2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review

A few weeks ago, we looked at the new 2022 Liberty Origin 101. While that ski adds a new width to the Origin line, it’s similar in shape to the skis we had before. The most exciting part, at least in my opinion, is the new VMT 1.0 core. Today, we’re looking at another 2022 Liberty ski, and the conversation follows a similar trend. The ski we’re talking about today is the Evolv90, which has been around for a handful of seasons now. When the line was introduced, it marked a fundamental change in Liberty’s product line. As a company known for their lightweight twin tips, getting a directional all-mountain ski with metal was somewhat of a surprise. Despite not expecting it, the Evolv90 (and the rest of the line) proved a worth contender in the flooded ~90 mm all-mountain category. For 2022, the Evolv90 returns with the same shape, but with a change to construction similar to the change we’re seeing in the Origin line.

Before we dive into the changes, however, it feels important to note that Liberty has done away with the V Series. Those skis were even more frontside focused than the Evolv, with the narrowest coming in at 72 mm. The Evolv series is now home to Liberty’s narrowest ski at 84 mm underfoot. We’re bringing this up because in a lot of ways, the new Evolv90 gets construction that reminds us of the V Series. VMT 3.0 is a new construction for Liberty that uses, you guessed it, 3 vertical strips of metal. We say new because although the V Series skis did get 3 strips, it’s not exactly identical with a slightly different combination of wood, carbon, etc. VMT 3.0 uses a bamboo and poplar wood core with an increased amount of bamboo. That keeps the weight down, while also providing some nice energy to the ski’s flex pattern. The 3 vertical metal struts are sandwiched between bamboo stringers. One is right in the middle of the ski with the other 2 symmetrically located closer to the edges of the ski. We also get 2 carbon fiber stringers running on top of the 2 outer struts, steel binding mounting plates, and rubber foil just below the base. It’s all wrapped in triaxial S-glass, then pressed in a sandwich construction with poured polyurethane sidewalls.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Liberty Evolv90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186 cm

18.5 m at 179 cm

132 / 90 / 114 mm @ 179 cm

VMT 3.0: Bamboo, Poplar, Metal Struts, Carbon

Edge Grip, Vibration Damping, Stability


The shape is relatively straight-forward, but also kind of interesting. The ski is mostly camber, which isn’t too surprising given it’s a directional all-mountain ski. There’s more tip rocker than tail rocker, and by a significant margin. The tip rocker, however, doesn’t have much splay. It rises very gradually off the snow and lengthens as you de-camber the ski. Tail rocker is only about 10-15 cm long and also doesn’t have much splay. There’s really not much taper at all, although the tail does round off a little bit. It does eventually get completely flat, but it’s not a squared-off, extended-sidecut shape like we’d see on a completely dedicated frontside ski. I wouldn’t say there’s any early taper in the tip at all. If there is, it’s extremely subtle and basically just looks like it’s part of a “normal” tip shape. This shape feels like it’s designed to provide a long effective edge, good control, and good edge grip. There’s far less rocker compared to the Origin line, which makes sense when you consider the intended application.

2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

With the V Series going away for 2022, the Evolv skis are now the most firm-snow-focused skis that Liberty makes. While the Evolv90 isn’t the narrowest, it’s on the narrower side of the 4-ski collection. At 90 mm underfoot, we expect some good groomer performance, especially for a ski that uses metal. As a reminder, although it’s probably not necessary, there are a ton of skis in this category with metal. Impressively, the Evolv90 is one of the smoothest, quietest skis on the market. This isn’t really a new concept either. We talked about it a little over 2 years ago when we reviewed the 2020 ski. Liberty has basically just taken it to another level by adding another vertical metal strut. Those 3 metal struts and the rubber foil layer provide superb vibration damping. The ski feels like it stays absolutely glued to the surface when you want it to. Small imperfections and bumps in the terrain go almost unnoticed on the Evolv90. The 179 cm length that I skied mostly has a 18.5 m turn radius. That’s not a huge radius, but it’s bigger than a lot of skis in this category (think Brahma 88, Enforcer 88, and others). That allows for some big, sweeping carving turns, which are a ton of fun. It still comes across the fall line relatively quickly. Not as quick as some, but it’s not like it’s such a big turn radius that it requires a ridiculous amount of skier input to make it work. If anything, I think it’s valuable having a slightly bigger turn radius as it further differentiates this ski from others in its category.

