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2023 Völkl Blaze 86 W

SkiTalk Test Team

Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Lauren: In all honesty, I didn’t expect much from the Blaze 86 W. A lightweight freeride ski with an 86mm waist? Sounds about as stable as a donkey in a canoe. I could not have been more wrong. Its versatility blew me away. I took it into some fresh fluffy snow, on snowmaking mounds, and on some variable groomers, and it handled everything with ease. Similar to its wider counterparts, the 94 W and 106 W, this is a Völkl that doesn’t convey that classic Völkl feel. It’s friendly and versatile while maintaining the stable platform that Völkl is known for.

Insider tip: This one will change your perception of skinny freeride skis.​
 
Who is it for?
Anyone ... really.
Who is it not for?
Anyone who has been referred to as a “powerhouse.”
Skier ability
  1. Beginner/Novice
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced
  4. Expert
Ski category
  1. Frontside
  2. All Mountain
Ski attributes
  1. Groomers
  2. Moguls
  3. Off Piste
  4. Trees
  5. Touring/Backcountry
Segment
  1. Women

Specifications

right ad
Available sizes
146, 152, 159, 166
Dimensions
129-86-111
Radius
21/12/19m@159cm
Rocker profile
  1. Camber with tip and tail rocker
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. New graphics
Binding options
  1. Flat
Last edited by a moderator:

MissySki

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Is there supposed to be a video here @Philpug? It shows "this video is private" for me.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Is there supposed to be a video here @Philpug? It shows "this video is private" for me.
Is the video showing for you now?
I checked the settings and it should be public.
 

MissySki

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Is the video showing for you now?
I checked the settings and it should be public.
It is now, thank you! Perhaps a weird glitch on my end the other day.

I couldn't agree more with the review also. Someone recommended that I try it last weekend at a demo day, and I LOVED it!
 
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tinymoose

Getting off the lift
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@Tricia How would you compare this in feel/performance to the Kenja and Yumi? Would it fare a lot worse on icier groomers compared to the other two? Like our typical stuff here in the Northeast?
 

SandyV

SKIER!
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Feb 23, 2023
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South Lake Tahoe, CA
Hi, group. I just joined. I was searching on the Internet as to why the Blaze 86 is so slow on the flats. Does anyone share this experience? Otherwise, I love the ski!!! it's delightful, quick turning, light and fun. A bit sloppy sometimes because it's light, but that is something worth giving up for me. I've skied on Volkl for decades, Kenja, Secrets, and now the Blaze. I remember I had a K2 touring ski that was super slow on the flats, and I gave it up. I don't want to give up this Blaze, as I'm ripping it up in the bumps, trees, powder and firm. I'm a ski instructor (now retired) at Kirkood Mountain Resort in California, now a part of the Epic resorts. Please share if any of you women are experiencing this same situation - slow, very slow on the flats. I am always the last to hit the top of the slope we are heading to, where before I was always there right on time. What say you? Maybe I need to reach out to Volkl and ask this question. Does anyone know who I should contact?
 
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Philpug

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What size do you have it in? Also, is you husband much heavier, or as we say, is he gravity gifted? LOL.
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
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Hi, group. I just joined. I was searching on the Internet as to why the Blaze 86 is so slow on the flats. Does anyone share this experience? Otherwise, I love the ski!!! it's delightful, quick turning, light and fun. A bit sloppy sometimes because it's light, but that is something worth giving up for me. I've skied on Volkl for decades, Kenja, Secrets, and now the Blaze. I remember I had a K2 touring ski that was super slow on the flats, and I gave it up. I don't want to give up this Blaze, as I'm ripping it up in the bumps, trees, powder and firm. I'm a ski instructor (now retired) at Kirkood Mountain Resort in California, now a part of the Epic resorts. Please share if any of you women are experiencing this same situation - slow, very slow on the flats. I am always the last to hit the top of the slope we are heading to, where before I was always there right on time. What say you? Maybe I need to reach out to Volkl and ask this question. Does anyone know who I should contact?

I have both the Blaze 96 & 106. They are slow by nature (construction) when compared to the M5/M6, Kenja/Kendo.

It just the way the skis are built. There is a lot less rebound energy coming out of the turn. Making the ski slower from turn to turn. You have to work (drive) harder for the ski to maintain the same speed as the other skis listed.
The slowness is a blessing in the bumps since it will not pick up speed as readily as the Kenja/Kendo/Secret/M6. The ski is also more pivoty that the others.

Horses for courses.
 

Andy Mink

Everyone loves spring skiing but not in January
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It has been a lot colder this season in Tahoe than the last few years. Maybe bump to the next lower temp wax? Red to blue? If you're just not gliding as well that could be a contributing factor.
 

MissySki

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@MissySki I know you love yours. What do you think?
I haven’t noticed a big difference in this way from other skis I have.. but I already tend towards softer and lighter skis than the OP mentioned. I also tend to work a lot on railroad tracks and such when on flats, so I am not often just gliding flat on my bases.

I will pay more attention when I am on them this week in Taos.
 

SandyV

SKIER!
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What size do you have it in? Also, is you husband much heavier, or as we say, is he gravity gifted? LOL.
Hi, Philpug. I have the 159 length. It doesn't matter whether my husband is heavier or not - this ski doesn't glide fast on flats. My Kenjas, Secrets skis all glided fast on flats. Believe me! Maybe I have a bad ski???? I also had a super light Dynastar years ago, and it glided fast. If I am the only one having this problem, it is likely a bad ski, don't you think?
 

tromano

Goin' the way they're pointed...
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Pulled the trigger on a pair of these in 147cm for my 13yo daughter. She's 5' and 115lbs and a solid level 8 skier.

She wanted a more freeride oriented ski that's also not planky and can carve a turn. She has always been athletic, and now she has been training 4 days a week all summer for Jr. High cheer team.

Hopefully these work well.
 

Ktmdad

Booting up
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Apr 11, 2016
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My 65YO significant other just bought these. She’s an avid XC skier and does some downhill as well and discovered uphill touring (side country) last year. She wanted full in and I’m her “gear guy” and went to work doing the research.
Blaze 86 skis in a 151cm, 2023/24 Atomic Ultra XTD 95’s (she’s all of 112lbs) in non BOA version and the Atomic Shift bindings. One stop shop at Rogers in Lincoln NH.
These skis get universally great reviews as a 50/50 ski or even a strictly front side if you want and are incredibly light and good for her petite build. The boots are are no brainer IMO. The Hawk Ultra’s are crazy light with nice adjustability, nice tight heel and ankle pocket for her skinny feet and incredible heat mold ability if that’s needed.
I really really struggled with binding choice for her. In concept the Shift is a great option but there are plenty of negative reviews as well. The marriage of an uphill touring binding with DIN safety on the downhill is a tricky compromise. At her age, weight and skill level she at the very bottom of the DIN scale on the 4-10 binding. Time will tell but she’s super excited to try her new setup and I think she’s gonna really enjoy those skis.
 

Lauren

AKA elemmac
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Time will tell but she’s super excited to try her new setup and I think she’s gonna really enjoy those skis.
Be sure to report back on how she likes the set-up! Or better yet, have her sign up on here and give a first hand account :D.

Sounds like she's rocking the same set-up I've been considering. I currently have an old Nordica Santa Ana with Marker Kingpins...but considering replacing soon. Just not sure I tour enough to justify a full new set-up this year, but would love to hear what she has to say about the Blaze/Hawx/Shift combo.
 

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