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.