New skis, just in and of themselves are fun, but when a new ski is specifically designed for fun, like the Volkl Revolt 104, then you know you're in for a good time. Primarily built for soft snow and freestyle skiing, the Revolt 104 is a backcountry booter, freeride, and park ski all in one. At 104 mm underfoot, the skis have some good flotation built in, but when the gratuitous tip and tail rocker are combined with a more dramatic tapered shape, these things will slice and dice through any soft snow conditions that you can find. Built with the same multi-layer wood core that is found in the Mantra and Kendo models, the Revolt 104 has a sturdy foundation to stand on for when the going gets tricky and techy. Smears, slarves, skids, and carves are right in the Revolt 104's wheelhouse, as the ski is built to respond to the driver's directions without complaints. The increased taper makes for a fairly average turn radius, which for soft snow and big lines, leaves a lot of the decision-making process up to the pilot. Skiers should expect to tell the ski what to do, but in return, it will give back all you put in. All this said, this ski isn't quite built for everyone, and our two contributors for this new model did have varying feedback. The two Jeffs, Neagle and Siegel, are different skiers to be sure. Siegel is much more technical, coming from a more PSIA background, while Neagle's freestyle history is clear to anyone who's seen him ski. It's not much of a surprise that Neagle was a big fan of the more centrally-mounted 180 cm test pair that we had while Siegel was hoping for a bit more tip to tail response and overall performance. As is the case with our test, neither skier is right nor wrong, just different styles and tastes.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
All Mountain, Park, Powder
Jeffrey Siegel picks right up on the increased taper and the –2 from center mount point, giving him the central portion of the ski to work with, but not much else. "With the mounting point and the shape, the Revolt 104 seems very park/backcountry booter-specific. I even set it up 2cm back from the recommended line but I don't think that was enough to make a difference for me." Jeff did manage to get it on a windblown powder day, so the test conditions were actually pretty relevant. He notes that "it did feel very stable on landings, especially for the length. For deep snow, the shorter tips made it hard to plow through piles that were deep and heavy, but overall, it did float pretty well." These statements are backed up by his scores of 4's for flotation, maneuverability, and playfulness. Siegel notes as well, that "if you ski center-mounted skis all the time, you won't have any of the difficulties that I did, save for really deep, heavy snow, or crud." That did not diminish his experience on hard-pack, though, as he states that the Revolt 104 "held well on ice, as you'd expect from a Volkl. Felt a little more turny (in a good way) than the radius suggests." For a technical skier like Jeffrey Siegel, this conclusion is some pretty good praise for a very freestyle-oriented ski.
And on the other end of the spectrum, freestyle-oriented skier Jeff Neagle had an unsurprisingly different take on the Revolt 104. Jeff's got some 87 and 97 mm twin tips in his quiver, as well as a sturdier 104 for snow days, so he found quite a bit to like about the new Revolt. "Definitely my kind of ski. A little lighter than a (Nordica) Enforcer 104, so I'd feel more confident on these as a park ski, which I think is important as they're in Volkl's 'freestyle' line." Jeff's top marks of 4.5 out of 5 were given for flotation, playfulness, and overall impression and those scores align pretty well with what Volkl describes in their sales pitches and catalogs. He echoes Siegel's sentiments about the strong turning nature of the 104, praising it for "more edge grip than you'd expect. They are relatively stable, considering how playful and maneuverable they can be." And for anticipated future success, Neagle notes that he "expects it to be a pretty popular ski."
Whether you're a park skier looking for a wider option or an all-mountain skier looking to add a little flair to your quiver, the all-new Volkl Revolt 104 has a little something for everyone. Built on the premise that skiing should be fun and enjoyable and that the mountain should be your playground, the Revolt 104 is poised to make a lot of skiers smile in the upcoming ski season.