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Another ski length question- Volkl RTM 84

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi there. I am considering buying the Volkl RTM 84. I am female - 5'9" and in the 150 lb + range, work out a lot and very fit. I live in Vancouver BC and ski local mountains and Whistler/Blackcomb as much as I can. I have been skiing since 1991 and learned on straight skis 185's. For the last 5 years my skis have been Salomon x wing 10 (traditional carving ski shape 118-73-101: 14.9 turn rad) in 166. I am having a hard time deciding on 166 or 172. The ski rep I spoke to recommended sticking with what I'm used to now - 166. But everywhere I have read reviews saying go a bit longer because of the rocker technology and extra width underfoot. Would it really make that much of a difference in how they ski? They are expensive skis, even at late season sale prices so I don't want to make a mistake. I haven't seen them available for demo and it's a bit late in the season for that anyway. They sound perfect for west coast conditions and I spend most of the time on groomed runs, but enjoy and have to ski varied conditions at times. I am an intermediate to advanced skier - but I'm a bit of a chicken, even though I can pretty much ski all over the mountain. I have to follow my husband everywhere on his snowboard... Thanks for you input.

PS. I have also been looking at the Blizzard Black Pearl - but they seem a bit too radical for me, my husband thinks I should go for the Volkl's cuz they're a little more traditional but still have the improved aspects for deeper snow... Ugh. Can't decide. I can make it through powder on my Salomon's, but it's on an as needs basis and not a lot of fun after a few runs... 

 

Thanks for reading.

Sharon

post #2 of 19

Sorry, but the shop guy and your husband are both wrong.  The RTM84 is a more radical ski than the Black Pearl.  The BP has tip rocker and camber.  The RTM is full rocker, meaning absolutely no camber at all, so the 166 is too short for you.  On either ski you should be on 170-175 because they both ski shorter than the measured length due to the rocker.You really need to demo these because they are significantly different skis  I can't believe there aren't places to demo these at Whistler.  You might like either one but the RTM has a very different feel from what you're used to and even different from the BP. That doesn't mean one is "better" than the other, only that you will undoubtedly like one better than the other. 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Now I'm really undecided. The reviews all say the RTM is fun and easy to turn but stable and good in crud etc... I hear so many good things about it. The BP sounds great too - but it's hard to find and it won't be on sale next fall - I will be paying full price. And it seems like everyone loves the BP for off piste and I won't be doing that as much... But thanks for your advice. Good to know.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Also, about the demo - yes I guess I could try to find a place to demo at Whistler. The demo tents were closed when I was up there last week for spring break. I may not be going up there more than once or twice more before they shut down for season.  I will likely be waiting until next year to demo, then all the sales are over ... But of course, demo would be ideal. 

post #5 of 19

Both are good skis, for some people.  No ski is good for everyone.  I demoed three skis before I bought my Nordica Steadfasts.  One of them felt like a 2x4 and the other was good, but the Steadfast made me say "wow."  I've demoed the RTM84 and I liked it.  I didn't have a chance to try it in much fresh snow but for a full rocker ski I thought it was pretty amazing on fairly hard snow and also in the bumps.  I haven't skied the BP, but have skied the Bushwacker, which I think is basically the same.  I didn't find it very exciting  But, that is just me because lots of people love it.  Lots of people also rave about the Rossi S7 and Volkl Gotamas.  I tried them both a few years ago and couldn't wait to get off of them.  Not every ski is going to work or feel good for every person.  That's why I think it's so important to demo the ones that interest you.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I've demoed the RTM84 and I liked it.  I didn't have a chance to try it in much fresh snow but for a full rocker ski I thought it was pretty amazing on fairly hard snow and also in the bumps.  

My reaction to the RTM84, exactly.  I was shocked that a full rocker ski could rail groomers with power and precision.  And fun in bumps also.  And really easy to ski - a wide performance band.  I think that a lot of people would really like the RTM84. 

post #7 of 19

You might also consider the RTM 80.  Quicker, less burly, very good all-terrain ski for someone under 180 lbs.  I own it and teach on it more than any other ski here in Colorado.

post #8 of 19

I have the RTM 84 as the hard snow ski in my quiver---I use it a LOT during the first half of the season in Colorado and Utah.  REALLY like it for mixed mountain conditions until (typically) later in the season, when I switch over to a fatter powder ski---currently S7's. 

