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Skis to Replace my Volkl Unlimited AC3 Titanium 177's

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi all-

 

I'll be 50 this year, weigh 170, 5'11", and have skied since I was a teenager. I really enjoy single blacks, like steeps and going fast. I used to ski on the long skinny's up until 2006 (it was hard to give them up).

 

In 2007 I bought my current ski, the Volkl AC 3's 177. They have been very good to me, but what I really WANT to enjoy more is bumps because I ski with friends who tear me up in there, and I'm starting to think that my skis might not be helping me as much as they probably could. The AC 3's seem pretty stiff and I wonder if there is another ski that will give me good all around mountain skiing, but more forgiviing in those bumps...I am willing to give up something to get an easier feel in the bumps. Any suggestions?

 

I'll ski a few days in Vermont, and then a week long ski trip out west each year (heading out to Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole in early March). I consider myself an "advanced skier", but probably lack some of the technique that might keep me in that category...

 

Any recommendations would really be appreciated! Thanks-

post #2 of 15

I just sold off a pair of Volkl AC20s, which I found longitudinally stiff, and useless in the bumps.  Frankly, I found the skis useless save for groomers.  I just picked up a pair of Volkl's new RTM84s, and they work well all over the mountain from my three days of experience.  In terms of the bumps, I found them a marked improvement, and I feel, or think that I'll eventually be able to get my brain around the bumps with these new sticks.  The RTM is a flat rocker, a little tip softer, I think, but torsionally super stiff, so you get good control over bumps and crud, along with the rocker tip riding up a bit over the bumps. 

 

I don't think it's all about the skis being soft, it's more about technique, and having a ski that can handle it.  I'm an eastern skier, and weigh 170, but am shorter at 5'-7" than you, and ski on the 176cm RTM84.  Single blacks, screaming down the groomers, steeps, and need to work on the bumps.  The RTM84s are worth demoing.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Makopolis- This sounds like a good contender. I forgot to mention that I am willing to look at skis from the past 2-3 years, so that I can get a bit of a break on the cost...

post #4 of 15

For a lighter skier (170 lbs. or less), RTM 84s will have less nimbleness and edgehold than RTM 80s.  For this skier and the conditions cited, RTM 80s will likely be a better bet.  Should be exactly what he wants.  More supple than the old AC30s, better performance and much more versatile overall.
 

post #5 of 15

The previous skis to the RTM series were the ACs, so the AC50s were the RTM predecessors -- and they are apparently wickedly stiff.  I think Volkl has softened the fronts a bit, and the rocker does help quite a bit. 

 

I think the current crop of rockered skis make a difference in terms of ski performance in softer stuff, and bumps, as they can afford to soften up the tips of the skis a bit, and keep the mid section stiff for grip.  

 

No question that $1k for a pair of sticks is a ton of money.  However, I looked at it this way -- I'm going to keep a pair of skis that I like for years, as opposed to last years ski which hasn't taken advantage of advances in ski design.  Given that I probably spend well over $1k in lift tickets just for myself, the gear is really the cheap part.  Divide a good pair of sticks that you like over five years or more, as you'll love them, as opposed to spending $5k in lift tickets over that time on a pair of sticks you don't love....

 

I did the cheap thing two years ago, and just sold a pair of skis at a $400.00 loss.  Makes the RTMs look cheap....

post #6 of 15

good point about cost, most skis are good for about 60 days before they start to break down (some more some or less depending on construction) so  less per day than the lift ticket. 

 

moguls - I am about your size -2" -15 lbs +10 on age. If you are considering older Volkls one set I have is the ac50 (177). A very stiff ski. I actually like them in the bumps but they are tiring. A softer shovel would help on the entry but a good bump ski needs to be stiff enough to bite. Have tried rocker skis in bumps  (solo rocker 2 and rossi s7,super 7 squad and others) and find they are not as bad as I though they would be. The rocker makes a  long ski act like a short ski so they are easy to maneuver, just watch the extra width in the troughs. The stance required to correct for same is a bit sloppy and I suspect the actual skis could break down quicker but I definitely would give them a try. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks noncrazycanuk- yeah, my skis feel stiff up front, so a more forgiving entry is what I think would help me. I'll look into the ones you mentioned.

post #8 of 15

Smit: the last couple of years, I've been skiing the AC50 in 184 (think).  Thought they worked OK for me (58 yo, 5'11" 160 lbs), until some (very generous) friends gave me some free demo coupons for Xmas, so I've been trying a variety of different skiis (Volkl Mantra, Blizzard Bonafide, Blizzard Bushwacker, Icelantic Shaman, Icelantic Keeper, and Kastle MX 78, 83 and 88).  Lets just say I can never ever go back to the AC50s, even though they are in great condition and newly tuned.  All of the skiis I demoed are worlds more fun and versatile, and less draining, than the AC50s.  Even the Shamans, with the very wide tip, are more manageable in the bumps than the AC50s.  All of the above skiies are better in powder, and in the trees, as well.  AC50s for sale, cheap!

