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'08 Volkl Gotama... Stiffer..

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,
Just saw the new '08 Volkl Gotama's today and they are 15-20% stiffer than last years skis. This are even more fun than the '07 model which was an awesome backside ski, but was lacking on the frontside. With the stiffer body the ski was a blast on the firm conditions that we get in the East and I was very suprised at how stable the ski is even at high speed on groomers. Finnaly a real Gotama for the people that want some beef in a ski.

'08 Volkl Gotama Skis
http://www.untracked.com/p1932-08_vo...tama_skis.html
post #2 of 29
For some this is great, for other's it sucks. Stiffening them up makes them better for the wide open spaces but tougher to ski for where most of us find our powder. I loved the older Gotamas because they were so easy to finesse through the trees.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
For some this is great, for other's it sucks. Stiffening them up makes them better for the wide open spaces but tougher to ski for where most of us find our powder. I loved the older Gotamas because they were so easy to finesse through the trees.
Absolutely correct. In fact, I'd venture to say that this may do more harm than good (if true). I say (if true) because I asked that specific question in Vegas while ordering about 25 pr of the '08's for delivery now. I was specifically told that there was no change. In fact, I was specifically told that given the products surrounding the Gotama, they saw no reason at all to change it.

However, that's what I wanted to hear, so I'm sorta guessing that might have influenced what I was told........:

I have asked for a clarification.

SJ
post #4 of 29
Clarification received.................

The '08 is exactly the same as the current '06-'07 model. It is however stiffer than the previous ('05-'06) version.

This is great news to me.

SJ
post #5 of 29
FesterSkis doesn't show up much around here, but has been a reliable source of information on new releases. I think he works at Al's, so I would guess his approximation of increased stiffness is based on hand on the skis flex test...and then again maybe he'll pop back in and explain it himself.

Jim, are you going to demo any of those? (I mean assuming we get some snow and all )
post #6 of 29
I was thinkin' about putting a demo binding on a pair for myself. (not that I need them of course, just in the interest of science)............:

My experiences in having consumer demos in this type of ski has not been exactly pleasant (rental car syndrome I guess).

I will have a little boutique of '08 demos from Atomic, Dynastar, Volkl and Roxy that I will be featuring on the website sometime later this spring. Feedback will be welcome but the price will be a review for our boutique collection (and here too of course if you chose to). There may be few other things that I can get ones or twos of. I'm testing four days next week, so I'll know more then.

SJ
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
I'm testing four days next week, so I'll know more then.

SJ
Good lord you have a terrible job! :
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,
When I originally wrote the description of the '08 Gotama it was just like Sierra Jim said unchanged for the '08 season because I too was told that the ski was going to be the same when I ordered.

We received our first 40 pairs of '08 Gotama's this week and I have the luxury of being owed a pair and mounted them up and did some good ole East Coast hard pack skiing yesterday and last night. I do not have a lot of time to spend in chat rooms as I answer a lot of emails and phone calls on a daily basis and am constantly working on getting more product on the site and thus do not get to spend as much time as I would like on Epic. I have been in the Industry for many years and those of you who know me know that I am a straight shooter and tell it how it is. I do however like to inform people when they can get the new product and how it performed. I have been on every version of the Gotama and although having the super soft flex of the old Gotama was nice, it did lack some ummmf. The same ummmfff that made the Exploiv such a popular ski and the reason Volkl realized they needed to make the new '08 Mantra wider and '07 Mantra stiffer.

Although the new Gotama is stiffer it is just as nimble as the old, just more versatile when you are on firm snow or heavy snow. The core is all new with the Power/Tough Box construction which uses a dual layer wood core, with the bottom half of the core utalizing a lighter wood. This still gives the ski a nice smooth, even, flex. There is also extra fiberglass wraps in the midbody of the ski that provides resistance to the binding pulling out. The ski is at least 15% stiffer in the midbody, but after riding it probably only about 10% stiffer in the tip and tail. This will still give those of you who ski deep snow the great flotation you want and those of us who have to ski groomers sometime better edge hold and more ability to plow through crud.

