Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 85
Lengths: 147, 155, 163, 171, 179
Where the fully cambered Wall is the go-to ski for serious park competitions, the 2017 Volkl Step, with its tip and tail rocker, offers a more versatile everyday ride that is still park-oriented. With its symmetrical sidecut and center mounting point, the Step is just as adept at going backwards as the Wall, and at 85 mm in the waist, it's roughly the same width. But it's about $100 less expensive (selling for a "street price" of about 400 in most shops), and it comes in "tween"-friendly lengths down to 147 cm. Volkl's Freestyle series includes five models of men's park and pipe twin-tips ranging in width from 81 mm (the affordable Alley) up to 95 mm (the Revolt). All but the value-priced Alley are full wood-core, vertical-sidewall, torsion-box constructions, built to take a beating in the park and all over the mountain. All are sold flat, giving the consumer the option of adding whatever binding he chooses. Prices range from $445 for the Alley to $650 for the Wall (all unchanged from 2016). The Wall and the Alley are both full-camber skis-with carving power and rebound energy that's good for jacking high out of the pipe. The rest have rocker tip and tail for enhanced flotation, shock absorption, and maneuverability in soft 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.