2021-2022 Volkl V-Werks Katana

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Volkl V-werks Katana for Blister Gear review
2016-2017 Volkl V-Werks Katana

Ski: 2021-2022 Volkl V-Werks Katana, 184 cm

Available Lengths: 177, 184, 191 cm

Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 182.2 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 143-112-132

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 142.5-112-132

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1959 & 1975 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 23.5 meters

Core Construction: Poplar + Ash underfoot + carbon fiber laminate

Tip / Tail Splay (decambered): 68 mm / 18 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm

Factory Recommended Line: -13.9 cm from center / 77.2 cm from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Salomon X Pro 120 / Marker Jester (DIN at 11)

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 6

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Katana, which was not changed for 15/16, 16/17, 17/18, 18/19, 19/20, 20/21, or 21/22, apart from graphics.]


I spent much of last season actively ignoring the V-Werks Katana. When I first saw it at SIA in January of 2013, I believe it took me about four seconds to dismiss it. (You’ll notice that we didn’t even mention the ski in our SIA coverage that year.)

In fact, Will Brown kept telling me that we needed to review it, and I kept saying No. (Will loves it when I get like this.)

Why was I against it?

1) We love the 191cm ‘standard’ Katana, and it’s still our favorite crud buster / charger. So I wasn’t looking for an update, and I definitely wasn’t longing for a lighter weight, impossibly thin, carbon fiber version of the Katana.

2) While the V-Werks Katana is undeniably gorgeous, it struck me as a gimmick. It seemed like this was Volkl’s equivalent of a concept car that was designed primarily to create buzz. It also seemed like some movie producers told Volkl that there was going to be a skiing sequence in the next Batman movie, so Volkl made a ski that looks like it was designed specifically for the Dark Knight.

3) The ski looks awfully delicate. The standard Katana is one of the all-time greats at destroying everything in its path, so honest question: why make a lighter, thinner, more fragile version of it? The V-Werks Katana seemed like a lot of flash, little substance.

In general, I’m against the trend to remove weight from skis. I think weight is a good thing—especially for resort charger-type skis—and cutting weight creates performance tradeoffs that don’t make the ski better able to charge hard or bust crud. (Cutting weight does, however, make a ski nicer to spin, flip, and walk uphill with it either on your feet or on your shoulder.)

So Why Did We Decide to Review It?

1) This season, Volkl still offered the regular Katana and the V-Werks edition, so we could continue to just choose option A. But Volkl isn’t making the regular Katana next year, just the V-Werks, so it’s probably time to find out what this ski can actually do.

2) Mugzy. Jeff Muggleston is the adult ski school manager at Taos, and he’s been skiing the V-Werks Katana pretty much everyday this season, in all conditions. He’s been raving about them, which moved the needle for me up from “uninterested” to “quite skeptical.”

3) We received this comment on the site from a reader named Rod:

“When are you guys going to review the Volkl V-Werks Katana? There is a paucity of good reviews out there of this ski and unfortunately, given the price, no one is demoing the skis.”

Ok, fine. We’ll review it.

How Volkl Describes the V-Werks Katana

In addition to calling it “The World’s most technically advanced big mountain ski,” Volkl has this to say about the V-Werks Katana:

Völkl extends its V-WERKS technology with the new, super-premium V-WERKS Katana. Lightweight technology reduces weight by 15 percent, while enhancing performance through a unique combination of carbon fiber layers and vertical sidewalls. With an incredibly thin profile and featherlight swing weight, the V-WERKS Katana moves effortlessly through soft snow, while the innovative construction provides stability and edge grip. Also available are custom, pre-cut climbing skins.”

And After Six Days on Snow?

“Shocked” would probably be the right word. I’m shocked by how these feel, how well these ski, and how hard I have been able to push them. In short, the V-Werks Katana might be the most surprising ski that I’ve reviewed for Blister.

Shape + Weight + Flex Pattern

Dialing in the flex pattern is probably the most difficult part of ski construction. And while the V-Werks Katana’s flex pattern is not as stiff as the standard-edition 191cm Katana (and I’ll have to confirm, but I’m not sure that it’s as stiff as the standard 184 Katana, either) Volkl has done something very smart: since they decided to remove weight from a stiff charger ski, they also softened up the flex pattern a touch. The result is that the weight and the flex pattern feel very well matched, and I found it to be much better suited for hard and fast riding in variable resort powder conditions than the DPS Wailer 112RPC Pure3.

On another note, since I talk about this all the time, I’m giving Volkl 100 points once again for the consistency of the Katana’s flex pattern. There are no hinge points in the pattern, and the shovels and tips are only slightly softer than the tail. This generally makes for a larger sweet spot on a ski, and it continues to genuinely confuse me as to why some companies make skis with shovels that are much softer than the tails. I do not believe that doing so makes skiing easier for anyone, either beginners or experts.

The V-Werks Katana actually hand flexes about as stiff as the 13/14 Mantra, and slightly stiffer than the 14/15 Mantra. The ski flexes fairly stout, but on snow, it has not felt to me like an unforgiving ski that wants to kick your ass. I’d say it skis a bit softer than it hand flexes, especially through the shovels.


While this might be an odd place to start for a big-mountain pow ski, the V-Werks Katana is a seriously fast, powerful, and smooth carver on groomers. Especially on anything soft, I could lay this ski over as easily as the 98-mm underfoot skis I have recently been riding (Rossignol Experience 98 & 100; 13/14 and 14/15 Mantra; Praxis 9D8), and the V-Werks Katana is easy to bend when brought up to speed.

The caveat to this is that, at speeds of 50-60+ miles per hour, the more I was really wishing for well-manicured groomers. Whereas the 13/14 Volkl Mantra is one of the best skis I’ve ridden on roughed up groomers, the lightweight, thin shovels and tails of the V-Werks Katana don’t steamroll smaller bumps as well.

Compared to another excellent, powerful ~110mm-underfoot carver, the Nordica Helldorado, the V-Werks Katana requires a bit more precision at very high speeds due to its thinned-out tips and tails and lack of traditional camber. When carving, I often like to load up the tails of a ski to launch me into the next turn, but on the V-Werks Katana, loading up the tails (and hence, getting off the shovels a touch) isn’t a great idea if you’re on roughed-up groomers; the uphill ski in particular is in a prime position to wander. So in such situations, I’m now just much more careful to stay on and weight the shovels than I am on skis with heavier shovels and traditional camber underfoot.

(Of course, you could also just slow down a bit, too, but whatever.)


Taos picked up about 30 inches of snow this past week, so it has been a perfect time to test pow performance. And the V-Werks Katana has been excellent. While its tips and tails are relatively stiff, they are also thin and lightweight, and I never experienced any tip dive in deep snow in the Waterfowl, Thunderbird, and High Somewhere areas of Taos’ West Basin. I haven’t been on the 191 standard Katana in some time, and I’ve never skied the 184 length. But I am confident that the V-Werks Katana floats and planes better in pow than the standard version.

Two days ago, Kachina Peak was blanketed with perfect New Mexico blower on top of a beautiful, cream cheese layer. It was ridiculously good, and there was nothing difficult or challenging about it. Making big, fast turns felt totally natural, and the skis were stable and completely cooperative.

Later, in slightly sun baked, thicker untracked snow down Walkyries and the What Chutes, the V-Werks Katanas were still outstanding.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Volkl V-Werks Katana, Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the V-Werks Katana, Walkyries, Taos Ski Valley.

It’s shovels weren’t folding up or fighting back against me, and the skis provided a super smooth, stable ride. This wouldn’t be surprising for a fatter, heavier ski like the Moment Bibby Pro, but I was pleased to see how well the V-Werks Katana handled both light pow and heavier, untracked snow.

The V-Werks ride isn’t super surfy and loose; the rocker line & splay combinations are too subtle for that. Rather, these skis plane well, don’t tip dive, and make pow easy to ski while also providing serious all-mountain capability especially in softer conditions.

Soft Chop

An even better surprise is how well the V-Werks has handled soft chop—basically, like it isn’t chop at all. Here, the shape and stiffness of the Katana’s shovels are really beneficial, and work much better in cut up conditions than skis with lightweight, soft-flexing shovels and heavily tapered tips, like the 13-14 / 14-15 Rossignol Squad 7. I was getting no deflection on the Katana at speed in soft bumps (Al’s Run, Castor / Pollux, etc.) in instances where I had to apply a much lighter touch to the Squad 7.


The low swingweight of the V-Werks make these a very easy 112mm-underfoot ski in bumps, whether windscoured, firm, and fast, or big, soft, and slow. The skis are quick, super predictable, and easy to pivot on their no-traditional-camber-having bases.

179 comments on “2021-2022 Volkl V-Werks Katana”

    • My answer would depend a lot on what type of terrain you’re primarily hitting and how many days you’re skiing. This ski feels like a precision tool, not a ski that makes a ton of sense to go bash around the mountain when it hasn’t snowed in 3 weeks and things are getting really rocky. And for really bulletproof days, I’m a big fan of having a 88-98mm underfoot ski. I could easily see pairing such a ski with the V-Werks Katana for a 2 ski quiver.

      • I think I’ve just come up with the ultimate 2 ski quiver:

        V-werks Katana mounted with barons (for touring, powder, 80-90% of my skiing)


        An old pair of volkl explosivs I found at a garage sale for $100 for those bullet proof days (also makes the ultimate rock ski but also awesome in crud)

        Best part is the total quiver cost cheaper than most conventional 2 ski quivers.

        Anyone else see the irony that the explosiv, which was once thought of as a “powder” ski has become in 2016 the narrow ski in a quiver?

          • Haven’t had a Chance to try the kingpin, but I really like having a frame binding on the V-weeks katana because yeah, this is a ski you are going to ski 90% of the time at the resort, with a bit of “sidecountry” touring thrown in. Kingpins on these don’t make that much sense to me, in that context.

            At 2 kg a ski, they are quite a bit heavier than my voile touring skis. If I’m really touring, I’m going to grab my voiles and something dynafiddle every time. Could consider throwing a pair of kingpins on the voiles – it’s tragic there’s not a better chance to demo touring equipment. Thanks for the reviews to help get around that.

  1. What the hell Volkl? Only Marker binders? Are you serious?

    This would make an excellent pow touring setup, but I think most folks who buy this for a touring ski would want to put tech binders on it.

    Any insight as to why this is the case? Is there something about the core structure that is incompatible with other bindings? Air channels in the core that might interfere with other screw patterns?

    Has anyone mounted these tech yet? I don’t really care if Volkl doesn’t officially approve, but I don’t want the ski blowing up on me.

    • the core is pretty much hollow outside the screw areas for royal bindings.
      there’s aguy on TGR who was mounted a pair for a customer with something other than markers but that’s all i’ve heard.

    • The Völkl V-WERKS KATANA has a binding mounting area that is optimized for Marker Bindings to reduce the weight of the ski and improve the performance. If you choose to use a binding other than Marker, the Mounting Area Template on the reverse side needs to be used to confirm that all binding screws will be located inside the mounting area marked in white.
      1. Position the template with correct tip and tail direction. Align the boot midsole mark on the template with ski midsole mark. Center template on ski and tape to ski.
      2. Place installation tool on ski and mark the paper template with the binding screw pattern. Remove the installation tool and check that all binding screws are located inside the
      White mounting area.
      3. If the binding screws are not located inside the White mounting area you should not use this binding on the V-WERKS KATANA.
      *Volkl will not warranty any binding retention claims if the binding screws are located outside this binding mounting area.

