The RTM (Ride The Mountain) series from Volkl has gotten a revamp for the 2015/2016 season. This includes a return to a cambered ski, a new UVO system, 3D ridge core, and finally a system binding (Check out the video for more details). I was actually a huge fan of last year’s RTM, but was excited to see the changes would alter this skis performance. I had the chance to test out the Volkl RTM 84 UVO for several days, and it’s a fantastic frontside oriented all-mountain ski that I feel ex-racer types will love.
2016 Volkl RTM 84 UVO Video Review
Conditions: Groomers, Hard Pack, Soft Chop
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: WideRide XL 14.0 D
On the Snow Feel: One of the big chances for the 2016 Volkl RTM 84 UVO is the return to a cambered ski instead of full rocker. There is still a bit of rocker in the tip and tail for versatility, but the new Volkl RTM 84 UVO has a lot more traditional camber profile than last season. I must admit that I was actually a huge fan of the full rocker profile. It was actually surprisingly good on piste, while making the ski more maneuverable, and easier to turn. However, I feel that many ex-racer types or expert carvers will like that Volkl went back to a more traditional shape. The 2016 Volkl RTM 84 UVO feels very stable and locked in through the turn. This provides a lot more power and edge hold. So yes the new Volkl RTM 84 UVO is less playful than last year, but it’s also a bit more powerful.
Powder: The Volkl RTM 84 UVO is a frontside oriented all-mountain ski. This isn’t going to be great in deep snow, but Volkl did keep the rocker in tip and tail for a little better float and maneuverability. A little soft snow on groomer isn’t going to slow you down, as long as it’s not very deep. Then again, if it’s deep you’re probably not going to be carving up the frontside of the mountain.
Turn Initiation and Carving: I loved last year’s RTM series because it was so easy to get the ski on edge. The full rocker profile made transitioning from edge to edge so smooth and surprisingly forgiving. It was also really quick and nimble, and easy to release from turns on a dime. The most impressive part was how well it ripped groomers with that full rocker profile. I was a little surprised that Volkl went back to a slightly more traditional profile with camber underfoot, but I think it’s a change that some people will appreciate. The Volkl RTM 84 UVO is fantastic on the groomers, but I feel it takes more work to get it on edge than last years’ model. I found I really had to stay on top of my game and really drive the ski to get it to turn. It’s much less forgiving, but you are rewarded for your effort. With camber underfoot, the ski feels much more powerful, and rebound energy is fantastic. It wasn’t quite as quick from edge to edge, but it was still very nimble. The tip and tail rocker help to keep it from feeling catchy, but it felt very locked in when on edge. The tail was stiff enough to provide power and acceleration out of every turn, but it’s upturned enough to make it easier to release from your turn when needed. It has a moderate turn radius (17.9 @ 177), but it was easy to accelerate out of every turn. I personally liked the full rocker profile better. I think it was a bit friendlier for less advanced skiers, but expert skiers will love the change back to camber underfoot. The Volkl RTM 84 UVO is a great carving ski that will reward good skiing. It’s stable, powerful, and really fun to ski.
Speed: The Volkl RTM 84 UVO felt really damp and stable at speed. The 3D ridge helps to provide a great deal of stability. A stiff flex and beefy construction help to smooth out the ride, while the UVO helps to dampen any negative vibrations. The result is a very smooth and predictable ride at speed.
Uneven Terrain: Although frontside oriented, the Volkl RTM 84 UVO is versatile enough to take you off piste from time to time. It has a decent amount of rocker in the tip and tail and a stiff construction that helps to eat up variable terrain. It cuts through soft chop fairly easily (so long as it wasn’t very deep). It’s not the most playful or forgiving ski, so it was a bit more of a challenge when things firmed up. It really performed best with just a few inches of soft snow on top of groomed runs. In this type of terrain the Volkl RTM 84 UVO cuts through like a knife. The UVO keeps it very quiet, while the 3D ridge and stiff construction help to keep the ski smooth and stable. It was a great ski for roughed up groomers, but wouldn’t my go-to ski for lots of off piste skiing.
Edge Hold: The Volkl RTM 84 UVO holds really well in firm hard pack snow. The 3D ridge helps to enhance pressure distribution and along with camber underfoot helps to increase edge hold. For east coasters that always ski ice, I’d probably recommend a slightly smaller waist (RTM 81, 78). West coast carvers will find it more than enough for the type of snow we typically see.
Flex: The Volkl RTM 84 UVO is a stiff ski that definitely caters to advanced and expert skiers. It’s not very forgiving, but provides a lot of power and stability over a variety of terrain.
The Volkl RTM 84 UVO is a fantastic frontside oriented all-mountain ski for advanced and expert skiers. It’s happiest on piste, but has the versatility to take you off piste from time to time. It does require a good amount of effort to ski, but it will reward those with good technique. As long as you stay on your game, you’ll be treated to a powerful, energetic, and stable ride. It’s a ski that likes speed, and can handle it when the groomers start to get a little roughed up. This is not a ski for the weak, but will reward those good enough to tame it.