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Volkl RTM 81 for Mid Atlantic Skiing?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

Looking for opinions from those who might have had a chance to try the new Volkl RTM 81 at the end of last season.

I am looking to replace my much loved Volkl AC30 skis. Those have been my go to ski for all around skiing here in the Mid Atlantic. Though I have taken them out west, I now have the Rossi E98's for that. So what I am seeking is an 80ish width ski I can rip groomers, take into the bumps and the occasional trees when we have enough natural. I particularly like to ski bumps when I get the chance, even if they are rock hard bumps. Hey that is what I learned on at 7 Springs back in the day.

I have tried both the RTM 80 and 84 and neither blew me away, though I did like the 84 a bit better. But from the reviews of the new RTM 81, it sounds more like what I am looking for.

I have been skiing over 40 years am a level 8/9 skier at 5'9" and 190lbs. I am torn between the 171 and 176 length as well. I also race in a beer league and have race skis for that. This is just going to be my Fun Non Race Day Mid Atlantic All Mountain Ski. How is that for a niche ski? LOL

Before you tell me to wait and Demo, I work at a local ski shop and can get these on Pro Deal now for a very good price. If I wait till our season starts, they will most likely be sold out and I will have to pay more for an off the shelf pair. Our shop also carries Rossi, Blizzard, Nordica and Elan if you think there is a better choice amongst those brands for what I seek.

So I am seeking advice from those who have tried them and if they think they will fit my needs.

Thanks,

Rick G
post #2 of 17

The RTM 81 has the same construction as the 84, so in another word, equivalent to a pair of stiffer RTM 80. The construction of 80 is slightly different from 84 making it softer. 

I think you can go with 176 due to the full rocker.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Actually, according to the Volkl Rep at our recent clinic, the 84 has two sheets of titinal and the 81 one sheet of steel. So not exactly the same construction. He claims as do the early reviews that the 81 has a livllier feel than the 84 which I would like and that the 81 is a better tool for bumps which I still love to ski even at my advanced age.

Still looking for opinions from those who have actually skied the 81.

Thanks,

Rick G
post #4 of 17

Hey Rick,

 

To me, it sounds like the Volkl RTM 81 would be the perfect ski for you. Over on our Chairlift Chat pages, one of our shop employees, Mike, recently posted a review of the RTM 81. Basically what he determined is that the ski is very stable due to metal in it's core and vertical sidewalls. He found the ski to be super responsive, and with a full rocker design, it was super nimble. From your description of what you're looking for, it sounds like the RTM 81 would be a perfect choice. 

 

If you want to talk to him about his first hand experience riding the skis, feel free to give us a call and ask for him! I believe he'll be in over the weekend, and I'm sure he'd love to entertain your questions!

 

-Matt @ Skiessentials.com

post #5 of 17

Any noticeable difference in feel or performance to the RTM 80s?

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

Hey Rick,



 



To me, it sounds like the Volkl RTM 81 would be the perfect ski for you. Over on our Chairlift Chat pages, one of our shop employees, Mike, recently posted a review of the RTM 81. Basically what he determined is that the ski is very stable due to metal in it's core and vertical sidewalls. He found the ski to be super responsive, and with a full rocker design, it was super nimble. From your description of what you're looking for, it sounds like the RTM 81 would be a perfect choice. 



 



If you want to talk to him about his first hand experience riding the skis, feel free to give us a call and ask for him! I believe he'll be in over the weekend, and I'm sure he'd love to entertain your questions!



 



-Matt @ Skiessentials.com


 



Matt,

Thanks for posting. I already came across your review and was one of the ones I referenced in my original post. I was just looking for a few additional reviews from the inmates here to help solidfy my choice.

Question? 171 or 176? Keep in mind I am 59, 190lbs and 5'9". The biggest mountain I will ski these is around 1000 vert with most in the 500-750 range. So smaller areas. If I were to drive to Vermont, I would probable bring these as well as my E98's. Who knows maybe even a race ski, but if I were to fly out west it would be the E98's all the way.

I am leaning towards the 171 for the extra nimbleness in bumps and trees.

What do you think?

Thanks,

Rick G
Edited by rickg - 11/2/13 at 1:47pm
post #7 of 17

Rick,

 

Great, I'm glad to hear you saw our review and that it helped! As for lengths, I would go with the 171's I think. Honestly, you could even go shorter, but it sounds like you're the type of skier who prefers their skis a bit longer (I'm right there with you on that). The 171's should be about as tall as you, which is plenty of ski for what you're looking to do with this. If you went with the 176, I think you'd realize that you bought too much ski for the terrain you'll be mostly using these on.

 

Hope this helps!

Matt @ Skiessentials.com

 

P.S.- Mike, there is a world of difference between the RTM 81 and the RTM 80. While they're only 1mm wider, Volkl gave the RTM 81 a much more "advanced" construction compared to the RTM 80. Feel free to shoot me a message if you want to know more!

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Matt,

Thanks again for your insight. I agree about the 171's but was looking for another opinion. My AC30's are a170 and I like that length with them for around here. But with the rocker in the RTM 81's I was wondering if I should go a bit longer. As an old schooler, I skied the 200's back in the day and my E98's are a 180 so I am not afraid of a little extra length. Just looking for something really fun for the smaller hills around here.

BTW I have checked your site many times for reviews and think you guys do a good job giving real world reviews and not just regurgitate what the mfgs say. keep up the good work.

