them!

[ March 10, 2003, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: J$ ]
post #6 of 29
I'm sure if you went longer it wouldn't be as quick.
Think hard about what you just said, just think. Go back to your 154 Elan SCXs, or take up skiboarding. You would never have to worry about control again. I bet those things are sick in the trees!

[ March 10, 2003, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: J$ ]
post #7 of 29
I concur J$. I'm 5'7", 175 and I ride the 190. I find it to be a truly versatile ski. In the Pow, it's just simply majestic and when you come across variable snow, it'll take care of you. You can carve a groomer turn on your return from the Pow stash, it just takes patience and a much straighter line.

This ski requires balance and finding the sweet spot will take some time, but once you find it, it's all good.

I couldn't imagine riding around in a 165. I think you're better off calling them snoblades as opposed to a ski. It's an insult.

"My eyes, the goggles do nothing..."

- Radioactive Man (The Simpsons)
post #8 of 29
I've owned a pr of 190 Explosivs for the past 4 years, and from the moment I first skied on them, I've been saying the exact same complementary things about them that you guys are saying. In particular, if you have any reasonable ammt of room in which to turn, they are surprisingly easy to get around, and extremely versatile.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of this season, when Volkl owed me a new pair of skis because of a bad mounting, I asked for a pr of 165 Explosivs thinking that they would be a great specialty ski for eastern trees. I had no concerns whatsoever about 165's appearing too wimpy in the lift line -- I'd just take the person (likely on 205's from 1980) into the brush and leave them in the dust.

Unfortunately, I never even got to try the 165's even once this season because my 10 y.o. daughter fell in love with them during the big 24-30" dump we had, and never gave them back to me (see full story in old thread ). So, maybe by definition 165's really are girly skis ... an insult to manly men ... but to be honest, I'm not worried in the least. I'm still on my 190's most of the time, and still looking forward to trying the 165's in the trees next season.

Tom / PM
post #9 of 29
I own both of the skis you mentioned, and in the exact lengths you mentioned.

Both the Explosivs and g4's are very versatile skis. Their performance envelopes are broad and overlap, but are significantly offset from each other.

The Explosivs are slightly softer and considerably wider than the g4's, and so, do better in deep, really soft snow. In addition, because of their extra float, even big guys like me can do low-energy, slow speed snowboard-like pivoting turns on top of the snow in boot-sucking dense spring mush, oatmeal, etc., so the Explosivs are great even when most people would not expect that the extra float of the Explosivs would improve the ride. Of course, they can go fast on top of this stuff as well.

The g4's are heavy, a bit stiffer, have a less round flex pattern, and have less float. I'm 210 lbs and find them more suited to a blast-through-it, big GS arcs style. If you are significantly lighter, even with the reduced float of the g4's, you probably will also be able to ride on top of spring mush, and thus, to some extent, have the best of both worlds. OTOH, the high swing weight and stiffness of the 188 g4's never goes away, so they are a bear in the bumps (compared to more appropriate skis). Apparently, the 178 g4's are considerably softer than the 188's, so between this and the shorter length, IMHO, they are probably a better choice for most people than the 188's.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had both skis in 24-30" of ungroomed heavy snow that had become heavily cutup / churned by skier traffic. Both were good skis, but I definitely preferred the Explosivs at the lower speeds I was going with all the people around. If one was going at a good clip (ie, straightlining steep blues), deciding between them probably would come down to a matter of preference.

On a couple of occasions, I've skied my Explosivs in 0 F east coast hardpack, and they slide around just fine. If you keep your edges sharp, you can get an edge and do a hockey stop even on boiler plate, but it takes more effort than on a skinnier ski. OTOH, with their 35m sidecut radius, the Explosivs just aren't made for carving moderate radius turns on packed snow.

The g4's have a ~22m sidecut radius, are easier to handle in hardpack, carve better, take speed on hardpack much better, etc.. IMHO, once you are on them for a few min, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them and some 70mm wide, stiff, 188 GS-ish midfat.

...apples and oranges...


Tom / PM

[ March 21, 2003, 09:19 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #10 of 29
Alright, I've finially put enough days in on this ski to feel that my review would mean something. So here it is:

Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: V-Explosive
Ski Length: 190 (they make other sizes?)
Snow Conditions Used In: Powder, bottomless powder, crud, bumps, hardpack, bumps under powder, ice, gooomers, steeps, cliff bands, playdoh errr, did I miss anything?
Number of Days Used: 15-20
Your Ability: I try to keep up.
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 22
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 50
Other Skis You Like: Volkl G4, Dynastar SkiCross 66, Atomic REX
Your Height/Weight: 5'11" 165lbs.

