The fat ski trend has penetrated the new millenial genre of XCD skis and it is no surprise that Voile is pushing the envelope of what is acceptable. For those stuck in the XCD is Nordic is skinny paradigm, Voile’s Vector BC is here to smash that vision to smithereens. In case you hadn’t noticed, fat waxless metal edged skis are one of the hottest ski categories of the day.
The reason is simple – it’s that old fashioned feature called versatility. Versatility can mean compromise, but it can also mean performance when you don’t have to waste time switching tools and modes. That’s what Voile’s Vector BC does in spades.
Name the function, and in the waxless metal edged world, the Vector BC probably outshines any other ski. With a solid 90mm waist width, and a waxless pocket that extends well outside the kick zone with a downhill, not a Nordic, camber the Vector BC climbs steeper than the Madshus Annum or Fischer S-Bound 112.
It turns easier too, not only because it is wider and therefore floats better, but also because of an early rise tip, making it shorter for faster turning. It is lighter than the regular Vector so it won’t handle crud as well its downhill brother, but it will handle mank better than other XCD skis.
That early rise tip is even more useful when breaking trail. In deep snow the tip floated to the surface on every step, while other skis, even skis as wide as 112mm at the shovel didn’t rise to the surface as easily as the Vector BC did. Keep in mind, you won’t notice this ability with a 3-pin binding, but you will with a free-pivoting binding like a Switchback or a Dynafit.That is a less obvious feature of the Vector BC. It is wide enough that it’s a good all round backcountry ski for farming turns, and thus a contender for the rando minded using light, touring efficient boots and tech-fiddle toes. Not only is it wide, but the profile is the same as the Voile’s Vector so you might even want to use ‘em with skins for a sustained, steep uphill. However, with a pair of Vector BC’s tours you may not need skins, especially when you have a long, low angle approach that can be flashed by not having to deal with skins; use the waxless pattern to cover that flat ground with more glide and just enough grip.
The blend of grip, glide, deep snow flotation and turning functionality make the Vector BC a game changing form of XCD ski where the downhill achieves new levels of performance, and the waxless pattern is so large it can climb a 15° track reliably in textured snow, 20° if it is warm. That means you can either leave the skins behind and save weight, or leave them in your pack to save time by eliminating transitions. It helps to know how to set a good low angle track, but in case you don’t know, just use the Vector BC’s without skins and they will school you – and how.
It is true they are a bit heavier than narrower fish-scaled versions, but not much. For a long distance cross-country tour these are too big, but for a short cruise in the local woods and hills, or a full day farming turns, they’re perfect.Depending on what your fave form of sliding is, Voile’s Vector BC is one of the few skis that spans a broad enough range of usefulness to qualify as a backcountry quiver of one. The more time you spend mixing it up with kick ‘n’ glide tours, or casual strolls in the woods and foothills, to earning turns, the more appropriate the Vector BC is.