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2010 183cm Volkl Katana - Full Review

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
 Me

5"10
165lb
PSIA Level 3
skis 140 days a year
finessy charger who can ski nearly anything but prefers trees

past skis liked that are closest to the katana

owned
192cm Atomic Thug(the katana effectively replaces this skis for me)
183cm Volkl Gotama - great everyday ski and quite nimble

tested in competion for the my thug replacement
185cm Line Mothership - awesome skis just this isnt the place for them
188cm Rossi S7 - fun in powder and soft snow the katana plows though shit snow better though
179cm Hellbent - again not a bad skis just doesnt do it for me
183cm Bent chentler - great powder jib ski not as versatile for me as the katana
184cm Blizzard Answer - closest to the Katana I found after the fact of buying my katana from TGR.

skis tested 

2010 Volkl Katana 
183cm 
141-111-131
25.2 meters

camber profile

full reverse camber but very slight rise there is NO camber, There is NO flat spot despite what people read. this is true for any 2010 and presumably newwer katana.

flex

mounted with dukes on the line

unlike most skis where I can tell you different flex from skiing it and hand flexing this skis is REALLY hard to pin down. hand flexing its flexes medium stiff to stiff along the whole ski along the whole ski except the the tip is slightly softer. skiing it though the ski never feels stiff and yet never feels like its get deflected or let you down. Its that good the whole ski is an enigma and has performance attributes that shouldnt go together at all.


Powder - easy easy. Skis is both nimble, and stable. I never felt it get hooky, yet you can bleed speed of in a hurry when you need to. the ski feels as if it accelerates though wind slabbed snow and makes less than ideal powder snow feel ideal. stomps landing with easy. noodles though trees, charges at speed when you need it. skis both longer and shorter than the 183cm length depending on the situation. Skis better in powder than anything I have ever owned. Basically you name it and it does it that good.

great video of the type of skiing I do on this ski, I am being chased in the green pants. 12-16inch of consolidated smooth light powder.




Day after storm to many days after storm, crud tracked, and skied out trees. this is where the Katana has almost magical like qualities. simply put you have as much edge as you need and never any more. Need to pivot? simple just keep the ski flat, need to slarve just ride the bases and yippie any size turn you would ever need. It also handles crud of all types great, never gets deflected and never hooks an edge, yet hold a hard carving edge in harder crud when you want it to do that. this ski IMO is an east coast Demon because it can deal with any kinda of snow you can throw at it. handles slushy days as well as anything.

groomers, ice - it holds an edge on icey east coast groomers not the best but does the job, on softer groomers it actually alot of fun. GS turns hold great with just a bit of softness. much better than the new Gotama in this regard.

Bumps - skis ski bumps better than any skis like this has a right to. Seriously a great bump ski with either mid winter chalky snow or any bit of softness in the spring time. some tight bumps at MRG I am looker's left.



gripes 

jumping - ski is a tank to jump with, practically the worst ski to jump with I have ever owned. Lands drops great but just getting it to air is a chore. My other rockered skis "the one" practically encourage jumping.

skinning - fresh powder great skis get up the hill fine, but on hardpack the skis is sketchy and tend to wander and not hold the slope so well. Not saying don mount with dukes but its not a good choice for someones only touring skis. VERY heavy as well.

final line - damp,smooth, nimble and stable. A bulldozer crossed with a WRC car. One of the best soft snow biased everyday skis I have ever skied. It has more strengths than weakness and I think of alot of recent reviews are agreeing with me that this is one of the best ski in this catergory of skis.
post #2 of 14
Nice review, I demoed this ski in this length (6ft 180lbs) a couple weeks ago and had almost the exact same feelings towards it. 

Warm spring day at Alta, I had actually set out to demo some Watea 94's, moved onto Mythic Riders, and then only tried these because they were all that was left in my size in the afternoon.  Had actually not heard of the model beforehand, i don't think it's as widely known as the mantra or goatama.  I remember walking out of the hut with it and thinking, "this'll be an adventure"  being a 110mm waist and all.  I was feeling a little disappointed since i was really expecting to like the Wateas which were just ok, and hated the mythic riders, but it'll only took one run down with the Katanas to put a big smile on my face.  Spent the rest of the afternoon on it and enjoyed it so much that I bought a demo pair to be my sole ski for western trips.  Totally agree with everything in this review, especially the bumps part, i was amazed at how good they were especially after I had trouble on the thinner wateas (though at 186cm).

anyways, won't rehash everything above, but an enthusiastic "Ditto!" for this review.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chmielea View Post

Nice review, I demoed this ski in this length (6ft 180lbs) a couple weeks ago and had almost the exact same feelings towards it. 

