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Volkyl 5* vs 6* -differences for '05

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am hoping to get a fairly nuanced assessment of the differences between 5* and 6* for this year '04-05. I need to purchase before the season starts so I wont be able to demo either.

I work on the mountain and ski Rossi B2 and B3 for off piste or bumps and powder and would like a carver for the days when conditions or work keeps me on the groomers. I really like a ski that reminds me when I am lazy with technique (so I lean toward the stiffer 6*) but I also must be on them all day when I do mountain tours and wonder if they may start feeling like 2 by 4's if I don't keep them bent and edged to the max at 3:30 pm! (so I considered the slightly softer 5*) I originally looked at the superspeed but decided against it for this reason. Sounded like a ski that was too one dimensional; more an 'all or nothing' ski.

At the risk of 'splitting hairs' over this (I'm sure that I'd love either) is there anyone out there with time on both the 5* and 6* for 04-05 that could tell me their thoughts on which would better make these days on the groomers challenging yet fun (even at 4pm) days of carving?
post #2 of 24
One is red, the other black. (ha) Now that the 5 star has the double grip construction, it is virtually the same ski as the 6 star. Of course, the 6 star is still stiffer than the 5, but not by much. This year, the 6 is damper than 2004 (thanks to the forward piston), while the 5 star is a bit torsionally stiffer than 2004, thanks the the double grip. I would still prefer the 5 in the bumps and short turns , and the 6 for fall line bombing at high speeds and medium to long turns.
post #3 of 24
I have only skied the six star and its like skiing a race ski - super stiff- and it feels like theirs a bunch of metal in there - wouldnt want to take her in the bumps . . .I would agree with canyons unless youre looking to bomb, stick with the 5
post #4 of 24
It's all about turn shapes. Big honking GS' s to medium raidus go with the 6 You said you were sometimes giving montian tours? All abilities, stopping and going etc... I'd go to the 5's
post #5 of 24
I put in a full season at Snowbird on my 6ers last year, and I can tell you it's one rippin' ski. As far as I can tell the only changes to this years ski are cosmetic, except the 5 did get the double edge grip tech. If you ski well enough to put some power to the ski and lay down knife-edge arcs, the 6 is the one you want. It's a deceptively easy turning ski but demands precision, and don't even think about skidding it - it'll bounce and chatter before wanting to lose edge grip. Skis like a short radius GS ski, has unbelievable edge grip and is incredibly stable. Don't go anywhere near bumps. The 5 is probably a bit more forgiving, but if you know how to carve a ski the 6 is an absolute joy.
post #6 of 24
I bought the 6* and have one day on it so far at Kirkwood. I skied the 5* last year. Frankly, its tought to compare 8-months apart. I will say the both skis are capable of any turn shape and the 6* surprised me as an equally proficient short radius turner and long turn high speed carver. After reading so much about the grip and tracking of this ski, I was surprised at how easily this ski can be skidded and finessed on request. I found the 6* to be forgiving if you don't get too far in the back seat. I had the ski on boot deep powder, crud, breakable crust and groomed. This ski did everything well but breakable crust, and it truely sucked (or I did) in this condition. My recall of the 5* was it felt slightly less damp but better in bumps. Both skis are fast edge to edge, but the 6* was slightly more stable when pressured hard (i.e. landing on an edged ski), however the 5* model has changed as mentioned above to be closer to the 6.

For the first time out this season, I did not find the Volkl to be physically demanding or tiring, but then again, I have been accustomed to 186 to 195 cm mid-fat skis. There is not need to fight this ski, it will do what you ask and then some with fine inputs. For the tips floated up in powder without sitting on the tails, and powered through the mashed crud later in the day without being knocked around. I am close to 200 lbs and laugh at the idea a ski could be difficult to bend. These bend but don't fold. The skis respond well to light or aggressive inputs, initiate a edge changes on a dime, and turn radius is predictible based on edge pressure and angle. The ski steers well off the tail at the end of a turn, but this is where the short length and accelleration can leave you sitting if you don't stay with it.

Personally, I'm having fun on these and feel more confident on steeper tighter terrain. After a week of drought, we are finally getting about 2 feet of snow tonight on top of 4' of base, and I think tomorrow might be a good day to drop into Sierra at Tahoe to test them in the fresh. I am still looking for the deep snow limits for this ski, and expect I will eventually find it and switch over to the longer wider boards. So far the 6* has met my expectations and proven to be easier to ski than I expected from other reviews.

