The Liberty Origin has been one of our favorite powder skis for the last two seasons, but it was hard to really recommend it as a daily driver given its 116mm waist. I was extremely excited to see Liberty come out with a narrower version of the Origin with the Origin 106. The Liberty Origin 106 could easily become a quiver of one type of ski for skiers all over the west, and definitely my daily driver. The ski is one of the most versatile we have tested, allowing me to tackle any kind of terrain with confidence. It’s not perfect in all conditions, but the blend of playfulness, stability, and energy make it one of the more capable skis in the 105-110 waist widths.
Liberty Origin 106 On-Mountain Video Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Laura
Conditions: Fresh Pow (6-10″), Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack, Trees, Steeps
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Bolle Emperor
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAATTACK 13
Ski Personality: The Origin 106 is an energetic carver, and playful charger that feels at home surfing in soft snow, speeding down groomers, or playing in rough chop.
On the Snow Feel: The Liberty Origin 106 can be playful and surfy while still providing stability and dampness.
Powder: Sure the Liberty Origin is 10mm narrower than it’s big brother the 116, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not at home in soft snow. The 106mm waist still provides a decent amount of float, and with the same bomb rocker profile as its big brother, the 106 certainly planes well enough to keep your tips from diving. Thanks to a big amount of tip and tail rocker we found it quite easy to maneuver in deeper snow. Adding to this is a softer flex in tip and tail. Not only does this give the ski a playful feel, it also helps keep the tips pointing up. At the same time we felt like we had enough stiffness underfoot to push things a bit harder and faster, sharing certain big mountain traits as its bigger brother.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Thanks to a pretty healthy dose of tip and tail rocker, the Liberty Origin feels easy to pivot. The Bomb Rocker is toned down slightly from the Origin 116, but this ski still is able to pivot on a dime. Now, for us the 187cm did take a bit more work, so if you want a ski that’s even easier to turn you could size down to the 182cm. As easy as this ski is to pivot, it doesn’t necessarily feel washy. Their is still enough camber underfoot to provide stability. To get it up on edge you do need a little bit of speed, but that’s when it really comes to life. Tipping it on edge at speed, the Origin 106 is pretty quick to respond, and with the softer tip and tail we found it pretty easy to bend into the turn. At the same time the Origin 106 has plenty of stiffness underfoot to provide some stability and power. The poplar and carbon in the core keep the Origin 106 surprisingly lively and energetic. We we’re quite surprised at how fun this was on groomed terrain. It’s also surprisingly quick for a 106 underfoot, and yet doesn’t sacrifice edge hold, power, or stability at speed. I’d be very interested to see how much more maneuverable and playful the 182 is over the 187cm, but even the 187 was surprisingly easy to ski. It’s not quite as loose or surfy as the Origin (116), but definitely seems a bit more lively and energetic.
Speed: The Liberty Origin 106 has a playful flex in tip and tail, but it’s certainly not afraid to go fast. Thankfully Liberty gave the 106 a stiff midsection and increased torsional rigidity that provides plenty of stability when on edge. I was a little afraid that the softer tip and would chatter, but it holds up surprisingly well given its flex pattern. I wouldn’t necessarily place the Origin 106 in the charger category (think Moment Belafonte), but it’s certainly a ski that is fun and capable at speed.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Liberty Origin 106 has a medium flex tip and tail and really stiff midsection (specifically under boot). The tips want to ride over the chopped up terrain rather than through, but do a nice job of absorbing the terrain, and we never had any issues with being deflected. The stiff midsection helps to keep the ride smooth, and provides enough power underfoot when you do open it up in rough terrain. The medium flex in tip and tail keep things playful, and it was quite fun to bounce around in rough terrain.
Edge Hold: The Liberty Origin 106 has a significant amount of rocker in tip and tail, but it doesn’t seem to sacrifice a lot in the way of edge hold or stability. The 106 has a stiff midsection and lots of torsional rigidity, helping to retain the edge hold found in the Origin 96. It’s still a bit more soft-snow oriented than the 96, but even as the snow firms up, the 106 has decent edge hold.
Bumps: The Liberty Origin 106 has a playful and maneuverable rocker profile and flex pattern, but we did find that the 187cm does take some work for us to swing around. For me, I’d personally opt for the shorter 182cm origin 106 if I was planning on skiing a lot of bumps, but if you’re comfortable going a bit faster in bumps the 187 can be quick enough to have some fun.
Bottom Line: The Liberty Origin 106 is versatile enough to be a daily driver anywhere in the west. It’s not perfect in every condition, but it;s so well rounded that you can pretty much ski it anywhere. Best of all, it caters to a ride range of styles from playful, to charger, without leaning too much one way or the other. We found it to be maneuverable, playful, energetic, lively, stable, and damp. If you’re the type of skier that wants to slow it down and play in softer snow, or take on roughed up terrain, the Origin 106 can handle it. It definitely requires a bit more work at slow speed, but strong skiers will have no problem working it in tight spaces. At the same time, skiers that want to straighten things out and speed down groomers, steeps, or wide open spaces will appreciate the stability and dampness. This is one of the most versatile skis in an already versatile waist width.