2023-2024 RMU Apostle 96 Pro

Ski: 2023-2024 RMU Apostle 96 Pro, 184 cm

Test Location: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO

Days Skied: 11

Available Lengths: 176, 184 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 182.5 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1925 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1894 & 1919 grams

Stated Dimensions: 134-96-120 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 134-95.5-119 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (184 cm): 18.5 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 65 mm / 26 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5 mm

Core Materials: poplar + beech mount plate + titanal (2 partial sheets) + fiberglass laminate

Base: sintered Okulen 7150 C Graphite Race Base

Factory Recommended Mount Points:

  • FR (“Freeride”) Line: -5 cm from center / 86.5 cm from tail
  • TR (“Traditional”) line: -7 cm from center / 84.5 cm from tail

Boots Used: Tecnica Mach1 MV 130, Lange Shadow 130 LV, Atomic Hawx Ultra 130

Bindings Used: Tyrolia Attack 13 MN

Blister reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro
RMU Apostle 96 Pro: 23/24 Top Sheet
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Rocker Pics

Intro

The Apostle series makes up much of RMU’s all-mountain collection, alongside the women’s Valhalla collection, and RMU now offers several different variants of each Apostle model.

We tested the latest Apostle 106 a couple years ago, back when RMU overhauled the Apostle skis’ shapes, rocker profiles, and constructions for the 2021-2022 season, and personally, I was a big fan of that ski’s exceptionally playful yet quite versatile ride.

The Apostle 106 and narrower Apostle 96 have remained constructionally unchanged over the following seasons, but RMU also offers lighter, more touring-friendly “Carbon” versions of both, as well as slightly burlier, metal-laminate “Pro” versions. All three versions of the Apostle 106 and Apostle 96 feature the same respective shapes and rocker profiles, but with different core constructions.

This season, we’ve been spending time on the Pro version of the Apostle 96. Going into this review, we were curious to see how much of the Apostle 106’s playful and maneuverable qualities would transfer to its narrower, metal-laminate sibling, and where exactly the Apostle 96 Pro would slot into the all-mountain market. The results have been very interesting.

What RMU says about the Apostle 96 Pro

“Everyone was asking for it, so it had to be done. The new Apostle 96 Pro includes the same reduced rocker profile for long effective edge and stability as the regular Apostle 96, but now has a spearhead titanal layout.

Two sheets of titanal spreading 30mm – 60mm – 30mm across the ski, tip to tail. Increase stiffness for strong skiing in variable conditions, additional torsional rigidity for underfoot pressure and increased dampness. Turning this all mountain favourite into the all mountain machine. This will hold an edge through anything in front of you.”

Construction

As RMU alluded to in their description of the ski, the Apostle 96 Pro features two partial sheets of titanal that are a sort of diamond shape (or, as RMU phrases it, “spearhead”). The titanal layers reportedly measure 30 mm wide at each end but widen to 60 mm in the middle in an effort to get more torsional rigidity near the boot / midsection of the ski.

That’s the main difference between the Apostle 96 Pro and the standard Apostle 96. Otherwise, they both feature a mostly poplar wood core with a beech mounting plate, two layers of 26-oz fiberglass, 2.3 mm edges, “extra thick” 8.5 mm ABS sidewalls, and a sintered “Okulen 7150 C Graphite Race Base.”

The Apostle 96 Carbon is similar overall to the standard Apostle 96, but the Carbon version uses a lighter poplar / paulownia core (same beech mounting plate), swaps one of the 26-oz fiberglass layers for an 18-oz layer, and adds carbon stringers above and below the core. This results in a stated weight that’s 168 grams lighter per ski for the 184 cm lengths of the Apostle 96 Carbon vs. standard Apostle 96.

It’s also worth noting that the factory RMU uses in Åre Sweden to manufacture their skis is reportedly 100% powered by renewable energy.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Shape & Rocker Profile

As noted in our Intro, RMU updated their Apostle skis back in 21/22, and some of the biggest changes were made to the skis’ shapes and rocker profiles. The latest version “3.0” Apostle skis feature notably less tip and tail taper than the earlier Apostles; those previous Apostles had pretty dramatically tapered tips and tails.

