2018-2019 Renoun Citadel 106

Blister reviews the Renoun Citadel 106
Renoun Citadel 106

Ski: 2018-2019 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm

Available Lengths: 178, 185, 191 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 182.7 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1642 & 1651 grams

Stated Dimensions: 136-106-125 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 135.5-105.1-125.0 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.5 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 56 mm / 22 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Aspen + 12 Channels of HDT + Carbon Fiber Laminate

Base: Durasurf 4001

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -5.25 cm from center; 86.1 cm from tail

Intro

When we posted our First Look and Flash Review of the 17/18 Renoun Endurance 98 a few months ago, we called it, “one of the most mental things we’ve ever reviewed.” Because, while that ski comes in at around 1700 grams for the 184 cm version, Jonathan Ellsworth had been spending his time A/Bing it against the Head Monster 98, which weighs almost 700 grams more per ski, and is one of the most stable skis we’ve ever tested in that waist width.

So why was Jonathan comparing a ski that weighs less than some dedicated touring skis (the Renoun Endurance 98) to a super-heavy, metal-laminate charger? While we generally don’t single out individual design components when talking about a product’s performance, we’re pretty confident that it has a lot to do with Renoun’s unique construction element — Hyper Damping Technology, aka, HDT.

For more info on what HDT is and how Renoun got started, you should definitely check out our Blister Podcast conversation with Renoun Founder, Cyrus Schenck.

While our initial time on the Endurance 98 had us pretty confounded, we’v since spent time on a few more skis from Renoun, including their newest ski, the Citadel 106. The Citadel 106 is not only lighter and wider than the Endurance 98, it also is reported to have about twice as much HDT in its core. And after taking a look at its specs, it seems like the Citadel 106 is also just about as crazy as the Endurance 98.

What Renoun says about the Citadel 106:

“The Citadel 106 has been a vision of ours since the inception of RENOUN. Wider, lighter, carbon fiber. More HDT, less chatter. Everything you need to build a super ski unlike any other. After 3 years of R&D – Research & Dreaming, we’ve made it a reality.”

And then they offer this alternative description of the Citadel 106 in this very succinct fashion:

“The Most Stable Full-Carbon Ski. Ever”

So the Citadel 106 is both Renoun’s widest ski and their lightest ski. It’s also their first full-carbon-laminate ski, and that construction is probably a big factor behind the Citadel 106’s very low weight.

But then Renoun also says that the Citadel 106 has more HDT than their other skis (Cyrus said the Citadel 106 has about twice as much as the Endurance 98 and Z-Line 90). So given our experience on the Endurance 98, maybe all the HDT in the Citadel 106 really will make it the “most stable full-carbon ski ever”?

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Citadel 106 looks a bit like a wider Endurance 98. It has squared-off tips, but its tips and tails do taper pretty significantly (i.e., the widest points in the tails and shovels are fairly far from the ends of the ski). The Citadel 106’s shape doesn’t look quite as straight as the 17/18 Endurance 98.

The Citadel 106 has a pretty shallow tip rocker line compared to some other skis of this width, like the Line Sick Day 104 and Salomon QST 106. On the other hand, the Citadel 106’s tail rocker looks slightly deeper than average, and the tip and tail rocker lines are pretty similar in terms of depth. But the Citadel 106 has much more tip splay than tail splay.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Citadel 106:

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

Like the Endurance 98, the flex pattern of the Citadel 106 definitely isn’t burly, and the flex pattern also feels pretty symmetrical. Overall, the flex pattern of the Citadel 106 feels pretty similar to (and perhaps a tiny bit softer than) the 188 cm Elan Ripstick 106, though the Ripstick 106 feels like it has more snap / rebound to its flex. Compared to the 188 cm, 18/19 Salomon QST 106, the Citadel 106 actually has slightly stiffer tips and shovels, but the back half of the QST 106 is noticeably stronger.

While the Citadel 106 and Endurance 98 both have pretty soft flex patterns, the really confounding thing with the Endurance 98 was that — despite handflexing quite soft — that ski did not feel very soft at all when actually skiing hard on it. HDT reacts and changes depending on how much force is exerted on it, and that’s pretty obvious on snow — the Endurance 98 definitely felt stiffer at higher speeds than it did while noodling around at slower speeds, or while just handflexing it.

