REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
2012-2013 Liberty Helix 176cm
2012-2013 Liberty Helix
135-105-122mm, 176cm R=24m
Click image for larger version
281 Metcalf Road, #208
Avon, CO 81620
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9 for non hard-charging skiing, 7 for hard-charging since it is somewhat soft
[Warning: Hardpack review only...no 3D snow was available for this test...so it is incomplete.]
The Liberty Helix is light, snappy, responsive and packs a surprisingly grippy carving power on hard surfaces without being nervous. A solid, reliable, really fun feeling underfoot. A hugely popular best-selling model for a good reason. A standard by which many other skis in its category should be judged.
Technical Ski Data:
Vertical laminate bamboo core, quadraxial fiberglass, PTex2000 bases, Rockwell 48 edges, UHMW sidewalls at 78 degree angle. Low-profile tip rocker, camber underfoot..
Superb fit and finish with Really nice rebound feel and response with hand flexing. Torsionally impressive, snappy feel, really "Green-Theme" graphics, fresh look. Nice light weight.
This initial report is the result of two runs on hardpack, ice, frozen granular and hardpack chalky groomer surfaces at a multi-day demo event in Vermont. Terrain was intermediate-level only, so this initial review should be taken with a couple grains of salt. More reports as conditions change. I'm hoping to get back out on this ski as soon as three-dimensional snow appears to give it a fair test in its real design element.
The Liberty Helix has a reputation as one of the most universally liked, most popular 105mm class skis out there for several seasons in a row. I tried to ignore this and jumped on the 2012-2013 model with a critical attitude, ready to find its weak spots, especially on the firm hardpack at the demo days in Vermont. I immediately took it across the big patch of boilerplate I found as a standardized "let's see how these skis handle bulletproof surface" during my reviews of skis at the event. To my amazement, the Helix carved into the boilerplate (you could not get your poles to make a mark in it) and executed a directional change on it with perfect grip. No slip, no slide, no chatter, no muss, no fuss..just like a frontside carver (and better than some narrow waisted skis I tested at the show!). I was stunned and went on the hunt for more hard surfaces...same story: precise grip and control in long turns, short turns, slow speeds, higher speeds...you name it. "OK" I said...that's that...the Helix is one of the most hardpack-capable 100mm+ waisted skis I have ever tested. Cool.
As I explored other surfaces and pitches at various speeds, the Helix immediately became a partner...fun, quick, responsive and had a great communication underfoot. The bamboo core definitely has a fun property to it. Similar in feedback underfoot to the DPS RP112 hybrid, with a different shape. I kept wanting to find deep snow to play with, or crud to cut into, but with only hardpack, the ski was still fun, fun, fun, and that's what it's all about.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
Your best dog companion in his/her prime, always ready to go anywhere and do anything, guarateed to always be fun, time and time again.
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Nothing (but I have not tried it in anything but hardpack)
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
This is probably one of the classic and best-loved freeride 100-110mm (+-) waisted skis in existence. I have never heard anyone say they did not like it. I did not try it in soft snow, so I can't comment on its behavior in its intended element. Search the internet ski forums and read peoples posts about it. I would have this ski as one of the first choices in my quiver, no questions asked.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
You won't be disappointed if you understand it's not for hard-charging pros, but intended for the majority of enthusiastic skiers out there.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:
5' 11", 180 lbs. 52 year-old expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Loves powder when it's not tracked out. Trees and odd terrain angles are fun.
(Sorry..no other photos...images were corrupted on the chip.)
This ski model from liberty is great although it's bamboo core is quite torsionally stiff making it feels like you don't ski with a lightweight ski but they are good to use for crusty snow.
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