2020 Volkl Deacon 79

The 2020 Volkl Deacon 79 is a re-branded RTM 79 from a year ago. Way back then, our testers were pretty impressed with the quickness and stability of a seemingly “intermediate” carver. With a wood core and steel damping, the Deacon 79 is hardly an ordinary carving ski. The 3D Ridge build gives the ski a ton of stability and precision while keeping vibrations to a minimum thanks to that central ridge. For skiers who are mainly ripping up the groomers, the Deacon 79 has a fairly high-performance ceiling, and is capable of making ridiculously quick carves with some awesome snap built right in. Our testers were all pretty much in agreement that the Deacon 79 has a higher gear than expected.

Bob St.Pierre skied the 177, the longest length, and found it to be short. He’s 6’2” and 215 so that makes sense. As a result, he scored the ski a 5 for quickness and maneuverability. An overall impression score of 4 out of 5 stands out as well, leading us to believe that Bob was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Deacon 79. You can almost hear the surprise in his quote: “Actually a great ski with a very high-performance ceiling. They’re very fun with a stronger-than-expected tail.” He goes on to call them “snappy, poppy, and stable.” It’s nice to hear that a ski can hold a few different and opposing characteristics at the same time, and that skis that are snappy can also be stable. These things are not mutually exclusive, and it’s nice to see in a ski like the Deacon 79.

Also on the 177, Rick Randall loved the quickness and maneuverability of the skis, scoring a 5 out of 5 for those characteristics. All of his other scores were 4’s out of 5, so it’s safe to assume that Rick had a nice time on these things. He calls them an “all-mountain carver that is really playful with good energy from turn to turn. Advanced level skiers can really work this ski, but also great for intermediate level skiers looking to advance.” He continues to praise the ski, calling it “stable with really good edge hold in firm conditions. Easy to break out of a carve into short-swing turns.” Rick finishes his glowing review by stating that he was “very surprised by how much energy I got out of this ski. Great all-mountain carver!” Well said, Rick!

Michael Rooney brings his extensive racing background to the test, so it’s great to get his input on a carver like the Deacon 79. He scored the ski 4’s out of 5 for both stability and forgiveness, showing that he found the 177 to be approachable and poised. His comments speak for themselves: “The Deacon 79 is good for an intermediate skier. It is not too demanding and still makes good carving turns when it is pushed. It tolerates you when you want to relax. The Deacon 79 is stable along almost all of its length unlike other skis.”

It’s great to hear that the Deacon 79 has made believers out of our testers. This is a ski that should not be overlooked, especially by the intermediate to advanced crowd who are looking for a fun, snappy, and stable ski to rip some groomers on.


Michael Rooney

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

Ski Style: Fast and precise with a racing background

Rick Randall

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

Ski Style: Efficient and technical with a love for speed

Bob St.Pierre

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

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

33 Comments on the “2020 Volkl Deacon 79”

  1. Hi,
    Im a beginner or more intermidiate who wants to learn carving.

    I have seen there was a rtm 79 aswell but wonder whats the diffirence between the RTM 81 and the Deacon 79?

    And witch ski do you recommend for me as a beginner/intermidiet?
    Im 180cm & 90kg witch lenght is good for me.


    1. Hi Sam!
      Deacon 79 and RTM 79 are the same ski, just a different year. The 81 is more of an advanced ski, with more metal and a 3D Glass build. I think the 79 is the way to go for you–they’re still very functional skis with a high-performance ceiling. I’d say your size puts you in the 177 length, but if you’re super-nervous, I think the 170 would be fine as well, just on the short side. Have fun!

      1. Hi SE
        Thanks for the helpful comment.

        I also wonder whats the diffirence between the
        RTM 79 and Deacon 79.

        Im also wondering sbout the RTM 76 Elite.
        Wow would you compare this three skiis for a intermedate skiier?

        Im choosing between Deacon 79, RTM 79 and RTM 76 Elite.
        Is it much better to have tip and tal rocker?

