Last year 3 brands introduced high-end models with vertical laminates made from metal or carbon. Liberty’s version, with two aluminum ribs trisecting the bamboo/poplar core, earned the highest scores from our panelists. This season, Liberty added a third metal strut to the men’s V-series models it introduced last year. Liberty’s Vertical Metal Technology (VMT) is as effective a system for maintaining snow contact as any extant, short of loading the ski up with every dampening agent known to man. Theron Lee of Bobo’s succinctly describes how it feels: “damp but not dead.” One reason the V82 skis so well is that the metal ribs don’t work alone. Two 1cm-wide swathes of carbon straddle the center strut, poured PU sidewalls have a calming effect on the edges they rest on and a carbon base layer adds bonus buffering. The result is very close to race-ski grip without having each run feel like a workout. If one word could characterize what it feels like to take a spin on the V82 it would be “natural.” There’s nothing to adapt to, nothing to figure out.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.