Ski: 2020-2021 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm
Available Lengths: 171, 176, 182, 187 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2005 & 2035 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-106-128 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 138.1-106.6-128.2 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (187 cm): 21.5 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 68 mm / 49 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: Bamboo/Poplar + Carbon Stringer + Fiberglass Laminate
Base: “High-Carbon Race Base”
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.45 cm from center; 84.3 cm from tail
Boots: Dalbello Lupo Pro HD; Dalbello Lupo SP I.D.
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack2 13 AT
Reviewer: 5’8″, 155 lbs
Test Locations: Crested Butte & Front Range, CO
Days Skied: ~4
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 Origin 106, which was not changed for 20/21, apart from graphics.]
The Liberty Origin 106 has been around for a few years, and since it was released, we’ve been fans of it. It’s a moderately wide ski that performs well above its width in deep snow, while still being pretty versatile when conditions aren’t super deep. And most of that seems to be due to its radical rocker profile.
But for 19/20, Liberty is tweaking the Origin 106 (and the women’s Genesis 106), with an update being made to the skis’ rocker profiles. So just how different is the new ski?
What Liberty says about the Origin 106
“Charging big-mountain lines but still want a performance driven ski for low tide days? With our signature bamboo, poplar, and carbon fiber construction, the Origin 106 is ready to crush whatever you’re feeling.”
Liberty also describes the “target skier” for the Origin 106 as: “An athletic all-mountain skier who wants a proven performer with edge grip and the versatility of a 106 waist.”
Pretty standard stuff here. There are a lot of companies talking about the versatility of their ~106mm-wide skis, and Liberty is no exception. “Edge grip” wasn’t one of the things that made the original Origin 106 stand out to us — it has so much rocker that, compared to many skis in its class, it didn’t exactly excel on icy or super firm snow. But there’s a good chance that Liberty’s update to the ski could improve that.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Origin 106’s shape remains the same — it’s still got moderate tip and tail taper lines and a fairly traditional overall shape. The Origin 106 has more taper than some skis in its class like the Blizzard Rustler 10, 4FRNT MSP 107, and Elan Ripstick 106, but not as much as others like the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Dynastar Legend X106, and Line Sick Day 104.
The Origin 106’s rocker profile is where things look different. And to be specific — the tip rocker line.
The original Origin 106 had one of the deepest tip rocker lines of any ski we’ve tested in the ~106mm-underfoot category. And at 78 mm, its tip splay was also very high.
The new ski still has a similarly deep tip rocker line that’s still deeper than almost every other ski in its class, but the rocker line has been brought down a bit / made more gradual. So while the original Origin 106’s tip rocker line rose pretty abruptly, the new Origin 106’s tips rise slower and don’t splay out until closer to the end of the ski.
The new Origin 106 retains the same tail rocker line as the current ski. Its tail rocker line is pretty deep compared to the competition, and its tail splay is also higher than most other skis in its class, apart from freestyle skis.
The difference between the new and old Origin 106 isn’t extreme — the new Origin 106 still retains a very deep tip rocker line by today’s standards. But its lower tip splay and more gradual tip rise should equate to more contact area when the ski is tipped over on edge.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Origin 106:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8
No real change here. The new Origin 106 maintains the original’s forgiving, fairly round flex pattern. The Origin 106’s tips and shovels are pretty soft, and its flex pattern has more of a gradual ramp-up in stiffness compared to several other skis like the Nordica Enforcer 104 Free & Enforcer 110, Rossignol Soul 7 HD, and Head Kore 105.
Like the current Origin 106, the new ski comes in at a fairly light, but not crazy-low weight of around 2000 grams per ski for the 187 cm length. That puts it right in line with several skis that we’ve recommended for 50/50 use like the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Salomon QST 106, Elan Ripstick 106, and Line Sick Day 104.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try and keep things apples-to-apples.
1605 & 1630 Line Vision 108, 183 cm (19/20)
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (17/18)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1898 & 1893 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (18/19)
1913 & 1943 Sego Condor Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm (17/18–18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (16/17–18/19)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20)
2013 & 2013 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (18/19)
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm (17/18–8/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2036 & 2064 Salomon QST 106, 188 cm (18/19)
2046 & 2120 Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
2250 & 2307 Argent Badger, 184 cm (19/20)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–18/19)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) The current Origin 106 is one of the best, if not the best ~106mm-wide ski we’ve used for deep snow. So will the new ski, with its slightly more subtle tip rocker line, still retain the original ski’s excellent float?
