2023 Volkl Deacon 84
Radius 19m/14m/23m @ 172cm
Weight 3140g @ 177cm with binding
Power Score: 9.23
Finese Score: 9.14
Four years ago, Völkl resurrected its beloved Mantra by concocting a new technology called Titanal Frame; three years ago, Völkl applied the Titanal Frame touch to its Frontside family. The new pater familias of the Frontside clan is the Deacon 84, and like the M5 Mantra - since succeeded by the M6 - it represents a return to traditional Völkl values. Compared to the RTM 84 it replaced, the Deacon 84 has more edge-gripping power, more energy out of the turn and an overall bigger performance envelope. It’s not just better than its predecessor; it out-pointed the entire, enormous Frontside field in Total Score, buoyed by the top Finesse score in the category, not bad for what is inherently a Power ski. What is it about the Deacon 84 that allows it be all skis to all (Frontside) skiers? It’s the alluring combination of a fiberglass torsion box and tactically placed Titanal parts that nullify shock without stifling the glass structure’s naturally springy nature. It’s exceptional rebound – it will lift you right off the snow if you punch it – derives from the Deacon 84’s 3D Glass, top and bottom glass laminates that come together above the sidewall to create a torsion box. The 3-part Titanal Frame anchors the forebody and tail while allowing the center to react to pressure, so the glass can compress and load up energy for the turn transition. As if immaculate edge grip weren’t enough, on the Deacon 84 it comes in three sizes, small, medium and large, facilitated by a triple-radius sidecut that gives the pilot total control over turn shape. Jim Schaffner, a Masterfit University instructor and longtime coach, “found this ski to be very versatile. This ski was super easy to pivot/ drift, yet at the same time, on medium pitch runs where I could go for it and really engage the front of the ski, I could feel the power and control. This is going to be a very popular ski for a large group of the market,” he presciently predicted.