The Katana V-Werks backs up its trippy, attention-grabbing aesthetics with thrilling performance. The ultra-thin profile surfs through deep snow and knifes the groomers, and the stout carbon-fiber laminates provide an impressive amount of energy in each turn. “It’s stiff,” said one tester, “but it won’t punish you,” thanks to its featherweight design. And while it’s relatively fat for your typical one-ski quiver, few said it didn’t have the chops to handle a wide array of terrain and conditions.
The V-Werks Katana is a carbon-light, premium-priced version of the regular Katana, weighing 15 percent less and retailing for $210 more. Like the regular Katana, it's a 112-waisted, fully rockered powder ski that's built like a race ski. It's part of the V-Werks collection of super-premium skis, which are built with no sparing of expense on materials (and priced accordingly - up to $1,575 suggested retail, binding included). Weight savings is the primary focus, so V-Werks versions of the RTM 84, Code Speedwall and Katana are carbon-rich constructions, very noticeably quicker and livelier on snow. Volkl reduces weight not only by replacing fiberglass with carbon at every opportunity, but also by milling channels in the wood core and leaving them empty. Lighter skis usually trade stability at speed, but two sheets of metal and a new Volkl dampening technology mitigate that in the two RTM and Speedwall models.A product of the race department, the new UVO dampener, a module placed near the tip, is designed to reduce vibrations in all directions to quiet the ride and improve edge-engagement. The V-Werks Katana is a more traditional construction (wood core, torsion box internal layup, vertical sidewalls) than the RTM or Speedwall versions, but the use of carbon fiber and absence of metal reduces weight by 15 percent over the regular Katana.