The Volkl 90Eight W is an awesomely versatile women’s ski. Volkl intended to build a ski that could just about do everything at a weight that could justify using it as a touring ski. Volkl uses their innovative 3D.Ridge technology in the 90Eight and new for 2018 is 3D.Glass, a burlier, 3-dimensional fiberglass laminate that gives the ski a little bit more strength. The 90Eight has a rocker/camber/rocker profile, subtle early taper, and a moderate turn radius of 17.9 m at the 170 cm length. With its 98 mm waist width and the performance characteristics that come along with its construction on paper the 90Eight should be able to do just about everything, but what did our testers think?
To kick things off Kristi Brown thought the ski could do exactly that. She tested the 170 cm length and commented that she felt like she could make every type of turn shape on the 90Eight, from “smeary to carvy”. She also thought the 90Eight had great float for a ski with a 98 mm width giving it a 5 out of 5 for floatation and even going as far as specifically pointing out that she thought the ski had great “float” and the ability to stay on top of the snow in both true powder and more sugar-snow conditions.
Caroline Kessler was also impressed by the skis versatility. She also tested the 170 cm and thought that it had impressive performance both on firm snow and soft snow and at varying speeds and levels of aggressiveness. She commented that the 90Eight “holds and edge well with no chattering even at high speeds,” which is quite impressive for a ski without metal. In addition to its ability to hold an edge, however, she also thought it was “quick turning and pretty playful.” We know, that sounds too good to be true, right? Quick turning, playful, and stable at speed? If you’re finding a hard time wrapping your mind around that you need to try a 90Eight. Caroline “would recommend for someone who wants to be able to rip through everything on the mountain.”
Tami Razinger thought the 90Eight didn’t feel quite as stable as the wider 100Eight, which is largely due to the extra 10 mm under foot and the fact she was skiing it in relatively soft, variable snow conditions. Tami was also on the 163 cm length, so maybe she would have felt more stability on the 170 cm. She commented that they’re “not as stable or playful as the 100Eights, but hold an edge great and are very maneuverable in the bumps.”
Karly Acker gave the 90Eight W the highest scores for versatility and stability, which if you haven’t noticed is a bit of a theme to this ski. The fact that Karly thought this ski should get be scored 4 out of 5 for stability is really saying something, especially since she too skied the 163 cm. Karly has an extensive background in the alpine race world and continues to coach at a high level here in Stowe. Considering she’s coming off a lot of skis with two sheets of metal and thought this ski deserved such a high score for stability really says a lot. She commented that they would be “great for intermediate to advanced all mountain skiers. They have solid performance on groomers and are very fun in powder!”
The 90Eight really is a super versatile all mountain ski. The addition of 3D.Glass has given the ski noticeably increased stability, so if you tried it before and found it to be not enough ski it’s worth giving it another shot. It’s potentially a great “one ski quiver” for skiers who don’t want to feel held back regardless of where they venture to on the mountain.