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Help -- looking for advice on new skis (Volkl).... - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Skiingman, I agree with pretty much everything you say. I came across as being way too bitter towards Volkl. The reps for both Tecnica and Volkl have always been very good to me, and I shouldn't have trashed them like that. And I probably shouldn't go repeating everything I hear in the shops, as I have no way to verify it without naming names. And it's not like Volkl is the only ski I've had problems with.
However, this thread was originally started about all mountain skis. In that regard, I'll stand by what I said. I can't understand why Volkl ditched a tried and true all mountain ski like the G30 and the G31. When you have a winner, why not stick with it? Sure, change the graphics a little from year to year, tweek the dimensions somewhat, but why totally discard a bombproof construction method that was handed down from their racing experience in order to go and experiment with something else? The construction of my P30 RC's (which were the sweetest skiing skis I've ever owned) and the G31's was virtually identical (vertical sidewall/cap). And when I say experiment, thats pretty much what they did. As soon as the first G3's and Vertigo Motions hit the stores, Volkl was already in the process of redesigning construction to beef up the tip because they were so light and chattered so much. I was at the trade show at Copper Mtn. in February of that year when they introduced them. They had more problems with the Motions than the G3's (other than bending) because the core they were using didn't interact well with the Motion rail system. I know that they've since made more changes to address these issues, but where they stand today, I don't know. I've demoed both the 4 Star and 5 Star, but haven't tried the 6 Star. However, when I read in the lastest issue of Skiing Magazine's buyer's guide that they've employed a new binding system to eliminate "the radical vibrations of last year's 6 Star" in order to make it much more stable, then it doesn't make me want to run out and buy another pair anytime soon.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Or perhaps some of the higher dollar 20-20 stuff.

Foam or wood, good skis are good skis. Foam skis can suck, and wood skis can suck. Volkl skis are definitely still built well.
Even skis with metal in them usually don't bend if they aren't abused. Ski a metal ski in the bumps at your own risk, ya know?

We have more customer satisfaction with the 5 Star. Both the 6 Star and Superspeed are pretty beefy, and due to way too much magazine ballyhoo last year, the 6 star buyers didn't self-select as much as they should have.
-Garrett
As you know the 20/20 construction is their women's construction, and the "highest performance" model of those is the Supersport Gamma - which is basically a 4 Star. Do they classify the 4 Star as high performance? I don't think so.

I completely agree with you regarding the metal/non metal thing. What's the point?

My statement that the 6 Star is "way more versatile" was relative to the Superspeed, so I'll stand by that. The 5 Star is fine, too - probably better for the "average" guy. The new 5 Star is basically a 6 Star lite. Same shape, same construction, minus the aluminum rails and a little stiffness.

Regarding the mag comment, is isn't it your job as a ski salesman to sell the customer the correct skis?

Don't blame the mags - the 6 Star is a great ski.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman
Don't blame the mags - the 6 Star is a great ski.
Some of the magazine comments were downright ridiculous. Their reasoning process/advertising process is so woefully transparent. If I could burn the SKI magazine gear guide, I would. Unfortunately, there is a subset of skiers that reads that gear guide as if it were the Book of Mormon or Bible or something. It isn't.

I'm personally not that big of a fan of any of the Supersport/superspeed skis. There are better options, IMHO.

However, lots of customers want these skis. Try as one might, its sometimes hard to convince Mr. "D for Dentist" Porsche driver that he needs a 5 star, not a 6 star. Then "D for Dentist" hits up an on-snow, realizes he can actually turn a 5 star, then decides he needs to ditch the 6 star.

I don't get to ski with these folks. If you don't understand that a good portion of the "D for Dentist" types make unreasonable claims about their skiing prowess during the sales process, I don't think you sell skis on a regular basis. If I attempt to cut through their bullshit with my finely tuned BS detector, I run the risk of being called an elitist ass.

