Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 76
Lengths: 164, 171, 178, 185
The 2017 Speedwall L, which returns unchanged, is the GS-style model in Volkl’s Code series of precision carvers. (The “L” stands for “long turn.”) It’s built for the highest speeds on typical resort-groomed conditions, and is sold only as a system with a top-line Marker rMotion binding in either a 12-DIN ($1,150) or a super strong 16-DIN ($1,235).
Volkl’s Code series includes four models built for strong, edgy, race-like performance on groomed snow, with waist widths of 74-76 mm-not quite narrow enough for racecourse ice, but ideal for carving up firm-to-velvety resort groomers. They’re essentially two steps shy of true FIS-level race-stock skis. (For even racier recreational rides, see the 66- and 70-mm Racetiger Speedwall “beer league” models, the SL and the GS.) The new top model in the Code series, the V-Werks Code UVO, offers Volkl’s signature 3D Ridge construction, featuring a raised structural ridge down the center of the ski, which allows Volkl engineers to make the ski thinner, lighter, and more sensitive over the edges. The two middle models, the Speedwall L and Speedwall S, both feature Volkl’s Speedwall construction: The sidewalls are backed by extra-hard wood down the edges of the core, and because a highly edged and arcing ski has as much sidewall in the snow as it does base material, the sidewalls are waxable for enhanced glide and speed. All Code models feature Volkl’s UVO vibration dampening module, which is designed to quiet the ski at speed, allowing the edge to track smoothly and cleanly. All are full-wood-core, torsion-box constructions (where the core is wrapped in fiberglass for optimal torsional rigidity, or twist-resistance). All except the V-Werks Code have full-height, full-length vertical sidewalls for maximum edge power on hard snow. The Speedwall L and Speewall S have have top-and-bottom full sheets of metal reinforcement for extra dampness and power at the highest speeds, while the low-end Code UVO has less metal for a lighter, more forgiving ride.
Volkl is based in Straubing, Germany (Bavaria), where it has been making skis since 1914. Affiliated brands include Dalbello and Marker. Like K2 and Line, Volkl is a subsidiary of Jarden Corp., which itself became a subsidiary of the Newell Rubbermaid consumer-products conglomerate in 2016. -J.C.