Comments: So I searced and searched for this ski, talk about a pain in the butt to find. When I did finially get my hands on a set, I was iching to get out on them. This ski rocks! I bought it for my powder ski, and that was going to be all I use it for. The thing about powder is, other people like it too, and powder gets chewed up fairly quickly. So you have to ski it in other conditions too.

First off, this ski dominates in powder! Its a lot stiffer than other powder skis, which I tend to like. Speed is never a problem with this ski, fact is, it turns best and gets more stable the faster you ski it. In powder, the 35 meter turning radius will snap a turn in about 1 meter. Even tighter than a G4. Since its a big ski, it does steal some face shots from you, but when arcing big GS turns in deep powder, your thankful!

This ski in crud is nice as well, unless its really deep crud. I like my G4 a little better in the crud as I can get deep down into the crud and to make a turn. The Explosives width makes it want to stay on top of the crud which can be interesting.

The Explosive is a lot damper than the G4 is, which is really nice. The wide platform loves to huck. I have found myself much more confident with this ski in the cliffs than I have on other skis. This ski lands like a dream. However, since it is a big ski, the swing weight can be a little much at time. Takes some muscle to get it to spin. This ski has helped me lose some (not all) of the nervious feeling that one gets when standing on top of a cliff.

In bumps in can get tossed around, but hey, its not a bump ski! It is kind of fun to skip off the tops of a bump field at speed with it though.

I took it to Jackson with me a the other weekend. Didn't even plan to use it, as I was headed for backcountry skiing. I got a little annoyed with my Atomic REX's due to binding issues and opted to take my Explosives with me into the BC. Now this is a heavy ski, and I have it mounted with alpine binders, so not really a backcountry set up. However, on downhill performance I was glad that I had carried it, even though my shoulders were killing me. I may consider taking the alpine bindings off and putting an AT binding on it for backcoutry.

We then ducked back inbounds and made some runs. Jackson that day had conditions ranging from ice to bottomless glop (not the good stuff). This ski performed on ice much better than I had expected. While the ski in not as torsionally as rigid as my G4, it holds an edge great. When I got further down on the mountain and into the glop, I was impressed that the ski held up where other skis would have disapointed me.

In the trees this ski almost seems to get shorter. Its a very quick ski, not as quick as a midfat, but hey, the thing is 95mm underfoot! I've skied them in glades and tight trees no problem, a good tree ski too if your confident in the trees at speed.

This is the first ski that I have ever felt confident with enough to take it and straightline. This is a lot of fun! Very stable at these speeds. In chutes its length might get a bit much if your in a really steep one and are trying to check speed by turning them into the hill. But this is true with any long ski. I like it in the steeps, kind makes them not seem so steep.

On groomers, you better be no place near other people if you plan to carve. Since the turning radius is so big (35 meters), you gain speed really quick. Like I said, this ski, like other Volkls, loves to haul ass!

A quick not on the edges of these skis. Some of you know that I tend to be pretty hard on ski equipment. I had these in the vices the other day and took a closer look at the bases. First off, the base material can take a hit better than other skis in my quiver. Secondly, the edges are beefier than most skis that I have ever seen. Much more metal than most skis. I've noticed this trend in big mountain skis lately, such as in the Seth Pistol. Good call Volkl.

Volkl has the Explosive in the V-Ski line. You have to look closely to even see the Volkl name on this guys. My understanding from others is that there is no metal sheeting in these babys. This means that the ski would not bend like a Vertigo would, but rather break. I'm not concerned, as this ski is burly. It is also a true sandwich ski, not cap like on a lot of modern skis, I like this. This ski has sold me on other V-Skis.

The ski is a great ski, probably my favorite ski that I have ever spent much time on. Its more versital than a lot of skis, and I use it whenever I get the chance.

Final thought, this is a great ski! I love it, and cherish it, they are my babys. I like mine in the longest length available, 190 cm, but a shorter one with the right person skiing it would be a lot of fun. I'm not sure if I would like it shorter than a 180, but I like long skis as they tend to be more stable at speeds. Sell your fist born for this ski! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #11 of 29

I can't find a single item of your report to contest. (Not that I am looking)
Though I ski the 180 without the contemporary graphics, I will repeat your call of "a great ski".
Someone may suggest that such a "special wide ski" could not serve well once out of the soft and deep, they just has not tried this ski.