Still, the latest Apostle 96 shape is far from traditional. It features a noteworthy degree of early tapering at its tips for a 96mm-wide ski; its tail is notably less tapered but it’s still got a shorter effective edge than many directional skis around this width.

It’s a similar story when it comes to the rocker profile — the Apostle 96 has a very deep tip rocker line and lots of tip splay for its class. Mirroring its shape, the Apostle 96’s tail rocker line isn’t nearly as deep or splayed out as the tip, but I’d still call it more tail rockered than average for a 96mm-wide ski.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Apostle 96 Pro:

Tips: 6
Shovels: 6.5-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-8.5
Tails: 8

The Apostle 96 Pro’s flex pattern feels fairly similar to the flex patterns of the standard Apostle 106 and Apostle 106 Pro, but the Apostle 96 Pro stiffens up a bit more quickly as you move from its fairly soft tips to its strong midsection. The Apostle 96 Pro is also a bit stiffer than those skis through the back half. I wouldn’t call this a super burly flex pattern overall, but it’s pretty strong through the cambered portion of the ski and stays fairly stiff through the tail.

Sidecut Radius

The 184 cm Apostle 96 Pro’s stated sidecut radius is 18.5 meters, which is pretty average for this class, if not a touch tighter than average when looking at the ~95mm-wide all-mountain category.

Mount Point

Like many of RMU’s other skis, the Apostle 96 Pro comes with two recommended mount points, both of which are closer to center than many of the more traditional, directional skis in its class. The Apostle 96 Pro’s “Freeride” mount point is -5 cm from center, whereas its “Traditional” mount point is -7 cm from center.

2023-2024 RMU Apostle 96 Pro, BLISTER

Weight

Our pair of the 184 cm Apostle 96 Pro came in at about 1900 grams per ski. Like RMU’s other Apostle, Valhalla, and North Shore skis, that’s on the lighter end of the spectrum, but not really on the extreme end of things. We don’t have a standard Apostle 96 on hand, but RMU’s stated weight for the 184 cm Apostle 96 is 1780 grams.

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.

1707 & 1752 4FRNT Switch, 184 cm
1800 & 1824 Romp Zorro 100, 183 cm
1805 & 1833 Liberty Origin 101, 182 cm
1806 & 1884 Head Oblivion 102, 189 cm
1808 & 1823 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95, 180 cm
1816 & 1819 Head Kore 99, 184 cm
1824 & 1843 Season Kin, 181 cm
1831 & 1844 K2 Mindbender 96C, 178 cm
1869 & 1873 Line Sakana, 181 cm
1880 & 1887 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm
1883 & 1906 Season Aero, 180 cm
1894 & 1919 RMU Apostle 96 Pro, 184 cm
1896 & 1942 K2 Reckoner 102, 184 cm
1901 & 1902 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm
1925 & 1934 Black Crows Camox, 186 cm
1929 & 1982 Faction Mana 2, 183 cm
1935 & 1962 Fischer Ranger 96, 180 cm
1938 & 2003 Nordica Unleashed 98, 186 cm
1946 & 1962 Black Crows Atris, 184 cm
1946 & 1968 Salomon Stance 96, 182 cm
1951 & 1957 RMU Apostle 106, 184 cm
1956 & 1976 Blizzard Rustler 10, 186 cm
1975 & 2028 Armada Declivity 102 Ti, 180 cm
1981 & 1991 Faction Dancer 2, 182 cm
1990 & 2045 Peak 104 by Bode, 184 cm
1997 & 2001 RMU Apostle 106 Pro, 184 cm
1997 & 2001 ZAG Slap 104, 188 cm
2008 & 2043 ZAG Harfang 96, 182 cm
2019 & 2022 Rossignol Blackops 98, 182 cm
2019 & 2024 Salomon Stance 102, 183 cm
2024 & 2112 Dynastar M-Free 99, 185 cm
2034 & 2060 Peak 98 by Bode, 184 cm
2042 & 2062 Dynastar M-Pro 99, 186 cm
2054 & 2063 Salomon QST 98, 189 cm
2057 & 2061 Fischer Ranger 102, 183 cm
2077 & 2096 Line Blade Optic 96, 184 cm
2079 & 2089 Shaggy’s Mohawk 98, 186 cm
2085 & 2120 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm
2112 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm
2165 & 2186 Wagner Summit 97, 182 cm
2178 & 2195 Volkl M6 Mantra, 184 cm
2281 & 2284 Blizzard Bonafide 97, 177 cm
2326 & 2336 Nordica Enforcer 100, 186 cm

