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Reviewed by our Gear Geeks:

THE BEST VOLKL SKIS OF 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:

Check out different Völkl Skis and write reviews of the best.

The result is 10 of the best Völkl Skis  on the market today.

hunter bierce

Hunter Bierce

PSIA Ski Instructor
Hunter Bierce is a PSIA Ski Instructor and multidisciplinary outdoor professional.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

Now in their 99th season of ski manufacture, Völkl is steeped in tradition. This German based company has built their skis in the town of Strubing since their inception, though with considerable upgrades to their facilities along the way.

The experience and care that goes into every pair of Völkl skis is tangible and lets you experience the finer points of German engineering without hopping behind the wheel of a BMW.

The big news this season is the release of their M6 Mantra and Secret 96–updated versions of their legendary freeride series. We also saw the release of a new size in their Blaze ski, as well as several “Masterclass” releases in both the Deacon and Racetiger lineups.

Below we’ll cover all that’s new and exciting, along with the best of the rest of the Völkl lineup.

Best Vökl Skis

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

Traditionally the Mantra has been a particularly demanding ride, promising big returns on precision and performance for skiers with the know-how to keep up. This new version is so compelling because it offers comparable function to other technically capable freeride skis with a much lower barrier of entry.

It rides all of the gnarly terrain that made the Mantra series so beloved in the first place, but won’t punish you if you’re not an expert.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Precision Carbon Tips
  • Tailored Titanal Frame
  • 3D Radius Sidecut
  • Multilayer Woodcore
What we like:
  • A more lively and accessible take on the Mantra series
  • Much more forgiving than previous versions
  • Top contender for men’s all-mountain of the year
What we don’t like:
  • Skiers who want the maxed out stiffness of older versions need a longer ski
  • Upper end of the all-mountain price spectrum

This sixth version of the Mantra isn’t just an exciting new release from Völkl, it’s earning high accolades as one of the best men’s all-mountain skis on the market.

The M6 scales the the size of its internal titanal sheet in correlation with the length of the ski–meaning that bigger, heavier skiers (or those who prefer a longer, stiffer ski) will have more metal. This may seem a minor detail on paper, but it fundamentally changes the feel of the ski depending specifically on your body and your preferences.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, the Secret 96 builds upon what freeride rippers loved in the notorious and waisted 102 version of the ski in years previous.

Völkl’s flagship women’s freeride ski is notably more accessible than previous iterations, with a big uptick in versatility to boot. This more compact ski drives like all the previous versions, but offers a marked uptick in maneuverability.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Precision Carbon Tips
  • Tailored Titanal Frame
  • 3D Radius Sidecut
  • Multilayer Woodcore
What we like:
  • High performance but less demanding freeride option
  • Strong contender for best of women’s all-mountain
  • Versatile and maneuverable
What we don’t like:
  • The Tailored Titanal is only available in the 96-waisted version of the ski

Much like the M6 Mantra above, skiers love that the Secret’s stiffness scales according to its size. With more length, comes more titanal underfoot.

Variable sheet length gives the skier a better experience based on body type or ski preference, so not everyone is consigned to the same downhill missile as in previous versions.

Don’t miss the Secret 96 as a contender for the best women’s ski of 2022.

Völkl’s Blaze series stormed into the market last year as their very competitive offering in the lightweight freeride category. It’s an all-rounder that’s most at home on the soft, shallow resort snow you’ll spend the majority of your season on.

The most defining characteristics of this most narrow offering are that it’s easy to turn and easy to learn, balancing a forgiving, versatile ride with a little more pop and liveliness than we’re used to seeing from Völkl.

Check out the Blaze 86 W for additional women’s sizing options.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • 3D Radius Sidecut
  • TPU Reinforced Tips and Tails
  • Hybrid Multilayer Woodcore
What we like:
  • Takes all of the things we love about Völkl and makes it more lively and fun
  • Well-rounded option for a good price
  • Easy pick for a spring touring setup
What we don’t like:
  • Could be easily outskied by people expecting something more traditionally Völkl
  • Won’t offer much float when the snow gets deep

Anyone who values dependability and predictability will be well-served by the Blaze series, these qualities being just as important on the resort as they are in the backcountry.

