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Volkl 5 Star: Right Ski for Me?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will be buying new skis for a trip out west in February. After much research and reading reviews, I am strongly considering the Volkl 5 Star. However, I want to make sure this isn't too much ski for me. I also want a ski that I can grow with as my skills return and hopefully improve.

I have not skiied in 10 + years; 6' 1"", 185 lbs., moderately athletic. I was a solid intermediate skiier doing almost exclusively blue runs; was starting to try some easier black groomed runs. I liked doing medium and long radius cruising - moderate speeds (no hair-on-fire speeds); will also do short radius turns and sometimes play in the small bumps to learning mogul skiing. Rarely, but occasionally, will go into the powder to experience this type of skiing.

Local shop suggests the 5 Star will not be too much ski for me; also suggested the 175 length. One of the posts suggested the 175 length was a freight train - should I consider 168 or is 175 the correct length for now and future growth?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 17
Welcome to EpicSki!!

One question. Why limit yourself to the 5 star when there are many fine skis in this category? I'm a little biased because I'm not a fan or either the 5 star or the 6 star. For someone getting back into skiing that wanted a performance ski, I'd suggest the Fischer RX 8. It's a superior performer to the 5 star, but much more forgiving. The obvious advice is to demo. I'd suggest you try the 5 stars, the Fischer RX 6 & 8, and the Dynastar SkiCross 9 & 10.

If you're stuck on the 5 star, go short. The 175 will be too much for you, IMO.
post #3 of 17
Demo. It's a common ski and and not so odd (189cm K2 Maden) or expensive (Dynastar Legend Pro) a shop won't have it available to demo.

Three examples how ski choice is idiosyncratic:

1. I know someone who loves that ski. I demo'd it last year and hated it.
2. Someone I know likes the 5* but preferred the Superspeed.
3. Some folks rave about the 5*.

Good luck.
post #4 of 17
If you have not skied in 10 years and are a mostly blue run skier I think you will not like any of the skiercross or carving type skis (5 Star, RX8, RX9, SX11, Apache Crossfire, etc.). If you do not have the newer carving techniques down you may find the 5 Star and skis like it annoying. You might try a nice mid-fat instead. They will be better in the moguls, trees, and soft snow but still carve nicely on the blues and harder snow. Some skis to consider are the K2 Apache Recon, Dynastar 8000 and Rossi B2 if you want a performance mid-fat. If you plan to mostly to ski blues, bumps, and ocassional powder and and want a more versatile ski biased toward groomers try skis 1 or 2 levels down from the 5 Star like the 4 Star, SX9, Apache X etc. Of all the skis I mentioned I think the K2 Apache X might be the best for you. It is forgiving, carves well, will ride most anything but still allow you to perform more traditional turns especially in trees and bumps. I skied on an older version (K2 Axis X -Axis X might be stiffer than Apache X?) in every thing from Steeps like Dynamo at Telluride, to 1 Ft of powder at Steamboat in the trees, to the steep bumps at Mary Jane (my primary use for these skis where they excel and I ski most of the time). This year I find myself mostly riding my Axis XP (Recon) and 2003 Head iXRC except for business league racing where I ski an Atomic SX11. I also have new Dynastar 8000s I have been saving until conditions are less rocky here in CO (it's about time to break them out). The 8000s are my all mountain replacement for my older Axis X and XPs. Remember, Demo First!
post #5 of 17
Yes, lots of good skis out there. If it were me, I would personally stick with a narrower ski instead of a mid-fat, and learn to ski it (a good lesson with your favorite L-3 always helps with the transition from straight to shaped). The 5-star is good, but so are alot of other skis. Fischer RX6, Elan S10, Head i-XRC 1100 Chip are some to check out. At your size, you could ski either length-it really depends on your technique and where (groomers or crud) you spend most of your time. Have fun demoing!
post #6 of 17
Having not skied in 10 years, I'll reinforce the mantra "demo demo demo".

If the money is doing a China Syndrome in your pocket and you MUST...BUY...NOW...for the west, howbout a dynastar intuitive 71, k2 axis X or a salomon xscream series or pilot 10 scream in a 175ish length. They're forgiving, have a big sweet spot, will help you learn to ski on shaped skis and you'll save you some $ cuz their last year's model.