  2. Great review thanks… How does it compare to the Cochise? I have a Kendo and am looking for something wider for Whistler (and those days it does snow in NZ). Ta.

    • Thanks, Michael. I haven’t been on the Cochise in a while, so don’t feel inclined to make too many comparisons till we get on the (slightly tweaked) version this spring or summer. But the biggest thing I’ll say is that this Katana feels like a very good pow ski in a way that I never felt the Cochise was even trying to be. So in thinking of this from a quiver point of view, the V-Werks Katana was a remarkably versatile ski that also worked very well in pow. The Cochise performs really well in firm-to-variable conditions, but it feels less like the right tool as things get deeper.

  3. Thanks Jonathan and Blister, you just broke my wallet. The ski sounds amazing. Any chance we can get a head-to-head comparison of the 110mm waist, subtle reverse camber crud busters you’ve reviewed already?

    I’m thinking like a 185 Cochise vs 184 metal Katana vs 184 VWerks Katana vs 184 4frnt Devastator comparison.

    • I’m afraid not, Dan. But listen – the best crud busters out there will be heavy. I’m beginning to worry that people (still) think that you can pull all the weight out of the ski and it will magically bust crud as well as heavier skis. It’s simply not true. So as I say in the “Firm Crud” section of this review, this is not the forte of this ski.

      Finally, we’ve never skied the 184 standard Katana or 184 Devastator. But if crud busting is what you want above all, I wouldn’t be looking at this super thin precision tool, but the regular Katana, Cochise, Belafonte, Supernatural 108, etc.

  4. Currently skiing Volkl RTM84 (184) and looking to add a powder ski that will be great in eastern bumps and trees. I was leaning towards Soul 7 but at 240 lbs thinking it might not be enough ski. Thoughts?

    • You’ve got 60 lbs. on me, Jeff, so I’m not really sure why you’ve narrowed your search to two “lightweight” pow skis? I’m not in a position to say how well either ski would work for you, but yeah … these might not be enough. You don’t say what skis have & haven’t worked for you, but I’d be inclined to look at something that weighs ~2300-2400 grams per ski (186cmMoment Governor; 193cm Blizzard GunSmoke, etc.)

      • Thanks for the reply,. I suppose the reason for the light weight pow skis was for their quick turning ability in bumps and tighter eastern trees. Not sure I want to go as wide as 114 so would Line SFB or Blizzard Peacemaker be better choices?

  5. Hi,

    Great review. I am looking at replacing my Line Mothership skis with the Katana. Currently ski the Line in 185 but wondering if I should stick to a 184cm Katana or push the boat out and get a 191cm. I weigh 175 pounds and 173cm tall. Ski to an expert level, like to ski a fast pace, smooth and aggressive.



      • Jonathan,

        Thanks for your reply. Do you think the same can be said about the older style Katana. Can pick up either the 184 or 191 at a good price. Again this is still to replace my Mothership. Will mount them with a guardian binding to primarily ski Chamonix/Alagna. Will the 191 be a bit to 1 dimensional compared to the 184 given my size. Thanks Mark

        • Hmmmm, 191 Katana vs. 185 Mothership? I haven’t been on a Mothership in forever, but if you’re a strong skier, at your height & weight, you’ll be able to handle the 191 metal Katanas. The question, really, is whether you really *need* that much ski. If you went with the 184s, I’m confident that you’d find them to ski easier than your Motherships, while still offering impressive stability. If you go 191s, I will bet you a beer that you will never, ever feel like you have too little ski.

          And having said all that, if you are going to be touring on these, that would be a point in favor of going with the 184s – won’t have to drag quite as much ski uphill, since this is already quite a heavy setup.

  6. Jonathan,

    I am looking to pickup a new pair of skis for next season. I just skied the new Mantra 184cm in whistler and liked them. But now I am considering the katana as well. I liked the mantra because it went everywhere I pointed them. I assume the katana will be slightly less versatile due to the width. Can you provide any thoughts between the two as one ski to have? I am 5’11” 200lb and have been skiing for 30yrs.

  7. Hi Jonathan,

    I got back into skiing and looking to improve from high intermediate to advanced/expert. Looking for skis that can help achieve that goal without outgrowing too quickly. I need skis that can handle east coast hard packed conditions, but ones I can also take to Vail a few times a year. Researched Volkl RTM 81, 84, V Werks RTM84 and V Werks Katama. Ive got Lange RX100 boots, and at 6-0, 185, I’m trying to figure out what length ski would be best for me. Some folks are suggesting 171s for the RTM skis on icy east coast slopes. Concerned I’d outgrow those too quickly and think 176s would be better. But with the Katamas, 184s would be best? I’m impressed with your review that the Katmas are a solid powder ski but can handle crud as well. This is my dilemma.



    • Hi, Tim – there’s no way I’d recommend the RTM 84 in a 171 for you. And I guess the RTM 81 would be okay if it was going to be a dedicated carver, but I still think the 176 would make more sense. In short, unless it’s a dedicated slalom ski we’re talking about, I think many people tend to go too short for not very good reasons. As for the Katana, yes, I’d recommend 184cm, but if you tend to ski at slower speeds, I imagine you could get away with the 177, though I haven’t skied it.

      • Hey Jonathan,

        Thanks for the recommendations. So if it’s down to the Volkl RTM81 in a 176 or V Werks Katana in a 184, you think I’d get more out of the Katana as far as being a more versatile ski that can do well on the front and back side of the mountain?

        Thanks again,


  8. Jonathan,
    Thanks for the great reviews. My head is getting a bit dizzy thinking of all the choices out there. I have the JJ for powder days and the armada AR7 for the park. I just got rid of the Kastle MX98-just too much ski for me (I am 6’1″ and 165 lbs.). Would like to get something in between my two skis for the Tahoe area for the non-powder days, something in 100mm or so under foot. I would like to do some 10 foot drops and have a ski that will be able to be playful. I am not really into the hard charging thing much. Was wanting to try something from Moment as they are local, but I can’t figure out if any of their offerings would fit. There is a great deal locally on some Hell and backs, but without twin tips, I am a little concerned not the best for jumping off features. I have heard good things about Atomic theory so am considering them as well. There are even a few sickles left online that I am considering. Any thoughts?

    • Hi, Mark – I’m not sure which tricks you’re wanting to throw off which features, but straight airs will be fine off of any flat-tailed ski….

      And since you mention Moment and also the Sickle (which is 110mm underfoot), you should take a look at our reviews of the Moment PB&J and 184cm Moment Deathwish (112mm-underfoot). Either could fit the bill.

  9. Hi there, ive got a man maths question for you (im thinking of getting either the V-Werks RTM or Blizzard Brahma but as youve not reviewed either, ill use the Katana and Blizzard Cochise as examples).

    The V-Werks can now be picked up for (sale prices) $1000 (or they can in Europe, where i reside), while the Cochise for $700 (i can get the Brahmas plus decent Alpine bindings for this amount). Both models appear to get excellent reviews etc but do you feel that the V-Werks are worth the $300 more?

    I know that it all depends on where you ski/how you ski etc but could you make the man maths work for you or would you go for the ‘cheaper’ ski?

    Do you think/feel the V-Werks are more ‘future proof’ as other companies embrace carbon tech?


    • Hi, James – I’ll boil down your question to simply: Are ‘good’ skis all going to go the way of the V-Werks layup? As impressive as the V-Werks Katana is, I’ll say (1) No and (2) I Hope Not. The non-carbon Katana is superior to the V-Werks in certain ways, namely, going very fast in very bad snow. Metal is superior to carbon in certain ways, and carbon is superior to metal in certain different ways. That’s why I wish Volkl would continue to make both. I don’t view carbon layups as simply “better” than other layups. It might work better for some skiers, but not all skiers, and not in all conditions / terrain / applications. It’s why I’m psyched to see DPS now offering (1) carbon layups, (2) carbon/fiberglass-hybrid layups, and now (3) metal layups.

  10. Hello Jonathan:
    Thank you for great review! Blister has the most reliable and comprehensive reviews; thanks
    . I am 5’8″ weigh 145lb. Expert , technical skier not über aggressive. Have been on older mantras at 177 length. In tight spots a bit at a work to turn them. Like the Nordica Soulrider at 177 length. But it is too turny and do not like its soft long tail and not too good in spring crud in Snowbird. What length V- Wrek would you recommend, please ? Also, because of my size, I was considering Gatama. How would you compare them, please?

    • Hi, Faripour – I think the 177cm V-Werks would suit you well. And I don’t have a ton of time on the Gotama, but I greatly prefer the Katana to the Gotama. The Gotama has much more tip and tail rocker than the Katana, and I found it to perform less well in firm or difficult conditions than the Katana, and I don’t really think it would outperform the V-Werks Katana in good, deeper conditions, either.

      • Hi Jonathan – comparing Nordica Soul Rider with Nordica Patron and in turn with V-Werks. Since, i know Soul Rider very well, it would be an ideal ski for me if it had stiffer shorter tail for everywhere except deepest pow, in your reviews you commented on lack of stability of Patron in variable, hard off piste snow but did not site Soul Rider for that weakness. how do you compare the strength and weakness of these two?
        Furthermore, being 145lb and 5’8″ and 68 years old expert technical skier and not very aggressive, i am a bit hesitant to go for V-Wreck 177 that you recommended for me last year. my hesitation is weather it would be too stiff (i hand flexed it in the shop) for me. would Patron be a better choice???
        Put it another way, if YOU were my size and my age and a bit less aggressive would you go for V-Werks 177 as your wide body ski?? any other ski suggestion?
        Again Thank you for GREATEST reviews, Blister is a real asset to all skiers!


  11. Great review for this ski. Thank you. At 5’10, 210 I went with the traditional Katana at 191 for deep days, sloppy days and choppy days. They are bomber and will handle most anything in their way. I also went with the VWerks RTM 84 at 177cm for a lightweight front side carver or those cowboy powder days with the kids. The combination has made for a great 2 ski quiver. Having said that, it is imperative to keep a decent pair of rock skis in the stable and my Movement Thunder at 177 cm gets more action than the others combined because, let’s face it. . . New England skiing is what it is. I am not surprised that the Vwerks Katana is a solid performer.

  12. Great review. I’ve got both the V-werks Katana and the Katana, both in 191. I’m 5’10” and 70kg. I love both skis. I ski mt ruapehu in New Zealand, one of the iceiest mountains there is. Both skis are great and I find it hard to choose between the two. I agree whole heartedly with the reviewer, please bring back the Katana, i think there’s a place for both!!

