Fun and playful skis should not be boring, and the 2020 Liberty Helix 98 is anything but dull. These things are quick, lively, smooth, and fun. What more could you ask for in a pair of skis? Built with a bamboo and poplar core, these skis have a ton of snap and pop. Because they are metal-free, they can be a bit chatty at speed, but for most skiers in most terrain and speed, that’s a perfectly reasonable sacrifice. Slight tip and tail rocker are there for turn initiation and completion rather than flotation, as the width and shape of the ski tend to do the heavy lifting in this arena. For groomers and firm snow, having that cambered feel makes it fun and snappy, and our testers certainly picked up on this fact. We’re looking for quite a bit of high scores for playfulness and forgiveness with the Helix 98, as this is a friendly twin-tip that has a nice and high-performance ceiling.
On the 186, Harrison Gorham loved the stability and edge hold, with those categories earning 5’s out of 5. The rest of his scores were all 4’s showing just how versatile these skis are. Harrison even found it “more stable than the Origin 96,” which is a nice compliment for the Helix. The Helix 98 is a “stable ripper that holds a great edge.” So it’s not just a flimsy wood core twin tip for park and pipe skiing, it’s a true all-mountain ski in Harrison’s mind. He concludes by stating that the skis have a “good strong flex and are forgivable.” Probably he meant forgiving.
Justin Perry scored the ski a 5 out of 5 for overall impression. He skied the 179 and liked its playfulness. “This was a super-fun, responsive, and easy to throw around ski. It was super-stable at speeds and can make different turn shapes depending on how you want to ski. Easy going backwards or forwards. Great spring ski for bumps and soft snow.” That’s quite true, Justin, and it is important to note that the softer the ski, the better suited for softer snow.
Annie MacDonald skied the 172 but would have preferred the 179. For a wood core ski, it’s impressive to point out that Annie’s highest scores were for stability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold. These traits are normally found in more on-piste oriented skis, but hey, if it works, don’t fight it. Her overall impression score was also a 5 out of 5, so it’s safe to say that Annie’s a fan of the Helix 98. “This is a park ski on steroids! So fun! Great sidewall that lets you lay it over in ripping GS turns with great stability. Pretty maneuverable but not super-forgiving, but overall it’s a blast to ski.” In terms of having a ski that accommodates a lot of skiers, Annie notes that “it’s a great ski for racers that want an all-mountain/park/fun ski to add to their quiver. Thumbs up!” Terrific analysis from Annie here, looks like she’ll be adding one to her quiver this fall.
The 179 worked for Mike Aidala, who scored consistent 4’s all the way down the card. This consistent type of scoring implies that the ski is highly versatile. In talking about the build and design of the ski, Mike notes the lack of metal: “For a ski that does not have any metal in the construction, it’s pretty stable and torsionally stiff and provides a solid all-mountain performance. The Helix 98 provides a fun, playful performance with a lot of energy.”
We certainly hear that these Liberty all-mountain and freeride skis have a lot of energy, and we constantly hear how stable they are for not having any metal. It just goes to show that skis can have a wide range of build designs and still perform at a very high level.