Make no mistake, if you strapped these black carbon/woodcore beasts to the top of your Pinto you would 100% stop traffic. The same would happen even if you were driving a Lamborghini.
I don’t drive a Pinto or a Lambo but I do take the bus to ski almost every day here in the region of the “Aspens,” which made a Sunday morning of ski testing far more interesting than usual.
I held up the bus line, got assaulted with questions, and immediately after I boarded the driver insisted I retrieve those “fricken sweet skis” from the side of the bus before they blow away (yes, these are lightweight skis that come in as ‘average’ on our lightweight biased charting), which of course resulted in further questioning by fellow strap-hangers.
The 1706 gram each (Wildsnow verified, 186 cm) Volkl v-werks BMT 109 planks are indeed a sight to be seen.
Wildsnow.com official measurements were close to those advertised: 186 cm length, 134/109/119 sidecut, rocker all the way to the boot position. They felt quicker and tighter than the 26.5 meter radius, probably because of the extensive rocker.
BMT 106 scores a 78 on our extensive weight vs. surface area chart! For comparison the Nunataq scores an 81. Average is presently 76 but keep in mind we’ve got some very lightweight skis on the chart, which skews the average.
Conclusion, the weight of these skis on the uphill would be in the sweet spot, given their dimensions.
Sprinting off the local bus to the base of the local mega resort I was able to avoid further questioning and ski with a few clients from a big mountain ski camp I worked for many seasons ago. I anticipated the pace to be on the conservative side since last time I skied with one of these individuals I had to help him during a double shoulder dislocation. I soon learned that would not be the case. I underestimated his use of extensive “testing” of his shoulder rotation limiter brace.
Straight over and through boot high moguls at semi-mach schnell speed we went. The BMT 109s barely shrugged in their presence assuring me they aren’t only for “Big Mountain Touring,” as they’re name suggests. Indeed they do have a significant amount of rocker fore and aft which aided in the steeps and quick turns through crud. High speed and aggressive GS turns felt solid for the most part, though I did notice a speed limit due to vibration of the stout and relatively non-damped carbon construction. In terms of backcountry natural snow performance, excelling in wind drifts and untracked boot high powder caused my confidence in the BMT’s to grow. If there was anything holding me back it wasn’t the skis but my legs screaming from non-stop laps of chalky snow.
Despite the binding weight, combining the Marker F12 Tours on the BMT 109 made for one sweet looking setup. Swing weight of the skis through turns and casual airs over moguls were apparent. Without question, these are light skis.
The only letdown of the BMT 109, is what we found back at HQ when we were about to mount the BMT’s with tech bindings. Upon removal of the Marker F12’s, printed fourth line down on the ski top, the words “Only For Marker Bindings” meant our lightweight uphill dreams were possibly shattered. We don’t doubt accommodations will be made for tech style bindings on the BMT series in the future and possibly a shorter/lighter skier would have little problem with the mount, but I’m a bigger guy and I like to keep my skull fragments out of the snow if I can, so we followed instructions. (That said, later we did get straight on the odd H-shaped binding reinforcement area. While this isn’t ideal for every brand of binding, some do fit just fine. See Volkl mount info here.)
Look for the Volkl v-werks BMT’s in stores this fall of 2014. Definitely a contender if you want a resort-capable or “big mountain” ski that saves some mass. And again, perhaps we’ll see a Marker tech binding to pair with these beautiful planks?
Editor’s note from Lou: Lisa and I checked out the entire v-werks line at Ispo in January 2014. To understate, we were impressed. We’ll be working with the Volkl carbon skis as much as possible. At this point, we’re thinking they’re a good option for aggressive skiing — while still being reasonable in mass. Know that while we tested the BMT 109, Volkl will also sell a 94 mm waisted version (BMT 94) that could be an ideal touring plank. Catalog weight of the 94 is 1,570 grams per 186 cm ski — quite light.
I’d also like to summarize some of Volkl’s PR. For starters, their mission with the v-werks BMT skis is to make a “new category of ski…full fledged freeriders and touring skis, all in one…this fusion comes of the v-werks concept of cutting-edge composites, with simple insight: less weight means more performance.” I’d add that the cross section of the ski makes SENSE for a change. Raised center section and dropped angle to edges, for less snow accumulation. Only thing missing is white top instead of black. But not having duck ponds included on the top is a plus. Overall, we highly recommend consideration of these skis if you’re willing to haul average touring weight, with excellent performance on the down.
Joseph Risi was raised on pasta and meatballs in the “backwoods” of Long Island before seeking higher education in the mountains of Vermont. Always looking for adventure, building treehouses, working too many odd jobs around the world he now lives in the Aspen area of Colorado.