For all intents and purposes, Volkl has got a new winner here with the Blaze 94 W. Built differently than anything else in Volkl's line - except for the other Blaze skis (106 men's and women's, and the 94 men's) - the 94 W is a light, quick, and responsive ski that has a ton of different applications and attributes. When we're testing new skis, we're often on the lookouts for merits and limitations. Thanks to the shape, construction, and profile of the Blaze 94 W, skiers who value light weight, smooth turning, and potential backcountry and touring applications will love the overall character and personality of the all-new Blaze 94. The Hybrid multi-layer wood core is an impressive new way to generate quickness and stability while keeping the ski very light to start. Another new twist is the titanal power plate. This is found underfoot, and while it doesn't extend to the tips and tails too much farther than the mount zone, it does provide some decent stability and edge grip underfoot. If you stand on it and carve hard, you can certainly feel and will appreciate the plate. Additionally, the 3D Radius sidecut makes it easier for skiers to vary up their turn shapes and styles depending on conditions or terrain. Longer radii found in the tips and tails make for longer turns and smoother skiing in deeper snow, while the shorter radius found underfoot creates a better carve and makes for shorter, harder turns. They didn't stop there, though, as the skis needed a bit more stability at its extremities. The suspension tips and tails are rubberized inserts that keep the ski quiet and stable when you encounter firmer or more challenging snow conditions. Coming in at 1427 grams per ski at the 165 cm length, it's hard to overlook the Blaze 94 as a potential touring ski. The light weight combined with the alpine prowess makes it a great candidate for that hybrid ski that can be used both in and out of the resort. Our contributors were pretty stoked on the new build, noting that the friendliness and all-mountain compliance are both very impressive.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Suspension Tips and Tails
All Mountain, Touring, Groomers
On the 165, Allison Ruschp felt quite at home. Pretty high scores from her for the ski all the way down the scorecard as well. This is usually indicative of a well-rounded ski. When a ski light like this has a stability score of 4 out of 5, you know the manufacturer has done something right. In fact, all of her scores were either 4's or 5's, with versatility and overall impression each earning 5's. Alli was "very impressed. These are a great addition to Volkl's lineup. Lightweight, fun, and yet solid under you. Impressed with edge hold and control and overall feel. Handled powerful turns but still fun and friendly. Opens up a wider range of skiers. Finally a wider ski that's not full of metal, yet damp enough to handle it all." That brings up a few good points; that the ski feels stable without full metal, and it has good edge grip with that plate underfoot. It's all about the details, and Alli hits them all pretty much right on.
Carly Monahan was also a fan of her 165 cm test length Blaze 94 W, as these two ladies have roughly the same stats, that seems to be a good length, and it's likely that you'll want to size up if you're in between. Carly's lowest score was a 3 out of 5 for torsional stiffness and edge hold, so she found that either the titanal power plate or the lightness of the wood core wasn't quite enough for edge grip on firmer snow. In the soft stuff, it's not likely going to matter, but that's not realistic for everyday conditions. Carly notes that the Blaze 94 W was "an absolute blast! The most fun I've ever had on a Volkl!" Yes, compared to the more traditional feel and build of the Kenjas and Secrets of the Volkl world, the Blaze certainly has a different feel and character.
Skiers looking for a lighter all-mountain ski with limitless versatility needn't look much further than the Blaze 94. They have the overall shape, build, and profile to hit a huge swath of skiers, and with a variety of uses and applications at its fingertips, the Blaze 94 has a ton of potential to be that one-ski quiver for resort skiers, backcountry enthusiasts, and beyond.