2024 Volkl Blaze 106

Ski Stats

Sidecut 146/106/128
Radius 30m/19m/40m @ 186cm
Lengths 165,172,179,186
Weight 1772g @ 186cm
MSRP $699.99
Power Score: 8.47

Finesse Score: 8.75

From a product standpoint, Völkl has very few problems. The avatars of its latest technologies - the Mantra M6, Kendo 88, Mantra 102 and Deacon 84 - sit atop their respective genres, a stunning display of dominance. When one is so accustomed to winning, one wants to win at everything, and there was one arena where Völkl hadn’t made much headway: skis sold at lower price points.  Völkl had earned a reputation as the brand for experts; lesser lights need not apply. It was partly to appeal to the greater swath of the market who shun the pinnacle of the price pyramid that three years ago Völkl launched the Blaze series. At a $599 street price, the Blaze 106 hoped to attract the economy-minded in the market for a lightweight, off-trail ski. To hit the lower price point, it reduced its use of Titanal down to a mounting plate and lightened up the core considerably: a 186cm Blaze 106 weighs in at a mere 1772g, compared to 2330g for a 184cm Katana 108. While the lower price no doubt made the Blaze 106 more attractive, it was its super-light chassis that made it an overnight star. The demand for skis that would work both in-resort and in the backcountry has created a new sub-category into which the Blaze 106 fits neatly. The Blaze 106 waltzed into what was, until recently, a niche market, hoping for a warm reception, and instead encountered a firestorm of demand for its new hybrid. Meghan Ochs is power personified; you’d expect her to fold the Blaze 106 (which also comes in an identical women’s version) like it was made of meringue. Instead, she was stunned by its capabilities, calling it “one of my favorite skis I’ve ever skied at this width. Shocking!” A Finesse ski that leaves real experts impressed with its Power attributes, the Blaze 106 punches well above its price point. Sure, it skis best when it has a little snow to push against, but that’s true of a great many Big Mountain models. The metal in the mid-section does a stunning job of quieting most of the ski, remarkable in a ski light enough to take to the backcountry.
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