The new Secret is out for this year. Whereas last year’s 92 Secret became a huge player in Volkl’s all-mountain role, some skiers longed for a wider shape like the Aura of yesteryear. Volkl did that and stepped it up a notch with the Secret 102. This wider version of the Secret 92 did not disappoint many testers, although they did speak to the high-performance nature and sometimes hefty personality of the ski, but mostly results were favorable. They gave it the Titanal Frame treatment as well as the 3D Radius Sidecut, allowing you to make any shape turn at any time. At 102 mm underfoot, the skis skirt the edge of being too wide for an all-mountain ski, but the profile and construction are somewhat prohibitive from a freeride perspective. Overall, the new Secret 102 is a force out there on the hill, and advanced and expert skiers will love the stoutness and stability of this new offering.
Caroline Kessler is an extremely strong skier, and her first reaction to the 170 was “Heavy!” It’s the same basic build as the Secret 92, but the extra 10 mm of width that runs the length of the ski definitely adds up when it’s on your foot. But for every uphill there’s a downhill, and the 102 counteracts its weight with its stability and strength. “Strong edge hold but not the most forgiving. Less playful at high speeds than some competitors. A good stable ski, nothing fancy, and good for a confident all-mountain skier who is okay with a heavier and stiffer ski.” Caroline does a great job in pointing out that the target audience for the Secret 102 is on the more advanced side, and that’s good information to keep in mind.
Also skiing the 170, Shannon Walton liked the size and stability, giving the ski a 5 out of 5 in that category. Her low score of 2 out of 5 for forgiveness is unsurprising. She loved the versatility and torsional stiffness, as those categories scored 4’s out of 5. She calls the Secret 102 “a strong ski for an advanced skier. This ski needs to be driven but will respond well with strong input.” This is a nice way of saying that you should probably be a skilled pilot in order to glean the best performance out of the ski. In terms of flotation and fresh snow, Shannon states that the Secret 102 is “great through soft snow.” Our impression is that the 102 prefers to plow through fresh snow rather than float over, but that’s fun too.
Danielle Nichols was a huge fan of the Secret 102 in the 170. Her overall impression was a 4 out of 5, and she scored 5’s in stability, quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness. Danielle prefers a stiffer ski, so it’s no surprise that she’s feeling this way about the 102. She skied them in mostly firm groomers and said they’re “super-fun in the current conditions—I think this is a great ski for hard groomers with a bit of crud. Had a great time on it and skied it pretty hard. Would definitely recommend to friends!” We would too, Danielle!
When you put this type of product forward, you’re going to get a variety of input. For the most part, if a skier is strong and athletic, they’ll appreciate the stiffness and stability of the Secret 102. While not for intermediates or lighter skiers, the Secret 102 certainly has its own niche carved out for itself among experts and hard chargers. We look forward to future input and reviews on this amazing new ski from Volkl.