Also, I'll submit this for your consideration. What might be a "great ski" where you live is next to useless for many people here on the Right Coast. We ski shorter turns on narrower trails with more people at lower speeds. For all of that, a 5 star is more fun for most.

Quote:
As you know the 20/20 construction is their women's construction, and the "highest performance" model of those is the Supersport Gamma - which is basically a 4 Star. Do they classify the 4 Star as high performance? I don't think so.
Does Salomon classify the Street Racer 10 as high performance? You betcha. Is it? Hell no.

Since when was I supposed to care what the brochure said? Thats even more ridiculous than taking SKI at its word.
-Garrett
post #34 of 56
MAX59 I'm a Volkl Man, but to add more confusion to this mess. I would tell you to go find a pair of Ogasaka Unity EX in 165cm. When my Volkl's wear out that is where I'm headed. PM me, I may be able to hook you up. I demoed these last March at Okemo. Amazing feel on the snow.
post #35 of 56
Skiingman,

This whole thread is hopelessly lost in misunderstandings. I wasn't defending Völkl's entire product collection. I took issue with Mac's extreme exaggeration that Völkl hasn't built a proper construction, or cared about their consumer, in years. Neither is true. I merely pointed out that all of Völkl's higher performance offerings are the wood/glass torsion box they have always been. Since this thread began asking about Supersports, and not the 20/20 skis, my observation is valid and relevant. I don't think we need to bicker about the lexicon of their brochure.

I completely understand the Dentist analogy as well as the need for a BS meter in all ski shops. That said, it's not the mags fault that some egos are as large as they are.

Regarding geography, I grew up in the east. Also, my work is in the ski business, so I am back east quite often. The first 6 Star I ever skied was at the Stratton on-snow trade fair in '03. I'm well aware of what works back there, and all the Supersports do a fine job on that eastern surface.

I agree that there are many other skis are are fun. My second choice would be the Fischer RXs. Great skis. What's your preference?
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman
I agree that there are many other skis are are fun. My second choice would be the Fischer RXs. Great skis. What's your preference?
Good choice. Personal preference would be Blizzard XCross, 168. However, that is definitely not the most forgiving ski on the wall. If I was going to ski on a Volkl, it would be either the 6-star or Superspeed.

Sorry for getting this thread hopelessly off-topic. You are completely right...Volkl skis have always been wood/glass/sometimes metal and will likely stay that way.

Definitely not the mags' fault that the egos are so big, but I still see their gear reports as a problem because:
-They should have a primary obligation to the reader, not the advertiser. Clearly, this is not the case.
-They should explain without bias to readers that self selection is important. Sometimes they make a half-assed attempt at doing this, but rarely do they give it many column inches. The manufacturers do not want the mags pointing out that the 699 ski is not always better than the 399 ski for your average Joe.
-They should emphasize the very personal nature of ski testing more than they do. They never do an adequate job IMHO of pointing out that "your mileage may vary."

You can't blame people in putting blind faith in these reports. Most people don't have the time/opportunity to demo lots of skis. This is especially true for our local skiers, as they don't have access to good on hill "demo-centers".

Its clear that you are in the industry, I was just wondering if perhaps you haven't had to deal with the magazine-toters lately, on a "working the floor" type basis. I'm assuming you are way up on the totem pole.

Also, I'm assuming that not only are you massively more experienced than me, you probably look it as well. When "ego man" tells me he needs a 6 star, anything the 20 year old kid says takes a back seat to the magazine. Our repeat customers know they can trust me, but the guy in off the street may have a hard time believing I too have skied all these things, and that perhaps he should consider something else. I do whatever I can to increase my credibility, but there is only so much one can do to fight preconceived notions.

I guess the saving grace is that when ego-man decides he doesn't like the "ski of the year", at least he can't come back and blame me for it. Still doesn't make my boss' performance guarantee any less expensive.