Now, let’s get into how all of this adds up on snow:

2023-2024 RMU Apostle 96 Pro, BLISTER

FULL REVIEW

Groomers / On-Piste

Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 lbs / 173 cm, 70 kg): My first several days on the Apostle 96 Pro were spent lapping early season groomers, so we might as well start there. I was curious to see how this ski’s uncommon combo of deep rocker lines, fairly tapered tips, and metal-laminate construction would combine on firm snow, and I was quickly impressed.

Overall, this isn’t the most precise ski in terms of edge hold, particularly on very firm snow like the scraped-off man-made groomers we skied for the first several weeks of the season. There are plenty of ~95mm-wide metal-laminate skis that hold an edge better on icy conditions. However, on snow a bit softer than that, the Apostle 96 Pro was really fun on piste.

I think RMU did a very nice job of blending this ski’s looser, more maneuverable-feeling tips and tails with its much more precise-feeling midsection. We’ve been on many skis that exhibit some sort of similar discrepancy between their extremities and midsections (e.g., Fischer Ranger 102, Line Blade Optic 96), but the Apostle 96 Pro felt more cohesive to me in this regard. Its tapered, deeply rockered tips aren’t super quick to pull you into a turn and its rockered tail doesn’t finish carves with the precision of a ski with a flatter, less tapered tail. But after a few runs, I quickly found myself confidently laying down pretty hard turns on this ski.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Carves on the Apostle 96 Pro start in a fairly subdued manner, but as I bend and engage more of the ski (from the rockered tips to the middle / cambered portion), it starts to progressively bite / dig in more and more. Again, it definitely wouldn’t be my top pick for trying to lay trenches on icy slopes, but for how maneuverable and playful it feels overall, it’s surprisingly capable on piste.

As for turn shapes, it feels pretty versatile. While its tips don’t feel super precise in that they don’t provide as strong of edge hold as the middle of the ski, they are fairly easy to bend. So I could crank out pretty tight GS turns on the Apostle 96 Pro when the groomers were pretty “normal” or on the softer side of things, but it didn’t feel particularly twitchy when making longer, lower-edge-angle Super G turns (though it feels a bit more biased toward the former than the latter).

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

Luke Koppa: As I just alluded to, the Apostle 96 Pro really stands out in tight terrain. Like the wider Apostle 106, the Apostle 96 Pro’s deep rocker lines, fairly low weight, and pretty tapered tips and tails all add up to a ski that feels very maneuverable — especially compared to other ~95mm-wide all-mountain skis.

The Apostle 96 Pro does not require much physical effort to flick side to side, nor is it difficult to get its tails to release and pivot through the troughs of moguls. It’s also a very lively ski, so when I spotted a mogul gap at the last second, it was easy to load up the ski and get it airborne.

The Apostle 96 Pro’s tail isn’t quite as forgiving as I expected, given how loose and nimble it feels, but it’s still on the easier end of the spectrum. Especially in firm, big, tight moguls, I had to avoid spending much time in the backseat, or else things could get a bit out of control on the Apostle 96 Pro. However, if I stayed pretty centered or forward, its tail remained easy to skid around and the sweet spot generally felt pretty big.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

It’s not the absolute easiest ski in tight terrain, but the Apostle 96 Pro is clearly on the more maneuverable end of the spectrum within its class. And unlike most skis that are even more maneuverable, agile, and/or forgiving, the Apostle 96 Pro still let me drive it pretty hard through the shovels and I very rarely found myself wishing for more support from the front or back of the ski.

Powder & Soft Chop

Luke Koppa: The Apostle 96 Pro handles soft snow very well for its width. Its deeply rockered and splayed-out tips do a good job of planing up in fresh snow, and everything I just mentioned about how maneuverable it feels in tight terrain is even more noticeable in soft snow.

