BMW has M, Audi has RS, Mercedes-Benz calls it AMG. OPC turns Opel on, at Fiat Abarth is responsible. Abt, Alpina, Brabus and the like tickle out of series vehicles what is to be tickled out for discerning people for whom the best is just expensive enough. And what does that have to do with Völkl?
They also have something like that. When Völkl transforms standard skis into something special, it goes by the name of V-Werks. The name stands for expensive materials, special design and, you guessed it, high prices. For the 2020/21 ski season, Völkl is sending the Deacon V-Werks into the snow, a product that requires a lot of effort in production and that customers are more willing to pay.
In return, Andreas Mann, product manager for alpine skis at the Straubing company, promises “added value for the driver”. As target groups, he names firstly frequent drivers who are willing to pay more for more performance, and secondly people who crave an exclusive product that you can tell that it is expensive.
The Deacon V-Werks is based on the Deacon 84 model, Völkl’s bestseller from last season. This is an all-mountain ski with a clear specialization in piste operations. Its rather generous width shows it as a modern representative of its kind: an all-rounder not only for the crisp morning slopes, but for the changing snow conditions over a whole day, a whole season. Width helps in soft snow, in the rough and has a beneficial effect in the Gewurschtel on the afternoon bombed valley run.
The dimensions are identical: 132-84-115 is the waist here as there. From the Deacon 84, the V-Werks also adopts the feature of the rocked (curved) ski ends, which makes it easier to initiate turns. Völkl also uses the triple side pull principle for both models. The design radius is smaller in the middle part of the ski than at the ends of the ski. On the one hand, this should facilitate effortless, playful driving of tight corners at a moderate speed and, on the other hand, ensure grip and speed stability when going downhill quickly in long arcs. Then because of the increasing deflection of the boards, the shovel and tail of the ski intervene.
Nothing unusual in this industry
So much for the external similarities. If you dive a little deeper into the matter, serious differences become apparent. In the case of the V-Werk, Völkl uses tailor-made carbon fiber strands to adjust the torsional rigidity and flexibility of the skis in a targeted manner. The use of carbon itself is not uncommon in this industry, but the material is not simply laid as a mat. Instead, the fibers are aligned according to a meticulously worked out plan. This is easy to see thanks to the partially transparent surface of the skis.