These skis, particularly the new 86mm version, are light compared to all but dedicated backcountry skis optimized for climbing. Also noteworthy is the price, compared to most all-mountain skis they’re awfully cheap, making them one of the stronger budget options.

With precut skins available for purchase, they’d also be a great starting point for an enviable hybrid setup.

This season Völkl has launched a complete overhaul of their recreational racer category, aiming to make their selection as close as possible to world cup-level quality while retaining some of the stability and versatility necessary for day to day resort use.

The Deacon 76 Masters are the widest out of the series, but that doesn’t mean you’re forsaking any capability to fly down the frontside making precise, technically sound turns the whole way.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Precision Carbon Tips
  • 3D Glass build for rebound and edge control
  • Ash Woodcore
  • Full Titanal Sheets
  • Tip and Tail Rocker
What we like:
  • Race pedigree brought to the rest of the mountain
  • Great compromise between performance and accessibility
  • Not as punishing as other recreational racers
What we don’t like:
  • Limited utility simply by being so race oriented
  • Expensive, despite the quality of the build

The Deacon Master series is a good fit for traditionally trained skiers who want something that lets them show off but doesn’t demand 100% of their attention through an entire day of riding.

This combination of function and fun gives them a leg up in the running for the top frontside ski of the year. For those in search of more precision and a feel closer to actual GS skis, take a look at the 72mm Deacon or the Racetiger GS Masters below.

The release of the new M6 Mantra might be catching all the press this year, but don’t be fooled–the release of an updated Racetiger is a big deal.

Keeping in step with Völkl’s trend of expanding the accessibility of their most legendary skis, the Master series Racetiger emulates many of the qualities of a world-cup ski but translates this to daily resort use.

With a little more flex underfoot than seen in previous versions, you can make high-speed GS turns down the hill without being a world class skier.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Precision Carbon Tips
  • 3D Glass build for rebound and edge control
  • Ash Woodcore
  • Tip Rocker
What we like:
  • Still the same Racetiger, more accessible but untamed
  • As close to an FIS ski as you can get
  • Völkl’s pride and joy built with quality to match
What we don’t like:
  • Still a very demanding ski
  • Very limited by their concept

The Racetiger is still a demanding ski, but now features a less aggressive learning curve that won’t impact performance. With two full titanal sheets, dampening carbon tips, an ash core, and race-grade Marker Piston Plate for mounting your bindings–it’s Völkl showing what they do best.

Skiers seeking for the fastest “street legal” ski out there should look no further than the “beast of the piste”, the Racetiger.

Rising from the ashes of discontinuation, the Katana is by far the most demanding ski out of Völkl’s freeride lineup. It’s comparable to the Racetiger in terms of the tier of rider it takes to keep this monster under control, but for different reasons.

This retooled version of the Katana is more accessible than the long-retired original, but is still built for charging. If you aren’t yet a savvy skier used to heavier options, then it can quickly get away from you.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Titanal Frame
  • 3 Radius Sidecut
  • Multi-Layer Woodcore
  • Full Sidewall
  • Carbon Tips
What we like:
  • A serious ski for serious slopes
  • Reinforced enough to blow up anything in your path
  • For all of the metal and rigidity, you can still make smaller turn shapes
  • The kind of ski you can take as fast as you want through any snow
What we don’t like:
  • Only for expert riders who can keep it under control
  • Doesn't reward sloppy skiing

While it seems the new Katana is a little more user-friendly than the previous retired version, it’s still a whole lot of ski. It’s up there with the full-titanal Blizzard skis in terms of driving power and charging capabilities, but that’s simply what it takes to be a leader in the freeride and big mountain categories.

Depending on your skiing style, it might be the perfect fit, but I would opt for the Mantra for my money unless you need a real monster.

The Revolt 121 isn’t the only powder ski that Völkl makes, but it is the most versatile. Taking notes from freestyle park riding, it’s a front runner of the more “playful” side of the Völkl lineup.

