Expert Review: 2023 Volkl Secret 96 Skis [with Video]Published on 09/01/2023 · 4 min readSki Expert Sara Beeken tested the 2023 Volkl Secret 96 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Sara Beeken demoed the 2023 Volkl Secret 96 skis at Powder Mountain in Utah this past spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories and who Sara would and would not recommend the ski to. Remember that every skier is different. What works for one may not work for all. Any questions you have on the Volkl Secret 96 or any other ski can be answered by reaching out to a Ski Expert here on Curated. And just so you know, we're not sponsored by any brands, so all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Volkl claim about the ski? Volkl claims this is a hard-charging, all-mountain, free-ride ski for women.
What is your overall impression of the ski? My first impression on these is that they are a real badass woman's ski. If you're a hard-charging female looking to go all over the mountain, this is a great option.
What is the profile of the ski? This is a camber underfoot and rocker in the tip. It gives you a lot of pop, a lot of power, across the hill. If you're trying to rip groomers, this is going to be an awesome option, but also go in the trees, in the bumps, anywhere off-piece. This will excel in both areas.
What is the flex like on the ski? This is a pretty stiff ski, compared to some other advanced expert women's skis. This is a heavy, stiff ski that's going to hold a really good edge, in any condition.
Why is the ski so stiff? The ski is so stiff because it does use a Titanal frame, which is, you can see it around the ski here. It gives it a little bit extra pop, and a little bit of extra weight, but sometimes that weight is being put to really good use.
What is the edge hold like? The ski has a fantastic edge hold. I skied it on a pretty icy day and didn't have issues.
How is stability in turns? Excellent stability in the turn. Excellent stability, landing jumps. It's a nice, stiff, burly ski.
How was its energy? I felt like it had really good energy. The camber underfoot isn't massive, but it's, definitely, enough to let you pop out of those turns, whether it's slalom turns, GS turns, or even just little tight turns through the trees.
Any playfulness in the ski? The ski is not very playful. If you're looking to take it into the terrain park, this is probably not the ski for you.
What is float like with the ski? At 96 underfoot, this is a decently wide ski, and it would do okay in a couple of inches of powder, but if you're looking at more than four or five inches, I would go for something a little bit wider.
What type of terrain can the ski take on? Because this is a pretty stiff early ski, it's going to handle chops pretty well. I skied across some crusty little ice fields this morning and didn't have any problems with it. These skis are going to be good, pretty much, any terrain except for really deep powder.
What type of terrain is it best to avoid with these skis? The only thing I would avoid on these skis would be really deep powder.
Who would you recommend this ski to? I'd recommend these skis to an advanced expert skier that's looking for a ski that's going to keep up with them. Even if you're just a cruisy skier, you might want something a little bit softer. It does take some muscle to get these turning quickly.
Who would you not recommend this ski to? These skis would not be great for a beginner, an intermediate skier, or somebody that just really likes a softer, more playful ski to take in the terrain park.
Different skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you'd like help finding the right pair of skis for you, reach out to Sara or another Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. Note that the 2024 version of the Volkl Secret 96 is linked below - same tech, just different graphic