2018 Volkl 90Eight Skis 2018 Volkl 90Eight Skis

2018 Volkl 90Eight Skis

The Volkl 90Eight is a relatively lightweight all mountain ski that’s built around Volkl’s 3D.Ridge technology. It has been updated for the 2018 season, along with the rest of the skis in Volkl’s line that use 3D.Ridge technology, with more fiberglass. Volkl called this new construction 3D.Glass and it’s intended to strengthen the ski both in longitudinal stiffness as well as torsion stiffness. Compared to the Volkl Mantra, which has a very similar waist width, the 90Eight is significantly lighter and uses a rocker/camber/rocker profile. The carbon stringers in the construction of the ski give it great energy and help provide increased stability for such a lightweight ski. All of our testers were on the 177 cm length; let’s find out what they thought.

Steve Brown thought it “skied very sturdy,” despite being so light. This is a theme that you’ll see carry through most of our testers: they all seemed very impressed by the skis stability considering how light it feels on your feet. Steve also commented that the “edge hold was impressive.” On the contrary, Steve found them to be “not as playful as I expected for such a light ski.” While this might seem like a negative, it’s really not. We consider this more of a compliment to Volkl for building in an impressive amount of power in such a light overall package. There are other skis in their line, like the Revolt 95, that are designed specifically to be playful; the 90Eight is a bit more serious.

Jamie Bisbee was pretty much the only tester who didn’t comment that they were impressed by the skis stability, and this may have been because Jamie was skiing a 177 cm length ski. If he were on a 184 cm, we may be seeing different reactions. He commented that the 90Eight felt “a bit squirrely at higher speeds and longer radius turns, but short to medium turns happened very seamlessly without effort.”

Mike Aidala, on the other hand, certainly thought they were plenty of ski for high speed, aggressive skiing. He commented that they are “great all mountain skis that handle everything with solid power and dampness.” That’s really quite the compliment considering the 90Eight doesn’t use any metal, which traditionally is the material used to achieve “dampness.” Mike scored the 90Eight 5 out of 5 for stability and torsional stiffness, so definitely thought it was plenty of ski for fast-paced skiing.

No one was a bigger fan of the 90Eight than Bob St Pierre, who stated on his test form “I want one for sure.” Bob is a relatively big, relatively powerful skier, so we really value his feedback here. Bob typically skis much longer skis, but was on a 177 cm 90Eight. Out of all the skis he tested, Bob thought the 90Eight was “the most versatile by far and the most fun.” We asked Bob more about his experience on the 90Eight and he commented that he “seems to like all the Volkl skis that use 3D.Ridge.” He described the 90Eight as a ski that can “hook up quick, it quick edge to edge, and doesn’t lose any torsional stiffness.” While Volkl uses the “3D” term a lot, Bob thought they could be described as a “4D” ski with the 4th dimension simply being “awesomeness.”

Based off the reactions from our testers we think people really enjoy the new 90Eight with the updated 3D.Glass construction. It’s noticeably stronger than the previous version and seems to have better edge hold on firm snow under an aggressive skier. The 90Eight is one of those skis that can do a little bit of everything and could easily act as a “one-ski-quiver” for either an eastern or western skier.

Testers

Jamie Bisbee Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jamie Bisbee

Age: 43Height: 5'10"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and Furious, like the movie

Steve Brown Ski Tester Profile Photo

Steve Brown

Age: 26Height: 6'6"Weight: 235 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast, smooth, and swingy down the fall line

Bob St. Pierre Ski Tester Headshot Image

Bob St. Pierre

Age: 39Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier.

Steve Sulin Ski Tester Profile Photo

Steve Sulin

Age: 42Height: 5'10"Weight: 235 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

Mike Aidala Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Aidala

Age: 40Height: 5'9"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: As fast as the terrain allows

31 Comments on the “2018 Volkl 90Eight Skis”

  1. I just spent a month skiing BC SilverStar on the 2018 90Eights I purchased from SkiEssentials. All I can say is – they were awesome and took my skiing to the next level. Given we travel to ski, I had to choose a single quiver – they 90Eights did everything and more. We only had a few days of powder, so most of the time it was groomed or getting to hard packed. Hit a top speed of 99km/h (according to Navionics Ski app) and they always felt sure and steady underfoot. Floated well, turned easily, held edge and smoothed the crud. I am one very happy Volkl customer.

