2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102

Ski: 2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm

Test Location: Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO

Days Skied: 10

Available Lengths: 156, 163, 170, 177 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 170.5 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2020 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2010 & 2063 grams

Stated Dimensions: 142-102-124 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 141-101.5-124 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (170 cm): (Tip) 26 m / (Middle) 16 m / (Tail) 23 m

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 59 mm / 17 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3 mm

Core Materials: beech/poplar + titanal (partial layer) + carbon tips

Base: sintered P-Tex 2100

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.2 cm from center; 74 cm from tail

Boots Used: Lange Shadow 115 LV W

Bindings Used: Marker Griffon 13

2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102, BLISTER
Volkl Secret 102: 23/24 Top Sheet
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Rocker Pics


At the start of the 2021-2022 season, Volkl overhauled their M6 Mantra, foreshadowing what was to come: the following season, they made similar changes to the women’s Secret 96 and Mantra 102.

The revised Secret 96 proved to be an impressive all-mountain ski, with excellent suspension and high-speed stability combined with a relatively accessible ride, given those former traits. The original, wider Secret 102 was similar in those regards, but it was notably more demanding and didn’t leave the skier a ton of margin for error.

For the 2023-2024 season, Volkl applied the same updates they made to the Mantra 102 to the women’s Secret 102. Between what Volkl claimed about the new ski and what our other reviewers said about the revised Mantra 102, I hoped that Volkl had maintained some of the Secret 102’s best qualities, but also made it a bit more accessible. Now having spent several days on the new Secret 102, we can weigh in.

Check out our Brand Lineup Video with Volkl from Blister Summit 2023, to get all the details on the launch of the Secret 102: 

What Volkl says about the Secret 102

“Super sporty, agile freerider for female riders who mainly push their limits off-piste or in rough terrain.

The Secret with 102 mm center width has always been the freeride ski for the extreme. In the new season, the Secret 102 is built with Tailored Carbon Tips and Tailored Titanal Frame. This makes it even more agile and the turn initiation works much smoother despite the large ski width. Due to the new construction, the desired handling characteristics can be influenced with accurate precision, the ski simply works much more precisely. The Tip & Tail Rocker construction increases the turning ability and provides lift in powder. But even if the deep snow isn’t as deep as desired, if the terrain is rough or the slope leading off-piste is rather hard, the 3D Radius Sidecut in combination with the Titanal construction ensures great reliability and sportiness for all these conditions. For experienced all-mountain freeride women who really challenge their ski in the backcountry, the new Secret with 102 mm is the very first choice.”


As with the Secret 96 and Mantra 102, the Secret 102 features a few of Volkl’s signature construction techniques and materials. It starts with their “Tailored Carbon Tips,” which consist of a sheet of fabric into which carbon stringers are embroidered in a pattern Volkl deemed ideal. This allows for more customization than the carbon fiber we usually see, which is typically only laminated into the ski in one, two, or three directions, with the idea being that Volkl can better fine-tune the longitudinal and torsional stiffness added by the carbon stringers.

Volkl also utilizes their “Tailored Titanal Frame” in the Secret 102, where the length of the ski determines the amount of titanal in the construction. The titanal is built in a “frame,” proportional to the length of the ski; the frame includes two pieces that run along the sidewall in the tip and tail, and then another piece around the binding area.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Secret 102 is a minimally tapered ski, which was consistent with the original version. It also has fairly deep but low-slung rocker lines, and not a whole lot of camber. All of this is pretty similar to the original “v1” (19/20–22/23) Secret 102.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the 170 cm Secret 102:

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

The 170 cm v2 Secret 102’s flex pattern feels very similar to the 184 cm Mantra 102 and the 170 cm v1 Secret 102, with the caveat that the v2 Secret 102 feels softer around the ends. It’s still a very strong ski overall, but its tips and tails don’t feel quite as notably stiff as the original version.