You can take the play and creativity you would get from a slimmer waist and apply it to a big mountain environment, provided the snow is reasonably soft.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • 3 Radius Sidecut
  • Multilayer Woodcore
  • "Tough Box"
  • Tip and Tail Rocker with slight Camber
What we like:
  • Playful and Poppy while retaining its stability
  • Skis damp but has the nimbleness of a freeride ski
  • Great float to take advantage of untouched powder fields
  • Has a noticeable sidecut that makes slashing to a stop easy in any snow
  • Has one of the awesome Revolt topsheets
What we don’t like:
  • Lacks the charging capabilities of other freeride skis
  • There are lighter options out there in the same category

Völkl skis have myriad skis for myriad mountains. The Revolt 121 is a great powder ski. But it’s also a pretty stellar everyday option for those who don’t mind some limitations when it comes to flying through debris fields.

It’s a ski built for natural terrain but can still hold its own on hardpack and groomers. In terms of playful, poppy, floaty fun- you won’t find anything better from Völkl, or most of the competition.

Where the Revolt 106 is a park/freeride hybrid that emphasizes all-mountain performance, the Bash 86 is closer to a traditional park ski you can take on the rest of the mountain. Next to the new Blaze series, the Bash 86 is one of the more rideable Völkl skis.

In sum, it’s by far the best park option that Völkl makes, and a reasonably dependable ski for the rest of the mountain as well.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Multilayer Woodcore
  • Centered Partial Sidewall
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker
  • Full Twin Tip
  • P-Tex 3000 Base
What we like:
  • A more realistic entry point to park skiing than the Revolt 104
  • Easy to turn and ride on the rest of the mountain
  • 100% playful and user friendly
  • In the park ski price range
What we don’t like:
  • Despite being an all-mountain ski, it doesn't hold up as well when the snow gets rough
  • It can be easily outskied by expert skiers

The Bash is a good park ski, but it’s not quite sturdy enough for too much more than taking the occasional resort lap. Those looking for a more aggressive ride they can also lap the park with would be better suited with the Revolt 104.

But if you’re primarily interested in freestyle skiing and don’t need too much off-piste performance it’s a reliable option.

To round out Völkl’s eclectic series of all-mountain and freeride skis, the Kanjo 84 is an accessible on-piste/off-piste cruiser that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The Kanjo can deliver short, snappy, and precise turns when you ask it to but has a more forgiving feel than some of the heavier skis on this list.

If you’re looking for a good entry level option to start exploring variable terrain on the mountain, the Kanjo is a great ski to take you there.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Multi-layer Woodcore
  • 3 Radius Sidecut
  • Full Sidewall
  • Fiberglass Frame
What we like:
  • A very skiable option that riders of all skill levels could enjoy
  • Great ski to start learning the ropes of advanced riding on
  • Lightweight and intuitive
What we don’t like:
  • Advanced and expert skiers can overpower it
  • You probably want something a little more serious for extreme terrain

The Kanjo is a great first step before moving onto something like the M5 Mantra or the Revolt 104. It’s also perfect for people who get a few dozen days in a season and need something forgiving that allows more freedom than something purely on-piste. It’s probably the best intermediate ski that Völkl makes, and a solid choice overall.

Taking the same energy that their large radius skis deliver and repacking it into an energetic all-mountain machine, the Kendo 88 is an energetic frontside ski that can hold its own on the rest of the mountain.

It’s in the running for the best mogul ski out there, but is a ton of fun to ride regardless.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • 3D Radius Sidecut
  • Carbon Tips
  • Multilayer Woodcore
What we like:
  • Delivers a short turn radius in its most fun form
  • Great option for mogul fanatics
  • Reasonable performance on variable snow
What we don’t like:
  • A little specialized as far as all-mountain options are concerned

Though you can let the Kendo off leash and play around in variable snow, where it really shines is hardpack and moguls. It’s a great option for proficient skiers who either don’t see many huge storms, or have a sizable quiver and want something more specialized for mid-season dry spells.

The Deacon is Völkl’s take on a frontside carver built for a more general audience. There’s no question that with a full sidewall, titanium sheet, and vibrational dampening technology, the Deacon is still very much inspired by race skis. But it’s more accessible than the rest of the Volkl race lineup, and average skiers will feel much more comfortable while retaining that snappy and fast feel.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • UVO 3D Vibration Dampener
  • Folded "3D Glass" Construction
  • Titanium Reinforced
  • "Speedwall" Sidewall
  • Multi-layer Wood Core
What we like:
  • Sporty and aggressive frontside carver
  • A little bit of rocker makes initiating turns easier than similar skis
  • A ton of fun to ride, provided you can keep it under control
  • Comes in a wide array of variations, so you can find one that suits your size and style
What we don’t like:
  • Pretty pricey for skis that only excel on the groomers
  • Still is a bit much power for inexperienced skiers
  • Niche choice that will have limited appeal to single quiver skiers

The Volkl Deacon is for those who’ve hung up their race skies but decided they don’t want to stop going fast. They’re great for precise skiers who enjoy ripping up morning hardpack and freshly groomed corduroy as well. But the most significant benefit they have over the Racetiger is the ability to make smaller, more reasonably sized turns you might need on a busy resort slope.

