2019 Volkl Deacon 76 Ski Review: Carving is Cool! // Ski Reviews
We here at SkiEssentials.com feel like there's a ski out there for everybody and every condition. The 2019 Volkl Deacon 76 certainly fills a specific need and will speak to a particular person. Here at Stowe, we are blessed with abundant natural snowfall. We also endure a number of freeze/thaw cycles. As such, for skiers here, it is necessary to have a couple of tools in your box to ensure that you have the right one for the job. I'd hazard to guess that out of the 150 or so days that the mountain is open here, I could appropriately use the Deacon 76 about half of them. That's a pretty big number and certainly something to consider when you're purchasing your next pair of skis. This fun ski is a bridge between a World Cup Giant Slalom Ski and a front-side carving ski. It has the construction of the race-room product, but a shape and profile that is more in tune with what most skiers need or require on the hill. For former racers, aggressive carvers, or skiers who favor precision and power above all else, look no farther than the 2019 Volkl Deacon 76.
The Deacon line has taken over for the Code series of years past. They've kept most of the inner-workings intact, and added a few tweaks along the way. The Deacon 76 is a system ski with a Marker XCell 12 race binding that operates on a worm screw track. This is a fantastic system that gives a very direct connection between your boot and the ski. Taking the place of the Volkl Code L, the Deacon 76 is the GS version of the recreational race ski. As a result, you get the longer turn radius (18.3 meters at 176 cm length) and the high-speed capabilities of a serious World Cup race ski.
From a construction standpoint, the Deacon 76 has a full wood core with dual titanium laminate. Adding to that, Volkl has installed its 3D Glass technology to the unit. By extending the fiberglass layer all the way around the ski and over the edges, they've increased the stiffness of the ski without adding a ton of weight. Further damping the ski is the UVO 3D that Volkl has used on its carving and race skis for a while now. This mitigates the vibration of the tips of the skis significantly. At 76 mm underfoot, it's got a more stable platform to stand on than the World Cup ski which measures a 65 mm waist. As a result, more skiers will get to enjoy the brick-solid edge grip. Whereas the World Cup width performs more like a hockey skate and requires a greater amount of balance, the Deacon's width allows for a more relaxed, but still phenomenal performance.
Another intriguing feature about the Deacon 76 is that it has slight tip and tail rocker. When I put them on my car rack and they were de-cambered, I could definitely tell that the rocker profile was going to make these skis a little more accessible. On snow, it makes a pretty big difference. Whereas a fully cambered ski will want to hook up as soon as you put a bit of energy into it, the Deacon 76 is able to ease into the turn. As a result, you don't have to be "on it" 100% of the time, which for most skiers, is a huge bonus. That's not to say that it doesn't have the chops to rail turns, but the overall nature of the ski is more fun than you might expect. The tail rocker allows you to release your turns with less effort, but you still get a ton of rebound. Additionally, this profile creates the opportunity to make much shorter-swing turns than anticipated. I had a blast staying right on the side of the trail and pushing the ski to make quicker, more Z-shaped turns. But the Deacon 76 sure loves those big S-turns!
Our early-season conditions this year are so far pretty good. There were some death cookies here and there, and some un-smoothed out snowmaking rollers, but for the most part the skiing was very smooth. In those less-than-ideal snow and terrain conditions, I was surprised at how unflinching the Deacon 76 turned out to be. The UVO system really works, as the skis felt firmly planted on the snow no matter what. When you add two sheets of titanal, a full wood core, and a sheet of fiberglass, you're going to have a pretty damp ski. Experts and aggressive skiers will glean the best performance out of the Deacon 76, and we feel like it would be a darn good beer league ski as well. Skiers who have good balance and control will get the most power and precision out of the Deacon. Carving is cool, and the Deacon is the tool.