LIBERTY SKIS variant review [2012/2013]

What it is:  Liberty skis:  Variant

PRICE:  $545 onBACKCOUNTRY.COM

liberty variants reviewvariants liberty review

The skinny:  145|114|132

First off, the graphics.  I never start a review with the graphics.   However, I have never received more comments on a top sheet.  Maybe it is because I ride primarily here in the NW, and the graphics somewhat resemble a Native American thematic embrace.  Or maybe it is just because they look awesome.  I think a little of both.  And regardless for me; I like em!!

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The thought behind these skis:  The guy’s at Liberty needed a ski with a stiffer tail than other models, targeted to conquer big mountain, technical lines.  As you have seen across other brands, this is a growing trend.  The Liberty Variant  inspire’s confidence on big lines with big consequences. A Peri-Metal layer and stiffer tail generate massive edgehold, but don’t weigh you down on the skin up. Skin friendly tip and tail shapes make this board a go-to off piste charger, but these aren’t some softy touring sticks.Liberty had that signature bamboo core providing a lively feel with exceptional torsional rigidity. Even if you spend most days riding lifts, the Variant is the perfect choice for aggressive riding in all conditions.  I am 6’1″ and ride the 193cm.  Perfect.  

Brian Hopper taking the Variants for an afternoon flight at Crystal Mountain. Capture by Matt Small.

Brian Hopper taking the Variants for an afternoon flight at Crystal Mountain. Capture by Matt Small.

Some of the technical talk about the Liberty Variant:

Rocker Type:  Stealth Rocker – A long, low top rocker with camber underfoot and a flat tail allow for easy turn initiation and incredibly versatile flotation without sacrificing edge grip or liveliness.

Flex:  Mid flex in the tip
Stiff flex underfoot and in the tail
Core:  Bamboo Backbone – Every Liberty ski features a hand-made, bamboo laminate core that is light, strong, lively and eco-friendly. Liberty fine tunes each core and flex pattern for the intended application, but each core starts with the strength and durability of bamboo to give a dependably energetic ride, time after time.
variants ready to rip at crystal mountain resort

variants ready to rip at crystal mountain resort

Laminates:  Peri-Metal – A full perimeter of titanal layer, die cut in the center of the ski, absorbs vibrations and prevents topsheet damage while evenly distributing pressure along the edge without the added weight of a full titanal layer.  Fiber Reinforced Polymer – Liberty uses sheets of this dense material under the binding area to increase screw retention and rigidity.

Quadaxial Glass – Liberty’s custom weave S-glass creates tremendous torsional stability while allowing easy longitudinal flex to initiate turns and absorb terrain. Unlike bi- and tri-directional fiberglass laminates, this type of S-glass allows Liberty to fine tune the flex characteristics of each ski.

Sidewalls:  78 Degree Sidewalls – This construction leads to increased edge grip and reduced weight. Sidewall construction is tough and affords the best combination of edge grip and turning ease.

Durathane – A polyurethane bumper smooths out the ride and protects against topsheet chipping.
Whitewall Sidewalls – This rugged and repairable sidewall material is made of UHMW, which is more resilient than ABS and can be repaired with P-Tex if you manage to gouge a hole in it.
matt small photo at crystal mt

matt small photo at crystal mt of brian hopper putting the variants to bed

Base:  P-Tex 2000 – This sintered base provides speed and durability from the industry leaders.

Edges:  HRC 48 – Liberty’s specially treated edges feature a wider profile with larger anchors for greater durability and a longer lifespan.

Additional Features
Backcountry Tail – A flatter, stiffer tail with a skin compatible shape and tail notch lets you easily create snow anchors and open beers.
Skin compatible tips
Cab Forward Stance – Liberty’s name for a progressive, more centered stance
 
Variant Cons: Top sheet, shows nicks very easily.  The remedy:  for 2013/2014 Liberty changed the top sheet material to be a bit more scratch resistive.  Just like a black vehicle shows dirt oh so well, the black color of the Variants tend’s to not hide any knick or top sheet scratch it takes on in battle for you.

Specs

  • Ability Level: Advanced-Expert
  • Rocker Type: Rocker/Camber
  • Core Material: Bamboo
  • Tail Type: Partial Twin Tip
  • Warranty: 3 Year
photographer: Matt Smalllocation: Crystal Mountain Resort

photographer: Matt Small
location: Crystal Mountain Resort

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