2018 Volkl RTM 84 Skis 2018 Volkl RTM 84 Skis

2018 Volkl RTM 84 Skis

The top two models in Volkl’s venerable RTM series of richly-constructed, narrow-waisted frontside skis are similar in many ways: same 3D Ridge construction (thick down the middle, thin and supple over the edge), UVO dampening module (for a quiet ride at high speeds), same rocker profile (tip and tail for forgiving turn entries and exits, with camber underfoot for positive carvability and rebound energy), and virtually the same slalomesque sidecut radius. The big difference is that the top-of-the-line 86 gets the full-metal treatment in its layup, which makes it both more powerful and demanding than the 84. So if you’re sure you’ve got the quad muscles and the ambition to keep up with the 86 all day, go ahead and spend the extra money. But testers were pretty sure that the 84 was plenty of ski for the vast majority of skiers, and even more fun in typical resort conditions. It arcs like any Volkl, but there’s a quickness to it, an ease of maneuverability, that the top model lacks. That comes in handy for steep trees, tight lines, even bumps. Long a darling of the magazine tests, this is the RTM best suited to most skiers, testers said. It’s a stalwart of the Volkl line for good reason.

Testers said:

Joe C. : “Loves to arc at speed, but has a laid-back side to its personality as well. Get the 86 if you’re just gonna rail the groomed all day (or even a beer league racecourse), but this one’s more friendly and versatile for all-mountain applications.”

James S. : “Hard to beat this for an all-around carver. There’s a reason it sells so well. Stable and damp, but not too demanding.”

Kris D. : “A great frontside ripper. Very stable in long-radius, high-speed turns.”

Mike R. : “Good all-around ski with very few compromises. Turns well in both short and long turns. Quick in the bumps and variable snow. A solid choice for intermediate and advanced skiers.”

Matt M. : “An extremely capable all-mountain ski. Highly maneuverable and relatively stable at high speeds. Compared to the 86, it’s a little friendlier—less ideal for experts, but more approachable for intermediates.”

Mike T. : “A quick, playful frontside ripper. Fun, fun, fun. Beautiful combination of carving skills with a nimble, playful feel. Best for a mature skier who wants a thoroughly modern all-mountain ski that still feels like a Volkl.”

Jamie B. : “Lots of energy in the tail. Medium- and long-radius turns are where this ski shines, even in the 172-cm length. A crud slayer.”


James Stewart Ski Tester Headshot Image

James Stewart

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, Playful, Fun to Follow

Joe Cutts Ski Tester Headshot Image

Joe Cutts

Age: 54Height: 6'3"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Heavy-footed, a little reckless, bumps, trees, beer league

Kris DeMello Ski Tester Headshot Image

Kris DeMello

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive, fast, fearless

Michael Rooney Ski Tester Headshot Image

Michael Rooney

Age: 70Height: 6'"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and precise; racing background

Mike Thomas Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Thomas

Age: 48Height: 6'3"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid nimble, powerful

Matt McGinnis Ski Tester Headshot Image

Matt McGinnis

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy Freeride with a Freestyle Background

Jamie Bisbee Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jamie Bisbee

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

Ski Style: Fast and Furious, like the movie

62 Comments on the “2018 Volkl RTM 84 Skis”

  1. Hy. I have tested de wolkl rtm 84 this winter and I was very impressed with it. I tested de162cm and I am 174. It seemed a little short for me. I am 174 and 86kg. What size would you recoman for me. I lean towards the 172. Is there a difference between the 2018 and 2019 rtm or just graphics?Thanks .

    1. Hi Florian!
      I’d say the 172 is the way to go, especially if you found the 162 short. No structural difference between years, just the graphics. Have fun!

      1. Thank you. The 167 would be small for me? Aren’t they more forgiving than the 172. I am an intermediat to advance skier.

      2. Hi Florian!
        If you’re aggressive skier, then go ahead and size up. The longer ski will be more stable at speed, but also harder to turn quickly. If you’re skiing fast and prefer big turns, then by all means get the bigger ski. As far as boot flex, you should be looking in the 110-120 flex range for a good blend of comfort and performance. Have fun!