Cirquerider I appreciate your comments. I have lived in many parts of the country including Mammoth so I know the snow that typically you guys get out there. After skiing the new Gotama I feel that it is a good thing. I am a pretty small at 5'6" and 175lbs. The 183cm was the length I ended up getting since it is actually more like a 179cm. The ski did not deflect like the my '07 Gotama's did. I do like my older ones if I am in the bumps as they just absorb everything that comes it way.

I have got to try out almost every important ski for 2008 and in my opinion there is not much need for skis under 90mm's in the waist even if those that just ski on the East Coast.

'08 Volkl Gotama
http://www.untracked.com/p1932-08_vo...tama_skis.html

Sierra Jim,
I would suggest that you go back and get clarification again. We have 35 pairs left in stock and I can tell you that the ski is not the same and you will see that when you get your's in. As much as I like my rep's, you know they are many times the last to actually find out when something has been changed. From a selling stand point I felt they should have left the ski alone as it sold very quickly for me, but I feel with the increased stiffness under foot and after skiing them last night the ski is still very smooth and the tip and tail were not as stiff as they felt in the shop, but trust me when I say, they are stiffer all the way through the ski. I have been skiing, selling, and buying skis for many years and I actually have a degree in Ski Industry Business so you can be assured the information (IS True).

I hope that helps explain it.

Thanks,
Adam
post #9 of 29
FesterSkis, thanks for your review. I'm going to post a copy of your post in the review section since we don't have any first-hand information on the 08 Gotama.


The new review thread can be found at this link
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
No Problem, Glad I could be of some help.
post #11 of 29
The clarification that came to me came from my sales rep via the product manager. Then again...............maybe they are both wrong.............:

SJ
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Don't forget that they have a new product manager. I also had to inform them that their mounting points were wrong for last years Sumo, and this years Kaya, Gotama, and Mantra's. Every ski had to be measured as they had marked them incorrectly and they still continue to think that there is not an issue.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FesterSkis View Post
Don't forget that they have a new product manager. I also had to inform them that their mounting points were wrong for last years Sumo, and this years Kaya, Gotama, and Mantra's. Every ski had to be measured as they had marked them incorrectly and they still continue to think that there is not an issue.
Could you please elaborate? How do you determine the correct mounting point?

thanks.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
The mounting point on almost 99% of their freeride skis had an incorrect mid sole mark. If you measured from the tail to where the midpoint mark is supposed to be according to Volkl specs of the ski, the mark on the ski was almost wrong on at least one of the marks and sometimes on all four if you made note that on some of their freeride skis the midsole mark was on both sides of the ski.

The Kaya is actually 4cm's ahead of center if you mount it according to their mounting points on the side of the ski. If you mounted according to their sidewall specs for the kaya and mounted it on the Frerride setting you are only 3cm's back from center/freestyle.

Volkl's answer was that they really had no answer as to why that is how the ski was marked. They agreed that it made no sense to mount a ski ahead of center when it is supposed to be the center mark.

Hopefully most shops measured the ski instead of going off of what the Volkl Mark says. It is much more accurate and this is even more true for the new Gotama in that there are no midsole marks on the side. On the topsheet it says boot x center and further ahead it say true x center. The only marks are the x in the middle of the names. I think they did this so you had to measure the correct mounting point.
post #15 of 29
Cool info, guys. I'm too a bit mixed on how a stiffening of the Got's will be received by the wider populous of skiers. With the flex on the softer side coupled with actual ability to carve on the frontside, the Gotama is a "special" ski for something that wide and capable in deep snow.

When I lived in CA and skied mainly Mammoth and Tahoe, my 05 183 Got's were my favorite skis and I would argue for nothing to change. Now that I have been in the PNW (Seattle) for the past two seasons, my option of the Got's has changed a bit as the manky, Cascade concrete (thicker than Sierra cement IMO) that can frequently encountered makes me wish for a stiffer Gotama. I'd love to get on a pair of '08's since my '05 183's don't see much action these days.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
Cool info, guys. I'm too a bit mixed on how a stiffening of the Got's will be received by the wider populous of skiers. With the flex on the softer side coupled with actual ability to carve on the frontside, the Gotama is a "special" ski for something that wide and capable in deep snow.

