Expert Review: Liberty Origin 101 Skis · 2023
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in of 2022.
The Liberty Origin 101 is a playful, freeride-inspired ski that loves to treat the whole mountain as a playground and surf in deep snow. It is a great ski for someone who treats the whole mountain like a terrain park but wants a ski with more all-mountain chops than their park noodles.
About the gear I own
- Model: 2023 Liberty Origin 101
- Size: 187cm
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 220lbs
- Experience: 19 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought these: November 2022
- Days tested: 12
- Mount position: Recommended
- Boots: 2021 Tecnica Cochise 130
- Boot Size: 29.5
- Bindings: 2023 Pivot GW 14
- Where I’ve used it: Loveland Ski Area, Winter Park Resort, and Copper Mountain, Colorado.
- Terrain: Trails, bumps, trees, powder
How they perform
What I was looking for
I wanted a playful daily driver that could handle the wide variety of terrain I enjoy riding here in Colorado (where Liberty is made).
Why I chose this gear
The 101 is a versatile new width offering that complements the 96, 112, and super popular 106. It is maneuverable enough for me in bumps and trees while having enough float for when we get new snow.
What I love about them
- Turns: The Origin 101s love to make quick short turns and smeary powder turns. They are super easy to initiate thanks to their low weight and generous rocker.
- Powder: These skis float very well for their width thanks to their lightweight and large shovel.
- Trees: The low swing weight and playful shape of the Origins come alive in the trees, where the skis go exactly where I want them to without delay.
- Moguls: The surfy shape of the Origin 101s keeps them from being hooky in moguls. The ski's lightweight construction also makes them agile, but the aluminum reinforcement in the center of the ski keeps them pretty damp and quiet.
- Park: This ski would be fun for the occasional park rider thanks to its low weight, large tail splay, and slight twin tip.
- Weight: The low swing weight relative to energy makes these skis come to life. These are freestyle-inspired skis for all-mountain rippers.
- Switch riding: These have enough splay/twin tips for riding switch comfortably.
- Stability: For a lightweight, playful ski that really leans toward fresh snow, these have plenty of stability for when things get tracked out. They do leave a little to be desired on hard snow/ice compared to more directional or heavier options.
- Versatility: These skis work in all terrain. Its 101mm width is great for handling bumps, trees, and bowls with or without fresh snow.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: These skis sport a ton of rocker and like to turn. I wouldn’t say I have “issues” with speed, but these skis are on the playful, turny side of the all-mountain spectrum.
- Edge hold: The edge hold on hard snow and ice leaves just a bit to be desired with these skis. It isn’t shocking, though, given their low weight and soft taper (especially as I am a very large skier).
- Groomers: The above comment about edge hold is why I mark the ski down for groomers. These things are just way more fun in soft snow.
- Durability: I am pretty impressed with the durability of these skis. They are probably one step less durable than more premium or metal options. However, the topsheet material and where it joins the sidewall on these skis leave just a bit to be desired. Still, I haven’t seen enough damage on these skis to justify knocking them in any other area of durability. I just feel that this design will leave the ski prone to knicks along the top edge of the ski over time.
Favorite moment with this gear
Just before writing this review, we got a nice 8in storm at the Loveland Ski Area to ring in the new year. These skis were a ton of fun to rip down filled-in bumps, slashing and bouncing the whole way. Even in heavier tracked-out snow, the 101 width was plenty floaty and tons of fun when skied fast and loose on top of the soft snow (see pictures).
Value for the money vs. other options
The Origin 101 is cheaper than the space-age Head Kore 99 but more expensive than the very good, and often ignored, Salomon QST 98. It is hard to say that just about anything in the freeride category beats a QST 98 for value (fun per $) right now. (See my review of the Salomon QST here: https://www.curated.com/journal/978002/expert-review-salomon-qst-98-skis). The Origin 101 has a more traditional freestyle shape and build than the QST and is a fine choice if boosting off jumps is one’s thing. It also has some cool personality, being a smaller, Colorado built-and-based brand known for playful freeride skis and loud topsheets. If one rides around Colorado’s front range, they will see everyone from groms to local coaches ripping on Liberty skis.
The Origin 101 loves to surf powder, ollie off rollers and side hits, and ski the bumps and trees with ease. As mentioned earlier, it is great for anyone wanting to treat the whole mountain like a terrain park with all-mountain chops.