180 cm long, 121-96-110 tip-waist-tail; 6 lbs 14 oz; waxless pattern, mounted with Dynafit Speed Radicals; skied with Dynafit TLT5 boot w/o tongue or booster strap; 1st day today.
I'm on ski patrol a large non-profit ski trails system with 4 huts, 50 miles of trail, and 20 miles groomed (basic grooming with snow cats or snowmobiles, not set ski tracks). Snow conditions are maritime and quite variable; grooming is variable too--all by amateur volunteers; the trail is open to skiers, snowshoers, and hikers, the latter two are supposed to keep to the edge of the groomed and do so in the presence of ski patrol. So patrolling can be on very nice groomed snow, very frozen snowshoe, skis, and boot tracks, or in untouched snow ranging from a foot or more of nice powder to mush to breakable crust.
Skiers on the system use anything from skate skis to track skis to telemark gear to heavyweight AT gear with frame bindings to Alpine gear and snowboards backpacked/snowshoed in. I have used Madshus Voss and Epoch, Fischer Outtabounds, Salomon X-bound 88s, Karhu Guides, and in very icy conditions Volkl Snowwolfs with AT bindings and Dynafit 7-Summits with Dynafit bindings. The karhu Guides were my favorites--never needed skins (the other waxless skis did), turned well, and handled the rougher snow o.k. But they were long 190+ and not so good in downhill in deep snows. So based on the recommendation of a fellow patroller I bought the Voile Vector BC.
Today the trails were well groomed and a storm was coming in that was going to drench them in rain so I thought I better give these skis a test. the freshly groomed snow had a thin ice crust on top at the lower elevation; at higher elevation new wet snow of 1 inch was also crusty.
1. The skis climbed very well; I didn't need skins on even some of the very steep hills or even off the groomed.
2. Despite the width and the long waxless pattern a reasonable kick-and-glide was possible even uphill.
3. The waxless pattern made for slow skiing downhill on very gentle slopes, a little buzzing on more moderate slopes, but was not noticeable on the steep slopes.
4. The skis turned easily into short radius turns on steep downhills on narrow cat tracks and were pretty stable doing figure 11s at speed.
5. With Dynafit binding free pivot and the lightweight boots the weight of the skis wasn't even noticeable.
I've found lightweight AT boots and bindings to be far superior over NNN, NNN-BC, 3-pin, and 3-pin cable set ups except the NNNs are better on professionally groomed trails with set skin tracks and mild-moderate terrain. Even moderately steep downhills on groomed trails can be skied without locking the heels and in problem snow or for high speed skiing the locked heels give a signficant advantage.
Off-piste the snow was lousy today with a trap crust so I'll have to wait to try these in some off-trail turns off the ridges and in the glades.