2022 Völkl Secret 96

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Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Tricia: Völkl has had women’s skis with a strong following, but none more than the Aura, which came on the scene in 2007 with a 94mm waist. Most of us evolve as we age -- as did the Aura, who got a little fatter and changed her shape through the years (something I can relate to ...). I thought some of the changes were solid improvements and others were head scratchers. When the Aura made her final appearance in 2018, she was at her widest (100 mm underfoot) and had reverse camber.

The Aura was retired in 2019 and the Secret 92 was introduced, offering a more playful feel to the lineup. The Secret had a bigger sweet spot and made the mountain more accessible for more women. After being on the market for two years, she got a makeover, and a very nice one at that.

Enter the Secret 96: with Tailored Titanal Frame, Tailored Carbon Tip, and 3D Radius sidecut, this is a ski that promises a consistent experience for every skier. My first impression was, Wow this is light; it almost feels like like a carbon ski. After the first run, my second impression was, But it doesn’t ski like a carbon ski. Light skis often have a vague tip initiation and some vibration, but not this one. The Secret 96 engages well and holds an edge like you expect from Völkl. It’s a ski that will satisfy the Völkl enthusiast as well as tease the woman who has longed for her beloved Aura, but with a fresh look and feel that bring her into the new decade.

I would really like to get on the 170 to see the difference in the construction between the 163 and 170. I would probably be happy with either size in my quiver.
  • Insider tip: This is a ski that could make you happy in more than one length.
Elemmac: The Secret 96 holds true to that traditional Völkl feel: it stays firm and grounded when arcing a turn, and I didn’t have to second guess what it would do when I came upon piles of snow (ie, it was going to go right through them). Turn initiation on this ski is precise and responsive. When skiing this size, I have to be on my game; there isn’t much room for laziness and error. I could see myself owning the 170, or the 163 for increased maneuverability.

Insider tip: This is a ski you can comfortably try in multiple sizes.​
 
Awards
Who is it for?
Someone looking for an all-mountain ski that has a playful side anda serious side.
Who is it not for?
The timid skiers. Base Lodge Betties.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. All Mountain
Ski attributes
  1. Moguls
  2. Off Piste
  3. Trees
Segment
  1. Women

Specifications

Available sizes
149, 156, 163, 170
Dimensions
135-96-119
Radius
24.1/14.2/[email protected]
Rocker profile
  1. Camber with tip and tail rocker
Size Scaling
  1. Construction
Construction design
  1. All new
Binding options
  1. Flat
right ad
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AmyPJ

No longer on the single track.
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
6,526
Location
Ogden, UT
These sound like a ski I need to get on. The Secret 92 was a bit of a handful for me, but there was a lot about it that I really, really liked. A ski with carbon that doesn't ski like a ski with carbon? I'm intrigued. Some of the skis with a lot of carbon are not my cuppa tea. It seems the manufacturers are starting discover a nice blend of wood, titanal, and carbon make for a nice feel on the snow, and now they are designing different layups of the three materials.
 

Polly357

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
Skier
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Posts
2
Location
NH
I have the original 92 and it’s my favorite ski. That said, I’m curious about the 96. I do wish the 92 had more tip rocker but I’m hoping the 96 maintains the original stiffness. @Tricia am I looking for a unicorn?!
 

Luqi

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Posts
12
These are the same skis as Mantra M6 right(other than different top sheet and length options)? An opportunity for mix and match!
 

Twynam

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
Skier
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Posts
2
I have the102 secret from a couple of years ago. I am just wondering how the 96mms secret compares?
 

Pat AKA mustski

I can keep a Secret
Skier
Joined
Nov 15, 2015
Posts
3,788
Location
Big Bear, California
Since I purchased these skis (163) from @Tricia yesterday, I thought I would go ahead and add my .2 worth.

Caveat - I have always been a Völkl fan since my first pair of Attiva AC3s. I have also owned the 2012 Aura (hummingbird) and still own the 2016 90eight and the 2015 Völkl One. The Auras are retired but I still ski the others. I also own Kästle LX 73 and Stöckli Stormrider 85w and Renoun Z90.

