2020 Volkl Deacon 80

Volkl’s Deacon line is set to take off this year. Building on the years-long success of the RTM line, the Deacon 80 sits where the RTM 81 used to be. As a result, it gets a significant upgrade in the build which will take the on-trail carving prowess of the Deacon 80 to the next level. Our testers loved the edge grip, high-performance ceiling, and the stability of the 80. Volkl kept the 3D Ridge, 3D Glass and the steel inserts and added a Glass Frame (similar to titanal frame in Mantra, Kendo, Deacon 84, etc.) but with fiberglass instead of titanal. Additionally, Volkl shaped the ski to have the 3D Radius sidecut, making the Deacon 80 more versatile in its ability to make different turns shapes.

One of our more accomplished carvers in the test, Ryan Daniel loved the overall feel of the 177 Deacon 80. Simply, Ryan said “Love it.” He adds some detail by stating that the skis have “great edge hold. I found it easy to make all radius turns. Could make short to long radius turns. I was surprised how much I liked this ski!” For a high-end racer like Ryan, it’s great to hear that this thing had the chops to stand up to his skill level.

Marcus Shakun borders on 6’5” and he still found the 177 to stand up to some pretty strong skiing. He scored it a 5 out of 5 for versatility and a 4 out of 5 for overall impression. He calls it the “most versatile all-mountain carving ski. Truly all-mountain. Can do just about every turn other than a slalom turn. Great flex in the shovel that allows it to be more versatile off the trail. Can drive and build energy in every turn. All skiers in the advanced intermediate to advanced expert levels can really enjoy the versatility. Does not lack performance. No negatives, all good things.” Great praise from Marcus, and it sounds like the new Deacon 80 from Volkl is checking a lot of boxes for a variety of skiers.

Smooth-turning Benny Wax had a good one-word comment for the 177: “Yippee!!!” His overall impression score of 5 out of 5 was pretty impressive, as he found the skis to be “playful, quick, and solid. Great whipping down groomers at a wide range of speeds. Nice stable ride that initiates and finishes turns. Very consistent.” Sounds good to us, Benny!

Phil McGrory loved the predictability and stability of the 177 and said that the “ski allows you to drive it and holds well but doesn’t force you to be on it the whole time. It’s user-friendly for a stable carving ski. High intermediates to advanced skiers will fare best on the Deacon 80.” Phil’s scores of 4’s out of 5 for stability, quickness, and forgiveness all lead us to believe that Phil’s a big fan of the Deacon. Having a ski that’s stable and quick is a huge advantage when it comes to putting the hammer down on firm groomers.

The 2020 Volkl Deacon 80 is a perfect choice for advancing intermediate all the way to expert skiers who are looking for a solid, stable, and relatively light carving ski for the front side of the mountain. The new shape and design are perfect for carving up the corduroy and ripping down firmer snow conditions. We are excited to see how the new Deacon 80 compares to other skis in its class.


Phil McGrory

Age: 31Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Adventurous spirit in search of pow

Benny Wax

Age: 68Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

Ryan Daniel

Age: 36Height: 5'11.5"Weight: 180 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and carvy

Marcus Shakun

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

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

44 Comments on the “2020 Volkl Deacon 80”

  1. Hi, I raised this question elsewhere–sorry for the duplication–but I think this is the proper place to post it. So here is the question: in terms of performance, how does the Deacon 80 compare with the Deacon 84. Comparing your reviews, I am getting the sense that the 80 is a bit more playful and forgiving. Does that seem right? I am also wondering if the lack of titanal makes the 80 noticeably less stable at speed. I am leaning towards the 80 because I think it will be a bit lighter than the 84 and fit my skiing fairly well (90% carving at fairly high speed, occasional mogul run), but I am wondering how much of a trade-off is involved. I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

    1. It’s not political question to sales having both models in stock. The best answer is get the demo and judge yourself. Having similar dilemma I try both and my choice is 80 because is much quicker and playful. Also having Mantra Deacon 84 is not enough step down for me. All current premium ski models have performance and playfulness you can only dream about few years ago.

  2. At 6’5”, 175lbs, would you recommend the 177 or 182cm for me?
    Usually I’d pick the longest length, but I also want to use this on our small Midwest hill, where you want to milk it with short radius turns at moderate speed. Do you think the 177 offers much better short turn or slow speed use?

    1. Hi Slim!
      I just think the 177 will feel too short for your height. They’re pretty light for their stability, mostly due to the fiberglass frame versus the metal frame of the 84. As such, you’ll be able to turn it easier, even in that longer length. I’d go for the 182. Have fun!

