Ski: 2020-2021 Majesty Vanguard, 188 cm
Available Lengths: 170, 176, 182, 188, 194 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.5 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1920 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1897 & 1913 grams
Stated Dimensions: 145-118-135 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 144.5-117.7-134.9 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 24 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60.5 mm / 52.5 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5.5 mm
Core: paulownia/poplar + carbon, aramid, & fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered “fast base IS7200”
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -3.95 cm from center; 89.3 cm from tail
Along with the Havoc & women’s Vadera, the Majesty Vanguard is one of the brand’s new freeride skis for the 20/21 season. Their freeride line is targeted at skiers who spend the majority of their time off piste and often away from ski lifts, as all of the skis are quite lightweight for their size and wouldn’t be a big burden to haul up a skin track.
While the Havoc & Vadera have directional designs, the 118mm-wide Vanguard looks like a much more playful ski, with a twinned tail, progressive mount point, and more symmetrical shape. As someone who likes to play around in the backcountry, this ski caught my attention right when I saw it at Outdoor Retailer this year, and we now have it in hand. The Alpineer in Crested Butte was able to get it mounted for us and Blister Members can check out my Flash Review for initial on-snow impressions, and then will be spending much more time skiing it next season. For now, let’s dive into its design:
What Majesty says about the Vanguard
“Big mountain performance designed for Hokkaido, Alaska or St.Anton. Vanguard’s lightweight construction combined with 4×4 design concept, delivers incredible maneuverability while the unique combination of triax fiberglass, carbon/aramid fibers and durable engineered wood core embraces high performance and just the right amount of 3D flex. Instead of being overly stiff, Vanguard construction gives you flex when landing big jumps, spring when transitioning in turns, control when skiing across chewed-up conditions and an immediate response to your every input. The new 4R sidecut makes turns easier, giving more confidence, stability and control. Due to 4R rocker at the tips and tails it’s an absolute blast for surfing around in powder. Lively in powder and shock-absorbing in rough terrain or chewed-up conditions, the Vanguard is an absolute must-have for deep powder and big mountain enthusiasts. Although designed for big mountain performance, Vanguard is a quick turning and versatile big mountain powder ski.”
That first line sticks out to me since Hokkaido, Alaska, & St. Anton all have pretty different terrain. So Majesty is not pigeonholing the Vanguard specifically for either tight or open terrain, but instead claiming the Vanguard is designed with both in mind. And while this is a pretty big ski at 118 mm underfoot, the Vanguard is supposed to be versatile across conditions that aren’t just untracked pow.
As for the notes about the “4R” design, as we mentioned in our First Look of the Havoc, this basically means that Majesty blends 4 different radii in both the rocker profiles and sidecut radii of their 4R skis. This is designed to allow for a wider variety of turn shapes, as well as an intuitive feel in various conditions.
Shape / Rocker Profile
Despite its girth, the Vanguard doesn’t have a really radical shape. Overall, it looks pretty similar to the Whitedot Altum 114, Moment Wildcat, and Folsom Trophy Carbon, with a moderate amount of tip and tail taper and a fairly symmetrical shape. The Vanguard’s tips look quite similar to the Majesty Havoc’s, but the Vanguard has more tail taper compared to the more directional Havoc.
Similarly, the Vanguard’s tip rocker line looks very similar to the Havoc, but the Vanguard has a deeper tail rocker line with much more tail splay. The Vanguard’s rocker lines look pretty similar to the Folsom Trophy Carbon we tested, while the Vanguard’s rocker lines are notably shallower than the Altum 114 & Wildcat. While it has a notable amount of tip & tail rocker, the Vanguard is cambered through the majority of its length.
Overall, the Vanguard’s shape and rocker profile falls in line with many playful pow skis, but Majesty hasn’t gone super crazy with the amount of taper or rocker on this ski, particularly compared to similarly wide options.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Vanguard:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9.5
Overall, the Vanguard is a very strong ski. The rockered portions of the ski are easy to bend, but the cambered portion of the ski — which again, is pretty long — is quite stiff. This flex pattern is pretty round / symmetrical, though it stays stiffer for a bit longer behind the bindings vs. in front of the bindings.