All the skis work really well on our hard snow as far as edge grip and such. Its just that skis like the 6 star are more difficult to "open up" at most eastern resorts. If you start talking about the small local ski areas where the majority of skiing takes place in the East, its even more of an issue. As you know, there are more ski areas in NY than Colorado and Utah combined. Many of them are quite tiny. Skis have to work well at very low speeds to be enjoyable for most of our skiers.

When I lived/worked in a ski-town, this entire conversation would be moot.
-Garrett
post #37 of 56
Mac,

To conclude our little spat, your assessment of the G3 debacle is spot on, and I couldn't agree more.

I originally took offense to your assertion that this scenario played out in all of their models when it didn't.

In fact, I guess it's fixed now...the 724 EXP, the hier to the G30/G31/G3 lineage, is an all wood construction - very much like the G30/31 was.

:
post #38 of 56

Volkl 5 or 6 star??????

Which is better? The 2004/20054 Volkl 5 or 6 star. I am a lower expert skier who is 5'7 and a 190lbs, grew up skiing on the east coast now lives out west. I like to go fast and make all kinds of shapes turns. I like to ski very very fast with my brother,and I also need to ski the blues with my girlfriend. Which is the better ski? Living in Arizona now, so demo's not going to work for me. Will the 5 star be solid on GS turns at high speeds? Will the 6 star turn on a dime if I need it to? Thanks for all of the replies in advance. I am comming off the K2 Axis X Pro.
post #39 of 56

G30 > G3

I've owned the G30s and G3 (Vertigo Motion), and I completely agree that the G30 was a better ski (my buddy has them now). The G3 works fine, and I ski CA, BC, and UT, so I don't ski much hard snow. Also, since I got the pair super cheap in Cortina, I'm reasonably happy.

However, if I could, I'd trade my Vertigo Motions for a pair of G30s or G31s in 177 right now. Anyone? Bueller? ...
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity
I would tell you to go find a pair of Ogasaka Unity EX in 165cm. When my Volkl's wear out that is where I'm headed.
Max Capacity is a traitor!!


When all of you ski historians are done talking out your ass, maybe you can turn the discussion back to Maxj59's original request for help:

Quote:
Anyway, I'm looking for advice on new gear; specifically Volkl Superspeed, 6 star or 5 star or maybe Atomic...

I've been skiing since I was 5 (40 years) and tend to keep my skis for a long time. I skied my 210 cm 1987 Atomic SG's for 12 years; went to a 2000 Salomon SuperAxe 9 3V (192 cm) and am now looking for the next ski that will keep me happy. I’m 5’11; 180#’s, skiing exclusively in the north east. Like to go fast, turn long or short, groomers, bumps, off-trail, anything really. I don't get much of a chance to demo but have heard great things about the Volkl's – any advice on which ski/size would be better would be appreciated.
If you're only going to buy one pair of skis - in this age of micro-specialization - I would seriously consider the new 7 24 EXP or the 7 24 Pro. Both of which are available flat or with Motion bindings and, overall, might be a more versatile, all-mountain choice than the Supersports.

Now, if you could see your way to buy two pair of skis, then a pair of Supersports and something else for off-piste would be ideal.


PS - Take a look at my post in the Ski Swap forum; let me know if I can help.
post #41 of 56
IG, welcome back. I still love my G3's and AX3's. Had great times on my G30's and G31's too. Hope you get the chance to ski the Unity EX or one of Ogasaka's race skis this season. I do wonder if there skis work better here on the East Coast ? If you think about where they have been building them since 1912, I'll bet the conditions are a lot like here.
post #42 of 56

This thread has made me Vocal.

History:live in australia -Ski history and level -much the same as the starter of this thread. The ski season is just finishing here.(It is probably like your east coast skiing)
I have my 77 year old father presently on G31 188's and me on P40 platinums 188's.
The g31 have a bit more life in them, but my platinums are hacked. Some new (old) p40 platinums (193cm) are on ebay at the moment -couldn't resist a new pair at $79.