When I lived in CA and skied mainly Mammoth and Tahoe, my 05 183 Got's were my favorite skis and I would argue for nothing to change. Now that I have been in the PNW (Seattle) for the past two seasons, my option of the Got's has changed a bit as the manky, Cascade concrete (thicker than Sierra cement IMO) that can frequently encountered makes me wish for a stiffer Gotama. I'd love to get on a pair of '08's since my '05 183's don't see much action these days.
I thought the goats were going up for sale
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
Cool info, guys. I'm too a bit mixed on how a stiffening of the Got's will be received by the wider populous of skiers. With the flex on the softer side coupled with actual ability to carve on the frontside, the Gotama is a "special" ski for something that wide and capable in deep snow.

When I lived in CA and skied mainly Mammoth and Tahoe, my 05 183 Got's were my favorite skis and I would argue for nothing to change. Now that I have been in the PNW (Seattle) for the past two seasons, my option of the Got's has changed a bit as the manky, Cascade concrete (thicker than Sierra cement IMO) that can frequently encountered makes me wish for a stiffer Gotama. I'd love to get on a pair of '08's since my '05 183's don't see much action these days.

The '06-'07 (this years ski) Goat is about 20% stiffer than the one you have. The '07-'08 will either be the same as this years, or possibly even stiffer. I'm still skeptical about that one but it could be true I guess. One thing is sure, two consecutive incremental inceases would make the ski somewhere around 35%-40% stiffer than it was just two years ago.

I dunno.....................

SJ
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
I only took 2 years of advanced physics, but from what I have learned when you add an extra layer of fiberglass to wood it is going to cause the ski to be stiffer by nature wether they ment to or not. The tip is only slightly stiffer and I think that is just due to the extra fiberglass underfoot that makes the tip seem slightly stiffer.

The core is all new with the Power/Tough Box construction which uses a dual layer wood core, with the bottom half of the core utalizing a lighter wood. This still gives the ski a nice smooth, even, flex. There is also extra fiberglass wraps in the midbody of the ski that provides resistance to the binding pulling out. The ski is at least 15% stiffer in the midbody, but after riding it probably only about 10% stiffer in the tip and tail.
post #19 of 29
I'm not debating how they might have made the ski stiffer. I'm not really debating whether they actually did so or not. Only pointing out that internally (at least as of yesterday) they say that they didn't.

So......pertinent to the comparison of the '05-'06, the current ski is 15%-20% stiffer. Is the new '07-'08 stiffer yet than current?? Again, I don't know. You say yes, Volkl sources as of yesterday say no. It is possible that it happened and they don't know it. Certainly a dual core with a softer bottom layer will require a different glass layup to compensate for the softer wood. The extra glass in the midfoot area will have a minimal effect on the overall flex of the ski since with a typical rigid binding mount, the center of the ski flexes relatively little anyway. Nevertheless, it is possible that they missed on their engineering and didn't bother to tell the sales and technical staff.

SJ
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Has anyone had a chance to flex the ski? If so what are your thoughts on the matter. So far it seems like people are giving a lot of positive reaction after they ski them.
post #21 of 29
FWIW.......................

Skied them yesterday at the Mammoth trade fair and they felt the same to me. Response from other skiers was positive, but then it always is as this ski is a real crowd pleaser within it's category. I had 30 pairs waiting in the store today and they feel the same to me when hand flexing them (that of course is an inexact science at best)

I had a quick talk with the Volkl PM at Mammoth about magazine test positioning. In the course of the conversation, I asked the question, and he said no changes.

MHO........................no changes.....................YHOMV.

SJ
post #22 of 29
As far as the mounting position I found on my 08 Gotama that the rear mark was right on the numbers on the mounting chart from Volkl. My rear mark was 768mm from the tail on the 183cm. The forward mark was on the center of the ski at the Pipe & park position. Are there other marks on your skis that were not on mine?
post #23 of 29
I just came off a week of back to backing the 04-05 Gotamas (my own) against the '08 Gotamas at Powder Mountain in Utah (both 183's). The '08 is IMHO a dillution of the original concept. It is noticeably stiffer and therefore does handle groomers a bit better. But for an accomplished skier, it's not that dramatic a change.

