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Who suits this ski?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

As opposed to finding the right ski for someone, I have access to a very good deal on a women's ski, but need to know what level and type of skier it would benefit the most. Kind of backwards.

What kind of skier would you put on a Volant Vertex 68 @ 160 cm? Strong skiers/beginners? How tall/heavy? Preferred terrain? Style of skiing?

Any comments would be most appreciated.

Thanks for looking!
post #2 of 6
It really would help if you gave some details about the woman this ski will be for, but I'll give it a go. First, I must say, I always recommend demoing a ski first, because everything is so individual, what one person likes another will hate, but I can understand not wanting to pass up a good deal too.

If you search the gear finder on Ski Magazine online, they call it an all-mountain expert ski (2003 model). It is supposedly a quick ski that likes short turns and moguls the most. It has a 68cm waiste, which is basically a mid-fat ski. It should hold its own on groomers and do well enough off-piste too. Thing about an all-mountain ski is that it does everything well, but no one thing best, kind of like saying it's a "well-rounded" ski. So if you have only one pair of skis, and you ski all kinds of terrain, then this is a good category to look in. The next ski up is a Vertex 71, which they call a "freerider" ski, meaning you use it more off-piste than on-piste--trees, bowls, chutes, etc. (although with a 71cm waiste it's a mid-fat, not a fat ski, which I prefer for off-piste). Also, they say the Vertex 71 is for women and lightweight men, while the 68 is a unisex ski, which implies that the 71 is lighter and softer than the 68.

I am not personally familiar with this ski, but I have some thoughts for you. Obviously, if the woman who this would be for is not at least an advanced skier, it will be too much ski for her...unless perhaps she is an athletic intermediate and really wants to improve her skiing to the next level. If she is a GS skier looking for speed, I don't think this would be the right ski. It really is more for a fall-line skier who takes lots of tight turns. It also does not say whether this is a soft or stiff ski, though since it supposedly turns quickly, chances are it is somewhere in the middle. Everyone has their own preferences on ski stiffness. Personally, I don't like to work too hard, but I don't want it to be a "mushy" ride either. I used to ski on really stiff race skis, liked them enough when I was younger, but now that I'm older (40), I really do like the lighter, quicker skis. And last season, I demoed women-specific skis for the first time EVER and really fell in love with some of them (bought a pair too).

As for ski length: I am an aspiring-expert skier (an expert on my good days ), I am 5'4", weigh between 140 and 145 lbs., and like a 168cm ski. Everyone tells me that I should be on a 160cm, but I've never found a ski in that length that I like. This is a very personal choice though. With all the skis I've demoed and purchased, I thought the 160cm was squirrely, too short to carry speed, and too easily overpowered, while the 167cm or 168cm was much better (even though I know many women who are more aggressive than I am, apparently I am more aggressive than I thought ). But someone who doesn't ski with as much strength, or who weighs less, may prefer the 160cm. I know some ladies who are advanced and experts, are taller than I am, say 5'7" or so, and they like a 160cm. But they also weigh less than me. I also have some friends who are tiny, around 5 feet tall, and they like a 160cm.

I think choosing the length of your ski should take into account your weight as well as your height: The heavier you are, the more likely you are to want a longer ski; the lighter you are, the more likely you'll want a shorter ski. So if you are 5'4" and weigh 110 lbs, you'll probably like the 160cm more than a 168cm, and if you are 5'4" and weight 140 lbs, you'll probably like the 168cm more than the 160cm. Of course you have to include how aggressive you are, what kind of terrain you ski, etc. But I start out by considering weight and height.

I hope that helps some. If you're still undecided after you get feedback here, heck, you can always buy it and if she hates it, sell it at a ski swap next season.

post #3 of 6

4'9" 125 lbs female beginner with extremely strong competitive MTB/skate/duathlon background.
SousBoisII at Sutton in moderate control on hardpack (no fresh) after 2 days instruction.

They are a bit heavy with Marker Logic on them.

She prefers them over Saphir 2/Dyn. Exclusive/Energy Y (220?)
post #4 of 6

My Mum skis this exact ski. From Christie's in Dillan (CO) in April 2004. She finds it fantastic on ice. The Volants have always had fantastic edge grip and I was worried the use of less metal in the topsheet would reduce the "armoured car" effect.

It doesnt. And in fact it adds a lot of versatility.
post #5 of 6

It's my new ski

Hello BigE,

For the past 4-5 years I skied an 180 cm Atomic 9.18 (unisex) and loved them - until I attended a Jeannie Thoren clinic & demo days at Whiteface/Lake Placid one weekend. I tried at least 10 different/makes/models sizes of skis, but kept coming back to the Volant Vertex 68; at the end of the weekend I bought a pair in 155cm and can't wait to get back on them this season. [I also tried the Vertex 66, but the 68 suited me better.]

I am 52 years old, 5'7", 175 pounds (working on bringing that number down) - a solid but cautious intermediate who prefers groomed blue cruisers; I also tend to turn more often to control my speed. If I'm having a "feeling brave" day, I might tackle a groomed black. At Whiteface, the first day was warm and raining, the worst slop I'd ever skied in; if I hadn't been in this seminar, I would have stayed home. The next morning, the upper mountain was closed and the chairlift sign for the lower mountain said "experts only" due to the nasty conditions (again - home please!). But let me tell you, these skis did it all and boosted my confidence too. [As part of Jeannie's seminars, you start on your own equipment, ski her recommended demos for two days, then get back on your own stuff... After the Volant's performance, I could barely get down the mountain on my once-loved Atomics - scary!!]

Took the Vertex 68s to Steamboat Springs (we go every year) and skied some trails I'd been afraid to try before, and skied some of my favorite runs much better; skied them here at home on the hard-packed hills of the Pennsylvania Poconos too (where sometimes avoiding skiers is like a surprise slalom) - and the Volants handled it all. I find them quiet without being dead, giving decent feedback underfoot and a nice solid grip - but you do have to let them finish their turns.

As the other have said, demo a ski if at all possible. I learned quite some time ago that it's really the only way. Everyone's preferences/skills/techniques are different, and some skis suit better than others. My biggest surprise was that I truly could detect differences; maybe not in the technical terms of the ski magazines, but I could feel differences in edge grip (VERY important here in the Northeast!), steering sensitivity, liveliness, etc.

Hope this has been of some help,
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
From the sounds of it, it could be used by almost anyone that is an athletic intermediate skier or better that prefers to ski at a moderate pace, usaing medium radius turns or smaller (no GS). They spend most of their time on the groomed and perhaps some time on the moguls, and they ski late into the season. Yet, someone for which the Rossi Saphir Fun does nothing (it also has a 68 waist IIRC), being less lively.

IMO, good in moguls implies they don't mind skidding, so that you won't be punished if you do not have perfect carving form. I think it could be added to someone's quiver as their mogul/spring ski -- I'd suspect that if turn initiation is easy enough, it could become their daily ride.

From MiH and thatsagirl's responses, it sounds like a 5'2" 110 lb person would need stronger skills to manage it at 160, but a 6'0" at 175 would be fine with less polished skills.
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