    My colleagues rank me a strong intermediate skier. I am on the “smaller” end of the spectrum, being 5’6″ (140lbs) and I ski the 170cm with Tyrolia Attack 13 bindings.

    Hope this helps someone.

  2. I am a 5’11”, 170 lb., strong intermediate skier. I am finishing this season in the german alps and will be heading back to ski half west coast (colorado/utah) and half east coast. I tried the 2018 Mantras and was impressed, but felt slightly overpowered by the ski, and don’t want to be skiing with all that power all the time. I want to be able to have the opportunity to ski more soft snow and powder, but be able to still hold an edge on icier conditions. Would the 177 90eights be a good fit for me? Also, would it be a decent touring ski? Thanks.

    1. Hi Joe!
      Yes and yes. I think they’re fantastically versatile, for everything from carving on corduroy to crud and fresh powder. They’re pretty light for how well they perform, so yes, I’d recommend them as a decent touring ski. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. Hi, I’m a skier 172cm for 75kg. Advanced even though at 43 “I don’t have to leg” anymore to push a dobermann (to say) for 1 straight week. I was looking at the 90eight for the days of fresh snow (in the alps powder is not that common and I rarely have the possibility to go out without notice) or when it snows during the day in order to ski in and out of the piste where the snow will add some 15cm of fresh layer. What do you think? Which height would you recommend?

    1. Hi Dave!
      The 90Eight is a pretty versatile ski for how wide it is. I was super-impressed with its carving performance even at 98 underfoot. Additionally, the flotation of the ski is pretty nice as well. I’d say the 170 would be the right length for you. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hi there – I am considering these. I am Intermediate to advanced 5’7, 140. I have the Blizzard Rustler 10 with a touring set up and love them, so I am questioning if these are too similar? I am looking for an alternative with an alpine binding or the Shift. I bought the Yumi’s last year and after a few months on the mountain I quickly outgrew them. I tested out the Auras and liked them, but have the same worry of outgrowing them (and they didn’t make them for 2019). I appreciated the stability of the Auras.

    – how would these compare with the Rustler 10?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Katie!
      You’ll probably find more similarities than differences between these models. The Rustler is obviously a bit wider, and floats a bit better, but the 90Eight is likely more versatile. You’ll get better on-trail performance from the Volkl, but if you want to put a Shift on it and tour, they’ll do that too. There’s no turned up tail on the Volkl, so whether you’re on-trail or off, they’ll want to stay locked in the turn more. In powder, this leads to a less-playful feeling, but doesn’t inhibit its performance or flotation capabilities. The Aura was replaced by the Secret, which is a bit narrower still, and leans more towards all-mountain and front side performance. Maybe worth a look, though? Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi,

    I am skiing a set of Head Monster 88’s in a 177 length. I am a big guy at 240 5’8″. I love the monsters and they are great tearing up the front-side of the mountain, but I am looking for something a bit lighter and easier to turn in the woods. Would these fit the bill given my size?

    Thanks,

    1. Hi John!

      The 90Eight is definitely a lighter weight ski than the Monster 88 and should be easier for you in the woods. I think they’ll be a good ski for you. For how light they are they are actually pretty stable as well, so I don’t think you’ll overpower them at your weight, especially considering you’re specifically looking for a lighter weight ski.

      Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.

      SE

  6. I feel a bit out of place here but here goes. I am a 5’7″ , 120 lb female advanced/ aggressive skier that likes slipping in the glades and coming out into a nice tight edge. Not much of a bump skier but if I decided to engage, does this 90Eight ski have a nice hop/bounce? I like all the terrain on the mountain. Looking at the 170. I want to be able to have quick/popppy turns if I’m on a steep but still GS turn to stretch the legs about 50% of the time. Is this ski for me?

