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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.
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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
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21
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • 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 hopeful we'd get to flaunt the Liberty Genesis 96 on the chairlift (and from the chairlift, since the graphics are mirrored on the bases) every day. Unfortunately, after a few days on the Liberty Genesis, 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. They 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.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Gorgeous graphics both topsheet and bases, very affordable, light and quickIncredibly versatile, easy to ski, fun and quick, only 92mm makes it nimbleGreat float in powder, playful, decent stabilityUnparalleled stability at speed, crud-buster, lends you strengthA blast to ski, easy to turn, relatively stable, fantastic in powder
Cons Erratic at speed and in steeps, only good in light powderNot the perfect powder partnerMore expensive, slightly lumbering in bumpsVery pricey, prefers faster straighter linesNot perfect carvers, some deflection in crud
Bottom Line If you're a beginner or intermediate skier looking for something affordable that's pretty to wear, these skis could be appropriate.One of the most versatile skis on the market, this new Volkl is a Goldilocks ski - strong enough to battle in the crud, but soft enough for lighter mellower skiers to bend it.A great choice for a West Coast woman who loves getting out in the soft snow.If you like to go fast and want a one-ski quiver, this ski is absolutely worth the extra funds.Ripping skis for ripping chicks, or those on their way to becoming one, so fun and flexible.
Rating Categories Liberty Genesis 96 - Women's Volkl Secret 92 Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Kastle FX95 HP Elan Ripstick 94 W
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
1
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Carving (20%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Crud (20%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Powder (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
2
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
Bumps (5%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs Liberty Genesis 96... Volkl Secret 92 Rossignol Soul 7... Kastle FX95 HP Elan Ripstick 94 W
Intended Purpose On-piste All mountain All mountain powder All mountain stability All mountain play
Ability Level Beginner/Intermediate All Levels All levels All levels All levels
Available Lengths 151, 158, 165, 171 149, 156, 163, 170 156, 164, 172, 180 173, 181, 189 156, 163, 170, 177
Shape 130-96-118 130-92-113 136-106-126 126-95-115 135-95-110
Waist Width 96 92 106 95 95
Radius 16.5 17.9 18 18 16.2
Rocker Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, cambered inside edge
Weight Per Pair (Pounds) 7.6 8.16 7.7 9.62 6.725
Construction Type Full sidewall Sandwich Sandwich SST sidewall
Core Material Bamboo & Poplar Beech & Poplar, multi layer Paulownia wood silver fir, beech, Titanal, fiberglass Tubelite wood
Tested Length 171 170 172 173 170

Our Analysis and Test Results

While beautiful to look at, the Liberty Genesis 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 the them in most conditions.

Performance Comparison



They sure are a pretty accessory!
They sure are a pretty accessory!

Stability at Speed


None of our testers felt confident going fast, in any terrain, on these skis. They did not hold their edges 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, they would be OK, but when we wavered for a moment they got freaky. The flex pattern across the length of the ski is unusual; they seem to bend and release frantically in the middle of a turn, without the skier's consent. While they are able to make a tighter, quicker turn in steep terrain, they felt unstable underneath us, making them an unreliable companion.

We didn't feel our most confident at higher speeds on the Liberty's  but they would be fine for the speeds commonly accessed by beginner and intermediate skiers.
We didn't feel our most confident at higher speeds on the Liberty's, but they would be fine for the speeds commonly accessed by beginner and intermediate skiers.

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".

Their odd flex pattern makes them feel a little wobbly while carving  unless the snow is very soft and forgiving.
Their odd flex pattern makes them feel a little wobbly while carving, unless the snow is very soft and forgiving.

Powder


We made a few good turns in a few inches of powder on the Genesis, but anything deeper and we were all over the shop. They feel 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 Liberty's just can't hang here. They bounced us around like kids in a blow-up castle, but with less giggling. They're light, so they try to skim across the surface, but 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

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, they are fairly flexible and maneuverable. They like to make a shorter turn, so they 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.

Their flexibility and quickness made them fairly adept in moguls
Their flexibility and quickness made them fairly adept in moguls

Value


They sit 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