  2. Hello and thanks in advance. I am a 17-year-old, 5 foot 5 and 143 pound male and I have been skiing since I was around 4. However, I’ve always skied with thin skis for piste and groomed terrain. As I’m getting older I like to ski difficult, steep slopes with moguls where the snow isn’t groomed, but still enjoy to ride groomed terrain. Going fast is not my number one requirement (but I still enjoy it), I like doing short to medium turns and want a ski that is good for those steep slopes with moguls but that can still ride in groomed terrain. I am an advanced skier but still need to perfect my “jumping” technique on steep moguls. Any recommendations? Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hi David!
      Check out the Nordica Navigator 80 or 85. These are all-mountain skis that excel in carving and on-piste performance, but are still quite versatile and love mixing it up. On the softer, more mogul side of things, look to the Volkl Revolt 86 and the Nordica Soul Rider 87 as a twin-tip/all-mountain option. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much for the reply. Just to see if I understand correctly, if a ski is stiffer it’s going to be worse in moguls and steeps slopes than if it’s less stiff? Is there any way to measure ski stiffness and maybe some references or examples? Thank you again!

      2. Hi David!
        I try not to use words like “worse” or “better” when it comes to ski performance, but rather a stiffer ski will demand more of your attention in the moguls and steeps than a softer ski. It’s really all about trying to match the stiffness of the ski to your skiing ability and desired terrain. There’s no standard of measurement for stiffness, but skis with metal laminates are generally stiffer than those without, and different woods make for differently flexing cores, so it’s difficult to put a number or figure on the overall stiffness of the ski. Reading reviews and asking questions is probably your best bet when it comes to determining the proper stiffness of ski for you. Great question, and an important conversation! Hope that helps!

  3. Hi there,
    I’m an advanced skier (6’1″/200lbs) who is looking to improve my experience in moguls. I’ve been skiing a pair of 2010 Mantras (96mm waist) since 2010…love the skis, but I’m looking for something new that are more snappy in the moguls, while still capable in powder. I ski at Tahoe 10+ days a year, so I deal with a full range of ice to 6″ powder depending on the day… I know I want skis with a thinner waist than my Mantras, but I’m torn between a few skis that seem like good options:
    Volkl RTM 84
    Volk Kendo
    Head V10
    Stockli Laser AX (expensive, but sound amazing)

    Do you have any recommendations?


    1. HI Chris!
      I’d look for something in the 88-90 underfoot range, but the Kendo might be a bit stiff for moguls. Check out the Rossignol Experience 88 and the K2 Pinnacle 88 as solid all-mountain skis that are very good in moguls. The V10 has a very wide shovel that is difficult to get from one edge to the next, and the RTM is a more capable on-trail groomer ski than any of the others. Not sure about the Laser. Hope that helps!

  4. Cant decide between the Volkl RTM 81,84 and 86’s. I recently picked up a pair of Blizzard Rustlers 10- 172cm, which is great All Mountain ski. I’m looking to compliment that ski with a Volkl. I’m a beginning -advanced skier and occasionally take bumps, will venture off into tree’s on occasion and go off piste on occassion. However, I spend the majority of my time on groomers but as mentioned I like to mix it up a bit. I ski primarily in the Sierra’s. Really starting to get my carving down and enjoy this aspect of skiing. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Andrew!
      I’d go with the 84 if you’re stuck in the middle. It’s more damp than the 81 and quicker than the 86, so I think it’s a great compliment to the Rustler 10. They’re actually pretty versatile for how well they carve!

  5. Hi I’m a intermediate skier looking at the rtm range or the salamon s max I’m 43 ski twice a year and capable of blacks but not sure which route to take thanks

    1. Hi Mark!
      The RTM 84 has made a lot of happy skiers over the years! It has fantastic on-trail performance and is a bit more versatile than a lot of people give it credit for, I believe. Have fun!