 

I bought my teenage daughter the Black Pearls this season.  To my great surprise, she does NOT like them and she has remained loyal to her old Volkl 5-Star Supersports!    I think it is because she loves to rip and the Volkl's make it easier to beat her old Dad to the bottom of the run.  And she has not "grocked" the world of flipcore/rocker skis.

 

I think you can rent an RTM 84 easily in Whistler village for a day.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, thanks for all the great advice. I am glad I asked the question because the answers made me realize that the Volkl is probably not for me. I didn't realize it was full rocker - not sure how I missed that. It looks like such a traditional ski I guess I assumed it was rocker tipped with camber in the middle. I think it would be better for me to get something closer to the Black Pearls. I was looking at the specs for Salomon Rocker 2 90 - I like the reviews and the fact that they have a smaller turn radius, quite a bit smaller than the BP. They are quite a bit lower in price too, and some good sales on them. I am just back to the original dilemma of which length - because I hate long skis. I was in heaven when I got my new Salomon carving skis in 166 - compared to my old Atomic Beta Carve that were 180, and before that some Rossi GS straight skis that were 185! I love the short turns and being able to go through the bumps without wiping out too badly. I don't really care about speed. So 169 or 177? Would it be really hard to ski on rocker tipped skis that were a bit shorter than recommended? What would happen? I am leaning toward the 169 Salomon Rocker 2 90 (unisex version) or the 173 Black Pearl. The search continues... If I can demo, I will - but that's not likely as Whistler is still a 2 hour drive from where I live so I can only go on weekends, and there isn't that much time left before season ends... etc... etc... BTW, don't you people find it expensive demoing skis? Whistler has no deals, by the way, as you can probably guess. It's a rich man's playground - the lift tickets are over 100$ now, so adding another 60$ plus tax to "demo" (i.e. rent) high end skis, ugh, not in my budget. 

post #10 of 19

Don't discount the RTM 84 or 80 because of the rocker.  I am not a fan of full rocker but the RTM 84 was a lot of fun to ski and very easy to ski.  If I hadn't already decided to buy the Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT as my "skinny" hard snow ski, I would probably buy the RTM 84, but I do like the Nordica better.  I've skied the Salomon Quest 90, replaces the Rocker2, and it was a very good ski.  The Rocker2 has tip rocker and an early rise tail so it will ski short.  A ski that is too short will not be as stable as a longer ski.  But it is your choice.  As far as the cost of demoing, every place that I know of that demos skis will deduct the cost of the demo from the price of the ski if you buy from them.  So, if you spend $60 and demo 3-4 skis in one day and one of them makes you say "WOW" and you buy it from that shop, there is no cost to demo.  In the long run, I would rather spend the money to demo than buy a pair of skis I've never been on and find I hate them.  And some skis I've tried would definitely fall into that category.  But, it's your choice.

post #11 of 19

I agree with mtcylist, on the RTM's, I just picked up a pair of RTM 80's (demos) 3 weeks ago and absolutely love them. My previous pair were Supersport S5's, which are also great on the groomers, and ok off, but the RTM's are alot of fun. I would also def recommend moving up in length, I went from 175 Supersports to 181 in the RTM, ( I am 6'2"). I have been on hard groomers, 6 - 8 " of powder, and mashed potatoes (yesterday) in the last 3 weeks, and they have handled it all extremely well. 
 

post #12 of 19

The RTM and the Black Pearl are sort of apples and oranges. The Aura or the Ninja by Volkl are more comparable to the Black Pearl. I think you could go with any of those (the Volkls or the Blizzards) in a 166cm range and be very happy.

 

Rocker means something different in every company it seems. If you have specific questions about the rocker on a particular model, we could address what the affect of performance would be. Volkl full continuous rocker means that the whole ski is in a slightly pre-flexed configuration, which I just don't get because you are loosing some of the rebound of the ski and some of the bump shock absorption, and certainly some of the tip and tail grip.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi davluri. I do realize they are apples and oranges - but to me, they would both be quite different from my traditional carving ski with the 70 sthing waist. I just really want to try something different. My skis are 4 years old now - you know, the 4 year itch. And everyone and their dog have fat and mid fat rockered skis up at Whistler. It's hard not to want to see what they're all about. All those thousands of people can't be wrong, can they? smile.gifrolleyes.gifwink.gif I think I have pretty much given up on the volkl rtm idea. I am going to look into the ones you mentioned and compare them to the Blizzards. I want to try to get ones that have a relatively shorter turn radius because I love to be able to do short turns. It also seems like I am always dealing with deeper snow when I go to Whistler and wish I could enjoy it more - it just seems like a lot of hard work to me. The mid fat rocker tip skis might help me out in that area. I am thinking that the Salomon Rocker 2 90's sound good - they are well reviewed and have all the specs I am looking for, plus the slightly shorter turn radius. I think you have a good point about the full rocker. I think a ski with camber in the middle and rocker tips will be better for me, since it will have something of what I'm used two, as well as something new. Thanks for your advice.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharoski View Post

