The Völkl 100EIGHT grew up in a crowded neighborhood. Not only did it have to compete for attention with the well-established V-Werks Katana (112mm), there was also the One (116mm), Two (124mm), Confession (117mm) and Bash (116), all vying for the affections of the powder skier. Now it has the Mantra 102 muscling into its territory. Where does the 100EIGHT fit into this murderers’ row of off-piste behemoths? The last time we skied the 100EIGHT and the V-Werks Katana – its closest relative in the Völkl line – side-by-side, the differences in their personalities were striking. The Katana felt lighter in the hand and eager to carve a continuous arc that never lost connection, even on hard snow. The 100EIGHT felt more powerful at a lower edge angle, more comfortable in loose snow and, if given a stab of pressure, will come right off the snow between turns. It might sound odd, if not outright untrue, to ascribe liveliness to a ski with zero camber in its baseline, but fiberglass will always spring back to its molded position regardless of whether it’s arched or not. It’s the extra zip created by compressing the glass box around its core that gives the 100EIGHT its distinctive blend of stability in the turn and energy coming out of it.
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