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Am I on the wrong skis?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm in my 3rd season skiing now and have been progressing nicely, but the last few days out, I've been wondering if I'm on the wrong skis.  I'm some sort of intermediate - ski blues comfortably, still shying away from most blacks just because I wanna get smoother & more confident before I go much steeper (did Ore Bucket at Breck last year without too much fuss, but had a local with me), and generally keep it under 30 MPH.  I turn a lot - as much as possible...much more than most folks I ski with. 


I'd rented the first year, then decided to buy a pair of my own instead of renting for another season.  A local shop was hosting a swap, so with the help of someone who worked there (and I've never seen since), I picked out a nice pair of Volkl AC30s and started my season.  As I'd just come off the beginner rentals, I really had no idea what to expect.  They're different, sure, but I'm starting to think now that I've bought the wrong ski - at least for now.  Problem is I keep telling myself they're too stiff.  Then as I spend a bit of time reading different opinions of them, I'm coming to understand that this is an advanced-expert ski that one really shouldn't try to 'grow into'. 


They're also mostly a groomer tool so I understand, and I've started spending more time in the trees & off piste.  I'm quite sure I could find a better ski for that. 


Anybody else thinking I took a wrong turn with these?  I'm thinking I should show up at a demo day soon and confirm my suspicions, but thought I'd give it an askin' first.


Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 12

Hi, Rob.


Just my opinion, but while you might be able to find an "easier" (which is my own interpretation of what you're actually looking for with your word "better") ski for off-piste, I'm not totally sure that's what you NEED.


The AC30 is an excellent ski for making short, controlled turns on groomers and in mild-to-moderate junk and crud.  It's a great ski for teaching a learning skier how to pressure the ski from front to rear through the course of a turn.  It gives solid feedback when you are pressuring the skis in the right places and, conversely, when you're not working the ski properly.  


Again in my opinion, that ski could help teach you how to make good, solid turns in most of the everyday conditions the average skier encounters.  I don't consider it exactly an advanced/expert ski, I think of it as a ski that likes to be skied with solid technique.  If you hang in there and learn to use that particular ski well, you'll set yourself up for a great deal of fun in the future skiing on all kinds of skis.


Your mileage may vary, of course. 

post #3 of 12

Welcome to Epic.  You didn't mention what you have for boots or where you got them.  It could be that part, or possibly all, of your problem is boots that are too big.  Boots are the drivers of your skis.  If your foot has to move inside the boot before it can communicate with the ski, you will have problems.  I spent too many years and too much money trying to buy improvement by buying hot skis, but always buying heavily discounted boots that were as much as 2 sizes too big.  When I finally got boots that were the correct size and shape for my feet, my skiing improved instantly because the skis did what I wanted them to do immediately, no delay.  So tell us about your boots.


I'm not familiar with the AC30 to be able to comment on it so I will leave that to people who've actually skied it.

post #4 of 12

Agree with Bob regarding the skis.


Have you taken a good look at your boots? Please do. May be a bigger issue than the skis.


Also a few lessons would be good to fast track the solid technique Bob mentioned.

post #5 of 12

The ski is not too stiff; you're just skiing too slow :duck: 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Boots are Solomon Quest 8.  I got them at a local shop with a good reputation for bootfitters.  They definitely aren't too loose.  I was back in with them before going out today to work on insoles & a heel spur problem.  That helped a lot. 


Yeah, some lessons would definitely go a long way, and it's something I'd like to do, but keep putting it off because of the cost & apprehension about just winding up with whoever.  I think I'd like to work with the same instructor over time who can watch my progress and I'm not sure how to go about that. 


I don't doubt that I'm skiing them too slowly.  They don't really turn at all 'till a point...then they seem to like more speed.  That's the rub.  I don't really aspire to become a fast skier.  I have more fun in slower, more technical type stuff as opposed to bombing down wide open groomers. 

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by rob feature View Post

They don't really turn at all 'till a point...then they seem to like more speed.  That's the rub.  I don't really aspire to become a fast skier.  I have more fun in slower, more technical type stuff as opposed to bombing down wide open groomers. 

If nobody has told you, it is easier to turn when you are going faster.  The slower you go the harder it is to turn.  I have a pair of skis that definitely resist turning until I'm going fairly fast, then they turn on a dime.  Assuming you ski at the same area mostly, go hang out around the ski school area and pay attention.  I think you can figure out who you might want to take a lesson from.  Or ask people you know who've taken lessons, or go sign up for a private lesson and say you want a level 3 instructor.

post #8 of 12

Rob, what's your height and weight, and the length of the AC30's?   You want to be on the appropriate length.


