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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 100
Lengths: 142, 149, 156, 163
Expert women can pay more for the 75-mm wide Allura, but most prefer the Charisma, a slightly wider ski (79 mm) that costs a little less. They’re identical in all other ways – frontside daily drivers built for skilled female skiers. Both come with an 11-DIN Marker binding. The Charisma is part of the Essenza collection of frontside, carve-ready, tip-rockered women’s models – the female counterparts of the men’s RTM series. Like the RTMs, they feature Volkl’s XTD constructions, in which extra mass is stacked over the edges for positive edge grip without added weight. Less mass is used in lower end models to make them less edgy and more forgiving. All Essenza models are built with Volkl’s Bio-Logic female-specific design and features. Skis are not only lighter and livelier (none have full sheets of metal), they’re also mounted and waisted slightly aft; they’re extra wide in the tip for easy initiation and narrower in the tail for easy exit and less stress on knees; and a reduced ramp angle better suits female physiognomy. There are six models in the Essenza collection, all of them sold with bindings and ranging in width from 73 mm to 79 mm.