I hesitated to post any sort of review on this ski because I perceive there to be so little interest in a bump specific tool. However, I realized there many be others like myself who’ve always enjoyed bumps and idly wondered if a ski tailored to this purpose would be worth acquiring. Therefore I thought I’d share a few thoughts for those folks.
I’ve always skied bumps and made do with whatever weapon I had to hand (or should I say to feet?): For soft powder bumps I’ve had a wonderful time with the Volkl Karmas and even enjoyed the Volkl Mantra and Explosiv. However for the deep trenches found in firm bumps I’ve always used my front side ski. Which most recently has been the 168cm Volkl All Star and previously the 175cm Volkl 6 Stars. Both skis were heaven compared to the old 190cm Rossi 4s. That said both Volkls will kick you into next week if you load the tails with your weight in the back seat while in the bumps.: Therefore, as they say: Bring your “A” game!
We are now firmly in the spring bump season in the Sierra. Classic spring bumps in the Sierra means rock hard in the morning transitioning to slush in the afternoon. At my ski area, Sierra at Tahoe, it also means an irregular rhythm and shape to the bumps as well as deep trenches after many days of no snow.
I’d always thought bump specific skis were reserved for those skiers who enjoyed trips through the bumps conducted at speeds in the mach range. I, on the other hand, enjoy more ski to snow contact. My image of fun bump skiing looks like hot fudge sliding its way down the troughs of a bump filled vanilla ice cream mountain. In other words smooth, pretty, effortless fall line bump skiing at a pace slow enough to enjoy the scenery.
All the preceding leads me to my experience using the 170cm Volkl Rebellion for the last two days. Impressed is the word that best sums up that experience. Impressed by how well this ski works in the bump environment. The ski just plain makes bumps easier to live in no matter how you want to ski them. The soft tail and light weight combine to give the ski a lively feel without that propensity to kick you into next week if you falter. Quick turns are a breeze and the narrow shape makes it easy to stuff into tight trenches. I love my wider shaped skis for everything else but the traditional “pencil” dimensions (89-63-76) of these skis are perfect for this application. A bottom line is that I found myself skiing the bumps at a higher objective speed while subjectively having a slow and smooth experience.
Finally, I enjoyed the ski on groomed runs once the snow softened a bit. The Rebellion was very fun to mess about on due to how light it is. On rock hard groomers the Rebellion’s 26 meter turn radius wasn’t as fun as my Volkl All Stars with a 14.4 meter turn radius.
If you’re going to go as far as to get a bump specific ski, or if you’re just interested in becoming a better bumper, I’d suggest buying Dan Dipiro’s book: Everything the Instructors Never Told You About Mogul Skiing
Have fun and refer to my signature the next time you’re considering straying into the bumps!