For the last SkiTech review on The Open Road, we decided to review the Volkl Tigershark 12 Foot Power Switch ski. We also tried skis from Rossignol, Scott, and others, but this Volkl Tigershark is the one we most eagerly anticipated because it makes the most obvious use of technology. It actually features a dial on the tail of the ski that you dial up to stiffen the ski and down to soften it, depending on the snow condition.
In our tests, the dial works. But how well Volkl's Power Switch technology works (or, rather, how much you feel the difference) depends on the type of skier you are and what you weigh. For our bigger reviewers the Tigershark's Power Switch technology didn't offer much benefit. For Jaime (who runs a little on the light side - wuss :-), it was a nice feature.
But it was by no means a "must have" feature for any of our reviewers. Here's what one of our reviewers had to say:
Skied the Tiger Shark today in 10 inches "mashed potato" powder at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. The ski performed well at powering through the heavy wind-blown snow. With the wide tips the ski planed out on top well and were easy to throw around through the bumps, although in the deep powder this ski didn't compare to my much wider Volkl Katanas. Great all mountain ski with a wide range of versatility from top to bottom conditions.
It's not a powder ski, and Volkl doesn't pitch it as such. The Volkl Tigershark 12 Foot Power Switch is, however, strong in every other snow condition in which we skied it. It's more of an all-mountain/race ski, which is how Volkl pitches it (It has other skis that fit the powder-lover's profile, like the Katana mentioned above). We were just hoping that the Volkl Power Switch technology would turn the ski into even more than it was designed to be.
Still, it's a fun ski and one to consider. I just wonder if the Power Switch technology is more bother than it's worth. Most people aren't going to want to bother with dialing the Tigershark's Power Switch feature. People just want to ski and technology should augment this without getting in the way. I suspect most people reviewing this would prefer Volkl's Unlimited AC40 Carbon, which performs well in a greater variety of snow conditions, including powder.
That said, if you want to shred the groomers or crud, Volkl's Tigershare 12 Foot Power Switch ski may be the right ski for you...whether you dial it or not. Chances are, you will set it once and then will forget about it. And that will be just fine....