Vertical Metal Technology may prove to be the tipping point that puts Liberty into the big time; it’s certainly the focus of the brand’s immediate evolution from an off-trail-only collection to something closer to a full service provider. To secure last season’s gains in the V Series, Liberty increased the number of vertical aluminum struts in the V92, V82 and V76 from two to three. This enhancement virtually nails these models to the snow, creating a level of security that rivals the best the Frontside genre has to offer.

A long time ago, I ran ski tests in which we rated “Glide” as one of the ten properties under inspection. No one does this anymore, perhaps on the assumption all test skis will be impeccably tuned, more or less neutralizing this variable. Last spring, every Liberty we tested was demonstrably slicker than everything else we tried. The heavier the snow, the greater the disparity between the Liberty crew and the rest of the field.

For 2020, Liberty is extending VMT to two new all-mountain models, the evolv90 and evolv100. The evolv models use the first generation, two-strut arrangement so they’re a little livelier and don’t cost as much to produce, which allows Liberty to price them more aggressively. A polyethylene sidewall also boosts rebound energy and makes the ski feel more responsive. Viewed from the target skier standpoint, the V-Series models aim more for the mature cruiser who spends more time on-trail, while the evolv pair skew younger and are better adapted to off-trail conditions.

Oh, by the way, the new skis are marvels of virtuosity. Both the evolv90 and evolv100 made the podium as Recommended Finesse models in their respective categories, a fine showing for a brand of any size.