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Demoed some new Volants yesterday at Loveland. Snow conditions were spring variable with more hard than soft. I tried the Vertex 68 (106/68/97)in its longest length, 165cm. It felt easy to make clean short turns although at first I had a tendency to wash the tails somewhat. They were stable in big turns at higher speeds, even on rough, hard snow with ruts and bumps frozen into it. For comparison, my every day ski is the 2000 - 2001 Machette G in 183 cm. I was impressed with the Vertex's performance in this short a length. I don't know if the Vertex will still be marketed as a women specific ski - seems to me to be a good all mountain ski for anyone in its weight range.

Next I tried the Gravity 66 (106/66/98) in a 175cm. This is described as an all mountain carver. It felt somewhat stiffer than the Vertex. It seemed really long to me for my 165 pounds, although short radius turns were no problem. They were quite stable for big turns and fast cruising. For me I wouldn't go longer than 170cm.

Both models feel more energetic than previous Volants. They have flatter tips and are clearly designed to be skied in shorter lengths compared to the previous generation. For those who care, the cosmetics are better looking with sharper colors and a mirror finish on the steel.