Volkl Women's Attiva Tierra Skis w/ iPT 11.0 TC Binding:
Last season Volkl's Women's Attiva AC3 ski picked up multiple awards for its versatility and expert-oriented all-mountain performance. This year Volkl's Attiva Tierra Ski with integrated Marker iPT 11.0 TC Binding comes closest to replicating the design, but we like the added emphasis on a female-specific construction that's oriented toward high performance. That's important because while almost all ski manufacturers create women's skis with the binding position closer to the tip than men's skis (this helps with turn initiation), the expert female skiers often opt for men's skis for the added speed and power. In a word, the Attiva Tierra is lighter and a little lower in the tip than the former AC3. It still features titanium for the extra power some women seek from the fastest boy's toys. The Attiva Tierra Ski features an extended wood core design that consists of two wood strips along the sides laminated to a bottom layer of titanium. Volkl maintained the female-specific 20/20 performance (20 percent lighter and 20 percent softer than unisex skis) while milling out the top section of the extended wood core to accommodate the new Marker Motion iPT 11.0 Piston Binding. It's a lightweight binding design that improves the ski flex through an improved Motion system. The iPT stands for "internal power transmission" because unlike previous Marker Motion bindings, this one is built into the ski, created the most rigid connection ever developed for this binding line. Because the sides of the binding interface rest directly on top of the Attiva Tierra's Extended Double Grip construction, you can apply more pressure directly over the ski edges. This gives you better response with the same lively feel that quickly rebounds through the perfectly rounded ski flex in each turn. Another binding enhancement is the interface that snaps together according to your boot sole length, so you can do away with the weighty adjustment dial. Our take on the Attiva Tierra Ski remains the same as last season--if you don't do the squats, lunges and weights throughout the summer months, you may find this ski to be more challenging than other women's all mountain skis, but if you feel trapped or confined by the performance limitations of previous expert women's skis, the Attiva Tierra Ski might be your best trip down the mountain.