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Slice the sluff.
Carbon is that magical ingredient you'll find in top-of-the-line skis that not only replaces heavy metal laminates, but increases strength and stiffness, too. A few years ago you couldn't find too many companies offering carbon skis, but Volkl was one of the few. Being one of the pioneers in the field of hard-charging, lightweight, carbon skis, the V-Werks Katana returns with its carbon fiber layup and multi wood core—a combination that results in a 15% weight reduction over the non-carbon Katana of yesteryear—the result of which is a ski that loses some weight without sacrificing an ounce of power or performance.
The Katana was already a powerhouse. Its moderately girthy waist, wide tip and tail, full rocker profile, and consistent and responsive flex put it in a category that toed the line between a freeride ski and an all-mountain slayer. The V-Werks version of the Katana features a full carbon jacket along the core to improve torsional rigidity, reduce weight while keeping the milled wood core thin and low to the ski. All said and done, the Katana morphed from a versatile all-mountain, freeride ski to one destined for big-mountain touring with its addition to Volkl's V-Werks collection.
Although it has the same weight-saving, performance-enhancing technology of Volkl's other V-Werks skis, the V-Werks Katana is more of a big-mountain touring ski than a performance carver. Its ultralight construction make this ski lighter than the standard Katana; although, the two share the same dimensions and rocker profile. While Volkl offers three skis that are fatter and more rockered than the V-Werks Katana (the, One, Two, and AK-sized Three), the Katana offers a cutting-edge balance of stiffness, floatation, stability, weight, and outright maneuverability.
- Volkl's freeride ski reworked with a backcountry-friendly weight
- 112mm thrives in powder and handles variable conditions
- Full rocker helps you keep your tips up in the deeps
- 3D Ridge Carbon increases stiffness without adding weight
- Capped tip and tail for less weight, center sidewalls for durability
- Multi-layer wood core blends poplar with ash for binding retention
- Q & A
Worth a lot, maybe even asking price
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I am a large guy and ski in the East, usually on Mantras. I like the stiffness of the Mantras and how they carve on hard pack and groomers. However, when there is new snow or lots of mashed potatoes and corn I want these underfoot. They are very lively, perhaps because although they are only supposed to be 15% lighter, I found that they seemed lighter still. They are great in new snow and even the heavier, wetter days of old untracked snow in the trees. They turn faster than I expected and they float well.
For many the Mantra is a one quiver Eastern ski. For me, the V Werks are a nice extra arrow for those happy days when the snow is fresh.