2018-2019 Liberty V92

Blister reviews the Liberty VMT 92

Liberty V92

Ski: 2018-2019 Liberty V92, 186 cm

Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.5 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1943 & 1968 grams

Stated Dimensions: 133-92-120 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 133.7-91.9-120

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 38 mm / 14 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm

Core: Bamboo/Poplar + Carbon Stringers + Vertical Metal Layers + Steel Binding Plates + Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.45 cm from center; 82.3 cm from tail

Intro

We don’t tend to pay much (or any) attention to exuberant marketing copy about fancy new technology, since we’re more interested in how products actually perform. But the construction used in Liberty’s brand-new “V” line of skis is worth noting.

With a core assembled from a bamboo / poplar wood core, full-length carbon stringers, steel binding plates, and vertically laminated metal struts, the V series sounds more like it employs the construction materials used in building a house than a ski core.

But instead of providing sanctuary for you and your loved ones, the V skis are supposed to provide a damp and stable ride without the customary weight penalty of more traditional, horizontally laminated metal constructions.

Last season we spent time on all the skis in the V line — the V76, V82, & V92 — and will be weighing in on all three in a while. But in the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the V92 to see what kind of ski Liberty has made.

What Liberty says about the V92:

“If you demand directional stability in a ski that can handle a wider variety of snow conditions, the NEW V92 is your ride. VMT core, slight tip rocker, and full carbon layup create a smooth and powerful ride in firmer conditions, while the wider platform allows enough float to excel in fresh snow.”

While all the V skis have shapes that look like traditional carvers, Liberty is emphasizing that the V92, as the widest ski in the series, should be able to handle more than just groomers. So one of our main questions with the V92 was how well it really works as an all-mountain ski, rather than something you’d only take out on groomers. Liberty also mentions the V92’s smooth and powerful ride, which, based on all the metal and carbon inside, at least seems to make sense.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The V92’s shape looks more similar to a lot of dedicated carving skis than it does to skis that are supposed to perform all over the mountain. The V92 has zero tip taper, and its tails only taper a tiny bit near the very end. That kind of shape usually translates to solid edge hold on firm snow, though we’ve found that “hammerhead” tips like the V92’s can sometimes negatively affect a ski’s performance in grabby snow or in tight spots.

Liberty says all the V skis feature their “Hammer Rocker,” which consists of 10% rocker near the tip, and then traditional camber throughout the rest of the ski. This seems pretty accurate based on the V92’s rocker profile.

The V92 has very shallow tip and tail rocker lines and a lot of effective edge.

But the thing that stands out most about the V92’s rocker profile is its very low tip splay (38 mm). That’s significantly lower than something like the Renoun Z-Line 90 (58 mm tip splay) or the 18/19 Head Monster 88 (53 mm).

So what about Liberty’s claims that the V92 is supposed to perform in fresh snow? Well, that actually gets a lot more interesting when we move to our next section.

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the V92, here’s how we’d characterize its flex pattern:

Tips: 5 / 5.5
Shovels: 5.5 / 6
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 8 or 8.5

The Liberty V92 has very soft tips and shovels. Its tips are actually similarly soft to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD’s, which has one of the softest ski tips we’ve ever flexed.

But also like the Soul 7 HD, the V92 stiffens up significantly once you move past its shovels. In fact, the V92 actually feels quite strong through its midsection and tail.

So the V92’s soft shovels look like they might actually plane pretty well in fresh snow after all. But for a ski that’s 92 mm underfoot, we were more interested in how those shovels would feel while carving on firm snow. (And FWIW, when Jonathan Ellsworth hand flexed the V92, the initial note he wrote was, “Roughly the first 1/3 of the ski is really soft. Like, shockingly soft for a ski with a tail like this. But you should be able to bend the ever living crap out of these shovels and just carve carve carve.”)

Weight

Liberty says the V92’s “full-length vertical metal struts sandwiched between bamboo stringers create a damp and powerful ski without the weight of traditional horizontal metal construction.” So while they are trying to make damp and powerful skis, they’re not trying to make them super heavy.

The V92’s weight is pretty average compared to other skis of similar widths. It’s not as heavy as some traditional metal-laminate skis like the Head Monster 88, and not quite as light as some of the newer all-mountain skis like the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti and Salomon XDR 88.

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1585 & 1586 Head Kore 93, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1790 & 1831 Salomon XDR 88, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1839 & 1842 Black Crows Orb, 178.3 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1864 & 1882 Armada Invictus 89 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1869 & 1894 Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, 184 cm (18/19)
1920 & 1940 Volkl Kendo, 177 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19)
1936 & 1954 Fischer Pro Mtn 86 Ti, 182 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1943 & 1968 Liberty V92, 186 cm (18/19)
1959 & 1985 Renoun Z-Line 90, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1996 & 2048 Head Monster 88, 177 cm (17/18)
1997 & 2001 Blizzard Brahma, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2008 & 2015 Folsom Skis Spar 88, 182 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2062 & 2063 Rossignol Experience 94 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2171 & 2176 Head Monster 88, 184 cm (18/19)

Some Questions

(1) The V92 is very soft through the front third of the ski, then pretty strong through the rest of the ski. So how balanced will the ski feel, how well will it do making both shorter, and longer turns, how big of a top end will the ski have, and how accessible will the V92 be at low speeds?

(2) Liberty says that, by using vertically laminated metal inlays instead of horizontal layers, they can still get a powerful and damp ride with less weight than skis with traditional metal laminates. So does the V92 really provide similar stability compared to heavier skis?

(3) How well does the V92 work off-piste?

Bottom Line (For Now)

While the Liberty V92’s metal-laden construction might suggest its a full-time charger, its flex pattern provides a reason to suspect that the ski may be pretty accessible. Combine that with it’s carver-like shape and wider, all-mountain width, and it’s not immediately obvious where this ski will really shine. Blister members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review, and while we put together our full review let us know in the comments section below anything you’d like us to address.

Flash Review: Liberty V92

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the V92.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

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