      1. And the other ski I am considering is the Navigator 85. Both sound great in the reviews. My first priority is a ski that makes short, MN hills fun by carving shirt turns. Second wish is for some stability at reasonable speed in roughed up snow, and final would be some grip on ice.

  3. 177 cm/78kg intermediate skier of 5years and 56 yrs old….. I have a pair of RTM81s at 170cm and just tried the Deacon 80@172 loved them ……super smooth, easier to live with and more playful/lighter than RTMs….. I find RTMs a bit stiff esp at the rear so time to be honest and step onto something that doesn’t ask me to be on it all day……my dilemma is 172 or 177cm. I ski 90% groomers and only aggressive when pisted

    1. Hi Roland!
      I think you’ll prefer the playfulness and quickness of the 172. 177 would be fine, but will likely be demanding for all-day skiing. Have fun!

  4. Hello,
    I am intermediate skier, 173 cm. started to ski parallel and would like to buy deacon 80. Im wondering whether 162 cm or 167 cm is the best chocice for me ? And what about K2 Ikonic 80 ti ? Is it not a better choice ?

    1. HI Bob!
      Pretty comparable skis between the K2 and the Deacon, so if you find a better deal or like the looks of one or the other, that could tip the scales for you. I’d say at your level and size, the shorter length would be more appropriate. Have Fun!

    1. HI hi!
      I’d say the 172 is the way to go. Maybe a bit of a handful if you’re using them in bumps and tight trees but overall for front side performance, I think you’ll appreciate the extra stability of the longer length. Have fun!

  5. Hi,
    I consider my self as an advanced skier at a length of 185cm and a weight of 76kg. For the last 20 years I have skied on a old Salomon Xscream series. I have liked them a lot but now it is time to get new skis.
    Nowadays I ski most I the pist but like to go outside the slope if possible. My questions are:

    1. Which skies do you recommend, a deacon 80 or 84?
    2. A which length do you recommend for me?
    3. Are there any other good alternative other than the deacon that you can suggest?

    Regards Magnus

    1. Hi Magnus!
      The 84 is slightly stiffer thanks to a titanal versus fiberglass frame, so it’s likely more similar to your XScream. The 80 is more of a similar shape, but you might like the extra width for a bit of off-piste versatility. I’d say the 182 is a good length. In the same general vicinity, check out the Blizzard Brahma 82 and the Elan Wingman 82 Ti (or CTi for a bit stiffer of a ski). Have fun!

    1. HI AC!
      Deacon is more carving oriented with a good amount of energy–feels more like an on-trail ski while the 82 is built more like an all-mountain ski just in a narrower shape. More versatility with the 82 for sure. Have fun!

  6. 6’2″, 200lb intermediate skiier here and have my eye on a Deacon 80. What length should I get? Can’t quite carve yet (still sliding my turns more than I’d like) but hoping my skills will prove and some new equipment would help.

    1. Hi Robert!
      Just based on your size, I’d go 182, but if you’re looking to improve and are intermediate, I think you’ll see a lot more gains from the 177. Hope that helps!

      1. Do you think the Deacon 80 might be too much ski for me? Should I go with the Deacon 79 instead?

  7. I am loving what I see and read about the Deacon 80 and am going to get a pair. My problem like everyone else is length.
    I am 5’11 and 170lbs. I am an advanced skier. For hard pack on-piste skiing I am currently using Atomic Izor 9:7 in a 159 length. Got these 15yrs ago. I want something longer but no too long. I am wondering if I should get the 167 or the 172. I ski black and double black groomers in Ontario and ski pretty hard. Would the 172 still be playful and not too long for trees and moguls? I am siding towards the 167 right now.

    1. HI Trevor!
      I think the 172 is the way to go. A bit of a jump from your older skis, but I think you’re going to appreciate the stability. Have fun!

  8. I’ve got an opportunity to get a pair of these at what I think is a very good end of season price. I’ve been skiing Head Supershape Speeds for the last 4 years and they are brilliant skis in the morning when the runs are wide, groomed and empty (which in Europe they often are) and my legs aren’t tired, but as the slopes get busier and chopped up it’s a lot of effort to constantly be trying to ski with the brakes on! I’m after something that will still put a smile on my face but be lighter/less effort for when the slopes are busier and my legs are tired. I’m considering the Deacon 80 or the Head Lyt V10. I’m not a fan of fat skis so swayed towards the Deacon vs. the Head V10. Thoughts?

