EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Racing and Big Mountain Competitions › Anybody have any experiance with the current Völkl race ski line?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anybody have any experiance with the current Völkl race ski line?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

As many know I have been on Blizzards for many yeras now. The skis have been great but now the local rep thats been supplying me with race skis swaps to Völkl. I have never skied on Völkls race skis and wonder if anybody has any experance with their current lineup. This would be a good time for me to consider other brands as well such as Fischer, Kneissel, Atomic and Head.

 

Why your input is of high value is that its incredibly hard for amateur racers like me to test different brands set up to my own specifications. And its totally impossible to test the skis against each other, preferably on a race track, with timing.

post #2 of 17

When I switched from Atomic to Volkl it was the best decision I ever made.

 

I find the skis "sweet spot" is very easy to find and it is easy to establish your platform with these. I'm a bit lighter (170) and I remember making the comment that skiing my atomics felt like fighting the ski as these feel a little bit more forgiving.

 

I ski on the 165WC sl and the 193 WC gs.

 

let me know if uyou have any more questions.

 

Rem

post #3 of 17

In short, I think Volkl has a better reputation than Blizzard but a different feel.  I haven't used either but Rossignol may be the closest thing to Blizzard. Long explanation below:

 

For top end race skis, there are only pretty minor differences between skis of a given length/radius combination. From what I can tell it comes down primarily to stiffness, which you have to go on brand reputation for and if they use titanal or titanium. Titanal is basically a proprietary version of aluminum 7075-T6 with improved tensile yield and machinability specifically suited to ski design. The "titanium" alloys used in skis are pretty crappy as far as titanium goes in terms of mechanical properties and really is pretty close to titanal as in all likelyhood they're mostly aluminum anyway (probably low beta series 5 Ti reinforced titanal). Basically titanal is both stronger and stiffer by mass and titanium is by volume, but both of these differences are fairly small. Also, titanium has a higher coefficient of restitution.

 

Given how this will effect the cross section design, a titanium ski tends to be more "lively" while titanal are more damp and "smooth".  Either one could be more stiff depending on the cross section design, plates, and other parameters (and don't worry about strength, they're all fine).

 

Blizzard actually uses a magnesium alloy (the only manufacturer doing this for race stock skis to my knowledge), which is softer and weaker than titanal and thus probably very damp, maybe a little too soft for a race ski, idk. Head's liquidmetal (an amorphous zincronium alloy primarily alloyed with titanium and copper) is pretty similar to titanium for our purposes but slightly stiffer, stronger, & higher CoR. A notable deviation from my generalizations are the D2 Atomic skis which are, like all atomic race skis, titanium, but relatively soft with a large carbon fiber plate connected through viscoelastic mounted joints. I haven't tried these but have heard a lot of good things about them and if I was buying skis now, I'd probably go for those. Also, don't forget binding mounting positions heavily influence the behavior of a ski and is arguably the most important thing in tests of skis in the same class.

post #4 of 17

I used to ski Volkl SLs (the yellow and black striped one - four or five years ago model) and now I ski Blizzards (two years ago model). I found the Volkls very easy to initiate, but the Blizzards to have more snap. I weigh 210, and I think the Blizzards hold my weight better.

 

For GS, I owned Volkl (2 years ago model) and Blizzards (two years ago model). I found the Blizzards too hard to initiate, and sold them and kept the Volkls. When I did manage to turn the Blizzards, they had awesome holding power, but I found the Volkls much easier to ski.

 

So, I guess in both cases the Blizzards feel like a beefier ski. In SL I like that, in GS not so much.

 

Just my experience.

 

Richr

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAS29 View Post

When I switched from Atomic to Volkl it was the best decision I ever made.

 

I find the skis "sweet spot" is very easy to find and it is easy to establish your platform with these. I'm a bit lighter (170) and I remember making the comment that skiing my atomics felt like fighting the ski as these feel a little bit more forgiving.

 

I ski on the 165WC sl and the 193 WC gs.

 

let me know if uyou have any more questions.

 

Rem


Thanks for your feedback. Im a big heavy guy. 6foot2 and over 200. Some guy told me that the Völkls are popular by women racers. The reason for this might be that they are softer. What you are saying seems to be right in line with that statement. When did you change to Völkls and have the Völkls changed over the last couple of years? Our #1 WC skier Tanja used to ski on Völkls and there was a lot of stuff written in the press about the skis last year at the time of the olympics. One thing mentioned was that she was trying out GS skis with different turn radius at the front end and aft.

