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

Volkl Confession Review

Ruthless big-mountain ripper that destroys chop as well as it floats.
Volk Confession 2018
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Price:  $749 List | $561.75 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stable, damp, solid edge
Cons:  Heavy, less nimble
Manufacturer:   Volkl
By Rob Woodworth ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 5, 2017
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Float - 25% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Crud - 20% 9
  • Playfulness - 20% 6
  • Carving - 10% 9
  • Versatility - 5% 8

The Skinny

The Volkl Confession is a lean, mean, slaying of mountains machine. It's build to charge on gnarly terrain which is why so it's so popular on the pro circuit. Titanal bands combine with a vertical sidewall, generous camber underfoot, and a slight rocker in the front to provide a stable platform for hard-charging deep snow debauchery. The traditional shape encourages aggressive turn shapes while the multilayer wood core reinforced with carbon stringers is able to absorb shock from massive impacts. If you intend to send that no-fall zone and make it look easy, then you'd better hope you're on the Confession.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Hands-On Review


For this review, we tested the 179 cm version of the Confession. Surely, some of the testers would have been happier with the 186 or 193—but that could be said about many of the skis in this review. Despite its relative shortness, even our biggest testers felt solid while clicked into the Confession.

186 Volkl Confession
186 Volkl Confession

Stability at Speed


Top-end stability is no doubt the forte of the Confession. The sandwiched core of poplar, ash, carbon, and titanal gives the ski a stiff but progressive flex that can power through high-speed maneuvers while still dampening chatter. Extra rigidity from the carbon stringers also reduces vibrational deflections. Even in the shortest offered 178 cm, the Confession has no speed limits; it's scary fast and super stable - it earned one of the highest scores in this metric — and was only outperformed by the Blizzard Spur. Comparable contenders include our Editors' Choice, the Moment Wildcat.

With titanium reinforcement  the Confession has an incredibly damp and stable ride.
With titanium reinforcement, the Confession has an incredibly damp and stable ride.

Carving


At first glance, the Confession may not seem like an arc-friendly ski. For skiers used to narrower widths, lighter weights, and softer flexes, it could feel a bit cumbersome and slow edge-to-edge. But once it's laid over, this model locks in and doesn't let go. Compared to other skis in its width, the Confession is a savage and aggressive carver. Evidently built with the ex-racer in mind, this ski necessitates higher speeds and lots of forward pressure to rail turns.

Burly sidewalls enable the Confession to bite in all kinds of snow.
Burly sidewalls enable the Confession to bite in all kinds of snow.

More lackadaisical carvers would probably prefer a softer, lighter ski, but wouldn't get the same exiting power offered in the Confession. Comparable models include the Elan Ripstick 116, while the Moment Wildcat was close behind.

Crud


In short, this ski is a champion of crud, taking home a near perfect score. With all the structural fortifications and tough-as-nails construction, the Confession has the same dampness we'd expect to find in a metal laminate ski. On both high and low-angle, it eats up anything in its path letting you drive it anywhere you'd like with reckless abandon. Stupendous torsional rigidity keeps your edge locked in even when cranking short radius turns through bumpy chunder. It seems that the harder we pushed this pair of blanks, the more reliable it became. The Blizzard Spur was the second highest scoring model in this metric and offered nearly comparable performance.

There seems to be no chop the Confession can't handle.
There seems to be no chop the Confession can't handle.

Float


Compared to other skis like the Moment Wildcat and Line Pescado, we felt the Confession had less float, less playfulness, and greater stability. While it still managed to stay atop creamy, boot-top hero snow, we found it a little heavy to swing around on low-angle and tight terrain, though it still scores well. Similar to how it carves, the Confession performs better when pushed fast through deep snow, and was outperformed by the Blizzard Spur and the Line Pescado.

Deep turns for the Confession.
Deep turns for the Confession.

Playfulness


By nature, the Confession isn't a blatantly playful ski. Unless you consider shredding spines and stomping mandatory drops to be playful. Then, it's really playful. But the directional, stiff nature of this ski didn't feel as stunty as, say, the Atomic Backland Bent Chetler or Moment Wildcat. Lacking pop and buttery spin abilities, we felt that other skis performed better in this metric.

Versatility


Overall, we felt that the Confession was a very capable and dynamic ski on ever-changing snow conditions. The combination of aggressive edge hold, top-end stability, and crud-busting stamina make it a very solid choice for strong skiers looking to go fast all day. While there might be better options for dedicated floatation, this is a very well-rounded powder ski.

Eating up some variable conditions; no sweat for the Confession.
Eating up some variable conditions; no sweat for the Confession.

Best Applications


This is a bonafide big-mountain line slayer. If you like getting puckered atop steep chutes and chossy cliffs, then you'll find a friend in the Confession. While it could also have great utility on your next cat or heli adventure, this competitor is a bit on the heavy side to serve as a backcountry crossover ski. It's more likely to serve you as an inbounds, all-mountain enforcer.

Value


For a middle-of-the-road MSRP, the Confession is a good value. Not only is this ski built to last but it's also capable of tearing it up on more than just powder days.

Conclusion


We loved this ski. Even in the shortest length available, we felt that the Confession was eager to send in any and all conditions. It is a damp and powerful ski that will crush big lines with ease. Furthermore, its ability to power through chop means that you won't find yourself frustrated when you venture out of the deep stuff. All in all, the Confession is badass big-mountain powder ski.

No pizza. Only schnitzel.
No pizza. Only schnitzel.


Rob Woodworth