New for 2020, the Volkl Flair SC is the narrowest ski in the Flair line. Powered by carbon, the Flair SC is the most on-trail oriented ski of all the Flairs. At 70 mm underfoot, this model is defined by its quickness and edge to edge carving prowess. With a 12-meter turn radius at 160 cm length, the Flair SC turns on a dime, and wants to do so over and over again. As the purest carver of the recreational front side skis, the Flair SC is bolstered by Volkl’s 3D Glass which gives it more of a snappy and poppy attitude. Keeping that behavior in check is the UVO 3D which reduces vibrations and keeps the tips of the skis from fluttering away. It works, and our testers found that the skis love to be on edge and in a carved turn. The light wood core combined with tip-only rocker make the Flair SC an ideal choice for advancing skiers looking to grip the hard pack and lay over some mean turns.
Caroline Kessler skied the 160 but found it to feel a bit short. Perhaps it’s the narrow waist that makes it feel shorter or the light weight, but Caroline still found some amazing personality traits in the Flair SC. Her top marks of 4’s out of 5 come from quickness, maneuverability, and playfulness. The shorter length for her is most likely the cause of the high playfulness score. She calls the Flair SC a “carving ski, quick edge to edge. Holds an edge well and has a decent speed limit.” Most likely, the shorter turn radius keeps this thing on a bit of a leash in terms of velocity level and Caroline is astute to pick up on that. She continues to call the Flair “pretty poppy and certainly great for someone who sticks to groomers.” We’d agree that the Flair SC is best suited for on-piste activities, especially given the narrow waist and the short tip rocker.
Kristi Brown found her 155 test ski to be a little short, and as a tall and powerful skier, that makes sense. She nevertheless found enough good qualities in the ski to score it 4’s out of 5 in all categories except for flotation. Her accolades begin with a superlative: “Supreme fontside cruiser. Typical Volkl stability and confidence.” The Volkl pedigree is a common thread among these skis, and our testers certainly pick up on that. In terms of how the ski begins its turns, Kristi points out that the “bigger shovel and tip rocker eases you into turns.” This is helpful information for skiers who like the carving skis, but don’t want a full-camber ski that needs to be egged on too much. This is a much more user-friendly profile for those skiers.
Another tester who found the 155 to be on the short side, Nifer Hoehn saw the writing on the wall and treated the Flair SC like a slalom ski. She gave it high marks for quickness, maneuverability, and playfulness. Again, we see a tester score high for these categories especially when skiing a shorter-than-preferred length, so keep that in mind. Nifer would have personally preferred the skis to be fully-cambered, noting that she “tried slalom turns at the start of my run and I wanted them to engage faster than they did. Once I opened up my turns a little, they came around nicely, but they ultimately felt too short for medium to long radius turns.” Nifer has a strong racing background, so we take her word for it in terms of its ability to perform on an upper level.
The testers who skied the Flair SC are very high-level athletes and they were able to find beneficial and positive characteristics of the SC. Skiers in the advanced level will love the quickness and edge hold of the Flair SC, as Volkl is poised to have another great carving ski in their lineup for 2020.