The re-designed Liberty V82 is a beefier version of last year’s ski. We’re not quite sure that it needed an extra vertical metal laminate or a full-carbon layup, but they did it anyway, and the results are actually quite impressive. It’s a relatively narrow carving ski that has a lot of liveliness and versatility built in. Testers loved the stability and the edge grip, as these skis are pretty tough to break out of their carve. In terms of rocker, there’s not really much. Just a 10 percent tip rocker in the V82, with the rest of the ski fully cambered. This makes for a solid on-trail performer. The tip shape has no taper, so it really hooks up right from the start. By adding the extra metal strip and carbon layup, they’ve differentiated the V series from the new Evolv line. This puts more pressure on the V series to be the on-trail performers that they were built to be. As the middle width of the series, the V82 is a strong, precise, and poised ski that’s best suited for advanced and expert level carving skiers.
Dave Carter skied the 179 and found it to be the right size. His scores were all 3’s and 4’s, with his overall impression scoring a 4. Unsurprisingly, forgiveness and flotation both got 3’s, and this is right in line with what we’d expect. “Lively ski that performed well in a variety of conditions. Worked well in bumps with variable snow (wet, packed, and granular).” It’s interesting to hear that an 82 mm on-piste ski would be this versatile, but Liberty makes some sweet skis, so we won’t argue.
Also on the 179, Michael Rooney scored 5’s for quickness, maneuverability, forgiveness, and edge hold. “The V82 is a good ski for both intermediate and expert skiers. When you relax on it, the skis turn fine. When you really put them on edge and push, the ski gives you back everything you put into it even on rough terrain.” Sounds like Michael is experiencing that the ski has a high-performance ceiling, and does require some effort to get it to its limit.
David Wolfgang skied the longest length, the 186, and loved everything about it except for the playfulness. His overall impression score of 5 out of 5 is telling that the V82 has a lot of positive things going for it. David calls it a “total Thoroughbred. This ski cruises through any and all terrain like it owns it.” In noting the difference with the new model, “last year’s skis were great. This year’s version is even better. Not the lightest to carry around on your feet, but still nimble underfoot.” Liberty definitely does a good job in making these skis pretty consistent from tip to tail, and it’s nice when a carving-oriented ski can still be quick in the middle.
Mike Aidala would have preferred the 179, but the 172 was still a fine size for a tester. He scored the ski 5’s out of 5 for stability and overall impression, so it sounds like Mike is right on track with what Liberty is trying to put out there. In terms of the beefed-up 2020 version, “you will definitely notice the change in performance for the 2020 Liberty V82. Liberty added a third vertical metal laminate which greatly enhanced the dampness. Other than being damp, the V82 is full of energy coming out of every turn. The more you press on the tails, the more energy the ski gives back to you.” Mike is definitely feeling that cambered tail boosting him out of one turn and into the next.
The updated V82 has more strength and power than the older version. It’s not that much heavier, because those metal struts don’t weigh a whole lot. That’s kind of the point of the VMT that Liberty uses, and it certainly works. There’s a lot to like about the front-side performance of the 2020 Liberty V 82.