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Skimo Co

Volkl Rise Above 88 Ski


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After Volkl's Rise High 88 made an unexpected splash in the world of high-performance touring skis, Volkl could have sat back and just ridden the success of their Rise line. Instead, they went back to the lab to make an even better ski, and indeed they did with the Rise Above 88 ski. Volkl claims this ski is the "most versatile ski" in its line of touring skis for the 21/22 season, and we find it quite hard to disagree. While some skis are good at everything but great at nothing, the Rise Above 88 excels across the board. Tip rocker and a floaty 131mm tip make skiing through anything even resembling powder a playful and jubilant time. Full-length sidewalls and just the right amount of underfoot camber provide stability and edge power that will get you down the nastiest of spring couloirs without a slip - a critical consideration for mountaineering but is also appreciated by skiers of all breeds. Three different turn radii along the length of the ski comprise the laudable 3D Radius Sidecut. The tip and tail prefer long arcing turns and high speeds while underfoot the ski is agile and fast-reacting allowing you to change your turn shape on a dime (just in time to dodge that tree). The collection of lightweight woods used in the Hybrid Tourlite Woodcore is tailored for touring, while still improving the quality of every turn in any condition. The bar for high-performance backcountry skis is constantly going up, and with the Rise Above 88, Volkl rises above the bar yet again.

  • A versatile ski that won't disappoint the ambitious mountaineer or fun-seeking everyday tourer.
  • 3D Radius sidecut performs well at high speeds when making big turns and in tights spots - basically anything.
  • Hybrid Tourlite Woodcore delivers downhill performance while keeping things light.
  • Full sidewall for power and confidence when it matters most.
  • Compatible with Volkl's Smart Skinclip pre-cut skins.

Update 2022/23: Same great ski just with new paint.

Lengths (cm) 156, 163, 170, 177, 184
convert to ounces
1090g [156]
1130g [163]
1175g [170]
1270g [177]
1335g [184]
Weight (pair) 2180g [156]
2260g [163]
2350g [170]
2540g [177]
2670g [184]
Dimensions   131-88-111
Turn Radius   20-12-17m [156]
22-14-19m [163]
25-15-22m [170]
28-17-23m [177]
31-18-25m [184]
Skin Fix   Square recess for tip clip, notched tail - compatible with Volkl's Smart Skinclip system
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Tip rocker, camber underfoot, semi-flat tail
Shape   Tapered tip, 3D-Radius Sidecut, gentle pintail
Construction   Full sidewalll, P-Tex 2100 Base, beech reinforced mounting area
Core   Hybrid Tourlite Woodcore (poplar/paulownia with underfoot beech to reinforce the binding)
Skimo Co Says
Usage Fast-touring, alpinism and mountaineering, or just having a fun time in the snow
Notes Full sidewall for confident edge hold on any snow
Bottom Line Maneuverable, all-purpose ski with a preference towards alpinism
Compare to other Mid-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Peter
Anyone have a first hand comparison of this Rise Above 88 to the old VTA 88, or the old BMT 94, or the current (?) BMT 90?

My specific circumstance: I use a BMT 94 186cm as my daily driver (100% human powered backcountry). I used to own a Zero G 85 as my "light weight mountaineering" ski, but it was stiff enough that was not fun in powder or snow with any crusts, great for skiing steep hard snow only. I now have a pair of Cirque 84's....they are at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Zero-Gs, so light and flexy that they get over powered easily, great for skinning fast in mellow terrain. I'm looking for something in between: lighter than my BMT 94 (I'd drop down to 177cm), floats better than a zero-g 85, but has more muscle than a Cirque 84.
Answer from Jeff
Hello Peter,
I like your no-nonsense description of your skis. I have skied the Rise Above 88 and the VTA 88 we still have in our demos. The Rise Above is a completely new ski, with Lots of sidecut and a full sidewall. They have a really wide tip that makes this ski float like a 100mm ski (130mm tip vs 122mm on your BMT94). A much tighter turn radius than your BMT, that will shimmy through the tightest trees. Superlight, they will still hold an edge nearly as well as the stiff ZG 85.
Looks to me that this is the ski you are looking for.
Answer from Seth K
I'd agree that this sounds like the perfect ski for this. I've skied the VTAs (in 170), the BMTs (in 177) and these (in 177) - for me the biggest difference is that they didn't make the VTA in 177 (180 is a little longer than I like for mountaineering) and these feel a little more substantial with the full sidewall. I haven't skied the cirques, but I honestly think you could replace all three of those skis with just these.
Answer from Ben
Hey Peter, I am on a similar quest. I firmly believe the BMT 94 is the best ski of all time. Very damp and powerful, yet lightweight and incredibly nimble. I have owned the Rise Beyond 98 (same shape as the VTA98, and very similar to the RA 88), and it is a decent ski but NOT a BMT replacement. Fantastic construction and dampness, solidly stiff, but much more piste-oriented with a flat tail that takes much more effort to release in 3d snow. I recommend checking out the Dynafit Blacklight 88, it is the most nimble skinny ski out there, with a stiff flex and damp ride.
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Model: RISE ABOVE 88 MPN: 120374

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