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Swallowtailed ski

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi, there are recently skies from Salomon, the AK Rocket swallowtail, and from Voelkl, the Sanouk, which all have a split tail -a swallowtail- like the snowboards from the earlier days.

Have anyone skied one of these strange fatties?
In a French magazine I read last week i read a short review on the AK swallow and this guy thought it was stable, well to pivot, but not too accessible. Maybe my French is to blame but i did not understand this last remark.
Do you have to be an off-piste expert for these skies?

B.t.w. in an other test on fatties, the Rossie B3 was rated the best. Why do i not read a lot about this ski here. Opinions?
post #2 of 23
If you would read "sharon" post on the G3,G4 & XXX in this forum you may get an idea why they are not talked about.

I think big skis like the AK are made more for above the tree line skiing. Most of us here look for skis with more all round appeal.

Not to say that the AK and others don't matter to us. Have you tried to do a search for the AK Rocket or Volkl Gatama ?
post #3 of 23
I disagree with the statement that swallowtails like the ak rockets are made for "above the treeline skiing" specifically.

I have about 120 days on Ak rockets, and what I liked best about them was their versatility. If I had do choose a one ski quiver, the ak rockets would be a serious contender. I'm mounting a pair with dukes this year. Should be a killer set up.

The swallowtail is just one feature though. Just between the two skis you listed (Sanouks and Ak rockets) there are a number of other features (waist width, flex, turning radius, camber etc) that make them completely different skis.
post #4 of 23
and WTF is up with that removable swallow on this year's salomon Rocker? Is anyone buying into that?
post #5 of 23
Hexcel Split Tail was my all-time favorite straight ski. I think I wore out four sets.

The idea, according to the guy who designed and made them, was that the inside edge wouldn't be pulled off the snow by longitudinal twisting as the tail got pressured. So the tail didn't have to be quite as stiff to keep the edge working.


post #6 of 23
The point of a swallow is to allow the tail to sink (thus keeping the tips up while skiing your weight balanced) in powder while maintaining a long edge on harder snow. That, and it looks cool. Mostly, it looks cool...
"Accessible" in french means basicaly "easy". It's not a swallow issue. But most swallowed skis are big, wide boards with little sidecut. Some of them burly. Thus specialized tools, lacking versatility, and, yes, not the most "accessible" skis on mixed conditions. They are usualy hero snow skis, especialy from a french perspective : We don't get the massive amount of pow they got in Utah or in the northwest. But we do need edge hold on piste (even though most swallows have nothing to on the groomers) and off piste. A Sanouk or a AK Rocket are not the best tools no negociate a steep and scrapped off couloir.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
A Sanouk or a AK Rocket are not the best tools no negociate a steep and scrapped off couloir
What do you think is?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
What do you think is?
post #9 of 23
And for going back down?
post #10 of 23
The gondolas usually go both up and down.



Quote:
A Sanouk or a AK Rocket are not the best tools no negociate a steep and scrapped off couloir.
But it does work, and if the colouir gives you access to a large powderfield below, I'll take my Sanouks over more suitable 'colouir skis', unless it's very steep.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
The gondolas usually go both up and down.
I guess you could say that skis with skins do that too, but that's neither here nor there...
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by torfinn View Post
The gondolas usually go both up and down.
But it does work, and if the colouir gives you access to a large powderfield below, I'll take my Sanouks over more suitable 'colouir skis', unless it's very steep.
More power to you. Of course it works.
I'm just trying to explain to the OP why, probably, the french mag he read dubbed an AKswallow as "peu accessible" : It's a very specialized tool (not because of the swallow, but because of their general design) that shine in deep pow, but not that much elsewhere. A french mag will review such a ski mostly on his deep snow performance but will also take into account other terrain. On other terrain, an AKSwallow is more challenging to the skier. That's the mag's point anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
And for going back down?
duh. You really have no idea ?
If your typical swallow looks like a sanouk, I would say skinnier and stiffer. 90mmm at the waist, 180/190 cm, torsionaly stiff. (Monster 88, Mythic, that kind of skis are usualy considered as the do it all tool of choice for yurp nowadays) But YMMV, to each his own. I didn't write the original review...
post #13 of 23
Ak rockets a very specialized tool? Have you ever skied them? What about in different conditions or terrain types?