Warm spring day at Alta, I had actually set out to demo some Watea 94's, moved onto Mythic Riders, and then only tried these because they were all that was left in my size in the afternoon.  Had actually not heard of the model beforehand, i don't think it's as widely known as the mantra or goatama.  I remember walking out of the hut with it and thinking, "this'll be an adventure"  being a 110mm waist and all.  I was feeling a little disappointed since i was really expecting to like the Wateas which were just ok, and hated the mythic riders, but it'll only took one run down with the Katanas to put a big smile on my face.  Spent the rest of the afternoon on it and enjoyed it so much that I bought a demo pair to be my sole ski for western trips.  Totally agree with everything in this review, especially the bumps part, i was amazed at how good they were especially after I had trouble on the thinner wateas (though at 186cm).

anyways, won't rehash everything above, but an enthusiastic "Ditto!" for this review.

after realizing that the Katana actually out does the 85mm-95mm crop at what the 85mm-95mm is suppose to do better. IE groomers and bumps. it make you think whats th point of 85-95mm skis?

To anyone who is still a rockered skeptic I think this ski can singlehandley change your mind it changed my mind.
post #4 of 14
 Bushman; I've been skiing my golden Goats as my powder boards the last few seasons and am looking to go fatter, with some rocker/early rise tip and perhaps a tad softer for blower days. People either love or hate the new Goats... after reading your review i went out to look at the Katana- the 190 they had left in the shop I checked is very stiff and heavy with a thick slab of metal- it's a frikkin' tank-- I called DPH at Alta to see what was on demo sale and this is their most popular demo powder rental- far outpacing the new goats...so, what gives? it this part of the paradox of these bad boys? Can a ski this burly be nimble?

 I'm also considering Head Jimis and Line Prophet 115's, which I hear are coming next year...
post #5 of 14
How does this ski line up with and compare to the Kuro?  Skied it on a heavy PNW powder day and was really underwhelmed.  Skied the 10 Goat and liked it but was not the ah ha ski. 

How does the Katana compare in this mix?
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

 it this part of the paradox of these bad boys? Can a ski this burly be nimble?

 

this ski isnt softer than you old goat but its will ski softer and yet it will bust crud better. Yes a ski this burly can be nimble. In fact how about more nimble in trees than anything else in my quiver. try the 183 or the 176, the 190 will be too much for you due to weight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

How does this ski line up with and compare to the Kuro?  Skied it on a heavy PNW powder day and was really underwhelmed.  Skied the 10 Goat and liked it but was not the ah ha ski. 

How does the Katana compare in this mix?

The Katana will be the Ah ha ski. It out does the gotama in every condition except for jumping IMO. IT will out do the Kuro in anything but deep powder and slush.
post #7 of 14
Finally got to take otu a pair of 190 '09 Katanas I bought used, loved them, any ideas on the differences between the current model and the older? As in how they ski?
post #8 of 14
 Well, allrighty then... Thanks. Time to try them out--- Jeez, even Deer Valley got 20" in the last two days.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxammo View Post

Finally got to take otu a pair of 190 '09 Katanas I bought used, loved them, any ideas on the differences between the current model and the older? As in how they ski?

Night and day difference.  The 2010 model is a totally different ski altogether.
post #10 of 14
how so? cuz I'm loving this early model. Dig the stiffness and crud busting.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




after realizing that the Katana actually out does the 85mm-95mm crop at what the 85mm-95mm is suppose to do better. IE groomers and bumps. it make you think whats th point of 85-95mm skis?
 

Well, since you asked....

In my opinion, there is much room (and, in fact, a real need) for both a ~90mm and a big ski in a Western quiver.  They cross over, but each have distinct strengths and weaknesses. 

I had time on 2 skis recently, in epic conditions (18" of new, with the top 6" being as good of snow as I have ever seen in Oregon: it was Colorado/Utah quality snow).  We skied untracked all day long, then barely tracked up crud the following day. 

I was on 2 pair of skis: my Elan Olympus ( the 1010 replacement, flat camber with a rockered tip, skis almost identically to the Katana) and my Elan Apex (888 replacement, same sidecut as current model, but with a softer flex pattern).  

These were a contrast more than a "one is better than the other". 

