Völkl has been offering a halo V.Werks collection for about a decade, and this Cage Match pits the mainstream Deacon 84 against its well-heeled brother, V.Werks 84. Other mainstream brands have tried to compete with Völkl’s V.Werks in this segment with their own premium models but have succumbed to Völkl's momentum. Völkl’s Deacon V.Werks is not just a pretty face, the graphics really are a raw design highlighting the crossed carbon placements that stand out in their own subtle way.
The in-line Deacon 84 is a culmination of many generations of skis that Völkl has offered in this class, going back to the 724 of the early 2000s. Through the evolutions, Völkl swung the pendulum from the I-beam-stiff AC 50 to the zero-camber first-generation RTM 84. The Lowride XL binding allows a reactive feel and, combined with a thinner sidewall, gives the Deacon 84 a quick edge change. The Deacon 84 is one of the more serious skis in this class -- meaning it rewards good technique and is biased toward hard snow.
The V.Werks version of the Deacon is a different animal altogether. [everyone] "The V.Werks version of the Deacon is a different animal."[/everyone] With its carbon infusion, it feels like a much more tightly wound digital version of the regular Deacon. Think of the V.Werks as an AMG Black Edition of your favorite Mercedes, which offers unlimited power and refinement to an already stellar model.
Where I feel both of these skis, along with quite a few other Völkl models, are separating themselves from other offerings is their 3D radius sidecut, which is 21/15/24 in the reference 177cm model. It is easy to say that these offer a 15m radius, but that does not tell the whole story of how these will ski. It is the longer fore and aft radius that give the skis a unique connection to the snow.
- Why choose the Deacon 84? You are willing to forgo the Nth degree of hard snow performance at the cost of versatility while saving a few Benjamins.
- Why choose the Deacon V.Werks? While these are less expensive than some of the premium brand offerings, they are a great option for someone who wants a premium ski without the high price to match.
- Insider tip: Where most brands offer their models in this range in 7-8cm increments, Völkl offers both of these models in 5cm increments for less chance to fall between sizes.