Bob St.Pierre had a handful of test days on the Evolv90 this season, and I always think it’s valuable to get a different perspective. I asked Bob for his take, and he replied with this: I feel like the more recent reviews that we've done (Origin 101, Serpo, Stormrider 102, and Pagoda 100 RP) have all been somewhat unorthodox skis, and the Evolv90 fits right in with that trend. In a competitive field of ~90 mm underfoot skis, the Evolv stands out as one of the more comfortable and competitive on-piste skis. It's as smooth and quiet as they come, and incredibly stable due to the long effective edge. With the unique construction using (now three!) vertical metal struts, the Evolv90 has a very predictable and strong longitudinal flex, especially for the lighter weight. While not the most energetic of the all-mountain skis in this range, it's definitely the most glued to the snow, and that's a good thing for a lot of skiers who are looking to boost their confidence in a carved turn, or who do not want to spend a lot of time in the bumps or trees, as that's not really where these skis excel. That said, get these ripping on a wide-open groomer, or pounding through the crud, and they'll put a smile on your face like you wouldn't believe.

2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

As Bob identifies, the Evolv90 isn’t the most energetic ski, but that’s totally fine in our opinion given its vibration damping and how rewarding it feels when linking carves. For an all-mountain carving ski in this width range, I personally value vibration damping and a smooth feel more than energy. I think it’s fair to say most skiers would agree with me, and for those that don’t, there are plenty of skis with a more energetic, quicker feel when exiting a turn. Bob also brings up an interesting point about bumps and trees. Here in Vermont, particularly northern Vermont, we have very tight trees that demand technical skiing and a lot of quick, abrupt turns. The Evolv90 doesn’t love that terrain. It can do it, and there are certainly skis that feel worse, but it does require a skilled skier and good technique. There’s no washing the tail around on these skis, you need to at least unweight it a little bit to get it to come around. Some skiers won’t find it difficult at all, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re located on the east. That idea got us thinking. Liberty is a Colorado-based company, and we imagine a lot of their ski testing is done there. In more open Western terrain, you wouldn’t have the same concerns, and in that terrain when you take it off-piste, it’s actually fantastic. It handles choppy snow, wind-buffed snow, and weird chalky snow really, really well. In open terrain when you’re not forced to make like 10 tiny turns between skis that are spaced 3 feet apart, it’s a great ski. In that application, with wider spaced trees, moguls, etc, you don’t need to worry about quickness as much, and instead stability and a ski’s ability to handle chop and track well becomes more valuable, and those are things the Evolv90 does very well.

Overall, it’s a valuable ski to have on the market and it’s really cool how Liberty has carved their own little niche in the all-mountain-ski-with-metal category. What’s interesting to us is they didn’t do it in the way you might expect. Look at Liberty as a company and their history building skis and you might guess their contender in this category would lean more towards the playful, lightweight side of things. While it’s not particularly heavy, it actually feels like the Evolv90 leans more towards the on-piste, carving side of the spectrum. That might not match the brand’s history, but it makes sense when you consider skis like the Origin 96, a lighter-weight twin tip that excels at quick turns and has a distinctly playful feel. In other words, the Evolv90 complements Liberty’s existing skis very nicely and we’re impressed with the development, design, and engineering behind this ski.

2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 05/27/21

2 thoughts on “2022 Liberty Evolv90 Ski Review

  1. How do these compare to the 2022 Elan Ripstick black 96? I really liked the Elan but, I prefer something with more power (like the Enforcers) and hope these would do the trick-

    Thanks a bunch,
    Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin!
      More power, yes, but not more versatility. If you don't mind taking a hit in softer snows and trees, the Evolv is quite a bit stronger and smoother in a carved turn. Still not quite the top-end of strength as the Enforcer, and not quite as heavy, I do think the Evolv splits the difference nicely. Have fun!
      SE

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