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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
Liberty Genesis 96 - Women's
Photo: manufacturer
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Price:  $550 List
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
#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 Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $550 List$469.95 at Amazon$399.00 at Amazon$456.42 at Amazon$649 List
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92
92
74
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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 stabilityGreat stability at high speeds, good on hard snow and crud, affordableAffordable, quick edge-to-edge, beautiful graphics
Cons Erratic at speed and in steeps, only good in light powderNot the perfect powder partnerMore expensive, slightly lumbering in bumpsOnly for shallower pow days, needs strong skier to guide themSlightly soft, lack of edge-hold
Bottom Line If you're a beginner or intermediate skier looking for something affordable that's pretty to wear, these skis could be appropriateThis versatile model is a Goldilocks ski: strong enough to battle the crud, but soft enough to accommodate lighter or mellower skiersAn incredibly versatile ski that shines exceptionally bright on powder daysThis model will do great in everything but the deepest powder and is ideal for an aggressive skierAn affordable, handmade ski from Colorado offering a fun ride on a slightly narrower waist and gorgeous top sheet graphics
Rating Categories Liberty Genesis 96... Volkl Secret 92 Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Faction Dictator 2.0X Icelantic Skis Orac...
Stability At Speed (20%)
1
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Carving (20%)
2.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Crud (20%)
2.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Powder (20%)
3.0
9.0
10.0
5.0
7.0
Playfulness (15%)
2.0
10.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Bumps (5%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Liberty Genesis 96... Volkl Secret 92 Rossignol Soul 7 HD W Faction Dictator 2.0X Icelantic Skis Orac...
Waist Width (mm) 96 92 106 96 88
Shape 130-96-118 130-92-113 136-106-126 127-96-117 126-88-108
Available Lengths (cm) 151, 158, 165, 171 149, 156, 163, 170 156, 164, 172, 180 155, 163, 171, 175, 179, 183, 187 155, 162, 169
Radius (m) 16.5 17.9 18 18 18
Rocker Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip rocker
Weight Per Pair (lbs) 7.6 8.2 7.7 7.9 6.5
Construction Type UHMW P-Tex sidewall Full sidewall Sandwich Sandwich Full sidewall
Core Material Bamboo & Poplar Multilayer woodcore, poplar/beech Paulownia wood Paulownia & Poplar Pacific albus wood
Tested Length (cm) 171 170 172 171 169
Intended Purpose On-piste All mountain All mountain powder All mountain stability Fun and versatile
Ability Level Beginner/Intermediate All levels All levels Advanced/Expert All levels

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