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Volkl has a strong reputation for freeride skis, so did the 100Eight earn its place in our annual test?

Level
Advanced
Terrain
Freeride
Best for
Advanced to expert freeriders who want an agile ski that has the versatility to perform in all conditions.
Price
£550
Season
2016/17
lengths
173,181,189
Bindings?
No
Smoothness
9
Versatility
7
Energy
9
Value
7
Performance
9
Overall Score
8

Volkl added the 100Eight to its freeride range last season, including a women-specific model, alongside established favourites such as the Mantra and Kendo.

The German company has foregone the full titanal construction found in the Mantra and Kendo, instead lavishing the 100Eight with lighter carbon and 3D.Ridge technology in its make-up.

The 3D.Ridge is a feature in the majority of Volk's top-of-the-range V-Werks skis, so is an indication of the love and attention that has gone into designing the 100Eight.

In essence it is a raised central ridge which then tapers off sharply towards the edges.

This does all sorts of clever things: it provides great torsional stiffness and decent grip when put on edge, but the flex remains nicely responsive, and the thinner area running along the outside of the ski keeps the weight down.

With a full rocker profile and a 22m turn radius for the 181cm length model the 100Eight was never going to be king of the carvers, but it's no slouch either and piste performance is pleasantly surprising for a ski 108mm in width.

If you want a little more frontside performance then consider the baby brother 90Eight, which benefits from the same multi-layer wood core construction but has a traditional camber underfoot.

As befits a freeride ski the 100Eight is strong in all departments but really excels when taken into softer snow or choppy off-piste conditions. It's floaty when needed and super stable and confidence-inspiring when the going gets bumpy.

The ski is nimble enough for popping off kickers, throwing in the odd jump turn when needed, or simply throwing it about from side to side just because you feel like it - and you probably will!