I am 5'2", 130 lbs, and generally prefer a ski in the low 160's. I would describe myself as a scrappy intermediate who has improved considerably since I retired. I ski all groomed runs with confidence and I am progressing in trees, bumps, and off piste. I enjoy a steep, smooth run but prefer my bumps on the smaller side on blue runs, and I like my trees low angle and well spaced. I ski middling fast in that I am faster than most but definitely chase Tricia!

Völkl describes the Secret 96 as an Expert ski. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert skier. I had no problem at all driving the skis and they seemed plenty friendly to me. They are light underfoot, but extremely stable at speed, and confidence inspiring. They are super responsive, quick edge to edge, and equally as happy with short turns as long turns. In fact, I was able to switch back and forth from long to short turns, and back to long turns, without altering my speed in any way. I was most impressed with the way the skis felt at the bottom of the turn. The tails just seemed to complete the turn better than any other ski I have. The trees runs were a variable mix of soft piles with a firm surface underneath. The Secret 96 transitioned instantly from soft to hard snow and plowed through piles with no problem or added effort on my part. On ungroomed piste, the response was similar as I transitioned between a wind scoured slick pitch on one side and soft drifted piles on the other. In Völkl fashion, they held an edge on the slick stuff but surfed right through the soft piles. In bumps, they were very responsive and made it easy to ski a line without overthinking it. I did not take them into large bumps as my skill set is not quite there yet. Overall, skiing them is a hoot!
 
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BC.

NEPA ShopRat/Skier
Skier
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Posts
1,567
Location
Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
Since I purchased these skis (163) from @Tricia yesterday, I thought I would go ahead and add my .2 worth.

Caveat - I have always been a Völkl fan since my first pair of Attiva AC3s. I have also owned the 2012 Aura (hummingbird) and still own the 2016 90eight and the 2015 Völkl One. The Auras are retired but I still ski the others. I also own Kästle LX 73 and Stöckli Stormrider 85w and Renoun Z90.

I am 5'2", 130 lbs, and generally prefer a ski in the low 160's. I would describe myself as a scrappy intermediate who has improved considerably since I retired. I ski all groomed runs with confidence and I am progressing in trees, bumps, and off piste. I enjoy a steep, smooth run but prefer my bumps on the smaller side on blue runs, and I like my trees low angle and well spaced. I ski middling fast in that I am faster than most but definitely chase Tricia!

Völkl describes the Secret 96 as an Expert ski. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert skier. I had no problem at all driving the skis and they seemed plenty friendly to me. They are light underfoot, but extremely stable at speed, and confidence inspiring. They are super responsive, quick edge to edge, and equally as happy with short turns as long turns. In fact, I was able to switch back and forth from long to short turns, and back to long turns, without altering my speed in any way. I was most impressed with the way the skis felt at the bottom of the turn. The tails just seemed to complete the turn better than any other ski I have. The trees runs were a variable mix of soft piles with a firm surface underneath. The Secret 96 transitioned instantly from soft to hard snow and plowed through piles with no problem or added effort on my part. On ungroomed piste, the response was similar as I transitioned between a wind scoured slick pitch on one side and soft drifted piles on the other. In Völkl fashion, they held an edge on the slick stuff but surfed right through the soft piles. In bumps, they were very responsive and made it easy to ski a line without overthinking it. I did not take them into large bumps as my skill set is not quite there yet. Overall, skiing them is a hoot!
FWIW….I have my wife on the Secret96 this winter…..and just watching her this winter, she seems to being skiing very confidently…….albeit the crap conditions we have had all winter here on the EC.

I ask her to describe the Secret 96….she says smooth, easy to make a variety of turn shapes in all conditions.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
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22,636
Location
Tahoe
FWIW….I have my wife on the Secret96 this winter…..and just watching her this winter, she seems to being skiing very confidently…….albeit the crap conditions we have had all winter here on the EC.

I ask her to describe the Secret 96….she says smooth, easy to make a variety of turn shapes in all conditions.
I sincerely watched @Pat AKA mustski ski faster and with more confidence in some chopped conditions than I'd seen before.
 

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