2015 Ski Guide2015 Ski Guide


A Western classic that just gets more and more classicer-er.

Standing tall as a classic big-mountain and aggressive all-mountain plank, the full-rocker, carbon-reinforced wood core Volkl Gotama Ski likes to go fast--deeps or harpack don't matter, the Gotama has it mastered.
  • Volkl's fully rockered ELP Rocker profile rises above deepest of snow, yet allows for phenomenal edge-to-edge contact on the hard pack
  • Torsion box construction makes the Gotama extremely durable and reduces swing weight for bringing around that second flip
  • Carbon-reinforced, full wood core provides excellent stability and creates a very lively ski.

Share your thoughts

Review Summary
6 4
0 3
1 2
0 1

What do you think of the

Volkl Gotama Ski

? Share a...

Write a review

No file chosen

Rather attach a photo from another website?

Rather attach a photo from your computer?

  • Product review:
  • Share a video
  • Share a photo

How familiar are you with the product?(Optional)

Only jpg, jpeg, png, gif or bmp files please.


Here's what others have to say...

Hi there. I'm an italian ski instructor,...

Posted on

Hi there. I'm an italian ski instructor, passionate of backcountry skiing. I used to ski with K2 Sidestash 1,88m with Marker Duke and I love it in off-piste (I tested them in almost all conditions). This winter season I am in Colorado, so I'm looking for a vesatile and stable ski, enjoyable also with deep powder. Is this the ski for me or you a�have any suggestion??

Best Answer Responded on

This is a great ski for powder. But because of the huge turning radius and full rocker, its not the best at crud/groomers/other conditions. If you don't mind that, then get a pair - they're awesome. If you want something that might be a little more versatile, check out the Rossignol S7 Open.

Responded on

thank you for the reply... are you sure about rossignol s7? It seems to me that s7 are more for deep powder, and not for use on-piste... Also, is it possible to put skins or the rocker is too much accentuated??

Responded on

sorry... you're right about s7... but the longer size is 1.88, that mean less with the reverse camber; so I think it is too short for me (i love to ski fastly on open space off-piste).
Anyway, how is the s7 on-piste?

Responded on

I think you might really like the Dynastar Cham 107 High Mountain ski that is new this year. Lighter than the s7, plenty of ski, holds skins well and very versatile. If you like K2, the new Sideseth is another great option that combines lighter weight for touring with a great pow and crud busting capability.

Currently ski 176 Atomic Snoops and and...

Posted on

Currently ski 176 Atomic Snoops and and will be skiing trees, bumps, and pow, mostly in CO and PNW. Looking for a ski that will handle anything except the very hard hard-pack. I ski anything, but doesn't always look pretty. I'm considering buying these but not sure if the 178 will be long enough. Should I try and find a 186 on a different site or go with the 178 here? Also considering Kung Fujas, and Salomon Shoguns or Czars. Suggestions? 5' 9" 165 lbs.

Responded on

The 178 Gotama is probably plenty long for you - if you're 5'9", a 178 will be just about head height. The 186 might give you maneuverability issues in the trees. At your size, I'd only go 186 if you're planning to do lots of straightlines and minimal turning.

As far as your other options go, the Kung Fujas and Shoguns are excellent all-mountain skis for the west coast. I'd avoid the Czars, though, as they are more freestyle specific and less practical for the all-mountain use you described above.

I'm debating between getting the K2 Sidestash...

Posted on

I'm debating between getting the K2 Sidestash or Voikl Gotama.

For a trip to Portillo Chille - off piste skiing, some helisking, and few groomers in between.

Advanced/expert level. Would love any advice how these compare? thanks!

Responded on

I would go for the sidestash, But it all depends on whether or not you will have alpine touring bindings.
If you do mount alpine touring bindings, (which I would recmend if you are going to chile) I would go for the sidestash because it has more camber for skinning and because it takes pre-cut skins.
If you will be using standard alpine bindings , I would get the gotamas Because they are a more in bounds based ski.
*Also check out the Black Diamond Verdict ski and the Marker Baron/Duke alpine touring binding*

interested in gotamas as a pure pow ski...

