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Freshies 4ever.

The beauty of the backcountry is that, like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. There could be knee-deep pow, even though it didn't snow last night, or you might spend the day skittering across hardpack even though it dumped a foot in the last two hours. Being ready for everything is the name of the game, and no boards do it better than the Volkl Nanuq Skis, mid-fat and highly versatile skis that are edgy enough to crush hardpack, floaty enough to surf through blower, and light enough to make the ascent seem like a piece of cake.

Volkl's been crushing downhills for years, in bounds and out, and the Nanuq stays true to the company's downhill-first heritage. The sidecut's pretty traditional, so the Nanuq feels Volkl-ish (perfectly capable of edging in variable snow and cutting through mank), and the sidewall construction and Tough Box composite/fiberglass sheath provide a backbone that lets you charge even when conditions aren't perfect blower. To improve its performance in soft snow, Volkl gave it a moderate amount of tip rocker, and also kept things light (under seven pounds per pair) so the uphills aren't exercises in unnecessary suffering.

Providing the backbone for all this lightweight, hard-charging, and pow-surfing goodness is the Nanuq's Multi-Layer Woodcore Light, which combines straight-grained ash and flexible poplar to give you a lively, predictable platform that excels in soft snow. The fiberglass and composite layers stop the Nanuq from twisting under hard edging forces, and the squared-off tail (and tip, too) has Volkl's Skin Pin notch, which makes it easy to clip on skins and trust that they'll stay there throughout the climb.

  • Rocker tip and camber underfoot
  • Multi-Layer Woodcore Light (poplar and beech)
  • Tough Box composite and fiberglass sheath
  • Full sidewalls
  • Squared tail with Skin Pin notch
  • Skin Pin tip

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Here's what others have to say...


Versatile Backcountry Ski

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

Most reviews of backcountry skis are done by experts, so as a beginner who has advanced to intermediate ski ability using these skis, I thought a different perspective might be helpful. I have the 2013 model Volkl Nanuq, and have used them primarily on hut trips and winter camping in Colorado. These skis have amazed me, because they gave me confidence even skiing for my very first time in powder. They are so lightweight that they don't wear you out going uphill, and they are just so solid and manageable skiing downhill. I have alpine skis as well, but have even used my Nanuq Dynafit system skis at resorts several times, even on fast afternoon groomers on southfacing slopes at places like Keystone resort. Though I don't think it's the perfect groomer ski, I am not an expert skier and I have made it down groomers just fine on these skis. Like a lot of people, I'm always looking at new skis. I change out my alpine skis every couple of years, hoping for something better. I don't think I will ever change out my Nanuq's. I just don't think there' a better backcountry ski out there.