Advanced all-mountain skier
Craig's rating of this ski:
Considering his skiers profile:
"All-mountain skis will be my choice when conditions vary from firm to 6" of fresh snow. Better edge hold and carving capabilities should be expected compared to my powder skis. They should be competent in crud and soft bumps."
Weight:82 kg180 lbs
My favourite all-mountain skis:
1. Renoun Endurance 98
2. Liberty Variant 113
2. Rossignol Experience 88 HD
To all my reviews
It is December 2017, and I just met with Liberty's ski designer at the Liberty headquarters in Avon, Colorado. Liberty will be introducing a new series of skis called the "VMT series" or Vertical Metal Technology, that will replace the long running Variant lineup for next season. Some of the interesting technology he shared with me, will include:
-metal (5000 series aluminum) strips that will run the length of the ski, and will be set on their edge (vertically) rather than a flat thin layer that is normally incorporated across the width of the laminate.
-spring steel plates under toe and heel of binding area.
-sidewall material that is poured during construction, into and around the side of the laminate, offering superior damping, interface with the laminate, and strength.
-metal inserts incorporated into the laminate on the base side, at both tip and tail of the ski, that will add damping, torsional stability, and protection. Versus, a external piece of metal that is attached to the tip of the ski with screws, and is common on many skis from other manufacturers.
-bamboo laminate with full carbon layup -available in shops September of 2018.
-ski widths will "narrow" for the Liberty line (due to a industry trend for narrower widths) in the upcoming season. E.g. Origin 116 will slim down to 112, Variant 97 will become VMT 92 underfoot, with additional narrow widths not offered before by Liberty, VMT 82mm and the VMT 72mm. One exception.....my favorite pow ski, the wide Liberty Genome at 141 underfoot remains unchanged... "Don't fear the girth".
Binding Mount Position
The Liberty V82 is very sensitive to minor changes in the boot position on the ski. I went from a day of ok performance, to a day of jubilation with the binding moved from "standard" mount position to 8mm-16mm forward of standard. This slight move made a substantial positive change in my balance on the ski (sweet spot), carving, edge engagement, stability at speed, and bump performance. This sensitivity may be due to the unique spring steel that is added to the laminate, below the toe and heel area of the binding. I would encourage you to mount these skis with adjustable toe and heel, or demo bindings, so you can reward yourself with a mount position matched to your profile. The 2 pair of VMT skis I reviewed, were mounted with Tyrolia's newly released, Attack 13 demo binding with 8mm incremental adjustment. The boot ride height has been increased from the previous years model, that was the same height as fixed bindings.
First, the new, dark top sheet graphics are very attractive. My demos had fresh tunes. This ski can comfortable cover frontside, and all mountain categories.....very versatile. The new Liberty V82 had very quick edge change, with smooth edge engagement. The 179cm length felt ideal for my profile. I would rate it's flex as medium for this width, perhaps 6-7 tail and tip. This ski prefers a weight forward to neutral stance, but with the forward adjustment in binding mount position, the sweet spot increased in size, and the tail of the ski offered better support in a weight back position (when you need it). Very good stability at speed. Transition over skied off areas was good. Skilled skiers who demand high edge grip, may want to consider more aggressive edge angles. E.g .5 bottom and 2 side, or 1 bottom and 3 side. It's carving characteristics were excellent, even on hard packed groomers. Beautiful high edge angle turns, at all radius, on groomers with consistent conditions.
A "TOP PICK" in bumps for this ski width category. This was a highlight for the V82, and contribute to this skis deserved 5 star rating, not to mention, it's all-around performance. One of the best All-Mountain-Freeride, bump skis I have ridden. Very quick, flickable, with very good damping. I was comfortable diving the tips into the face of soft, to moderately firm bumps, and confidently carried a straight line, through less than ideal shaped moguls. My last day of this trial, we had 3 inches over these conditions, and the VMT performed excellent! You can thank this skis higher damping qualities, and medium-even flex, for its bump performance. Maybe it's the unique laminate?
Unavailable during test (unless you consider 3 inches a powder day)......however, this ski is 82mm underfoot, with a traditional sidecut, very little tip rocker, and medium flex. Skiers who prefer a deeper ride in the pow, will enjoy this skis stability, and damping.
Who is this ski for?
- skiers looking for a versatile narrow all-mountain ski
- ideal narrow ski in your two ski quiver
- if you like bumps, or want to
- Renoun Z90 180cm: excellent carver at all radius, excellent edge engagement, very good damping, very good in bumps, medium flex, very stable and good float in pow for width, very good stability at speed
- Rossignol Experience 88 HD 180cm: stiffer flex, superb damping, excellent stability at speed, excellent carver, forgiving, quick turn initiation, very good in bumps, very smooth edge engagement, good float for width.
- DPS Cassiar 95 Foundation 185cm: superb stability over skied off terrain, excellent carver, above average edge hold, very good stability at speed, very good in soft bumps, large sweet spot, very smooth edge engagement.
- Kästle MX89 180cm: superb medium radius turns and excellent stability on groomed terrain, very smooth edge engagement, stiff flex, small sweet spot, demanding off piste and in bumps, below average float.
- Salomon XDR 88 Ti 186cm: needs to be skied long, good blend of light weight, damping, and stability in 186 length, good in bumps for this length, moderate sweet spot.
Liberty about the V82
"The all-NEW V82 is a versatile front-side performer with the heart of a race ski. Powerful and precise, the V82 has incredible edge grip and dampening without the weight of a typical metal ski. The full-length vertical metal struts of the VMT combined with bamboo keep things quiet at speed, while the spring steel mounting plates and carbon have massive power reserve.", says Liberty.