 

I tried some Atomics today and skied them against the Blizzards. Check this out. Im on my Blizzards in this clip:

 

The Atomics are wider at the tip and the tail. They have more sidecut. A logical outcome is that they turn sharper. They feel a lot turnier. As you can see from the video the snow was soft so any ski could have performed well. I need to run some gates.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp5 View Post

In short, I think Volkl has a better reputation than Blizzard but a different feel.  I haven't used either but Rossignol may be the closest thing to Blizzard. Long explanation below:

 

For top end race skis, there are only pretty minor differences between skis of a given length/radius combination. From what I can tell it comes down primarily to stiffness, which you have to go on brand reputation for and if they use titanal or titanium. Titanal is basically a proprietary version of aluminum 7075-T6 with improved tensile yield and machinability specifically suited to ski design. The "titanium" alloys used in skis are pretty crappy as far as titanium goes in terms of mechanical properties and really is pretty close to titanal as in all likelyhood they're mostly aluminum anyway (probably low beta series 5 Ti reinforced titanal). Basically titanal is both stronger and stiffer by mass and titanium is by volume, but both of these differences are fairly small. Also, titanium has a higher coefficient of restitution.

 

Given how this will effect the cross section design, a titanium ski tends to be more "lively" while titanal are more damp and "smooth".  Either one could be more stiff depending on the cross section design, plates, and other parameters (and don't worry about strength, they're all fine).

 

Blizzard actually uses a magnesium alloy (the only manufacturer doing this for race stock skis to my knowledge), which is softer and weaker than titanal and thus probably very damp, maybe a little too soft for a race ski, idk. Head's liquidmetal (an amorphous zincronium alloy primarily alloyed with titanium and copper) is pretty similar to titanium for our purposes but slightly stiffer, stronger, & higher CoR. A notable deviation from my generalizations are the D2 Atomic skis which are, like all atomic race skis, titanium, but relatively soft with a large carbon fiber plate connected through viscoelastic mounted joints. I haven't tried these but have heard a lot of good things about them and if I was buying skis now, I'd probably go for those. Also, don't forget binding mounting positions heavily influence the behavior of a ski and is arguably the most important thing in tests of skis in the same class.



A million thanks for this lesson in metallurgy. Comparing the Blizzards to Atomics I would say that the Blizzards are much more snappy. They are much louder as well. Especially the GS skis. They have a very high pitched sound. ZINGGGG. The Atomics are much more damp. The Atomics carve nicely and hold well on snow but the Blizzards are relesing the energy much more explosively. This is a bit controversory with what you are saying. Any thaughts on this?

 

Funny that you should mentione the binding position. I read a few years back about he Ball Of Foot measurement technique. I was on Head back then and started measuring. On my GS skis I had to move the binding 40mm forwards. Since then I have moved all my plates forwards. I still have to move the Blizzard plate forward by 10mm. I have since a couple of years used the Marker Piston plate and to my delight the 2011 models came with the piston plate as standard. Still had to move it.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post

I used to ski Volkl SLs (the yellow and black striped one - four or five years ago model) and now I ski Blizzards (two years ago model). I found the Volkls very easy to initiate, but the Blizzards to have more snap. I weigh 210, and I think the Blizzards hold my weight better.

 

For GS, I owned Volkl (2 years ago model) and Blizzards (two years ago model). I found the Blizzards too hard to initiate, and sold them and kept the Volkls. When I did manage to turn the Blizzards, they had awesome holding power, but I found the Volkls much easier to ski.

 

So, I guess in both cases the Blizzards feel like a beefier ski. In SL I like that, in GS not so much.

 

Just my experience.

 

Richr



The Blizzards are deffinetly snappy skis. They are also very thick. And stiff. But the SL skis I have cant be skied on a very tight course. They need more speed and wider turns. Thanks for your input. Keep the info comming. I will post a comparisson between the Atomics and the Blizzards tomorrow if I have time.

post #8 of 17

I would go with Fischer RC4 or the new Head KERS (though they have absurdly high R's for some reason)

 

Volkl as a whole isn't bad but they put way too much metal in this year's models.  This makes them super stiff, but worse than that, they feel almost ridged.  If you crash/are free skiing, and land wrong bad things can happen.  I've seen whole sections of the base disconnect from the sidewall.  Recap=older Volkls own, 2011's- not so much, 2012's- we shall see.