Posted on

interested in gotamas as a pure pow ski but looking for input.

I'm on kendos as my all mountain ride but am interested in getting a set of true pow skiis. Anyone have any thoughts on Goats vs. something like an Armada JJ for pow days?

Responded on

Hey tor5347573,

Thanks for the question. When it comes to a recommendation for either the Volkl Gotama Ski or the Armada JJ Ski for a true pow option it will depend a bit on how and where you ski.

If you are situated where fresh snow comes at a slight minimum and you go Mach 3 speeds in most conditions, this is the only time where I can recommend the Volkl Gotama Ski.

The Armada JJ Ski will fit any other fresh snow and competency criteria and is overall a very versatile ski. The only thing it does not do as well or better than the Gotama is charge down harder snow conditions.

5 5

Bye Bye AC50's

And hello to my Gotamas. I live out west, and can't say enough about these skis. At 5'8" 165 lbs with boots, gear and pack (5' 7" 145 without) I have 178's paired with a set of Marker Griffon schizos, and I love the setup! I bought both here on backcountry of course, at an incredible bargain price.

I was blessed with a final weekend dump of fresh powder in Tahoe between April 13-15, and was able to ride these for three days in Northstar and Heavenly off-piste, with some groomers near the bottom. I am highly impressed with the handling in all conditions, though I'd agree they do suffer somewhat when it comes to hard/hard pack or ice. For as wide a ski as they are, they are also very fun in the bumps, with the ELP rocker design really providing a level of pivoting performance previously unknown to traditionally-cambered "fat" skis. This is highly apparent in deep crud, where the tips are lifted above the mess ever so slightly, providing less resistance for turn initiation. I may put the AC50's up for sale soon; I don't see any reason to keep them around anymore other than for hardpack steeps, and though there is certainly more slippage, the Goats still feel comfortably predictable there.

I love these skis! For their intended purpose (Quiver of One, Second to None) only thing that might be able to trounce these skis in my mind are the Katanas, but it's possible the Katanas may be "too much ski" for my light frame.

5 5

Mounting position data point

I went with 178 for an all mountain PNW setup. I mounted these +2. I'm pretty happy with that mount so far. They aren't my deep pow ski so I don't worry much about float over 6". These ski bumps pretty well, pivot quickly, carve crazy good. The tails are stiff enough landing drops is pretty forgiving. The elliptical rocker is awesome.

Hi, I'm planning to buy a pair of this as...

Posted on

Hi, I'm planning to buy a pair of this as my only and all around ski and I'm no sure which size to go with. I'm 5'10'' and weight around 140 pounds. I'm concerned the 178s will be a little too short and the 186s a bit to big. What size would you recomend?

Responded on

I would go bigger. The early rise tip make these feel shorter.

Responded on

If you want to sacrifice float for all mountain go 178. If you want to sacrifice all mountain for float go 186.

They are an easy ski to ski I wouldn't be afraid of 186 if you're an expert skier.

I currently slide on Volkl The Bridge 169s...

Posted on

I currently slide on Volkl The Bridge 169s and am actively looking to add to that quiver of one. I have raised my level the past couple years and these have spiked my interest. I am 5'5 150 and want to size up to the 178s. I need some advice from you fine folks, on whether or not this is a good move on my part. Should I go with the Goats 178s?

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Veraldi,

The 178cm Gotama is a great all mountain option for skiers looking to step it up and get adventurous with the conditions that they ski on. This could be up your alley if that is what you are looking to do.

The only caution is that if you are looking to jib more often that not, you may want to look elsewhere even in the 178cm size. The profile on the Gotama is not as suited for the pipe as other similarly sized skis are.

3 5

Good off trail, not so much on trail

I got to ski these last month on a decent powder day at Brundage. Since I'm normally on Kendos I had high hopes for these in the deeper powder. In the powder they had more float than anything else I've been on, almost too much float if you know what I mean. Their ability to glide into the higher lines in the trees was good, though not as good as some of the other powder skis I've been on. Maneuverability was above average in the trees. Where these skis really rocked was tracked up powder and crud. You can blow through heavy crud like almost no other ski. The big downside was getting back to the bottom at the end of the day. On trail, and not even one that was freshly groomed, just firm underneath with a light amount of pushed around snow on top these skis showed their weakness. It seemed impossible to keep them on edge. In fact they seemed to want to pry themselves over to the outside edge. In thirty plus years of skiing I've never had a pair of skis act like that. Couldn't see adding them to the rack with those kind of on trail manners.

