Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 81
Lengths: 156, 163, 170, 177, 182
Significantly narrower than the top of the line RTM 86, the Volkl RTM 81, which returns unchanged for 2017, is also lighter weight. It's designed to be quicker edge to edge, livelier, and more forgiving for skiers of lesser skill, with no top-and-bottom metal reinforcement or UVO dampening module as found in the more expensive models. It's sold as a system only, with a sturdy 12-DIN Marker binding appropriate for all but the heaviest and hardest chargers. The RTM (Ride the Mountain) line is Volkl's six-model collection of frontside all-mountain skis built for everyday resort performance. RTM skis range in width from 75 up to 86 mm, with higher-performing models at the wider end of the spectrum. The collection was updated last year with the introduction of new 3D Ridge construction in the three widest models (81, 84, and 86). Borrowed from the V-Werks line of super-premium skis, 3D Ridge construction features 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 top to models, (84 and 86) come with Marker's WideRide binding interface, which is designed with a wider mounting footprint to deliver more power to the edge on wider skis. All RTM skis are wood-core constructions. Tip and tail rocker enhance maneuverability, shock absorption, and maneuverability on the top models; the three low-end models are rocker only in the tip, for forgiving turn entries and secure finishes. Volkl's UVO dampening module quiets the vibrations that occur at speed, allowing the ski to track more cleanly through the snow. 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.