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volkl 5 star 168 vs 175

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i know this topic has been touched on in the past, but would like to welcome some fresh or new rsponses to anyones experience with these different lengths. i am 6'2"/184 expert skier (fast groomers-no moguls) east coast on piste predominantly and would like to know which size you all would recommend regarding:
stability at speed, turn radius, versatility, etc. any advantages/disadvantages for myself with these 2 different lengths. i was only able to demo the 5 star in 175 and 6 star in 168,(so sort of comparing apples to oranges in a way)and would like to get the 5 star because i feel it would suit my abilities better. thanks in advance for any replies.
post #2 of 14
What did you think of the 175 5* and 168 6*? Your impressions/views might provide some guidance as to what you felt comfortable with or likes/dislikes.

For the record, I bought next year's 5* in 175cm. I ski much the same conditions you do, but have ab out 40 lbs on you. I didn't demo the 168 5*, but I wouldn't have gone that short anyway. I loved the 175, although I would have liked to try the 182.

You can see my reviews in a separate post ("review of '05 volkls"?). In a nutshell, I found the 5* 175 to be perfect for what I was looking for: a relatively forgiving ski, good short to medium turn radius, stable at speed, rock solid on hardpack & ice, not too stiff.

The 6* requires a bit more work (although I found next year's version to be easier than the 03/04, possibly because of changes in piston location, but not sure). Excellent ski, buy you need to "keep up appearances", as it won't tolerate any sloppy technique.

For your size, I think the 5* in 168 would be a fine fit. However, demo before you buy if you can. A 5-10cm difference in ski length can have a big effect on how a particular ski feels to you. Unless you are getting a great deal, wait until you can try them out next season. Better to spend some time and $50/day demo-ing (which can be applied to purchase price), than spending $800+ and finding out you don't like the ski.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
i ski mostly smaller east coast mtns right now with plans to ski out west in the coming years, so basically i was looking for a "short" fast, maneuverable, versatile, and fun ski for where i'm skiing at now. i currently ski a 02-03 volkl g3 177cm which i can ski anywhere in all conditions well, but feel the 5 star in a shorter length would be a more fun ride.
your review of the 05 supersport was certainly comprehensive and insightful. in regards to my demo experience,however, i felt the 6 star(w/piston) in 168 had a smoother ride and very comfortable to ski, and the 5 star in 175(w/out piston) felt grabby,stiffer, and more difficult to initiate turns. although, i know these skis are not only length dependent on feel but also tune sensitive which may have accounted for some of the differences i noticed. nonetheless, i didn't get a real strong feel for being able to compare sizes effectively but i'm certainly looking for all those attributes you feel like your 175 5 star posesses for you in the appropriate size for me. demoing next year is going to be a real challenge since i'll probably get to the mtn a very limited number of days. i would like a shorter ski but just do not want to go too short where i'll be overpowering the ski. it's not so much my weight in why i'm considering 168 the appropriate length but will my height and its leverage be better suited to the 175. i probably can't go wrong either way but but i know these skis can behave very differently in different lengths. i guess what i'm looking for is the size which i can ski fast, dial in all turn shapes, easy transitions at speed, without giving up stability. it's hard not to feel like you're on snow blades at 168 instead of "skis" and it just seems hard to accept that a ski can do this that barely comes up to your nose; but hey, the swith from 204 to 177 was certainly welcomed. look forward to your thoughts.
post #4 of 14
1) I wouldn't categorize yourself as an "expert skier" if you only ski fast groomers. Part of being an "expert" is being able to ski in all conditions, moguls, crud, pow, death cookies, etc... Don't be a pretentious fool.

2) If you are 6'2" and even looking at a 168 you are certifiably insane unless ALL you are doing is bashing slalom gates. You should be on something 180+ for general skiing, even on groomers.

3) Learn to ski off of your prized groomers. Going 70 gives you a speed rush the first few times you do it on a groomed run. Then its just boring. Doing 70 in a chute that is less than 5 feet wide is still interesting, at least for me. Demo some fatties, I'd recommend some Fischer Big Stix b/c you seem to like stiffer, burlier skis (from volkl) or some G4s/AX4s and ski some off-piste shite. Then reconsider your decision to buy a frikin groomer machine.

5) If this will be part of quiver that already has a fatty, disregard points 1-4.
post #5 of 14
WoW.... 70 on groomers and chutes even. That's impressive. Most expert skiers i know rarely ski much over 40, except for racers. You must be good. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #6 of 14
I gape. But I gape with a radar gun
post #7 of 14
At the NY State J3 Championships this year, the fastest kid was clocked (by radar) at 63 MPH. That was on a rock hard Super G course, in a full tuck, in a GS suit, on an expert trail with some pretty steep pitches. I've heard rumors of kids doing 70 in downhill training. Nobody ever skis 70 MPH except on a race course or closed training course.