I think that due to the long rise tip, mini rockered swallowtail with the edge ending early and tapering a bit, they ski longer when the snow is good, and shorter when it gets nasty and hard. They're pretty easy to ski in all but super tight little chutes, and thats just because their size. Way more stable than they should be for how easy they are to ski. Float really well considering they're just a 95 waist.

And they have enough sidecut that they will hold an edge on anything.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Ak rockets a very specialized tool? Have you ever skied them? What about in different conditions or terrain types?

I think that due to the long rise tip, mini rockered swallowtail with the edge ending early and tapering a bit, they ski longer when the snow is good, and shorter when it gets nasty and hard. They're pretty easy to ski in all but super tight little chutes, and thats just because their size. Way more stable than they should be for how easy they are to ski. Float really well considering they're just a 95 waist.

And they have enough sidecut that they will hold an edge on anything.
Hmm, you know what, Leroy ? I know better than to argue with you about long, fat skis as everday tools. Especialy AK Rockets. To each his own.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I think that due to the long rise tip, mini rockered swallowtail with the edge ending early and tapering a bit, they ski longer when the snow is good, and shorter when it gets nasty and hard. They're pretty easy to ski in all but super tight little chutes, and thats just because their size. Way more stable than they should be for how easy they are to ski. Float really well considering they're just a 95 waist.
X1000.

People who haven't skied the AK Rocket (and maybe dismiss them as pow skis for being only 94mm waist, or because of the amount of sidecut they have on paper) are missing out. These are a great powder ski. Not hooky despite their sidecut. Super stable but still turn on a dime.

I don't think they have that great of an edgehold on harder snow, or maybe my edges are just sorta dull. Only other drawback I've found is that the bases are soft.
post #16 of 23
I got the AK Rocket last year and sadly we had few powder days where the shine. When we did, this ski felt comfortable in everything from a straightline through a couloir too narrow to turn in, to short radius quick turns. They were really effortless and the tips never dove. Personally didn't notice the extra length or any effect of the swallowtail on firm conditions. They skis kind of like an old Explosiv, but less engagement in the tail. Damn, I sure hope we get some snow this year. :
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I got the AK Rocket last year and sadly we had few powder days where the shine. When we did, this ski felt comfortable in everything from a straightline through a couloir too narrow to turn in, to short radius quick turns. They were really effortless and the tips never dove. Personally didn't notice the extra length or any effect of the swallowtail on firm conditions. They skis kind of like an old Explosiv, but less engagement in the tail. Damn, I sure hope we get some snow this year. :
My feet are starting to wiggle for snow. Still have a pair of Hexcel Split-tails ****
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR View Post
More power to you. Of course it works.
I'm just trying to explain to the OP why, probably, the french mag he read dubbed an AKswallow as "peu accessible" : It's a very specialized tool (not because of the swallow, but because of their general design) that shine in deep pow, but not that much elsewhere. A french mag will review such a ski mostly on his deep snow performance but will also take into account other terrain. On other terrain, an AKSwallow is more challenging to the skier. That's the mag's point anyway.
The OP has only one post on this board and it's from 2003, something tells me he won't be able to appreciate your help

But I got your point
post #19 of 23
Ahem, err. 2003, ahem...
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
The idea, according to the guy who designed and made them, was that the inside edge wouldn't be pulled off the snow by longitudinal twisting as the tail got pressured. So the tail didn't have to be quite as stiff to keep the edge working.
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR View Post
The point of a swallow is to allow the tail to sink (thus keeping the tips up while skiing your weight balanced) in powder while maintaining a long edge on harder snow. That, and it looks cool. Mostly, it looks cool...
I'd say that's probably true of the Dynastar 'pintails', not the rest of 'em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I think that due to the long rise tip, mini rockered swallowtail with the edge ending early and tapering a bit, they ski longer when the snow is good, and shorter when it gets nasty and hard. They're pretty easy to ski in all but super tight little chutes, and thats just because their size.
Softer flexing tail while keeping edge down: money.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
duh
Dude...
post #22 of 23
I basically agree with what Maggot said. Some people may not like the length (195), but I think they work well on or off piste unless it's icy.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by torfinn View Post
The OP has only one post on this board and it's from 2003, something tells me he won't be able to appreciate your help

But I got your point
Maybe the OP won't benefit but others surely will.
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