REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Renoun Earhart 88 2020-2021
47 Maple Street, Ste 333,
Burlington, VT 05401 USA
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
Women's All Mountain
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9+ for all-mountain resort usage because of its high performance and friendly personality in so many conditions for so many skiers
8 for powder conditions due to its narrow chassis redeemed by ample rocker in the forebody.
Cyrus Schenk grew up skiing Vermont in the United States, and while attending Clarkson University for Engineering, discovered the science behind the unique properties of non-Newtonian materials. Being inspired to build a ski utilizing these instantly-adaptable materials, Cyrus developed prototypes with friends, decided to create his company called Renounn 2011 and won the 2015 and 2019 ISPO Innovation Gold Medal award with his patented (2 ski patents) "Hyper Dampening Technology (HDT)" (now VibeStop™ (HDT)) ski design. Since then, the Burlington, Vermont-based Renoun has developed a series of carving, all-mountain and freeride ski designs incorporating VibeStop, instantly impressing a wide swath of ski testers, industry insiders and skiers all over the World. Cyrus designs his skis and specifications in Burlington, Vermont and hires the expert ski and snowboard builders at Utopie Manufacturing in Rimouski, Quebec to execute the construction of those designs into his premium product.
"A hardpack & groomer focused ski designed and tested by Women. Rocker in the tip & tail add versatility in soft snow while camber underfoot allows you to carve hard on groomers. Designed, prototyped and tested by women, the Earhart 88 wasn’t designed by a committee of men. With best-in-class edge hold, smooth turn initiation and a playful personality, it makes skiing feel effortless again. Rocker in the tip and tail add versatility in soft or variable snow while camber underfoot allows you to carve hard on the groomers. With plenty of stability thanks to two partial sheets of titanal metal and 8 inlays of our patented non-Newtonian VibeStop™ (HDT) polymer, you will never feel so confident on a pair of skis."
-Website January 2021
Technical Ski Data:
Radius:15.5m (177cm), 14.5m (170cm), 13.5m (163cm), 12.5m (156cm), 12m (149cm)
Lengths:177cm, 170cm, 163cm, 156cm, 149cm
Weight:1,440g/ski (170cm), 1,400g/ski (163cm) claimed
Factory Bevel:1 degree base / 1 degree side
VibeStop™ 8 Channels
Aspen wood core
Two partial sheets of titanal metal, carbon fiber and tri-axial fiberglass
Diagram Courtesy Renoun Skis
2 Year warranty against defects.
"This guarantee gives you 3 days on-now to try out your new skis. Within 6 months of delivery, if you don't absolutely love your skis after 3 days skiing, we will buy them back no questions asked. So, if you buy the skis today, but your first days of skiing aren't for almost 6 months, then you can still return them."
Bindings, Boots & Wax Used:
Marker Griffon demo bindings
Salomon S/Pro 100 Women's boots
Salmon S/Max 130 Carbon boots
Green Ice Waxes
Our demo pair of 170cm Earharts had seen some usage prior to us getting them, so we could judge how the skis stood up to usage in real-world conditions. The skis have a handsome, understated graphic design and color scheme everyone admired upon seeing them for the first time (young and old skiers alike). The fit and finish were excellent for all the components. The skis felt remarkably lightweight in-hand, with a soft shovel and tail with firmer midsection and a damp-ish rebound feel. Tip rocker was fairly deep for a frontside all-mountain design, with tails having a more conservative, slightly rockered profile. Sidecut was fairy curvy with a pronounced forebody tapering progressively to the waist and finishing with a more conservative tail shaping. It looks like a modern, turny frontside design without venturing into slalom carver shape territory. As we learned later, the soft hand-flex is deceiving and does not indicate the ski's true performance abilities.
Boilerplate eastern hardpack, densely blown man-made snow pack, dry natural packed powder, corduroy, shin-deep fluffy powder, refrozen, regroomed old manmade snow, soft bumps, hard bumps, low-angle and moderate-angle tree runs.
