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Alpine / December 21, 2015

Gear Review: 2015-16 Liberty Origin Men’s Ski

Written by: Phil Lindeman

Conventional wisdom these days says that once you reach a certain level in skiing you absolutely need more than one pair of skis. It’s the quiver mentality — a quiver of two or three skis for cruising, skinning and backcountry charging is the best way to make the most of life on the hill. What the conventional wisdom doesn’t mention is just how expensive it can get, especially if you are on the slopes or in the backountry as much as we are.

 

The Liberty Origin is here to bridge the gap between expense and skill. It’s easily the Avon-based manufacturer’s most popular men’s ski, updated for the 2015-16 season to be a true all-terrain monster. This season, Liberty gave the Origin’s core profile a multi-radius sidecut paired with the company’s “Bomb Rocker” shape. This is a hybrid rocker (slight camber underfoot with full reverse camber on the nose and tail) for a ski that floats effortlessly in the soft stuff and responds like a charm on groomers. The core is a combination of bamboo laminated with poplar.

The updates have already won accolades from several publications, including Editor’s Choice awards from Powder, Skiing Magazine and Backcountry Magazine.

Groomers

The Origin shines on groomers thanks to the updated sidecut profile. The twin-tip ski is fatter than most — it’s 116 mm underfoot, while most shaped skis are 90-100 mm) — but a radial sidecut helps the edges dig into the snow for hard, technical turns. If you want, you can even get low like U.S. Olympian Ted Ligety and whip through a few giant slalom banks.

That said, the hybrid rocker construction makes the ski playful and buttery, even when you aren’t cruising through powder. It won’t chatter and clatter like powder-only skis with extreme full-length rocker. The sizes are definitely geared to all-terrain skiing (174 cm, 182 cm, 190cm), and this definitely won’t be a go-to terrain park ski. But, if the urge strikes to roll through a jump line on a slow Sunday, the Origin will do just fine. Rails, on the other hand, are up to you. That’s one area where a de-tuned quiver ski comes in handy.

Powder

Like all Liberty skis, the Origin looks and feels like it was made for powder. It must be a side effect of its birthplace. Avon is found within minutes of Vail and Beaver Creek, two Meccas for skiers who prefer playing in wide-open bowls and steep glades instead of mellow groomers.

The Origin’s wide waist is paired with an equally fat nose (145 mm) and tail (136 mm), which means you’ll hardly have to fight for that floating-on-a-cloud feeling. The core is nearly smack in the middle of the flex scale, with just enough backbone to handle the occasional cliff drop and just enough flexibility to glide through trees. They’re also relatively light at about 4.8 pounds (2,205 grams) in a 182 mm.

When it’s all said and done, the Origin is an all-terrain ski that feels much more specialized than it actually is. A few tiny tweaks and measurements set it apart from the rest. These make it a near-perfect stepping-stone for skiers who want entry into the big, playful world of all-around mastery — without the price tag of a quiver.

MSRP: $825  MAP: $699

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about the author

Phil Lindeman

Phil Lindeman is a gear junkie based in Summit County, Colorado, where the powder is deep and the singletrack is nearly endless.

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