Ski: 2019-2020 Åsnes Voss Z’N, 187 cm
Available Lengths: 167, 176, 187 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1940 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1897 & 1917 grams
Stated Dimensions: 133-106-120 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 132.7-105.7-119.2 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (187 cm): 22 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 65 mm / 12 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4 mm
Core: poplar + carbon laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point:
- “Boot Center”: -9.55 cm from center; 83.3 cm from tail
- “All-Mountain”: -11.95 cm from center; 80.9 cm from tail
Åsnes is a Norwegian brand that has been making skis for ~95 years, and for those who aren’t familiar, I highly recommend reading their history. It’s pretty awesome.
What started as a family bartering fish for lumber to make skis in an old barn has since evolved into a brand that produces a variety of cross country, telemark, and alpine touring skis.
We’re reviewing two of Åsnes’s touring skis this year, the Fjora 92 and the Voss Z’N.
The Voss Z’N is the big-mountain-touring ski in their 19/20 lineup, and it’s certainly an interesting looking ski. Check out our video First Look for the quick highlights, and here we’ll go into greater detail while we get it on snow.
What Åsnes says about the Voss Z’N
“Voss Z’N is the ski a modern and offensive skier would choose. A ski that works for freeride skiing, playful skiing in the powder as well as alpine touring. With a waist of 106 mm below the foot, generous Rocker and Taper tips, one gets a ski that can handle all that the mountain has to deliver. With solid construction and medium turning radius, this is a ski which will enjoy both speed and big mountain turns. It is very responsive and feels quick on the edge. Voss Z’N is a safe, stable and playful ski.
Voss Z’N is named after the legendary line at Voss, called “Z’N” by the freeride community. This is a line that offers both deep forest snow and steep, exposed runs. Together with the freeride community, enthusiasts and ski guides at Voss, we have developed the optimal ski for a modern freeride skier.
If one seeks a “one-quiver ski”, this means that the ski must be light enough to go alpine touring, could be ridden at high speed in varying snowpack, be playful and function on the days you want to carve with the family in the groomers.”
There’s a lot going on in this description, with the highlights being the stability, playfulness, and versatility of the Voss Z’N. This ski is supposed to handle big lines and high speeds, but remain maneuverable enough for tighter terrain, light enough for long days on the skin track, and still be versatile enough for hardpack and even groomers. That’s a lot to ask of a single ski, so let’s see how Åsnes aimed to accomplish all of that with the Voss Z’N.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The first thing that stands out with the Voss Z’N is its shape — it’s very tapered. The shovel of the ski isn’t all that crazy, but it definitely sits on the more tapered end of the spectrum. The tail of the Voss Z’N is less traditional — it has a very deep taper line, and after the widest point, it tapers very dramatically to a point.
While I initially thought of the pintail skis of the mid-2000s when looking at the Voss Z’N, it’s worth noting that the widest point of its tail is not that much narrower than the widest point at the tip. But the pointed nature of its tail does make it look a bit “pintail-y.”
What’s also interesting is the rocker profile with which Åsnes paired that very tapered shape. The Voss Z’N has a pretty deep, but low-slung tip rocker profile. But in the tail, its rocker line is much, much shallower and the Voss Z’N’s tail is pretty flat.
So the Voss Z’N has a very tapered shape that makes it look like it’ll be very easy to pivot, but it has a much more conservative tail rocker profile that looks like it could offer good edge hold and power when you need it. We shall see…
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Voss Z’N:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
In line with its rocker profile, the Voss Z’N has a very directional flex pattern. The tips and shovel are very soft, but once you move past the shovel, the flex stiffens up quite quickly (though I didn’t notice a particular “hinge point”). The area around the bindings is quite strong, and it stays very strong as you move toward the tail. The Voss Z’N’s tail is far stiffer than its tips.
The flex pattern (and shape) of the Voss Z’N reminds us of the narrower Dynastar Mythic 97, a ski that we found to be very versatile when it came to both soft and firm conditions (albeit, a fairly demanding ski).
Our pair of the Voss Z’N has two lines marked on it. The “Boot Center” line measures around -9.5 cm from true center, while the “All-Mountain” line measures around -12 cm from true center. Both of those mount points are pretty traditional / rearward, and they seem in line with the shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern of this ski.
The Voss Z’N is marketed as an alpine touring ski, and it’s definitely light compared to most inbounds-oriented or even some “50/50” skis, though there are plenty of touring skis that come in lighter. At around 1900 grams per ski for the 187 cm version, the Voss Z’N is notably heavier than skis like the Black Diamond Helio 105, Atomic Backland 107, and Blizzard Zero G 105, but it’s still much lighter than most inbounds skis.
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.
1476 & 1490 K2 Wayback 106, 179 cm (18/19–19/20)
1489 & 1545 G3 FINDr 102, 179 cm (19/20)
1547 & 1551 Black Diamond Helio 105 Carbon, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
1562 & 1566 Scott Superguide 105, 183 cm (17/18–18/19)
1605 & 1630 Line Vision 108, 183 cm (19/20)
1606 & 1641 Blizzard Zero G 105, 188 cm (19/20)
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1642 & 1662 Atomic Backland 107, 182 cm (18/19–19/20)
1660 & 1680 Moment Deathwish Tour, 184 cm (19/20)
1692 & 1715 Moment Wildcat Tour 108, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1706 & 1715 Volkl BMT 109, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1745 & 1747 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm (16/17–18/19)
1752 & 1771 Amplid Facelift 108, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm (17/18–19/20)
1787 & 1793 Fauna Pioneer, 184 cm (19/20)
1787 & 1806 WNDR Alpine Intention 110 (cambered), 185 cm (19/20)
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20)
1814 & 1845 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm (17/18–19/20)
1825 & 1904 Black Crows Corvus Freebird, 183.3 cm (17/18–19/20)
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (17/18)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1853 & 1873 WNDR Alpine Intention 110 (reverse camber), 185 cm (19/20)
1897 & 1917 Åsnes Voss Z’N, 187 cm (19/20)
1970 & 1979 Atomic Backland FR 109, 189 cm (17/18)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20)
2013 & 2013 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (18/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2097 & 2113 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) The Voss Z’N has a lot of taper but very little tail rocker, so how loose and surfy will it feel, and how secure will it feel on firm, smooth snow?
(2) The Voss Z’N is a pretty light ski, but it’s not the lightest touring ski out there. So will it be best for hard-charging backcountry skiers, those seeking a ski they can use inside and outside of the resort, or something else?
(3) The Voss Z’N’s stiff, flat tail makes it look like it could be pretty demanding, but it also has a lot of tail taper and a rearward mount point. So how punishing vs. forgiving will the ski feel?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Åsnes Voss Z’N combines a very tapered shape with a much more traditional mount point, rocker profile, and flex pattern. Add its moderately low weight (for a touring ski), and that has us very eager to get this ski on some big lines in the backcountry. Stay tuned for updates…