2017-2018 Liberty Genesis 116

Morgan Sweeney reviews the Liberty Genesis for Blister Gear Review.

Liberty Genesis

Ski: 2017-2018 Liberty Genesis 116, 174 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 158, 166, 174

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 171.5 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 145-116-136

Blister’s Measured Weight: 1840 & 1803 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius (174 cm): 19 meters

Core Construction: Bamboo / Poplar

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~78 mm / ~56 mm

Factory Recommended Line: -9.0 cm from true center; ~76.7 cm from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Lange RS 110 SC / Marker Jester

Days Tested: 3

Test Locations: Steamboat Springs & Winter Park, CO

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Genesis 116, which comes back unchanged for 16/17, and 17/18, except for the graphics.]

Intro

With its exaggerated tip splay, tip and tail rocker, and a 116 mm waist, the Genesis is Liberty’s biggest, most deep-snow oriented women’s ski. Though it’s designed to perform on powder days, Liberty says it’s still versatile enough to hold its own in the all-mountain category as well.

Liberty describes it this way: “The Genesis combines secure mid-section edge grip with playful tip and tail bomb rocker for a surfy yet controlled ride.”

Flex Pattern

The Genesis is stiffest underfoot—I would rate it an 8 or 9 out of 10—which stands in stark contrast to its much softer shovel (4-5). As the tip splay comes together toward boot center, the ski becomes progressively stiffer. The tails (6-7 out of 10) are stiffer than the tips, but are much softer than the middle of the ski. The softer tails give the ski a surfy and playful feel, whereas the firm section underfoot provides stability.

Shape and Rocker Profile

Genesis has what Liberty calls their “Bomb Rocker,” which just means that the ski has a very exaggerated tip and tail rocker. The rocker profile of this ski is somewhat similar to the DPS Yvette 112, with huge tip splay, camber underfoot, and tail rocker. However, the Yvette has a more camber underfoot than the Genesis; the positive camber underfoot is very minimal on the Genesis, providing just enough bite to give it better performance on groomers.

Groomers

As a former ski racer, I can be hyper critical of a ski’s on-piste performance. Liberty doesn’t make any specific claims about the Genesis in groomed conditions, but they do say that “the multi-radius sidecut will bring you back down the groomed stuff confidently.” I’d agree.

The Genesis is not a ski I’d typically take out for early-season groomer laps, but it really holds its own on corduroy—especially given its minimal camber underfoot and 116 mm waist.

With a small dusting of an inch or so of fresh snow (just enough to soften up the conditions), the Genesis was really fun. Though the Genesis can make larger, sweeping turns, it performs best making smaller- to medium-radius turns. It is capable of both carving and smearing turns, depending on the snow.

When the conditions firmed up a bit, I would have been more comfortable arcing turns on the DPS Yvette 112, Moment Bella, or Nordica Santa Ana—all narrower skis with more camber underfoot. But I felt super comfortable taking the Genesis up to speed while making smaller to medium radius turns on consistent, groomed trails. When I pointed the ski straighter down the hill to make larger turns, the ski began to feel unstable, and I found its speed limit. The softer tips of the Genesis began to flop around on the snow at higher speeds. When I shortened my turn radius and took my speed down, I got back into the groove and was able to really work the Genesis.

Trees / Bumps

I loved the way the Genesis performed in trees and bumps. The tails of the Genesis are extremely forgiving, and give the ski a surfy and overall very playful feel. Most of the time in bumps I shifted back and took a neutral stance, allowing the tails to flex and absorb most of the bumps. The Genesis absorbed almost everything. Though I’m typically a bit more of a directional charger, the poppy nature of the Genesis was hard to resist; my ski style became much more playful, and I found myself often searching for small features to pop off.

The Genesis is a great ski to take into the trees and down mogul runs. Due to the ski’s exaggerated tip and tail rocker, it is very quick and responsive—even with such a wide waist. I never felt that the Genesis was too much ski to take into tight areas, and I was able to make my way through the trees with a great deal of confidence.

Heavy Powder / Spring Slush

Having ridden the Genesis in end-of-season conditions, I found myself getting caught in a lot of super heavy, sunbaked pockets of snow. Since the Genesis is optimized for deep powder, it reaches its performance limit when the deep snow gets really dense and heavy. The Genesis isn’t a super damp ski, and since it is only stiff directly underfoot rather than consistently throughout the ski, I wasn’t able to drive the ski through big troughs of snow. I often found that the super rockered tips that were so fun in lighter, softer conditions got tossed around and deflected by the heavy snow. In order to maintain control of the ski, I was forced to slow my speed and take smaller turns. Of course, heavy snow takes a lot of leg power regardless of the ski, but, a damper, stiffer, and (perhaps) less aggressively rockered ski like the Volkl Aura would have been more ideal than the Genesis for powering through such conditions.

Once the sun turned the heavy snow into softer slush, the Genesis regained its surfy feel. The tails didn’t feel as poppy as they did in shallow powder since the slush was more absorptive, but the skis maintained an overall playfulness. I was able to gain more speed and had a blast quick turns through moguls, trees and down steep, open trails. The wide waist provided ample flotation and allowed me to smear the ski from start to finish on every turn.

Bottom Line

The Genesis is a fun and responsive powder-oriented ski that also performs surprisingly well on groomers. The stiffer section underfoot probably biases the ski more toward advanced skiers, but the Genesis’ softer tips and tails makes it approachable to intermediate skiers, too. In short, the Liberty Genesis is a great choice for women who are looking for a very playful and surfy ride in softer conditions.

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

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