Hi davluri. I do realize they are apples and oranges - but to me, they would both be quite different from my traditional carving ski with the 70 sthing waist. I just really want to try something different. My skis are 4 years old now - you know, the 4 year itch. And everyone and their dog have fat and mid fat rockered skis up at Whistler. It's hard not to want to see what they're all about. All those thousands of people can't be wrong, can they? smile.gifrolleyes.gifwink.gif I think I have pretty much given up on the volkl rtm idea. I am going to look into the ones you mentioned and compare them to the Blizzards. I want to try to get ones that have a relatively shorter turn radius because I love to be able to do short turns. It also seems like I am always dealing with deeper snow when I go to Whistler and wish I could enjoy it more - it just seems like a lot of hard work to me. The mid fat rocker tip skis might help me out in that area. I am thinking that the Salomon Rocker 2 90's sound good - they are well reviewed and have all the specs I am looking for, plus the slightly shorter turn radius. I think you have a good point about the full rocker. I think a ski with camber in the middle and rocker tips will be better for me, since it will have something of what I'm used two, as well as something new. Thanks for your advice.


sounds good.  The Salomon Rocker is a great ski. Looking at that may open up a whole new category for you, including the Rossignol S series. With this type of ski, the mid 170cm lengths should be really easy and fun.

PS: there is no Ninja, that's Kenja, my bad.

post #15 of 19
Sharoski, you're thinking too hard about the rocker / camber thing. It's not that they don't matter; it's that you don't necessarily know exactly how they're going to affect your personal experience on any given ski until you try that ski. If you lean too much on paper knowledge you'll miss out on some interesting learning opportunities.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Sharoski, you're thinking too hard about the rocker / camber thing. It's not that they don't matter; it's that you don't necessarily know exactly how they're going to affect your personal experience on any given ski until you try that ski. If you lean too much on paper knowledge you'll miss out on some interesting learning opportunities.

.

Exactly.

post #17 of 19

Hi Sharoski, I know almost nothing about buying skis (you can see my post here about demo/buying below), however, I do know that you can demo BOTH the black pearl and rtm 84 or 80 at Fanatyk Co in Whistler - they say that you can demo any ski they sell basically. They charge $40 the 1st day and $30 consecutive days and you can apply $100 of demo charges to buying skis.

post #18 of 19

Hi Sharoski

 

 Volkl makes a Tip and Tail rocker ski called the Code Psi in 168 cm size that has a longitudinal carbon rail to adjust the stiffness. This ski can be tuned by your Volkl dealer to give you the performance level you need. My partner (5'8" 150 lbs adv) loves the way it can carve, ski bumps and float in soft snow and 76mm underfoot is easy on her knees.

 

 I read.... bit of a chicken, intermediate and not much experience on modern shapes and no mention of ski lessons as factors that scream RTM 84's as way to much ski, fit or not.

 

Volkl full rockers RTM 80 166cm or RTM 77 171cm would work anytime you are on natural snow but the requirement would be for you to "go inside" to make them work.

 

 These are all great skis but you will need to bump up your game coming off your current skis and better still, ski lessons with video.

 

Cheers
 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Update... After reading and considering all the awesome advice from you guys, I decided to take a gamble on the Black Pearls. I got a great buy on them at a local shop here in Vancouver... I won't get to ski them much until next season, but I do plan on giving them at try once or twice in May up at Blackcomb. I will let you all know how I like them. My friend's husband got himself the Volkl rtm 84 off Craig's List - maybe he'll let me try them... But I am pretty sure I'll be happy with the Blizzards. Happy Spring to you all. Hope to be back in the fall for lots of ski talk and excitement for the new season.

 

 

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