The fastest skier I've ever seen on an ordinary trail was Dave Merriam, but I was able ot keep him in sight from top to bottom at Killington this year. Maybe I was doing 40, and maybe he was doing 45 or even 50 at times. He must weigh around 180, and he was on a pair of Volkl 6 Stars at 168 CM.

Regards, John
post #8 of 14
I skied the 2002-2003 Volkl G3 Motion at 177, but I went to a Rossignol 9S Oversize at 158 this year (I weigh about 190). The Rossi is way better on the groomed or in bumps. It has a 14 meter radius, so it's not too turny, and it's faster than I am. I can't say how they would feel over about 70 kph.


post #9 of 14

What's your opinion of the Big Stix vs. the AX4? I've skied the Big Stix 8.6, and liked it. I haven't skied the AX4 yet, but I did ski the Explosiv, and really like it, so I want to ski another Volkl. Any thoughts on the subject?

Thanks for your time
post #10 of 14
Sorry for the late reply, and it looks like the thread has been "diverted".

Next years 5* is a bit stiffer & beefier than previous years' versions. I've been on both at 175, and preferred the 04/05 over the 03/04. I wouldn't worry too much about overpowering the 168. Unless you can crush the 6*, I'd not lose any sleep over going "down-line".

The last 2 years have been very enlightening for me. I used to think that I had to get the longest version of the most kick-a$$ ski I could find. I was wrong.

You will be happiest with the ski & lenght that lets you do what you want to do with the fewest discomforts/contortions. From your posts, I would suggest the 168 5*, because you will learn from them. You will become a better skier because you can control them better. As you get better, you will be able to differentiate ski qualities more, and (if the $ are there) buy condition-specific skis to add to your quiver.

I can't (shouldn't/wouldn't) tell you what to buy. There are plenty of good skis out there. Everyone has their favorites (including me), but don't let that sway you from considering other options. Too often, we consider gear based on the marketing hype (SKI & SKIING magazine take note). Try the stuff out yourself. It's all good.

On a separate note: it's the end of April. Barring great luck in the accumulation of $, I will not ski down a hill for another 8 months. That is so wrong. Maybe I should just move to BC.
post #11 of 14
I haven't had a chance to ski the Big Stix; I was recommending them based on reviews I've heard from friends with (unfortunately) different boot soles.
See reviews:
http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8190&highlight=fischer+ stix

http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=843&highlight=fischer+s tix


I tried the AX4s when there was a free demo day at Alta and liked them. Burly, stiff ski with a nice progressive flex. The snow was about 8" of fluff on top of a rock solid refreeze plate because of the slush. They handled it better than my Scratch BCs. However, they do NOT like to make short turns. Medium radius if you really drive your knees, long gs->superG if you just let em run. Very positive turning feeling with a controlled rebound. They don't "snap" out of turns the way my Scratches do (probably the shorter tail) which makes them more stable at high speed but not as much fun to make high frequency hard carved turns on hardpack where the rebound snaps you from one edge to the other.

And on speed, I've been clocked with both a radar gun and a GPS radio (Rhino) I carry in my jacket pocket. In a tuck on a slightly refrozen Siberia Bowl (squaw) I clocked 71.4 mph on the GPS. No speedsuit, on 170 '01 Bandit XXs. I'm not saying it was stable, but I know I've gone that fast in other places: backgate straightline chutes at Alta. I was clocked by a radar gun at 68 last year, no speed suit this time either, this time on 176 Scratch BCs. I don't race and never have/probably won't so I don't even own a speedsuit or pair of race/groomer skis. It's all about the fatties (which is why teh bandits are leaving in favor of a fatter brethren for my scratches... hopefully a legend pro... mmmm....)
This whole "how fast can you actually go" thing got discussed to death at my real home (i'm a maggot out of place) and I don't really feel the need to prove to you that I went 70 since it's basically irrelevant to this discussion and I'm not claiming that I'm a good skier (I gape, as you may have noticed above).
post #12 of 14

Tucking Siberia

Love that runout! That's one of the reasons why I have Volkl Motions in a 184 at 170 pounds...too much fun.
post #13 of 14
I have found, the better your skiing ability the easier it is to ski on shorter skis. I'm 5'11" 195lbs and all my skis are 170 to 177. I have even liked some 168's that I have demoed.

max01, I would also suggest the 5* in 168cm and take a lesson or two when you get on them. If you feel you got nothing out of the lesson go to the ski school desk and complain. As long as you go into the lesson with an open mind and want to learn then any good instructor should be able to help you out.
post #14 of 14
I like my 175 cmVolkl 5 star for the east coast. I am 195 lbs and 5' 11" and ski anywhere. I spend more than 50 percent of my time on steep mogul trails with some glades when I can find them. For out west I use 178cm Rossignol B3. I demoed a pair of 175 cm volkl 6 stars in europe this year. I liked them too. I am not into slalom race courses. Quick short radius turns are important to me and somthing I work on. Given your size I would go with 175 cm. That said I am sure the 168cm would work also. Great ski either way.
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