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Picking the right All mountain ski - volkl ac30 vs. blizzard 8.1 vs fischer watea 84

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for an all mountain ski that fits my needs.

 

About me: 5'9 165 lbs. I'm an expert type III skier, been skiing since I could walk.

 

What I'm looking for: I'm looking for an all mountain ski to ski East and West Coast. I like doing it all, off piste steeps, bumps, and groomers. Although I'm a good skier, I don't need a crazy aggressive racing style ski. I'm hoping to find something thats soft enough for moguls but will still hold an edge out east. I'm also only 165 lbs so I don't think I will need the stiffest ski on the market. I'm also thinking of getting an additional powder ski for crazy snow days (probably Icelantic Shamans), so my all mountain ski doesn't need to be crazy wide (probably  no more than low 80s under foot). I tried the mantras last year and they were way too much of an aggressive GS ski and not nearly soft enough in the  moguls. I tend not to like crazy wide turning radius' but could deal with wider ones if they were reactive enough and felt smaller. 

 

Does anyone have advice? I'm debating between the AC30s, Blizzard 8.1, Elan 78 Ti, Fischer Watea 84. Any feeback on these skis or additional recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 11

i dont know much about these skis. but i did want to point out that according to sierra jim the ac 30 is going to be discontinued. so i imagine you will be able to get some great deals if you wait a little bit. im not sure how it works just something to consider.

post #3 of 11

Don't know where you live but Anderson Ski and Dive in RI has a pair of Watea's that were set up on Christmas delivery lay away and not picked up with bindings  $465

They looked to be about 170's but I didn't look that close.

 

I was in there last night cashing out some of my consignment stuff that sold over the weekend.....

post #4 of 11

I am similar in size and ability to you. Of the 4 skis you have mentioned, I have owned the AC30 and the Watea 84, and I have skied the Elan. No experience with the Blizzards.

I found that even in a 170cm, the AC30 was too "stiff," too much high-energy feedback for my weight; if I lived in the East it might have had more appeal.

The Elan just didn't appeal to me. Skied alright but no pizzazz.

I really liked my 176cm Watea 84s. They skied everything very well. I have seen comments on Epic with people saying they didn't think they held on hard snow/ ice, but I had no problem with them. They were light and quick enough for moguls and trees, skied the crud well, and were even fine in 12" plus powder.

A friend of mine loved my Wateas so I let him have them and I replaced them with 170cm Nordica HR Pro Burners(84mm waist.) I would have liked to ski the Burner in the 178cm length but it would not work in the crud and junk for me. Because I can ski the Wateas in a 176cm, I prefer the Wateas. Personal preference.

post #5 of 11
I own a pair of the current AC30 design with the wide ride binding and love it! I lean toward old school style and am a bit heavier than you at 195 and 5'9" and I ski the 170. I bought it at the end of last season and took it to Whiefish and Fernie where it performed great though the deepest freshies we had was only 8-12 inches. Hopefully I will find out how they do in deeper snow next week when I am in Beaver Creek and Vail ( YIPPEE!!) I ski the same terrain as you described and ski east coast the rest of the season. I highly reccomend them especially if you can get them at discount.

I skied the Blizzard 8.1 last season and wasn't impressed. My old school style did not mesh with these skis that want to carve new school style. Otherwise they are a great ski if they match your style. The Mag 7.6 I tried this year was more to my old school style.

The Elan 7.8 ti was another ski I tried at a recent demo day and found it most pleasing. Not dyamic like my AC30's but solid competence, like a Honda Accord to my AC30's German BMW Teutonic feel or some BS like that. smile.gif

Never tried the Fishers.

Good luck,

Rick G
post #6 of 11

How would you say old school style compares with the "new school carving style"? What type of differences between the two would account for why you liked the AC30 better than the Blizzard? I've been debating between the two as well.

post #7 of 11

The AC30 is a one-trick pony groomer railing ski. If you want to go off-piste, bumps etc., it's useless.Far too stiff for any decent pow (or bumps). Boredom central if you want something to do anything other than carve all day. OK for least coast ice rinks, boring for much else out there. The AC50 is wider so it does better in pow, but again, it has VERY limited capability other than just railing groomers.

 

Add the Dynastar 8000 / Sultan 85, Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel/ Jet Fuel to good all-around places to go, things to do ski. Kastle also has some good stuff, and the Watea is also well received regarding ability to go various places.

post #8 of 11

I have skied all three rather extensively and owned two of the three. Despite the similarities, you are looking at skis that are more or less at opposite ends of the terrain/snow conditions spectrum. The AC-30 and Mag 8.1 are roughly similar in that they are both fairly stiff, hard snow biased skis while the Watea 84 is a softer ski and is much more soft snow oriented. Of the three, the Watea is certainly a better ski in softer western conditions, bumps, and moderate speeds. It is also more forgiving than the other two. If you prioritize these conditions, then the Watea is the choice. The Blizzi and the Volkl are certainly more work in soft snow and bumps but have much better grip and stability on harder snow and have a higher speed range at the cost of being less forgiving. Both of those tend to favor a somewhat more attentive and accomplished driver. Of those two, the Blizzi is somewhat more versatile.

 

If you want something with a bit more even split between hard and soft snow then I'd suggest you look at the Dynastar Sultan 85 or the Fischer Motive 84. Both of those are more stable and grippy than the Watea while being more versatile in soft or mixed conditions than the Volkl or Blizzi. If you were to look at hard snow/soft snow bias on a linear scale the skis mentioned would fall something like this..........

 

Soft Snow........................................................................................................................Hard Snow

                W-84                                                    S-85/M-84                            M 8.1        AC-30

 

 

SJ

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post

How would you say old school style compares with the "new school carving style"? What type of differences between the two would account for why you liked the AC30 better than the Blizzard? I've been debating between the two as well.


At first glance these skis have very similar dimensions, but the AC30 has a more forgiving tail. If you turn both skis upside down and compare the tail profiles you will see that the Blizzard 8.1 has a rather square tail that does not turn up or taper very much. That type of tail will want you to complete your carved turn before initiating your next turn. No old school tail skidding here. They want you to lay down some trenches.

OTOH, the AC30 has a rounded turned up tail that is almost a mini twin tip. That more versatile tail design will allow your tail to release easier making old school tail skidding possible yet will also allow new school carving. The turned up tail also helps in the bumps and crud as the tails won't catch as easily. Contray to what other posters have said, I have found the AC30's to be very forgiving and quite good in bumps. I wonder if those who said they tried the AC30 and did not like them had tried the first version of this ski which had a 78mm width underfoot and a conventional system binding. That model was stiffer than the current version that I have and love. It is 80mm underfoot and uses the "Wide Ride" system binding that is based on the Marker Jester free ride binding. I am 5'9" 195lbs and a strong level 8/9 old school skier trying to learn the new school techniques.

Hopes this helps you.

Rick G
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all this great advice. AC30 sounds like it miight be a good option. What about the Head IPeak 78? Has anyone tried those?

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

(or the fischer motive 84)

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