A 96mm-wide ski is never going to be my top pick for very deep snow, but I could still have a great time on the Apostle 96 Pro when it had snowed up to around 8” / 20 cm (especially if I could stick to steeper terrain, where it’s less likely to start to sink and “plow” through the deeper snow).

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa slashing on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

When that new snow gets cut up by other skiers, the Apostle 96 Pro unsurprisingly requires that I dial back my speed a touch, since it gets knocked around a fair bit in chop (especially denser chop). But, for its weight and width, the Apostle 96 Pro can be skied quite hard in soft chop, especially if you adopt a more dynamic, light-on-your-feet style, rather than trying to straight-line through piles of pushed-around snow.

Firm Chop & Crud

Luke Koppa: This is a similar story as what I just said in the Soft Chop section, but to a greater degree. The firmer and rougher the snow, the less comfortable the Apostle 96 Pro feels. I’ve still found it pretty predictable and intuitive, but it’s by no means a super damp, planted, and composed ski.

So, rather than try to smash my way through challenging conditions on the Apostle 96 Pro, I felt more inclined to take advantage of its maneuverable and agile ride and make more frequent, smaller, more controlled turns to keep my speed in check. Despite its two partial metal layers, the Apostle 96 Pro is still a pretty light, rockered, and tapered ski, and it does not match the suspension nor high-speed composure of much heavier, less rockered, less tapered skis in these conditions.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

I’ll also add that firm, inconsistently textured snow is where the Apostle 96 Pro feels the least maneuverable. In grabby conditions like crusts and hollow-feeling chalk, the ski’s more precise-feeling midsection would occasionally dig in a bit more than I would like, which just further encouraged me to take it easy on this ski when the snow was unpredictable.

Playfulness & Mount Point

Luke Koppa: The Apostle 96 Pro is a very playful ski overall. It’s energetic, has a low swing weight, feels pretty balanced in the air, is easy to slash sideways, and even skis switch pretty well in shallower snow. I’d say the main thing that somewhat detracts from its overall playfulness is its tail, which is stiffer than average for a freestyle-friendly ski. However, I still found it easy to bend and ollie, even at moderate speeds.

Something much softer and more freestyle-specific, such as the K2 Reckoner 102 or Season Kin, would be a better call if general playfulness is your top priority (especially if you’re focused on smaller features and slower speeds). Otherwise, I think the Apostle 96 Pro will feel quite playful to most skiers.

As for mount point, I spent the majority of my time on the Apostle 96 Pro with it mounted on its more rearward “Traditional” mount point, which is -7 cm from center (i.e., still not that far back). I can get along well with skis with mount points ranging from about -11 cm to -2 cm, depending on the ski, but I often really like skis with mount points around -6 cm since I enjoy having the option of skiing with both forward and centered stances.

On its -7 cm line, the Apostle 96 Pro let me do just that. If I spent more time in the park and/or was coming from very center-mounted skis, I’d probably go forward a few centimeters, but the -7 cm line felt great to me.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Length

Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 Ibs / 173 cm, 70 kg): For reference, I typically get along well with skis in this ~95mm-wide all-mountain category that range from roughly 177 cm to 189 cm. I also typically get along well with more playful skis in general, like the Apostle 96 Pro.

With that in mind, I thought the 184 cm Apostle 96 Pro felt just about perfect in terms of length. It probably skis a bit shorter than many other ~184cm-long skis around the same width, since the Apostle 96 Pro is more rockered, more tapered, lighter, and/or more forward-mounted than many of them.

[For a refresher on how those factors impact how long a ski feels, see our video & article on How to Think About Ski Length.]

That said, I didn’t feel the need for a much longer ski since the Apostle 96 Pro stands out for its maneuverability and playfulness, not its high-speed stability. If there were a longer version (there isn’t; 184 cm is the longest available length), it would probably be a bit more stable, but I doubt it’d feel significantly more so, and it would likely feel notably less agile and playful.

Mark Danielson (6’2”, 205 lbs / 188 cm, 93 kg): As a bigger reviewer, at 205 lbs, I’ll add some brief thoughts on the Apostle 96 Pro and its length.

