Völkl Kuro (2014)
The Kuro is the fattest ski Volkl makes and one of the fattest on the market, emphatically designed to make the most of powder at the expense of other snow conditions. Rather than two full sheets of metal, which would make it too heavy at this width, Volkl uses strips of metal placed near the edges to give it high-speed stability and dampness without adding excessive weight. Moderate tip and tail tapering is designed to loosen it up in deep snow, but it's still a fairly traditional directional ski that responds well to aggressive input from expert skiers. 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.