Sidecut Radius

As is the case for the other Secret and Mantra skis, the Secret 102 features Volkl’s “3D Radius” design, which combines three different radii along the length of the ski. The tips and tails utilize a longer sidecut radius, while the radius is shorter underfoot, in an effort to allow the skier to make a variety of turn shapes, carve tighter turns on piste, and minimize “hookiness” in grabby, off-piste conditions. In the case of the 170 cm Secret 102, Volkl lists its tip, center, and tail radii as 26 m, 16 m, and 23 m, respectively.

Mount Point

The Secret 102 has a very directional, rearward recommended mount point of about -11 cm from true center. Volkl also includes two smaller lines that are 1 and 2 cm forward of that -11 cm line. 

2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102, BLISTER


The Secret 102 is on the heavier end of the spectrum, and as you will read in our Full Review section below, that weight is often an asset. The 23/24 Secret 102 is just a tad lighter than the original Secret 102, and is similar in terms of weight when compared to some other directional metal-lamiante skis in its class, such as the 4FRNT MSP CC, Fischer Ranger 102, and Faction Dancer 3X.

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.

1676 & 1700 Majesty Vadera Carbon, 176 cm
1693 & 1710 Moment Sierra, 172 cm
1735 & 1740 K2 Mindbender 106C, 175 cm
1741 & 1747 Nordica Unleashed 98 W, 174 cm
1752 & 1751 Blizzard Sheeva 9, 172 cm
1761 & 1778 Zag Slap 104, 176 cm
1787 & 1798 Faction Dancer 2X, 172 cm
1792 & 1792 Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, 172 cm
1797 & 1839 Rossignol Rallybird 102, 170 cm
1797 & 1839 Rossignol Rallybird 104 Ti, 171 cm
1835 & 1820 Armada ARV 116 JJ UL, 185 cm
1836 & 1838 Armada ARW 106 UL, 180 cm
1847 & 1854 Wagner Summit 106, 172 cm
1851 & 1856 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 180 cm
1860 & 1862 Majesty Vadera Ti, 176 cm
1867 & 1890 K2 Mindbender 115C, 179 cm
1878 & 1891 Salomon QST Stella 106, 173 cm
1928 & 1945 K2 Mindbender 99Ti W, 172 cm
1933 & 1975 Volkl Secret 96, 170 cm
1955 & 1990 Coalition Snow SOS, 173 cm
1958 & 1960 Faction Dancer 3X, 172 cm
1969 & 1988 4FRNT MSP CC, 171 cm
1959 & 1986 Blizzard Sheeva 11, 180 cm
2010 & 2063 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm
2011 & 2022 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 180 cm
2035 & 2083 Nordica Unleashed 108 W, 180 cm
2057 & 2061 Fischer Ranger 102, 176 cm
2074 & 2088 Line Blade Optic 104, 178 cm
2104 & 2115 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm (19/20–22/23)
2178 & 2166 Coalition Snow Rafiki, 180 cm

Now, onto how all of this translates on snow:

2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102, BLISTER


Last February at Blister Summit 2023, we first spent time on the much anticipated 2023-2024 Secret 102, and then followed that up with many days this 23/24 season at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.


Kara Williard (5’9”, 170 lbs / 175 cm, 77 kg): As I mentioned in my initial Flash Review, I felt a bit of trepidation the first morning I took out the new Secret 102 at Blister Summit 2023. This was mostly because I was skiing with a strong group of folks, and I also knew that the original Secret 102 didn’t always feel particularly confidence-inspiring to me. For many reasons that I’ll get into here, this worry diminished throughout the day, and this happened very quickly on groomers.

For a ski that’s over 100 mm underfoot, the Secret 102 is a very stable and precise carver — and in general, I’ve just found it to be a really enjoyable ski on piste. Even at the beginning of this season, when groomers were the main terrain option and the snow was quite firm, I found myself gravitating to the Secret 102 because of its performance on groomed snow. It offers excellent edge hold and feels very composed at high speeds.