On the otherhand, taking them into the trees in the Powder Mountain back country revealed just how big a difference that stiffness makes. It's dramatic for me at 176 lbs. They are very much slower to respond to quick flicking actions. Basically they felt quite a bit heavier or like they were sitting deeper in the snow (not actually deeper, just felt that way).

I skied identical lines over three days on both and I can't say that I'm pleased with the change. I have Gotamas for one reason... skiing knee deep powder (or deeper) in trees (and they do pretty well in bumps coverd with 6 inches of fresh). I've got other skis for groomers and still others for climbing with skins. The Gotama orginally struck me as the perfect niche ski for trees and deep powder. Now, I'm not sure what it's really aimed at. Perhaps people who like to look like they ski trees, powder & park when they actually spend all their time on groomers?

One other item based on nothing besides a comment one of the guys I was skiing with made: "You seem to have more bark burn on your jacket this morning than yesterday... did you spend most of the morning on the '08's?" This was completely unsolicited and indeed, I had been on the '08's most of the morning and for some reason the trees seemed much closer together than the day before. This made me think about manueverability of the '05 vs. the 08's. Certainly not conclusive evidence, but perhaps could be interpreted as external confirmation of what I thought was actually going on.
post #24 of 29
When Volkl made the move from the softer flex in '05 to the current flex, they did so in order to improve the overall utility. Realizing that the Karma for various reasons made a more useful park/all mountain crossover than the Gotama anyway, the goal was to provide more model differentiation. This was IMO a good move as that generation of Gotama did not sell as well as the current iterations.

SJ
post #25 of 29
I don't know anything about the Flex but that new Gotama sure is Pruddy........ gona go out and get me a Elvis Presley jumpsuit to match my new Gold skis !
post #26 of 29
[quote=3at32off;657060]

On the otherhand, taking them into the trees in the Powder Mountain back country revealed just how big a difference that stiffness makes. It's dramatic for me at 176 lbs. They are very much slower to respond to quick flicking actions. Basically they felt quite a bit heavier or like they were sitting deeper in the snow (not actually deeper, just felt that way).

quote]

This is exactly as I feared. I have the older ('04?) black buddas in a 183. LOVE it in tight/deep trees (pretty much japan). I am now in the market for a bigger board, was thinking 190 gotama. But if it's significantly stiffer, might as well get the katana in a 190. both are apparently stiff this year. I see little reason for a stiff gotama when you can get the same groomer qualities in an even wider ski. And if one owns a quick turning tree fattie, like me, the katana takes my vote as an appropriate compliment.

Both are completely different skis designed for different hills, but it seems that making both the katana and gotama stiff mildly blends them into similar niches.

construction comparison? did I hear the katana has metal? Not the gotama?
post #27 of 29
You might be reading this dialog incorrectly. The evidence (one opinion notwithstanding) supports that the '07-'08 Gotama is the same as the '06-'07. While this ski IS stiffer than the older '04-'05 version, it is not a particularly stiff ski and it is quite a bit softer than the Katana.

So, if you want a stiff, camberless ski in a 190, then the Katana makes some sense for your next trips to Alaska. OTH if you just want a ski that is somewhat stiffer than the ski you already have, the Gotama makes sense.

SJ
post #28 of 29
the katana being "quite a bit" stiffer than the gotama is something I needed to hear. Cheers for that. I guess I was/am surprised they made the Katana so stiff. But if they want to take the Squad customers, then let the race continue. Which makes it a great compliment to the gotama than as well. Sounds like they're on a good track.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
SJ call Volkl again, don't bother with the rep, just contact Volkl directly. You may get a different answer than you got the first time. 3 things are different from last year. I am not trying to argue here, I just want the customers to have the most accurate information that they can have. The reps here just learned of the differences in the skis this week.

1. Wood lay up is different from '06/'07 to the new '07/'08
2. Fiberglass Lay up over binding area
3. New Metal ancors in the Gotama and Mantra and used in the new Katana

The Katana is stiffer than the '08 Gotama but the '08 Gotama is stiffer than that of the '07 Gotama.

'08 Gotama
http://www.untracked.com/p1932-08_vo...tama_skis.html
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