Ski: 2020-2021 Liberty Genesis 106, 171 cm
Available Lengths: 157, 164, 171 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 169.2 cm
Stated Weight per Sk 164)i: 1725 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1821 & 1824 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-106-128 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139-107-128
Stated Sidecut Radius: 17 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 78 mm / 48 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2 mm
Core: Bamboo/Poplar/Paulownia + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate
Base: Sintered P-Tex
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.3 cm from center; 76.3 cm from tail
Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: On the line
Boots / Bindings: Dalbello KR Kryzma / Marker Griffon ID
Test Location: Crested Butte Mountain Resort & Irwin, Colorado
Reviewer: 5’1”, 125 lbs
Days Skied: 5
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 18/19 Genesis 106, which was not changed for 19/20 or 20/21, apart from graphics.]
For 18/19, Liberty is making some changes to both their men’s and women’s freeride skis (aka, the “Origin” and “Genesis” series). The women’s Genesis 90 and 96 will return with a bit less tip rocker than the previous versions, and the Genesis 116 will no longer be in the line. The Genesis 106 is the one Genesis ski returning unchanged (aside from a graphics update).
With the Genesis 116 gone, the Genesis 106 will be the widest women’s ski in Liberty’s lineup. But while it’s narrower than a number of dedicated powder skis, it’s a ski that looks like it’s designed to excel in deep snow. And yet, Liberty also talks up its all-mountain performance, so I’ve spent some time on it this season to test both its soft- and firm-snow performance in order to get an idea of just how versatile this ski is.
And for more info on the changes to the 18/19 men’s Origin series, check out our review of the brand-new Origin 112.
Here’s what Liberty says about the Genesis 106:
“The new Genesis 106 features X-Core Carbon and a big dose of awesome for women who rip. Your snow-day collaborator provides plenty of float for deeper days in a light package that will still blast and carve through all the leftovers on your way home.”
So, Liberty is emphasizing the deep-snow performance of the Genesis 106, but they’re also mentioning that it can “blast and carve through all the leftovers.” So how accurate is their description?
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Genesis 106:
In Front of the Toe Piece: 8-9
Behind the Heel piece: 9-8
The tips and tails of the Genesis 106 are definitely accessible, and the ski has a fairly round flex pattern overall. However, the midsection of this ski is still very supportive. This flex pattern results in a forgiving but still fairly strong feel on snow.
I spent my first couple days storm skiing on the Genesis 106 at Irwin, Colorado, which is a cat-skiing operation in an area where storms tend to unload. On my first day on the Genesis 106, we enjoyed free refills in whiteout conditions as 10 inches fell over a 36-hour span. While it wasn’t bottomless powder, the Genesis 106 provided plenty of flotation in this snow. Some might consider the Genesis 106 too narrow for a dedicated powder ski, but in the shallower pow I skied it in, I felt that the Genesis 106 was totally adequate. And given how much tip rocker this ski has, I imagine it will float very well for its width in deeper snow (this is something our male reviewers have experienced with the men’s Origin 106).
Unlike the 169 cm K2 Missdirected — a 117mm-underfoot powder ski I’ve skied in the past that I found difficult to drive — it was very easy to play around in powder on the Genesis 106. I could easily navigate sections with tighter trees while still being able to open it up on steeper, more open terrain. Despite being narrower than most dedicated powder skis, I never felt like I needed more flotation than the Genesis 106 provided, and this came with the advantage of having less ski to throw around. That being said, if I was looking for a powder ski to charge on for really deep days, I would probably want something wider. But for an all-mountain ski that you’ll be taking out on all but the very deepest days, the Genesis 106 is a really good option.
Firm, Off-Piste Snow
After two days of cat-skiing in mostly untracked snow, I then took the Genesis 106 to Mt. Crested Butte to get a feel for how it performed on packed and groomed snow. This was in the spring, so the resort offered a nice variety of conditions from chalky steeps to classic corduroy groomers, and I was able to find both invitingly soft bumps and more demanding, hard-packed moguls. Given how floaty and playful the Genesis 106 felt in the powder, I did not have high expectations for its hardpack performance. And yet, I ended up pretty impressed by how well this ski handled both firm and soft conditions.
For my first few runs at Mt. Crested Butte, I lapped the Headwall and North Face, some of the steeper terrain on the mountain. The snow was firm but chalky, making for ideal skiing. In this terrain, the Genesis 106 was surprisingly easy and quick to turn, and it was able to solidly hold an edge on the firmer snow. The Genesis 106 felt snappy, allowing me to make smaller, tighter turns at relatively slower speeds, which was especially useful while navigating through the tighter steep sections. As the terrain opened up more, the Genesis 106 got knocked around a bit as I skied faster, and I found myself slowing down to keep the tips from chattering.
As I transitioned to groomers, I found it easy and intuitive to transition from edge to edge on the Genesis 106, playfully carving smaller turns on the corduroy. As I opened up my turns and started carving at higher speeds, I did not feel as confident when it came to holding an edge on the Genesis 106. While it didn’t chatter as much as skis like the DPS Nina 99 and K2 Remedy 102, the Genesis 106 didn’t (unsurprisingly) hold an edge as well or stay as composed as the stiffer, heavier, and less rockered Volkl Aura. The faster I skied on firm snow, the more out of place the Genesis 106 felt.
So, while the Genesis 106 is not a ski I would grab if I wanted to really rip down groomers all day, it definitely carves well at more moderate speeds. And given how fun it is in pow, I think the Genesis 106’s decent firm-snow performance makes it a pretty versatile all-mountain ski, albeit one with more of a soft-snow bias.
Soft, Variable Snow
I often find myself ducking off to the side of groomers and seeking out ungroomed terrain, and the performance of the Genesis 106 in these conditions complements my skiing preference. The little bit of spring crud and chop I found on the mountain was very enjoyable to ski on the Genesis 106. In soft crud, the Genesis 106 still felt playful, but was stiff enough to cut through the soft, chopped-up snow at moderate speeds. Similar to its performance on groomers, if I really tried to blast through the soft variable snow at speed, the Genesis 106 started to get a bit shaky. But at more moderate speeds, it offered a nice blend of playfulness, easy maneuverability, and enough backbone to make skiing through the soft chop a lot of fun.
When I ski moguls, I seek out small and soft bumps that I can ski faster than bigger, more technical moguls. The Genesis 106 felt confident and intuitive in softer and smaller bumps, allowing me to ski fast, making fewer, less exaggerated turns. As the size of the moguls increased, I had more trouble snapping the Genesis 106 around them. Big, tight moguls were the only area where I thought the 171 cm Genesis 106 felt big and burdensome (more on length in the next section). However, if you stick to more mellow bumps, the Genesis 106 does just fine, and its playful and quick feel makes it easy to pivot around in these sort of moguls.
I am 5’1” and 125 lbs and typically use skis in the 162-169 cm range. So I would normally have gone with the Genesis 106 in the 164 cm length, but the 171 cm version actually ended up feeling like the right length for me. This ski has a ton of tip rocker, and a good deal of tail rocker, so if you’re really torn between sizes, I’d suggest sizing up.
The Liberty Genesis 106 lived up to its description as a versatile all-mountain ski that also does very well in powder. It felt lively and playful while skiing everything from powder, to soft bumps, crud, and even hardpack. So if you’re looking for a wider one-ski quiver that will excel in soft and / or deep snow, or if you’re looking for an all-mountain / powder ski that will work well as the wider ski in a 2-ski quiver, the Genesis 106 is definitely worth a look.
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