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Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: G4, w/ 912ti
Ski Length: 168
Snow Conditions Used In: packed pow, heavy/old pow, chopped pow, groomed granular, park and pipe
Number of Days Used: 4
Your Ability: 7/8
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 6
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 15
Other Skis You Like:
Your Height/Weight: 5'8" 160
Comments: Figured I'd post this since I've never found a review of the shortest G4. I like trees and short turns, and the 178cm was more ski than I wanted. Couldn't find a 168cm to demo, but bought it on a whim anyway. It's a friggin blast. I'm coming off of Nordica Ultrawave MF 180cm, which is supposedly similar to the older Bandit XX, but with better edge grip and high-speed stability... The G4 blows it out of the water. Better edge grip by far, better float, quicker, better short turns, better long turns, better stability...

168cm isn't the most manly of lengths for a serious midfat, but it's a ton of fun. It's still really stiff, it does great short slalom turns, carves hip to the ground, and rips at speed. I blew by a pair of GS racers training on hardpack, carving a knuckledrag turn, without a hint of chatter. The only thing it won't do is a really small radius carves like a shorty slalom... it starts to skip a little (maybe with stronger legs it could be done). But stability was never a problem. It gets a little tipsy if you're trying to blow through choppy bumpy stuff, but if you keep it on edge it's rock solid.

I can't slide it through bumps like the Nordica, so it takes more effort, and I definitely smacked the tips together a couple of times (nice loud metallic clank), but they carve through pretty well at that length, and it's much easier to scrub speed in bumps than on my 160cm 9S's. Wider spaced and uneven bumps are lots of fun, but it's not a zipperline ski.

The sidecut was a little funky standing on firm steeps (face chutes and ridge at Jay Peak) compared to the Ultrawave, but the edge grip was so much better that I got used to it quickly, and it turns so quickly and easily that I didn't have to spend much time stopping to set up turns even in steep tree chutes. Normally where I would jump turn, I could whip out a quick slalom turn...

Played with it in the park a little. Short is nice, the twin tip is great too, but it's pretty heavy even at that length. Still plenty of fun, just hard to get around with a weak MCL... I need to figure out how to spin the other way. Stiffness also hurts a bit if you land on the tails.

The only downside is float. It floats much better than the Ultrawaves (74mm waist I think), but at that stiffness and length, it's really easy to dig the tips in if I'm not careful. I only really had problems coming off landings with my weight too forward, but it's definitely not as forgiving as something softer, longer, and wider (I can only compare to a Pocket Rocket 175).

All in all, sweet sweet ski. Good enough that even in the east, I'm getting rid of both my 9S's and ultrawaves now that I have these.

[ February 17, 2003, 06:17 AM: Message edited by: flip ]