Responded on

Interesting. The goats are my 1 ski quiver in the Pacific NW, and they arc beatiful turns on hardpack, (between powder turns), everytime. Sure it's more work,(and ice is definitely a struggle), but the more I push these babies at high speeds, the more they deliver. You're right about the powder turns though. It took a few runs for me to get used to how they surf in the pow. Now I wouldn't have it any other way. I ski off-piste completely different now. You might say I hear angles singing.

5 5

You + These Skis = Fun

I was somewhat skeptical at first, but I was pleasantly surprised after testing these skis out last weekend. Conditions weren't the deep pow pow I was praying for, but the skis still handled fantastic. Took them in the park as well - UBER fun and five stars.

Unanswered Question

how much do the 178 skis weigh?

Posted on

how much do the 178 skis weigh?

5 5

Love these sticks!!!

DON'T LET THE 107 WAIST SCARE YOU. VOLKL'S ELP technology will take you everywhere you want to go. And I mean everywhere. It will carve on the hardpack, slice variable conditions, and absolutely rip in the soft crystaline goodness. I live in the Cascade Range and this is my personal one quiver ski. Please note, however, if you're not an aggresive skier, these sticks may take you for a ride. But if you drive them with authority, they will not dissapoint.

5 5


i just got these in 183 and there my first wide base powder ski. i was expecting them to take some getting used to on groomers and bumps. not at all. they ski just fine on the groomers and they float like a dream in powder. ive had my best days skiing on these and i couldnt be happier

Write your question here...are Goats any...

Posted on

Write your question here...are Goats any good for touring back country?

Responded on

The Nunatuq is the touring version of this ski - 20% lighter. Would be a better option if this is the primary use.

Responded on

I would definitely opt for a ski with at least some degree of traditional camber underfoot if touring the backcountry in order to prevent slippage while skinning (which I heard can be a problem if skinning with completely reverse cambered skis) as well as to provide greater edge grip in firm snow or icy conditions.

I am an expert skier from the Northeast...

Posted on

I am an expert skier from the Northeast so I ski VT, NH and ME. I get out west maybe once a year and I like to bring my own setup rather than rent. That said, are the Goats a suitable "northeast ski"? I currently ski groomers on 184cm Volkl G20s from '00 and powder on Dynastar Sultans. Is it safe to say I could narrow down to a 1-ski quiver with the Goats?

Responded on

In my opinion yes. This is obviously a great powder ski, and will excel there. But, it became my everyday ski (albeit in Utah) because I found it so versatile. However, consider the following: You can carve on this ski, so long as the terrain is moderate and the snow is not absolutely rock hard. Once you get on a steep terrain, the ski will be skiddy, manageable, but don't expect to be laying arcs down the steeper parts of Liftline at Stowe. Of course, there has to be a trade-off somewhere. Keep the G20s for the "dry" spells, you won't get much for them anyway. I grew up in the Northeast, and skied there for many years - so, I know what you are up against, but think you will ultimately be happy with this choice.

Responded on

Completely agree with above. Also ski VT. I was in a similar situation winter of 2010...and was torn between Goats and Mantras. I went with the Goats and have been extremely pleased with them. Awesome when I've been out west (Salt Lake), and very good here as well. Granted they're not great when it is hardpack/ice or bumps, but they are great in just about everything else. I think you'd be very happy with this choice

Responded on

Yup. Volkls "ELP" fully rockered design is pretty amazing. I ski Kuros and have demoed Gotamas a couple times - to me they are more stable at speed than traditional camber skis with big sidecut, because the tips are up off the snow and don't want to dart around, but rolled on edge hold a carve well.

They're fine on hardpack, but will take a few runs to get used to.

Depending on your height, weight, and skill, the length can have a big impact on how they ski. i'm 6'3", 195, and preferred the ~195 Gotama overall, but the next size down (186?) was better in bumps, with it's slightly tighter turn radius.