Problem is I need a new pair , a bit shorter , for my father. All these new volkl names and models have taken me weeks of forum hunting to get on top of. So I thank all of you for your helpful input.
In the past , one only had to look at your old skis and if it had P9 on it ,you knew it was time to look for a P10. Then they started jumping by 10's. Once the terminology went 724 motion exp pro star superspeed rail oil piston et cetera.- Someone should run a degree course for ski selection!

Anyway from all of this it would seem the EXP or 5 star (04) would be the best replacement for my father (and ME,when he isn't skiing) and maybe the Thread Starter ,Maxj59. I am now a bit wary of the in between models G3 to ax3 and earlier 5 star because of the possible inferior/different construction methods.
Do you think this is a correct summation?
post #43 of 56
When I was in Whistler we had an inversion and some hard conditions for a few days and I skied the G3's and loved them. They held on the hard stuff, but when I did find nice snow up high they performed very well. To add to the debate on who owns volkl....
I spoke with an Elan rep a few years ago and he told me they do not make it public but Elan makes 50% of Volkl's skis. Now to be fair Elan makes some excellent skis, but part of the Volkl Mystic is the name and simply sticking your name on someone elses skis kind of ruins that.....
I do not know how much truth their is to this, but that is what the rep told me. By the way this rep gave me a pro form sheet several years ago which I wish I had kept to use today! Then I could get those Mantis 777 I want so much for dirt cheap

Alfonse
post #44 of 56
Upsidedown, as I told IG, I still love my AX3's I have had all the others in that line. The AX3 is the best. The G3 made me a better bump skier. I'm almost 50 y/o I think your dad would like the G3 or AX3. The EXP is a new ski this season.

Alfonse, try the Elan 666 I enjoyed it when I demoed it. I believe Volkl bought Elan two years ago. Elan's M10 feels a lot like Volkl's G3/AX3. So yes Elan may make some of Volkl's skis.
post #45 of 56
Quote:
To add to the debate on who owns volkl....
I spoke with an Elan rep a few years ago and he told me they do not make it public but Elan makes 50% of Volkl's skis
50% of skis is a bit of an exaggeration to say the very least... check the Volkl's you see on the shelves..."Made in Germany"...means...made in Germany in the Volkl factory. Look at some of the junior skis and you will see "Made in Slovenia", which would be the skis that are made in the Elan factory. Elan doesn't own a factory in Germany and if you have ever tried to get something imported that doesn't bear the country of origin on it or has the wrong country...it's still sitting on a dock somewhere under customs lockdown. The Elan reps tend to blow the numbers up a bit.
post #46 of 56
It looks like those participating in this thread may be able to help me make a decision on what I ski I should pick up for this season. I am a 53 year old expert skier. I used to race in my younger days and ran a ski shop for a few years long ago. These days I only get to ski a few days a year, usually in the West or the Rockies. Since I still remember the days when the reps would keep me supplied with all my gear for next to nothing, I refuse to buy new skis off the rack at retail prices. Every few of years I buy a pair of the previous years demos that are in good shape and usually keep that ski for several years. This usually means that toward the end of my current ski's life, I am quite a ways behind the technology curve as evidenced by the fact that my current ski is a Soloman Force 9.

Last winter I demoed several skis and loved them all. The ones that I liked best were the Volkl 5 star and the K2 XT. I know that these are totally different skis but they were both great. I skied the 5 star short, (168cm) and it was lots of fun but was quite demanding. The 174cm K2 was a little tamer but still lots of fun. I also tried several Elans that were not in ths same class as either of these skis. I couldn't believe how well all of these shaped skis performed in such short lengths.

Here is my delima. I have located some of last years demos and plan to buy one of these skis. I can get the K2, 5 star or even a 6 star which I have not skied. Which one should I choose?

