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.
Check out the latest topsheet graphics for the Genesis 96 above. December 2020
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
How to decide? Start by asking yourself questions about...
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