  6. Hello, great article! I am considering to get a front side groomer ski. Current run on 180cm Blizzard Bonafides (98 underfoot, replaced Volkl Gotamas) and love them to bits but they will chatter at higher speed, harder turns and if the groomers are hard. Ski 183cm Volkl Shiros for pow days (119 underfoot). I am thinking of the Volkl RTM 84’s or the Head SuperShape I.Titans (81 underfoot @ 177cm). Do you have an opinion on one vs. the other? I tend to ski groomers fast with big GS-like turns but do enjoy shorter radius turns as well. I would put myself as a strong intermediate to advanced skier, will ski single and double blacks and love it! 6’1″, 205lbs. What about size selection? I have hesitant for some reason to go longer than 180cm. The Heads come in 170 & 177. I feel the 170’s are far too short. The RTM’s come in 177 & 182. Thank you for your insight.

    1. Hi Ken!
      Between those two, I’d say the Head is the more precise on-trail carver while the RTM is a bit more versatile and easy-going. The tip and tail of the Head are wide and flat while the RTM has slight tip and tail rocker that make the ski a bit more forgiving getting onto the edge and releasing from the turn. I’d go with the 177 in whichever model you choose. Have fun!

  7. I am a 60 yr old man, 5′ 9 175 lbs, an intermediate to an advanced skier from Minnesota skiing mainly groomed trails and a lot of manmade snow except for an occasional trip out west. I am currently skiing Blizzard 8.7 Magnum 174 but it’s time to get new ski’s as these just take more work than I want to put in these days. I want something easier to ski but still will go fast when I want to. I am deciding between Nordica Navigator 85 in a 172 and a Volkl RTM 84 in a 167. What would you suggest to me, please?

    1. Hi David!

      The Navigator 85 feels like the way to go, in my opinion. It’s a little more forgiving and more willing to relax than the RTM 84. The RTM 84 is a fun ski, but it’s more demanding than the Navigators. I think you’d find the Navigators feel a lot easier to ski overall, but they still have the stability and torsional stiffness necessary to ski fairly aggressively and fast. For length, you could go 172 cm and be just fine. No need to size up to 179 cm, that would take away some of the forgiveness.

      Hope that helps!


  8. Hi i am an advanced skiier, i can do black slopes and can do off pist slowly, as i tend to slow down when i go on fast speed.
    i am 35, 77KG, 5″11
    I have never bought ski’s and ive been researching on all mountain ski’s and ive narrowed down to a few options

    1. RTM84 (whats the difference between 84 or 86 ?)
    2. M5 Mantra
    3. Elan Amphibio 84 (its on 30% sale)

    can you please recommend.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kav!

      I think you’ll find the Amphibio 84 would work best for your current ability level. The RTM is more of a carving ski than an all mountain ski. It’s a lot of fun, but can be challenging in off-piste conditions. The 86 is essentially a little stiffer than the 84, but overall they are very similar. The M5 Mantra is a great ski, but can be fairly demanding too. From the sounds of it the performance of the Ambibio 84 would be really good for you. It’s a high performing all mountain ski, but it’s also fairly approachable and relatively forgiving.

      Hope that helps!


  9. Hi,
    I just bought the RTM 84s and brought them up to school with me. There has been a ton of powder and they’e currently the only ski I have on hand. Will they perform ok in the pow? Or should I consider renting a more powder oriented ski for a while?

  10. Hi. I tend to ski Mammoth and already have a pair of Nordica Enforcer 93s (2016) which is a great all-mountain ski. But, I find I get a lot of chatter on the hard groomer days and wanted to add a carver ski to my quiver. I am 172cm tall and fluctuate between 83-88 kg. And I am an advanced skier and like to go fast. (i suck at moguls though). Would this be a good ski for me and what specs should I get?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Calvin!
      Yup, the RTM 84 will solve your chatter issues. They come in a 172, which is the size I’d recommend. K2 makes the iKonic 84 Ti and Blizzard makes the Quattro 8.4 Ti that are comparable models. Any of these will do the trick. Have fun!

  11. Hi, I am willing to buy RTM84 but not sure for the lenght.I am 185cm and 80kg.Advanced level.Whats your recomendation 172 or 177?