Even though I am a little long in the tooth, I still ski hard and fast. I make a lot of turns when I have the energy to do it but also like to cruise at high speed, especially later in the day. I can ski the entire mountain but stay away from the bumps most of the time these days and usually ski in good conditions on relatively soft western snow. I seldom see fresh powder and usually stay away from the trees. I am looking for the best combination of performance and forgiveness in this year's ski. I would trade away a little quickness for edge holding and stability at speed. On the other hand, riding something quicker than my Solomans might get me back in the bumps.

I would appreciate any advice this group can give me, especially on the 6 star which is so highly rated. I know that I would be happy with either the 5 star or K2 XT. I am a little nervous about picking up the 6 star since I have not had a chance to try it.

Thanks for your help.
post #47 of 56
You may have answered your own question. It seems like you want sither the 5* or XT, pick one and be happy. IMO the 6* may be to much for everyday, for you. I would also like to point you to the underated AX3. I do ski the whole mountian and enjoy them in the easy bumps. I'll be 50y/o this month and would tell you if your looking for a comfortable ski that like's speed when you want it, find the AX3 in 177cm (flat with piston binding) I'll assume your about 6ft and 190lbs. Mine are 170cm and give up a little bit at the highest speeds. But I love the 170cm in the soft cut up spring conditions, as well as making short turns on hard snow. I have not demoed the 5* or 6* IMO they are not all mountain enought for me. Check out what IG can do for you. He is the man.
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 

Decision made -- the winner is Atomic!

Update for those who care -- After considering all the advice from those able to stay on post; visiting a number of shops and picking their brains, touching and feeling the skis; reading reviews, etc. I went with the ATOMIC SUPERCROSS B5. I've had great Atomic's in the past; and I couldn't shake the feeling that the Volkl's were a bit too hyped which was driving their price beyond what I was willing to pay. What really sold it for me was the construction of the ski, the new tech (i guess I'm a gear head that way), and the binding/interface. I was fortunate in being in NF, ONT on a mini vacation and was able to pick them up in person at Cupolo's where Matt was extremely helpful and patient listening to me sort through my issues and coming to a decision. Once I decided, Matt was able to work with me on getting to my price. I can't tell you what a pleasure it was dealing with the folks at Cupolo's (and yes, I read all about the issues others were having with them BEFORE my trip -- IMHO there must be something more going on than what was being written because these guys went out of their way to make me a happy customer).

I'll repost after a few runs to let you know how the boards work out.
post #49 of 56

Go Stockli ..lol

I have been on Volkls too and have nothing bad to say but once I took a pair of Stocklis out ..hmmmm .
I would look at the Stockli Stormrider XL or XT and then the Laser line - Cross .
I will admit that the 5 star by Volkl and the old G4 are hard to give back once you ride them . I have friends that ski volkl and they let me take them out and they are good skis but I think you should still look at Stockli.

and no I am not going to say Volkl are terribel because that is not true at all - I just think skis for other companies have different feels to them and are worth a look at .
post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxj59
Update for those who care -- After considering all the advice from those able to stay on post; visiting a number of shops and picking their brains, touching and feeling the skis; reading reviews, etc. I went with the ATOMIC SUPERCROSS B5. I've had great Atomic's in the past; and I couldn't shake the feeling that the Volkl's were a bit too hyped which was driving their price beyond what I was willing to pay. What really sold it for me was the construction of the ski, the new tech (i guess I'm a gear head that way), and the binding/interface. I was fortunate in being in NF, ONT on a mini vacation and was able to pick them up in person at Cupolo's where Matt was extremely helpful and patient listening to me sort through my issues and coming to a decision. Once I decided, Matt was able to work with me on getting to my price. I can't tell you what a pleasure it was dealing with the folks at Cupolo's (and yes, I read all about the issues others were having with them BEFORE my trip -- IMHO there must be something more going on than what was being written because these guys went out of their way to make me a happy customer).

