We’ve got all sorts of exciting stuff in the works for this winter. One project is to run an extended quiver of skis out of WildSnow HQ. We’ll cover the backcountry skis with short “first looks” as well as extended reviews after our full roster of testers are on them enough for informed opinion.
This week’s quiver quick look: Trab Volare is the famed Italian ski company’s effort to quiet the howls of freeride backcountry skiers as they scream for width, width, more width. Yeah, a sweet spot exists in width, somewhere between weight for the uphill and performance on the down. That spot is a moving target, but the nice, easy to remember number of 100 seems to work well as a waist measurement zone, with decent but not radically enhanced sidecut. In the case of my 171 cm sticks, that yields dimensions of 129/99/116, 24.2m radius.
Trab is known for making skis that perform — with less mass. Indeed, at 52.1 ounces (1478g) per ski for my 171s, we’re talking helium here. Check out our weight chart and compare. For a ski this wide, even considering saved weight due to the 171 length, these guys should be uphill power mongers.
About my length pick. These are not rockered planks. Thus, they’ll ski at shorter more traditional “Euro” lengths if you’ve got the chops to handle that sort of rig (not sure I do, as I’m fully rocker addicted, but we’ll see). Overall, it’ll be interesting to note what I end up grabbing more off the workshop wall when I’m earning my turns. Will it be the shorter superlights? The planks in middle ground of weight and rocker? Or the long, rockered, average weight big guns?
Trab is selling a proprietary skin for the Volare, with a tip fix that slips under the hooked shaped plastic tip protector. I’ll review those eventually. For now, I’m modding a pair of Gecko to fit, as the new Gecko review is priority.
Overall, a fine looking plank for us turn earners.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.