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2014-2015 Völkl Bridge, 179cm

Review of the Vokl Bridge, Blister Gear Review

14/15 Volkl Bridge

Ski: 2014-2015 Völkl Bridge, 179cm

Dimensions (mm): 128-95-115

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS/ Marker Jester (DIN at 9)

Mount Location: 3 cm forward of factory recommended

Test Location: Las Leñas

Days Skied: 1

(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Bridge, which is unchanged for 13/14, and 14/15, except for the graphics.)

First Impressions: Sunday 8.14.2011

Having spent the better part of the weekend lapping the Marte lift on Völkl’s big mountain board, the Katana (and liking it—read my Katana review here), I was eager to see what Volkl’s all-mountain ski, the Bridge, could do.

With the sun shining and the Vulcano lift spinning, we headed over to Pala Vulcano for our first run. A long, wide open, mellow pitch, you can find soft snow on Pala on most any day. With 2-4” of snowfall two nights prior, we found 2-4” of nice, rippable windblown chalk with just the slightest amount of firmer chop underneath.

Let me pause for a moment and say a thing or two about the camber profile of the Bridge. It’s a fully rockered ski that follows the same versatile design Völkl uses on the Katana (flat underfoot with a very gradual full rocker that runs from tip to tail). The ski we’re testing is a 179. I’m 6’3” and prefer a longer ski, so a 179 is on the short side to start. Plus, given the Bridge’s profile, its effective edge is shorter than the skis overall length.

Nonetheless, the way this ski handled the 3+ inches of soft snow on Pala really took me by surprise. Very nimble and quick to cut and smear across the hill, the Bridge has just enough rocker to be quite capable in soft snow, but doesn’t feel particularly squirrelly. I experienced the same predictable and controlled feeling through each turn on the Bridge that made the Katana so much fun in powder. The Bridge is incredibly easy to ski. I’m not surprised that it is one of the most popular models in Völkl’s lineup.

On multiple runs down Pala, turns were kept moderately tight and deliberate, I wasn’t making huge arching rails or charging through chop. For a light ski with a 95mm waist, the Bridge felt surprisingly unfazed as I hit the occasional hard chunk of wind affected snow. Throughout the day, I didn’t notice that the skis’ tails felt particularly soft or stiff. Seemingly built for predictability and intuitiveness, the ski’s flex profile is very manageable, with a consistent, moderate feel along the entire running length of the ski.

Will Brown, Sombrero, Las Leñas.

Eager to let things run, we headed for some groomer laps under Vulcano. No real surprises from the Bridge here. The ski is quick edge to edge, engages turns well, and given its very gradual early rise profile, I experienced no unsettling chatter from the tips or tails while on edge. Due to a lack of camber, the Bridge isn’t very snappy coming out of a turn, but it does come across the hill nicely with a smooth, complete arc. A ski with the exact same dimensions and length, but with traditional camber, may feel a little more stable and locked in during an aggressive carve.

To be clear, the Bridge’s edged stability is totally acceptable. I will admit to being very demanding when it comes to a ski’s carving/edge performance (due to a racing background, I suppose). The truth is, making a ski that can both rail with race-like energy and snap and be playful and easy to maneuver in soft snow is nearly impossible. I think Völkl has found the best possible balance between groomed and soft/variable performance with this ski.

As I’ve said, I have not pushed this ski hard through heavy chop or ridden it in fresh snow over 4”, but as far as I can tell, if you’re considering the Bridge as a one-ski-quiver I think it will do as well in soft snow as any 95 underfoot ski out there.

I feel certain that any intermediate to advanced skier who doesn’t always look to nuke though chop will be thrilled with this ski’s performance (both in its carving abilities on groomers and predictability and playfulness in softer conditions). This has been my experience on the 185 Rossignol Scimitar, a practically identical ski. If you think you’re interested in the Bridge, you might want to consider the Scimitar.

I have not ridden the Bridge in the park or in bumps, but based on my experience on the Scimitar, I feel that it should do well in those areas too. For those more relaxed, jibby groomer days with friends, laps in the park, or for riding 1-4” of fresh when all-out raging isn’t the #1 priority, the Bridge or Scimitar are both great choices.

You can now read John Gwynn’s 2nd Look of the Bridge.

7 Comments

  1. Dave August 10, 2012 Reply

    Nice review, I am going to buy a pair but am unsure on length. Tossing up between 187 and 179. I am 5’11” 165lbs, aggressive skier. From what I gather they are not “true” to length and run a bit shorter. This will not be my only ski, I also some 191 ON3P Wrens for the bigger days. Mainly looking for something when the snow is harder, bumps, groomers, and if I just want a day cruising with non skier uni friends. I would usually go 187, but since I will be skiing quite a lot of bumps makes me hesitant. I really need something like a 183…

    Thoughts anyone who is reading?

  2. Roger March 18, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the excellent review. One question on length. I’m 6’2″, 185lbs, 49 yrs old, fairly aggressive advanced/expert east coast skier and spend majority of time in trees and bumps, will follow kids into the park and hit the medium large kickers. I am beginner at switch skiing and landing, but want to keep learning there and so going for twin tip. I’m currently skiing on 2005 Salomon 1080s at 181cm and ready to replace. While I like a good cruising run now and again, I mostly want to hop around in the bumps and glades. My initial thought was to buy 179cm to improve manueverability in tight spots and give up a little stability at speed. I’ve not skied on a rocker but have read that they ski shorter due to less ski on the snow. Given that info and your experience with the Bridge and Rossi Scimtar (another good review), should I go 179cm or move up to 187. Thanks for your opinion.

  3. m December 25, 2014 Reply

    Any thoughts on ntn freeride mount position, I was thinking +3.

    • Author
      Will Brown January 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi m,

      I’m not a tele skier myself, so it’s tough for me to say. But for what it’s worth, the more stable you want the ski to be at speed, the closer I would stick to the recommended mount position. For alpine, at least, at +3, I would imagine the ski would be very quick in bumps and trees, but less stable in variable, cruddy snow. But maybe a more forward mount / more tail behind the binding, means more stability for a tele-er? I’m very sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Best,

      Will

      • m January 8, 2015 Reply

        Thanks for advice. I’ve mounted NTN plate so that first holes are in +3 and last holes are in +6 (recomended). I have only skied +3 yet, but I’ve enjoyed quickness and playfullness and I don’t believe I’ve lost too much stability, but that remains to be seen untill I try other mounting points.
        I ride 187 length and my measures are 190cm and 82kg.

  4. Milan January 25, 2015 Reply

    Nice review, thank you for that. I have a question though. Was that mounting point (+3 forward from boot centre) ok for you ? Wasn´t that too far forward ? I just got 14/15 Volkl Bridge 179 cm with Jester 16 binding and got a bit of a dilemma whether to go for +3 or +2 will do for 60 piste 40 off, bumps and pow from time to time. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    • fly2mike April 14, 2015 Reply

      Hi, I also just ordered some 179 Bridge 2014 / 15 model. I plan to use these for skiing tight trees, icy bumps, mixed crud, etc. I have other bigger skis for powder, and shorter stiffer skis for skiing groomers.
      I am 5’8″ and 165 lbs. I hope you guys can give me some advice on mounting position. Should I go +3 from recommended?
      Thanks!!

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