Gear Reviews

2023 Volkl Blaze 106 Review

Reviewers: Jonathan, Matt, Jordan

Meet Volkl’s newest take on lightweight freeride skis: the Blaze.

Note: the 2022-2023 and 2021-2022 Volkl Blaze 106, 94, plus the corresponding women’s models feature updated art, but they are the same skis structurally as the original versions (2020-2021). This review was first published in November 2020.

The category of lightweight freeride skis has exploded over the past few seasons. With more and more skiers preferring versatility to bulk, brands have tinkered with their constructions in pursuit of the perfect blend of materials for lightweight yet strong skiing. The resulting products, along with innovations in boots and bindings, give skiers the chance to ski the resort and the backcountry all with one ski setup. New for the 2020-2021 season, Volkl brings a brand new model to the table with this type of versatility in mind: the Blaze.

2022 volkl blaze skis
The 2021-2022 Volkl Blaze series gets a new splash of color, but no structural changes. Left to right: Blaze 106 W, Blaze 106, Blaze 94, Blaze 94 W.

Field Notes

Replacing Volkl’s 90Eight and 100Eight skis, the Blaze series features models at 106mm and 94mm underfoot on both the men’s and women’s sides. The skis share the same construction, which our Volkl rep summarized as: “lightweight woodcore skis with Volkl backbone.” We were immediately intrigued.

The Blaze 106 weighs in at 3,544 grams for the pair in the 186 cm size. So that’s as heavy as the collection gets. That ultra-versatile weight gives skiers a bevvy of options, from skiing the Blaze as purely a resort ski with an alpine to mounting it up with a full-on tech touring binding and exclusively earning turns. Volkl’s 3D radius sidecut, which appears in popular models like the Mantra 102 and Kendo 88, also shapes the Blaze. Titanal power plates, carbon stringers, and rubber inserts in the tips and tails add strength and damping.

Jonathan: “I was able to get out to Eldora on the Blaze 106 the day after the mountain received a few inches of fresh snow. I found just about every snow condition that I see during the season (except super deep powder, sadly). I skied the Blaze 106 in the 179cm length (a little shorter than I usually prefer to ski) and had a blast. My first reaction getting off the chairlift and making the first turn was total surprise at how light they felt underfoot. I knew they were supposed to lightweight skis, but I was still caught off guard at how light they actually were.”

volkl blaze 106 review
Jonathan tested the original Volkl Blaze 106 here in Colorado at Eldora.

Shop for the Volkl Blaze 106


With fairly deep rocker lines in the tips and tails, the Blaze profiles as a ski that loves soft snow. But as soon as you lay it on edge down a groomers, you remember you’re skiing a Volkl. Each of our testers was surprised at how well it carved. It’s no Mantra M5 in this department—it’s 450 grams lighter—but most skiers will likely be satisfied blazing down corduroy on these skis. And if you’re more of a relaxed skier who likes to carve some turns and slide others, you’ll be even more at home on the Blaze.

Jordan: “This is a well-rounded ski, and I thought it carved really well given how light it is.”

Jonathan: “For all the playfulness the Blaze had in the trees and soft snow, it was totally ready to rip when I wanted to open it up on groomers off the Corona lift. It’s not a speed rocket like the M5, but has plenty of ‘go’ for those of us who aren’t all gas, all the time. It bit into hardpack decently well for a lightweight, 106mm-waisted ski, but definitely preferred a little bit of soft snow over the icy patches I would occasionally come across.”

Bumps and Trees

For lots of skiers, saving weight in bumps and trees often means greater control—short for feeling less like you’re going to eat wood or slam into a mogul. Of course, you want to be careful with that line of thought. Lightweight skis also tend to get bucked easier. Finding the happy medium is key.

Jonathan: “Ducking into the trees, the Blaze 106 felt easy to maneuver and quick for its 106mm waist. That same 106mm waist gave me plenty of float in the stashes of six-inch powder I was able to find. The skis provided me with a super fun, surfy feel and made this intermediate skier feel quick in the trees.”

Powder and Mixed Snow

We mentioned that the Blaze brings a healthy dose of rocker. That translates to smooth and easy powder skiing, even with the skis’ modest taper. They’re not motor boats, but they track smoothly and ski predictably in most snow conditions.

Jonathan: “The only place I felt like the Blaze didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped was in chopped up snow and mixed bumps (some soft snow, icy tops). It felt like it got tossed around a bit and just wasn’t as stable in those places (bumping up in size may have helped with this).”


Aggressive and/or bigger skiers who want a strong all-mountain ski for lift-accessed skiing will likely be more at home on Volkl’s other options, like the Kendo 88 or the Mantra M5. The Blaze skis groomers well for its weight, construction, and profile, but it’s still more of an off-piste ski than a true all-mountain ski. A couple of our testers found it squirrelly on hard snow.

Bottom Line

Overall, Powder7 staffers agree that the Blaze is a super-fun ski that feels comfortable most places and in most conditions. It is light enough to be a quiver-of-one for resort/backcountry split-timers.

Matt: “For so many skiers who are getting into touring and want one ski to do everything in-bounds and out, the Blaze is a great choice.”

Check our brand previews for information on more 2021-2022 gear.


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