2018-2019 Liberty Origin 96

Luke Koppa reviews the Liberty Origin 96 for Blister
18/19 Liberty Origin 96

Ski: 2018-2019 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 176, 182, 187 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1966 & 1973 grams

Stated Dimensions: 130-96-118 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.1-96.3-117.9

Stated Sidecut Radius: 20 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 35 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Poplar/Bamboo + Carbon Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.15 cm from center; 84.7 cm from tail

 

Ski: 2016-2017 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 176, 182, 187 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm

Stated Dimensions: 130-96-118 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 129-95.5-117 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1991 & 1997 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 20 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 73 mm / 36 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Core: Poplar/Bamboo + Carbon Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: 7.45 cm behind center; ~85.4 cm from tail

Intro

Two years ago when he reviewed the Liberty Origin 96, Jonathan Ellsworth called it “tenacious,” and said that he’d never really skied anything like it. He found it to be a surprisingly strong ski that, when combined with its radically deep rocker lines, made for a really fun time in a lot of different conditions.

But for the 18/19 season, Liberty is dialing back the Origin 96’s tip rocker — and they’re doing the same for the Origin 90 and women’s Genesis 90 and Genesis 96, too.

What Liberty says about the new Origin 96:

“The award-winning Origin 96 is back with a newly refined, early rise tip profile. With more edge contact in varied conditions, the Origin 96 is ready to carve harder than ever before, but still retains a playful personality everywhere on the mountain. With bamboo, poplar, and carbon fiber, energy and stability are what you can count on.”

So the new Origin 96 is supposed to perform better on firm and variable snow, which seems like a logical expectation given the new ski’s decreased tip rocker and splay.

Shape / Rocker Profile

Liberty says the Origin 96’s tip rocker is the only thing that’s changed between the 17/18 and 18/19 versions. The new ski has a slightly shallower tip rocker line, and noticeably less tip splay (63 mm on the new ski vs. 73 mm on the previous version).

Luke Koppa reviews the Liberty Origin 96 for Blister
Tip Profiles — 16/17-17/18 Liberty Origin 96 (left) and 18/19 Liberty Origin 96 (right)

Overall, the new Origin 96 still has deeper rocker lines than some of the more traditional options in this class (e.g., Blizzard Bonafide, Volkl Mantra M5, 4FRNT MSP 99). So while Liberty is emphasizing the new Origin 96’s improved carving performance, their note about it retaining a playful personality sounds accurate.

Flex Pattern

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

Tips: 6
Shovels: 6.5-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-8.5
Tails: 8-7

The Origin 96 has a fairly round flex pattern that starts pretty soft in the tip, then ramps up smoothly to a very supportive section around the bindings, and finishes with a tail that’s a bit stiffer than the tips. Compared to the old Origin 96 we reviewed, the new version’s flex pattern feels nearly identical, with the new ski’s tails being just slightly softer.

The Origin 96 definitely doesn’t have a super burly flex pattern, but Jonathan emphasized how strong the old Origin 96 felt thanks to its stiffer section underfoot, so we have reason to think that the same will hold true for the new version.

Weight

Like the previous version, the new Origin 96 is a bit lighter than many all-mountain skis in this waist width. But given the industry-wide trend we’ve been seeing of all-mountain skis getting lighter and lighter, the Origin 96 isn’t doesn’t look quite as light as it used to.

For reference, below are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for a few notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 189 cm (18/19)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19)
1991 & 1997 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (17/18)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm (17/18)

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about

(1) The old Origin 96 was one of the best ~95mm-underfoot skis we used when it came to performance in deep snow. So will the new ski’s decreased tip rocker and splay dramatically hinder the ski in pow? Or will it still sit near the top of this class when it comes to float?

(2) On the opposite end of the conditions spectrum — how much better will the new Origin 96 be on firm snow?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The old Liberty Origin 96 stood out from the competition in large part due to its significant amount of tip rocker and splay. And we really liked that ski. So now that Liberty mellowed out the Origin 96’s rocker profile, is the new ski more versatile? And how does this new model measure up against the many other skis in this class?

Blister members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review, and while we compile our full review let us know in the Comment section below anything you’d like us to address in the full review.

Flash Review: Liberty Origin 96

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Origin 96.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

7 thoughts on “2018-2019 Liberty Origin 96

  1. The factory recommended mount point has also changed slightly (-0.7 cm). That’s not much, except that the increase in effective edge comes from the shallower tip rocker, and thus, there’s in practice more “effective tip” than just +0.7 cm.

    Interestingly, Liberty suggests a 5 cm mounting range, which is bound to be more (or?) than the change in effective tip. So, lots of room for experimentation…

  2. Did this ski really need to get better at carving? I found it to have more than enough edgehold to rip groomers. Almost too much for this type of ski. In fact I found myself wanting to detune the tails a little bit but wanted to wait to get them into some tighter trees before doing such.

    • Also, doubling down on hard snow performance seems a little unnecessary with the introduction of the vmt series. Interested to hear kind of a head to head comparison of the O96 and VMT92

      • I found that the ski had excellent edge hold on everything besides pure, straight-up ice where something like a Bonafide would deal with much better. My hope is that this model will close the gap between the two skis but still retain a more playful feel and better soft snow performance.

  3. I for one, think the changes will make the ski even better on groomers and ice. I think it might help in moguls as well. It is one of my favorite skis, and more grip is always better for an East Coast skier. I also moved my mount point back 4 cm and found the ski was much more balanced and had better grip. It was not quite as quick turning, but didn’t loose much. This worked on the 187cm length, but the 182 didn’t need to be moved. The new version with less rocker and a slightly rearward mount is doing a similar thing as I did. I like the ski best with a race tune (0.5 deg base, 3.0 deg side) and then dull the tips and tails back to the contact point. This let’s the ski carve and grip from the middle very well, even on ice, and allows it to pivot well in soft snow. I can slide my tails out in tight bumped up trees in complete control and regulate my speed. Its my best tree ski by far.

    The only real negative is the tip is very numb and doesn’t pull the ski into a turn at all. How could it with all that rocker? The new version might allow the tip to hook up a little more and pull the ski into a turn. When Luke said the new version is a little more precise, I assume that is what he means. Having the tip carve a little better (and sooner) in moguls should be a good thing, too. I own the 187cm length, and have skied the 182 and 177 lengths. The 187 is more stable at speed, the 182 is quicker and probably the best length for overall performance. I bet Luke would like the 182 length even better.

  4. Apologies, looks like part of this what cut off,. I was trying to ask if at my size, am I too big for this ski. I know it is described as being quite stiff. Will it hold up?

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