The Renoun Earhart is a stunning example of what a modern "all-mountain" frontside ski can be because of its ability to perform at a very high level in various conditions and types of skiing with remarkably little effort for a huge variety of skiers. It yields one of the widest ranges of abilities in an all-mountain ski we have seen. We confirmed what one of Renoun's prototype testers said... "Any ski that I can have a blast on as an ex-racer, and then hand off to my mom to try out for a few runs is a very unique ski." The Earhart skis have the ability to deliver an incredibly playful, energetic, adventurous, (even mischievous) ride in a chassis that exudes equal parts of friendliness and superbly confident security under pressure or at speed. This is a hard mark to hit, and Renoun's execution of the Earhart scored dead-center on it for a huge population of skiers. The Earhart's are equally at home pressuring intensively technical carved arcs into hardpack as they are bouncing through soft bumps or diddling with agility through the trees over stumps, logs and brush in powdery conditions. They Earharts work best if you don't force them... relax and let the ski engage the snow... don't make the ski do what you think it should....direct them in the trajectory you want to go...apply only enough pressure to get them to recognize what you want to do (like riding a horse and giving subtle cues with legs and reigns), then enjoy the ride. Step them up a notch with faster edge changes and higher pressure levels...or lazily cruise through your run...you pick..they abide. That's a ski that disappears underfoot and you stop thinking about it...just ski it.
The Earharts can dance through skied-out conditions without any effort or deflective distractions, yet arc some GS-like turns at high speed with a quiet, authoritative security underfoot probably thanks to VibeStop™ (HDT). Some all-mountain skis excel at carving, others excel at cutting through crud, while others excel floating powdery tree runs. The Renoun Earhart seems to be do any of these things with a surprisingly high level of performance, and with its development based on input and review by women, it hits the mark in its appeal to female skiers because it works so well for its audience. Hard-core heavy-hitter skiers may overdrive the Earhart..but it's not intended for that audience. The Earhart's construction and geometry is similar to the unisex Endurance 88 model, with adjustments to sidecut and Titanal componentry shapes to create its female-targeted design, and Renoun has really impressed both male and female testers with its personality and performance. With a "love them or we'll buy them back" guarantee and a two year warranty on manufacturer's defects... it's irresistible (yeah..we liked them big-time).
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The soft hand flex and ample forebody rocker profile gave us the impression we'd have to use caution and resign ourselves to mediocre hardpack performance....and man, were we deceived. The Earharts were enthusiastically grippy and delivered an impressive, highly reliable grip on rock-hard surfaces without forcing the skier into race-mode setup and execution of turns. Press them into the surface at the desired edge angle at slow or high speeds, and the Earharts were secure, predictable, reliably energetic and quick edge to edge with a quiet demeanor and excellent vibration frequency control. While many modern all-mountain skis deliver excellent grip on hardpack, the Earharts do it with a shockingly low level of effort. Having reviewed 6 different pairs of high-end dedicated technical carvers, GS and SL race skis this season before getting on the Earharts, our standards for hardpack grip were pretty high, and the Earharts surprised us with how grippy they can be, even with a modest tune....especially for a soft-flexing ski requiring nearly zero pilot effort to get it engaged into the surface during rowdy runs. We will never judge a ski's hard surface performance based on hand flexing again.
Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:
The Renoun Earhart is at home when the snow surface is variable density, depth and dryness. It's compliant flex and forgiveness absorbs irregularities and lets the skier concentrate on where they want to go and how they want to go there. You never really have to bring the skis back to your desired position on the snow when traversing mixed surface materials...they just stay where you want them. Responsiveness, stability and agility are key characteristics when arcing or dancing through variable conditions, and the Earharts seem to have all 3 at nearly every speed level so intermediates to experts can rip along at their desired pace though cut-up, skied out conditions and have a confident, fun and spunky time of it. Due to the significant tip rocker profile and taper, the Earharts can feel a bit shorter than they measure at high speeds through choppy conditions, but instead of becoming unsettled like most soft and rockered all-mountain skis in these situations...they merely feel a bit darty and quick...but never unravelled. The soft flex pattern will disappoint skiers looking for a beefy-strong freeride huck-landing platform to support big air, but it seems that crowd is not what Renoun is aiming for with the frontside, resort-oriented Earharts. There is just a hint of wander running the Earharts flat on trail runouts...but it disappears as soon as you pressure a ski. The light weight and compliant flex delivers a ride with very little effort required by the skier to get high-performance behaviors, and you can ski the Earharts pretty much all day at a high level without feeling drained or tested by a strength conditioning coach.