    1. HI Matthew!
      I think the Deacon is a superior ski versus the V10 by a decent margin for straight-up performance. The Head is lighter and turns quicker, but lacks the stability and power. You are giving up a bit of width, but not a ton. Hope that helps!

  9. I’ve been skiing Volkl 98s for the last four years and absolutely love them as an allround ski but conditions at home in Australia are frequently icy. (I bought the 98’s cos I couldn’t get the smile of my face when I demoed a pair and that feeling still comes back in the right conditions).
    I’m considering a pair of narrower skis mainly for front side skiing in hard packed/icy conditions at home and have been tossing up between the Deacon 80s and the 84s. The 98s I’m on are 177 and I ski 108s at 181 in Japan. Can you give any suggestions to round out a quiver of three please. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    1. Hi Geoff!
      The 84 has a titanal frame while the 80 is narrower and with a fiberglass frame. As a result, the 84 is a bit heavier and damper while the 80 is livelier and more energetic. Both have tremendous edge hold and front-side capabilities, so neither is a bad choice, it just depends if you’re looking for a lighter and more maneuverable ski or a slightly heavier and more stable ski. The 80’s will have a more similar feel to the 98’s without metal, so that’s something to consider, but maybe you’re looking for something different in your front side ski. Personally, I’d go with the 84 for that increased strength and stability for firm and fast skiing. Take care!

      1. I’m considering the Deacon 80 vs 84 vs Brahma 82. I’m 6’1 230lbs and currently ski AC30’s 177cm. I ski mostly groomers but do go into the woods (generally when they tracked out a bit) and the occasional moguls. Any recommendations as to model or size? I did try these back in March of 2019, but looking for another opinion….

      2. Hi Carleton!
        I think you’ll like the stability (and extra width) of the 84 and the 82. I’d say the 80 is a bit soft for your size, unless you’re looking for the lighter option of the three. The 84 has the best all-around versatility while the Brahma has a stiffer, plankier feel and sound to it versus the lively Deacon. Overall, I’d say the Deacon 84 is your strongest option, and in terms of sizing, if you like the 177 in the AC30, I see no reason to upsize, although I don’t think the 182 is out of the question for you. Have fun!

  10. Considering a Volkl ski this year. Prospects are the RTM 81 (last year’s model) or the Deacon 80 (not sure about the 84). I am an advanced skier, I like cruising and some bumps also.

    187 cm tall and 110 kg on the scale.

    Your recommendation would be appreciated including length.

    B S

    1. Hi Bop Sey!
      The Deacon 80 I think is a nice step up from the RTM 81 in terms of quickness and energy due to the fiberglass frame versus the 3D Ridge of the 81 which is a bit damper, so choose your poison there. Since you’re a bigger skier, I would actually put in a vote for you to be on the 81 as it has a bit more heft to it. I’d look to the 177 or 182 depending on how you feel about long skis. You can go long due to your size, just didn’t know if you have a particular preference. Have fun!

  11. Really love your reviews! a million thanks : -)

    I consider myself an intermediate skier (can’t carve quite well, still sliding my turns more than I’d like). Mostly on-piste only. I’m mostly considering the following choices and wondering which one is a better choice.

    1. Elan Wingman 82 CTI (worried whether this could be too advanced for me to develop skills)
    2. Elan Wingman 82 Ti,
    3. Elan Wingman 79 Ti,
    4. Atomic Vantage 79 ti,
    5. Atomic Vantage X 80 CTI
    6. Volkl Deacon 80
    7. Volkl Deacon 79

    Also, I’m 6′, 165 lbs and wondering whether 172 or 178 would be better for me?

    Any comments (or other recommendations) would be highly appreciated : -)

    1. Hi Lucas!
      You’ll find a great ski on that list for sure, and I think you should start the discussion with the Deacon 80. The Wingman CTI is a very stiff ski, with two sheets of metal and a carbon layer, it’s got a very high speed limit (as well as minimum, to get it to perform appropriately). The Ti version just lacks the carbon, so it’s still a pretty burly stick. The Deacon 80 has a fiberglass frame that gives the ski a ton of energy, but it’s lighter and more able to make a variety of turns, from low-speed skids to high-speed carves. The 79 is, dare I say, old technology, and while it is still a fine ski, it has the 3D Ridge and it’s not as refined as the 80 with the newer frame build. The Atomics as well, are fine, just on the bland side. If you’re getting ready to really learn to carve, the Deacon 80 is going to help you along the way, and you won’t top it out in terms of ability for quite a while. I’d look to the 177 in that ski. Have fun!

