2017 Volkl Revolt Skis: An Affordable All Mountain Freestyle Ski // Ski Reviews
This season Volkl introduced a series of new skis including the 90Eight, 100Eight, and RTM 86, just to name a few. Conversations and reviews surrounding Volkl typically focus on new technology, innovative designs, and usually relatively high priced skis. Another ski that Volkl introduced this season, however, does not necessarily fall into any of these categories and therefor has not been given the attention we at SkiEssentials.com think it deserves. That ski is the Volkl Revolt. Volkl is keeping the ski in their collection for the 2017 season and we recently had a chance to put them to the test while demoing the majority of the 2017 Volkl line.
Volkl developed the ski in collaboration with long-time team member Ahmet Dadali. Ahmet is known for his progressive skiing in the terrain park, backcountry, and urban streets. His ski, not surprisingly, was developed predominantly from a freeride/freestyle perspective for use across the different terrain that Ahmet is known for. In this area it absolutely excels. If you’re looking for a high performance, versatile park ski, the Revolt is the ticket. It’s camber under foot provides plenty of pop and energy for snappy, responsive performance and plenty of stability on jumps, while the rockered tips and tails make butters, presses, and other slower speeds tricks that much easier.
What really impressed us about this ski, however, is not its ability in the park, but its versatility and performance around the rest of the mountain. During our latest ski test with Volkl we sent a number of skiers out on the Revolt, most of which were not park skiers in even the slightest sense of the term. For a ski that hits a really nice price of $399 (at full price!) all of our testers were pretty blown away by this skis performance.
The first thing we should look at with the Revolt is its shape. It uses a non-symmetrical shape that Ahmet Dadali has asked for as he designed this ski for use not just in the park, but also for use as an all mountain ski. The non-symmetrical side cut dimensions, 95mm waist, and rockered tips and tails all combine for a ski that does really well carving groomers, skiing bumps and trees, and even in light powder. The day that we tested the Revolt was predominantly a groomer day, but there was a fair amount of “sugar” snow piled up on the sides of the trails. It was great conditions for ski testing as you could focus on both edge grip and the skis ability to release its edges to make pivoting, slarvy turns.
When you look at the side profile of the Revolt you’ll notice that the ski does use a vertical sidewall, but it’s reminiscent of a partial vertical sidewall that we see on some less aggressive skis. It does not, however, taper all the way down to cap construction, rather tapers to a much shorter vertical sidewall in the tips and tails. The sidewall design, and ultimately the flex pattern it provides, does not necessarily suggest the ski will hold an edge well on firm snow, and this is where we were really surprised by the skis performance. It holds an edge quite well through pretty aggressive carving turns on firm snow. If you’ve ever skied Stowe in northern Vermont you’ve likely classic, firm, east coast conditions. We were able to find some firm, borderline icy, conditions to test the skis edge grip and the ski performed admirably. No, it won’t rival your GS skis or your designated frontside carving skis, but for a ski with tip and tail rocker, a 95mm waist, and a $399 price tag, it does phenomenally well.
When you take it into softer snow conditions the versatility really becomes apparent. The Revolt’s ability to release its edges and make a variety of turn shapes through softer, variable conditions, really is unmatched for a ski at this price point. In fact, we don’t really understand how it’s so inexpensive. Volkl could easily charge $100-200 more for this ski and we would totally understand. Our non-park skier testers had a blast on the Revolt. We had the privilege of skiing the Revolt with a pair of Griffon demo bindings, so we had a chance to play around with mount position. Our testers without terrain park skiing backgrounds were positioning their boot mid-sole around 2cm back from the recommended mounting line. If you’re not planning on skiing the Volkl Revolt in the park and don’t spend any time skiing switch (backwards) we recommend mounting them in the same spot. It accentuates the skis ability as an all mountain ski, but certainly doesn’t take away from its playful nature. Our testers who typically ski in the terrain park did prefer skiing it right on Volkl’s recommended line, but those skiers were playing around with the skis ability skiing switch and as a park ski...
...Which brings us to our conclusion. This is an awesome all mountain ski in general, and when you look at it in reference to its price, it’s outstanding. We loved skiing it all over the mountain and it is a ski we’d recommend to a wide range of skiers. It’s not a designated carving ski, it’s not a designated powder ski, but it’s incredibly versatile and will really do anything you ask it to without complaining. We don’t, however, want to take away from its ability as a performance park ski. In that category, as long as you don’t mind a non-symmetrical ski, it’s practically perfect. Because it’s in the “park and pipe” category a lot of skiers have overlooked it in this 2016 season. As Volkl is bringing it back for 2017, we strongly encourage everyone, not just park skiers, to get out and try a pair. We can almost guarantee they’ll put a smile on your face no matter where or what you’re skiing.