    1. Hi Bobby!
      My guess is that the 172 would be too short. I’d go ahead and fire up the 177 and let them rip!

  12. I am 51y.o, 6’4 and 119kgs (262.35lbs), fairly ski-fit with good leg strength. I just spent 4 days in NZ on firm groomed and off piste hard pack with the occasional corny, cruddy bumps. My skiing style is slightly shorter turns, slightly quicker and I ski blue & black with relative ease and occasionally double black (not well but gotta have a crack – 1 a day). Suppose I am an advanced skier but def not expert. I have good rhythm and balance on most surface but it does tend to go to crap in bumps.

    I found the 177cm RTM 84 the best ski I have ever been on. Enabled me to cruise or go hard when I wanted. Short or long turns and definitely hero in the groomed piste. Really stable at speed with super sharp edges.

    I can’t recommend them enough.

    My style (lol) and probably the skis were a bit patchy off-piste (not on hard pack – they were great)
    Wondering if any other ski in the Volkl range would keep the awesome in the groomed but be more forgiving off-piste.


    1. Hi Paul!

      The RTM 84 is awesome, but you’re right that it can be a bit challenging in softer, off-piste snow conditions. It’s kind of tough to retain the same groomer performance, while getting more off-piste performance, but the Kanjo is the first ski that comes to mind. It’s the same width underfoot, and uses a strip of metal through it, so it still performs quite well on firm snow. The shape, however, gives it a more forgiving feel in off-piste terrain. It’s easier than the RTM 84 in moguls, trees, etc and still links carving turns really well. Not quite the power of the RTM 84 on firm snow, but it’s certainly no slouch.

      Do you own the RTM 84 or were you demoing? If you own them, it might be worth keeping them and getting a wider, more soft snow oriented ski than the Kanjo. Something like the new M5 Mantra and a RTM 84 would make a really awesome two ski quiver. You could also check out the M5 Mantra in general even if you don’t own the RTM 84. Much wider than what we’ve been talking about, but still performs well on groomers and definitely out performs both the RTM 84 and the Kanjo in soft snow.

      Hope that helps!


  13. Hi I am Mike from New Zealand. I am advance skier. I am 178cm and 110 kg’s. And 48. Enjoy skiing the groomed and off piste . I enjoy going quick. Off piste ski is normally after it tracked out. I do have a ski for powered days and spring. I not sure on what ski to get next. I have a elan spitfire ski. 178. They are great and treated me well. But it time for an upgrade. I had volkl skis many years and loved them.

    1. Hi Mike!

      Do you think you’ll use the RTM 84 off piste, or do you use your powder skis mostly for off-piste use? The RTM 84 is an absolute blast on firm snow and groomed terrain, but it can be a little challenging in off-piste terrain and conditions due to the flex pattern and rocker profile. Something like the Volkl Kanjo or Kendo is a little more versatile than the RTM 84, but it really depends what you’re looking for.

      Let me know, my apologies if I am misunderstanding your situation.


      1. Hi

        Our off piste skiing here is normally hard pack snow. Our powder snow is very wet, not that nice fluffy stuff. So that why I use my fat skis for powder. Spring maybe a bit of corn snow. So after lunch when it becomes wet slop it maybe best to change skis. I have tried a pair of atomics with a 100mm waist and didn’t like them on the groom slops

      2. Hi again Mike!

        The RTM 84 could work for you in that case. If you’re planning on using it for mostly firm snow conditions you’ll probably enjoy it. I was simply pointing out that it’s not the most forgiving ski in soft or variable snow conditions due to the stiffness and the fact that it’s mostly camber. If you’re prepared to swap skis out when the conditions get soft, however, I think it’s a good choice. You’ll get a ripping ski for firm snow.


  14. Hi, I’m 50 years old, 5’8 and 170 lbs. I’m an expert level skier who likes trees bumps and steeps. I usually telemark but am looking for a hard pack ski when it hasn’t snowed in a bit and conditions don’t favour the tele.
    Are the RTM 84s the way to go? The 86 sounds too stiff. I’m pondering 167 or 172. Thx!

    1. Hi David!
      If you’re going to go with the RTM 84, which is a fantastic choice, I’d go with the 172. Not only do they excel on the hard pack, but they also handle all-mountain terrain quite well. Have fun!