We did not get powder conditions beyond shin-deep due to a dry early season in Vermont, but what powder we did find showed the Earharts' tip rocker and taper profile in the forebody provided easy floatation and turn initiation with essentially zero effort, while the 88mm waist and tail profile delivered a decent level of support (as much as 88mm of waist can provide underfoot) and excellent variety of turn finishes ranging from banked arcs to tail smears and slashes at a variety of speeds with equal response and ease. The Earharts seem as at-home in three-dimensional snow as they do arcing on hardpack groomers, and allow you to spend your time looking at features and snow densities you want to ski instead of working your ski to get there. The Earharts showed a bias toward directional behavior in powdery conditions rather than purely surfy-smeary antics, but blended the two nicely when you wanted a little of both in the tighter trees or wider, more open terrain, making them versatile as a frontside "nearly-do-it-all" ski. The Earharts are really agile in powdery conditions in Eastern tree runs with their light feel and eager-to-please personality.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
The Earharts have one of the most easy-to-start turn initiation behaviors we have found in an all-mountain resort-targeted ski. The tip rocker profile is fairly deep, so the effective edge in the forebody is shorter and gives the feeling of engaging closer to the toepiece when it gets pressed into the surface. When you tip the Earhart on-edge to begin a turn, it engages with eager, yet controlled and friendly enthusiasm and feels like you get grip right underfoot right away, rather than having to feed it from the shovel down the length of the ski to your midsection pressure point for the apex of the turn. While some skis might give the impression of being "darty" or "hooky" with this behavior, the Earharts are quite the opposite, instead delivering an elgantly progressive grip and directional change feeding through the midbody and tail of the ski to pull you across the hill in your new direction. You can release the tail at any time, or ride it hard in a race-like arc to finish your turn...which caters to a wide variety of skiers and skill levels. The feel underfoot turn the turn sequence is excellent, with the Earharts communicating the density, depth and grip of the snow along its entire length to the skier really well without feeling isolated like a super-damp, super-heavy ski or overly intense like a pure carbon ski. You can feel the snow in the forebody, midsection and tail of the Earharts really well throughout your turn maneuvers at speeds ranging from pokey to ripping, so you know how to adjust pressure and edge angles accordingly to get the turn shape you want. Instructors will love demonstrating turns with the Earharts for a wide range of students from aspiring intermediates to those looking to improve their piste-etching skills.
Manufacturer's Mounting Position:
We skied the Earharts on the recommended line for nearly all situations after adjusting the demo bindings back and forth 1cm for experimentation.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
Your best friend when you were growning up. Always ready to play, always fun, seriously mischevious, surprisingly athletic, able and willing to do anything and be good at it, always game to get into a some trouble for excitement, yet modest and refined in front of your parents. The first person you call when you're going out.
Notable Tester Comments:
"I first tested the Earhart ski while it was still in the prototyping phase. I tested four (I think… it’s been a while!!) versions of the ski including the very first prototype as well as a few of the following iterations that Renoun was exploring at the time. As far as women’s skis go, I was impressed by the Earhart even in its development phase. It was a playful, maneuverable, and well rounded ski that worked with me as a skier instead of against me.
I am a little bit unique in the skiing world because of my size and skill. I’m an expert skier who is five feet tall and barely 100 pounds--it is so easy for me to end up on a ski that makes me feel tired, incapable, or bored. I was afraid of this when I stepped into the Earhart, but what I found after my first few runs was the opposite--even skiing the 170 prototypes, the Earhart ski served me through carving groomers, hitting some bumps, freshies here and there, and even through the slushy stuff. Basically, whatever I felt like doing (or NOT doing) on the mountain, the Earhart was there for me.
