The Volkl V-Werks BMT 109 Skis are a true quiver of one ski. Light enough to slay the skin track but versatile enough to go from the backcountry to the resort. Slaying deep powder, hard pack groomers and everything in between. For this, the Volkl V-Werk BMT 109’s are awarded our prestigious Gear of the Year Award.
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
The Volkl V-Werks line of skis is one of my all-time favourites. The love affair started with the Volkl V-Werk Katana Skis that I reviewed last season and has now grown to include the Volkl V-Werks BMT 109 Ski which I’ll talk about today.
BMT stands for ‘Big Mountain Touring’, an apt acronym for this ski. This is a full rocker ski. The design and technology, naturally, comes from the V-Works Katana ski. The BMT line is slightly narrower and lighter than the V-Werk Katana, in order to provide a more dedicated touring capability while not sacrificing anything on the down. The BMT 109 is a true mix of freeride and touring, hence the name. It has more than enough width for backcountry pow, and one of the lowest weight to surface area ratios making them easy to haul up the skin track. Their full rocker design makes them easily float in pow and handle well in tougher variable conditions while still being nimble on hard pack and groomers. If 109mm underfoot is too much for you the BMT’s also come in a 94mm width (the BMT 94’s). And if you’re a chubby chaser there’s also the BMT 122.
With a full carbon construction and lightweight multi-layer wood core the BMT 109 ski is one of the lightest we’ve tested. A poplar wood core is used in the tips and tails with a denser ash wood used underfoot for a secure binding mount platform. (Volkl recommends only Marker bindings be mounted on these skis but I’ve been using the G3 Ion 12’s to save weight and have not experienced any issues). The Multi-Layer Wood Core owes its lightweight characteristic to its milled out channels, providing additional weight saving.
The full rocker coupled with an early taper side-cut, provide a true big mountain experience. It’s a smooth, gradual bend from tip to tail, with matching side-cut and a symmetrical flex pattern. You get maximum maneuverability in soft snow with hard charging, and an edge that holds lines on groomers. The flex and side-cut of the full rocker design provides full edge contact, helping define your turns, while the tapered tip & tail help with turn initiation and finish.
Volkl’s 3D Ridge Technology is the centrepiece of their lightweight ski throughout the V-Werks line up and the new VTA series. The principle design feature is a raised centre ridge with incredibly minimal ski thickness at the edges. This reduces the inertia around the centre of the ski and enhances overall agility.
Ability - Advanced, Expert
Conditions- 20% Groomed, 80% Powder
Core - Multi Layer Wood Core light
Construction - V-Werks, 3D RIDGE, full carbon jacket with multi-layer poplar and ash wood. Tapered Shape and Skin Pin integration for climbing skins
Rocker - Full Rocker
Base - P-Tex 4500
Even coverd in snow the Volkl V-Werks BMT 109 Skis are simply beautiful.
Tail rocker is evident as is the tip rocker above.
The BMT 109's are fat all over (134-109-119mm) but still ultra thin and light.
The Skin Pin system is an innovative approach to attaching climbing skins.
The side profile shows the subtle full rocker.
The full (tip to tail) rocker is subtle but evident in the two photos below.
Volkl's 3-D Ridge technology is one of the things that makes these skis so light and responsive.
The premise of the Volkl V-Werks BMT 109 Ski is simple: less weight means better performance. In the past, I have always looked for the lightest, fattest ski on the market to help make my ski touring as easy as possible by saving weight. After all, they say a pound on the foot is worth 10 on the back. With a lighter ski, however, I am always sorely disappointed as the lack of mass and bulk prevents me from powering through more technical or challenging conditions. Volkl has solved this riddle by using a full carbon envelope, giving the ski an incredibly thin profile while still performing like a much heavier ski.
I’ve skied the Volkl V-Werks BMT 109’s for over a year now in all sorts of incredible and not so incredible conditions, from knee-deep pow right down to no-fall-zone, re-frozen elephant snot. Not only do the BMT 109’s float in pow and eat up variable conditions, they are also super fun to lay over on groomers. The BMT 109’s allow for a tighter and quicker turn than the 26.5 radius would dictate. This is mostly credited to their full rocker design, but also to their huge, somewhat forgiving sweet spot. Smooth, easy turn initiation is also one of the many great attributes of the BMT’s long, low continuous rocker shape.
For a ski with such a thin profile, you’d think the flex would be all over the map. However, it’s pretty damp for a carbon ski and the flex is relatively even, with the tips being slightly less stiff and the tails slightly stiffer. While this is not the stiffest ski I’ve tested it’s not soft by any stretch of the imagination.
Another feature of the BMT 109’s that often gets overlooked is the Skin Pin system which uses a built-in receiving hole at the tip and a flat notch at the tail to accommodate Volkl’s custom skins. They’re a snap to use as they lock into place, and simply won’t come out. This does, however, limit your ability to remove your skins while your skis are still on. But on the plus side, it provides an easy way to make a ski toboggan for backcountry rescue scenarios.
While there are lighter skis on the market, they really won’t deliver nearly the same downhill performance as the Volkl BMT 109’s. Their versatility is unmatched. This ski is at home at the resort, with enough stiffness to handle high speeds, GS turns, and out of bounds in all conditions. This is one of the very few true quiver, killer skis.
Price: $1199 CAN
Lengths: 166, 176, 186cm
Turn Radius: 26.5 (186 length)
Weight: 1740g / 3.8lb (per ski 186 length)
|Powder Performance 2/2
Groomer Performance 2/2
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