2020 Volkl Deacon 76

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.

Testers

Rick Randall

Age: 45Height: 5'10"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Efficient and technical with a love for speed

Michael Rooney

Age: 72Height: 6'0"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and precise with a racing background

Bob St.Pierre

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

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

2 Comments on the “2020 Volkl Deacon 76”

  1. Im 6’2″ and 160lbs and currently on navigator 90 that I love other than on real hard snow at high speeds when they get a little chattery. I’m interested in the deacon 76. I was considering that or the nordica spitfire 80RB. I’m looking for something for beer league racing and still decent for ripping groomers on hard days and still hitting a few leftover bumps. I got a chance to try the spitfires and they handled the bumps ok for what I’m looking for but they would surprise me at certain times when I would get stuck in a carve and they were really locked in when the edges would bite. I fell over at relatively low speed when I first hopped on them because the edges bit when I leaned in for a gentle skid turn and the edges held at the carving radius instead of the quicker skid that I expected. It’s possible that I would figure them out and it wouldn’t be an issue after a day or 2 because I’m dialed into the navigators but is there another ski that would perform good for racing but not be quite as locked in as the spitfire felt? I tried head supershape titans and they felt predictable all around and still damp but would I be giving up much race performance with something like that? The deacon sounds a little easier to get in and out of a carve with the tip and tail rocker compared to the spitfire but without hopping on them I’m not totally sure. I’m an agressive expert free skier who is still polishing my skills for racing. I’m about 10-15% off the fastest times at the local beer league.

    1. Hi Jeff!
      I loved them both, but only got on the RB in the 174, where I should be on the 180. I had a very favorable impression of the Deacon in the 181, and it just felt quicker by a hair. I’d say the Deacon is a better choice for the race course, but not by much. Even with the tip and tail rocker, they’re still all business underfoot. Have fun!
      SE

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