Given my bigger body and my more powerful, planted skiing style, 184 cm is a bit shorter than most of my very favorite skis / ski lengths. Still, I’ve enjoyed many, many skis around 184 cm (and even shorter). However, when a ~184cm-long ski also happens to be light, not super stiff, quite rockered, and tapered like the Apostle 96 Pro, it doesn’t feel like a great match for me, especially in terrain where there’s enough space for me to ski with more power than finesse.

I still agree with everything Luke wrote about the Apostle 96 Pro. And in almost all situations, I truly enjoyed all the strengths of this ski, including its playful and maneuverable ride. But at my size and especially in more open terrain, there were situations where I overpowered the ski and/or found it too eager to cut across the fall line, rather than down it. I tried to mitigate that by moving the bindings back a tad to -7.8 cm, which helped a bit, but not quite enough.

So if you’re similar to me in size and skiing style — but you still appreciate playful, lighter skis like the Apostle 96 Pro when you feel like switching things up — I’d probably suggest looking into alternatives available in longer lengths. If a longer version of the Apostle 96 Pro becomes available in the future, though, I would definitely want to try it.

Luke Koppa reviews the RMU Apostle 96 Pro for BLISTER.
Luke Koppa on the RMU Apostle 96 Pro (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Who’s It For?

Luke Koppa: The Apostle 96 Pro could be a great all-mountain ski for folks who will spend a lot of time both off piste and on it, and who prioritize playfulness and maneuverability over suspension and high-speed stability.

If you’ll be carving a lot of icy groomers on your ~95mm-wide ski, and/or you prefer a ski that feels very planted and composed in rough, cruddy conditions, you should check out heavier, less rockered, less tapered alternatives (of which there are many in this class).

However, if you like a ski that feels agile, lively, and surfy in off-piste terrain and conditions, the Apostle 96 Pro is a standout option in this category. And yet, the Apostle 96 Pro can also be a lot of fun on most groomed slopes. It’s also very playful and freestyle-friendly, but is strong enough and versatile enough in terms of stance to work for directional skiers who ski with a more dynamic and less straight-down-the-fall-line style.

Bottom Line

Often, a ski with the on-paper traits of the RMU Apostle 96 Pro can end up feeling a bit odd or unbalanced. Its shape, mount point, and rocker profile suggest it’s a very playful ski, but then you factor in its metal-laminate construction, and you might expect those traits to be at odds with each other.

Fortunately, RMU has done a nice job of blending them in a cohesive fashion. There are some more forgiving and even surfier alternatives to the Apostle 96 Pro, and it’s definitely not the most precise or stable option in its class. But it does offer a very impressive combination of maneuverability, quickness, playfulness, and precision that results in a ski that isn’t easy to pigeonhole into a neatly defined existing category. And for certain folks, that’s going to make it uniquely enjoyable.

Deep Dive Comparisons

BLISTER+ members can check out the Deep Dive comparisons linked below. Not a member? Become one today to get access to this and a LOT more, including the best worldwide Outdoor Injury Insurance, exclusive deals and discounts on skis, personalized gear recommendations from us, and much more.

Check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Apostle 96 Pro to see how it compares to the standard RMU Apostle 96, RMU Apostle 106 Pro, Line Blade Optic 96, Armada Declivity 102 Ti, J Skis Masterblaster, Renoun Endurance 98, Blizzard Rustler 9, Salomon QST 98, Nordica Enforcer 99, Volkl M6 Mantra, Atomic Maverick 95 Ti, K2 Mindbender 99Ti, Fischer Ranger 102, Black Crows Justis, Head Kore 99, Elan Ripstick 106, Faction Dancer 2, Black Crows Camox, Dynastar M-Free 99, Nordica Unleashed 98, Rossignol Blackops 98, Season Kin, K2 Reckoner 102, 4FRNT Switch, Faction Mana 2, Liberty Origin 101, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95, Shaggy’s Mohawk 98, Season Aero, Line Blade, & K2 Mindbender 96C.

2023-2024 RMU Apostle 96 Pro, BLISTER
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