    1. Hi BC!

      The 90Eight should be a great ski for you! It’s very light and energetic, so definitely has that bounce/hop feel you’re looking for. Volkl’s 3D.Ridge and 3D.Glass construction technique has definitely been proven to have solid torsional stiffness, so it can still hold an edge at speed. It’s also a really good ski for someone your weight. Nice and easy to throw around for a lighter weight skier, but still stable at speed too.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  7. Love your reports and read them on many skis by now. After just shredding my Movement Response X on a stone I am looking for a new ski. I have been considering the BMT 90 or the 90eight and am not sure which one would suit me better. I also looked at the Black Diamond Helio 95.

    I do a lot of touring searching for some lonely powder so weight is important but I am young and fit and want a ski thats also really fun to pow down the mountain. Rather a few extra Gramm up the mountain but more fun down.
    I use Radical ST bindings.

    Would you guys have any preference on any of these skis or even something entirely different?

    1. Hi Clemens!

      It’s always a toss up when choosing a touring setup. That being said, I think the 90Eight definitely has better downhill performance compared to the BMT. It’s just a little bit more forgiving where the BMT construction is so light and so reactive that it gets deflected somewhat easily. I’m with you in the sense that I’m willing to have a couple extra grams on the way up for a more fun ride down, so if it was me I’d be pretty psyched with a 90Eight touring setup. Yes, heavier than the BMT, but also a little wider, better downhill performance, and you’ll save a bit of money. Obviously it doesn’t have the uphill efficiency of a lighter ski, but if you’re more focused on the descent I think that would be a great choice.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Great advice thanks for that! I wonder why the 90eight is so much pricier than the BMT? It can’t be only the weight can it?
        Definitely hoping that the 90Eight will let me vary my turn radius. I like a narrower pattern in powder than those wide turns giving me 2-3 turns when I could do 30 in short easily 🙂

        Best,
        Clemens

      2. Hey Clemens,

        You mean the BMT is so much pricier than the 90Eight? It’s the construction. The BMT uses a ton of expensive materials in its construction to achieve its light weight. There are downsides to being so light, as I mentioned before, but it costs a lot to get a ski to the weight of the BMT and still retain torsional stiffness, etc.

        I think you’ll really enjoy the 90Eight. Definitely feels quick on your feet.

        SE

  8. I ski an older Mantra and looking to use this ski on a telemark set up with the NTN freeride binding. Again smaller then your testers at 5’7” & 160. I ski western Canada so hard pack isn’t an issue. Thanks. PS; not same ken from previous question.

    1. Hi Ken!

      I think you’d have a blast on the 90Eight as a telemark ski where you live. It’s a little bit lighter and feels more maneuverable than your Mantras, but still has the torsional stiffness you need to lay down some aggressive turns now and then. I think the 170 cm length would be a good choice, unless you specifically prefer shorter or longer skis.

      SE

    1. Hi Ken!

      Much lighter as it doesn’t use any metal. It doesn’t have the same vibration damping and stability as those two skis, but on the contrary is a little quicker, arguably more responsive, and quite energetic. Also, again, much lighter weight.

      SE

  9. Hi there,
    I am an intermediate skier, 5,6” and 155 thinking to buy the 170cm 90eight ,mounting the Solomon slab shift for an all around All mountain set. I ski piste/ off piste 40/60 in very variable conditions in the same day icy chopped to spring snow ( in south Europe- Balkans) and start ski touring. Would it be a good choice ? Any other recommendations?

    1. Hi Kostas!

      Yes! I think that would be a fantastic setup as an all mountain ski and to start getting into ski touring. The Shift is a really cool new binding as it feels like an alpine binding when you’re skiing downhill, but has excellent touring performance. I think the 90EIght is a really good ski for the mix of terrain you ski as well, and it’s nice because it’s a high performance ski, but not overly demanding for more of an intermediate level skier such as yourself.