AC30 is a great ski, and Bob's comments are spot on.  I skied it pretty much exclusively several years back, and it's still my rock ski.   I've had a blast on it in all conditions and terrain up until a couple weeks ago when I pulled out the good skis.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I guess I could have mentioned more about me & the skis, huh.  They're 170s.  I'm 5'11 160 lbs.  That makes me think of something else too.  When I was first getting started skiing, I was still well over 200 pounds.  Not sure where I was when I started on these, but I'm definitely lighter.  Maybe as I've gotten lighter, the ski has started feeling stiffer? 

post #10 of 12
Yea your light weight, that could be part of the issue. I have that ski (170cm) and I'm 5'11" 195-200lbs. My son now skis it, he's more your size but 26y/o x-racer.

It's a great ski, if it's tuned well, it well respond quickly to a good pilot.

You may want to keep it and look for something like the Volkl Kendo in 170cm. I have been on a 170cm ski for the previous 10 years, but when I bought my Kendo's 3 years ago I went up to 177cm.

Diffenetly take some lessons with a level 3 PSIA instructor or a good level 2. Talk to the person at the ski school desk and tell them what you want. Or let us know where your going to ski and may be one of us can recommend someone for you.

When you learn to pressure the tip of the ski, you'll find out how good those skis are.

Over the year of demoing skis, I have found that when a ski is slow to turn it's normally to long. Try it one size down. I find that whe nI demo high end Rossi's I have to drop down from a 170 to a 163. That was a few years back. It's just a statment to let you know not all skis are a like.

Make sure you boots fit well, then take a lesson.
post #11 of 12

Agreed, I think you might be better off on the 163 AC30 than the 170.  Not that the 170 is horribly long, just that there are usually two sizes of a ski that will work for someone, and the 170 is the longer of those two lengths for you.  Given your skiing level the shorter AC30 is probably better.  It would not feel as stiff and would be easier for you to turn.


Yep, 160 vs. 200lbs makes a big difference.  Congrats on losing the weight, that's awesome!!!  Maybe celebrate by buying some new skis :)   Your 170 AC30's may be worth keeping around as part of a quiver, but usually you want your narrower firm snow ski (which the AC30 would be) to be shorter and your wider soft snow ski to be longer in a quiver.


Search for "AC30 length",  "170 AC30", etc for lots of older threads where this was discussed.  I'm 5'11" 180lbs and an expert skier.  I've switched between the 170 and 177 AC30.   My current version is a 170 because a) I want it shorter as it's my bump ski, and b) I found them dirt cheap on craigslist.  @Max Capacity I've also skied the Kendo a ton and think it sizes similar to the AC30, as I've switched between the 170 and 177 Kendo also.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies.  I've gotten back up a couple of days since I posted.  Today was good.  I found light crowds on the hill and soft snow this morning, so I let 'em run a little more than usual.  They felt a lot more like they belong.  Turns felt solid.  I felt like hugging them at the end of the day.  I think maybe I got a bit shy after crashing last season.  It didn't take me out the whole year, but I dislocated my shoulder in February, so it was late April before doc cleared me to get back up again.  I think that's kept me slower this season.  And probably what's been making this ski feel so stubborn.  Unfortunately most of my days up this year have been on weekends where I'm having to concentrate more on other people than what I'm doing.  But the last couple of days have been different.  I'm back to skiing weekdays and it's the bee's knees.  I'm finding very little company from open to about 2-3 hours in - which is approaching my limit for a single serving.  I think that was the long way of saying I'm definitely keeping these.


Max, I'm at Keystone & A-Basin this year.  I'm partial to the fast lifts at Keystone, so I usually wind up there, but love skiing the Basin.  I've heard the instructors at Keystone leave something to be desired lately.  Haven't really heard much about the instructors at the Basin.  Either way, lessons are on the radar, but it's a budget-buster for this student at the moment.  The only way I'm pulling this off right now is a cheap pass, second-hand skis, and living 70 miles from the furthest mountain on my pass.  While I'd love to have someone see me through all this, I'm meeting my goals - learning a new skill, getting some great exercise, taking a break from the norm & spending the day outside.  Once school gives way to a job, I'm all in for lots of lessons, but for now I'll have to be content with what I can figure out on my own.  I believe CU offers some instruction, however, and I'll be pretty close to Eldora soon...gonna be looking into that as soon as I get settled there. 

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