The Earhart is a really fun, interesting ski underfoot that easily conquered the melding pot of conditions we’re faced with every day in Vermont. It would make anyone, anywhere feel successful, confident, and secure in their turns and get the most out of their time on the mountain. This is an incredibly trustworthy ski--an extremely user friendly and versatile piece of equipment. Any ski that I can have a blast on as an ex-racer, and then hand off to my mom to try out for a few runs is a very unique ski. No matter the style or skill, the Earhart seemed to step up to the challenge (or tone it down) as it was met by different skiers or changing conditions. Testing the Earhart ski was such a special experience. In part because of the ski itself, but also
because of the care and consideration of the small company creating it. In the course of a few days, we not only tested some great skis, but we found ourselves in a wonderful little community of women skiers. Every step in creating this was taken with women in mind and with women in the driver’s seat. Women in sports (and women everywhere!) want to be listened to and taken seriously. The team behind the Earhart was tasked with an incredible responsibility of building something that women can use, enjoy, and be taken seriously on. They did all of these things, and kept real, actual women at the epicenter of the entire process. Renoun let women guide them, and that intention and thoughtfulness has allowed them to launch an extremely mindfully made ski for women. Not to mention, Renoun has given women an every day, reliable, enjoyable, and adaptable ski that isn’t frilly or pink… which we’re all so grateful for, because that happens a lot!"
“After skiing the Earharts in almost every condition the East coast has to offer, I can say it is one of the most stable and adaptable skis I’ve been on. As an 18 year old female skier with a fair amount of experience, but no competitive background, I was able to click in and go with the Earharts. No matter the conditions or my plan for the day, I’d be sure to put these skis in the car. The Earharts will flow down the mountain without needing an overly assertive skier, but can also open up into big arcing turns if you’re willing to lean into them. I found the Earhart skis can be reigned in for bump runs, glades, and tight trails just as easily as they can spread snow on the groomers. These skis will get as serious as the skier wants them to be (for most of us anyway!).
On a lot of all-mountain skis, I’ve found myself fighting to stay out of the backseat, especially in soft snow, but haven’t had this feeling with the Earharts. Having a ski designed by women in the ski community means we finally have something that caters to the female body’s lower center of gravity, makes serious turns without needing a taller or heavier skier to keep them in control, and inspires confidence. I’ve had some of my best ski days this season on the Earharts, and am sad to send the demos back!”
Super friendly, but rips when you want it to.
Seems to do pretty much anything really well without thinking.
Smooth, smooth smooth...almost elegant feel.
Quick, but can rail GS turns smooth as glass on groomers at a bunch of different speeds
Really cranks out carved turns at a bunch of sizes with very little effort
I could put nearly anybody on this ski and they would like it.
Is there anything this ski doesn't do well?
This is the ski to bring to the resort when you don't know the conditions.
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Nothing....aside from some cool red, green or orange graphic accents.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
Probably one of the most appealing skis for a huge segment of women skiers looking for an all-mountain model. It does so much, so well so easily for so many kinds of skiers, it's really impressive. (Even the guy testers think it's awesome)
What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?
Intermediates, instructors, experts and technical, finesse-oriented skiers will rave about the Earhart's friendly, playful and high-performance personality all over the frontside in all conditions. Big-gun muscle skiers looking for a charger will find it too soft and compliant.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Remember the "Love-Them-Or-Get-A-Refund" policy and two year warranty when you look at the price. Western skiers may want to bump up a notch from their normal size for more high-speed, GS like cruising.
Renoun Earhart Tip Detail
Renoun Earhart Tail Detail
Renoun Earhart Midsection Profile
Renoun Earhart Sidewall Detail
Renoun Earhart Tail Profile
Renoun Earhart Tip Profile
Several companies provide discounts or donations to support our ski testing program.
Your browser does not support iframes.