What the Olympus (110mm underfoot) did extremely well:
1) blast through any sort of tough windpack snow (which existed on certain faces)
2) provide tons of stability
3) was better in the barely skied crud, as it has less sidecut
4) no question is a better ski in heavier snow (not applicable to that day, but I have plenty of experience in heavy snow)

What it wasn't so good at:
1) more packed out crud and smaller bumps were a bit of a chore.
3) not as much feedback; the weighted/unweighted feeling you get in deeper snow as you exit the old turn and extend to meet the new one wasn't as present
4) somewhat boring on the really perfect snow; made it feel like skiing a groomer.

What the Apex (88mm underfoot) did well:
1) more packed out crud/small bumps forming were much more fun on the Apex
2) the untouched, blower pow was actually more fun, as I was really "in" the snow more, going up and down on each turn.
3) I skied better on the Apex.  Good release/pullback technique was required on the Apex, and when you make that move, it gives you the best feeling in skiing: the completely unweighted float across the skis and down the fall line.  On the Olympus, I could be lazy and ski from the back seat, and the floating feeling across the top of the skis between turns just isn't the same.  This might be particular to me (I could obviously make the same move on the Olympus, nothing was preventing it) but the turns were better and more rewarding on the Apex. 
4) Groomers, which are pretty lame on the Olympus, were actually quite fun on the Apex.  Not really a deciding factor on a big snow day, but more fun getting back to the lift

What the Apex did not do as well:

1) any sort of windpack was quite a chore on the narrower skis.  I really had to work to keep the ski up.  Skiing breakable crust on a bigger ski is much more fun
2) barely broken up crud was a bit more work on the Apex (not bad though). 

Overall, if I could have had 1 pair for those 2 days, it would have been the Olympus.  With that said, I skied the Apex nearly 1/2 of the time and it was nearly as fun overall, and better in certain conditions. 

In this past season, it would have been 10 days on the Apex to every 1 day on the Olympus at Bachelor (really low snow year).  In a typical year, I would probably say 7 days on the Apex to 3 days on the Olympus.  2 years ago (huge snow year) I would probably put it at 50/50.  I could own either ski separately, but it is much better having both pair in the car.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxammo View Post

how so? cuz I'm loving this early model. Dig the stiffness and crud busting.

The 09 ski has slight tip rocker and is flat underfoot.  The 10 ski is fully rockered, and feels lighter/stiffer.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post




Well, since you asked....

In my opinion, there is much room (and, in fact, a real need) for both a ~90mm and a big ski in a Western quiver.  They cross over, but each have distinct strengths and weaknesses. 

I had time on 2 skis recently, in epic conditions (18" of new, with the top 6" being as good of snow as I have ever seen in Oregon: it was Colorado/Utah quality snow).  We skied untracked all day long, then barely tracked up crud the following day. 

I was on 2 pair of skis: my Elan Olympus ( the 1010 replacement, flat camber with a rockered tip, skis almost identically to the Katana) and my Elan Apex (888 replacement, same sidecut as current model, but with a softer flex pattern).  

These were a contrast more than a "one is better than the other". 

What the Olympus (110mm underfoot) did extremely well:
1) blast through any sort of tough windpack snow (which existed on certain faces)
2) provide tons of stability
3) was better in the barely skied crud, as it has less sidecut
4) no question is a better ski in heavier snow (not applicable to that day, but I have plenty of experience in heavy snow)

What it wasn't so good at:
1) more packed out crud and smaller bumps were a bit of a chore.
3) not as much feedback; the weighted/unweighted feeling you get in deeper snow as you exit the old turn and extend to meet the new one wasn't as present
4) somewhat boring on the really perfect snow; made it feel like skiing a groomer.

What the Apex (88mm underfoot) did well:
1) more packed out crud/small bumps forming were much more fun on the Apex
2) the untouched, blower pow was actually more fun, as I was really "in" the snow more, going up and down on each turn.
3) I skied better on the Apex.  Good release/pullback technique was required on the Apex, and when you make that move, it gives you the best feeling in skiing: the completely unweighted float across the skis and down the fall line.  On the Olympus, I could be lazy and ski from the back seat, and the floating feeling across the top of the skis between turns just isn't the same.  This might be particular to me (I could obviously make the same move on the Olympus, nothing was preventing it) but the turns were better and more rewarding on the Apex. 
4) Groomers, which are pretty lame on the Olympus, were actually quite fun on the Apex.  Not really a deciding factor on a big snow day, but more fun getting back to the lift

What the Apex did not do as well:

1) any sort of windpack was quite a chore on the narrower skis.  I really had to work to keep the ski up.  Skiing breakable crust on a bigger ski is much more fun
2) barely broken up crud was a bit more work on the Apex (not bad though). 