PHAT can be good, and the Explosive is a good Phat ski.

post #12 of 29
So how are the V explosivs on the groomed stuff and crud? I wonder if I shoud have gotten a pair of those in 190 instead of my 188 G4. Those G4 are skinny.

post #13 of 29

Tom / PM
post #14 of 29
Originally posted by AltaSkier:
Volkl has the Explosive in the V-Ski line. You have to look closely to even see the Volkl name on this guys.
Hmmm, it's not written big enough on the bases maybe? It takes half the ski there

Great review AltaSkier. Maybe I need a V-Explosiv to complement my G4... Or are these not differentiated enough (meaning I would only take one, likely the V-Explosiv, most of the time)?

post #15 of 29
P-man, now that is hilarious (and amazing)! I did the same thing to my pops for his old Rossi STs. One time out and it was eminent domain.

One question to you all that i haven't found answers via searches ... do you have any insights on the mounting line on these skis? A ski techie told me that the mounting marker is too far back. As such, to consider mounting them a bit forward, approximately 1-2cm.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

post #16 of 29
I mounted mine dead on the mark. I think that they are fine. If you plan to land switch a lot, maybe mount them forward. The marker is mounted like most alpine skis, not twin tips. In my experience, I would mount them dead on again.
post #17 of 29
>...A ski techie told me that the mounting marker is too far back...

Unless you have an older Explosiv, you should mount the bindings according to the mark printed on the ski.

I know what is behind your techie's suggestion:

When Volkl introduced the Explosiv 2 back in 95 (just about the same dimensions as the current model), I believe it was their first truly fat ski. They placed the mounting mark a couple of cm to the rear of chord center, thinking that it would help with tip float. They continued this practice through the Explosiv 3 model (introduced around 97). If I remember the next part of the story correcly, k2 wanted to get into the powder ski market around that time, but didn't have the molds or production capability, so they contracted with Volkl to make a run of skis for them which k2 named "The Big Kahuna". k2 did not follow Volkl's suggestion, and instead put their mounting mark at the normal position (boot toe = chord center).

Based on user experience on both skis, Volkl determined these skis did better (less tip wander) with a normal mounting position, so in subsequent years, they put the mounting mark at the usual position and everybody lived happily everafter [img]smile.gif[/img] .

Tom / PM

PS#1 - Thanks to Seth Massia for first relaying this bit of obscure ski trivia to me.

PS#2 - Don't try to second guess Volkl and do a chord center measurement yourself on modern Explosiv's and not rely on their mark. With the turned up tail, it won't come out correctly. A boot center = measured running surface center will be closer, but there is really no reason to do this, and I would simply rely on their printed mark.

PS#3 - My personal 190's are old, blue, Explosiv 3's. Knowing the above story, I mounted them 2 cm forward of the mounting mark, have been delighted with their performance, and never experimented with any other mounting position. My (ie, my daughter's) 165's are the new Explosiv's with Wizzard graphics. I have demo bindings on them so I can easily adjust the fore-aft position. I set them up for her according to the printed binding mark and she did extremely well at that placement.
post #18 of 29
Tom and Altaskier, thanks for your input and the interesting bit of ski trivia. My skis were mounted 1.5 cm forward (on a 306mm boot) by the techie and after 2 powder days I couldn't help but feel like I'm on my heels and not having enough shovel when I'm amping up the speed. It's really uncomfortable b/c I'm used to being centered over the balls of my feet...

Based upon your comments and my conversation with Volkl, I'm going to remount them (as much as it pains me to drill more holes into a new ski). My other concern was the warranty, but Volkl stated that as long as you're the original owner and the mount patterns are the same (implying one owner and same binding) it will still be warrantied. But of course, they don't plan on it lasting less than 1 year...

Wish I had your input 2 weeks ago! Any personal advice on plugging procedures is appreciated.

Thanks again.
post #19 of 29
I've used dowel rods in the past. The Explosive is a wood core ski, and in the past, I've cut a piece longer than the hole is deep, and used wood glue to fasten it in place. This wood glue will bond well with the core. Once the glue dries, cut the rest of the dowel off level, or slightly below, the top sheet. Then put epoxy over it (water proofing, very important). Easy as cake. Or just let the shop do it when the remount the binders.
post #20 of 29
Has anyone used these for tele, what lengths. I was thinking of 173?
post #21 of 29

You can not tele on the "Exploders".

You will look silly, and people will ask dumb questions.

post #22 of 29
I have seen guys using these as tele's. Mostly using HHs. Go to and do your search there. There's a wealth of information on this ski.