Kara Williard reviews the Volkl Secret 102 for BLISTER.
Kara Williard on the Volkl Secret 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

The Secret 102 feels best when making larger, faster, fall-line turns on groomers. Within the ~100mm-wide all-mountain category, the Secret 102 isn’t the easiest ski to skid or release, but it still allows for a bit of slarving and quick pivots when driving the shovels from a forward stance. From that stance, it’s also pretty quick to get on edge; while it’s generally biased toward longer turns, it doesn’t require huge amounts of speed to initiate a turn. Overall, it’s a ski that feels biased toward carving on edge, rather than skidding and slashing around.

From pristine corduroy to pretty icy, man-made snow, the Secret 102 provided me with lots of confidence and edge hold, making it feel like a valid choice for groomer-oriented days when terrain was limited, despite its waist width. Rarely would I find myself choosing a a ski this wide when I knew I’d mostly be staying on trail, but the Secret 102 is a notable exception.

Powder & Soft Chop

Fortunately, we’ve also had several softer days at Crested Butte Mountain Resort this season, and here, the Secret 102 also felt surprisingly well-rounded.

While it’s not a loose or playful ski, the Secret 102 is pretty manageable when it comes to planing up through deep and soft snow and making a variety of turn shapes. Across the board, the Secret 102 feels best when you’re driving its shovels; doing so can make it feel pretty quick and maneuverable, relative to its stability and edge hold.

The Secret 102 isn’t a particularly playful ski that encourages quick slashes in powder, or poppy, quick turns. Rather, it feels best when either taking a pretty fall-line-oriented approach and fast through powder and chop, or making slower and more deliberate turns.

Kara Williard reviews the Volkl Secret 102 for BLISTER.
Kara Williard on the Volkl Secret 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

It takes a bit of physical work to throw this ski sideways, as well as a forward stance that keeps you out of the back seat as to not get punished by its tails. Compared to the original Secret 102, the new version is a lot more forgiving in this regard. Still, this is a strong, directional ski that isn’t very loose, surfy, or forgiving when compared to the whole market.

As is the case on resort powder days, fresh snow inevitably turns into cut-up chop. And while it’s not best-in-class in terms of flotation and maneuverability in untracked snow, the Secret 102 is nearly unmatched when it comes to how calm and planted it feels when hitting soft chop. The Secret 102 is easily one of the most planted women-specific skis I’ve spent time on, and that certainly helps when it comes to the next section, too.

Firm Chop & Crud

The Secret 102 is an excellent example of a well-executed, heavier ski where weight becomes a huge asset in firm chop and crud.

The Secret 102 rarely feels like it’s getting knocked around much, at least compared to its competition, and it’s far above average when it comes to how well it mutes out and absorbs the harsh vibrations and impacts caused by rough, challenging snow conditions. Provided that you stay over its shovels, the Secret 102 feels predictable and precise in cruddy snow, with minimal deflection. It’s one of the few skis I can remember on which I felt relatively confident in these difficult conditions, so long as I didn’t get lazy or in the backseat. 

Kara Williard reviews the Volkl Secret 102 for BLISTER.
Kara Williard on the Volkl Secret 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

This is probably where I was most nervous when first taking out the new, v2 Secret 102. But after a few turns in some pretty large and firm moguls, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. The 23/24 Secret 102 is very reminiscent of the 21/22–23/24 Secret 96 in tight terrain. For as strong, stable, and damp as it is, the new Secret 102 is fairly easy to release and pivot, especially compared to the old Secret 102.

The new Secret 102 also has a surprisingly low swing weight, relative to its actual weight (~2030 g per ski @ 170 cm), and I found myself able to easily make quick and snappy turns, even through some of the larger and more misshapen moguls I have skied.

