2021-2022 Renoun Endurance 88

Ski: 2021-2022 Renoun Endurance 88, 184 cm

Test Location: Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

Days Skied: 8

Available Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 180.8 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1952 & 1958 grams

Stated Dimensions: 129-88-112 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 126.0-86.3-109.8 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (184 cm): 17 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 67 mm / 14 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5 mm

Core: maple + titanal (2 layers) + 8 channels of “VibeStop” + fiberglass laminate

Base: sintered Durasurf 4001

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.6 cm from center; 80.7 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: Tecnica Mach1 130 MV, Head Raptor 140 RS / Marker Griffon 13

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Renoun Endurance 88 — Top Sheet
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

We’ve now talked about this several times in our reviews and podcasts, but it’s worth reiterating: Renoun makes unique skis.

Primarily due to their non-Newtonian “VibeStop” construction, Renoun’s skis truly feel different compared to just about every other ski on the market.

And since they introduced their first ski a few years ago, Renoun has expanded their lineup, and we’ve been spending time on a few of the latest offerings.

One of those is the Endurance 88, which is a narrower take on their Endurance 98 that’s designed to handle firm conditions in the resort, including a mix of both on- and off-piste terrain.

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Renoun Endurance 88, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Jonathan Ellsworth and I have both spent time on Endurance 88 this season at Mount Crested Butte, so it’s time to talk about why this ski stands out in the market.

What Renoun says about the Endurance 88

“The Endurance 88 lets you choose where you want to go, anywhere on the mountain. A narrower, more hard-snow-specific version of its older sibling, the Endurance 98, this ski is the perfect pick for skiers who primarily ski groomed terrain, yet still desire performance off trail. Variable and uncertain crud melt under your feet as the full-metal titanal sheet plus VibeStop™ (HDT) soak up any impending chatter in your path and make for a smooth, powerful ride.”

Some brands aptly market their 88mm-wide skis as very piste-oriented, but looking at the shape and rocker profile of the Endurance 88, I think Renoun has some good rationale behind their talk of the Endurance 88’s all-mountain versatility. It looks much more like a narrower all-mountain ski, rather than a wide carving ski. But I also like Renoun’s note about it being for folks who “primarily ski groomed terrain, yet still desire performance off trail.” As we’ll get into below, I think that’s a pretty solid description of the ideal skier for the Endurance 88.

As for that talk of “VibeStop,” let’s delve into that:

Construction

The main way that Renoun’s skis stand out from any other skis on the market is their proprietary VibeStop material. Formerly known as “HDT” (Hyper Damping Technology), VibeStop is a non-Newtonian polymer that feels softer and more pliable when it’s not exposed to many vibrations / impacts, but then feels stiffer when it is exposed to more significant vibrations / impacts. You can learn more about it from Renoun founder, Cyrus Schenck, on Ep. 67 of our Blister Podcast:

Here at Blister we’re always very skeptical of any bold claims from manufacturers about how the latest tech they’re showing off is “revolutionary” or “going to change everything.” But after skiing several of their skis, we can confirm most of what Renoun claim about their skis — they feel softer and more forgiving at slower speeds and in more forgiving conditions, but then feel significantly stiffer and smoother the harder you push them.

VibeStop aside, the Endurance 88’s construction differs a bit from the wider Endurance 98. The 88 still has a 24-oz triaxial fiberglass laminate and a sintered Durasurf 4001 base, but the Endurance 88 also gets two layers of titanal metal, and the 21/22 model features a maple wood core*. All of that equates to a slightly heavier overall weight, which makes sense, given that the Endurance 88 is designed for firmer, less forgiving conditions than the 98.

*The 20/21 models of the Endurance 88 feature an aspen wood core but are otherwise the same as the 21/22 model we’ve been testing in terms of construction. Renoun says that, as they sell through the 20/21 aspen-core Endurance 88 pairs, they’ll be phasing in the 21/22 maple-core skis. Much of what we discuss here will apply to the aspen-core Endurance 88, but that version will likely feel a bit lighter and less stable than the 21/22 maple-core version we’ve been testing.

