Review: Völkl Deacon 72

Model year: 2023-2024
Sidecut: 125-72-103
Size: 178
Radius: 16.4 m
Technology: wood core, full sidewall, two sheets of metal, tip rocker, Tailored Carbon Tips

About this ski

The Deacon skis were first introduced by Völkl for the 2018-2019 season. After a few years, they redesigned most of them. Last year, they launched this Deacon 72, the narrowest in the line. No more UVO (that dampening ‘puck’ on the front of the ski to help prevent tip chatter), but still substantial tip rocker. Not so much in splay (the amount the tip comes off the snow in terms of hight), but certainly in terms of length of the rocker. 

This means that when skiing flat, about 20 cm of the ski don’t necessarily touch the snow. This could cause tip chatter (wind getting under the tip, making it flap and feel unstable). Völkl have incorporated their Tailored Carbon Tips technology in this ski (in most skis, in fact). It just means carbon stringers in the rockered tip to prevent this tip chatter. And they do their job.

Allround

The previous version of this ski (Deacon 74) needed extreme edge angles to hook on and pull you into a carved turn. Actually, they were only fun in chop and bumps. This new ski, however, hooks up immediately, even when skiing lazily with hardly any technical input. The beauty is, though, that it kind of ‘feels’ what you want to do with it. Cruise around? No problem. Get some high-energy carves in? Let’s do it! Glide to the next coffee break watching the kids having fun? Sure!

Not just allround in terms of energy needed and returned – this ski performs equally well on icy, wind-bashed steep slopes (the grip is tenacious and immediate, despite the rocker) as it does in 20 cm of powder on top of your groomer. In bumps – hard or soft – it is brilliant and fun, helping you instead of kicking your backside. Don’t expect freeride float, of course. But for a 72 mm carving ski with the level of precision and performance that you would normally find in something called ‘Ractiger’, ‘Redster’ or ‘Firebird’, the versatility of this ski is phenomenal. It comes in lengths from 158 to 178, so it is truly unisex as well.

Conclusion

The most allround groomer ski out there. Precision and power if you want it, confidence-inspiring stability with no effort at all, crazy good on the hardest icy runs and in pow-on-groomers too, and for the widest possible range of skiers in terms of size, style, and ability level (intermediate and up). This is hard to beat. It comes in a few colors now.

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

19 comments on “Review: Völkl Deacon 72Add yours →

    1. I don’t think sizing skis in relation to one’s own body length is the way to go (even though this is still done a lot, especially in rental shops, with beginners and kids). In relation to weight, ability level, speed and style – yes.

      In the case of this ski: go for the radius that you want. Stability is not an issue, not even in shorter lengths. That doesn’t mean stability is the same in the longest length as it is in the shortest. I’m just saying that in this segment, stability is not a thing to worry about.

  1. Hi Gigi

    Can you compare the deacon 72 to the 76?
    Would the latter add even more versatility due to its width?

    Nice review. Looks like a total winner!

    1. The 76’s width is not a gamechanger in any way. Why you would get the 76 instead of the 72 would be the larger radius and a bit more serious character (of the 76).

    2. Heya gigi, time for me to “retire” my dynastar speedzone 14s after 120 odd ski days (i got them on your recommendation).

      Did you also test these in shorter lengths or only 1m78? Reason i am asking is i have a pair of longer radius skis (fischer the curv gt in 1m82).. and these ski significantly different depending on the length you ski.

      Also wondering if this one is closer to the 24 pro or the master.

      1. I also tested the 173 length, which is a bit more towards ‘short radius’ skis in feel and responsiveness. Compared to a Curv GT, both 173 and 178 length Deacon 72s feel like ‘shorter radius’. The difference between the 173 and 178 length is less significant than the difference between the 178 Deacon 72 and the Curv GT (even though on paper the Curv GT’s radius seems only slightly longer).
        In short: the Deacon 72 is substantially more towards shorter turn skis, and more versatile than most consumer SL skis. A difference between the Deacon 72 and the Deacon 72 Pro is the heavier construction and Marker Piston plate in the Pro version, making it a slightly stronger ski than the Curv GT, despite the shorter radius. The Pro is significantly stronger in feel (and less playful and with less ease of handling on lower speeds) compared to the regular Deacon 72.
        I hope this helps. For a full advice, please use this page: https://gigiski.com/advice/

        1. Heya Gijs, just a quick follow up.

          I’ve now skied/tested the deavon 72 master. Not in ideal circumstances (it has been dumping were i live in the dolomites since friday). So parts knee high snow parts 15-20 cm fresh on prepped pistes, part mogulled out, cut up crut.

          They performed marvelously. Of course attention in the deeper stuff, but everything else very good. As you said skis shorter than its radius, and it just felt like a very easy ski, but then in a cut up steeper section you start pushing and you get a lot of energy back playing with aft balance end of turn.

          Still need to test them on snow that doesnt push back (hard), but at least in more all mountain circumstances they perform much better than expected. Totally follow your review.

    1. There is a full review of the rally on this site, so you can compare yourself as well.
      My conclusion would be that the Deacon has much more performance genes than the current e-Rally had. Both very allround in terms of turn shapes etc, but the level of energy is quite different. The Deacon is much more performant than the e-Rally.

  2. Thanks Gigi, I’ll check it out. I would’ve thought the e-Magnum is better comparison point than e-Rally due to the same width though.

    1. The e-Magnum is a bit less stable or performant than the e-Rally. Forget the measurement when comparing the Supershapes to the Deacons; the measurements may be the only thing they share. It’s the over-all feel, energy, character that is very different.

  3. Thanks for this very interesting review!

    I think I want this ski, but I’m in doubt about sizing. I’m coming off an old pair of Atomic SX 11 Race oriented ski. Skis are 176cm in length, waist 68, radius 17m.

    I’m an experienced skier, can get down any type of piste with decent speed. I can carve the blue pistes, but red ones I end up skidding a lot. Or just straight line and break at the end…

    I want to improve my carving and really learn to hang into the carve, getting my body down. I figured this might be easier to learn on a bit easier to handle ski with a shorter length and radius so that I’m not gaining too much speed on the red pistes and can stay carving instead of skidding.

    Do you think the 173cm Deacon 72 would work to progress my carving skills or would you recommend another size? I’m 85kg and 186cm tall.

    1. For a skier your size and ability, I would suggest the 178 length. The ski’s will help you to carve. If you want a carve-only ski, I suggest you find another ski rather than a different size of this ski.

      1. In which case I would end up with almost the same radius and lenght as my current skis.

        Making me realize that it’s maybe not new skis I’m looking for, but rather trying to improve my carving skills on my current.

        Thanks for your prompt response!

  4. Thanks for a great review!
    It actually made me want this ski.
    Im very unsure about the size, since the gaps are only 5cm. Im 173 tall and about 82kg. Advanced skier, skiing all slopes, but mostly only gromed slopes. The 168 size looks good but the turnradius i quite short 14,5.
    How do you suggest i should think?

    1. They’re stable AND manageable in all lengths for any advanced skier. So choose your preferred radius, I would suggest. If I were to spend your money for you, I would buy the 173 length based on the information provided.

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