  13. 184 or 191cm ?
    Hi, i really would love to get on the new katanas. Howver i can get a good deal on 184s.

    i am 6’3″ an about 200lb (193cm/90kg) and more if a finesse skier, but like to go quite fast also.
    Can i get away with the 184??
    normally i would always opt for the longer length (ski 193 cochise and sideseths)

    what if i put dynafits for touring on them (maybe even kingpins) ?

    any insight from katana vwerks owners?? THANKS!

    • would love some to hear more on the 184 vs 191 also. I’m closeish in size 5’11 and 225. I still want this ski to be fun in the tress and steeps, without sacrificing to much in either spot.

  14. If you usually ski on 19Xs, there’s nothing about the Katana should make you deviate from that unless your other 19Xs are 80mm-underfoot carving skis. The Katana’s rocker profile is very modest, meaning that its effective edge isn’t crazy small like more heavily rockered skis, and therefore there’s no reason to size up to accommodate for that.

    There’s also no reason to size down, unless it’s going to be a dedicated touring ski or some other special case. I guess one could make the argument that because this is a pretty stiff ski, you could go a little shorter than usual, but with the low swing weight and full-rocker, these are stupidly easy to ski so I personally would not.

    If anything, you’d want to take advantage of the lightness of the construction in a carbon ski like this to go longer, which will give you back a bit of the stability you lose in going from a fiberglass/metal ski to a carbon ski.

    All that said: To put things in perspective, take out a ruler and see how big 7cm actually is. Do you really think that’s going to make a huge difference in steeps and trees?

  15. I think you’ve overlooked what I believe is the biggest problem with these skis: They are seriously uncool.

    Pulling up in the lift line with a pair of carbon fibre wrapped bat-blades worth $3 billion dollars? You may as well put a giant DORK sign on your head. These skis are for people who wear skin suits even though they don’t race. People who argue about the best way to teach carving technique. Porsche Cayenne drivers. The Donald Trumps of this world.

    As a responsible provider of consumer advice I implore Blister to start this review with a serious warning: “Buy these skis at your own peril. They may be fast, but you’ll never pick up on the chair lift again”

    • High five! Seriously uncool unless you are a suit staying in the base fancy hotel who flew in on your per hour rented private jet.

        • Never pick up on the chair lift again? Yeah, because what girl doesn’t like a guy with a little extra cash. Regardless, these skis are expensive, but if you’re the kind of guy or girl that buys skis once every ten years they aren’t a bad investment. In fact, this ski is so good Volkl hasn’t changed it since it’s introduction. Kind of a stupid comment, imho.

    • Yes. . . Buying a ski based on whether it makes you look cool. . . That is seriously uncool if nothing else.

      Are you buying a ski based on how it skis or how you look when you get to the lift line?

      And if the latter, who has more cool issues – the guy with the overpriced carbon ski (that he bought at a season ending clear out) or the guy who bought something that skied poorly because he was worried what others think.


  16. I have these skis, a Porsche Cayenne and a private jet. I don’t care what poor people who can’t afford these skis think of me. ; p

  17. Since Marker released the kingpin, and the fact that Völkl only allows for use with marker bindings, this combo is finally looking like it will fill the potential for the true one-ski quiver

  18. Trying to decide between the Line Supernatural 108 or the v-works as my resort ski. Resort skiing for me will usually involve a few groomers, some tight, steep and icy pitches into bump runs followed by a trip into the side country for some pow and chop. Looking to mount skis with either the Beast 14s, Kingpins, or one of the newer iterations of elastic touring bindings. 5’10”, 160 lbs; aggressive but ageing skier. I’ve got a pair of Praxis Protests with Tech bindings for my dedicated touring skis.

    Will the Supernaturals be more fun than the v werks? I don’t consider weight to be a big issue, but it is a bonus on longer days.

    Thanks again for your efforts, buying skis used to be such a stab in the dark. Your site is a much needed resource for those of us who don’t have time to try a ton of skis.

    • Thanks, Fraser. I’d like to think / hope that the two reviews would leave you with enough info to decide which ski sounds ‘more fun’ for you…. And in the interest of not repeating what I’ve already written in either comment thread, I’ll say that the more crud- & soft chop-bashing ability you demand out of your ski, the more I would lean toward the 108. So I would rather bash around on the 108s, and I would likely opt for the V-Werks in pow. Both are fun on groomers – see the reviews for more on their relative performance there.

      It wouldn’t really occur to me to put an AT binding on the 108s, in the same way that I wouldn’t be tempted to put an AT binding on a Blizzard Cochise. So the more you really expect to skin on these, the more I personally would lean V-Werks.

  19. The new katana sounds really awesome, but its gotten me really curious as to how it compares to the 4frnt raven. Both of these skis are new carbon fiber touring type skis and they both seem to be powder charging oriented, and both with a flat/negative camber shape, so that I am really curious are you guys ever going to or have you skied the 4frnt raven?


  20. Perfect timing on this review!

    Question: I’m trying to decide between this and the volkl BMT 109…

    …I’ll be skiing in Cham for most of the winter, laced with a few stints in Whistler and Jackson. I love skiing fast, love steep techy terrain and dropping airs here and there. Even though I’m light (150/5’10”), I’m aggressive and ski all day (no lunch!).

    Which would you recommend? Or another ski entirely?

    Love your blog, thanks for any help :-)

    • Hey, Marty – my only experience with the BMT 109s was at the SIA tradeshow, where I handflexed them. They felt very soft to me, and I immediately lost interest. And that could have just been some pre-production pair, so you shouldn’t really put any stock in what I’ve just said. Having said that, I can vouch for the Katana in a big way. My only thought is that, thinking about (really) steep, techy lines in Cham, I might want some camber and some metal, but that’s just me.

      So to bring this thoroughly unhelpful reply to a conclusion … I personally would take the Katana over the BMT 109.

  21. Jonathan,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Sort of. lol

    I was questioning the camber thing too.

    Can you rattle off your top 3 skis for Cham?

    Putting together a quiver this season is tough work, so many great skis to choose from.

    Note: I’ll be in Hokkaido for 3 weeks in January, then ill spend most if the remainder in Cham.

    Many thanks,


      • Nice choices Jonathan!

        I see that Salomon again, like in your 3 quiver pick :-)

        Trying to avoid overlap, but at least I’ve decided on my deep day ski: Opus, although the I can get a really good deal on the new Bent Chetlers. But I want something really fun.

        I really like the idea of last years Mantra. That would be great for the steeper techy stuff in Chamonix.

        I’d like something sort kinda playfyul that would fit in between, a ski that still charges, but that I can use to hit every feature I come across (I love being in the air and dropping cliffs). The writeup on the supernatural 108 was interesting (I’m 150/5’10”).

        Also, could I get away with straight up alpine bindings on the Opus, or should I put touring bindings on them? My main worry is that I don’t want to lose any chance at accessing some BC in Japan but don’t want to kill the lightness/performance of what the Opus is built for.

        Thanks, your advice rocks!

  22. I bought the blizzard peacemaker last year and it’s been an amazing ski – but as you guys pointed out, could be fatter for deep days.

    I have a pair of blizzard the answer for the deep days – great in untracked but I personally don’t like it as much for the groomers that connect the off piste stuff. Would also like something lighter for the occasional sidecountry foray. I ski mostly Fernie – big mountain, lots of snow.

    I managed to demo the carbon katana last year on an icy groomer day and was blown by the performance on the groomers, but also on chunder.

    What are your thoughts on a blizzard peacemaker – v-werks Katana 2 ski quiver? Or would you recommend metal katana – peacemaker for more crud versatility?

  23. Great review, but I’m still bummed that Volkl got rid of the old metal Katanas. BUT! Backcountry still has lots of last years skis in stock and on sale, so I stocked up

  24. Hi Jonathan,

    I pulled the trigger on the carbon katana – it was fantastic the day I demoed (on Ice!) and really Im looking for a ski for deep days and occasional sidecountry tours.

    So on heavy crud days – I’m better with the carbon katana or the peacemaker?

    On another note – do you think the f12s are enough to pair with this ski or is it worth the weight to look at the baron?

  25. Jonathan,
    Katana 184 or 191?
    I weigh 160 and ski the DPS Lotus 120 in a 190cm, for the last 5 years. I tried the 184cm thinking it might handle tighter trees better, but it really lacked performance in deep pow and stomping pillow lines. Since they smear so well there really was no difference turning, but the 190cm handles speed so much better.
    I am looking at the Katana and based on my experience with the DPS 120 in both the 184 and 190, I am thinking 191cm. What do you suggest?
    My other big mountain skis are the DPS Lotus 189cm PW version and the Kastle BMX 128 188cm.

    • Hey, John – I think the 191 is a no brainer for you, given your (very helpful to include – thanks) points of reference: the 190 Lotus 120 and the 188 BMX 128. I bet the 191 Katana will feel like less ski / less work than either the L120 or the BMX 128.

      The only reason for you to go 184 is if you were looking for a very quick set of ninja sticks for say, moguls, that would feel even less (than the 191s) like your Lotus and BMX. That’s up to you.

      Again, I love the 191 metal Katana, so I was surprised by how hard I could push the 184 carbons. But I didn’t mean to therefore infer that the 191 carbon Katanas would somehow be a handful.

      BTW, you should come to Taos and let me ski your 191 Katanas and your BMX 128s. (I’d say your L120s, too, but I REALLY want to get on the updated version with the fatter tail….)

  26. Jonathan,
    Thanks for the advise. I also have the updated 2015 Lotus 120 in the PowderWerks edition. 1700 grams.
    All my 120s have FT-12s. Maybe I can stop by!

  27. Jonathan,
    I am mostly a self powered up-hiller.
    After going thru my skis for this season, I ended up with the V-Werks Katana in a 184 and skins. I did not get the 191 as we discussed because it is most similar to my Kastle BMX 118 183cm which I use for tracked up powder days in Colorado, and I can land stuff with wide supportive tail and not kill speed. If I am going to be able to get to untracked and light deep powder I use the DPS 120 190cm. I weighed my new DPS Powder Werks Lotus 120s and they are 1775 grams! This is my 5th pair and they all have FT-12s on them. I use this as my Backcountry powder ski as well for Heli touring or Heli skiing along with the Kastle BMX 128. My confidence in the 120 has grown over 5 years of use. So for big mountain skiing like in BC and AK I am set.

    As far as fast and light ski mountaineering and backcountry, I like my choices as well; Movement Logic-X, Response-X, Shift-X, and the Trab Volare +2cm.
    And for truly steep gnarly couloirs like in Antartica, I still prefer the Kastle FX-94 186cm with FT-12s, where the approachs are flat, then you have to boot up the couloirs. So weight is not an issue carrying them on my back 3-5 mountains a day.

    I am stuck in the mid width category, particularly when it comes to finding a ski that can charge and not fold, up and weighs 1700 grams or less. In SA I have used the Kastle FX-94, 104, TX-97 and 107, and BMX 108, and the Stoke(tipis too soft and unsupportive) on variable snow, where one turn is in powder and the next is a hard slab. The TX series is too soft and has a definite top end limit. The Trab Volare works well but is not the charger I want like the FX series.

    You and your test crew seem sold on the Line Supernatural or the Blizzards for these kind of conditions.

