2020 Volkl 90Eight

Volkl calls the 90Eight their most versatile ski, and it’s hard to disagree with that statement. While it lacks the upper-end stability of a Mantra, it makes up for it with its overall character. These things are stable, quick, light, and snappy. At 98 mm underfoot, they’re going to float up and over a fair amount of snow, and with the wood core, they’re far from abusive or demanding. They do, however, have a lot of pop and energy thanks to the 3D Ridge and 3D Glass build. By placing the majority of the mass in the central spine of the ski, the vibrations are kept to a minimum. The larger fiberglass laminate makes the skis stiffer and more responsive, and our testers loved the overall feeling of the skis.

The 177 felt a bit short to Bob St.Pierre, who should be on the 184, but that didn’t stop him from giving a glowing review. With all 4’s out of 5 and a 5 out of 5 for overall impression, it’s safe and fair to say that Bob had a great time ripping these things all over the hill. “Blew away my expectations. They were extremely stable in a carve and gave a great rebound after excellent edge control. I love the 3D Ridge and 3D Glass construction—it makes them so stable for a wood core ski.” Adding to that, Bob remarks on the versatility of the 90Eight: “Wonderful floater as well, but mainly impressed with the edge grip and stability.” It’s pretty impressive that a wider ski can evoke these sentiments, and that the skis can be as versatile as Bob makes them out to be.

Justin Perry skied the 177 and thought it was the proper length. He scored it a 5 out of 5 for flotation and playfulness, so it’s fair to say Justin liked it in the soft snow. He also thought it was highly versatile, scoring it a 4 out of 5 in that category. “Super light-weight and easily maneuverable. Pivot on point like a boss and cut through crud and pow like a champ! Throw a tech binding on them and fly uphill!” Good point by Justin here, indicating that the lightness combined with the downhill performance would make this a great touring ski.

Jeff Neagle, also on the 177, found them to be true to size. He gave high scores for quickness, maneuverability, forgiveness, and versatility. “The 90Eight is a fairly unique ski. Lightweight, but strong torsional stiffness. Not a hard-charger as it doesn’t have the required mass, but a high-end ski nonetheless. Best for someone who values quickness and responsiveness over stability. Also not a smearer, it’s more deliberate and precise in performance and feel.” Jeff also notes the potential for a touring ski by calling it an “adventurous side-country ski.”

Not all high-performance skis have to have two sheets of metal and weigh a ton. The 2020 Volkl 90Eight is a perfect example of this. By placing the mass in the central portion of the ski, Volkl has created a damp, stable, and quick ski that can handle a lot of different terrain and snow conditions. Based on their claim that it’s one of the most versatile skis on the market, it’s hard to argue with the overall notion that these things can simply do anything.

Testers

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Jeff Neagle

Age: 33Height: 5'10"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

Justin Perry

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

Bob St.Pierre

Age: 41Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier and coach

5 Comments on the “2020 Volkl 90Eight”

  1. I have been on the Volkl 90eights since the end of 2016. I love them. So easy. Go anywhere. My one complaint is they can be a bit chattery at high speed, unless I really lean into them. I thought the 2020 version might feel a bit more stable? I was thinking about the 2020 90eight vs the Rustler 9 for my next ski.

    …either that…or hold onto my 2016 90eights and treat myself to a pair of 2020 Kendos! (But I’d really prefer to have a one ski quiver)

    1. Hi Steven!
      The new 90Eight has a bit more stability thanks to the 3D Glass which is basically just more fiberglass. It’s a pretty noticeable difference with a bit of added weight, but they’re not sluggish at all. I think the Rustler 9 is a great choice for a next pair, and while narrower, provides greater carving power thanks to the metal layer. For a one-ski quiver, it’s hard to go wrong with that Rustler 9.
      I do like that idea of the Kendo/2-ski quiver, I’d also add to check out the Volkl Deacon 84 for an even more trail-oriented ski if that’s what you’re looking for. Either way, sounds like you’re in good shape for the upcoming season!
      SE

  2. Hi! between the volk 90eight (184) and the head kore99 (180) for all mountaintouring option (kingpin setup) , 40% piste, 60% off piste, for a strong intermediate skier, which one would you choose?
    thanks !!!

    1. Hi Jorge!
      Both great choices! I think the Kore will give you better touring capability with the Kingpin. They’re very light due to the construction, while the 90Eight has more of a traditional feel to it. If I were just at the resort, I’d go 90Eight, but for touring purposes, I’d lean to the Kore. Have fun!
      SE

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