Volkl Shiro (2014)
Metal reinforcement is unusual on skis this wide, so no, the Shiro isn't the quickest in the category. But check out its Stability at Speed ranking (No. 2). Hard chargers will consider that a welcome compromise. And if you thought full-length rocker made a ski feel mushy, check out the Shiro's No. 1 ranking for Rebound Energy. It's a relatively burly ride for the category, responding best to aggressive input. But it's plenty buoyant (No. 2 in Flotation), and it put up high marks across the board. And everyone loved the new paint job. Beekman: "Perfect balance of stability and responsiveness."
At 119 mm underfoot, the Shiro has been a big success for Volkl and a tester favorite, admired for its versatility. It's plenty fat and rockered for floaty powder-day fun, but metal reinforcement and surprisingly edginess on hardpack give it surprisingly good performance in everyday, non-powder situations. It's part of the Big Mountain Freeskiing collection, which includes all of Volkl's fattest skis, from the massive Kuro, with its powder-specific 132 mm waist, down to the venerable Gotama, which, at 107 mm underfoot, offers hard-snow versatility. All offer the integrity of full wood cores and sturdy vertical sidewalls. Some incorporate two sheets of metal for a traditionally powerful performance, while some are carbon-reinforced so as to be lighter weight. All are sold flat (no binding). All are fully rockered tip to tail, with no camber underfoot, for maximum float and surfiness in deep snow. The incorporation of the two new models, the One and Two, adds a couple of smeary newschool-style skis to the collection.
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||173, 183, 193, 203|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.71 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.73 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.08 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.66 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.11 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||4.01 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.33 / 5|