        Thanks guys for youre wonderful support <3

        1. Hi Sam!
          Deacon and RTM 79 are the same ski, just different name/graphic. The 76, being narrower, is a bit quicker edge to edge, and with a slightly softer flex. All three are great for intermediate skiers, and any tip/tail rocker these skis may have doesn’t really affect the performance–it’s hardly noticeable, just makes turn transitions a bit smoother. Hope that helps!

  2. Hello, this is exactly the type of ski I’m looking for. Advanced/expert snowboarder turned skier. I would describe my skill set as intermediate but certainly looking to improve. At 6’4” 225, do I need something with more length and stability ? I ski eastern groomers and want something playful. If this isn’t enough ski is there anything else you would recommend? I also have my eyes on the the Stoeckli Laser AX.


    1. Hi Jim!
      I think your size puts you in the next level up for a ski, so the Volkl Deacon 80 as well as 84 should be on your list. It’s more about size versus ability, so don’t be put off if reviews say they’re for experts. The Stockli has a higher-end feel and performance for sure–wonderful skis if you can afford them! I’d go with the 182 in those Volkl models. Have fun!

  3. Hi Guys! Absolutely love your youtube channel and have been watching you guys regularly. Thanks so much for constantly educating and updating us with new stuff! I am an intermediate skier mainly ski in the poconos (PA) groomed slopes, usually make one trip to Killington a season and one to the west coast. Based on many reviews and size of the skies, I am considering Volkl Deacon 79. I am 5’6″, 165 lb, intermediate and will always be on groomed slopes in the East Coast. My prefer length of ski is around 160-165 and I enjoy carving and improve my carving skills. Would you recommend Deacon 79 or anything else? I am not sure if Deacon 79 would be too stiff for me. I like the 14m Radius for the 163 size. Thanks so much for the fantastic youtube videos and keep up the good work!!! with gratitude from the bottom of my heart — Bobby (MD)

    1. Hi Bobby!
      I found the 79 to be more snappy than stiff. I really was impressed with the carving ability of the ski, and I’m 6/2 220. Another choice would be the Nordica Navigator 80–a bit more versatile than the Deacon, but still a ton of fun in the turns! That size range sounds just about right. Have fun!

      1. I have been reading and reading and reading. Looking for insight after this comment. I am 5′ 11″ 215. Stopped skiing 20 years ago, could ski I would say solid intermediate. Now my 10 year old is skiing, I am avoiding wide skis as I am 90% on upstate NY groomed and iced up runs. Looking for a ski that I can cruise on with him but that I can push if wanted. Volkl Deacon 79 177cm was on my radar but think it might be too racy to just cruise on? But, now I have the Nordica Navigator 80 you mentioned. Also on my list Rossignol Experience 80 and Blizzard Quattro 8.0. Last skis I had were 1991 Dynastar 1000’s and some K2 Gyrators.

        1. Hi Judah304!
          I think if you got that Navigator you could call it a day and really have a blast out there. They’re light, fun, easy to turn, but still have a strong finish to the turn, and that comes in handy on groomers and hard pack. Have fun!

  4. Hi,
    I came across a great deal on these skis, ~$450, and was wondering if they’d fit the bill. I’m 47, 6’1″, 230lbs, I would consider myself advanced but would like to clean up and improve my carving. I ski eastern groomers primarily, with little to no off-piste, and not particularly aggressively. They are available in 177cm length. I currently ski Atomic Vantage X77Ti, 177cm. Would these work for me and would they be a step up from the Atomics? Thanks very much.

    1. Hi Evan!
      They’re quicker and more energetic than the Atomic, but they don’t quite have the stiffness or high-gear of the Vantage. If you’ve felt like you want a step up from your current skis, the Deacon 80 or 84 are better options in the Volkl line, but that is a very good deal on that setup! Also, if you’re not particularly aggressive, the 79 is going to be a great ski. Have fun!

    1. Hi Bartosz!
      The Metal of the Fischer makes it a higher performer with a top gear that the Deacon doesn’t have. That said, the Deacon 79 is quick and snappy and a ton of fun. Not quite as business-like as the Fischer. Have fun!