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smit44 View Post

Hi all-

 

I'll be 50 this year, weigh 170, 5'11", and have skied since I was a teenager. I really enjoy single blacks, like steeps and going fast. I used to ski on the long skinny's up until 2006 (it was hard to give them up).

 

In 2007 I bought my current ski, the Volkl AC 3's 177. They have been very good to me, but what I really WANT to enjoy more is bumps because I ski with friends who tear me up in there, and I'm starting to think that my skis might not be helping me as much as they probably could. The AC 3's seem pretty stiff and I wonder if there is another ski that will give me good all around mountain skiing, but more forgiviing in those bumps...I am willing to give up something to get an easier feel in the bumps. Any suggestions?

 

I'll ski a few days in Vermont, and then a week long ski trip out west each year (heading out to Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole in early March). I consider myself an "advanced skier", but probably lack some of the technique that might keep me in that category...

 

Any recommendations would really be appreciated! Thanks-

Bout the same size (167 lbs, 5'10+ down from 5'11+) a bit older at 63+, skied since 15, still can be fairly aggressive, but also have no issues with an easy cruise - ex- New England skier migrated to CA, USA...

I have owned Volkls, but never really enamored of their 'flavor'. Too boardy for my taste. I like a solid ski which 'flows' on terrain.

 

I tend to lay out my ski performance checklist on an equilateral 'triangle'.  The triangle points are : carving, cruising, moguls.

I find I can cover 2 points well and if the ski is really versatile, the other point gets a little 'mention'. For example, I can find skis whihc can carve really well, and be really good in the moguls, but then are just not the best when cruising tracked/crud conditions.

Or a ski which carves well, and cruises/busts crud well, but is a bear in the moguls.

I think you need to decide on preferences...

I prefer to have a decent carving tool at all ski widths, and favor cruising performance over moguls, but not to exclusion of mogul performance - hence the stiffer Volkls are never on my radar, whereas the softer Nordica carvers can be real fun for me.

Again I prefer a longer ski (180+), again for predictability at speed, over a tighter radius, shorter ski.

I find the right Ski in the mid-80s to 90 waist can carve almost/a'most/almost as well as a dedicated carver in the 70's... and givr mr a real 3D experience in snow of boot-top or deeper. If you're looking for one 'ring' to rule them all - I think Mid-80s to 90 is still the sweet spot with the right type of ski.

I think you need to prioritize what is most important and then ask the 'question'. So far I can prolly cover 2 of the 3 points and then get reasonably close on the 3rd - but nothing fully covers all three... Or you can find skis which go well in all but can;t completely cover any of the 3 points. These tend to feel like 'intermediate skis to me...

 

I don;t have a point for 'POW', because a pure pow ski would have very little use for me. When I do get some significant POW it's usually only 10-12 turns in untracked and then I have to deal with the more usual tracked conditions, and to motor through that well usually means I have something which can cruise and not be perturbed. My cruising ski IS my pow ski - works well for me.

 

Sking 'Eastern', tight/steep/icy is not a big consideration for me anymore, but we do get hard conditions so all my skis MUST be able to hold a precise edge and carve on steeps - no compromise there.

 

Not much in 'names' given here - but once you decide what's important to you, you can start defining what might fill that space. So how much of 'steeps and going fast' are you willing to give up to become more of a mogul meister?

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks outdoor! I think I am more willing to give up the "fast" than anything else. I still do ski a bit aggressive but don't mind topping out, and I tend to "work" my skis (but I would rather not at this point). So, something a bit more nimble. I just find that the 2007 AC 3 titanium, while still a nice overall ski, is a bit heavy and sitff in both tip and tail. I read some reviews by dawgcatcher, and some others here on the site, and at least in my mind, I've got these on my radar:

 

Elan Apex

Fischer Motive 84

Dynastar Legend Sultan 85

 

Again, I actually prefer to find something a year or two old to fit my budget. Anyone care to let me know what they think of the above skis, and others that might be equivalent? Thanks!

