The ever-popular Volkl 100Eight returns for 2020 as a top-end soft-snow ski for advanced and expert skiers. While the ski contains no metal, it makes up for it in different ways. The 3D Ridge technology is fantastic for keeping the edges of the skis light and playful while the central core remains damp, stiff, and stable. Carbon stringers help with the stiffness, keeping the skis snappy, light, and quick. From a flotation perspective, this ski is fully-rockered, so it’s got a great smeary, surfy, and slarvy feel to it that a ton of skiers love in the fresh and soft snow. Early taper in the tips keep them cutting through the deep stuff, ensuring a smooth and silky performance. When you’re not in super-deep snow, the 3D Glass and the multi-layer wood core keep the ski snappy and poppy. Also, the flat tail has some stiffness to it, so that goes a long way in giving a fair amount of energy to the ski. It’s not a bad groomer ski for 108 underfoot. As usual, our testers love the soft-snow ability of the skis and their playfulness in those conditions.
Marcus Shakun skied the 189 and found it to be the proper size. He had lots of high scores, with 4’s being given for flotation, stability, playfulness, forgiveness, and overall impression. He calls it a “nice and light ski—good for an all-mountain advanced intermediate to expert. The 100Eight is forgiving in the shovel, but has a stiffer tail. This allows for easy entry into the turn and holds well through the turn. That stiffer tail gives some snap at the end of the turn.” This harkens back to the flat tail aspect of the ski, since the longer the tail is engaged in the turn, the more power you can generate. Marcus does note the potential limitations of the ski, especially in terms of bigger and more aggressive skiers. “An aggressive expert might not find it enough of a ski. It could be a one-ski quiver for a less-aggressive or advanced intermediate skier.” All good info from Marcus here, touching on the versatility and the intended audience of the accomplished 100Eight.
Jeff Neagle skied a few runs on the 181 length and thinks it skis true to size. Like Marcus, Jeff has a lot of high scores on his test form. His overall impression is a 4.5 out of 5, and that’s pretty awesome to see. No scores under 4 for Jeff, leading us to infer that the ski is a well-rounded, high-performance ski that has a ton of capabilities. As Jeff says, “I like this ski more than the 90Eight because it feels surfier and overall more fun in softer snow. It’s still relatively stiff with really good torsional stiffness, but it feels more forgiving to me than the 90Eight because of the full-rocker profile.” Jeff goes on to touch on the versatility and potential of the 100Eight: “It’s an excellent ski for someone who wants both resort and AT performance. Light enough for touring, solid enough for aggressive resort skiing.” Great point here, as they’re relatively light for how strong they are—certainly some backcountry potential with the 100Eight.
Fully-rockered skis are a ton of fun in the powder. If they’re built right, like the 100Eight, they have a lot going for them on the groomers as well. But in windpack, fresh powder, crud, and slush, having that full rocker is an absolute blast. Volkl does a good job keeping that flat tail pretty stiff, because when the tail of a fully-rockered ski is soft or turned up, it makes the ski a bit weaker on the exit of the turn. Not so much with the 100Eight, as it likes to lock into the turn on firmer snow.