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Ladies who love to charge and be aggressive out there will find a special ski in this Secret 96. As a quintessential ski from a quintessential company, the 2024 Volkl Secret 96 still holds its place at the top of the pack when it comes to high-performance all-mountain versatility. At 96 mm underfoot and built with the highest levels of technological advancement, the 96 has long been a staple of this category, as well as one with the best track record. That said, it’s pretty specific to the advanced and expert range due to the weight and flex. The Secret is a demanding ski to be sure, so if you’re headed this route, be prepared to do some heavy lifting in order to access the top realm of performance. While the shape gives it versatility, the build skews more to the front side and high-speed carving. For years, that’s what Secret has been all about, and there’s not a whole lot of difference going on for 2024. With a slight graphic alteration for this year, we’re getting a fresh look, but retaining the nuts and bolts from the previous Secret 96 versions.

Built with a Multilayer wood core consisting of poplar and beech, the 96 gets a sturdy platform to start. They use their Tailored Titanal Frame to access most of the performance from here on out. With a full sheet on the bottom and a three-piece frame on top, the 96 blends sturdiness and responsiveness quite effectively. On the tailored frame, the main piece is an underfoot titanal plate that’s bookended by two frame pieces that are not attached. This allows for proper flexion of the ski in a hard carved turn as well as more suppleness when it comes to softer snow, crud, and chop. The frame pieces in the forebody and through the tail taper to the ends, allowing the Tailored Carbon tips to come to life. With less metal and more carbon in the shovel, the ski initiates turns easily, allowing for a smoother start while keeping the rest of the ski totally sturdy and crisp. It’s a nice play between the stiffness of the carbon and the thinner metal along the edges—it really makes a big difference for skiers who are not interested in a full-on race ski. Approaching the 2000-gram mark, the 170 tips the scale at 1935 grams.

149, 156, 163, 170, 177 cm24/14/20 m at 163 cm135/96/119 mm

Tailored Titanal Frame
Tailored Carbon Tips
Preferred Terrain

As far as the shape and profile go, the 96 has nothing crazy going on at all—it's a pretty boring shape, but therein lies the attraction. There’s tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot, but with minimal splay in the tails and traditional splay in the tips. The tail is rounded, so it’s not like a squared-off end that needs to hold tight to the turn—the stiffness of the ski takes care of most of that, increasing responsiveness and edge grip. By harnessing the power and innovation of Volkl’s 3D Radius Sidecut, skiers can easily change up turn shape and style on the fly, quickly transitioning between long radius arcs and short swing carves. The radii span between 16-meters underfoot to 27 in the tip and 22 in the tail in the 170 cm length. The ski’s ability to change duration is quite impressive, especially given the stiffness and weight. There’s a lot to this shape, and it all makes sense when you get out on it.

At 96 mm underfoot and with a sturdy build, this is an expert all-mountain skier’s dream come true. It’s been that way for years, with all the iterations of this ski, but it’s culminating in 2024 as an amazing option for skiers who spend most of their time on groomed trails making clean and round arcs, but they’re also not skipping a beat when it comes to venturing off-trail and finding softer, more playful conditions and terrain.