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.
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Price:  $749 List | $629.99 at Amazon
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
#5 of 7
  • Float - 25% 7
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Playfulness - 20% 6
  • Crud - 20% 9
  • Carving - 10% 9
  • Versatility - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Volkl Confession is a lean, mean, mountain slaying 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 absorbs shocks 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.

Updated Topsheet

The Confession has new graphics, but very little else has changed about this ski since we tested it. See the current version in the photo above.

December 2018


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Volkl Confession
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $629.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$1,299.95 at Backcountry
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$629.86 at Amazon$759.00 at Backcountry$800 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Stable, damp, solid edgeExceptional float, shmeary turn shapes, bomber constructionPowerful, damp, ready to get rowdyBurly, fast, versatileIntuitive turn entry, good float, poppy rocker profile
Cons Heavy, less nimbleExpensive, less exciting on pisteHeavy, less maneuverable at low speedsGrabby, backseat floaterLess stable, not enough dampness for some runouts
Bottom Line Ruthless big-mountain ripper that destroys chop as well as it floats.Unapologetic powder-hungry big mountain tool that provides enough flotation to satisfy US Coast Guard expectations.A strong powder ski that is capable of powering through any conditions.Big-mountain stability and freeride floatation; a solid choice for stunting big lines in deep snow.The Pinnacle 118 balances float and stability and is a solid choice if you're only expecting to encounter soft snow.
Rating Categories Volkl Confession DPS Alchemist Lotus 124 Nordica Enforcer Pro Moment Wildcat K2 Pinnacle 118
Float (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Playfulness (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
8
Crud (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
7
Carving (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Versatility (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs Volkl Confession DPS Alchemist... Nordica Enforcer Pro Moment Wildcat K2 Pinnacle 118
Waist Width (mm) 117 124 115 116 118
Rocker Tip and tail rocker Tip and tail rocker Tip and tail rocker Mustache rocker Powder Rocker with High Rise
Available Lengths (cm) 179, 186, 193 180, 185, 191 191 174, 184, 190 177, 184, 191
Shape 144-117-133 mm 151-124-133 mm 143-115-132 mm 141-116-131 mm 145-118-135 mm
Radius (m) 21.2 m 23 m 21.5 m 25 m 23 m
Weight Per Pair 9.92 lbs 9.3 lbs 10.3 lbs 9.45 lbs 10.2 lbs
Core Material Wood, titanal bands (torsional multilayer) Aspen Poplar, beech, balsa Wood (aspen, pine) Fir, aspen
Tested length (cm) 179 191 191 184 191

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


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

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. It was outperformed by the DPS Alchemist Lotus 124 and the Line Pescado.

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

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 length, 178 cm, the Confession has no speed limits. It's scary fast and super stable and earned one of the highest scores in this metric — and was only outperformed by the Nordica Enforcer Pro. Comparable contenders include our Editors' Choice, the DPS Alchemist Lotus 124.

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 Moment Wildcat. Lacking pop and buttery spin abilities, we felt that other skis performed better in this metric.

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

Crud


In short, this ski is a champion of crud, taking home a top score. Only the Enforcer Pro is better. 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 (i.e., the Enforcer). 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.

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

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.

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 Enforcer Pro, while the DPS Alchemist was close behind.

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

Versatility


Overall, the Confession is 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.

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.

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

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, 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.


Rob Woodworth