 

That being said Fischer RC4 is the Kastle of race skis, but without the Kastle price tag.  I would def try and get out and demo them, just make sure you're demoing the true race ski and not the RC.

post #9 of 17

Your best bet is to talk to your local reps and try to demo.  I am going to have to disagree with one of the above post and say that the Blizzard and Rossi are very different feeling skis.  The Blizzard is a stiffer snappier ski while the Rossi is a much softer ski, both are good but its all based of preference.  I have skied on basically all of the 2011 skis this summer at Hood, and currently ski on Blizzards.  Personally i did not like the Volkl found the ski had no life in it and simply was nothing special.  If you like what you have and do not have access to demos, stick with what you know.  If you are going to get Volkl of Blizzard order a blank plate and mount look/rossi bindings on it, personally i have no trust in a Marker but love my Looks.

 

Based on my experiences for both sl/gs

 

Blizzard- favorite rather stiff great ski

 

Volkl- Nothing special and ability to wax the sidewall is nothing special

 

Rossi- Soft lots of people love this ski

 

Fischer- Also stiff good ski but hate the holes

 

Atomic- skis same as the blizzards

 

Head- BIG STIFF ski too got to be very strong to ski this

post #10 of 17

I went to the Blizzard web site and if I understood it correctly, their race skis are actually made with aluminum (presumably titanal) with magnesium reinforcement along the sidewalls. That makes a lot more sense than what I previously thought and falls in line with peoples' opinions of them (magnesium longitudinally would be softer than ansiotropic fiberglass). They're basically making a torsion box out of metal.and should give really good energy transfer to the edge over the entire ski length while allowing for a thick cross section for the longitudinal stiffness. Given this, their longitudinal damping should be closer to titanal skis but reducing the shear components of the Cauchy stress tensor by materials and compensating in cross section and improving transfer from the edges I could see the ski being described as lively, but not exactly in the same way as Heads for example. And of course when I talk about damp/lively, that's different from stiffness. Stiffness = mechanical force to create a given deflection and perceived as force needed to bend/turn skis. Liveliness = vibration damping/ transmission, which has several components and is what you feel from the ski, not the turn dynamics. Both affect stability/ edge grip, but in different ways.

 

But, I don't understand what you mean by the skis making a high pitched zing sound. I've never heard a ski make a high pitched sound before, just the dull noise of the bases & edges on ice, etc.

post #11 of 17

From one inexperienced racer to the next...I beat a guy on Tigershark GS's in both Jackson Hole and Steamboat, whilst on my Hart Javelin GS's. :)

post #12 of 17

Two years back when I was still on Volkl, I frequently skied on my friends Blizzard SL set up. Both had same tune, same grind, basically same everything. Both skied pretty much the same. I find the same to be true about Nordica, which is what I am on now. Not too much of a difference between the three brands, other than minor differences in flex pattern. The GS skis I really can't speak for. Only got a chance to jump on his GS skis once or twice, and can't remember that much about them, other than I enjoyed my Volkl GS setup alot more than the Blizzard setup.

post #13 of 17

My team is sponsored by both volkl and fischer and the concensus is for the bigger people, the volkls work better.  With a maker comp binding and a piston plate they are nice running ski.  I have always thought that the volkls have more material in them compared to the fischers (especially when drillling them).....


 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum220 View PostFischer- Also stiff good ski but hate the holes

 

Head- BIG STIFF ski too got to be very strong to ski this


 

http://www.skicanadamag.com/Contests/Images/CAST1980_L.jpg only FISCHER ?

 

 

 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybo View Post




 

http://www.skicanadamag.com/Contests/Images/CAST1980_L.jpg only FISCHER ?

 

 

 


Funny to see the old hole skis....
post #16 of 17
Nobody has said anything about Elan in the comparisons here. Any opinions about them?
post #17 of 17

They're not bad, I mean they're not great either.  They haven't done much in the last few years, R&D wise, so it's hard
for them to keep up with things like KERS or in-holes.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post

Nobody has said anything about Elan in the comparisons here. Any opinions about them?


 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Racing and Big Mountain Competitions › Anybody have any experiance with the current Völkl race ski line?