Responded on

I would not recommend this as an East coast ski.

It handles soft snow (not packed powder) and powder quite well. However, this ski was not made for the typical East coast condition: hard-packed or groomed man-made snow.

In the later case, this ski is quite skittish and suffers in overall performance versus narrower and more traditionally cambered skis.

The advert says it is a ski that handles groomers. 'Handles' being the operative word. They should really say it 'survives' hard packed conditions.

If you ask a ski shop in the East for a good quiver-of-one East coast ski, I'm sure that this baby won't be on the list.

Who wrote the ad-copy? I can't believe they said this: "yet allows for phenomenal edge-to-edge contact on the hard pack." ... WRONG. It merely 'survives' in that condition.

"Carbon-reinforced, full wood core provides excellent stability and creates a very lively ski."

It is stable, albeit in soft snow only. Moreso, it is a damp forgiving ski.

It is a smooth-flexing soft turning ski that handles powder and churned up fresh snow quite well.

In other words, get another ski, like a Rossignol Experience 88 (98 would serve as a dual East-West quiver of one ski) or a Mantra (OK for East, better for West), or the Line Prophet 90. They would all be better choices.

Responded on

I think Lars said it rather succinctly.

If you are an expert skier and can drive a ski, you will have no trouble at all carving up the entire mountain like you're on a couple Ginsus. Not so hot in the bumps at Cannon, but they were all ice anyway.

194cm, Barons center mount. Sharp edges.

5 5

Getting Better

I had the chance to ski these last spring and was not disappointed. I had one of the first pair of Gotamas in March 03 and immediately loved them - although the Gotama no longer gets the "whoa, those are super fat!!" comments of eight years ago. The ski has had ups and downs, and I feel this version is an up. The new ski is slightly wider, 139/107/123 versus 137/106/122, and the kick of the tip and tail has been increased. This makes for a pretty quick, lively and user friendly ski - not always the terms used for a Volkl. It will probably be considered one of the more versatile all to big mountain skis out there - although that category is pretty loaded now, and it depends where you are skiing. This will be a good "fat" ski in Vermont, but will be dwarfed out west, where a wider option will serve you better on the bigger days. Although, so long as the snow is relatively soft, this will really work on groomers, powder, and even bumps. My sister in Telluride (say, bumps) has made this her everyday ski, trading last years version for this after skiing these with me at Alta last April in 16 inches, which went from light to heavy to crud, and then we skied with the kids on the groomers. Finally, the rumor was production of this shifted from China back to Germany, but I don't know that for certain.

Trying to deside between the new volkl...

Posted on

Trying to deside between the new volkl gotama and the soloman shoguns, the gotama has metal in it and the shogun doesnt. Which one is lighter, quicker edge to edge & better in pow ? I want a ski that does it all to add to my quiver. Ive tried the shoguns and loved them, I just havent skied the new gotamas yet.

Responded on

I would say the shogun is better on groomers and is lighter weight. while i do love the gotama, the shogun really is a better all mountain ski. The shogun has a nice feel on groomers but the gotoma has gotten more pow oriented over the years. I'd check out the sidstash for another option. Remember generally, the further you move away from 100mm the ski tends to not perform as well on hardpack. The shogun is better edge to edge, lighter weight but which is better in pow? that can be debatable. You really cant go wrong with either ski but the shogun tends to be more fun and rail better on the packed.

Responded on

If you ski out west the Gotama would be an excellent choice, I also would look into the Salomon Czar as well.

Responded on

I was in the same boat last year looking to replace my cambered goats. I demoed both twice, day 1 hardpack day 2 6" of fresh. The gotama is better in pow and is easy to pivot thru bumps and trees but the full reverse camber just doesn't seem right for an every day ski. Both are very stable and the shogun has more pop and liveliness. More camber in the shogun felt better for the groomers and stability in crud. They both like long turns and prefer higher speed. Another ski to consider is the liberty helix which I wasn't able to demo late in the season. I tried the 178 gotama and bought 182 shoguns. Both were the right length for me 5'9" & 170.