Along with my Sportiva Sychro test project last winter, I rode a pair of the new Hyper Vector ski that Voile has launched to retail this fall. Overall, nice, should be an excellent option in that ever useful “90-100” waist width for ski touring varied snow conditions. They work for full-on hardpack as well, something that was somewhat available here in Colorado last season, now known according to WildSnow.com as the “winter that shall not be named.”
— The weight felt reasonable on the up, competitive for the 90-100mm waist category. I actually thought this might be a 85-90mm waist ski until I looked at the dimensions.
— About 200 grams lighter than the Ultra Vector in same length.
— On the uphill, the pronounced sidecut and bulbous tip/tail with tip taper created drag where these areas contacted the snow. Less sidecut makes for an easier climb. Just a thought, as I wouldn’t want to compromise downhill performance to any significant degree.
— Topsheet material is excellent, appeared to shed snow better than average. Perhaps this was due to a combination of light color and slippery surface, perhaps a secret sauce. I have high hopes that this will minimize snow buildup in other conditions.
— Voile might be using a “harder” Ptex base: 4001 or even 7200? Fast base, durable. Probably doesn’t hold wax as well, that’s a concern for resort skiing (and racing) but takes a second seat to durability when it comes to a mountaineering ski.
— The first thing I evaluate with light “touring” skis is the amount of torsional rigidity. In that regard the Hyper Vector was impressive. Almost no noticeable lateral flex even when driving the tips on hard snow. The rigidity held throughout the ski (felt good underfoot) and the stiff tail made for a superb, energetic turn finish.
— I think the mount position may have been off with the demo bindings/boots as my position felt too far back (i.e. factory mount likely didn’t line up with mount point on the boot). I could feel this while skiing and noticed that I was finishing all the my turns on the tail. I don’t believe this is a design issue. I would likely move +1 cm forward to remedy. I’ll bring the boots by the WildSnow studio and get more specific on this.
— The skis were impressively damp on hardpack/set-up packed powder. No tip chatter and great edge hold throughout the ski.
— Factory tune was money. Skis felt flat, edges sharp. I would guess they have a .5-1 degree base bevel and 1-2 degree side bevel. The edges were detuned from the tip to the beginning of the running surface. I would sharpen a bit farther up towards the tip for stronger tip initiation, but the factory detune is what most skiers would probably want (less catchy).
The rockered tip helps with float, but in my world the stiffness of the Hyper Vector and its narrow(er) waist rule it out for deep days. The reasonable weight and good torsional rigidity point towards this being a steep ski mountaineering tool but the sidecut would be a bit much for that (hooky on the steeps). Where Hyper Vector would excel is as a spring season ski for anything other than extreme descents, or something to take on longer winter tours when real skiing is involved. Obviously (at least to me) 177cm length is much shorter than I’d normally ski but I’ll keep the complaining on that issue to myself. (I don’t think Lou has had a ski longer than 178 on that big quiver rack in his studio, ever, 😉
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(WildSnow guest blogger Colby Christoff ski raced at Syracuse University. He moved to Colorado some time ago and explores the backcountry whenever he can escape from his job as an engineer. He appears to escape often, and was one of the participants on our now legendary Denali palooza.)