Shape / Rocker Profile

This is where the Endurance 88 looks quite different when compared to most other ~88mm-wide skis.

The Endurance 88’s shape looks very similar to the Endurance 98, with fairly tapered tips and tails that lead to the ski looking fairly “straight” near the ends, rather than having really wide, bulbous tips and tails relative to its waist. The Endurance 88’s effective edge is still pretty long, but it’s shorter than skis with less tip and tail taper, like the Elan Wingman 86 CTi, Blizzard Brahma 88, and Renoun’s narrower Atlas 80. Overall, the Endurance 88’s shape looks fairly similar to the Nordica Enforcer 88 and Salomon Stance 90.

The Endurance 88’s rocker profile also falls more in line with all-mountain skis like the Enforcer 88, with deeper tip and tail rocker lines than many ~88mm-wide skis on the market. The Endurance 88’s rocker profile isn’t wildly out of the ordinary, but combined with its more tapered tips and tails, we think it’s a big part of why it does not feel limited to groomed slopes.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Endurance 88:

Tips: 6
Shovels: 6-7
In Front of Toe Piece: 7.5-9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8
Tails: 7.5

Hand-flexing the Endurance 88, it doesn’t feel like a really stiff ski. Not super soft, but certainly not a super burly flex pattern.

… but as we’re about to get into, Renoun’s skis feel stiffer or softer, depending on how you’re skiing them.

Sidecut Radius

At 17 meters for the 184 cm length, the Endurance 88’s stated sidecut radius is nothing particularly out of the ordinary for a ski of this width. It is a bit tighter than the Endurance 98’s stated sidecut radius (19 m @ 184 cm), and that’s noticeable on snow.

Weight

The original Renoun Endurance 98 almost broke our founder’s brain when he first skied it, since it was extremely light (around the same weight as many touring skis) but he found that its high-speed stability on piste felt more in line with skis that were several hundred grams heavier — namely, the Head Monster 98.

The Endurance 88 is no ultra-heavy ski, but it isn’t as wildly light as its wider brother. At about 1955 grams per ski for the 184 cm length, the Endurance 88’s weight puts it in line with skis like the Folsom Spar 88, Elan Wingman 86 CTi, and Salomon Stance 90. In comparable lengths, the Endurance 88 is a bit lighter than the Blizzard Brahma 88 and Nordica Enforcer 88.

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 to keep things apples-to-apples.

1728 & 1750 Renoun Atlas 80, 177 cm (19/20–20/21)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
1758 & 1758 Head Kore 93, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1790 & 1828 Black Crows Orb, 179.1 cm (19/20–21/22)
1801 & 1839 Salomon Stance 90, 176 cm (20/21–21/22)
1810 & 1828 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, 180 cm (20/21–21/22)
1855 & 1877 Liberty Evolv 90, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
1863 & 1894 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm (18/19–21/22)
1911 & 1917 K2 Disruption 82Ti, 177 cm (20/21–21/22)
1937 & 1945 Fischer Ranger 94 FR, 184 cm (19/20–21/22)
1947 & 2022 Liberty V92, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
1952 & 1958 Renoun Endurance 88, 184 cm (21/22)
1990 & 2036 Blizzard Brahma 88, 177 cm (20/21–21/22)
1999 & 2060 Line Blade, 181 cm (20/21–21/22)
2008 & 2015 Folsom Spar 88, 182 cm (18/19–20/21)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–20/21)
2098 & 2105 Nordica Enforcer 88, 179 cm (19/20–21/22)
2131 & 2194 Nordica Enforcer 88, 186 cm (19/20–21/22)
2235 & 2236* Elan Wingman 86 CTi, 184 cm (19/20–21/22)
2414 & 2441 * Salomon S/Force Bold, 177 cm (19/20–21/22)

*weights include binding mounting plates

FULL REVIEW

Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 lbs / 173 cm, 70 kg): Jonathan Ellsworth and I have both been skiing the Endurance 88 at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, on everything from ultra-firm groomers at the beginning of the season to the recently opened steeps that Mt. Crested Butte is known for. Here’s our take on the ski:

Groomers

Luke Koppa: Renoun says that the Endurance 88 is for those who primarily ski groomed snow but who also venture off piste, so let’s kick things off with where the Endurance 88 is designed to spend most of its time.

Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Endurance 88 on groomers. But since this is a Renoun ski and they behave differently than other skis, this is going to require some more context than usual.

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Renoun Endurance 88, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

When skiing from a fairly centered stance where I’m not driving the Endurance 88’s shovels really aggressively, it feels comfortable making a wide variety of turn shapes. From skidded short turns to huge, drawn-out, high-speed arcs, the Endurance 88 is happy to oblige. And when making those big GS or Super G turns, this ski feels incredibly stable on piste. VibeStop works, and that’s most evident when skiing stupid fast down big groomers.

[Jonathan Ellsworth (5’10”, ~175 lbs / 178 cm / 79 kg): If you had told me when we first started Blister that someday one of our reviewers would write, “VibeStop works” — and I would actually agree with them rather than immediately fire them … well, I don’t even know how to finish this sentence. What a crazy world.]

I spent an afternoon trying to keep up with some of the best skiers in CB when the groomers were very firm and fast, and most of them were on dedicated carvers that weighed much more than the Endurance 88 and had more carving-oriented designs (less taper and rocker). But each run I let the Endurance 88 go a bit faster, it refused to lose its composure, and I continued to keep up with the others. Unless we’re talking pure ice or super bumpy crud, I doubt I’d be able to find the speed limit of the Endurance 88 on piste.

[Jonathan: I feel like Luke is plagiarizing me, because if you listen to what I said on this podcast, I had the exact same experience.]

But that’s when I’m not really focusing on driving the Endurance 88 really hard, so what happens when I do try to push it? Well, it basically feels like it’s pushing back.

[Jonathan: Yep.]

As with the other Renoun skis we’ve used, the Endurance 88 feels stiffer and stiffer the harder I try to bend it. That’s something that made Jonathan hilariously frustrated when he first skied the Endurance 98 (talking with him after his first day on that ski, I remember hearing several naughty words and the phrase “I know how to [bleep-ing] bend a [bleep bleep] ski.”)

With the Endurance 88, when I push it harder, a few things happen. First, it holds an edge really well, especially considering that its tips and tails are more tapered than most ~88mm-wide skis, and that it has deeper rocker lines than most of those skis, too. I was a bit hesitant to trust it on firm, scraped-off snow at first, but the harder I tried to bend it and engage its edges, the more they gripped the icy snow.

[Jonathan: Exactly. Massive trust issues at first. But with repeated laps, I’d be willing to push the ski harder and trust it more, and then before you know it, I was just skiing mach-chicken-fast and wondering why this ski isn’t blowing up / falling to pieces / getting the speed wobbles and your buddy Rob is reporting at the bottom of the run that everyone on the chairlifts was turning to watch you mob down Paradise. It’s still crazy to me.]

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Renoun Endurance 88, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

With that said, the Endurance 88 wouldn’t be my top pick for carving icy conditions, primarily because the “when I push it harder” part of that note above is a big factor in terms of how well it grips these conditions. When I’m skiing it from a more relaxed stance, the Endurance 88 feels more inclined to skid and feather turns. And since you don’t get instant engagement from its more tapered tips (relative to a ski with less tip taper and rocker, such as the Renoun Atlas 80), the Endurance 88 does require a good bit of commitment from the skier to really carve icy snow.

[Jonathan: Yep. And I generally tend to have commitment issues on scraped-off ice.]

The second thing I notice with Renoun skis when I really try to bend them is that, because they feel stiffer the harder you push them, they feel a bit more limited in terms of turn shapes. The Endurance 88 can make huge turns at lower edge angles or short, skidded ones with a less aggressive stance. But when I’m trying to remember what all my racer friends tell me and I’m truly bending and carving this ski on edge, it feels like it wants to stick to its ~17-meter sidecut radius. Fortunately, I like making turns around that radius, but it’s a unique experience carving a ski that feels like it’s actively preventing you from bending it into a tighter-radius turn.

