The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Liberty Genesis 96 - Women's Review

If you're a beginner or intermediate skier looking for something affordable that's pretty to wear, these skis could be appropriate
Liberty Genesis 96 - Women's
Photo: manufacturer
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $550 List | $548.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Gorgeous graphics both topsheet and bases, very affordable, light and quick
Cons:  Erratic at speed and in steeps, only good in light powder
Manufacturer:   Liberty
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 16, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
21
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 1
  • Carving - 20% 2
  • Crud - 20% 2
  • Powder - 20% 3
  • Playfulness - 15% 2
  • Bumps - 5% 4

Our Verdict

With some of the prettiest mountain graphics out there, we were really hoping we'd get to flaunt the Liberty Genesis 96 on the chairlift every day. Unfortunately, after a few days on this ski, we were ready to pack them up in storage. While we have a soft spot for independent ski companies, the construction of this ski seemed unable to compete with the big dogs. It disappointed us in most metrics, excluding bumps, where they were decently matched to some of the other average skis. An important reminder not to judge a book by its cover, or a ski by its pretty face.

New Topsheet
Check out the latest topsheet graphics for the Genesis 96 above.
December 2020

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $548.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$429.99 at Amazon$698.95 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$599.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$699.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
21
92
92
84
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Gorgeous graphics both topsheet and bases, very affordable, light and quickGreat float in powder, playful, decent stabilityIncredibly versatile, easy to ski, fun and quick, only 92mm makes it nimbleA blast to ski, easy to turn, relatively stable, fantastic in powderGreat stability at high speeds, good on hard snow and crud, affordable
Cons Erratic at speed and in steeps, only good in light powderMore expensive, slightly lumbering in bumpsNot the perfect powder partnerNot perfect carvers, some deflection in crudOnly for shallower pow days, needs strong skier to guide them
Bottom Line As long as you don't plan to grow immensely as a skier, these skis are a pretty and cheap option for a beginner or intermediate skierAn incredibly versatile ski which shines in powderThe cat's out of the bag on the new Secret from Volkl - it's versatile performance makes it our favorite overall skiAn absolute ripper ski, but you don't have to yet be a ripping chick to fully enjoy themA high-quality, affordable ski for all snow conditions, including up to 6 inches of fresh powder, but it takes a strong skier to bend and maneuver them
Rating Categories Liberty Genesis 96 - Women's Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Volkl Secret 92 Elan Ripstick 94 W Dictator 2.0X
Stability At Speed (20%)
1
9
9
8
9
Carving (20%)
2
9
9
7
8
Crud (20%)
2
9
9
8
9
Powder (20%)
3
10
9
9
5
Playfulness (15%)
2
9
10
10
6
Bumps (5%)
4
8
9
9
5
Specs Liberty Genesis 96... Rossignol Soul 7... Volkl Secret 92 Elan Ripstick 94 W Dictator 2.0X
Waist Width (mm) 96 106 92 95 96
Shape 130-96-118 136-106-126 130-92-113 135-95-110 127-96-117
Available Lengths (cm) 151, 158, 165, 171 156, 164, 172, 180 149, 156, 163, 170 156, 163, 170, 177 155, 163, 171, 175, 179, 183, 187
Radius (m) 16.5 18 17.9 16.2 18
Rocker Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, cambered inside edge Tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair (lbs) 7.6 7.7 8.2 6.7 7.9
Construction Type UHMW P-Tex sidewall Sandwich Full sidewall SST sidewall Sandwich
Core Material Bamboo & Poplar Paulownia wood Multilayer woodcore, poplar/beech Tubelite wood Paulownia & Poplar
Tested Length (cm) 171 172 170 170 171
Intended Purpose On-piste All mountain powder All mountain All mountain play All mountain stability
Ability Level Beginner/Intermediate All levels All levels All levels Advanced/Expert

Our Analysis and Test Results

While beautiful to look at, the Liberty Genesis 96 was inconsistent in nearly every metric. There seems to be something about its flex pattern which makes it bend in funny ways, and at unexpected times. This makes it unpredictable, and we didn't feel confident trusting it in most conditions.

Performance Comparison



These skis have some of the prettiest topsheet graphics around.
These skis have some of the prettiest topsheet graphics around.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Stability at Speed


None of our testers felt confident going fast on this ski in any terrain. It did not hold an edge very well on firm snow and would shudder and shake when we tried to put on the brakes. If we could manage to make a perfectly rounded, smoothly arced turn, it would be OK, but when we wavered for a moment it got freaky. The flex pattern across the length of the ski is unusual; it seems to bend and release frantically in the middle of a turn, without the skier's consent. While it is able to make a tighter, quicker turn in steep terrain, it felt unstable underneath us, making it an unreliable companion.

We didn't feel our most confident at higher speeds on the Genesis...
We didn't feel our most confident at higher speeds on the Genesis, but it would be fine for the speeds commonly accessed by beginner and intermediate skiers.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Carving


This ski is definitely more adept at buttering a turn rather than carving one. It prefers to skid (and sometimes skitter) rather than rail a smooth edge. Because of the strange flex we mentioned, we felt we couldn't rely on the edges maintaining their course in a carved turn. One tester called them, "Bendy in a bad way".

The odd flex pattern makes the ski feel a little wobbly while...
The odd flex pattern makes the ski feel a little wobbly while carving, unless the snow is very soft and forgiving.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Powder


We made a few good turns in a few inches of powder on the Genesis 96, but anything deeper and we were all over the shop. The ski felt noodley both at speed and under the fresh snow; even the flex and rebound we felt against the packed powder platform under the surface was unpredictable.

Crud


The Genesis just can't hang here. It bounced us around like kids in a blow-up castle, but with less giggling. The ski is light, so it tries to skim across the surface, but each ski tends to get bucked into separate (from one another) trajectories along the way. Not confidence-inspiring.

The Genesis gave us a jarring ride in the crud.
The Genesis gave us a jarring ride in the crud.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Playfulness


One tester told us this ski was "playful like an angry puppy". You know, the one that would be really cute if they'd just stop tearing at your socks and fingers? It is lighter-weight and easy to get airborne - it's just what happens when you land that's concerning. We didn't have very much fun on these beautiful skis, sadly.

Bumps


In soft slush bumps, this ski is fairly flexible and maneuverable. It likes to make make a shorter turn, so it performed the best in this metric of any. If you're getting into firmer, bigger bumps though, the Genesis is better traded for something more reliable.

The ski's flexibility and quickness made it fairly adept in moguls.
The ski's flexibility and quickness made it fairly adept in moguls.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Value


The Genesis 96 sits in the middle of the pack in terms of cost, but one tester told us that she wouldn't ski these every day even if they were free.

Conclusion


There are certainly skiers out there who love the Liberty Genesis, but our panel did not. They're aesthetically stunning, though, and could make fabulous wall art. Also, if you are a beginner or lower intermediate skier, and you mostly plan on cruising around at slower speeds on green and blue groomed terrain, they may not be a bad first ski purchase.

Renee McCormack