    I have the new DPS 105 Pure, but have not skied it yet, but it is almost 1900 grams. I find back to back long tour days where I am over climbing summits 12,000 feet, an 1800+ gram ski is too heavy for the up on multiple accents.

    Can you recommend a 184+cm mid fat lighter ski that performs at the same level as say the skis in your Triple quiver test?

    • Sounds like you’re up to some fun stuff, John.

      Unfortunately, I definitely cannot say that I’ve ever skied a ~1700 gram ski that performs in variable conditions “at the same level as” a very good variable conditions, ~2300 gram ski. And I may just be showing my ignorance here, but no part of me believes that such a thing currently exists.

      If anybody knows of such a thing, please let me know ASAP. I would love to stand corrected.

      Having said that, you might take a look at what Down Skis is up to. I was pretty impressed with their Countdown2, and they offer some narrower, shorter options that might be of interest to you.

  28. Soo…
    I am swapping the 184 Katana for the 191, and picking up a pair of 186 BMTs. Hoping the mid fat AT gap will be filled with a charger. I used to ski the DPS 105 188cm flex 3 as my daily driver. Tried the G3 Zenoxides for a season… and others…
    I am still looking for advise on AT mid-fats.

  29. Jonathan,
    When testing these, did you find a particular binding position that you liked??? Or did u just have them set up on the line???

  30. As well, when skiing these, did u ever feel that u needed more of a ski (as in 191)?
    I want to add these to my quiver but I’m torn between sizes (184/191). I’m 42, 6’1, 190lbs high advanced/early expert. Any suggestions?

  31. Thanks Jonathan,
    I took a look at Down skis website. Their offerings look interesting. And I read your review of the Countdown 2. I am spoiled by the performance of the Kastle FX and BMX series skis as well as some of the current and past DPS skis. And I still love my Volkl AC-50s for the down, and even have a new pair in reserve. So I am going to try the new DPS 105 with alpine bindings, Griffon Schizos so I can play with +-. This will be my first new alpine mount in 7 years. And then try the Cochise and Line Supernatural 108.
    Honestly, the Trab Volare works well in all conditions, combined with the DPS Lotus 120 Powder Works and 2 different V-Werks, I will have plenty to keep me busy.
    Thanks Again!

  32. Hallo!
    Great review as always.!!
    I just bought a pair of the Katana V Werks in 184 cm with Marker F12 EPF.
    I´m 178cm and 92kg.
    I´m wondering about the mounting position. I tested it this weekend at a skitesting.
    The first run at recommended point and the second 1 cm forward. Both were great
    but think I liked 1 cm forward best. Do you think the flotation will be suffering
    at 1 cm forward? Grateful for any answer…//Hasse

  33. Two friends, both excellent skiers, had the katana the whole winter, and they both liked +2, for short turns, where you load the tips.

  34. Thank you both Jonathan and Rod..!
    Could you (Rod) please ask your friends what they thought about the flotation in pow at +2. //Hasse

  35. Got my vwerks katana mounted, 2cn forward.

    Tried them in powder today, felt like 1-1 1/2 ft.

    Excellent, no tip dive, carved well, smeared well, skinned well.

  36. Thank you very..very much Rod. It’s hard to get any input on the Katana V Werks regarding the mounting. I talked to several people who was on the KVW yesterday when I was at a skitestweekend in Trysil, Norway. No one of them had anything to say about it, but thought they had it on the recommended spot. Not even the guys working for Völkl did know anything about it….bad I think.
    I’ll mount my +2. Best regards to you Rod and all you guys at BGR and a Happy Christmas from Sweden.!! // Hasse

  37. Hoping you can help out with decision about new skis.
    I’m 6″2, 185. Ski mostly at Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, and Tahoe backcountry. Typical day is K2/Headwall/Granite until skied out, then “go in search of”. Or to get away from the crowds, backcountry Talac, Jakes, Mt. Rose, Silver Peak, etc…I have been pretty much exclusively tele on 190 Praxis BC/AXL bindings the last few years, which I have generally liked, although they tend to get a little hooky in untracked Sierra Cement. I have demoed prior year alpine Mantra, Line Influence, Coomback…and others. The Mantra stood out for its smooth crud busting ride at Squaw.

    I suppose this post could go in any of 3 places, but am considering:
    1. 191 V Werks Katana…with tech bindings or possibly an ISIS alpine/tech setup, Scarpa Freedom SL
    2. 190 Blister pro with Look P14s and look for reasonable alternate tech setup
    3. 191 2013/14 Katana with Look P14s and look for reasonable alternate tech setup

    Appreciate any collective wisdom/advice. Thanks.

  38. Paul, you didnt ask me, but:i ski squaw also, same places, and bc.
    I just got the vwerks katana, mounted with dynafits, skied them two days, castle and tamarack. Admittedly in superb conditions, but so far they are incredible.
    I ski the metal katana at squaw, and I think they would be hard to beat, second half of a powder day.

  39. Steep shots today, and it felt precise and effortless.

    Hard to go wrong as your resort and bc ski.

    Sorry about the truncated posts, my phone is not cooperating

  40. Jonathan, thanks for the good review.
    Do you know how these compare to the DPS Wailer 112 RP2 (hybrid and pure version)?
    Until reading your review, I had come to the conclusion that the best skis for me (178 cm x 74 Kg, advanced/expert, mainly skiing off piste but keen on carving when possible) would be the Wailer 112 RP2 Hybrid. I discarded the Pure version because from what I gathered reading online, it does not seem to absorb the vibrations too well in bumpy conditions and it is much less forgiving and fun than the hybrid.
    Are these Volk more similar to the hybrid or to the pure version of the DPS….or maybe the best of both worlds? How to they compare to the DPS in terms of reactivity in narrow turns and in stability at higher speeds? Thanks!

  41. Which size of V Werk Katana would you recommend for me? I was considering getting the 184, but also the 177 sounds interesting. I need something much more agile between the trees compared to my heavy and long Rossignol S7 (188 cm) but yet I want them to be still stable as the S7 at high speeds. Cheers!

  42. Having demoed many of the skis in your reviews I felt inspired to chime in. Being a BC/resort skier both the carbon and metal versions of the Katana have their place, with a little overlap. And oddly enough, I prefer the metal version for touring. Basically, because I don’t have the luxury of swapping out skis as conditions change and I’d rather not be bummed I brought the wrong tool for the job. The metal version has never let me down. The carbon ones have. I believe ski manutafactures are maxed out. My ski of choice back in the day was a beefed up Igneaous FFF. I’ve had more memorable days on the FFFs than any other ski I’ve owned. With some difference in sidecut and camber the Katanas have been a slight, but noticable improvement. Removing this ski from the lineup was a huge mistake that I’m hoping is realized. One thing that’s certain is that the weights of the boots/skis must match up. This is why resort ski boots all remain the same weight. You simply can’t drive the metal Katana with Carbon cuffed, 4 lb TLT5. You can certainly get away with it, but it ain’t the same. Advancements in materials will certainly tweak things slightly, but, my opinion is that manufactures are pretty much maxed out. Going to carbon fiber ONLY with the Katana was a step backwards. And at that price, mst ski’s with a 115mm waist do a pretty good job in hero pow. It’s when condition change mid-afternoon that you’ll be wishing you had the metal version. And not once while skiing the metal version did I think to myself, “man, I wish I had the carbon version.” Just my 2 cents.

  43. I have been skiing the VWK in both the 184 and 191 mounted with Kingpins on centerline.
    The 184 is a playful ski that will also carve aggressively.
    The 191 wants to go fast! Easy to ski ski pow and crud. The tip is very powerful and will help initiate a very powerful carve at high speed. Surprisingly aggressive!
    Both are easy to ski in powder, crud, hard pack, crust. Have not skied them in breakable yet.
    184 skis bumps well.
    Kingpins have the strongest boo/ski interface of any binding I have skied!

    • Jonathan, thanks for another excellent review – quick question for you;

      I currently ski the 12/13 wood Kats in a 184 (I’m 5’6″ 140lbs, mount point +2cm) and they’re perfect this way, not nearly as demanding as the 184 might be for someone of my size/weight (I started with a pair of 177’s and switched up) Recently I’ve been thinking about the V Werks Kat, and have also been thinking about going shorter in general, which may be counter intuitive as going lighter means you can go longer – seems from the posts here that most folk riding the 184’s tend to be up to 8″ taller and up to 30kgs/60lbs heavier, so maybe the 177’s would work ok. I’d hate to find myself with too little ski again though, especially on a ski this price, so wonder what your thoughts may be on this eternal issue?? Thanks in advance…

      • Hey, Olly – sorry for the late reply, I missed your comment.

        Did you pull the trigger?

        The safe bet: go 184. You already know you like the 184 metal Katanas.

        Riskier, but probably fine: 177s. Unless you’re hellbent on saving weight, I’m not sure why you’d go shorter. But if I had to guess, I don’t think that going shorter will severely compromise the qualities of the 184.

        Let us know what you did and how it worked out…

  44. Great review. I’ve had the 184 V-Werks Katanas since the middle of last season. I love them. I also bought a pair of 2015 Sick Day 95’s around the same time. I have Binding Freedom inserts on both and swap Rottefella NTN Freerides and Freedoms between them.

    Thing is, I never ski the Sick Day. It is a super-fun ski, but I have found the carbon Katanas to be so incredibly versatile that I never want to take them off!

    I was a little worried about the warning to only install Marker bindings, but I went for it anyway, and after putting these through resort days on the east coast, a powder day at Beaver Creek, mixed crap in the Rockies, spring and early season resort skiing in Utah and backcountry in the Eastern Sierra in May (oh and a day at Mammoth that was frozen solid) – I am confident about the binding setup and stoked on the boards.

    It is a surprisingly versatile and fun ski.

  45. Word is that there’s a durability/delamination issue with the V-Werks Katana, mostly under foot where the sidewall meets the edge. Volkl is apparently quick with warranty replacements but I’ve personally seen more than 5 pairs with the same damage and issues which given the amounts sold is a bit disconcerting. It’s a great ski but it does have its issues. Haven’t heard the same about the BMT line-up nor the RTM V-Werks, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the BMTs were having the same issues given the very similar construction methods.

  46. Hi Jonathan!

    Again, thank you for running the best review site on the planet!

    A buddy of mine is pushing me hard to get into back country skiing (not like I need too much pushing) – mostly around Tahoe, but a trip to Japan is definitely possible. Realistically, I’m looking for a ski that will be used 50% on pow days at Squaw and 50% in Tahoe’s backcountry (which can be a bit wet). I’m 5’8″ and weigh 175 lbs. My resort ski is the 185 cm 2013/14 Blizzard Cochise. The Volkl V-Werks Katana looks like pretty much like the ideal ski for a “Pow/Backcountry” set up. A couple questions for you:

    1. Which length? You reviewed the 184 (and you reviewed the 185 Cochise) so it seems like that’s a likely choice. But for a dedicated Pow/touring ski for a guy weighing 175 lbs, is there any reason to look at the 191?

    2. What’s your next best alternative? I’m thinking Black Diamond Megawatt… but while it’s lighter, I think I’d like the Katana a lot more given how much I love the Cochise.