Rick G
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well I bit the bullet and took advantage of the Pro Deal and ordered me up a pair of the RTM 81's in a 171. Now all I got to do is sell my AC30' to help pay for them and to sneak the new pair into the garage without my wife seeing them. Fortunately the colors are close to the AC 30's and as a non skier, my wife might not notice the difference if I take the AC 30's to the shop for a tune and then bring these home.

Rick G
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Well I bit the bullet and took advantage of the Pro Deal and ordered me up a pair of the RTM 81's in a 171. Now all I got to do is sell my AC30' to help pay for them and to sneak the new pair into the garage without my wife seeing them. Fortunately the colors are close to the AC 30's and as a non skier, my wife might not notice the difference if I take the AC 30's to the shop for a tune and then bring these home.

Rick G

Congratulations! In that case you definitely made the right choice of getting the 81 to blend in lol~the 84 this year has such a bright green. I think people can see it from a mile away! (I love the green BTW, guess I'm not really subtle...)

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Well I bit the bullet and took advantage of the Pro Deal and ordered me up a pair of the RTM 81's in a 171. Now all I got to do is sell my AC30' to help pay for them and to sneak the new pair into the garage without my wife seeing them. Fortunately the colors are close to the AC 30's and as a non skier, my wife might not notice the difference if I take the AC 30's to the shop for a tune and then bring these home.

Rick G

Where is your review of the new ski?

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Where is your review of the new ski?

 

Try here.  http://www.epicski.com/t/123390/first-day-on-my-new-volkl-rtm-81

 

Can't remember if I posted an update or not so here goes.

 

I only got about 5 days on the 81's last season as I had started a new job which ate into my ski time and coupled with my race league, I just did not ski them as much as I would have liked.  But I do like them....a lot!  They are definitely more playful and forgiving than my departed AC30's without giving up much in the way of all out performance.   I was continually amazed at how well the 81's would hold on hard pack and frozen groomed.  And these skis do like to carve and will dig some nice trenches if you have the skill set.  I only had a chance to play in a little bit of powder and soft snow and I definitely want more!  They felt really good an probably could work well out west if the snow isn't too deep.  They worked very well in bumps especially if they were soft but rock hard bumps were doable.

 

The biggest thing to get use to is the RTM 81 is a finesse ski.  It doesn't want to be muscled around and will reward you when you give subtle yet direct inputs.  Yes this ski wants a skilled pilot just as the AC30 did, but it doesn't want you to scream it when a whisper will do.  So far I am totally satisfied with them.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rick G

post #13 of 17
Thank you
post #14 of 17

At our weight I thought you might say they are a little short. I weigh the same and am looking at the 176.

post #15 of 17

Rick, the E98s are definitely more of a muscle ski, so do you find it difficult to adjust to the RTM 81 as a more finesse setup, especially given the camber E98s/no camber RTMs?

 

Can you still push the Volkls on the hardpack without having to be tenatative?  With those 2 skis, seems like an excellent 2-ski quiver, with RTM primarily for east/hard days, and E98 for west/soft days, I would imagine.

 

Lastly, how are the RTM 81s in the bumps (again, with the E98 in comparison as your wide ski)?


 

Thanks for your insight!


 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

Rick, the E98s are definitely more of a muscle ski, so do you find it difficult to adjust to the RTM 81 as a more finesse setup, especially given the camber E98s/no camber RTMs?

 

Can you still push the Volkls on the hardpack without having to be tenatative?  With those 2 skis, seems like an excellent 2-ski quiver, with RTM primarily for east/hard days, and E98 for west/soft days, I would imagine.

 

Lastly, how are the RTM 81s in the bumps (again, with the E98 in comparison as your wide ski)?


 

Thanks for your insight!


 

Gunner,

 

Last year I did not get out west so I did not ski the 98's at all and have no real back to back comparison with the 81's.  With that said, skiing the 81's once you get past the fact there is virtually no camber and just ski them, you really don't notice too much that it is not there.  Like I said, I don't know how Volkl does it but these skis feel lively and precise.  Not what you might expect from a ski with no camber.   Also as mentioned, you want to tone down your inputs just a bit with the 81 for some nice carves, but I could also hard charge it right down the fall line on eastern powder aka hard pack.  As for bumps, the few times I got to ski them I really liked the way they felt.   I felt I could ski bumps old school or put them on edge and carve through them new school if the snow was soft enough and could transition easily between the two styles.  Sadly I only had 3 days on the 81's as most of my skiing was on my race weekends for the league I am in.  But I am looking forward to skiing them some more this coming season.

 

I have skied quite a few bumps on the big 98's but they were all out west on trips.  It is my western trip ski after all.  So the bumps were on big hills, often very soft and shaped quite differently then eastern bumps.  The biggest difference I can think of is with the 98's you have to muscle them more and they are a little slower coming around so you need to think a little further ahead to compensate.  That should be no surprise as the 98's have almost a 20 meter radius vs the 81's 16 or so, not to mention 10cm longer.  Different skis for my different needs.

 

If I were to do it over again, I might have gotten a western ski a little softer for better powder performance.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rick G

post #17 of 17

Thanks Rick!  I agree that the E98 isn't quite as versatile for true all-rounder out West as some others, but it does work well here in the East for our "powder days" and pretty darn good out west.  Since I'm often with wife and kids, my western skiing tends to be more frontside-biased, so the E98s are an excellent tool in that regard.  I typically bring out 67mm carvers for most days out here.

 

Wish I could test/demo the RTM 81s to get a handle on how they "feel" in comparison with no rocker.

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