2008-2009 Liberty Helix
187 cm length
I had the opportunity to ski these, along with the slightly wider Double Helix, two weekends ago at Alta and Snowbird. Both days brought knee deep snow on top of day old storms and there was plenty of snow to go around. I skied them in steep tree runs and rocky chutes at Snowbird on Saturday then in pristine Alta powder on Sunday. Duty-bound and because I still like to carve even though I ski the Wasatch, I also ran them on the groomers a bit. These were great testing conditions for both skis. I will try to restrict this review to the Helix and only mention the Double Helix when a direct comparison is relevant.
Right out of the box, the fit and finish of this ski seemed to be of the highest quality. This ski was pressed clean and tight. I personally really like the graphics, they are attractive and subtle. I received several unsolicited positive opinions about the look of the ski in the Snowbird tram and on the lifts at Alta. Obviously, appearance is purely subjective, so take a look at the pictures below and decide for yourself.
I'll start with ski pictures and then follow up with my review below.
Full top view:
Tip of ski, top view:
Tip of ski, side view:
Tail of ski, top view:
Tail of ski, side view:
FInally, for comparison, here is a shot of the Helix and Double Helix next to each other. The Helix is a big (105mm waist) ski, the Double Helix is a really big ski:
The most obvious comparison for the Helix is the Volkl Gotama. Many companies are making skis with Gotama-like dimensions and there is a reason; they work great across a wide range of snow conditions, floating in the deep and still carving on the groomed. The helix is no exception, this would make a great one ski quiver in the Wasatch and would only disappoint in the middle of a long dry spell. The Helix is overall quite a bit more damp than the Gotama. Nothing I encountered during my test seemed to unsettle the Helix, it had the cool composure of a nice wood core ski.
This ski doesn't take a lot of force to push around but you can push on it hard and it responds well. Though it is plenty stiff to support my 200+ pounds, the long shovel on the tip keeps it riding high in the deep snow. Get the Helix on a groomer and it has surprisingly good edge grip. I didn't encounter any ice but I did lay the Helix over hard at full speed and it held a firm line. I found myself making slightly longer turns than usual without realizing it, the Helix really likes to move, even through the powder. At slower speed in the powder, if pushed it will punch tight turns and in tight, technical terrain it will come around quick when needed.
Overall the Helix is a versatile solid performing ski. It is ideal for someone looking for a do-anything charger that will be used in fresh and mixed snow. The Helix loves fresh snow but it isn't scared of the groomers and can certainly hold its' own when carving. The damp feeling of the ski is a real treat; when things get hectic, it just keeps on tracking down the mountain. This is a solid performing ski that is fun in in a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions.
Skiing the Helix back-to-back with the Double Helix really illuminated the relative merits of both skis. Be sure to take a look at my review of the Double Helix, coming shortly.
I'd like to thank Chris at Liberty for getting the skis to me on short notice and being super helpful about setting up the test. If my interactions with him are any indication these guys do a great job on customer service.