(2) On the other hand, just how much better will the new Origin 106 be on firm snow?
Bottom Line (For Now)
With the new Origin 106, Liberty has taken a good ski that performed very well in a particular area (deep snow), and they seem to have potentially made it more versatile. We’re eager to see how noticeable the difference is, and will soon report back with updates.
Sam Shaheen and I only got to ski the Origin 106 in a bit of fresh snow, but we have little reason to believe that the updates made to the 19/20 ski sacrifice much when it comes to float. In short, we believe the new Origin 106 is still one of the best skis in its class when it comes to surfing through pow.
In fresh snow, the Origin 106 is easy to pivot and its tips are very difficult to submerge. As someone who likes skis that are easy to pivot and still fairly strong on edge, I’ve noticed that many of my favorite skis have rocker profiles that are similar to the Origin 106’s: they have deep rocker lines, but pretty mellow amounts of rise — i.e., their tips and tails don’t rise off the ground until closer to the end of the ski).
In the case of the Origin 106 (and some other skis that share similar rocker profiles), this equates to a ski that floats well and is easy to throw sideways. But once you put it on edge, you’re able to engage more of the ski’s edge and it feels “longer” on edge than it does when running bases flat.
The bottom line here is that I think Liberty managed to preserve most of (and maybe all of) the original Origin 106’s excellent float in pow, while making it more versatile in less-deep conditions.
Jonathan mentioned in his review of the original Origin 106 that it is not a steamroller in deep chop, but is comfortable at high and moderate speeds in shallower chop. I think the same goes for the 19/20 Origin 106.
The new Origin 106 is still a fairly light and soft ski with a lot of tip rocker. It doesn’t have the mass or strength to absolutely annihilate deep chop, so those seeking a true charger will be better off on a heavier, stiffer ski.
But I was still pretty comfortable skiing fast on the new Origin 106 in moderately deep chop (8” or less). I think the new ski’s lower tip rise does make it a bit more stable in chop (and other conditions) because you can more easily engage more of the ski and keep it on the snow.
But more importantly, I think Jonathan’s note about the Origin 106’s predictability is the key point.
This ski just feels nice, intuitive, and predictable. Unlike some similarly light skis, the Origin 106 never bucked me unexpectedly or folded up out of nowhere. Yes, you can find the speed limit of this ski in soft chop, but you’ll be able to know that you’re getting close to reaching that limit long before you blow up in spectacular fashion. The Origin 106 doesn’t require a super technically proficient skier to steer it, and it’s strong and predictable enough for skiers to ski it quite hard — you’ll just have to do so with more of a dynamic / active / light-on-your-feet style compared to heavier skis.
Firm Chop / Crud
Similar to soft chop, in firm chop and crud and inconsistent conditions, the Origin 106 requires a more precise and less of a ‘blast-straight-through-everything’ style. It does not mute out rough snow like heavier, stiffer skis do, but the Origin 106 is so easy to ski at moderate speeds that it makes skiing with a more conservative style very easy.
For me, this is important. Because if you’re going to make a ski light — and therefore make it less stable in rough snow — I think there is good reason to also make it a bit softer and more forgiving. Light skis that are also stiff basically demand that the skier be very technically proficient and be able to make quick adjustments to keep the ski tracking in rough snow. Light skis that are softer (like the Origin 106) can’t be pushed quite as hard, but they can be a lot easier to manage in nasty conditions compared to their similarly light but stiffer counterparts.
And If the snow is really bad anyway, I don’t tend to want to charge. So I’d rather have a ski that’s easy to ski at moderate speeds than one that’s maybe a bit more stable, but that demands that I be on my A-game at all times to ski it.
This is where I really noticed the new Origin 106’s updated rocker profile. The new ski initiates carved turns more easily, holds an edge notably better, and is overall a better carver than the old version.
I’ll admit that I really liked how loose and surfy the old Origin 106 was. But while that was a lot of fun in fresh snow, it made the ski less fun on smooth, firm snow. The new ski performs better in every regard on firm snow, and I still think it’s one of the surfier / looser ~105mm-wide skis out there. So kudos to Liberty for managing to preserve much of what made the original Origin 106 stand out, while making it perform notably better where the old ski fell short.
