Volkl Bridge (2014)
The Bridge reigns as a perennial Value category champ, and this year’s version is still every bit the benchmark for thrilling, versatile performance. The No. 1 ski for Overall Impression was also tops in Forgiveness, but it’s anything but wimpy. “Playful and poppy,” as one tester said, is more like it. Compare it to the Mantra (which is similarly wide): The lighter, metal-free Bridge packs more fun for $125 less.
The twin-tipped, all-glass, fully rockered Bridge is meant to bridge the gap between all-mountain and park skiing and feel equally at home in both settings. It's also well priced (around $599 in many shops), especially given its width, and has been a repeat tester favorite in the Value category. Volkl's Freesskiing All Mountain includes two keystone models in the Volkl collection - the Mantra (98 mm wide) and Kendo (89 mm). They're aimed at skilled skiers who spend most of their time skiing lift-served terrain - that is, most skiers. With classic laminate constructions, wood cores, and vertical sidewalls, they'll arc like fat race skis on all but the hardest snow - especially the speed-greedy Kendo. And with tip rocker and ample width, they love powder as much as you do - especially the Mantra. A third model in the group, the Bridge, goes a little deeper into the freeride mindset with a twintip, metal-free design.
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||163, 171,179, 187|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.28 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.35 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.37 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.14 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.53 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.42 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.35 / 5|