  15. Just to give my findings, I am 58, 173cm tall, 78kg and reasonably advanced skier. I wanted a all mountain ski and was convinced the RTM 84 was the way to go. I started on the 172 length and loved them on the hard pack felt like I was on rails, however when I needed to shorten up the turn they became hard work, you have to be on them. I have gone down to the 167 and they are perfect, they still carve like their on rails at high speed and when you need to tighten up on the turns they do it a lot easer than the 172, they are also great in the crud. Hope this helps.

  16. Thanks for the review! How do the RTm 84s hold up in the bumps and in the trees? Are they too narrow to truly be an all mountain ski?

    1. Hi Gerry!

      It’s not that they’re too narrow, but they’re on the stiff side for bumps and trees. They can handle it for sure, but they’re pretty demanding in terrain like that because of the stiffer flexing tail. Doesn’t like to wash a turn around, or pivot or smear or whatever you want to call it. So, not the most forgiving ski in moguls and trees, although they can do it if you’re up for it.


  17. Hi
    Looking to buy pair of skis for my son(20 yrs old, slight build, 185cm tall, slight build and skis mostly blue runs but venturing out on blacks sometimes. Only skis a couple of times a year ( Canada New Zealand Australia)
    It has been suggested that the RM 76 all mountain ski would be suitable. I’d appreciate your input on this. Looking to buy over the next couple of days

    1. Hi Lisa!

      If he’s really just sticking to groomed slopes the RTM 76 could work. That’s essentially an intermediate level carving ski that definitely prefers to be skied on firm snow. You could consider going with a slightly wider ski so it’s more versatile for softer snow conditions (not just powder, also softer spring-like conditions). The Volkl Kanjo comes to mind. It’s a higher performing ski than the RTM 76, but still quite user-friendly for someone like your son. It’s a bit more versatile and a lot of fun to ski.

      What do you think?


  18. Hi ….. I just went from an RTM 78 170 to an RTM 86 177 ….omg ! It’s too much ski for me. It’s so so stable and so fast….it’s like a runaway train…..stays on line beautifully and was a revelation for hammering down the slope doing long wide carves…. but for me @177cm and 75kg intermediate going on advanced just hard work for all day piste skiing…..managed powder fine. My question is should I go 81 or 84; 170 or 177 ? My instinct says I’d probably be better off with an 81 as it’s lighter; I did find the 86 heavy overall …..any view on the 81e(carbon)

    1. Hi Roland!

      I would go with the RTM 81. The 81 is still a nice upgrade from the 78, but not nearly as demanding as the 86. I would say the performance and feel of the RTM 84 is closer to the 86 than the 81, so I would worry a little bit that you’d have a similar experience on the 84 as you did on the 86.

      Hope that helps!


  19. Hello. 5’10” 155 lb advanced skier, but always trying to improve. Currently skiing a Enforcer 100 at 177 cm. Interested in something less wide and more carving oriented for low snow days. Like to open it up on groomed snow, but also enjoy moguls where I tend to slow it down and focus on technique. When the bumps are bigger and the snow is harder, I have a more difficult time on the 177cm Enforcer. Would the 172 or 167 Volkl be more appropriate?

    1. Hi Calvin!

      I think a RTM 84 would be a nice ski to compliment your Enforcer 100. Definitely more carving oriented and are stable at speed and happy to go fast. You might not find them drastically easier in firm moguls, but firm moguls are just challenging regardless of what ski you’re on. I don’t think the Enforcer 100 is too long for you. In my opinion the 172 cm RTM 84 is a more appropriate length for you. It should be very manageable, but will feel great at speed.

      Hope that helps!


  20. Hi, I’m 6 feet tall, 180 lbs and I demoed the RTM 84’s 172cm and loved them. The shop only has the brand new version at 177cm. I usually like shorter, quicker turns but my style isn’t just limited to that and I’ll sneak in some longer turns, especially now that I’m 48. I like to ski the bumps from time to time as well. Will 177cm be fine or should I try and find the 172cm?

    1. Hi Chris!

      I don’t expect you’d have any issue on the 177 cm RTM 84. At your size in my opinion that’s a perfectly acceptable length. Maybe a touch harder to maneuver in the bumps, but realistically 5 cm isn’t going to give it drastically heavier swing weight. That said, if you decide to stick with the 172 cm length, we have all lengths of the RTM 84 available and ship to anywhere in the continental US for free.