    Thanks again,


    • Thanks, Rob. To answer your questions:

      1) Short answer, No. I haven’t skied the 191 – and I do love the 191 metal Katana – but the biggest thing for me is that, as I say, I didn’t find the 184 to struggle in deep snow. So while I’m curious about the 191, and while yes, more surface area should equal more float, I’d be pretty happy dragging the 184s uphill.

      2) Jumping to the 120+mm Megawatt (Carbon Megawatt, I presume) doesn’t seem like fair comparison. We haven’t skied the carbon Megawatt yet, but I can say that the 184 V-Werks is a bit more like a Cochise than the regular Megawatt in terms of on-snow feel / performance.

      Basically, I’d be shocked if you don’t really like the 184 V-Werks.

  47. Hi Jonathan, my time to apologise for the late reply!
    In the end I demoed the 177 and 184 in Verbier, Switzerland, and I was surprised I didn’t love the ski as much as I thought I would, but I’m sure more time on it would help. The main thing I felt was that it got pushed around a lot in chop, which is what you’d said in your review, which of course isn’t an issue with the Mighty Metal Katana!

    Regarding length though if I was to pull the trigger I would definitely go with the 184 and mount +2cm; basically it’s exactly as I found with the metal Kats, the 177 somehow just feels to have too little tail when mounted factory line, and is too short to mount forward really, whereas the 184 @ +2 for me at least seems to be bang on the sweet spot.

  48. Changed the mount point on my 184s to +1.5. A little quicker in the tight stuff. Left my 191s on center mark for wide open deep days.

  49. Good Day Powder Hounds,

    First off, thanks Jonathan for the great review, appreciate your detailed analysis and feedback.

    I am looking to get a pair of Volkl V-Werks Katana in a 184.

    Just curious to get feedback from yourself and others who have mounted Dynafit bindings to their setup.

    Specifically, I am looking at mounting either a pair of TLT Speed Superlite or TLT Speed Radical bindings, just curious what other people’s experience has been with this. Based on research that I have done online, apparently Volkl supports the use of non-Marker bindings provided they fit the H pattern mounting area, then you do not void the warranty.

    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read the post and look forward to your feedback.

    Happy trails and stay safe in the mountains,


  50. Hey Jonathan,
    Thanks so much for the reviews on this site, I feel more confident after reading this than after all the other available reviews combined. Living remotely I am *mail order guy*, and this info is very helpful. After reading “90 seconds” I thought, maybe I could get away with the 184…

    Question is, were you on the 184?? : ) Blister verified weight of 1960+1975 (3935grams) = 191cm, not 184cm! The 184 should weigh 3680 grams, big difference! This would definitely explain why the 184 was so stable (just kidding, I think!) You guys are so on it at Blister I am actually wondering if it’s Volkl that got the weight wrong. Also pictured is the 191, but I’m guessing thats just the stock photo.

    Thanks again for the awesome review!

    • Thank you, Jay. And I definitely reviewed the 184cm V-Werks Katana — you can see the exact pair I tested on page 3, the rocker profile pics. (You’re right, we just ran the only-available-at-the-time stock photo, which was of the 191. (FWIW, I’ve still only skied the metal Katana in a 191.)

      And while I haven’t seen Volkl’s stated weights (I stopped believing “stated” weights a long time ago), I stand by our measured weights.

      I also believe with all my heart that if the 184s only weighed 3680, they would not ski nearly as well as our pair. You can’t remove that kind of weight – not yet, not with the currently available materials – without a performance penalty.

  51. Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for the super detailed review. Looking into a new pair of backcountry skis to replace my Volkl Nunataqs, which I’ve had for 4 years now and are pretty beat up. Did you ever ski those? If you did, any comparisons you care to make between the V-Werks Katanas and the Nunataqs?



  52. Jonathan,

    setup AT, Katana V-Werks, DPS Pure 3 Wailer 112, or 112 Tour , strictly backcountry AK powder – which one would you pick ?

    Thanks, Rick

  53. Hi Jonathan,

    I appreciate your reviews and your answers to the commenters. I think I have narrowed down my search for skis but wanted to ask your opinion before my purchase. I am 5′ 8″ 165 lbs advanced skier from the north east. I like to ski aggressively in all conditions. Groomers, trees, bumps and pow are all fun for me. I am having trouble determining the size of ski and in turn the year of ski for the V Werks Katanas. Because the Katanas haven’t changed in the last year I was going to buy the previous years model but they only sell those in 184 cm. This year offers the 177 cm which I think would be better fit for me. There is a difference of $300 in price between the two/ What I would like to know is if there is much of a difference in the lengths. Should I spend the extra money for a 177? Does it make a great deal of difference for a skier of my size/skill?

    Much appreciated.


  54. Okay if you made it this far down the comments here is an honest new review. I bought these based on Jonathan’s review. For real. Mounted them with Kingpin 13’s and Vulcans. They are now for sale. They are fast and stable. Sort of. But you are standing on the tail, like in the olden days. And locked in carves, like in the olden days. Smearing sucks. Tail taps are weird and jarring. You have to always go forward because there is no tail at all. You can’t pump them through whoops, because the tail thinks you want to carve. Why is there so much ski out front? Oh yah, it’s the olden days. Why do I have to carve every turn? oh yah, because bla bla bla etc…

    Stay forward stay forward stay forward. There is almost no tail. Tail does not respond laterally because it’s built to carve. Tail-this tail-that.. where is the tail? Try to wheelie these and you will look like an awkward racer, not like you are ready to throw them sideways or switch up. You can make 1000 turns in low angle pow because you are so far back but that is as far as “playful” goes with these. In variable this tail just won’t release. Period. Even in pow it’s weird. Arms-up-quick-pivot-slash to drop 20 mph? Forget it. They will head wherever pointed. Just be sure you want this.

    So you may (rightfully) be thinking, no $h1t Hellbent-Dude what were you thinking when you bought these bat-blades? Honestly I just thought it would be okay for a stable light touring ski, but still slashy. No switch big deal, I can stay forwards for awhile. But it’s not just switch, it’s another planet of skiing, a planet I don’t want to return to. A planet where your ski goes where it’s pointed. Make sure you are happy on that planet before you buy this ski.

    • “So you may (rightfully) be thinking, no $h1t Hellbent-Dude what were you thinking when you bought these bat-blades?” Yep, this is exactly my thought. The next time you are looking for a jib-friendly ski, and at the top of the review the recommended mount position says “-13.9 cm” you can either immediately stop reading (which I think is your smartest move) or else mount the ski at least 8 cm in front of recommended, which still only gets you to -6 cm. But I don’t recommend that. Even good tools “suck” when used for jobs they weren’t remotely designed for.

  55. I actually picked up a pair of these after the end of the 2013/2014 season and got a smoking deal….which was all the sweeter when they wound up being unchanged for the 2014/2015 season. Having said that, we were so low snow last year, that I never wanted to take a chance with them, other than one run on a groomer. (BC Kootenays)

    So, they will be out this winter…soon I hope. I’ll see if others’ experiences match with my own.

    The reason I’m writing in is to pass on a piece of advice from the shop that sold them to me….they’ve sold quite a few Volkls for touring (I’ve got a set of Marker Dukes on them, so anticipating some climbing, but not long hours of uphilling) and they advised against using the Volkl skins. Apparently the vacuum attachment is so rigid and the skins so strong that when you flex the skis with the skins on, the attachment at the tip tends to break/tear from the tension. These guys are pretty straight shooters, and they would have made more $$ selling me the Volkl skins, so I’m inclined to trust them (that and they had a few broken-off Volkl skin tips lying around). I have a set of G3 Alpinist skins (traditional glue and not so stiff) that I’ll report on once the snow is covering all the rocks and stumps.

  56. So I just demoed the v-werks in UT. Conditions were 5in of pow on top of 3 day old snow. 2ft in places with heavy winds creating substantial drifts. I was hesitant to take these out as they looked like a gimmick but I left my pow skis at home.

    I have to agree with everything in this review. I was really surprised by these skis over a variety of terrain. Overall I loved them. Incredibly light for pow skis but none of the normal issues with light skis.

    ONE MAJOR PROBLEM… as the review alluded to the light weight also causes durability issues. Within 5hrs the demo ski I just took out was completely destroyed. I felt rediculously bad about it, knowing how expensive these are. I wish I could post the picture here but I have never seen damage like this. I took one good fall down shoot 4, tumbled a couple of times and one ski edge must have hit the other. Result one ski managed to go straight through the edge, deep into the carbon fiber and base.

    Needless to say it turned into a $1,200 shotski for the shop. They said because the ski is all carbon there is no way to repair it. Please be aware if you like to go fast, jump of things and explore areas most don’t you have to be extremely careful with this ski. Not sure what base material they use but it was definitely not the thickest. For touring they seem like a great choice but for resort ripping you may want to consider something more durable (with the added weight)

    • Thanks @Jfkayne. I had been considering the V werks Katana – I ski the Metal Katana in 191 as my main ski, and also have the Gotama with Tour F12 for touring and harder snow. I have seen two issues with the BMT109 and also the V Werks Katana delaminating so I was already going off the idea.

      More worrying, I think the new Tough Box shape on Volkl’s wood skis has a weakness in general. My mate bought the 100Eight – great skis and they have done two alpine trips already this season. He caught a rock at low speed on a traverse, and the edge just in front of the binding where it thins out, completely collapsed and the ski and edge bent upwards. I have never seen a ski do this, yes edges come out but the ski shape is actually bent up in two places and is beyond repair. So I think it’s more to do with the ski edge profile and the thinness of the ski at the edges which is at issue. If you ski off piste a lot, you hit rocks and skis must be tough enough to take it.

      I won’t be buying any of the new shaped Volkls (Carbon or wood) even though I am big fan of the Katana and Gotama. I hit a lot of rocks hard and fast on my Metal Katanas last week and all they needed was a bit of P Tex and grind to sort them out.

  57. Back from 9 days in Japan, on a brand new pair of 184 V-Werks Katanas with Kingpin 13, Mtn Lab boots. I’m 1m81 tall, 84kg.
    We had anything ranging from wind-blown hard pack at the top to super deep Japanese powder (deep enough that I couldn’t breathe at times), transformed stuff, bit of resort etc.
    Overall super sweet touring setup that cleaved through anything. Lightweight chargers, feeling much better in very deep powder that I would have expected given the stiffness, easy turns. Even resort skiiing was fun, although you won’t carve short radius turns. Great grip, no chatter, even on icy 50° parts. Chopped snow is smoothed out. Very precise setup. The only snow that gave me some troubles was fresh powder transformed into glue (temp went up 10° in a few hours), turning in that was a bit of a fight. Size-wise, the 184 felt like a lot of ski, I even think that the 177 could do the job.
    Durability is a concern, the top chips easily.
    The matching skins are a bit of a hit and miss, decent grip and slides well, the glueless thing is nice (you can store the skin glued to itself, easy to revive by just cleaning them) until you try to skin while it is snowing thick and windy in warmish conditions. They do not like water at all. The tail metal clip is rubbish, need to change it, it delaminates the top of the ski in no time and often pops open.
    So to me, pretty much a full range ski, super pleased. I just hope that I won’t destroy them too quickly…

  58. Debating the 109 BMT or the Katana with Kingpins. Another question is what length to get if I went with the Katanas? The skis would mostly be for slack country, and day trips.