  12. Hi! I’ve been on rtm 76 (176cm I think) for 2 years. I LOVE almost everything about them, but I’d like something slightly more stable at full speed and a tad more width for the occasional snow day wouldn’t hurt but not required cuz it never snows here!! Lol
    I’m in Western NY so it’s ice and on peak only, 5’8” 185lbs, 60-70 ski days a year, hard charge 25%, 45% cruzing – big turns at full speed, 30% group ski slow to moderate speed.
    Is Deacon 80 enough ski? Is Deacon 84 Easy going enough? I’d like something that is user friendly after drinks in the lodge too.

    1. Hi Ski Dad!
      Volkl is certainly trying to get skiers to stay within the line, and they do a great job at making that next level of ski that doesn’t change the overall feel or personality of what you’re used to. You’re going to notice a big upgrade with either the 80 or the 84. There are two main differences between the two, the first being the extra 4 mm of width, which given the lack of snow, isn’t really a huge deal. The other is the use of a titanal frame in the 84 versus the fiberglass frame in the 80. As a result of this, the 80 is lighter and snappier while the 84 is heavier and damper. As you can imagine, the heavier and damper ski will hold up better at speed while the 80 doesn’t quite have that high gear. Still a ripping ski, however, the 80 has really impressed us over the past two years, not only with its ability to rip turns aggressively, but also with its lower-speed compliance, a category in which the 84 falls slightly behind. I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Personally, I’d go with the 84 because I do not like the feeling of potentially leaving performance on the table. If you’re skiing 60+ days per year, I think you’re going to like the 84. As for drinks, I’d say the 84 is more of an IPA while the 80 is a White Claw. Have fun!

  13. Hi,
    I am a woman, 165 cm and 58 kg. My skiing level is intermediate at the time, but U am looking to improve my skills. Would you recommend the Deacon 80 or Deacon 84?
    And in which length?

    1. Hi Aun!
      Even with improvement on the radar, I think the Deacon 80 is the way to go. They have amazing edge grip and energy, and they don’t have the heft of the 84 which has metal laminates instead of lighter fiberglass ones. For your size and skill, I’d go with the 80 in the 162. Have fun!

  14. Thanks for the knowledge. What are the length options for the Deacon 80 and any differences between last year and 20-21 model? I tried the 84s last year and enjoyed ’em, currently drive ’09 K2Apache Recon and looking at the slightly longer Deacon 80/177 but concerned they might be too long for (a) my burly 5-ft-8 and 165 lbs physique and (2) the often icy realities of New England skiing. I’m moving Also would like to try out Parlor’s Warbird and the Atomic Vantage 82. Any input is appreciated.

    1. Hi David!
      No difference between 20 and 21 in terms of the Deacon 80. They’re lighter and quicker than the 84’s, and as a result, you can ski a shorter length if you’re concerned about that. I’d say the 172 would be a better choice than the 177 for sure. I can’t speak on the Parlor skis as they’re a bit to “boutique-y” for testing, but the Vantage is a great ski that actually shares a lot of similarities in how its built to the Glass Framed Deacon 80–both skis put emphasis on material over the edges due to the frame in the Deacon and the Prolite build of the Vantage. I think the Deacon is a more agile and responsive ski. Have fun!

      1. Thanks for the quick attention. I had time today to check and the Recon is 170cm, so was thinking the Deacon 177 might work out. But your vote counts double. And are you open for flatlander pickup (if we’re allowed in the state ever again)? I’ll bring coffee and goodies from the Red Hen . . .

      2. Hi David!
        While you’re looking at a 7cm bump, I do think it’s a better choice than the 172, which I’d say would feel a bit light. As long as you’re cool with a bit longer of a ski, there’s nothing worse than feeling you’ve left some performance on the table. We do offer free mounting and shipping through SkiEssentials.com, if you’re worried about extra cost, and we do have customer pickup as an option at our Pinnacle retail location in Stowe, and like most other business around, we’re expecting any and all visitors to follow the state’s guidelines. We’re also always accepting of treats and goodies from our local bakeries! Take care!

  15. 170 cm tall 160 lbs Advanced skier have been on Volkl AC4 177 for last many years. Considering Deacon 80 at 172 cm Almost exclusively front country. Groomers and heavy, wet snow (PNW) Is the 172 the right choice or should I consider 177?

    1. Hi Marco!
      I’d go 172. I don’t think there’s much need to go much higher than head high with those skis these days. They’re remarkably stable and fun, I think you’re going to like that ski a lot. Have fun!

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