By no means is the Secret 102 some really playful, really nimble, or really “easy” ski in tight terrain. It requires physical work to maneuver, and the technical work of staying in the front of your boots. Even in momentary lapses of good turn execution or weird body posture, I felt myself getting a little bit bucked from the backseat. But if you’re willing and able to stay over the front of the Secret 102, and/or you gravitate toward this type of stable, directional ski, then the reward is a very composed and supportive ski that is quicker, more maneuverable, and more accessible than I’d typically expect from a ski that matches the Secret 102’s composure at high speeds in rough snow.

Kara Williard reviews the Volkl Secret 102 for BLISTER.
Kara Williard on the Volkl Secret 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

In really tight and challenging terrain, personally, I would probably opt for something just a little lighter, looser, and/or softer, since those scenarios are when my confidence tends to falter, and in turn, so can my good skiing form. But I’ve been continually impressed by how much I’ve gotten along with the Secret 102 in tight bumps and trees, given all that I’ve said about how it handles more open terrain and higher-speed situations.


I have been extremely happy on the 170 cm Secret 102, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where I would opt to go longer. For reference, I generally prefer skis in lengths between 170-184 cm, depending on the particular model; the Secret 102 clearly falls on the shorter end of that range.

Because the 170 cm Secret 102 is one of the more stable and planted side of skis I’ve been on, even compared to other models in lengths over 180 cm, I have been quite happy with the 170 cm Secret 102. On snow, it feels notably longer than skis with deeper rocker lines, lower swing weights, softer flex patterns, more centered mount points, more tapered shapes, etc.

Kara Williard reviews the Volkl Secret 102 for BLISTER.
Kara Williard on the Volkl Secret 102 (Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO)

If you find yourself unsure about which length to go with for any ski, check out our GEAR 101 article, How to Think About Ski Length — and subscribe to our YouTube channel for a video on the topic that we’ll be dropping in the near future.

Who’s It For?

As I mentioned in my Flash Review, I wouldn’t call the Secret 102 “playful” or “easy,” at least when considering the whole all-mountain ski market and all sorts of skiing styles / preferences. There are tons of better options if you prioritize quickness, maneuverability, and/or overall accessibility over stability and suspension. The Secret 102 is a directional ski that does not respond well when skied from the backseat; it feels most intuitive when working to both drive the shovels and finish turns cleanly.

However, the Secret 102 is a particularly good option for those who prefer a planted and precise all-mountain ski that won’t easily get knocked around, but who still appreciate a degree of forgiveness and maneuverability, relative to similarly stable skis. It is ideal for strong, advanced and expert skiers would would rather have a highly composed and planted ski in challenging conditions, rather than a loose and forgiving one. And if you fit that description, I think you’ll be surprised by how — relatively — accessible and versatile the Secret 102 feels.

Bottom Line

Skis that stand out for their calm composure at speed, precise edge hold, and smooth ride qualities are rarely also ones that stand out for being maneuverable or accessible. The new Secret 102 doesn’t totally break that trend — it’s far from the easiest or most maneuverable option out there. But I do think Volk has done an excellent job of trying to offer some sort of balance of all those traits, especially for skiers who place a premium on the former, but still value the latter.

The latest, v2 version of the Secret 102 is a whole lot more accessible than the original, yet it’s still nearly unmatched when it comes to its suspension in rough snow, especially in the women-specific class.

Deep Dive Comparisons

BLISTER+ members and those who purchase our Digital Access Pass can check out our Deep Dive comparisons linked below. Get our Digital Access Pass to view all our Deep Dives and Flash Reviews, or become a BLISTER+ member today to get access to that 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 latest Volkl Secret 102 to see how it compares to the Volkl Secret 96, Blizzard Black Pearl 97, K2 Mindbender 99Ti W, Nordica Santa Ana 98, 4FRNT MSP CC, Armada Reliance 102 Ti, Fischer Ranger 102, Rossignol Rallybird 104 Ti, Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, Line Blade Optic 104, Faction Dancer 3X, & Salomon QST Stella 106.

2023-2024 Volkl Secret 102, BLISTER
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