Volkl Shiro: A Powder Skier's Powder Ski // Ski Reviews
Since debuting in 2012, the Volkl Shiro has been one of the go-to skis for skiers looking for a versatile and powerful powder ski. Through a clever combination of features, the Volkl Shiro is a powder ski that's managed to avoid a specific niche in the powder market. In fact, the Shiro actually excels in all types of powder skiing, from performing well off jumps to handling steep, technical chutes. So how do the Shiros get the job done? Let's take a look at some of the features and see just how Volkl had managed to make the Shiro one of the top powder skis over the last few years.
Key Feature #1: Sidecut Shape
A key part to the success of the Shiro starts with the basic shape of the ski. With a sidecut of 151mm / 119mm / 135mm in the tip / waist / tail, you can instantly guess how this ski handles in a variety of elements. For instance, a tip with of 151mm is really wide, so you know that the tips of these skis are going to have no problem floating across the top of powder. Moving down to the waist of the ski, the width of 119mm tells you that these skis have no problem sitting on top of powder, even at their narrowest point. More importantly, you see that there's over a 30mm difference between the tip and waist, meaning there's plenty of sidecut in these skis. Finally, looking at the tail width of 135mm, you can recognize that the overall shape of these skis is somewhat pin-tailed. Ultimately, this shape is going to mean that the skis will want to sink more in the tails, giving even further rise to the tips and creating an overall "surfy" feeling in powder.
Key Feature #2: Full Rocker Design
While we're discussing the ability of the Volkl Shiro to float in powder, let's talk about their Full Rocker profile. In case you've somehow managed to not hear about rocker technology yet, it basically means that the base of the ski has a long, continuous curve shape, similar to a banana. What this does is help the ski want to naturally stay on top of the powder. Think about it like the front of a boat: the bow is curved upward forcing the boat to rise above the water and preventing it from dipping beneath the surface. In the case of the Shiros the Full Rocker Design not only helps the ski stay afloat while skiing forwards, but it's also clutch when it comes to landing backwards off of cliffs and jumps in the back country. There is also a secondary benefit of fully rocketed skis: they are able to pivot sideways almost instantly. This is a huge benefit for any situation in which you need to drop your speed as quickly as possible.
Key Feature #3: Carbon Layer
Finally, the carbon layer the icing on the feature loaded Shiro cake. Without carbon in its core, the Shiro would be a super fun, floaty powder ski... but that's about it. With the added power of carbon though, the Shiros become exceptionally stable and responsive on a variety of conditions. Whether you find yourself at the top of a harrowing chute, or just mobbing down a trail on your way back to the lift, the carbon stringers in the Volkl Shiro are there to give you the power and immediate response that you need. Without the carbon layer, the Shiros would be fun powder skis. With the carbon though, the Shiros are extremely versatile and an exceptionally well rounded ski.
But you want to know what the best part about the Volkl Shiro is? It's remained unchanged since the first year, besides graphic updates. The beauty in this is that it doesn't matter if you buy the 2012 Shiro, 2013 Shiro, or the 2014 Shiro. No matter which year you buy, you're getting the same great powder ski, and if you buy from "back years," you'll be able to save quite a bit of money- something that's usually pretty hard to do when it comes to powder skis.
The bottom line is this: If you're looking for an awesome powder ski that's capable of dropping cliffs, sending chutes, floating through powder, and charging back to the chairlift, then the Volkl Shiro is a great choice that can be picked up for a great price!