    6’3″, 200lbs. Currently I have Volk Two’s and Gotama’s; both 186cm, both with guardians. I am worried that the 184 Katana will feel short, also given that they measure 182. I remember a set of Mantra’s that I had that was 183 or 184 and always felt short.

    So the question would be BMT 109 or Katana? And if Katana 184 or 191?

  59. I’ve worked the vwerks katanas hard and have found them very durable. They do appear flimsy but have proven themselves worthy of some mandatory rock stomps and big hits

  60. Buyer beware! This ski is fragile and will not hold up. It does rip, but it is very fragile. After 17 days, the inside edge of the ski pulled away from the sidewall about 18 inches leaving the ski useless. Volkl advised that will do anything about it.

    Very disappointing!!

  61. Hello

    great review on the skis and wish i had sent this email before purchasing my set of 184cm v werks.

    i just purchased a set of v werks size 184cm and went with the standard mount location advised my the ski shop.

    the 1st thing i noticed when i got them today was how much ski there is up front compared to my soul 7 standard mount location.

    Just looking to see if you were purchasing the ski new where would you be mounting the binding ?

    i plan to see how they go on the standard location – at least i can always move them but hoping i dont have to do that.

    your feedback would be much appreciated.

    thanks Gary

  62. Hi Jonathan (or anyone else who can assist)

    I am dealing with the same question as Graham (Mar 2016 post). I am trying to choose between BMT 109 and VW Katana for touring. I am an expert alpine skier, 5’10”, 180 lbs. I just began touring last winter, but I also did a lot of telemark and x-country between 15-20 years ago. In the next two years, I expect most of my touring to be in Nagano Prefecture and some in the Eastern USA, maybe 80/20. So, in Japan, ascents, then descents, through expansive alpine, then nicely spaced trees, then sometimes through resorts. Of course, some days will just be resort skiing, but in great conditions. In the East (Adirondaks or Vermont), wetter and heavier snow, hardpack, ice, tighter trees, and icy and bumpy resorts.

    From what I’ve read, I lean to the VW Katana 184. But, I don’t understand how impactful the weight difference is for the uphill climbs. And, maybe the BMT 109 would be better for the Eastern skiing? And, I’m not sure what is meant, in reviews, that either ski are nimble and capable of quick turns. 25-26 radius sounds high to me, but then the design of the ski might compensate.

    As a reference, my current all-around ski is a Blizzard Magnum 8.5 Ti 174 (19.5 radius). I’ve been in up to 10-inch snow and very happy. I find them very quick and short turns in trees and moguls, by either carving or smearing. And, very stable at speed with great edge hold on ice. Back in the day (’05?), I’d ski Volkl Superspeed 174 or 189, depending on how fast and what turns I wanted; and Volkl Mantra 184 for powder (those aforesaid 10-inches). I’ve had no problems with Sick Day 95 (186) and Coomback 114 (177) in Japan, even laying them on edge for fast, full chested carves.

    My AT boots are Salomon MTN Lab and I intend to get Kingpin 13 bindings.

    Thanks, Karl

  63. Hi Jonathan,

    Wow! Your review methodically and precisely covers all the bases…
    That said, I believe you’ve actually convinced me to keep looking.

    I’m getting nervous.
    I own the older (2011-12? – I’m bad with time) simi-split tail Katanas and love them – (ESPECIALLY that they are unflappable, hard charging, edge holding, crud-busting superheros!) But, they are getting well-loved/ dog-eared. Maybe this the last season. Now what?

    I primarily ski Mammoth where conditions are generally heavy and hopefully deep. (“Sierra cement”)
    Favorite terrain is trees, or any mogul pitch with 2 feet of pow :) , but almost always trees. I’m a reasonably fit 60, 5’10, 180.

    I’m looking for a 2-ski quiver.
    For narrower, I owned/sold the Mantras (maybe 2011?) and didn’t care for them – a bit too damp, but mainly too soft. Now own the AC50’s 177 mm – too 2×6 plank-like for a wider ski. I gave up.
    For pow’s, I own the aforementioned Katana’s in 191mm. About 2 years back, bought a pair of Kastle BMX 108’s in 188 mm – thinking they’d replace the Katana’s. Trouble is – the Katana’s are superior to the Kastle’s in nearly every way.

    Now what? I know that’s asking a lot… Any ideas welcomed.

    Thanks, Mike

  64. This is my third season on the v-werks katana (184) and I also have a pair of 13/14 Mantras (177) and a pair of Atomic FIS GS skis (195). I sold my tiring AC-50s (163) this season. I am 5’10 and 180lbs.

    I ski on average 50 plus days per year (mostly on the east coast but I frequently ski out west and in europe). This is my 50th season skiing. Skiing is what I love to do.

    Over the past 3 years, more days than not the V-Werks Katanas have been the ski I ride. It is my favorite ski so far. It does most everything wonderfully well. Powerful and fast on groomers (read: gs ski that skis fast). Powerful in the east coast crud, carves ice without chatter and floats powder like a champ. Not my choice in tight moguls but still doable. After 100 days on these they are holding up very well. Some chew on shovels but nothing I’m worried about.

    Don’t get me wrong, this was a lot of money for me to pay for a ski, but it is worth the price. Take a deep breath and buy them, you won’t regret it. I don’t write reviews on many skis, this one is remarkable.

    • Hi Rudolph, I am thinking about buying a pair of these V-Werks Katanas. I was planning to buy the 184, but now I am considering the 177. I am 5’8″ tall x 165 pounds. I’m 65 years old, but ski quite a lot. Do you think I would be happy on the 184’s? I plan to use these for powder days in the side country, and for touring.
      Also, has the factory mount position been good or would you recommend going forward a couple of centimeter?
      Thanks, Mike

      • Hi Gary,
        I never bought this ski (Katana VW). I instead ordered a pair of 100Eight in a 181. I think (hope) I will like these better than the KVW for my style of skiing. I plan to mount some Marker Kingpins and use them for BC and side country.
        I will write a review after skiing some.

          • Hi Gary,
            I plan to mount the 100eight on factory recommended line to use as my deep snow touring ski. Depends on how far back the line is, but it seems like many newer skis are mounted pretty far forward, and they do not seem to work well in very deep snow. (bottomless)
            Total speculation, but I would probably mount the Katana VW a little forward based on reading that it is a pretty demanding ski, pretty directional, and might be a handful in tight trees, etc.. That is the main reason I decided on the 100Eight instead. A little heavier and not as wide, but maybe a more playful ski in a wider variety of conditions?

  65. I am looking at either the Vwerks Katana 191 or Blizzard Spur 189 for a upcoming snowcat ski trip at Grand Targhee then to use for the powder days which we don’t get too many of in tahoe lately. I know its a bit of apples to oranges but this great review is making me wonder if I won’t be happier on the Katanas as a more capable all mountain ski while still performing well in pow. Thoughts anyone?

  66. also, looks like the ski reviewed was a 2016, the ones I am looking at are 2017 and white instead of black, any changes on the new ski?

  67. Hi, I am thinking about the V-works Katana 184 for a side country and touring ski with some model of Tech pin bindings.
    My 2 questions are about the newer models durability, and about the mounting point. Did I read correctly that the factory recommended mount point is 12 cm back of true center? That seems like a lot. Did I miss something here?

  68. male, 48, 170 lb, own this ski in 177 for 3yrs, advanced skier.
    when me and my friends saw this ski we wrote it off as a concept or gimmick too. we called it the batman ski. when i was looking for a all mountain backside ski it was on sale for half price and i impulsively bought it. it is the most versatile ski i have ever ridden and still very dynamic and high performance. i feel like batman riding it . im shocked how well it does carve for a wide rockered ski. i agree with so much of the review but i wanted to say some contrary to things ive been reading about this ski. this ski needs some loose snow, its still wide and rockered. for me, its not a crud buster and can be quite a harsh ride. im guessing its because im not such a heavy man as the reviewers. it has become my main ski since it does most of what i use my e98’s for and i will be replacing my e98’s with a skinny carver.

    • Thanks for your input, Ron. As for your crud buster comment, I’m not sure that your findings are at all contrary to mine? In the review I write:

      “Firm Crud: This is not the forte of the V-Werks. And it’s important to keep in mind that all the raging down Reforma I’ve been doing on these skis has happened in bumped-up but pretty soft conditions. The more firm the chop and crud gets, the less you will be able to blow up everything in your path and bash your way down the mountain. If that’s what you’re up to, a heavier ski will better accomplish this task. Having said that, dial the speed back a bit, and the V-Werks is still a quick, predictable performer.

      Deep, Heavy Chop: In big, deep piles of heavier, pushed around pow, the regular (191cm) Katana is one of the best tools for the job. The V-Werks Katana can most definitely get through these conditions, but it doesn’t destroy them like the original Katana does. You will fare better here by staying light and dynamic rather than just trying to drive the hell out of your shovels.”

  69. I did end up buying these skis, ( Katana V-Werks) in 177cm. I would probably bought the 184’s, but this was the last pair on sale for 1/2 price. I have only skied these one time so far, but I really enjoyed them. I skied them in soggy, wet conditions, with about a foot of new, and they are great! I was shocked at how easy they are to turn, I found myself almost overturning them, and had to find the right stance to feel them out, but once I did, they were a blast to zip around on. They hold an edge very well, and I could control them on hardpack with a subtle amount of edge pressure. I mounted these with Kingpin Demo bindings at 2cm forward of factory recommended, so I can go back to the line (for deep snow) or forward a couple more cm if skiing spring corn, etc.. I’m 5’8″ x 165 lbs.

  70. Although Volkl states that only Marker Royal series bindings will work on this ski- and this is the finest ski I’ve ever skied- I’m on my second pair, I’m not a fan of Markers. I had Griffins on my Darth Vader models, and I really had to stomp into them, not easy in soft snow. The main question is can I mount a Tyrolia Attack 12 binding on these? (I’m 165# on a 184) I’ve looked at the cross section on the Volkl website, and the hardwood mounting area looks like it should accommodate the screw pattern, including the narrower placement under the brake. My local shop techs (Park City) think so. I also have a pair of Sth WTR 13s with a screw pattern nearly matches the Markers(Griffins) but I’d prefer to mount the Tyrolias. Short of sawing a pair in half, it’s hard to be sure. Thoughts?

  71. Thanks Rick. The toe piece on the Attacks is well within the “H”. The back screws on the heel are about 43mm center, close, but within the H. The front screws under the brake are only 20mm center, but with a 301boot sole, this may well drop into the center part of the H. Do you know how far the H center part extends fore & aft of the centerline? And thanks for Lou’s link. Informative.

  72. Hi- I was wondering about 177 v 184. I’m in a similar boat to Olly a few posters up but maybe a bit different. I’m 5’9″ 145lbs, 35y/o, ex- EC racer. These days I only get about a dozen days on the hill each year, all at Alta. I was on the 16/17 Cochise last year in a 185 and it felt like a bit too much ski. Seems as though this is a different beast and wondering if it is more manageable then the Cochise in a similar size or if I should go w the 177?