      SE

  10. Right now I ski on Blizzard Brahma. 180 cm. I love them on groomers and very stable at high speed. Recently had a chance to ski some powder. (VT, Upstate NY Skier). I had to lean way back and didn’t have as much fun as I could have. I know the Brahma isn’t a powder ski but I thought it would do a lot better. Because I live and mostly ski in the North East I’m not looking for a complete powder ski but I do want to have a little more fun when we get those days. (I stay out of the woods). Would the Volkl 90Eight 177 be too short for me?

    1. Hey Brett!

      What’s your height and weight? That will give me a better sense of whether I think they’re too short. Since you stay out of the woods you don’t really need to worry about losing a bit of maneuverability if you go longer, and the 90Eight is definitely lighter than the Brahma.

      Let me know and I’ll provide my thoughts.

      SE

  11. Nicely composed review. However, I was put off by the fact that your reviewers averaged 205+ pounds. Only 1 guy is near a medium or light weight. I like your reviews for the most part, but every reviewer seems to be of the mindset “I wanted a 195cm ski, and they could only give me 184.” How about a medium or smaller guy who fares just fine with something less than 170cm? I wanna hear his opinion too, because he– is me.

    1. Hi Mike!

      We had varying sizes of male testers, but there was a large number of pretty big guys on our test team. As someone who is 5’10” and 150 lbs they’re all giants to me too. You will find some reviews with feedback from smaller testers and we’re going to try to make some changes to ski assignments for our 2019 test to get a more consistent variety of sizes.

      That being said, I’ve skied just about every single ski in our test, so let me know what you’re questions are and I’ll give you a response from a 150 lbs skier.

      SE

      1. HI,

        Interested in getting this ski as a 150lbs’er advanced skier, how is it in icy & bumps and crud. It has to work at least ok on everything and am willing to compromise on the powder side as I don’t see much deep powder. (1 ski “quiver” is inflicted by the CFO)

        thanks
        Jim

      2. Hi Jim!

        I think it’s a great ski for what you’re describing. At our weight (150 lbs) it’s hard to push it past its limits. It can hold an edge on ice considerably well for a ski this light and this wide. Stays stable through crud snow, and even can handle some deeper snow too. The shape of the tip feels really nice in deep snow. Let’s you sink a little bit, but never feels catchy.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

      3. I am 6′ / 150lbs…I skied the 90Eights last season(177). I found them very easy to maneuver and stable at higher speeds. Very quick under foot, but does require you to be on top of them. I found if you got backseated, they could send you for a ride. They are pretty forgiving, but not as forgiving as the Soul 7’s(which I normally ski, but 188’s). I found the 177 90Eights just as stable as the 188 Soul 7’s. The 90Eights do seem to hold edge on the harder snow better than the Soul 7′, but do require a slightly more effort to maneuver. For me, they are a slightly better option than the Soul 7’s, unless it’s all deep powder. They don’t float quite as easily, but @ 150lbs, floating is generally not a problem.

  12. Thoughts on the addition of glass to the 2018 model? Has anyone done some A-B comparison to the 1st edition?

    I have two pair of the 1st year 90Eights – one mounted with G3 Ion 12s, and the other with Tyrolia Attack 13s for my daily driver. I find the ski very playful in soft snow, bumps, and soft groomers. Also plenty of float in the backcountry, but compared to my Kendos, the front side performance is a bit underwhelming on man-made hardpack when trying to rail turns. Maybe the glass improved the ski’s edgehold? On the plus side, I can smear turns to scrub speed on the hardpack with zero chatter. I’m 5-10″, 165 lbs and ski the 177.

    1. Hey Bruno!

      The addition of more glass has definitely given the ski a little more power and a little better edge grip. Overall it just feels stronger I would say. It’s also supposed to be more durable, although we haven’t seen any major durability issues with the original 90Eight. We did do a full review of the 2018 100Eight and talk quite a bit about how the 3D.Glass changed the ski. Essentially everything we said in that review can be carried over to the changes to the 90Eight. Here’s a link:

      http://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/2018-Volkl-100Eight-Ski-Review

      Hope that helps!

      SE

Comments are closed.