Overall, if I could have had 1 pair for those 2 days, it would have been the Olympus.  With that said, I skied the Apex nearly 1/2 of the time and it was nearly as fun overall, and better in certain conditions. 

In this past season, it would have been 10 days on the Apex to every 1 day on the Olympus at Bachelor (really low snow year).  In a typical year, I would probably say 7 days on the Apex to 3 days on the Olympus.  2 years ago (huge snow year) I would probably put it at 50/50.  I could own either ski separately, but it is much better having both pair in the car.

 

well if the olympus was anything like the Katana, you couldnt ski it well from the backseat. The Katana feel down right scary from the back seat as it wheelies out on you. 

What you describing as skiing better is relic technique that has no place or need on at least all the time on newer skis. So the 88mm waisted skis is 'better" because you have to work harder and pull your feet back and release you edge cleaner? why stop there... My Fisher Sl skis must be better than because I have to really watch what I am doing and expand TONS of energy balancing on such a small platform. If its your opinion that you like your 88mm skis better because you have to work harder say that but dont say the skis are 'better"

Again groomers who really cares!!! getting back to a lift is only something people need to do when they get tired from skiing off trail. At almost any resort(that matters) you can ski 95-99 percent off trail top to bottom.  The Katana isnt a groomer hardpack ski, but its does leave GS trenches under the right pilot. You cant be forward you cant be back you just have to be on it.

you have NEVER skied east coast trees. Normal mid fats have never really made sense there. Heck normal fat ski never made sense either but thats all people had forever. The only reason why people swear by more normal skis is because they cant ski off trail all day long and want a ski that can rip groomers for when they get tired.

Being in the snow.... I love this quote because of how stupid it is. no matter how large the ski is if the snow is nice enough youll never be in the snow. I get more face shots on fatter skis because I go faster and can make MUCH bigger angles than when on skinny skis. I can also ski longer and harder on powder days on skis like the katana.  if you on top of the snow with a fatter ski its because the snow is shit and sinky into it would be only tiring you out more.

So I own 87mm carver as well, it can do alot of things well but even with shitty east coast snow the katana will get the nood more days off next year than it most likely. My only complaint is I think its going to way to short for western days when it hasnt snowed for awhile but I am borrowing a pair of 187cm XXLs for my western road trip this year.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Being in the snow.... I love this quote because of how stupid it is. no matter how large the ski is if the snow is nice enough youll never be in the snow. I get more face shots on fatter skis because I go faster and can make MUCH bigger angles than when on skinny skis. I can also ski longer and harder on powder days on skis like the katana.  if you on top of the snow with a fatter ski its because the snow is shit and sinky into it would be only tiring you out more.
No, what's stupid is either your semantics or your physics. "If the snow is nice enough" apparently means lighter, eg, lower density. Lower density powder will create less lift on a ski (go look up the equation), so at a given speed and skier weight, you'll sink more, not "never be in the snow." I assume what you're trying to say is that you personally like to ski faster in light powder. And that'll create more lift. OK, but he's not talking about higher speed, in the context of his eval, he's just talking about width. Or maybe you're saying that because you can get higher edge angles on a fatter ski, it's better in powder. Hard to decipher everything. Mainly, if you want to say that everyone should like to ski the way you do, because after all you're a level III high mucky muck, try to say it without messing with other people's premises, and make yours clearer.  

Will further assume that it's humor when you say "getting back to a lift is only something people need to do when they get tired from skiing off trail. At almost any resort(that matters) you can ski 95-99 percent off trail top to bottom." Wonder if people who take lessons from you know what you think of them. But what actually would be funny is seeing you try to get through the woods at Stowe on your Kats after a very typical thaw/refreeze cycle. Hmmm. Are you capable of smiling at your own skiing? Naw, too young. In a decade you'll get the hang of it. 

General advice: There are plenty of good books on basic syntax. Start with that. Then work your way to something that deals with logical argumentation, see if you can get your conclusions to follow your premises. A few classics like Strunk and White do both. Then something on fact checking, to minimize stuff like your notions of lift, or your comment a while ago that 1010's have no metal in them. Finally, consider watching more modern stand up comedians. Insult humor is nearly as old school as liking to ski in the snow. 
Edited by beyond - 4/8/10 at 3:52pm
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