The Volkl Flair 76 Elite is a ski targeting intermediate skiers who spend the majority of their time on moderately pitched, groomed slopes. There is no metal or carbon in the ski, unlike some of the more aggressive, higher end Flair skis, rather a dual wood core that reduces weight compared to the stiffer, more advanced skis. Even beginner skiers can enjoy the Flair 76 Elite as it is far from overpowering. Much on the contrary, it’s relatively easy to ski, pretty lightweight for an all mountain ski with a system binding, and a confidence inspiring ski for less aggressive skiers. We put quite a few women out on the Volkl Flair 76 Elite, none of which really fall into the beginner or intermediate categories, but they still provided us with some great feedback and even though their skiing ability and level of aggressiveness might surpass the ski’s, they still had a lot of fun on it. All of our testers skied the 161 cm length.
Tami Razinger’s typical type of skiing involves steep backcountry terrain, cliff drops, and a high level of aggressiveness. She is, after all, a competitive big mountain skier on the national level. The Flair 76 Elite certainly does not fall into a class of ski that she would compete on and probably isn’t a ski that she would choose for more relaxed all mountain skiing either, but she found the ski to be much more impressive than she expected. “The Volkl Flair 76 Elite is recommended for the learning skier. For beginner to intermediate skiers this holds an edge great on firm snow and is quite stable. It felt a little shaky at high speeds.” If you would describe your skiing at “high speed” you probably want to jump up in the Flair line to a ski with metal, but for the rest of us the Flair 76 Elite is plenty of ski. Tami “recommends the Flair 76 Elite for use on groomed slopes at the resort, not for powder or off-piste skiing.” We agree, Tami. It’s definitely most at home on groomed, firm snow.
Elissa DeGolyer is another skier who we certainly wouldn’t classify as either a beginner or intermediate due to her alpine race background and very precise skiing, but is another who enjoyed the Flair 76 Elite quite a bit. Elissa thinks it is a “good everyday ski for the strong intermediate looking to get comfortable with their ski ability. It has a super smooth turn with an easy balance point.” You’ll notice that Elissa thinks the ski is best for “strong intermediates” while Tami included “beginners.” This is a good time to mention that there are more beginner oriented skis within the Flair line. Volkl has a Flair 76 (non-Elite) with a softer flex and also a Flair 73 that uses a composite core instead of wood. First time skiers may find the Flair 76 Elite to be more challenging than those two skis, but it’s really quite approachable for new skiers who are very much still learning and progressing their technique. Elissa also commented that she felt that the ski had a “medium stiffness that allows for easy edge control.” This is one of the reasons why we describe it as confidence inspiring. It’s easy to ski, yet has the stability you need to hold an edge.
We think the Flair 76 Elite really is a great choice for beginner and intermediate skiers, but after hearing the reactions from two much more advanced skiers we think it could work for someone with a lot of experience, but maybe less aggressiveness than they used to have. Even advanced skiers who just like to cruise the mountain without feeling like they have to constantly drive a ski with a lot of energy will really enjoy the laid back, cruising nature of the Flair 76 Elite.