The Vanguard’s flex pattern reminds me of the Whitedot Altum 114 and Moment Wildcat, with the Altum 114’s extremities being a bit stiffer and the Wildcat staying a bit softer for longer before stiffening up in the middle.
Compared to the Scott Scrapper 115, the Vanguard is notably softer at the very ends, but the two feel similarly stiff everywhere else.
Compared to the Line Vision 118 & Folsom Trophy Carbon, the Vanguard feels similar at the tips, a bit softer at the end of the tail, but with a quicker ramp-up in stiffness as you move from the ends to the middle of the ski.
This is one big point of differentiation when comparing the Vanguard to most other skis in its class. The Vanguard’s recommended mount point measures around -4 cm from true center, which is much closer to center than many of the other lightweight, wider skis on the market.
The Vanguard’s recommended mount point is pretty similar to the Atomic Bent Chetler 120 (-3 cm from true center) and slightly farther forward than some of the other playful skis in its class like the Moment Wildcat / Wildcat Tour, Line Vision 118, & Folsom Trophy Carbon.
Our pair of the 188 cm Vanguard is coming in at an average measured weight of 1905 grams per ski. For a 118mm-wide, 188cm-long ski, that’s quite light.
The Vanguard isn’t as crazy-light as skis like the Bent Chetler 120 and Black Diamond Helio 116, but it is lighter than most of the other pow skis on the market.
For reference, here are our measured weights for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples to apples.
1654 & 1682 Black Diamond Helio 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
1753 & 1756 Renoun Citadel 114, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
1795 & 1817 Moment Wildcat Tour, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1820 & 1821 Majesty Havoc, 186 cm (20/21)
1873 & 1878 Line Vision 118, 183 cm (20/21)
1895 & 1906 Folsom Trophy Carbon, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1897 & 1913 Majesty Vanguard, 188 cm (20/21)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–20/21)
1959 & 1975 Volkl V-Werks Katana, 184 cm (15/16–19/20)
2006 & 2011 Rossignol Super 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2027 & 2052 K2 Reckoner 112, 184 cm (20/21)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2097 & 2103 Liberty Origin 112, 184 cm (17/18–20/21)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2122 & 2151 Whitedot Altum 114, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2125 & 2134 Kye Shapes Metamorph, 185 cm (19/20)
2136 & 2174 K2 Reckoner 122, 184 cm (20/21)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2181 & 2190 Parlor McFellon Pro, 185 cm (19/20–20/21)
2188 & 2190 Prior Northwest 110, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–20/21)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–20/21)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20–20/21)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2280 & 2286 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2290 & 2293 Moment Commander 118, 188 cm (19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar M-Free 118, 189 cm (18/19–20/21)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer 115 Free, 191 cm (17/18–20/21)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Jeffrey 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol BLACKOPS Gamer, 186 cm (16/17–20/21)
2561 & 2585 Kye Shapes Numinous, 189 cm (19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) Given its low weight, we’re curious to see if the Vanguard seems most appropriate for clean, untouched pow in the backcountry, or if it can also handle rougher chop typically found in the resort.
(2) The Vanguard is a strong ski with a pretty forward mount point, so how demanding / punishing will it feel?
(3) On that note about mount point, how playful and freestyle-friendly will the Vanguard be? And will directional skiers who ski with a more forward stance still get along with it?
(4) The Vanguard is quite wide at 118 mm underfoot, so is this a ski that should only be broken out on deep days, or can it handle some firmer and / or more variable conditions, too?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Majesty Vanguard is a lightweight, twin-tipped, and surprisingly strong big-mountain ski. Once we get enough time on it to discuss its on-snow performance, we’ll post a Flash Review, and then stay tuned for our full review next season.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Vanguard for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.