Good luck with the ski choice. Its hard to say how you could go wrong with either one. And don't sweat the details, these are both skis that reward good technique with easy skiing all day long, or will respond to aggressive demands and terrain on request. They will also drop you on your butt if you like to sit in the back seat (personal experience). If you want the GS characteristics of the 6* be assured it will dawdle along with the tour groups as needed without feeling sluggish. The ski likes speeds over 15 MPH but will easily adapt to slower tours of duty on demand.
post #7 of 24
Canyons is correct.

For this year, the 5 and the 6 share exactly the same chassis. The sidecut and basic construction layup are the same. The 2 major differences between the two are 1) the 5 doesn't have quite as much fiberglass as the 6, so therefore it is slightly softer, and 2) the 5 has plastic Motion rails instead of the aluminum rails on the 6, so the 6 has a slightly higher degree of precision in terms of its boot/binding/ski interface.

Aside from the 6's aluminum rails, both ski bodies have very little metal in them. It comes in the form of a very thin layer of spring steel - not the big, thick sheets of titanal used in their P60 constructions. Bumps are not a problem for either ski.

There is no "y" in "Völkl."
post #8 of 24
Originally Posted by troutman
Canyons is correct.
Aside from the 6's aluminum rails, both ski bodies have very little metal in them. It comes in the form of a very thin layer of spring steel - not the big, thick sheets of titanal used in their P60 constructions. Bumps are not a problem for either ski.

There is no "y" in "Völkl."
I agree completly, I found either ski to be very managable in bumps, just find the right size for your build and you can't go wrong.
post #9 of 24
I just went through this and chose the 5*'s. I skied both a while ago and liked the 5* over the 6*, but it was a close call for me. The shop manager mentioned a couple of things today when I went in to buy the 5*'s that I had to laugh about. One was the two skis are so close, it seems, that it almost comes down to which color do you like...red or black. The other was he started to look at the two skis according to what the skiers weight is when all other things are equal. In his opinion, the 5* is recomended for 170lb skiers and lighter, while the 6* is for those above 170lbs. He feels the added stiffness of the 6* is entirely due to the aluminum rails. When I tried flexing the two skies by hand, I couldn't tell them apart if I had to. With that said, I'm 195lb, 5'10", 34 yr old advanced skier who had the chance to demo both once. I liked the 5* and thats what I bought today. I don't know why I loved skiing on the 5*, I just did. And I got to say, that the two did feel very close to me, the 5* just gave me a bigger grin. I think you may pick up on the actual differences between the skis if you can ski them at their respective limits, but I never saw their limits and hopefully never will. All I know is that I had a blast on the 5*! With these two skis, demo them! That's the only way you will know which is for you. But, I don't know if you could go wrong with either one. Good luck!
post #10 of 24
Originally Posted by hercules
I don't know why I loved skiing on the 5*, I just did.
It amazes me how many people I know have demoed the SuperSports and immediately purchased a pair- either 4*,5*, or 6*. My wife was one of them. She told 4 people at work- they demo'ed and purchased. Etc, etc, etc ...

I've demo'ed them every year too, and they are a wonderful line of skis. Not quite what I'm looking for, but I wouldn't complain if it was the only ski available.
post #11 of 24
medmarkco, I think your right about that observation. What I've noticed is the magazines, and others, don't agree on how to catagorize the Volkl Supersports...meaning one may list them as carvers and another may list them as all-mountain and so on. Even the guy helping me out yesterday when I bought mine mentioned that he calls the 5* and 6* "all-mountain carvers", which is another catagory that I don't think I've heard(could be wrong though). I think this reflects what I read in an article entitled "Flavors of Skis" on another site. In a nut shell, the article mentioned Volkl skis "seem to be all things to all skiers" and "harder to pin down" what flavor they are compared to other manufactorers. That's actually why I demoed them...I became curious about where they fit in for me. I'm still not sure. I just know I can't remember the last time I enjoyed skiing so much. That's what drove me to get a pair of 5*'s. I'm sure there's better and I know there's worse, but they are definately the right ski for me. FWIW, I ski in western Pennsylvania 95% of the time, which means hard snow and ice. Actually, I don't think it snows here, I think it drops ice more often than not! Although, we had a great winter last year...good snow conditions in my opinion(not as much ice on the slopes). Take care!
post #12 of 24
I am always amazed when I read thoughtful reviews posted by experienced people who share a strong opinion of a ski’s performance in a certain condition and I have the exact opposite experience. I guess that demonstrates the truth of “your mileage may vary” and “demo, demo, demo”. I can’t speak to the differences between the 5 and the 6. However, I did spend 30 days last winter on the SuperSport 6 and can unequivocally state that, in my humble opinion, they are fantastic in the bumps. I am 175 lbs, 5’10” tall and ski on a 175cm ski. The 6’s quickness from edge to edge, it’s tight turn radius and it’s willingness to work on slow speed turns as well as faster speed turns all combine to give me a high degree of comfort in the bumps. Of course I also found it to work brilliantly on groomers and calf deep powder as well. In fact the only condition in which I didn’t like it was boot top deep breakable crust. I went to my fat boys that day and was happy to have them. Finally, I found that groomer runs, late in the day, were very easy on me because all I had to do was stand in the center of the ski and edge it slightly to get a nice round turn. These sticks are FUN!

