Ski: 2016-2017 & 2017-2018 Volkl Confession, 193 cm
Available Lengths: 179, 186, 193 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 192.5 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (193 cm): 2370 & 2387 grams
Stated Dimensions: 144-117-133 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius: 26.5 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 76 mm / 20 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~1 mm
Core: Multi Layer Woodcore, Titanal Band, Carbon Stringer
Base: P-Tex 2100
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.75 cm from center; 85.5 cm from tail
Boots / Bindings: Lange XT 130 LV / Marker Jester
Test Locations: Alyeska Resort & Chugach Mountains, AK
Days Skied: 9
The Confession was new for 16/17, and it is coming back unchanged for 17/18, except for the graphics.
We first heard about the Confession in September of 2015, when we met a Volkl rep in New Zealand who was raving about a new ski he had just been on while heli skiing. He wouldn’t provide many details, but I came away with the impression that it was going to be a directional pow ski with metal in it. I was pretty excited about the prospect and was stoked to see the reports from the 2016 SIA that, indeed, Volkl was going to offer what I hoped would be a damp, powerful ski in a waist width (117 mm) that is pretty versatile for someone skiing at Alyeska and Chugach Powder Guides where we get up to 1000” of maritime snow every year.
On paper, the Confession seemed to bring features of both the Volkl Katana (the ~2012, metal laminate version) and the Shiro, both of which I quite liked. After being disappointed that a pair of Confessions didn’t make our trip to New Zealand this past fall, I was excited to finally get on a pair this winter in Girdwood.
Volkl says about the Confession that it is “as sporty and reliable as it gets. The Titanal Band technology absorbs hard shocks reliably, delivers stability and yet saves on unnecessary weight. Carbon stringer, Multilayer Woodcore and robust sidewalls guarantee extra stability during drops, steep lines and hard turns in the backcountry. A true confession to freeriders.”
We’d summarize the flex pattern of the Confession like this:
Tips: 8 or 7/8
Behind the Heel piece: 8
Tails: 8 or 8/9
As you can see from the rocker pics on page 3, the Confession has a small amount of camber underfoot (~1 mm) with tip rocker and a small amount of tail rocker. When I first saw this, I admit that I was disappointed, since I generally prefer skis of this width that have full rocker, and I have been a big fan of Volkl’s fully-rockered skis like the BMT series, V-werks, 12/13 metal Katana, 100Eight, and the Shiro. That full rocker profile didn’t work as well for me on the Volkl Two for a variety of reasons, but I did enjoy the Volkl Three.
Based on that, I was hoping that the Confession would have a rocker profile somewhere between the Shiro and the Katana. But Volkl opted to go with a rocker-camber-(slight) rocker combination, where the traditional camber underfoot is pretty subtle, and the overall profile reminds me of some of the iterations of the Blizzard Cochise.
I tend to like heavy skis, especially when I’m skiing Alyeska’s steep, open terrain and maritime snow. So I was not disappointed to see how heavy the Confession turned out to be. That said, I’ve found several of Volkl’s recent skis to have a relatively high swing weight relative to the overall weight of the ski (the Two, for example) and it will be interesting to see if the Confession feels cumbersome when I have occasion to throw them around in tight places.
Potential Competitors / Comparisons
Volkl Shiro, 193 cm
In some ways, the Volkl Shiro is the most obvious comparison to the Confession, since the Confession replaces it, and the Shiro will be the ski that I’ll reference most often in my upcoming review. I have always enjoyed the 193 cm Shiro, especially as an inbounds pow ski. I like the idea of a damper, metal construction, but I’ve worried that I’ll miss the full rocker profile of the Shiro. Stay tuned for a direct comparison.
Volkl Katana, 191 cm — (older metal-laminate version)
It seems to me that the Confession has a little bit of the original Katana’s DNA, and it will be interesting to see how it compares to my time on the 12/13 Katana.
The original Bodacious is one of the best skis in this category that I’ve been on, and I was very disappointed when I skied the latest iteration of the Bodacious with its more tapered tip, lighter construction, and increased rocker. (Good news: this latest version of the Bodacious goes away for 17/18, and the original Bodacious is back.) So far, most of my skiing on the Bodacious has been on the 186 cm (13/14) and 185 cm (15/16), and I’ve only had a few runs on the 196 cm model which is the more fair comparison to the 193 cm Confession. I am thrilled that Blizzard is bringing back the original construction Bodacious for 17/18, and hope that a pair of 196’s find their way north sooner than later. If the Shiro is the obvious comparison to the Confession given that it is replaced by the Confession, the Bodacious is probably the most similar ski in this group to the Confession.
Moment Bibby / Blister Pro, 190 cm
The Bibby / Blister Pro has long been a favorite in this width and, despite a lack of metal in the construction, I suspect that many Bibby / Blister Pro types of skiers will be at least curious about the Confession. But really, the better comparison is to the…
The Governor has a more similar shape to the Confession than the Bibby does. But the Governor doesn’t have metal, and it does have more camber. So it’s fair to think of the Confession as a heavier, metal-having Governor.
Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm
Reports of this ski from SIA this past week immediately caught my attention, and I think it could be an excellent competitor in this class of skis.
The Confession feels and looks like it will be a damp, powerful ski in a width that should do well in soft snow. I’ll be putting in quite a few days at Chugach Powder Guides Heli and Snowcat skiing on the Confession, and lots of laps at Alyeska Resort to see how they do in a wide range of snow conditions. I suspect that the ski will do quite well in chop and crud, and I wonder how it will stack up in powder to other skis of this width.
NEXT: On-Snow Performance