If the M5 Mantra seems like too much ski for you, the Völkl 104 Revolt is a perfect step down in terms of stiffness and drive, favoring instead a lighter and more playful freeride style. The Revolt 104 is conceptually somewhere between a park and an all-mountain ski. It’s also a reasonable choice for a hybrid backcountry ski if you’re looking for something that’s favors playful descents more so than quick climbs.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • 3D Radius Multiple Sidecut
  • Full Sidewall
  • Multilayer Woodcore
  • Deep Tip and Tail Rocker
  • Hybrid Twin-Tip
What we like:
  • Favors a slashy, center-oriented ski style
  • Light enough to be a full time spinning park ski
  • Floats enough to be fun to ride in light powder
  • Good compromise between a park and all-mountain ski
  • One of our favorite top sheets of the season
What we don’t like:
  • Can get kicked around in lumpy or unpredictable snow
  • Doesn't do particularly well in hardpack or deep soft snow

All-told, for park skiers in the market for something that can hold its own on the rest of the hill, the Revolt 104 is a sensible choice. But for more serious alpine skiing, we recommend opting for the M5 Mantra with a little more oomph or the wider Revolt 121 to milk a little more powder performance out of it.

As the industry trends ever towards lighter freeride skis and touring options, Völkl’s response is the Blaze 106. A staunchly practical option very much in line with the Völkl ethic. Compared to skis in a similar hybrid touring niche, the Blaze 106 is on the lighter end and skis a little bit damper. It’s a great option for people who want to split their time between the resort and the backcountry but have limited resources for a multi-ski setup.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Titanal Binding Platform
  • TPU-Reinforced Suspension Tip
  • 3D Radius Multiple Sidecut
  • Lightweight Woodcore
  • Low-Rise Tip and Tail Rocker
What we like:
  • Among the lighter options in the hybrid category
  • Surprisingly damp for how little it weighs
  • The subtle rocker gives it some float in deeper snow
What we don’t like:
  • Not the lightest ski on the skin track or the best performance downhill compared to more specialized skis
  • Performance is noticeably lacking in deep light snow and on icy slopes

With the Blaze 106, these Völkl skis are suitable for many things, but the thing it’s best at is a compromise. It’s not on par with big-mountain smashers in terms of downhill performance and not as quick up the skin track as a dedicated touring ski. But if you split your time pretty evenly, you won’t be disappointed by its performance on either end.

As Völkl’s offering in the mid-waisted touring category, the BMT 109 is a lightweight, highly versatile ski that is still focused on providing a full descent. Compared to other dedicated touring options, the BMT is a competitively “fun” ski to ride. But like so many of these carbon-backed skis, it suffers some notable performance hits when you get onto hard, uneven snow.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • 3D Ridge Carbon Shaping
  • ICE.OFF Topsheet
  • Tapered Shape
  • Carbon Jacket Reinforcement
  • Long and low Rocker
What we like:
  • Lightweight touring ski that still slays in soft snow
  • Anti-icing measures seem to have some significant effectiveness
What we don’t like:
  • Like all skis in this category, hitting hard snow or firm crust can quickly turn into a bad time

The BMT 106 will fit the bill for backcountry skiers seeking a workhorse that can perform in any conditions. It may have the same trappings as other backcountry skis. However, based on the benefits that it offers on the climb coupled with reasonable downhill capabilities, it is a fair counterpoint to some of the heavier hybrid skis on this list, like the Blaze 106.

About Volkl Skis

History

Like so many of these early pioneers of the ski industry, Völkl skis started as a small family-run craftsman business in Germany under the master cartwright of Georg Völkl. It wasn’t until 1923 that they officially opened for business as a ski manufacturer, originally under the name Vöstras.

