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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 116
Lengths: 156, 166, 176, 186
The 2017 Volkl One, which returns unchanged, is the third-narrowest ski in Volkl’s Powder Freeride series (though, at 116 mm, it’s virtually the same width as the new 117-waisted Confession). It’s built the same as the Two (124), but shaped differently. Because it’s narrower, it’ll be quicker edge-to-edge than the Two, and more edgeable on hardpack. And it’s sidecut is only moderately long, so it hooks up and carves across the hill more readily than the Two. It’s still primarily a drifty, bi-directional powder-day surfer (for something more direction, consider the Confession), but some skiers in Western locales will undoubtedly use it as an everyday ride.
Volkl’s Freeskiing/Powder series includes its four fattest powder-surfing skis-the Confession (117-mm waist), the Two (124 mm), the One (116 mm) and the V-Werks Katana (112 mm). (The massive, 135-waisted Three and the long-admired Shiro have both been dropped from the line.) All of the powder freeriders except the Confession are built with subtle full-length rocker-a Volkl hallmark-rather than the usual tip and tail rocker (which is what the new, more “directional” Confession gets). While the Katana’s special V-Werks superlight construction sets it apart, the rest offer the integrity of full wood cores and the edge power of sturdy full-length vertical sidewalls. All except the Confession are metal-free constructions, for lightness and liveliness. The Confession is reinforced with a band of metal down the middle, for extra stability and calmness at high speeds. All are built with tapered tips and tails, where the widest parts of the ski are moved closer to the foot, giving the ski a looser, driftier, more maneuverable feel that promotes greater creativity of line choice and easier speed control in deep snow. All are sold flat (no binding).
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.