Expert Review: Voile Hyperdrifter Skis
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
The Voile HyperDrifter is a lightweight powder ski that’s perfect for long days of powder skiing in the backcountry. It has a traditional shape with lots of camber underfoot and a stiff flex, which can be hard to find in a 124mm powder ski. Its shape and flex make it more appropriate for advanced and expert skiers who like to ski aggressively with a more forward stance.
About the gear
- Model: 2020 Voile HyperDrifter
- Size: 186cm
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Experience: 18 years of skiing
- When I bought these: October 2019
- Days tested: 6
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: 2020 Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro
- Boot Size: 28.5
- Bindings: 2020 Atomic Backland
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry skiing around the Colorado Front Range
- Terrain: Powder, Steep Trees, Pillows, Chutes
How it performs
What I was looking for
When I bought the Voile HyperDrifter, I sought a lightweight powder ski with a more traditional shape and flatter tail. Weight was a big consideration, as I was looking for something I would only use for touring.
Why I chose this gear
I also considered the DPS Lotus 124 in their Tour1 construction that became Pagoda Tour. The HyperDrifter, Lotus 124 Tour1, and Atomic Bent Chetler 120 were all about the same weight, but I had already ruled out the Bent Chetler because it’s too soft, has too much tail rocker, and skis way too short for me. I chose the HyperDrifter over the Lotus 124 Tour1 because I liked the long section of camber underfoot and hoped it would feel longer (it does).
What I love about it
- Speed: The HyperDrifter loves to go fast in powder. The 158mm tips are fast to float, making it easy to move quickly, even in lower-angle terrain.
- Turns: Voile’s HyperDrifter has a lot of camber for a powder ski, so they don’t have the “pivoty” feeling of a rockered powder ski. They like to make more poppy turns and demand to be skied pretty aggressively. The tip size helps keep them above the snow, which helps with making turns at lower speeds, but they feel the most nimble at speed.
- Powder: The HyperDrifter is one of my favorite powder skis. I like more traditional skis with a lot of camber and a stiffer tail and tend to ski more twin-tip rockered powder skis too far forward. The 158mm tips feel unsinkable and have to be skied forward and aggressively. Overall, they suit my style of skiing really well, and they’re light enough that I use them on big days of touring, which is hard to find in a 124-waisted ski.
- Trees: I’ve skied a lot of steep, tight trees on the HyperDrifters and have been really happy with them. They stay on top of the snow well, and an aggressive skier should have no problem skiing trees with them.
- Backcountry: The HyperDrifter is a great backcountry ski on a powder day. Voile’s “Hyper” construction uses a paulownia core and two layers of carbon to make a lightweight but poppy ski.
- Weight: At 1,658g per ski in the 186cm length, the HyperDrifter is not an ultralight touring ski, but it's very lightweight for a fat powder ski.
- Stability: In powder, the HyperDrifter feels planted and stable at speed. The large section of camber underfoot makes it easy to push into the ski and pop in and out of turns. It’s a ski that demands to be skied aggressively, as the tips start to get away if there’s no weight over them.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Groomers: The HyperDrifter is a powder ski and only a powder ski. I have not used them in anything but the deepest conditions, but I don’t think they would be much fun skiing groomers. They have some camber, but the huge tips would probably feel unstable on hard snow.
- Moguls: The HyperDrifter is a big ski that’s pretty stiff, and it would feel like a lot of ski to maneuver between bumps unless there’s enough new snow to bury them completely.
- Durability: On my first run with the HyperDrifters, I hit a rock just under the surface and put a big core shot in one ski. I put a bigger core shot in the other ski on the second run. Both impacts were on the edge of the ski, and the edges were completely fine. They’ve held the repairs well, and I haven’t had any other issues. While it’s not the skis’ fault that I hit two big rocks, neither impact felt that hard.
Favorite moment with this gear
Every day I ski the HyperDrifters is a great day because I’m skiing a lot of powder as fast as possible. My favorite zone involves three miles of flat skinning on the way in and back out. It holds snow really well and has lots of steep tree skiing with some chutes and pillows. I used to make do with 90mm skis or even 65mm skimo race skis when I was in a hurry, but now when there’s a big storm, I use my HyperDrifters. It hardly takes me any longer to get in and out, and I can ski the terrain I want how I want to ski it.
Value for the money vs. other options
The HyperDrifter sells for $795 at full price. The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 has a different shape, but it’s a comparable size and weight for $749. DPS doesn’t currently make the Lotus 124 in their lightweight Pagoda Tour construction. The DPS Pagoda Tour 112 RP is a powder ski at a similar weight with a more comparable shape than the Bent Chetler 120. However, the Pagoda Tour 112 RP is a $1,545 ski. The HyperDrifter is a powder ski, so it probably won’t see as many days as a 105mm daily driver, but it is priced well, and it’s a great powder ski to add to a backcountry quiver.
The Voile HyperDrifter is a lightweight powder ski. Its directional shape with lots of traditional camber is unique for a powder ski, so it might not be for everyone. But, for experienced, aggressive backcountry skiers, it can be a valuable tool for putting in big days in the deepest conditions.