2018 Volkl RTM 86 Skis 2018 Volkl RTM 86 Skis

2018 Volkl RTM 86 Skis

The RTM 86 is the widest ski in Volkl’s “Ride The Mountain” collection and is best thought of as a wider carving ski. While it is mostly unchanged from 2017 going into 2018, Volkl did add their new 3D.Glass construction. This 3D.Glass is fiberglass that instead of ending before the sidewall now wraps up the side of the ski and out to the edge. The concept is to give the ski more structural integrity and thus better torsional stiffness and power. This builds on the performance we’ve seen in the RTM 86 since Volkl redesigned the line with their new 3D.Ridge technology: an innovative and unique way of building a carving ski that has been met with rave reviews. The RTM series is known for delivering responsive performance on groomers and for having relatively innovative, unique construction. They’re lighter than traditional carving skis, yet don’t seem to lose any torsional stiffness, but let’s see if our testers agree.

4 out of 5 testers gave the RTM 86 5 out of 5 for its Stability score, which it a great place to start when talking about this ski. It’s a powerful ride that shouldn’t be taken lightly and is incredibly damp, something that all of our testers agreed on. As Mike Thomas states, the ski is a “Ripper. Powerful ski with a carving character with just enough rocker to make it a little playful and very versatile for how well it trenches.” Joe Cutts, another big, powerful skier adds, “Can be a little exhausting, but WOW does it love to carve hard snow at high speed!”

Most testers agreed with Mike Thomas that the ski is quite versatile considering its strength and power. Matt McGinnis even went as far as giving the ski 5 out of 5 for both Quickness and Playfulness. He added, “Quick edge to edge, plus the camber makes it bounce, so I had a playful time on it!” Despite Matt’s praise, we probably wouldn’t describe this ski as overwhelmingly playful, especially when compared to lighter, more rockered skis, but his response sheds light on the skis ability to do more than just carve. For reference, Mike, Matt, and Joe all skied the 182 cm length.

If you love carving powerful turns, but you want a little more versatility out of your ski, consider the RTM 86. Our testers do have some words of advice, however. Joe Cutts puts it nicely, “Great at what it does, just know what you’re in for.” Matt McGinnis echoes this sentiment with, “The ski probably isn’t for true beginners partly because there are simply better choices for them.” We can add that the ski probably isn’t for less aggressive intermediate skiers for the same reason.

It is, on the other hand, “Ideal for fast, high-angle arcs on fresh, early-morning corduroy,” according to Joe Cutts. Mike Thomas, being a larger guy himself, adds in “Best for a bigger skier looking for a wide carver with versatility. Not for lightweight, timid skiers.” While you certainly can be a smaller skier and still enjoy the RTM 86, you don’t want to be checking the timid box alongside the lightweight box. We’ll leave you with our favorite quote out of all the RTM 86 test forms, again coming from Mike Thomas:

“Eat your Wheaties and charge.”


Matt McGinnis Ski Tester Headshot Image

Matt McGinnis

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

Ski Style: Surfy Freeride with a Freestyle Background

Mike Thomas Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Thomas

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

Ski Style: Upright, fluid nimble, powerful

Jamie Bisbee Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jamie Bisbee

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

Ski Style: Fast and Furious, like the movie

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

Michael Rooney Ski Tester Headshot Image

Michael Rooney

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

Ski Style: Fast and precise; racing background

9 Comments on the “2018 Volkl RTM 86 Skis”

  1. I’ve got 75 action packed days up and down every run sun valley has along with just about every condition. They are bomb proof so far Koodos

  2. I’m 74 years old I’ve had my Volkl RTM 86 skis for 4 weeks now and I love them. I live in Montana and we have had a lot of snow this year, I like the way they ski the powder. This weekend was my first Day for me on hard snow the skis were awesome.

  3. Good to know about the new model. I told them but since I bought them from a friend they won’t help me. Good thing I know how to fix a compressed edge…just hope my repairs hold up stronger than the ski.

  4. 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!


      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I have the 2017 model…which I understood remained unchanged in 2018. It has the ridge and appears to have glass all the way to the edge, but the sidewalls are so thin (maybe 1/4″ underfoot at most), I can’t see how they can possibly hold up under expert level skiers.

      2. 3D.Glass is actually new for 2018. The shape and everything else about the construction remains the same, but there is a little bit more fiberglass kind of wrapping the sidewall and edge that really helps with durability. Have you communicated your issues to Volkl? I can’t comment on whether it would be covered under warranty, but I do know they’re aware of that issue.

    2. I’ve had an issue too. I bent up the tail during a carving turn. 2017 model as well. No rocks no bumps!

Comments are closed.