If you have patience to demo and will mostly ski in the west, try the salomons, k2 apache x, dynastar 4800 and the 5* in 174-180 length. If you're mostly gonna have to ski that blue ice crapola in NE(I used to visit Maine regularly and boy, you NE skiers sure do have my condolences) the Volkl gets my vote in the shorter length.

forgot to add...seems the bears here will pick on you if you buy salomons
post #7 of 17
Find a shop that lets you put some of the demo fees towards your purchase. Demo the 5*, 4*, the RX8, RX6, and the Rossi 9S Oversise. Then purchase. The only reason you might want longer than 170 is for floatation in powder. How much powder will you see? If not a lot, then rent powder skis for that day.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcahill
If you have not skied in 10 years and are a mostly blue run skier I think you will not like any of the skiercross or carving type skis (5 Star, RX8, RX9, SX11, Apache Crossfire, etc.). If you do not have the newer carving techniques down you may find the 5 Star and skis like it annoying. You might try a nice mid-fat instead. They will be better in the moguls, trees, and soft snow but still carve nicely on the blues and harder snow. Some skis to consider are the K2 Apache Recon, Dynastar 8000 and Rossi B2 if you want a performance mid-fat. If you plan to mostly to ski blues, bumps, and ocassional powder and and want a more versatile ski biased toward groomers try skis 1 or 2 levels down from the 5 Star like the 4 Star, SX9, Apache X etc. Of all the skis I mentioned I think the K2 Apache X might be the best for you. It is forgiving, carves well, will ride most anything but still allow you to perform more traditional turns especially in trees and bumps. I skied on an older version (K2 Axis X -Axis X might be stiffer than Apache X?) in every thing from Steeps like Dynamo at Telluride, to 1 Ft of powder at Steamboat in the trees, to the steep bumps at Mary Jane (my primary use for these skis where they excel and I ski most of the time). This year I find myself mostly riding my Axis XP (Recon) and 2003 Head iXRC except for business league racing where I ski an Atomic SX11. I also have new Dynastar 8000s I have been saving until conditions are less rocky here in CO (it's about time to break them out). The 8000s are my all mountain replacement for my older Axis X and XPs. Remember, Demo First!
Good advice. The 5* is probably overbuying for an intermediate who has not skied in 10 years.

Demo some skis less demanding that those in the supercross/carving category until you adapt to the new carving technique and improve your level. You need a ski that will carve but will also skid a little until you adapt.
post #9 of 17
Based on your profile, I'd stay shorter than 175cm in the 5*. Unless you can load it up, it'll throw you around like jello on a roller coaster. Take the previous advice, & demo till your feet hurt. You won't be sorry.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimeral
The 5* is probably overbuying for an intermediate who has not skied in 10 years. Demo some skis less demanding that those in the supercross/carving category until you adapt to the new carving technique and improve your level. You need a ski that will carve but will also skid a little until you adapt.
agree completely.

a middle of the road intermediate is NOT going to be well served by a 5* or any other ski in that category (burly racer-style all mtn carver). maybe after 3 seasons of solid practice at modern technique, I could see it. but not now.

I'd say this Carlcg11 feller is a candidate for the K2 Omni 5.5 or Apache X.
post #11 of 17
I don't know why folks are working to talk you out of this ski. If your technique is off, it may toss you on your butt a few times, but if you want a ski that lets you be all you can be, I don't think you can do much better. My suggestion though is 168 cm. At that lenght you will still be able to bend the ski, and I seriously doubt you can overpower it. I ski the 6* in 168 and have had it in every possible condition and terrain, including powder (see pics) http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=22760 . Before buying the 6* I skied on the 5* in a 168 and found it was extremely responsive with good edge hold, very lively rebound and able to go through moguls and powder. I am 6-1 200 lbs, so judge for yourself. My opinion is that the ski will work well for you now, and encourage you to update technique and skills to realize its potential. Don't buy an intermediate ski if you can visualize yourself as an advanced/ expert.
post #12 of 17

Floating on carvers

Just to put 2 cents in: provided there is enough shovel, that is, not too short or skinny at the tips and you are willing to let the skis runs a bit and gather some speed, you should not have too much trouble in the pow. So you might want to consider the Volkls as a choice if you like the way they ride.

That being said, Cirquerider's pictures have me hyperventilating ... it has been years since I have had the chance to ski anything as beautiful as that. And that is not a beginner on those 6 stars threading thru the trees . Just awesome. Whew. I gotta go look at some stupid legal documents to cool off.
post #13 of 17
carlcg11,
I'm not trying to talk you out of buying the 5*. I ski them myself, and can't say enough good things about them. However, if you haven't been on skis for 10 years, there are probably better choices out there that will allow you to renew & improve your skills more rapidly. Lots of people end up buying more ski than they can currently handle comfortably, with the expectation that they will "grow into them". Too often, that ends up slowing their learning progress. Better to buy a ski suited to your current skills (and allowing for some improvement), and then upgrade in a year or two as you get better.
post #14 of 17
re Cirquerider's post --

all well and good thoughts. but not applicable to someone who is at best a blue groomer skier that has NOT skied for 10 years -- therefore a rotary skidder.

