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Volkl Supersport 5 Star: 168 vs. 161

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Need advice on the proper ski length for me.
I'm an advanced skier, 5'7" 170 lbs, who tends to ski 50% groomed/50% off-piste (especially moguls). I primarily ski the Tahoe resorts (many powder days but the powder is generally wet and heavy) but average 2 out-of-state ski vacations per season to Utah and/or Colorado.
I want to purchase a ski that will give me the most versatility and utility for my profile.
I've demoed the Volkl 5 Star in the 168; I prefered it over similar models by other makers. Unfortunately, I've never tried the 5 Star in the 161.
Any recommendations in favor of either the 168 or 161 for me?
post #2 of 6
For a comparable, at 5'8" and 150 pounds, I ski the Elan S12 Fusion in 160. So far, it seems to work out dine. If you're 20 pounds heavier than I, skiing out west, and already have skied and enjoyed the Five Star in 168, seems like you're ok.

I do have some thoughts about ski lengnth - and width - which recently developed while skiing some quite variable spring/winter snow, to be posted elsewhere on another occasion.
post #3 of 6
I'm 5' 08"; 170 lbs., and I ski the five star in 168. It's a great ski for grooomed, some ice, some powder, and some crud. All in all, it's a good all-around ski, especially for the east, where I ski about half of the time.

The 168 length is better (as opposed to a greater length) for glades and tighter turns, and it allows me to make a good balance of short, medium, and long radius arc turns all over the mountain.

Before buying the five star in 168, I demoed both the five star and six star in several different lengths. I chose the five star instead of the six star because (1) speed and chatter resistance on ice was not my primary reason for buying the ski, and (2) I wanted a little more flexibility in all non-groomed situations.

The 168 length works well for me, and I think that it's the lowest I would want to go. For my weight and ability, anything shorter would not grant me any more verstatility, given the nature of the ski. Although the ski is not as stiff as the six star, it's still not a "flexible" ski. I have enjoyed skiing five star in moguls as part of a whole-mountain skiing day, but I will note that the five star, regardless of size, is not a mogul ski. Simply put, if your'e interested in skiing a lot of moguls, this is not the ski for you. When skiing the whole hill, including some bumps, the ski is OK for moguls, but if my primary non-groomed skiing was bumps, I would not choose this ski.

Although the 161 might allow shorter turns than the 168, the five star does not have the flexibility you may be seeking. My opinion - going down to the 161 does not make this a good ski where moguls is important part of your skiing experience.
post #4 of 6
My impression of the Volkl Five Star in 161 versus the Elan S12 Fusion in 160 is that the Elan S12 Fusion was the less grabby of the two. At the same time, it's edge grip on hard snow is just as good as the Five Star.

In bumps (and I am by no means any kind of decent bump skier), the grabiness of the Five Star was a negative, and the ability of the S12 to skid when asked to do so made it far more adaptable to bumps.

I own and love the 160 cm Fusion S12, but I have yet to demo it in 168. At this point, I'm hard pressed to imagine why I'd need this ski in any greater length. Skiing as fast as I can on an open slope of hard snow, it was stable and comfortable. It made high speed a lot of fun.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much to everyone who posted a reply to my question. The information is truly helpful. This forum shows how supportive dedicated skiers are to each other!
post #6 of 6
A friend of mine who's about your size and a really terrific athlete skis the old 5 Star in the shorter length. Probably about as well as anyone skis that ski. He told me this spring he tried out the '04-05 skis in both the same length as he skis now and the slightly longer length (I'm not familiar with the dimensions, but it's probably the 161 and 168 lengths), and preferred the shorter one again.
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