Völkl continued to grow through the years, making striking impressions on the ski world such as the much-heralded “Zebra” ski in the late 60’s, and making their first foray into ski racing in 1970. Völkl was sold to GmbH in 1992, and has since grown to acquire both Marker bindings and Dalbello boots.

Tradition

Völkl’s first few decades manufacturing skis with German efficiency were very much rooted in staunch practicality, so much so that you can almost tell they got their start making carts. That is, until they shocked the ski world in 1967 with the Zebra ski. With its gregarious topsheet and more progressive flex design, the Zebra was met first with ridicule, and then the admiration of the ski world.

Shortly thereafter in 1970, Völkl ventured into the competitive race world for the first time. In my experience as a skier, I’ve known Volkl skis primarily as a racer’s brand, so that goes to show how much of an impact they had. Völkl has continued to win titles and set standards across the industry. Most recently we’ve seen impressive contributions to the world of freeride skiing.

Price

Völkl may be known for quality and a fine attention to detail. But they’re not particularly renowned for their low prices. To give you an example the Racetiger Pro will go for around $800 USD, and that’s with a significant mark down from their original price.

To be fair, the price goes down significantly if you’re expanding your search beyond their painstakingly crafted race skis towards the all-mountain style.

As a whole, the Völkl lineup is on the upper end of the spectrum when compared to the rest of the industry. Be certain, the price will shoot up once again if you should look into the V-Werks models. To see how Völkl skis stack up against the rest of the competition in terms of price and performance, be sure to check out our 10 skis of the year list.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Völkl Skis

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    Are Völkl skis any good?

    Völkl is a long-trusted name both in the ski race world and, more recently, within freeride circles. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Some models of Völkl skis have become almost household names in lodges worldwide. Take a look at our brand overview page to see the latest releases of the year, alongside some competitive classics

    Legendary Volkl Skis

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    What are the best Völkl skis?

    Völkl makes a number of great skis in all categories. They’ve been making race skis for over 100 years, but we tend to favor their hard-charging freeride models manufactured in this century. If race skis are your thing, then you have to check out the Racetiger. Otherwise, here’s a list of a few of our favorites, be sure to check our brand overview page for all the details on these skis and more.

    Best Volkl Skis

    • The Katana 108
    • The M6 Mantra
    • The Revolt 121
    • The Deacon
    • The Secret 96
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    Where are Volkl skis made?

    Völkl skis continue to be made in Germany. Since its origins the company has been based in Straubing, Germany and appears to remain firmly committed to retaining it’s traditions of manufacturing with the motto: “the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts”.

    Read a guide to the best Völkl skis to see how 100 years of experience shapes some of the best skis in the business.

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    What is Völkl’s V-Werks Technology?

    V-Werks is Völkl’s premium variation of all your favorite models. They’re designed to be lighter weight and more responsive than other versions of their respective models- achieved by using premium materials such as carbon and titanal sheets.

    V-Werks skis tend to ride much differently than their counterparts, and as a whole tend to be better suited for touring. See all the best of Völkl’s touring options and more at our brand overview page.

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    What bindings should I use with my Völkl skis?

    Völkl themselves recommend mounting their skis with some Marker Bindings. Any of the Royal Family line should be great depending on how hard of a skier you are and what you want to do. It’s important to note that the lightweight and low-volume V-Werks models of Volkl skis are only compatible with Marker bindings.

    Check out our review of some Marker bindings found in our list of the best ski bindings.

If you already have a Volkl Ski or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

2 Comments

  1. steven hottle

    what is todays model that is most like the grizzly?

  2. Hunter Bierce

    The Grizzly was for skiers who wanted to push the limits of skill and speed both on the groomers, and through variable terrain. Ski technology has come pretty far over the last decade, but there are still plenty of skis out there that carry on that same hard-charging attitude.

    If you’re in search of pure, unadulterated power I’d recommend checking out the newly revitalized Katana. It’s a true beast of a ski originally from the same era as the Grizzly, with a marginally wider waist for added off-piste performance. The M5 Mantra is another viable option. It’s a little more dialed back and forgiving than the Katana, but if you’re missing the Grizzly you won’t be disappointed by its driving power anywhere on the mountain.

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