post #11 of 15

Based on your comments, then I would recommend trying some of the Nordicas in that same performance/DIMS grouping. Personally I have a pr of Nordica Hr Burner Pros, which are 84 under foot, 178, that by your descriptions, are what I like about them. They're a great ski for firm conditions where precise, secure edging is important. They're my best mogul ski out of my quiver. They're great fun when you want to do a lot of turns, either easy or precise carving. I've used them also in 8-10 pow and found them easy to ride even in variable depth snow. Their only limit, for me, is they are not the best higher speed cruising ski, especially in set up crud. That speed limit is much higher on consistent fluff and groomer type skiing. But given that limit, they're a great ski which can be as quick turning and high energy as you want. On a steep and icy pitch, their edge control is uncompromising. Mine are from the last year that they were full camber - I believe they/that type, is still in the nordica line, but as an early rise model (as are most new models these days).

And, for me, defacto consideration for 'Eastern' type conditions - I would always consider any Rossi models which fall into the Dims you're considering. Over the decades, Rossi has always had a model or 2 with outstanding general characteristics for Easyern skiing and good crossover to Western traits.

 

Let us know how your search proceeds and what you settle on - it's always good to watch that search process to the final outcome. That same process pointed me to Nordicas and K2s, at a time when they were very low on my radar. I'm glad my window was opened to consider these 2 makes...

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well I got a chance to demo some skis- not the ones I was hoping to, but nevertheless, a lot more fun than my old Ac 3's. Skied the K2 Aftershock in the AM. What a difference in flex compared to what I normally ski on! I demo'd the 174cm, which seemed like the perfect length. I was immediately comfortable on these, and they initiated turns effortlessly I began on groomed, then skied some light crud. Then to the moguls. I found these to be very forgiving, light, easy and quick on the bumps- very nice, and what I was looking for! When I got up to speed there was a fair amount of shatter- it didn't affect my skiing, just something I noticed. 

 

For the afternoon, I then skied the Dynastar Outland 87 at 172cm. This ski supposedly has a little more rigidity than the K2, but I really could not tell a difference. I should have probably gone with the 178, as the 172 just looked tiny to me. The shovel is pretty wide, and with a more blunt tip, it was hard to adjust to how they looked. I know that has nothing to do with performance, but the somewhat odd shape was just distracting,... Anyway, they felt very stable on groomed runs, with big turns, and were still pretty lively with short turns too. In the moguls, very responsive, light, easy.

 

Between the two, I prefer the feel of the K2, but would want just a bit less flex, and I just don't think I can get my head wrapped around the Dynastars, but I think that was my fault for trying the 172's. When I returned them, the shop manager said that Dynastar typically runs a little shorter than most other brands... never would have thought about this...

 

So- still looking to demo a couple of others on my list, and also a Nordica as moreoutdoor suggested. Will keep you posted. And if anyone thinks of another ski for me to consider after reading my review above, let me know! Thanks-

post #13 of 15

sounds like your leaning to a softer ski- I haven't tried the k2 (now that you mentioned chatter I won't) but I've always liked the light quick feel of Dynastar - if your area has limited brands to demo try the Dynastar again in a better length, it will ski different. But be sure you try out your top pick on some hard ice bumps before you buy. A lot skis can handle soft bumps easily but disappoint when it firms up. Don't buy if they just feel good, buy them when they scream buy me.
 

post #14 of 15

might try a Fischer Motiv 84...

I didn't mention it before - sometimes it seems I might be a shill for Fischer, but not the case... it's just I always seem to find one which suits me very well...

 

here's Dawgcatchin's review
http://www.epicski.com/t/99308/2011-fischer-motive-84-and-motive-80-full-length-reviews

 

personally, I'd luv to try the motiv 84 & 88... but don;t know of any shops in Mammoth who demo them...

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smit44 View Post

Well I got a chance to demo some skis- not the ones I was hoping to, but nevertheless, a lot more fun than my old Ac 3's. Skied the K2 Aftershock in the AM. What a difference in flex compared to what I normally ski on! I demo'd the 174cm, which seemed like the perfect length. I was immediately comfortable on these, and they initiated turns effortlessly I began on groomed, then skied some light crud. Then to the moguls. I found these to be very forgiving, light, easy and quick on the bumps- very nice, and what I was looking for! When I got up to speed there was a fair amount of shatter- it didn't affect my skiing, just something I noticed. 

.....................

 

Smitt44,

 

Moved from AC-3s to Aftershocks myself the season before last and couldn't be happier. The Aftershocks really shine in crud and softer snow, but because they're wider I find them just a bit more work to keep on edge on firm groomers than the AC-3s. Keep demoing and you'll find the one for you.

 

Cheers,     rick p

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