So, basically, our point is that the Citadel 106’s flex pattern should make it pretty manageable and playful at slow speeds. But at higher speeds, well, we expect a different story.

Mount Point

With a recommended mount point of -5.25 cm from center, the mount point of the Citadel 106 falls in line with freestyle-oriented skis like the ON3P Kartel 108 or Moment Meridian 107.

And that mount point is really interesting since (1) the Citadel 106 has a pretty directional rocker profile and (2) one thing that we thought about the 17/18 Endurance 98 was that it could probably benefit from a more rearward mount point (the Endurance 98’s mount point was -7 cm from center).

Weight

In case you skimmed past the specs at the top of this review, you’ll have figured out by now that the Citadel 106 is very light for its size — both when compared to 50/50 skis in this waist width, as well as dedicated touring skis.

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

1476 & 1490 K2 Wayback 106, 179 cm (18/19)
1477 & 1482 G3 FINDr 102, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1547 & 1551 Black Diamond Helio 105 Carbon, 185 cm (17/18)
1562 & 1566 Scott Superguide 105, 183 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1706 & 1715 Volkl BMT 109, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1733 & 1735 Blizzard Zero G 108, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1745 & 1747 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1814 & 1845 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1825 & 1904 Black Crows Corvus Freebird, 183.3 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1898 & 1893 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (18/19)
1913 & 1943 Sego Condor Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1970 & 1979 Atomic Backland FR 109, 189 cm (17/18)
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2036 & 2064 Salomon QST 106, 188 cm (18/19)

The Citadel 106 is coming in significantly lighter than pretty much any of the 50/50 skis in the list above, and it’s even lighter than some touring skis like the 186 cm Volkl BMT 109 and 185 cm Blizzard Zero G 108. So yeah, this ski is very light.

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about

(1) One of our biggest surprises with the 17/18 Endurance 98 was how stiff it felt at high speeds. We think this is probably due to that ski’s fairly straight shape, somewhat forward mount point, and its HDT construction. The Citadel 106 has a tighter sidecut radius, but it also has an even further forward mount point and even more HDT. So will the Citadel 106 be more versatile when it comes to turn shapes and carving? Or will it be even more difficult to bend into tighter turns?

(2) Is it best to think of the Citadel 106 as a dedicated backcountry ski, or can it actually hold up to hard skiing in the resort? While we ask this question of any 50/50 ski, the Citadel 106’s weight is much more in line with skis that are solely designed for touring, so the very fact that we’re even talking about the Citadel 106’s inbounds performance is really saying something.

(3) The Citadel 106 has a very progressive mount point. So will we still be able to drive and bend the ski with a forward stance, or will this ski require a more neutral / centered approach?

Bottom Line (For Now)

Renoun’s skis continue to surprise us. As both the lightest and widest ski in their line, the Citadel 106 is pretty wild. While we’d normally dismiss it as a backcountry tool that really only works in nice, forgiving snow, our experience with HDT and the Endurance 98 has us hesitant to make that prediction. We’re still putting together our full review, but in the meantime, Blister members can check out our Flash Review of the Citadel 106, and let us know in the comment section below anything you’d like us to address in the full review.

Flash Review: Renoun Citadel 106

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Citadel 106.

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

NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

3 comments on “2018-2019 Renoun Citadel 106”

  1. I have some questions I would like answered in the full review.

    1. How are these in moguls? Especially firm ones where the snow is not providing any cushion. Does the HDT really kick in if you steer them into/over a mogul as opposed to between them.

    2. How is the tip shape in terms of pulling the ski into a carve and across the fall line? Is the tip numb or can you drive the ski from the tip?

    3. What kind of bindings and boots were you skiing on? AT gear or downhill gear? Can you ski these fast/hard with AT gear?

    Looking forward to the full review.

  2. Hi all
    This is not a cheap ski with a retail value at $1499USD. That is worth noting. They do come with a money back guarantee which is exceptional. I’m considering buying a pair, but I cannot pull the trigger until I’ve read the FULL REVIEW. So please, please post that review asap as I need to make a decision in the next 7 days!
    Regards
    Richard

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