To be clear, the new Origin 106 is not some fat carving ski. It’s still got a lot of rocker, it’s not all that stiff, and it’s still pretty light. So it’s not going to come close to your sub-90mm-wide piste ski when it comes to laying over high-edge-angle arcs. But for a fairly light, fairly soft, and fairly wide all-mountain ski, I think the new Origin 106 is actually pretty good on piste. And the updates to the ski have helped balance out its soft- and firm-snow performance (though I’d still say it’s a bit more soft-snow biased than many skis in its class).
Moguls, Trees, and Tight Terrain
I love the Origin 106 in tight terrain.
When it comes to skiing moguls, trees, and other areas where I don’t have much room to make big turns, I personally prefer skis that are on the softer end and that have a lot of rocker. The new Origin 106 fits these criteria; its tail is forgiving of mistakes while being supportive enough for me, and its rocker profile makes it super easy to pivot the ski through trees, mogul troughs, etc.
People who love stiff skis that allow them to mash through steep, tight terrain at speed will probably be underwhelmed by the Origin 106’s shovels (I could get them to fold a bit when driving the ski really hard, but it wasn’t a dramatic “over the handlebars” feeling). But if you’d prefer a ski that’s forgiving in bumps rather than one that’ll let you ski as fast as possible (and punish you when you mess up), the Origin 106 makes a lot of sense.
Playfulness and Mount Point
The Origin 106 feels like a very playful directional ski. It’s light, poppy, and very easy to slash and slide around. It is still a directional ski, and it doesn’t feel very balanced in the air when mounted on the recommended line (-8.5 cm from center). But for directional skiers looking for something a bit more playful (and perhaps ‘less boring’ than the skis they’re used to?), I think the Origin 106 mounted on the recommended line is a great option, and it is more playful than most of the directional skis in its class.
As someone who likes to ski with a playful style, I also decided to try the Origin 106 with the bindings around -6.5 cm from center (+2 cm from recommended). Here, the ski felt more balanced in the air, and I could ski it more centered while still being able to drive the front when I wanted. I did find that I could fold up the shovels a bit easier with the bindings around -6.5 cm, so larger / more aggressive skiers should take note of this. But if you’re coming from more freestyle-oriented skis, the Origin 106 is still worth a look as it skied well with the bindings around -6 cm from center.
Who’s It For?
Skiers who value maneuverability, float, and forgiveness in their wider all-mountain skis.
Don’t get the Origin 106 if your top priority is high-speed stability. You’d be better off on a heavier, stiffer ski (see the “All-Mountain Chargers” section of our Winter Buyer’s Guide).
But if you primarily want a ski that’s easy to ski in a wide range of conditions and can still be rallied quite hard if you ski with more precision than flat-out power, the Origin 106 is worth a good look.
I think the Origin 106 is particularly appealing as a 1-ski quiver for higher-snow areas — and especially those areas that tend to get lighter, drier snow (as opposed to very heavy, wet, dense maritime-esque snow). And I’d argue that the updated 19/20 Origin 106 makes for an even more appealing 1-ski quiver than the previous iteration of the ski since it performs better on firm snow than the original while still floating extremely well for its width.
I also think the Origin 106 would make a great pow ski for lower-snow areas. It floats like a wider ski and carves better on firm snow than many wider skis.
Finally, we’d recommend the Origin 106 as a great ‘50/50’ option — it’s light enough that I’d be happy to tour on it, and it’s not so light that I wouldn’t want to use it in the resort.
In our First Look of the 19/20 Liberty Origin 106, we hypothesized that this new ski could be more versatile while not losing much of what made the original stand out. And after skiing the new Origin 106, I think that’s exactly what Liberty has achieved. The new Origin 106 still floats better than most skis in its class, but it now competes better on firm snow. For skiers who like skis that are easy, versatile, and playful, the new Origin 106 is worth a good look.
Deep Dive Comparisons
Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive of the Origin 106 to see how it stacks up against the previous Liberty Origin 106, Line Sick Day 104, Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Salomon QST 106, Elan Ripstick 106, Renoun Citadel 106, Nordica Enforcer 110, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 4FRNT MSP 107, Black Crows Corvus, K2 Mindbender 108Ti, Prior Husume, J Skis Metal, ON3P Wrenegade 108, Blizzard Cochise, and Faction Dictator 3.0.