Ski: 2019-2020 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm
Available Lengths: 156, 163, 170 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 170.6 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2104 & 2115 grams
Stated Dimensions: 140-102-123 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.5-101.5-122.7 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (170 cm): 18.1 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 55 mm / 21 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2-3 mm
Core: poplar/beech + “titanal “frame” + carbon tips + fiberglass laminate
Base: Sintered P-Tex 2100
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.3 cm from center; 74.0 cm from tail
Volkl is making some important updates to their women’s freeride lineup for 19/20, with one of the most notable skis being the new Secret 102.
Building off of the 18/19 Secret ski (which will be renamed the Secret 92 for 19/20), the Secret 102 is the sister ski to their Mantra 102. Volkl is also releasing the women’s Kenja 88, which replaces the old Kenja and uses the same “Titanal Frame” construction used in the Secret, Secret 102, Mantra M5, and Mantra 102.
Designed for aggressive female skiers looking for a stable all-mountain ski, the Secret 102’s design stands out in the current women’s ski market, so let’s dive in to see why:
Shape / Rocker Profile
While many skis seems to be getting more tapered and rockered, the Secret 102 sticks with a more traditional shape and rocker profile.
The Secret 102 has very minimal taper, setting it apart from many other skis in this class like the Prior Flute, Liberty Genesis 96, Line Pandora 104, and Armada Tracer 98. The Secret 102 looks more similar to more traditionally shaped skis like the Blizzard Black Pearl 98 and Armada Victa 97 Ti.
Like the Mantra 102, the Secret 102 has fairly deep rocker lines, but they’re extremely subtle and don’t rise far off the snow / ground until you reach the very ends of the ski.
This combo of (1) minimal taper and (2) subtle rocker profile should equate to lots of effective edge on firm snow, and we’re curious to see how the Secret 102 handles softer / deeper / fresher snow conditions.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Secret 102:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5
Many skis these days feature tips (and sometimes, tails) that are significantly softer than their midsections. Not so with the Secret 102. The whole ski is quite stiff, with a subtle difference between the middle and the ends of the ski.
Of the women’s skis we’ve reviewed, the Head Wild Joy is one of the few that comes close in terms of how stiff its flex pattern is.
Unlike many skis these days, the Secret 102 is quite heavy. At a little over 2100 grams per ski for the 170 cm length, the Secret 102 is one of the heaviest women’s-specific skis we’ve ever weighed.
Combined with its stiff flex pattern, more traditional shape and rocker profile, and metal-laminate construction, we expect the Secret 102’s weight to make it very stable at high speeds. But we’re also curious to see how all of that affects the ski at slower speeds and in tighter terrain.
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.
1507 & 1523 Liberty Genesis 90, 165 cm (18/19–19/20)
1533 & 1537 Armada Trace 98, 172 cm (17/18-19/20)
1535 & 1555 DPS Alchemist Uschi 94 C2, 171 cm (18/19–19/20)
1551 & 1604 Head Wild Joy, 168 cm (17/18–18/19)
1556 & 1575 Liberty Genesis 96, 165 cm (18/19–19/20)
1557 & 1607 Fischer My Ranger 98, 172 cm (16/17–18/19)
1626 & 1631 K2 Fulluvit 95Ti, 170 cm (18/19)
1635 & 1646 Blizzard Black Pearl 98, 166 cm (17/18–19/20)
1651 & 1669 Moment Sierra, 172 cm (17/18–19/20)
1709 & 1710 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 172 cm (17/18–19/20)
1748 & 1763 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 169 cm (17/18-19/20)
1750 & 1769 Armada Victa 97 Ti, 171 cm (17/18-19/20)
1762 & 1801 K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance, 168 cm (19/20)
1812 & 1813 Head Great Joy, 168 cm (17/18-18/19)
1881 & 1895 Salomon QST Lumen 99, 174 cm (19/20)
1983 & 1999 Nordica Santa Ana 100, 177 cm (17/18–19/20)
2104 & 2115 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm (19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) As we just alluded to, we’re curious to see how stable the Secret 102 feels at speed.
(2) On the flipside, how difficult will the Secret 102 be when you want to take things slower and ski more conservatively?
(3) Going off of that, what types of skiers (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert) will get along best with the Secret 102?
(4) The Secret 102 is on the wider end of the spectrum for a women’s all-mountain ski but, unlike many skis in its class, it doesn’t have a lot of taper or rocker. So how will the Secret 102 perform in fresh snow?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Volkl Secret 102 looks like a more traditional addition to the women’s all-mountain category. It’s stiff, heavy, and doesn’t feature a very tapered or rockered shape. Stay tuned for updates as we spend more time on this new ski.