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]