  5. Hello! Love your reviews. I’m looking at purchasing a new pair of skis at the end of this season and have been considering the Volkl Deacon range. I’m an advanced female skier, with a racing background (5’10”, 165) – do you think I’d be happy with the Deacon 79, or should I consider the 80/84? Looking for a good all-mountain ski, with excellent stability for carving at higher speeds – but something I don’t need to work too hard to get results haha

    1. Hi Laura!
      I think the 80 splits the difference pretty nicely. It gets the newer build but uses fiberglass instead of titanal in the frame. The 79 is still working on the older 3D Ridge technology while the 80 and 84 get the frame build. The 84 is the high-gear for sure, while the 80 still has plenty of power but is better at lower speeds as well, allowing for better results with less work. Have fun!

  6. Hi. I am 62. coming back to ski after 15 y. I was intermediate on groomed runs. what skis do you suggest? I am 180 cm and 215 Lbs? And what length? comparing Atomic X 77 ti at 178 cm and this one Vokl 79 ant 177 cm what would be easier to handle and turn, sliding /carving … Any other ski option you suggest?

    1. Hi Sinisa!
      I’d say the Atomic will be easier to handle and turn. The Volkl is a bit snappier and more precise, so that’s a good option if you’re comfortable with carving turns at a decent rate of speed. The Atomic will likely suit your needs better than the Volkl. I’d say the mid-upper 170’s would be appropriate for length. Have fun!

  7. I am 60 years old and currently ski on Atomic Nomad Smoke TI 164cm which I bought in 2012. I am 6′ 0″, 165lbs and looking to upgrade in ski length and waist width. I have been skiing about 12-13 years. All of my skiing is on piste in Minnesota. Although with one of my sons living on the East coast I am hoping to ski the Eastern slopes. My son says I am an intermediate to advanced skier. I have been working on my carving and have to admit that occasionally I do fall back on my heals. Usually when I am on slick hard pack and I feel the ski occasionally slide out from under me, but I hope to get better so I can prevent that. The local ski shop has a pair of Volkl Deacons 79, 177cm on sale. My questions are; would it be to difficult going from 164cm to 177cm length? And are the Deacons an upgrade from the Nomad TI’s? The skis I have been looking at were Atomic Vantage 85 or Nordica Enforcer 90. By the way, I did take snow board lessons the season after I turned 50, so I am still somewhat defiant.

    1. Hi Joe!
      It’s not too big of a jump, in fact, if you hadn’t been on 164’s I’d recommend the 177 for your size and stats. The Deacon is lighter than the Nomad–those skis were all pretty darn heavy. You’ll get a lot more quickness and energy out of the Deacon, and with the added length, some more stability at speed. It’s a more refined ride for sure, with similar performance coming with less weight, so yes, it’s an upgrade overall from the Nomad. In that 79-85 range, check out the Blizzard Brahma 82 and the Nordica Navigator 80 or 85 for comparison. Have fun!

  8. Hi,
    I currently ski the volkl kendo 177cm but am looking to change to a more piste ski. I love the ski and have had great fun on them. I was looking at volkl deacon 80s. Would these be a good choice

    1. Hi Mark!
      Definitely a good choice. The big difference is that the Deacon 80 uses a fiberglass frame while the current Kendo 88 uses a titanal frame, much like the Mantra skis (and the Deacon 84, for that matter). What you’ll lose in metal, you’ll make up for in quickness and precision. If you’re worried about too much overlap with the Kendo and Deacon 84, Check out the Fischer RC One GT 82 or the Elan Wingman 82 CTi for that piste ski with metal. Have fun!

  9. Hi – I’m currently skiing on a K2 Escape 4500 (yes – you’ll need to Google that up as it’s an early 2000 model) – just haven’t been skiing enough (only 3-5x per year) to justify an upgrade. Moved to Maine 2 years ago, and now working from home due to Covid – so hope to spend a lot more time skiing (with good social distancing) this winter. I’m a advanced intermediate and enjoy carving the groomed trails and searching for the perfect turn, speed isn’t my top priority. 5’10” 195lb. I measured my Escapes and see that it’s 68mm underfoot – don’t see much of that anymore it seems. Looking for a nice advanced intermediate carving ski – and reviews seem to suggest the Deacon line might be for me. Have questions about moving to a much wider ski – any thoughts would be appreciated. Thx. Mike

    1. Hi MIke!
      No need to google that ski, I’m quite familiar! I still ski on a 1998 Salomon Super Force 9 2S and love it. I think you’ll be pretty surprised with the amount of energy and response that you can get out of a wider ski, and I was pretty stoked on the performance of the Deacon 79. They do top out at 177, I believe, so you might want to check for available lengths. The Deacon 80 is the next step up, with a more modern build and a fiberglass frame that delivers power to the edge. The 84 uses metal instead of fiberglass for that frame, so you get more precision and power out of that one. Have fun!

