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Whats the deal with Volant Skis?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the Seinfeld title. :)

 

 

http://www.volantski.com/season1516/en/

 

I've been looking, haven't been able to find much information about these skis. Or the company for the most part. 

 

The price ranges from 1300 (with bindings) to 2500 (with bindings). The lower end pricing isn't too crazy, but I'm not sure I'd pay 2500 for skis without a good reason.

I know they are owned/made by Atomic now..

 

So what are the general opinions on these skis?

 

What makes them cost so much? Are they any good? Has anybody ever ridden their new stuff?

 

They seem to only have dealers in European countries, I'm tempted to check them out the next time I go to Germany. Right now I think they are just nicer Atomics with a big price premium to make them fancy. I wouldn't mind getting a pair later on if they are actually decently innovative like their old stuff. Gotta admit, I do like the way they look. 

 

 

What do you guys think? 

post #2 of 12

They always used to come with a bogner one piece.

 

And a voucher for some heli operation in Kanuckta land.  (At least it seemed that way)

 

Perhaps with  new owners,  the "perks" have been dropped. ;-)

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

They always used to come with a bogner one piece.

 

And a voucher for some heli operation in Kanuckta land.  (At least it seemed that way)

 

Perhaps with  new owners,  the "perks" have been dropped. ;-)


Hey if they give a free one piece and a heli ride... And the skis are decent.. Well worth the money...

 

Lets assume they don't, because I don't see anything about that on their website. I was bummed to learn that you pretty much can't buy them in the US... Unless you want to get them from somebody off ebay. 

post #4 of 12

Well,  They seem to have retained their exclusivity!  ;-)

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel47 View Post

Sorry for the Seinfeld title. smile.gif


http://www.volantski.com/season1516/en/

I've been looking, haven't been able to find much information about these skis. Or the company for the most part. 

...

What makes them cost so much? Are they any good? Has anybody ever ridden their new stuff?

...

They were one of the "pioneers" of the cap ski. Their skis were / are still (?) unique for their full metal cap construction. They cost so much because (a) material and construction process and (b) because they market themselves as a niche ski.

About 20-25 years ago when they came on the scene, their skis were all over - which is the only reason I remember the name, and thought, "WFT happened to them?" Just looking on the epic forums about Volant, it appears they merged with Atomic. Not sure if any of Volant's cap tech is in Atomic skis - cap construction is not as hyped as it used to be and tech has moved on. But supposedly the metal cap has dampening, torsional, and rigidity properties that surpassed what conventional ski construction could offer back in the mid 90's. I vaguely remember demo'ing a pair back then and thinking they were impressive, but I also seem to remember someone steering me away from them because when the metal cap failed, their skis didn't just lose camber and go soft like other skis back then, but pretty much imploded.

As far at them being outrageously priced... I think when they started out, they were in line with what people were paying for skis generally. The current jump between the market price line of low-to-high end skis I think has more to do with the way manufacturers have consolidated and reduced manufacturing costs, so that most major ski brands are priced A LOT less (particularly inflation adjusted) for what skis used to cost in say 1990, but Volant hasn't been able to do the same. Wikipedia blamed their initial bankruptcy on the fall of the Iron Curtain which opened up the cheap Eastern European labor force to other ski manufacturers. It can only be more-so today with skis being made in China.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeangel View Post


They were one of the "pioneers" of the cap ski. Their skis were / are still (?) unique for their full metal cap construction. They cost so much because (a) material and construction process and (b) because they market themselves as a niche ski.

About 20-25 years ago when they came on the scene, their skis were all over - which is the only reason I remember the name, and thought, "WFT happened to them?" Just looking on the epic forums about Volant, it appears they merged with Atomic. Not sure if any of Volant's cap tech is in Atomic skis - cap construction is not as hyped as it used to be and tech has moved on. But supposedly the metal cap has dampening, torsional, and rigidity properties that surpassed what conventional ski construction could offer back in the mid 90's. I vaguely remember demo'ing a pair back then and thinking they were impressive, but I also seem to remember someone steering me away from them because when the metal cap failed, their skis didn't just lose camber and go soft like other skis back then, but pretty much imploded.

As far at them being outrageously priced... I think when they started out, they were in line with what people were paying for skis generally. The current jump between the market price line of low-to-high end skis I think has more to do with the way manufacturers have consolidated and reduced manufacturing costs, so that most major ski brands are priced A LOT less (particularly inflation adjusted) for what skis used to cost in say 1990, but Volant hasn't been able to do the same. Wikipedia blamed their initial bankruptcy on the fall of the Iron Curtain which opened up the cheap Eastern European labor force to other ski manufacturers. It can only be more-so today with skis being made in China.

 

Nice insight into the company.

 

I wonder if they are still relevant in todays age. I'm really debating whether I want to pick one up when I go to Europe next year....

 

Full Metal cap... Hmm, interesting stuff. They do make for cool looking skis for sure. 

post #7 of 12
I thought they were just a defunct brand that Atomic had picked up because they figured they could still sell them to Russians at a big premium.

(Yeah of course I know about Shane & the Machetes and the Spatulas but unfortunately that's the past.)
post #8 of 12

Amer Sports, the Finnish owner of Atomic & Salomon, bought the brand but later retired it.

http://www.amersports.com/brands

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

I thought they were just a defunct brand that Atomic had picked up because they figured they could still sell them to Russians at a big premium.

(Yeah of course I know about Shane & the Machetes and the Spatulas but unfortunately that's the past.)

Atomic probably also got their IP and tooling.

Their current skis are still employing a metal cap construction, but from the paint job seems most of their line looks aesthetically uninspired and visually unremarkable in terms of the design.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeangel View Post
 
 
Atomic probably also got their IP and tooling.

Their current skis are still employing a metal cap construction, but from the paint job seems most of their line looks aesthetically uninspired and visually unremarkable in terms of the design.

 

They are sidewall skis.   The 'metal cap' is a marketing cap and has been since Atomic took over.      If you squint really, really really hard the Pure Black mimicks an old Sin - except with significantly more sidecut and with rocker so that squint better get the observer close to blind.     We may as well say it - the current skis have nothing to do with the Colorado skis except for the name on them.

 

 

We know that Goode got the tooling. 

 

 

Aesthetically speaking, the old Volants were significantly less remarkable, so there's really no patch on Atomic there. 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

Amer Sports, the Finnish owner of Atomic & Salomon, bought the brand but later retired it.

http://www.amersports.com/brands


I don't think you are correct about it being retired... They have a 2016 Catalog on their website: http://www.volantski.com/season1516/download/Volant_catalogue_1516_EN_FR_low.pdf

 

 

Keep in mind they only sell their skis in European countries only now. 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post


They are sidewall skis.   The 'metal cap' is a marketing cap and has been since Atomic took over.      If you squint really, really really hard the Pure Black mimicks an old Sin - except with significantly more sidecut and with rocker so that squint better get the observer close to blind.     We may as well say it - the current skis have nothing to do with the Colorado skis except for the name on them.

Their site says metal cap sandwich construction, although in the pics they look like sidewall skis.
Quote:
We know that Goode got the tooling. 


I did not know that. Then I guess my little history lesson was totally misplaced.

I wonder if Goode converted that tooling to produce their carbon cap ski? Whatever they are doing over at Goode their skis are falling within a very narrow price band, and their description of their construction process sounds quite labor intensive. Would have been cool if they could have gotten the Volant name also but I guess they had enough name recognition for their poles. Honestly I didn't even know they made skis until now though.
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