Expert Review: 2023 Volkl Blaze 106 [with Video]
Ski Expert Daryl Morrison tested the 2023 Volkl Blaze 106 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Daryl Morrison got her hands on the 2023 Volkl Blaze 106 and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every skier is unique. If you have any questions on the 2023 Volkl Blaze 106 or would like recommendations on what skis would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Volkl claim about these skis?
The brand claims that these are going to be a really great 50-50 touring resort ski. They're light, they're nimble, they're going to be really fun — no matter what you're doing with them. And they're going to tour uphill reasonably well. I think that's definitely true. I had a great time on these skis. There are definitely a few pieces of feedback I have. Just, if you're considering these, something to keep in mind specifically is that these definitely are lighter caliber skis.
What’s your overall impression of the skis?
I would definitely ski this. I would tour on this, for sure. It's not my favorite ski, but I tend to like something that is a little bit more center-mounted and has stiffer tips and tails. So, this is not my ideal ski for every condition. That being said, I would definitely ride this. I would keep it for myself, for sure.
How is its dampness? Any chatter in the skis?
I would say that these do reasonably well at speed, but that these are not going to be a great ski for skiing really hard and for fast inbounds. These can go reasonably fast, but you're going to get some chatter at higher speeds with these. And again, you're going to get pushed around by heavier snow, and you’re not going to have the greatest time on ice with them. So that being said, they're not the most damped thing in the world. They definitely do chatter, but they do reasonably well for a 50-50 touring ski.
How is it in terms of speed?
In terms of speed, it's going to depend on what length you have in these and how your wax is doing. I would say that if you have good wax for the conditions you're on, these are going to accelerate really fast. They'll dump speed reasonably well. But again, you're going to feel some chatter under your foot when you're trying to scrub speed, when you're going really fast.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop?
The one other thing I'll say about these is that, since they have a demo binding on them, they're definitely stiffer underfoot than if you were going to put a full touring, like pin binding on them. So be aware of that. I liked the way they skied with this binding on them. I'm not sure I would be totally happy with them with a pin binding on them. They definitely would be a little bit more playful and less stable at speed with a pin binding, so just be aware of that.
What terrain are these skis ideal for?
Most days out here that are not icy and not super chattery, and days that you're not trying to go hit big cliffs and ski a million miles an hour. They'll be fun, basically all around.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it?
It is best to avoid soupy terrain, icy terrain, and big cliffs.
Any location in the world that it might be good for?
I would honestly bring these out here in Salt Lake. These would be great skis for Colorado, a great ski for here. These are not going to perform great on the East Coast. I would go with a narrower waist with, if you're going to be skiing, a touring ski in the East. These would be really fun. Honestly, most days out here that are not icy and not super chattery, and days that you're not trying to go hit big cliffs and ski a million miles an hour. They'll be fun, basically all around. They'd be great in Tahoe for the days when it's not super soupy. Yeah, more of like a Rocky Mountain Wasatch kind of a ski.
Who would you recommend these skis to?
I would say that these are going to do best with someone advanced to expert. Intermediates, this would be a good ski to progress on. It is pretty accessible as a touring ski. But I think that the people that will get the most out of this ski are expert and advanced skiers who want something that's light and nimble and that they can play around on in most conditions.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options for them out there?
If you're wanting something that you can push really hard inbounds and then ski big lines in the backcountry, you should probably opt for something a little bit different. These get pushed around a little bit in heavy snow, and definitely will chatter and lose their edge a little bit, if you are coming down from really high speed and scrubbing. So just keep that in mind.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you want help finding the right gear for you, reach out to Daryl or any other Ski Expert here on Curated.