Expert Review: Völkl Blaze 106 Skis · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Völkl Blaze 106 is THE ski for a one-ski quiver. It is a go-anywhere, do-anything ski. I can take it to any mountain and ski any run and any terrain.
About the skis I own
- Model: 2022 Volkl Blaze 106
- Size: 179cm
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 28 years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 15
- Mount position: Recommended
- Boots: 2022 Nordica Strider 130
- Boot Size: 28.5
- Bindings: 2022 Marker Baron
- Where I’ve used it: Utah, Colorado Backcountry, Mid-West
- Terrain: Powder, Piste, Spring Backcountry, Ice, Glades
How they perform
How it performs
What I was looking for
I had an old pair of carving skis that I was looking to supplement. I was especially looking for something that I could take out West and tour with. It was important to me to have a light ski, and a ski wide enough to hit some pow with. I really wanted a ski that could go anywhere on the mountain.
Why I chose this gear
I purchased the Blazes for two primary reasons: pre-cut skins where available, and for their light weight. This was my first pair of skis that I would tour with, and I really wanted a ski that could make it uphill. Having a pre-cut skin and prioritizing light weight is what sold me on the Blazes. The Volkl Mantra and Salomon QST were also on my list. But the Blazes balanced the benefits of the Mantra and QST.
What I love about them
- Turns: This ski loves medium-speed turns, especially when it gets steep with variable snow—it just loves to turn.
- Groomers: On fresh corduroy, these skis are so much fun. They are easy to initiate the turn, and offer fun, playful turns all the way down. They do start to give a little back as it firms up, though.
- Powder: They have a very nice float and handle really well in the pow. When I put my shin in the front of the boot, the ski comes around.
- Trees: This ski does very well in the trees. If I were to focus on trees, I would size down to make it just a little easier to fit through the gaps.
- Backcountry: It’s very light for its size and stiffness—a great ski to venture into the backcountry with.
- Weight: It’s a very lightweight package which contributes to the playfulness of the ski and to its ability to tour.
- Switch riding: It has a semi-twin tip, which makes it capable of riding switch at lower speeds and for a short amount of time.
- Stability: This ski is very stable in chop and sluff; when I need to cut through crud, it tracks well and damps out the bumps. It doesn’t have a lot of pop and will chatter on hardpack and ice.
- Park: Not being much of a park skier, I didn’t take this into the air. With as light as the ski is, I imagine there is a fair amount of airtime that can make it a fun ski. However, the lightness is achieved by removing reinforcement, so I would imagine this would also be a fragile ski in the park.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Speed: This is not the most stable ski at high speed. I can push some speed into the ski, but speed is not its favorite. As I build speed, the ski will start to get a bit of instability and wobble that can take confidence away.
- Edge hold: On very firm snow and ice, the lightweight nature of this ski does make it tough to hold an edge. The ski will start to chatter a bit when I really lean on it.
- Moguls: It’s a bit too wide for moguls; the edge to edge transition is a little slow to really build a rhythm.
- Durability: The lightweight construction has lent itself to a bit of wear and tear: the edges of the topsheet are fraying a bit, and the base has some dings, but this has a lot to do with the early season skiing I have done in the glades on this ski.
Favorite moment with this gear
I took this ski into the backcountry in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a wonderful spring bluebird day. I skinned up to 12,000 feet for lunch, and then made two or three laps on this lazy and fun bowl. The ski is so versatile that it really can unlock adventure.
Value for the money vs. other options
Value for dollar, I really believe in this ski. It can function as a one-ski quiver, making it very cost-effective. Compared to other lightweight options like the Salomon QST or Black Crows Atris, it is either competitive or of much higher value.
The Blaze 106 is an extremely versatile ski that can go anywhere and do anything on the mountain.