[Jonathan: I think the way I’d put it is that, to a far greater degree, skis like the Endurance 88 and 98 require more modulation when carving than traditional carvers do. And I think that the more time you spend on one of these skis, the more you just intuitively know when you can drive the ski incredibly hard, when it makes sense to actually just back off of the amount of skier input, etc. And that’s not something I’d say about a ski like the old Head Monster 83, or any of the K2 Disruption skis, etc. It’s a unique feel, and it invites a more nuanced approach to piloting the skis.]

Overall, I much prefer carving the Endurance 88 over the Endurance 98. I didn’t expect the difference to be really big, since the two look so similar, but I’m happy with the result since the 88 is designed to be more piste oriented. This comes down to a few things.

First, the Endurance 88 is easier to get on edge. I think this mostly comes down to its slightly tighter sidecut radius, but I didn’t need to commit as much or get as much speed going to really lay it over, relative to the Endurance 98.

The Endurance 88 is also more damp than the 98, which is nice when conditions are really firm, but the Endurance 88 is simultaneously more energetic than the 98. One of the things I don’t love about the Endurance 98 is that it’s not a very lively ski (which I think makes sense, given what VibeStop is supposed to do). But I like skis that pop me out of a turn with some energy, and when I’m really laying into it, the Endurance 88 checks that box.

So, the Endurance 88 isn’t like most skis on piste, but it can be really fun. I’d opt for Renoun’s Atlas 80 if I only skied on piste or was going to use this ski on a lot of icy groomers, but for most groomers, the Endurance 88 offers a fun, unique ride.

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

Luke Koppa: I might like the Endurance 88 even more off piste than on, but once again, there are some things to keep in mind due to how the Endurance 88 responds to skier input.

In relatively “normal” moguls that aren’t extremely tight or big, I have a blast on the Endurance 88. And I think a big part of this is because I tend to ski those types of moguls with a less aggressive forward stance.

Doing that, the Endurance 88 feels easy to pivot and slash around, its swing weight is really low, and it’s pretty forgiving. In moderately spaced moguls and trees, the Endurance 88 feels much easier and more maneuverable than a lot of similarly narrow skis with less tapered tips and tails and shallower rocker lines.

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Renoun Endurance 88, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

But what about when, say, the moguls resemble a junkyard of Volkswagen Beetles seemingly scattered at random by a crane operator who’s halfway through a case of Milwaukee’s Best? That’s where things get trickier.

In big, tightly spaced bumps where the line choice isn’t as obvious, I typically ski with a more forward stance and am frequently weighting / unweighting the ski to get it over the bumps and drive it down into the troughs. Doing this, the Endurance 88 doesn’t feel as maneuverable or forgiving. If I’m skiing those bumps in a relatively controlled, conservative manner, the ski still feels pretty easy. But when I try to aggressively bash my way through them, the Endurance 88’s tail can feel a bit punishing. That’s something Jonathan noted about the Endurance 98, but I didn’t notice it as much with that wider ski. With the Endurance 88, though, I felt the need to dial back my speed a bit and focus more on line choice in big, tight bumps since its tail would stand me up if I made a high-speed mistake.

Overall, I still really like this ski off piste, but I like it more when the bumps and trees aren’t extremely close together.

Chalky Steeps

Luke Koppa: The High Lift and North Face T-bars recently started running here in Crested Butte (thank you Ski Patrol & thank you snow!). So I took the Endurance 88 out on some of my favorite runs to see how it would perform on steep, chalky, less-moguled-up terrain.

And as with tight terrain, I found that the Endurance 88 responded best to a slightly less aggressive approach in steep terrain. If I was really driving its shovels super hard, its edges dug in a bit more than I wanted and its tail would sometimes feel punishing. But with a slightly more neutral stance, the Endurance 88 offered a really fun combo of easy maneuverability, low swing weight, good pop / rebound, and a supportive but not punishing flex pattern.

If you tend to ski steeps very fast and with a very aggressive, forward stance, you might find that the Endurance 88 wants to dig in and carve more than you want to. But if you’re open to adapting to this unique ski, I think it can make for a very fun steeps ski — especially compared to similarly narrow skis.

