Like many other ambitious backcountry skiers who are on the move a lot, tester Martin also attaches a lot of importance to his equipment being both lightweight and also strong in the descent. Those who often climb over 1,000 metres in altitude know why. In the Völkl Rise Beyond 96 touring ski product test, the backcountry athlete takes us into the mountains and shares his experiences with us.
A pleasure to use up & down
The tested Völkl ski belongs to the Rise product family born last year and is the touring ski counterpart to the Dalbello Quantum touring boot. Light weight plus solid downhill performance – those are the features of the 2021/22 models. The Rise Beyond 96 touring ski is intended to set new standards – specifically for downhill-oriented all-round touring skiers. Effortless, power-saving turns and improved snow-change resistance should be possible in forest sections and adverse terrain – the 3D Radius Sidecut technology makes sure of that. Good floatation in deep snow is provided by the 96 mm underfoot width. The simultaneously reduced weight facilitates the ascent in any terrain.
Experience with the weight
The ski leaves a lasting impression on Martin in terms of weight. Weighing only 50 grams more than Martin's 88 touring ski, it still comes with 8 millimetres more underfoot width. The weight isn´t even noticeable on the ascent.
Experience in difficult conditions
During the test Martin had to struggle with broken crusted and old snow. But lo and behold – the ski was child's play to manoeuvre. Martin speaks of a definite wow effect.
In powder snow it was a dream to ski anyway, says Martin. Floating perfectly and extremely easy to steer – everything that makes a ski bum heart beat faster.
Martin is also enthusiastic in this respect. Easy and precise turns were just as possible as solid pulling through and varying the turn radius.
Experience with mistakes: How forgiving is the ski?
In contrast to his experience with some other skis, Martin didn´t experience a single blunder. Despite the excellent performance, Martin experienced the Völkl Rise Beyond 96 as "sweet-tempered".
Experience with high speed carving
Martin was underway from ideal conditions up to almost icy slopes to wring some fast carving turns out of the ski. The result: particularly smooth running with the ability to turn consistently on the edge like a slope carver. Only when things got extremely fast did the Völkl start to flutter.
Experience with glue & skins
From Martin's experience, the skins have a super adhesion yet could be pulled off very easily. The relatively thin, light skin was very easy to handle. Advantage of the skin clip: you can put it on and take it off from both ends. When pulling off the skin with gloves Martin recommends starting classically from the back, because he could not get under the "rubber flap" with the gloves to grab the skin clip in the front. Should this be further developed and then protrude a little at the front, one could certainly improve handling with gloves. According to Martin, simply pulling off from behind works in any case.
The Marker Alpinist binding brings with it the advantage of a very comfortable switch from walking to skiing position. At the summit you are happy for every adjustment that smoothly slips into place. When you turn the binding head, the stoppers do not snap towards you right away, which is a pleasure. After all, we bet you´ve experienced having your fingers pinched by various other bindings. The stoppers unlock and pop out only when you pull the tab at the back. Changing back to walk mode: turn the head, push in the tab, step in, the stoppers fix themselves and you're done. Absolutely uncomplicated.
These conclusions can be drawn
For Martin, the Völkl Rise Beyond 96 is the ideal all-round ski. Once again, the low weight for this mid-width must be emphasised. The downhill performance of the ski is impeccable in any case, so this ratio is an absolute bonus point that makes the ascent a pleasure. The Marker binding perfectly complements the ski, which is suitable for any terrain and even for serious alpine touring.