Light and mighty.
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, sounds like a fair shake, right?
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 the 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 respectively), the Katana offers a cutting-edge balance of stiffness, floatation, stability, weight, and outright maneuverability.
- Full rocker profile
- 3D.Ridge construction (sidewalls underfoot)
- Multi layer wood core (ash and poplar)
- Full Carbon Jacket
- 112mm waist width
- Q & A
V Werks Katana 184 cm
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've skied the V Werks Katana since its first year (2014) both in bounds and many days in the BC. First with Marker Barons and most recently had the 2016 skis mounted with Dynafits. I can say this ski is like being on rails. It skis hard crust and ice well and is extremely light, quick and responsive in powder. You can dive it in if you want to float it up top. It's light enough to be great for BC skinning and it's extremely capable in any type of snow if you are serious skiing changeable conditions as we have here in Tahoe.
I'm 230 lbs expert skier, what is the correct mount position? I got the 184 and marker duke binding
Hey Jason - I would recommend you mount the bindings on the recommended mounting line on your Katana's. Volkl recommends: -13.9 cm from center / 77.2 cm from tail. Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions as you continue to prepare for winter.
- Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
Powder Touring Perfection
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I got the V-Werks Katana in an attempt to find a one ski quiver for ski tours. What I look for in a touring ski, performance-wise, is one that handles two types of conditions: powder and corn. I typically go on backcountry tours only in search of powder, or on spring days in search of corn skiing bigger lines. I've had big skis for powder touring in the past, but they just haven't performed well on those spring missions.
At 112 underfoot with a full (yet subtle) rocker profile, it definitely performs in deep snow. I took them on a yurt trip in the Tetons this past weekend and it was incredible. NW Wyoming had gotten 50+ inches the week before, and we got another 8 while I was there. The Katanas planed very well, and was able to carve aggressive powder turns in denser, wind affected areas of snow. I never felt like my tips were diving at all, and I couldn't be happier with their performance in the conditions I bought them specifically for. (*I got the 184s, which I was a little concerned about being too short. I didn't want to bump up to the 191s because of the extra size/weight - but the 184s floated like a much longer ski).
I haven't been able to test them in spring conditions yet, but we did have some pretty firm and variable snow at low elevations when skiing out from the yurt on our final day. Even with a 40+ lbs pack on, in crusty conditions, these were great! The stiffness was great in busting through the crud, and I never felt bounced around, like you might expect from a lighter, carbon fiber ski. I was really impressed and I'm excited that their performance will bode well for those spring days. This ski has backbone!
As far as skinning, the ski performed very well. The carbon and slim profile makes for a nice light ski, saving weight and making skinning easier. I will mention that it's not an ultra light touring ski. I think it's a great blend of a powerful ski that doesn't kill you by being really heavy.
The one gripe I have is not big enough to knock any stars off my review, but for some, it might be a legit concern. It seems like either because of the material of the topsheet, or the channel/ridge created by the wood core-to-carbon transition, ( or some combo of the two) there is significant snow buildup on top of the skis when skinning. This can add a fair amount of weight to the skis and is pretty annoying. See attached photo for where snow builds up on that ridge (this is after I've scraped the snow off a bit...the normal buildup was significantly more).
Overall, these are amazing skis and I would highly recommend them to anybody looking for solid deep snow (and I think hard snow) backcountry performance.
Which Marker binding brake width would be best with this ski. The closest I can seem to find would be 110cm. Workable?
Yes! Might have to bend it out a tiny bit, but the 110 should work perfectly!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Best ski I have ever owned. Paired with a Marker binding.
Do you know if there is a 31.5 size boot that can fit the length requirement of 357mm for the kingpin binding?
This page has a nice summary: http://www.evo.com/ski-boot-sole-length-bsl-size-chart.aspx (apologies to bc.com for the evo link...)
Does anyone know if the Diamir Vipec 12's fit within the mounting template area?
Toe does, heel doesn't ..
Thanks, guessing that you have been skiing on them? If so was it just a standard mount and have you had any issues?
I have the G3 Ion 12 mounted +1cm on my 184's. The G3's fit Volkl's mounting parameter nicely.
Rick, I was thinking of the G3 Ion's. Mounted +1? Do they ski better? What weight are you? I'm about 205lbs. but thinking the 184 should do fine.
I'm probably 185lbs geared up for the backcountry. As far as mounting them on the mark ( without ever having skied them ) it seemed they didn't have much effective tail length, hence I mounted them forward 1cm and am able to crank relatively short quick turns in the tight stuff, while at the same time when it's time to let them run they'll do that equally as well. This is all South Central AK backcountry, no resort time and none planned. Any resort days ( extremely rare ) and the old 184 Atomic 10 EX's get brought out .
At your weight with a 184 I'd be inclined to mount on the mark depending on your terrain.
Can you put a dynafit binding on this?
You can only mount Dynafit Beast bindings on the Volkl V-Werks Katana Skis. Feel free to contact me directly if you are interested in a full backcountry set-up or if you have any additional questions.
Printed on the ski it says "only for marker bindings"
And from what I am reading the hole pattern must match...or the re-evnforcements in the ski won't work.
I got some clarification on this. The following bindings meet the H Pattern reinforcement area for the V-Werks Katanas: Marker Kingpin, G3 Ions, Dynafit Beasts. But I have to tell you that Volkl will not warranty any issues with non-Marker bindings. The Dynafit ST and FT will not work since the toe mounting screws are too close to the edge of the reinforced area.
Does anyone know if the Diamir Vipec 12's fit within the mounting template area?
Tom and Angus,
Check out the PDFs in the "Downloads" section from the link below. In there is a template that shows the the mounting area of the ski. I suggest bringing that to your local mounting shop so that they can place it between the ski and jig, mark the holes and see if if falls within the correct area. The included instructions explain that a bit better.
From the instructions PDF:
Ensure that you have printed to template in a 1X1 scale and used the correct paper format. Position the template with correct tip and tail direction. Align the boot midsole mark on the template with ski midsole mark. Center the template on ski and tape to ski. Place the preferred binding's installation tool on ski and mark the paper template with the binding screw pattern. Do not drill! Remove the installation tool and check that all binding screws are located inside the white mounting area. If any of the binding screws are not located inside the white mounting area you should not use this binding on the V-WERKS KATANA.