  10. Hi gang,
    I’m looking at the Deacon 79 for my wife. She’s 56 years old, 5-foot-9, and about 145 pounds. A strong intermediate (strong in general), and graduating from a old pair of Heads that are admittedly a little short (at 164). I’m considering this ski, probably size 170, for a typical New England winter. Do you think this would be a good fit? We’re not looking to ski anything crazy these days (I’m 60) … Just a solid ski that will fit her ability level. Thoughts? Many thanks, in advance.
    Best, -B

    1. Hi Brion!
      The 79 is one of those skis that snuck up on me. It tops out at 177 cm, so naturally, my 6’2 frame scoffed at the small ski. I was quite impressed, however, at the energy I could get out of them. That’s not to say that they’re only energetic, they also have a nice slow speed compliance as well, I was just very surprised at the high-performance ceiling, especially in a ski 10 cm shorter than my usual. If you’re spending most of your time on groomed terrain here in the East and aren’t looking for something too crazy, I think this is one of those sleeper skis that doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves. If you found the 164 in the Head to be short, I think the 170 is the way to go. Have fun!

  11. Gentlemen, I am contemplating the Volkl Deacon 79, based on yours and others “in the know” experts opinion for my return to ski ownership after years of 3 separate week long trips a year renting the newest skis available at the hills I go to regularly: Zermatt, Sunshine, Whistler, Big White and yes, back home at Petite Rivière’s Massif. I have been skiing since age 3. No going back to regular rides with the grand kids. I could be classified as expert+ but age has mellowed me (DOB 1952 – you count). The issue is my size: short and light – 5’3″, 135lbs. I am still puzzled by the length of these modern carver skis. Some are REALLY short, others less. Any thoughts ?

    1. Hi Robert!
      Surprising energy in that Deacon 79! Just based on your stats, I’d say the 156 would be the right size, but it sounds like you prefer longer skis, so the 165 is certainly in play. The modern skis are just so stable in shorter lengths, that there’s just no need for the longer sizes. Have fun!

  12. Hi Gang,
    Skied the Head V8 LYT and loved them and also skied the Vokyl RTM (older model than Deacons) and those were a close 2nd., That said, what Deacon model should I try that are similar to the V8s ? I’m an intermediate skier that tends to prefer easy carving that hold an edge at higher speeds. Nothing too heavy, or too wide, for sure. Btw.,,,,, did not like the Elan Wingman skis at all, not my jam. They skied me instead of the other way around 🙂 Any guidance or thoughts on what to try next.,,,pls Lmk. Thank you in advance. CA

    1. Hi Corey!
      The 79 is the Deacon most similar to the V8’s I’d say. They’re a bit heavier, but still very easy to turn, with good energy coming out of the tail. Have fun!

  13. I’m 6’0″ 220lbs intermediate skier in New England. I’m ready to move up from the used Rossi Bandit B1s I learned on. I ski with my kids and most often am on smaller hills with sometimes icy conditions. When I do get a day by myself I like to take on more challenging groomed runs on larger mountains, and I want to find a ski that fits my progress. I was looking at the Deacon 80 or 79, but my main concern is whether they are maneuverable for an intermediate skier who has to sometimes go pretty slow with kids. Can I let it rip with these but also get around without having to be on edge all the time?

    Thanks for the advice!

    1. HI Travis!
      Yes to both really. The 80 is lighter than you’d think and has a very high-end. Loves to be on edge and has a wonderful energy to it. The 79 is actually a bit heavier because it relies on steel instead of fiberglass for performance. the 80 also has a more versatile shape, so I would lean to the 80 over the 79. Have fun!

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