Soft Chop

Luke Koppa: I’ve skied the Endurance 88 on a few days when it had snowed a few inches and the snow had been chopped up by other skiers, and I think it performs really well in these conditions for an 88mm-wide ski.

Luke Koppa reviews the Renoun Endurance 88 for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Renoun Endurance 88, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

The Endurance 88 does not feel hooky or like it needs to be on edge all the time, which is not the case for some less tapered, less rockered skis in this class. It’s easy to throw sideways, but it also feels extremely composed in soft chop when I drive it hard. If I’m skiing it with a more laid-back, centered stance, the Endurance 88 will get knocked around a bit in soft chop. But the harder I push it, the stiffer it feels, and consequently, the better it blasts through soft chop. I don’t expect most skis of this width to really excel in these conditions, but the Endurance 88’s stability and maneuverability make it very fun in a bit of soft snow.

Firm, Rough, Cruddy Conditions

Luke Koppa: The Endurance 88 feels wildly composed on groomers and soft chop, given its more tapered, rockered design and not-super-heavy weight. But really firm, inconsistent, bumpy conditions are the one area where I feel like I can find the limits of the stability afforded by VibeStop.

Intuitively, this makes sense to me. When skiing fast through soft chop or groomers with some pushed-around snow, the ski can cut through the snow if I’m pushing it. I.e., as long as the ski is supportive enough to not fold under that impact and I commit to driving it through the soft snow, the snow itself won’t prevent me from doing so.

But I can’t really cut / blast through a basketball-size chunk of solid, refrozen chunder, no matter how stiff my skis are or how committed I am to driving those skis through said chunder.

So what does all that actually mean on snow? Well, I will say that the Endurance 88 feels quite damp and smooth on not-smooth conditions. It doesn’t have that harsh, pingy feel of lighter skis. But if I’m skiing it fast and run into a chunk of very firm snow, it will get deflected more than, say, a ski that weighs a few hundred grams more. In softer, lower-density chop, I think stiffness plays more of a role in how stable and composed a ski will feel, while I think weight is the bigger factor the firmer and denser the snow is.

With all that said, the Endurance 88 still handles these sort of cruddy conditions better than a lot of ~88mm-wide skis. Those who like to carve their way through really firm crud would probably be better off on a heavier ski with less taper and less rocker. But for how I tend to ski when conditions are pretty bad (slower, skidded turns), the Endurance 88 works quite well and I only really emphasize the fact that it can get knocked around in these conditions because it’s so stable in other conditions.

Who’s It For?

Skier’s seeking a versatile, ~88mm-wide ski that feels quick off piste but very stable on piste.

There are a few reasons we’d steer certain people away from the Endurance 88, all of which we’ve touched on above. If you ski a lot of really tight, big bumps, you might find it unforgiving. If you spend most of your time on piste and love the instant turn initiation of piste-oriented skis, you might find the Endurance 88 a bit imprecise or vague when starting turns. And if you love to carve really tight turns hard on edge, you might find yourself wishing you could bend the Endurance 88 into smaller turns.

If you fall into those categories, check out the Frontside section of our Buyer’s Guide for some alternatives. But if you don’t, the Endurance 88 could work for you. It carves surprisingly well when you drive it hard, but is also easy to feather and release from a turn, and feels remarkably stable when making big, fast turns on piste and in soft, low-density chop. And in moderately spaced moguls, trees, and steep terrain, it’s easy to slash around, has a low swing weight, and can be skied slowly or quite aggressively.

Bottom Line

We rarely throw out the word “unique” when describing a ski, but once again with Renoun, we’re using it to describe their Endurance 88. It is a very versatile, 88mm-wide all-mountain ski that is quick and easy to pivot off piste, but that can be pushed surprisingly hard on piste. For folks who split their time between groomers, bumps, trees, and steeps, the Endurance 88 offers a rare combination of maneuverability and stability.

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Endurance 88 to see how it compares to the Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Salomon Stance 90, Blizzard Brahma 88, Head Kore 93, Fischer Ranger 94 FR, Nordica Enforcer 88, J Skis Masterblaster, Volkl Mantra M5, Folsom Spar 88, Elan Wingman 86 CTi, & Liberty Evolv 90.

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