It would be burly, though. I have the 190s and I'm slowly becoming friends with it. With the big POW that's hitting Tahoe this weekend, it'll be good times on these boards...


"My eyes, the goggles do nothing!"
-Radioactive Man, The Simpsons.
post #23 of 29
Umm ... I think Cal was just pulling people's legs a bit.

Tom / PM

[ April 03, 2003, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #24 of 29
Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: 02-03 Explosive (Wizard Graphic) mounted with Salomon 912 Ti's
Ski Length: 180-cm
Snow Conditions Used In: Spring Corn, Frozen Crud, Groomed
Number of Days Used: 2
Your Ability: Decent Skier
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 25-years
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 30-40, but still not enough
Other Skis You Like: K2 Seth Pistol, Atomic R:EX, Just about any Volkl
Your Height/Weight: 5’8”/180 lbs.
Comments: Okay…So I bought these back in December 2003 and was waiting on Salomon to warranty a set of bindings before mounting. It was taking so long that I even posted the skis for sale, as I thought that I might not get to put them to good use this year. Boy, did I almost make a big mistake. Fortunately, they didn’t sell and I decided to mount them up and ski them a couple of days at Mammoth, which typically has some of the best spring skiing in the US.

Frankly, if you like to ski crud, these absolutely rip! They destroy anything in their path…crust, crud, corn…you name it. They were surprisingly easy to ski, even in the soft bumps. They were nowhere as difficult to turn as I would have thought. These absolutely have no speed limit, especially in softer conditions, as the lack of sidecut (as compared to skis like the Seth Pistol) makes them go where the pilot directs. The stiffness of the ski turns out to be much more of a benefit than a liability, as they do not get defleted by terrain or variable snow. They are definitely as easy to ski as my Seth Pistols, but much more solid in variable conditions. Also, they were very manageable on the groomed, where they carved surprisingly well…although that is not there intended use.

I suppose that I'll end my rambling now. In summary, I love the Explosive and can hardly wait for the opportunity to get them in real pow-pow. Hopefully I won't have to wait for the 2004-05 season for that to happen.
post #25 of 29
I will add my 2 cents, whatever that is worth. I bought the 04 Explosives in a 173. I'm 5'8, 160 and I had a hell of a time with this ski. Sure, i could "surf" it, but man it beat me up when it came to carving it. I just could not flex the ski well. It also threw me in the backseat much more than I like, and I struggled to get comfortable on them. Granted I've got it mounted with Freerides which have a zero ramp angle (I'm trying shims in my boots next). I talked to PhysicsMan about this quite a bit - we decided that the stiffness of the explosive lends to heavier weight folks much more than us lighter folks. So you bigger folks go for it! I'm still struggling with it... : and not sure if I'm hanging onto them. Lighter folks, beware unless you've got ultra powerful legs.
post #26 of 29
OR, maybe i'm a puss and should be on the 165!!!!
post #27 of 29
This ski has been reviewed enough here, so I'll keep it short. I think the reviews are pretty much spot on -the ski rocks and is very versatile, no speed limit, a little noisy, etc. As a light skier though at 145 lbs I don't find it too stiff like peter15. I've got 03/04 173's and am happy I finally found a "powder" ski that is stiff enough to rip up firmer irregular snow at gs speeds. At sugarbush yesterday (slush & bumps), I switched from my 5 stars in the morning and was ready to throw them away after fetching the Explosiv's. I didn't find a speed limit even in the late afternoon sun. Bumps were a little more work, but they performed surprisingly well. Get a pair!

-I also skied some Stokli DP's last year (another stiff powder ski), in both bottomless powder and mixed conditions. On the harder stuff, the Explosiv takes the cake -much more versatile.
post #28 of 29
Used the Explosive (model with Merlin-like guy on it) for a big powder day this year. I weigh 175 lbs and am 6'1" tall. The ski was 173 with a rental binding.

This ski is incredible adept at bashing big crud and powder that has been skied for a day or two. Of course it floats too. It is a bit difficult to tame on a hardpack groomer, but on softpack it is fine. I found it to be able to ski powdery bumps just fine and the sweet spot was surprisingly large. An amazing ski over tough terrain and snow.
post #29 of 29
Posted in detail in the other side of this forum in "Ski Gear Discussion"
but to bump this: Volkl Explosiv is an amazing ski!!

6' 2" 185 lbs (in birthday suit)
skiing ~35 years

I demo'd Seth Pistol, Apache Chief, Gotama, Pocket Rocket, Dynastar 8000, Explosiv and got the Explosiv in a 180cm.
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