post #13 of 24
Michael, you just started a new thread. If you're really good you can ski on anything, through anything! A ski instructor I know skis on Speed Carve 63's in all conditions. I skied with him in 18" of powder and he made it look like groomed hard-pack. The skis do make a difference but when you're good, you're good. I still need the help of the ski
post #14 of 24
Mr. Finndog (great name, I’d love to hear how you came by that handle)

I didn’t mean to take the conversation too far a field with my last post. If I used poor etiquette regarding the forum, I apologize. However, I didn’t want the poster posing the original question to only hear that the SuperSport 6s were hard to use in the bumps. I agree with you that the ski can help you or hurt you when used in a particular application. My experience is that these skis make the bumps easier for all the reasons I mentioned. I would love to include myself in that small category of skilled folks who can make any set of sticks work anywhere, anytime.....but it isn’t so. When the bumps get tight these babies' tight turn radius give me the confidence that I’ll make the next turn instead of getting tossed like a busted bronc rider at a rodeo. Thanks for letting me ramble on.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice! I asked for a nuanced comparison of the 5* and 6* and I think I got just that! Enough to know that I really should arrange for a demo first since I am right on the cusp between the two as far as skier size -at 5-10, 165 pounds.

So I am going early up to the mountain and plan to get at least a few turns on each thanks to an early open and good early season coverage! I'll let you know my two cents!
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well I have been on my new Volkl 5* now for three days. conditions have been perfect for evaluating them on the groomers. good snow but with some exposed areas very hard as fast!

I.m 5-10 165# level 3 skier. I found these skiis to be eveything I was led to believe. Once they hook up you are locked into the turn. At first I could almost hear them say to me,"is that all you've got"?

Also found them great for short turns and really surprisingly responsive to a softer 'finesse' approach as well.

Finally they were also great in the bumps.

I have used them from 8:30 to 4 and did not find them starting to get the better of me at the end of the day but they do what everybody says -remind you when your technique is lazy and do stay out of the back seat!
post #17 of 24
full focus, what length did you ski?
post #18 of 24
Excellent thread that I could not resist jumping into. I also have bought a pair of 5*'s however, I am 6' and 225lb. level 6-7 skiier and living on the East coast where we are STILL waiting for snow and do not have the ability to demo as often as I would like. My question is this: My local ski shop recommended the 5* for me vs. the 6* (I trust them) irregardless of my size because (they) said it is difficult to overpower these skis and the 6* requires much more input with less forgiveness. Just curious how others in the forum feel about that perspective. OBTW 175's.


"So Many Mountains, So Little Time"
post #19 of 24
Mr Hazmat, the two skis have moved closer together with the piston bindings. As a result, I'd seriously have you consider the 6*, especially at your size. I have a good friend who is about your level, but weighs only 170, and he prefers the 5*.
post #20 of 24
Interesting thread.

I've skied on the 5*s about 45 days. My decision was based on my interest in a slightly more forgiving ski. I tend to ski the steeps and mostly off-piste. In general, they are awesome skis. I'm still getting used to their short length, but find them amazingingly stable at high speed and super quick when they need to be.

I weigh about 175 lbs and am skiing on the 175's. I'm a strong skier and don't feel like I'm overpowering the skis in any way. It seems that the 175 lb weight limit mentioned above may not be entirely accurate.

The only shortcoming is that the skis ability in deep powder and crud is somewhat limited. (But that's why I own powder skis).

Think Snow!
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by oboe
full focus, what length did you ski?
I got the 5* in a 168. At 5-9 170 its great. Some encouraged a 161 for me but I didn't want a 'slolem' only feel. I think I got it just right for me.
post #22 of 24
At 5'8" and 150, avergae ability, any ideas as to how the 168 cm length would work for me?
post #23 of 24
Oboe, I think you could ski either the 161 or 168, depending on your personal preference.
post #24 of 24
Demo's the Volkl 5 *'s today. First day back on skis in 10+ years. I'm 5-8 180 and they gave me the 168's. I basically stuck to high speed carving and GS type turns and was utterly AMAZED with this ski!!!!! Of course, the last skis I was on were old school Salomon Force 9's from the early 90's.

I would buy these skis in a heartbeat if I wanted new gear but I'm sticking with the snowboard!!!
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