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Volkl Karma

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: Karma
Ski Length: 185
Snow Conditions Used In: 23-30" of cut up pow and groomed
Number of Days Used: 1
Your Ability: Expert
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 27
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 40+
Other Skis You Like: 188 AX4; 183 Gotama
Your Height/Weight: 5'9" 183 lbs.
Comments: Fun ski in all conditions, but still a little short for big turns in the pow & crud. Tip comes around faster than I want (I want my AX4's!). Able to plow through most crud it came upon. Mid section and tail felt medium stiff, letting you get away with some mistakes, but not all. You still need to ride it to make it perform. A good all around ski with bomber construction (double thickness base and a double width edge). If you want bigger, go with the Explosiv or Gotama. Or better yet, wait for the Mantra or the Unlimited AC4.
post #2 of 13
have you heard about the sidewall cracking problems in the Gotama affecting the Karma at all?

the construction seems eerily similar except they covered the wood in an epoxy

any thoughts?

also, do you like the Explosive better than the Karma?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have heard of no problems with this year's Gotama. To address last year's sidewall issue, they doubled the number of wood laminate layers in this year's Gotama sidewall.

The Karma (sutra) has a totally different sidewall (ABS composite, I believe) than the Gotama (wood), so I would not expect last year's issue to crop up on the Karma.

The "ride" of the Explosiv fits my skiing style better than the "ride" of the Karma. The Karma is a great ski, it just skis a little different than what I'm used to.

If someone is looking for a great all-around ski, the Karma would be a good choice. I think that if someone was looking for just a little more width and more crud and powder performance than the 724 PRO, this would be the ski.
post #4 of 13
did you ever try the Rossi Scratch BC when comparing skis with the Karma and if so, how do they compare in your view?
post #5 of 13
"If someone is looking for a great all-around ski, the Karma would be a good choice. I think that if someone was looking for just a little more width and more crud and powder performance than the 724 PRO, this would be the ski."

What is your opinion abour 724 PRO in the crud and powder? Do they have enough float to make good turns in the powder? I'm looking for a new pair of skis and thinking about 724 PRO. Currently, I ski on Volkl P40 GS and I really want to have ability to ski in the backcountry. Also, I got interested in Gotama, but not sure if I have to go that wide to get the float or 724 would do the job.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
SquawMan, I haven't skied this year's Scratch BC, so I can't compare. When I get the opportunity to ski them both on the same day, I'll post.

Skyrocket101, the PRO has plenty of float for crud & pow. The Karma has more. The PRO skis the groomed better than the Karma. Also, the Karma is made to take more abuse.

Both skis tend to hook up faster in the pow & crud than what I like (I like the 180 Explosiv & 188 AX4).

Are you talking "backcountry" or "off-trail"? Backcountry has 2 schools around here - the super lightweight "Dynafit/Tourlite/Dynafit" crowd and the "Explosiv/Freeride/Denali" crowd. The PRO doesn't fit in either. It is more of a resort ski, as is the Karma.

The Gotama is in a whole other league. I have found that I personnally like this year's Gotama (in a 183) over last year's and even over my Sanouk. It skis the pow almost as good as the Sanouk, but is much more versitle.
post #7 of 13
HarkinBanks, thank you for your response.

I think I'm a little bit confused which ski to choose. I originally thought about getting 724 Pro so I could ski all over the mountain including off-piste and backcountry and I wanted to keep my existing skis (p40 gs 193) to ski on ice and hardpack. Then I read few reviews about Gotama and started questioning my decision about the Pro's. Based on the reviews it sounds to me like Gotama is versatile (powder) ski, which performs really good in fresh snow (3-5 inches) and powder and ok on the grooms. 724 does a little bit of everything, but nothing really good.

How would you compare 724 and Gotama on slopes with different snow conditions? Do you use Gotama for everyday skiing (where fdo you ski the most), if yes, do you have a need of having another pair? I intend to use either one for everything except ice and hard pack. Also, what length would you suggest for 724 and Gotama? I'm 26, pretty close to expert, 5'11 and 185 lbs, mostly ski in Seattle.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Skyrocket 101, The last 1/2 of last year I used a 183 Gotama as my everyday ski and it worked great. I'm 5'9" 184 lbs and ski mostly at Grand Targhee with some Teton Village days mixed in to keep me honest. I also had a 184 PRO that I used the first 1/2 of last year. I switched to riding the Gotama full time because I felt it suited my skiing style better and it performed in the crud & pow much better. I did sacrifice some groomed performance, but if I was only on the groomed to get to the off-piste, then it really didn't matter.

The 185 Karma is my everyday ski this year, with a 182 Superspeed sitting in my locker for when 10 day high pressure systems roll in. When pow days do arrive, I break out my Sanouks.

If you can only afford 1 ski for everything, the PRO or the Karma are good choices. If you are looking at a quiver of skis then get the PRO and the Gotama.

As far as lengths, well, based on what you have said, my recommendations are a 177 PRO (if you get a Gotama also), a 184 PRO (if you don't get a Gotama), 185 Karma, and a 183 Gotama. Realize that opinions are like *ssh*les, everyone's got one, and you're going to get ski length recommendations all over the board. But I tend to ski a longer ski, based upon the wide open slopes at GT, me wanting to make bigger turns, wanting the added float in pow, and for landing in the pow.

Did I get to everything?
post #9 of 13
harken, how are things looking up there at Targee? I mi9ght be making a trip up to west yellowstone and thought of stopping in at Targee for some turns.
post #10 of 13
HarkinBanks, thanks again for your reply. The more I think the more I want Gotama, cause I have GS skis and in my understanding 724 acts similar but has wider waist and for skiing in backcountry or offpiste Gotama is a better choice. With the length, I thought about 190, but still not sure, you are the same weight as me and I'm 2 inches taller, not sure if it makes any difference))
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Targhee is in great shape, if you want to ski the groomers (not much of the hill : ). The Tetons got rain up to 10,700' on Tuesday and we have a 3/8" thick rain crust on everything off trail. All the tourists from the east coast are loving it, locals are cursing all the vibration in their bones. Watch the weather to see if any storms come in. We will need a warm wet snow system to break up this layer, or the avi conditions will be trecherous come the next big snow.

For now, bring your good, sharp race skis.

The Wasatch has more snow than the Tetons.

PM me if you want to hook up make some turns.

Skyrocket 101:

Just my impression on the 190 Gotama, it's not nearly as functional (for me) as the 183. Most guys that I know who are skiing the 190, are bigger than me (they're 6'2", 215 lbs., mid-20's, riding 100+ days a year, with BIG thighs). So be careful on your choice.

Also, here's another way to look at the Karma vs. the PRO (and Gotama):

PRO: 50/50 groomers/powder
Karma: 25/75 groomers/powder
Gotama: 0/100 groomers/powder
post #12 of 13

You mentioned the Volkl Unlimited AC4 in your original message.

Do you have any info ( dimensions, construction, skier level ) for
this ski?

post #13 of 13
The Got's in the 183's are great allround off piste skis, they have a balanced flex and a huge and forgiving sweeet spot. I can't say enough good things about this ski. It will probably make you a better skier and able to ski stuff that used to give you hell! I had the Pro last year and it ruled on groomed and crud, but was very marginal in pow. I demoed the Karmas yesterday and maybe it was me (probably was) but I didn't like them in the off piste conditions all that much-shovel was too stiff, kind of like an REX with more sidecut and twin mounting point.Kinda funny cause I'm generally a Volkl man.They ripped on the groomed though! But, I was looking for all mountain performance in this ski.
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