  21. I am 71 years old 5’7 and weigh 205 lb I am an advanced intermediate/expert skier. Left knee ACL blown in 1989 and reconstructed. I ski with a knee brace, 35+ days a year, mostly at Camelback in Pa (short runs, groomed) I ski Volkl RTM 80’s four or five years old, in 167cm. I love them but I think it is time for a change. RTM 81 or 84?

    1. Hi Peter!

      I would go with the 81. It’s a great ski and performs really well. The 84 is stiffer, and just being a little bit wider and stiffer I think could cause some knee-related issues. I know the feeling of a re-constructed knee, and in my opinion a little narrower and a little softer flexing goes a long way.

      Hope that helps!


  22. I am 115 kg weight and 186 cm tall.

    I want to buy this ones. Now I am using Salomon x drive 75 176. I think they are too soft for me now. Also I cant get good speed on it. I enjoy radius of that skis. Can you suggest something?

    I am looking at rtm 84 172 or 177. What do you suggest?

    1. Hi Vlad!

      I would go with the 177 cm length. I don’t think that length will be challenging for you, and I think it will give you better stability when you feel like skiing fast. Feels like a more appropriate length for your size too.


  23. Hi!
    I’m an upper intermediate / single black diamond skier currently have a pair of K2 Apache series! I like the fast groomers. I ski in New England. So a lot of chop and hard packed snow to Ice. What series of RTM I was looking at 81 series. Plus I’m 5’6 what size would you recommend?

    1. Hi Nathan!

      The RTM 81 is a good ski, and would be a lot of fun for fast groomers here in New England. You could consider getting the 84 as the little bit of extra width does help in chopped up snow or other variable snow conditions. How much do you weigh? Do you know the length of your K2s? My instincts are to go around 165 cm (167 in the RTM 84, or 163 cm in the 81), although you could justify going with the 162 cm 84 if you’re relatively lightweight. On the other end of the spectrum if you decide to go 81 and are on the heavier side you could bump up to the 170 cm, but keep in mind that’s actually taller than you.

      Hope that helps!


    1. Hello!

      The RTM 81 is a great ski for upper level intermediate skiers! I would guess the RTM 84 and 86 might be a little too much ski, while the 76 might not have the stability you’re looking for, but I think the 81 will be great!


  24. Thanks for the review! I’m considering RTM84 but have a dilemma: with 181cm, 81kg and 40 years of skiing (out of 47) would you recommend 172 or 177cm. I’m not really aggressive nowadays, like to enjoy in some slow cruising from time to time.

    1. Hey Mladen!

      Considering you’re not aggressive and prefer the slower cruising I think you could go with the 172 cm and be perfectly happy. The big reason to go with a longer length ski is the extra stability, and if you’re not skiing fast you probably don’t need it. 172 cm should be a lot of fun for you!


  25. I love the way these ride for my quick aggressive style. (I have the 86’s) What I don’t get is how fragile they are. 4 compressed edge repairs in 6 days of use! The 3d ridge technology seems great for reducing rotational weight but at the expense of a frail sidewall on a ski that is designed for expert skiers. Don’t get me wrong, I ride hard but only 170 pounds and not hitting rocks….just bumps make them crumble. Has anyone else experienced this? Is fragility common on all Volkl skis or just this model?

    1. Hey Wally!

      What year are your RTM 86s? Volkl did notice some issues with durability on their 3D.Ridge skis. It’s an awesome design and you’re right in saying it effectively reduces rotational weight, but they did decide it should be beefed up a bit so to speak. The newer versions have what’s called 3D.Glass. Essentially the fiberglass now extends to the edge of the wood core, then up along the sidewall, then out along the edge. It’s a fair amount more fiberglass overall and it has helped give the skis more structural integrity, while also giving them a touch more power… a win win!


  26. Rented these skis for a day at Nakiska. Cold January day with plenty of sunshine and a trace of overnight snow. Responsive and easy to ski in a variety of situations. Fun to try different skis but would seriously consider buying these.

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