  73. Hi. I’ve owned both the 184 V-Werks Katana and the 184 Bibby Pro for going on three seasons, as my main resort powder/crud boards. (Thanks to you guys!) Both great skis.

    I have 30+ powder days a season on the two, maybe 60% on the Katanas. So I would love to give a bit of a comparison.

    But I’ve been waiting to see if you would review the longer, 191 V-Werks Katana, since at my weight and height (~150 lbs./5’10”) the 184 V-Werks Katana (with its shorter ~182.2 pull length) seems like it is maybe slightly short for me in some situations – a real 186 or so might be perfect, dunno.

    Do you plan to ever review the longer 191 V-Werks Katana ski? Or have any of you guys actually skied it and decided not to review it because it’s not a ski you like in some way?

    In your review mags, when you make comparisons for charging uneven, chop/crud, etc. with powder/charger skis, I notice that most of them are 191s or so, while there is the 184 Katana, sticking out as a comparative shorty, maybe third on the list, but maybe in an unfair length, for such comparisons. (Except maybe for lighter guys like me.)

    The fact it still does so well is very interesting, since for me it kills normal afternoon resort chop/crud here in Colorado – and pretty rough stuff, at a -3/8 cm. mount, at speed.

    It also kills afternoon heavy late spring slush/crud at A Basin, at fall-line speed. No ski I’ve been on does better. It is, at the same time, for me, playful and very forgiving.

    As I said, I also own the 184 Bibby Pro, and for me the two skis are different but very comparable and almost equally fun: I often alternate powder days on these two skis, in fact – and with both skis wonder about the 191 versions.

    For me the 184 Bibby Pro also charges in powder/crud, about as well as the V-Werks 184 Katana, almost; whereas I’m guessing a heavier, taller skier may overpower this shorter Bibby or maybe get fore-aft tossed a bit charging crud?
    Not at my height and weight, seems like.

    Nonetheless, surprisingly, for me the 184 Bibby gets tossed a bit too much in the same A Basin spring slush/crud in the afternoons, when I can charge the 184 Katana with a big grin in the same conditions.

    So I’ve been still intrigued by the 191s in both skis: will they work for me?
    And which one would work best?

    This year, I’ve gotten the 191 V-Werks Katana in order to finally see.

    If all goes well, as a next step, maybe I’ll try the 191 Bibby Pro too.

    • I rode the 191 Katana V-Werks as a daily driver last season and had a blast. They are really fast on groomers and pow while agile enough to safely avoid trouble. They fall down a bit when on icy choppy crud, or on super-heavy days, where heavier 118mm+ skis fair better. However, in they’re still quite damp, and in deep soft chop they perform fantastic allowing you to slice through the air destroying one pile of fluff after the other like a powder ninja. Per John’s note above I was thinking of the 190 Bibby/Wildcat as an alternate for deeper pow, frozen chop and crud, but suspect they overlap too much with the Katana’s strengths to round out my quiver.

      Primary location: Bridger Bowl, Montana
      Me: 6’2″, 180lb
      Technica Mach 1 w/ Look Pivot 12 – mounted on factory line with no regrets

    • Tried these, today, @184cm. ~12” new snow over night and ~24” over 48 hours. So, mostly skied like 12”-18” new or slightly deeper or shallower depending on where I was on the mountain. Snow was “light” if you’re in the Sierras and “somewhat dense but not totally heavy” if you’re in the Wasatch range (Snowbird, in this case).

      The Katanas were just great in untracked powder. I felt like they had better float than either the Volkl 100eights or the Head Kore 105, both @189cm and both of which have significantly softer shovels than the Katanas. Maybe that’s an apples to oranges comparison, but the extra length and relatively soft shovels of the Kore and 100eights seemed like it would make up for their reduced width under foot. In very similar conditions, I felt like both of those skis struggled to stay on top of snow much deeper than 12”-15” unless it was very dry and light. After reading many reviews of the Katanas describing them as “stiff” or “rockets” or “race cars,” etc., I wondered how much work it would be to keep the tips from diving – none at all, as it turns out.

      Note, that i’m 6’2”, ~228lbs. If you’re skiing the Katanas at less than 200 lbs, I think you’d get plenty of float in all but the deepest conditions. To be fair, that might also be true of the Kores and 100eights. That said, I definitely felt like the Katanas provided some extra float.

      Despite all the new snow, I did take half a run on a groomed slope. While the Katanas don’t exhibit the buttery (yes, buttery) smooth, almost effortless turn initiation of the 100eights, they weren’t particularly challenging. They reward good skiing and, I felt, didn’t punish bad skiing.

      I wondered if the Katanas’ extra stiffness would somehow flatten out my turns or put me into a chattery slide if I didn’t work at really driving the ski from a forward position. Again, all the “rocket” metaphors at work. And, again, my concerns were unfounded. If you can drive the M5 Mantra or RTM 84/86, you’ll have no difficulty with the V Werks Katanas.

      When I hear most ski reviewers talk about a ski for “advanced” or “expert” skiers, my mind often substitutes in the word “professional.” I don’t consider my ability anything like that of a professional skier. Strong skiers with good fundamentals will enjoy the Katana in soft snow, including soft groomers. And as Jonathan has reviewed, true expert skiers will also enjoy the ski.

      Caveat: Note, again, I’m 6’2”, ~228 lbs. I can’t say how the Katana skis for lighter skiers. The other reviews in the comments section should be helpful, here.

      In the dense afternoon chop, the Katanas shined, again. Decisively less tip deflection and more chop-slicing power than the Kores or 100eights. It was more fun than I expected. I tend to ski pretty dynamically in chop, bouncing off bumps to initiate turns, making lots of short, quick turns. I haven’t owned a ski that’s good at blasting since the 2010 Mantras I gave to my brother. I had honestly forgotten that crud (or dense chop, in this case) busting is fun on the right skis.

      In general, as with all Volkl’s full reverse camber skis (at least up to 112mm under foot), turn initiation on the Katana is easy. And as with all Volkl’s performance skis, good skiing is rewarded with good if not great edge hold and very predictable performance.

      Overall, great all around soft snow ski. Not overly stiff. High fun factor

  74. Love this review and therefore looking for advice. Looking for skis for my 40 yr old, male, aggressive, very technical, directional expert skier husband. 5’10, 200lbs – we’re located in the west coast of Canada. I am looking at this ski for a 50/50 resort/slackcountry ski but before I fork over a gazillion dollars for the V-werks…is this the best bet for him? For perspective he loves his 2014 Blizzard Bodacious (186cm) and pretty much thinks they’re the best thing since sliced bread. He can’t overpower them, they blow through everything, they float, they charge, they carve (albeit with much effort) but they are too damn heavy to lug up a mountain. He will not like something that slarves or cannot hold an edge (despite this being a powder ski) and would rather sacrifice weight for performance…just preferably not a ski that is 3kg/per. We love you guys at Blister and have bought several of our skis based upon your reviews, so would appreciate your input on this one.

    thanks in advance!

  75. The newb’ says…
    – the blizzard zero-G line is close to the Blizzard bodacious (well technically the Cochise) but nothing in the touring category will match the bodacious in dampness and crud distruction.
    – v-werks katana is probably as close as you’ll get though consider the 184 length. Or if you are super concerned about weight then the Volkl BMT lineup are like the katanas but even lighter.

    Now for the experts to reply…

  76. Any comments on a suitable heel clip for these? I’ve got some G3 skins and even the twin tip tail clips slip off to the side easily.

  77. Re only using marker bindings. I took my marker jesters off my skis, filled the holes, and mounted Rottefella Freeride using quiver killers. Best set up ever! I’ll buy another pair before they are discontinued.

  78. So, to follow up on my last post, I’ve had well over a year on the 191 Katanas, and

    – 184 fits the “charger” category where Blistergear has it: it charges crud and non-super heavy and deep powder, but has definite fore-aft problems when it’s heavy, wet and windblown and deep. It comes alive that same day at the resort once things are chopped and crudded up a bit, but…..

    – 191 has no such problems, at least for a guy on the lighter end of the weight scale (see above). It could go into the “powder ski” category, at least for me: it handles most anything I’ve come upon, though there may be limits in even more difficult conditions i haven’t yet faced, don’t know. (Pretty rare, though.)

    For me, the 191 is different from the 184: a bit like the Bibbys, the shorter more playful, the longer more charger still; though both are very forgiving and easy to ski, and don’t require charging at all.

    The 191 can be skied in a way that has the feel and reminds me of a GS race ski, on high edge and stable – even in powder. Skied in this way, it can definitely remind me of my FIS GS skis; but at the same time, unlike a race ski, it is forgiving and not demanding, does not punish where your weight is, etc., the way a race ski might. The 191 does not have to be skied on edge – that’s a bit optional. There are other sorts of fat race skis, mostly 115 Kastles and Stocklis, but those are not especially forgiving, and cannot be floated, released and drifted like the Katanas can – like an actual powder/crud ski ought to, to me.

  79. P.S. I also got the longer 190 Bibbys just this year. So far, wonderful ski too.
    I was relieved it wasn’t too much ski for me – hooray. To compare the longer Bibbys to the Longer Katanas, the longer Katanas, for me, are somewhat more carvy, the Bibbys somewhat more floaty. Both are dialed in. I notice that the 191 Bibbys are fat, but not so much the 191 Katanas, relatively speaking. The Katanas feel lighter, the Bibbys, again, surprisingly fatter – and maybe thus more bombproof (118 versus 112). Both wonderful. Both always damp enough, for me.
    I’m less likely to suspect I’ll find powder conditions tough enough to bother the Bibby’s, but this is partly based on reputation, I’m guessing. (I’d found almost nothing on the 191 Katanas, until the input from Michael above.)
    Not sure if I’ll ski all four skis equally, but in tougher conditions, so far, I’d be pretty equally happy to use either longer pair of skis; and on easier days, add in the two shorter skis also. Fun.

  80. Hi – I currently own a pair of Volkl Katana V Werks in 184, and I love them. Stress LOVE. Best ski I have ever owned by a very wide margin. This is my go-to ski for any resort skiing I do, including regular side-country skiing (true side country, not just some off-piste jaunt down the lift line). Crystal Mountain, WA is my local resort, but I also make occasional trips to Whistler and Jackson, and this ski rarely disappoints me (only on the firmest / iciest days do I pull out my Volkl Deacon 74s, which I also love, but that’s a different post).

    I am 6’4″ / 220 lb, 47 years old, advanced / expert skier. The 184s I know are short for someone my size, but I wanted maneuverability more than stability / flotation since I spend most of my time in-bounds + some side-country, so I’ve been happy with the trade-off so far. Did I mention I love these skis?

    But I also do 1-2 heli trips per year, and I have yet to find a ski that I love in that environment. But then again I have never tried the Katana in that environment either. This year I used Rossi Black Ops and hated them (way too center mounted even at -2 as the shovels dive in deep powder for someone my size). Last year I used Volkl Twos, and they were better but are too “smeary” IMO. I’ve also tried Rossi Super 7s, but I find those too “poppy” to be a good powder ski (some combination of camber, side-cut, and flex patter I guess?).

