Speed demons rejoice! The 2020 Volkl Deacon 76 is built specifically for velocity hounds and carving aficionados. This is the second year of the Deacon 76, as it replaced the Code L from years prior. Built and shaped like a wider race ski, the construction is straight out of the Volkl race room, and skiers who love responsive and stable skis will dig on the Deacon 76’s vibes. There aren’t many “vibes” to dig on, though, as the Deacon is super-damp. The UVO system combined with the build keep these things pretty glued to the snow. The use of slight tip and tail rocker keeps the skis easier to manage than a real race ski, and while they certainly don’t fall into the “all-mountain” category, they do have a bit of versatility built in as a result of that profile. But they’re made to carve, and carve fast, and in our experience, it’s best to let the skis do what they do naturally and try not to interfere.
Bob St.Pierre skied the 181 and loved it’s stability and torsional stiffness. Edge hold gets a 5 out of 5, and overall impression a 4 out of 5. “Very fast! Very stable! Volkl has done skiers a great service by putting some tip and tail rocker and making the ski easier to enter and exit turns while retaining superb edge grip and precision. Not terribly abusive as far as GS-style race skis go.” It’s good to see that the rocker profile’s intended use was not mistaken for something that it’s not. It’s not meant to increase flotation, but rather the ease of turn initiation and completion.
Michael Rooney brought his race expertise to the test and loved the Deacon 76’s stability, quickness, and torsional stiffness. His overall impression score of 4 out of 5 makes us think he’s certainly a fan of the 176 cm length. “The Deacon 76 is an excellent ski for expert and intermediate skiers. It is easy to get on edge and loves to carve a turn. Being just under a race ski, it’s more forgiving.” Michael certainly picks up on the finer aspects of the Deacon 76, and based on his scores and comments, he certainly approves.
Also skiing the 176, Rick Randall found it a bit short, and states he would have preferred the 181. Nevertheless, he still scored it 4’s out of 5 in stability, quickness, and torsional stiffness. Unsurprisingly, his low score for versatility is a nod to the ski’s focus of clean, carved turns. “More of a medium to long radius race-style carver. Good edge hold. For the shape of the ski a longer length would have been better, but it held a good edge and was stable at speed.” He goes on to comment that the Deacon 76 is certainly better suited for groomers and on-piste activities and that “advanced level skiers who like bigger, open carved turns will love this on groomers.”
This ski was not designed to be a versatile, all-mountain weapon, and our testers certainly picked up on that. It is, however, perfectly suited for that which it’s built—a high-speed carver that does not miss a beat.