2023 Völkl Rise Beyond 96 Review

A backcountry stick for those who gravitate towards directional skis

Photo: Courtesy Völkl

Brand: Völkl

Model: Rise Beyond 96


Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)


Lengths (cm)

156, 163, 170, 177, 184

Radius (m)


Waist Width (mm)





Intermediate to Expert


Responsiveness, Stability at Speed


Flotation, Forgiveness

Stability at Speed

8.4 / 10

Quickness / Maneuverability

8.6 / 10


7.6 / 10


7.2 / 10

Crud Performance

7.6 / 10


8 / 10


8.4 / 10


5.8 / 10

“Energetic,” “balanced,” and “dependable” were the words used most often to describe the Völkl Rise Beyond 96, thanks to a unique blend of wood in the ski’s DNA: poplar in the edges for stability, paulownia in the center for flexibility, and beech underfoot for strength, durability, and damping. Length- and performance-specific slots are also milled out of the wood core to save weight and soften the flex pattern.

“I was shocked by how hard I could ski this ski with a pin binding on it,” shared SLC dweller Luke Larsen. “I was truly blown away at the strength-to-weight ratio. It’s amazing, bottom line!”

Go deep: Learn how ski testers rank and review skis

The 3D radius sidecut is customized to each available length, providing a longer, open radius at the tips and tails and a tighter curve in the center. This allows you to open up the ski for big turns at high speed with easy steering and maneuverability, then quickly switch to making tighter, agile turns at lower speeds on a shorter radius.

“If a racer wanted to become a backcountry skier, this would be his or her ski,” said Aspen Snowmass patroller Mike Britt. He called this model ideal for more prominent, technical terrain.

The Völkl Rise Beyond 96 lives up to expectations in spring slush, tight trees, light bumps, and scrappy ski-mountaineer lines. In challenging test conditions, this ski ate up variable, hard snow on open terrain, but some testers noted that it was not wide or damp enough to ski deep, heavy snow.

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