I'll repost after a few runs to let you know how the boards work out.
Thanks for the update Max,
I too am looking for new skis to replace my old SGs. However, I think I will be doing a lot more bumps; I've resigned myself to the slower speeds and quicker turns in what passes for moguls out east in order to challenge my reflexes. Looks like I have to add the Atomic Supercross B5 to my short list. I'm not too sure about taking metal volkls into the bumbs, but then again I managed not to bend the Kastles and they had tons of metal in them.
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hey Ghost - be prepared for an onslaught with the volkl metal comment. This thread got out of control with a discussion on who makes what and how and I think the metal issue was discussed and resolved with consensus that the 5/6 stars were wood/glass core. I'll be doing bumps as well as (hopefully) some pow; but for the most part, east coast promises more hard, wind blown, chopped up, rutted surfaces on the trails I like. In that case, the edge grip in the Atomic (or Volkl) was a key factor; but ultimately, I love longer turns so the radius of the Atomic was a deciding factor. I almost went with the Metron B5 but that baby weighed a ton -- I'm sure I would have been dog tired after a full day on those boards. Anyway, good luck with your decision.
post #52 of 56
No worries, boys. I won't derail this thread twice...
post #53 of 56

Volkls and lengths

Based on this description and the fact that he said he skis mainly in the good old NE... out of the three Volkls (6*, 5* & Speed) I would go with the 5* or 6* - the Speed is truly a speed merchant and can get you into trouble in the trees or bumps. The 5* is a bit softer than the 6* and thus a bit more maneuverable in the trees and more forgiving in the bumps, but still stiff enough to rip on when you want to turn it up. The 6* is also a blast, but for true all around Eastern performance, I would probably save my $$ a bit and go with the 5* in a 175.[/quote]

I have to disagree on two points here: I would recommend the 168 length in either the 5* or 6* to a skier 5'11", 180#. Hell, I am 6' and 205# and ski the 6* 168. Which brings me to my next point: for anyone who likes to push and weighs more than 170, I think the 6* outperforms the 5* in all situations, especially off-piste. I've skied groomers, trees, moguls, Tuckerman! and everything in between. The 6* rock!

But the 5* are good too.
post #54 of 56
Thread Starter 
Well it was nice to see someone still cared to discuss but I have to tell you, I went with the Atomic B5 SX for the last season and could not have been happier with my choice. Ski did everything well and included some awesome powder days in the NE as well as boilerplate on some of the steeps. This ski holds an edge like no other I've skiied and with the right technique, which took some time for me to develop, can carve pretty much any arc or float through any condition.

Truly impressive boards that I highly recommend.
post #55 of 56
WOW this thread is still alive. Glad you enjoyed the B5 SX's maxj59. As I sure you have read I had another great season on the AX3's. I wish people would try the all monutain ski in the correct lenght. But hey what am I saying, if to many people like them there may be none left. Have you had a chance to demo other skis this season? Next years Volkl AC3 is in my sights.
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman
My understanding is that the original Kästle factory was closed during the Benetton years. I do know that some Nordicas were produced in the Völkl factory, but the Völkl production was already maxed out so the Nordicas were moved elsewhere. My sources tell me that Nordica race stock skis are made in a race room in Italy while their consumer production is in Slovenia.
Curious to see if that gels with what you find out.
The Kastle factory at Hohenems was abandoned shortly after Benetton took over and the machinery transported partially somewhere to Italy (partially I don´t know).
The machines accompanied some people like Hans Krassnitzer who had been with Kastle and started to work for Nordica.
Afaik, Troutman´s info is accurate including the story of Volkl and the new owners back in the 90s.

Head skis, at least the upper level models, are excellent quality and durability. I also hear quite a lot of praise about Elans.
A lot of good skiers in this country like Volkls (they have a long uninterrupted tradition here since the Zebras in the late 60s) but the shops are not so happy with them due to durability problems and lots of warranty issues

I´m afraid that without reliable statistics it´s hard to take the individual experience or even impressions published in an internet forum seriously.
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