2017-2018 Liberty Genome

Paul Forward reviews the Liberty Genome for BlisterSki: 2017-2018 Liberty Skis Genome, 187 cm

Available Lengths: 181, 187, 194 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.2 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2350 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2417 & 2469 grams

Stated Dimensions: 170-141-157 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 169.5-140-156.5 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 23 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 79 mm / 54 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Bamboo / Poplar + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered P-Tex

Factory Recommended (“Standard”) Mount Point:

  • 7 cm behind Liberty’s “Center” mark; 81.5 cm from tail
  • -10.6 cm from Blister’s measured “true” center; 81.5 cm from tail

Intro

These days, it seems like more and more companies are aiming making their powder skis more moderate — narrowing the waists down, mellowing out the rocker profiles, and lightening them up to make them easier to use when conditions aren’t all-time.

While these kinds of skis certainly make a lot of sense for most people, sometimes it’s refreshing to see a company go the opposite direction, and make a ski specifically for floating in really deep pow. This year, Liberty introduced their redesigned Genome, and at 140 mm underfoot, it looks like it should be a pretty ideal tool for bottomless snow.

Here’s what Liberty says about the Genome, which will also be coming back unchanged for 18/19:

“DON’T FEAR THE GIRTH. The Genome is surprisingly nimble, due to tip and tail Bomb Rocker and lightweight construction. You can float, pivot, and romp deep snow, but can lay down tracks on harder stuff because of the unique camber profile. The Genome will make you a believer.”

So, while Liberty is claiming a bit of versatility, we’re taking those claims with a large grain of salt given the ski’s massive dimensions.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Genome actually strays away from the shaping techniques we normally see for dedicated pow skis, namely, a lot of taper and a ton of rocker. While the Genome certainly has plenty of tip rocker, it’s tail rocker line isn’t all that deep (it looks more like a big twin tip).

What’s also interesting is the addition of camber underfoot — we wouldn’t normally expect this from such an enormous ski, but considering that we don’t know of any skis this wide with this sort of rocker-camber-rocker profile, we’re interested to see if it really does help the Genome handle firmer conditions (though we’re still very skeptical of Liberty’s claim that it can “lay down tracks on the harder stuff”). We’re also curious to see if that camber affects the surfy-ness / maneuverability of the Genome compared to similarly large, but fully rockered skis. Check out our tip-to-tail rocker profile specs for a few notable skis below:

Liberty Genome, 187 cm: 79 mm / ~3 mm / 54 mm

DPS Spoon, 190 cm: 96 mm / 0 mm / 40 mm
DPS Lotus 138 Spoon, 192 cm: 105 mm / 0 mm / 42 mm

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d sum up the flex pattern of the Genome:

Tips: 6-6.5
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
Tails: 7-6.5

It isn’t a burly charger, but it’s not a complete noodle either. The Genome has a pretty round flex pattern, though the tails do soften up pretty quickly — it doesn’t feel like a hinge point (it is a smooth transition) but it feels like the ski goes straight from “9” to “7” between the heel piece and the tail. The Genome’s softer tips / tails and gargantuan width should make for plenty of float.

Dimensions

The Genome’s dimensions definitely stand out on paper. Because the ski has very minimal taper, it’s tips and tails are really wide, and we suspect they’ll feel pretty big when trying to whip the ski around. For reference, here are the dimensions for the few skis that are comparable:

Liberty Genome, 187 cm: 169.5-140-156.5 mm

Volkl Three, 186 cm: 150-135-140 mm (stated dimensions)
Praxis Powderboards, 190 cm: 134-138-127 mm (stated dimensions)
DPS Lotus 138 Spoon, 192 cm: 147-138-143 mm
DPS Spoon, 190 cm: 159-148-150 mm

Sidecut Radius

Most of the similarly fat pow skis out there either use full reverse sidecut, or extremely long sidecut radii (e.g. the Volkl Three’s stated 50.9 m sidecut radius for the 186 cm). However, the Genome again bucks the trend here by using a relatively short sidecut radius of 23 meters for the 187 cm version. So, we’re interested to see how this shorter sidecut radius affects the Genome’s stability at speed, and its preference for small vs. large turns.

Weight

The Genome doesn’t employ an ultralight carbon construction like DPS’ super fat skis, so it’s not very surprising that it’s a pretty heavy ski. This, combined with the not-very-tapered tips and tails and the more moderate rocker profile (at least compared to the Spoon and Lotus 138), make us curious about how maneuverable the Genome will feel, especially in tight spots.

Liberty Genome, 187 cm: 2417 & 2469 grams

DPS Spoon, 190 cm: 2093 & 2115 grams
Praxis Powderboards, 190 cm: 2268 grams (stated weight)
DPS Lotus 138 Spoon, 192 cm: 2285 grams (stated weight)
Volkl Three, 186 cm: 2508 grams (stated weight)

Comparisons

The Genome is currently up in Alaska, where Blister reviewer Paul Forward will be putting time on it and comparing it to a bunch of different pow skis, from deep-snow specialists like the DPS Spoon and Lotus 138, to the more moderate, narrower options that make up most of the market today.

Bottom Line (For Now)

If you are looking for maximum flotation, the Liberty Genome looks like a pretty safe bet. Its massive dimensions and softer tips / tails seem like they should offer plenty of float for the deepest snow, and it’s unique shape and rocker profile (at least compared to other 135+ mm underfoot skis) look like they could potentially offer a bit more versatility than the other super fat pow skis. We have the Genome in Alaska right now, and should be getting it into some deep snow very soon.

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

5 Comments

  1. Evan February 3, 2018 Reply

    I’ve got the previous generation of genomes. They’re stupid fun. I almost sold them last year, but then I took them out on a groomer day for giggles and grins. That’s exactly what I got, and I felt bad for even contemplating selling them. I can’t wait to read your full review!

  2. Blister Member
    Matt February 3, 2018 Reply

    Superfats aren’t just for “bottomless” blower: with the super-warm winters we’ve been having since 2010, my 132mm Bubbas have been coming out more & more often when pow-day “blessing” is < a half-foot of sticky-icky Sierra cement. I thought I was buying an "aspirational" BC/Japow ski, but for coastal skiers, they're the ticket to fresh legs & more fun even when mother nature paints the mountain in gloppy bummersauce.
    Remember campers, you don't want a paring knife to spread peanut butter!

  3. Blister Member
    Tom February 3, 2018 Reply

    More width equals more planing on sub-extreme pitches in heavy PNW snow equals more FUN!

    Looking forward to the full review.

  4. swissiphic February 4, 2018 Reply

    Love to try a pair. Rockin’ my Volkl Kuros on more days than not even for mostly soft cord groomer days here at Shames Mountain. Did an a/b comparison of the kuros vs. skinny armada declivities in thin rain eggshell crust over 45cms of loose facets beneath. Kuros = centered, easy, floaty, not deflecty, pivoty turns. Declivities = tips sunk beneath crust and getting stuck…over and over again. Great skis but just an example of certain conditions where fatter = way mo betta.

  5. Lukas Frey February 5, 2018 Reply

    I have a pair of previous genomes too. the most fun ski I have in my stable! Even in tighter spaces the 194 cm Genome feels very managable (compared to my original 196 bodacious). In untracked soft snow and open spaces however is where it really shines. Just assume a centered stance and let the fun begin!
    The only real drawback in my opinion is on hard transitions. The huge waist gives a large lever, which makes your legs burn if you have to keep the ski on one edge over a longer period of time.
    I’m looking forward to you opinion!

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