I know how fun it is to be the naysayer, it's my part-time job. and in this case, cirquerider is WAAAAY off base.

you will not enjoy skiing on a pair of 5 Stars.

you will enjoy skiing on a pair of skis that are one notch below -- not so stiff, not so racer-bred, and not so demanding of modern technique. you need a ski that feathers easily to let you progress from rotary to carving.

that ski would be one of the two K2s I mentioned. NEITHER is an "intermediate ski" but rather, both are skis suitable for someone from intermediate up to non-aggressive (unrefined, developing) expert.

DO NOT buy a ski because it "looks cool" or has a high drool factor. that is the WRONG way to buy skis. topsheets have NOTHING to do with performance.
post #15 of 17
Another to consider is a Head iM 70 or iM 75 in around 170 length. I have the iM 70 in 170 (some would say too long for my 5'5 150# frame) it is very easy to ski, as Gonz says, it feathers well and hold very well when I want it to. My wife tried it last week and liked it a lot---her one complaint was it is heavy!

I agree with the nay-sayers---there are plenty of great ski's out there and the Volkl's are certainly great skis---I do think it is too much ski for you.

If you like Volkl---why not demo these? http://www.volkl.com/ski/energy_series.shtml ? They are slightly narrower in the waist but less stiff as well.

They are probably better suited to your stated level.
post #16 of 17
As you can see from all the previous posts, there are a lot of choices. Truth is there are a lot of good skis being made these days. You would probably happy with any of them.

One thing that most of the replies don't address is what kind of conditions you will be skiing on. If you live and ski mostly in the East you should probably buy a ski that can handle the ice and generally firmer conditions there. If you can afford 2 pairs, then you can get a good eastern and a good western ski. If you can only afford one pair then get the ones that will serve you best most of the time.

The 5*s seem to be one of those skis that people either love or hate. I have a pair and must admit I love them. I find them a fun and relatively easy ski compared to some I have been on. They aren't fussy about where you place your weight. BIG sweet spot. They don't require constant attention. Relax and enjoy the scenery or if you want push them hard. They are very versatile in my opinion. Of course, opinions are like . . .

One parting thought would be to suggest you rent skis on your western trip. Most rentals places out west rent what are called "demo" skis. These are the good ones and not the usual rental skis. Most shops would probably let you try a different pair everyday. Powder day? Grab some B2s. 175s too long? Bring 'em back for some 168s. At the end of your trip I think you will have a pretty good idea what kind of ski you want. Figure about $35/day for demos. Perhaps less for a 5-7 rental period. Not a bad price for the fun of trying a bunch of different skis.
post #17 of 17
I love my 5*s in 168. Me: 5'10" 195# 26 years old. IMO they are some of the best skis for an advanced+ level east coast skier. Other people have their personal favorites and there are many good skis in this category (skicross / carver). The 5*s are good in narrow bumps and ungroomed conditions (the primary expert level terrain here in the midatlantic). I recomend them for anyone who needs good hard snow grip, likes a variety of turn shapes and a variety of speeds (all the way up to pretty darn fast). The skis aren't too demanding for me as I can ski them 9AM-4PM all over the mountain with out getting beat up.

I think there are two things for you to consider with the 5*:

#1 you are talking about the west. For out west I can't believe you will need the volkl's great ice grip out west as much as I do here. The stiff tip is decent for crud and the 111mm width can ski nicely in snow to the boot tops. And I have used these well in softer conditions. In fact the pics linked above show 6*s being used in many feet of snow. However at 68mm underfoot and your weight, the ski won't float nearly as well as many other skis out there. If I skied mostly out west I might want to look at other options. Something starting arround 75mm wide might be more versitile out there as an every day ride. What about the Atomic Metron b5? If you want a High Performance carving ski, that's thick. As some other here said. The K2s are a great skis for budidng experts since its soo easy to ski and the Axis X in particular is a great mogul ski.

#2 You said you were testing the blacks--10 years ago. Side cut skis are much easier to ski than what you were used to. So you can potentaily advance in levels fairly quickly. However, you still have to get there. I don't think jumping on the 5*s will be the right move just yet. You need to get back in the game slowly. Buy some ski boots from a good boot fitter in your area. Rent some basic shaped skis and then take a lesson or two. Try to go on a day when the snow is nice and soft. Once you are feeling your oats take a demo or two on higher end skis like the 5*.

Its not sexy, its not glamourous, its hard work. Unfortunately you have to spend some money up front to re-learn the sport. This is an important investment and its worth every penny. It assures you that once you buy skis when you know what you want and that you will buy a proper ski that is right for you and that you will appreciate for years to come.
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