    Anyway, with all that context here is my question: how much more float would I get out of the Katana 191s than I am getting out of my 184s? And at 112 under foot is there enough float in either of these for heli trips? I know hard questions to quantify, but wanted to ask before dropping another $1200 on skis that I more or less already own. Thoughts?

    • Hi, Jason – I haven’t skied the 191 Katana, but having now skied a lot of skis in both a ~184-ish cm and ~191-ish cm length, when it comes to flotation, that additional surface area always makes a difference. (Case in point: I get much better flotation and less tip dive out of a 190 cm Moment Blister Pro than the 184.)

      So the more reluctant you are to move away from the Katana, I think bumping to the 191 makes good sense. If, however, you are looking to go wider, you could take a look at the 189 cm Head Kore 117. While I’m not ready to simply describe it as a wider Katana, it’s the ski that comes to mind that I think you’d have the greatest likelihood of clicking with, given your Katana love. Or just get the 191 Katana and please report back. :)

      • Thanks – this is helpful advice. In the intervening hours I’ve been pouring over various reviews on Blister. In the category of “if you want to go wider than the Katana” I am wondering why you might not have recommended the Volkl BMT 122 (or the DPS Alchemist Lotus 124 for that matter) as an option for a dedicated heli ski? The Volkl in particular seems to be more or less a wider version of the V Werks Katana with its long progressive rocker. In light of my experience with the cambered Super 7s feeling too hooky / poppy for my taste, I’m a little gun shy about the another cambered ski as a dedicated heli ski like the Head. Same is true for the DPS, but the reviews seem to suggest that if you like the 122 BMT, then you might also like the 124 DPS.

        So…. 122 BMT? Feel free to talk me off the ledge of this ski. Or then again, feel free to push over the edge too!

  81. In March, I finally got a powder day deep and heavy enough to cause me problems on the 191 Katanas: maybe 20-28″ of super heavy, wet, drifted and wind-layered powder. In high winds. Very unusual for Colorado. I just wasn’t strong enough (or young enough) to have the confidence necessary to charge the things in such conditions enough, and slowing down got awkward.

    Not as much with the 190 Bibbys: I could go faster, feeling safer, but slow them down enough (still fairly fast) – and with the wider float, do much better – but even here I wanted more speed than I felt safe with.

    I ended up that day happy on the 184 Bibbys, instead: just playfully puttering along, the snow so heavy and drifted the tips didn’t dive, as long as I stayed playful and not so chargy. I ended up doing better and at times going faster, as a result. Odd. So much for the old guy. (I believe a younger, stronger skier would have done just fine with the two longer skis. )

    Once things got chopped/crudded up a bit, all four skis (both Bibbys and both Katanas) came into their own for me, once again, and would charge and play just fine.

    That day, I craved my 189/191 K2 Pettitor 120s; and in the next few days with more wet, heavy new stuff (albeit not quite so deep), I switched to them. Much better. Back to feeling bombproof. Play and charge at will!

    But those are heavier skis (c. 2500 gm/ski), and thus one knee hurt some afterwards for a few days.

    Note: four of the above skis I ended up moving back 3/4 to 1 1/2 mm to get the mount point adjusted right in such conditions (using Marker Schizo bindings); the shorter 184 Katana skis stayed the same, such fore-aft adjustment not being possible with them (from experience).

    Conclusion: I’m too old and finesse-oriented, I guess, not strong enough to risk enough speed in really heavy, deep snow, except on the longest Pettitors: felt too dangerous – and unusual – for me there, on Katanas and Bibbys. (It was mostly me, and not the skis, to a large extent.)

    Jeglit, the 122 BMT is a light “up-and-down” backcountry ski, with mostly dampness compromises in powder, etc. as a result – relatively speaking, I’d imagine.

    Also, the strong suit of the 191 & 184 Katanas is they are both resort powder and chop/crud good. And even groomer good. Resort snow good. The 191s are maybe still an unknown when it comes to them Heli- skiing, in Canada or Alaska, etc. Maybe not as versatile there, not sure.

    I’ve just got to think the Head Kore 117s (most like the Katanas, maybe), and even more, the DPS Lotus A 124s, would be the surest, safest bet heli-skiing, for even a 191 Katana-lover. (They are both Blister heli-tested, after all.)

    • Thanks John. Great field notes. For better or worse I ended up debating the DPS vs BMT endlessly, only to find a deal on the BMT. So I went with it. Doubt I will get on them this year, but stay tuned for next year and I will report back!

    • Very insightful comparisons John! I’m considering 190 length Katana v Bibby as a Japan one ski quiver. While I’ll be seeking soft snow where possible, I’ll inevitably be spending a decent amount of time on groomers too between family and work skiing. Can you compare these two skis carving performance in terms of grip, energy, stability, quickness? And noting these are not the primary goal of these skis

  82. Correction: I moved em back cm., not mm.
    Also, the 189 Pettitors 120 (at, say, +2 1/2 to +3) would make good heli-skis too, but they are no longer in production as of last year, and they have a very different feel than the Katanas.

  83. David, I assume you are talking about the 190/191 length of both skis. My answer is colored by my own size, only 5’10″/150 lbs. For me, the longer 118 Bibby is fun but a bit too fat and long to really drive as well on groomers, though it works fine there for me. The shorter 116 Bibby 184, however, is really more fun for me to ski and carve on groomers, playful also when that’s wanted there, but a great carver too.

    If you’re bigger, the longer Bibby version might be even more fun to carve on groomers than it is for me.

    The big deal about the longer Bibbys is that they are pretty much fat enough to be bombproof in all powder conditions, including probably heavy, deep maritime snow (especially if moved back a bit when such heavy conditions arise, with either a Schizo or demo binding). In deeper maritime or really wet heavy, for me, the two Katana lengths might not be fat enough for all that heavy, deep snow, especially if it’s rough or uneven in some way – though not sure for certain. We had a day here during which that was the case, at least for me, with the Katanas but not the longer Bibbys, seemed like.

    As for the Katanas, both lengths can just kill groomers, as fun as any ski out there, to me. One has to take a small bit of care because of the negligible camber’s potential for catching, in carving soft groomers – but this only happened once, for me, at very low angles and very slow speed. Because I got lazy. It hasn’t happened to me since, in the last three or four years. Charge!

    • Thanks John, really informative again. I’m 6’4 and ~205lbs so definitely looking at both in the 190/191 lengths. Based on your feedback, it sounds like at my size, the 190 Bibby might feel more to me like the 184 does to you on groomers?… Can you compare your 184 Katana v 184 Bibby on groomers?

      I had the chance to demo the V-Werks Katanas in Hakuba earlier this year but they only were available in 184. They were incredible for their width on groomers but I’d definitely want the float of the 191.

      Sounds like overall Katanas might have the edge on groomers, Bibby’s would get the nod for float and playfulness, and similar variable soft snow capabilities between the two (albeit with different approaches/strengths and sounds like the Bibby will be better in deeper chop and funky soft snow)? Is that a fair summary?

      • Go with the Katanas in the 191… They are the most fun ski I’ve ever been on in every condition I’ve ever encountered at JHMR. I have about 60 days on mine. I will say that they should not be your exclusive powder ski since you can dive the tips a bit in more than 12 inches of fresh. For those conditions you might as well go for the DPS 138s and have a smile plastered to your face until the snow runs out…

  84. Question re the flex of the V-Werks Katana. The review was before Blister started giving numerical values for flex, so can anyone give a comparison vs (for example) the Enforcer 110? Super 7 RD? Rustler 11? Wildcat/Blister/Bibby? QST 116?
    Thanks for any help on this.

  85. Hi, lots of great reviews and comments in this thread. I’ve only seen a few comments comparing the VW Katana and the 100Eight, anybody else out there that has skied both have any experience they could share??? More so the 100eight. How does the flex compare to the Katana? Is it as stable in chop, roughed – groomers? In other words is there any snow condition, or turn style where the 100eight is substantially better?

    Thank you!

  86. Hi Jonathan, any comment on the 191 vwerks for 2020? I’d be interested in how it’d ski at +2cm or recommended. It would be a full touring pow ski. My terrain is a mix of open bowls, trees, chutes in the PNW.

    I’m 5’10” 180lbs, but ski very aggressive (ex-racer) and all my skis go long: 189 BMX 105hp (favorite ski of all time), 196 bodacious, 194 anima (@ -2), 187 bonafide, 190 wildcats (not a fan of these), 190 wildcat tour (not a fan of these either).

    Interested to hear your thoughts!

  87. Hey guys, trying to decide on a 70/30 back country/resort ski for coastal BC. Will be mounted with tectons, trying to decide between V-werks Katana in 191 and next years Hoji Tourlock in a 187. Demoing isnt an option. Ive been using the G3 Empire carbon 115 for the last few years in a 190 and while its absolutely slayed in the back country, it leaves a lot to be desired in resort, especially as things get cut up. Im open to any other suggestions you might have. Im 6′ and 110kg

  88. My findings after 3 seasons.

    Deep Chop: Maybe they are too wide for this, but I get bounced around too much in cut up pow deeper than ~8″, and this stops me from using this ski on big pow days.

    Untracked pow: This is kind of a low bar for me, as most skis are fun in fresh resort pow, and float is rarely an issue. I do prefer a more playful ski though on pow days for slashing variable lines through trees or hopping between fluff pockets.

    Spring: They slay the slush. Bumps, steeps, groomed, melted and pitted: doesn’t matter as long as its warm and soft, these are the most fun I’ve ever had in Spring. The lack of camber combined with the stability of the ski gives total confidence.
    Shallow chop: They make light chop feel as if it isn’t there as long as it’s 6 inches or less. This is my primary pow ski on these days, especially if the snow is dense or wind affected.

    Funky, dense, wet, or wind affected “powder”: There have been a few days when it seemed like I was the only one on the mountain having fun and I got a lot of fresh tracks reserved for me. As long as the snow is untracked, these skis confidently float on and carve through conditions that other skis get hung up in. The width is a big part, but I think the stiffness keeps you from sinking down as much into crust, and the lack of camber allows easy turn transitions. As long as you complete your turns you don’t need to jump, and they turn otherwise poor conditions into a blast.

  89. Hi Jonathan, I’m torn between the 2022 BLIZZARD RUSTLER 11 180cm and the 2022 VOLKL KATANA V-Werks 184cm. I have the 2021 Volkl Mantra M5 in 184 so I’m looking to for a 2 quiver ski solution and mostly ski in North Lake Tahoe and Colorado. Any insight into which option you’d choose? Thanks so much as I’ve been going back and forth and am having a tough time deciding.

  90. I’d be really curious – i’m considering these given I have a Kastle TX93 and am debating a Fischer TransAlp 105 (23/24 model) given my love for their Ranger 96 as my resort ski.

    Any thoughts on how you might think about this vs. a TransAlp 105 or something similar with a Titanal plate (The K2 Wayback also comes to mind).

    I live and ride almost exclusively in CO and have 2 trips to Silverton area this year (rare).


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