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My 2005-6 ski test results

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Spent 3 days this week testing 2005-6 skis at Boyne Mtn, Michigan at the Midwest dealer show.



Conditions were cold and the snow was mostly hard corduroy in the morning and ice in the afternoon. It was in the 50s a few days before arrival with some rain and then down to almost zero degrees so the snow was a good test for carving skis. On day 2 & 3 they blew new snow and conditions improved. 1 run had 6+ inches of groomed new snow and was a good imitation of packed powder for about an hour.



So you can reference my comments, I am 6’1”, 195lbs, an aging, expert skier with a background in racing, coaching, and teaching.



Favorites:

GS Race: Atomic GS11, Dynastar Speed Comp GS

Slalom Race: Salomon (don’t remember the exact model designation)

Expert all mountain: Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel, Dynastar Legend 8000

Intermediate/Advance all mountain: Nordica Hot Rod Modified & Nitrous, Dynastar Legend 4800, and Volkl Unlimited AC3

Big Mountain, off piste: Volkl Unlimited AC4

Expert carving: Atomic SX11M, Atomic B5 SX, Volkl Allstar (new 6 star), Nordica Speedmachine 16



Brief comments:

Atomic GS11 - powerful, smooth, great edge hold and super stable but was easy and fun to ski. Only complaint was the hill was too small. Nothing but smiles.

Dynastar Speed Comp GS - really easy to ski and fun. Edge hold was good but not quite as good as the GS11s.

Salomon SL race - surprised at how well this skied. Did not want to overturn like some others but had good edge hold and stability.

Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel - funny name but maybe my favorite in this category. Did anything I wanted it to and skied any condition we had well. Short radius turns were even easy despite a 78mm waist but long turns were fun. Nothing but smiles!

Dynastar Legend 8000 - fun, stable, quick turning for a 79mm waist. Only negative was on boilerplate and it did not hold. Wrong ski for those conditions. Otherwise, all smiles.

Nordica Hot Rods (Nitrous, Modified) - both skied really great and had a similar feel of the Top Fuel. Nordica got all of this series right! Even though I classed these as int/adv an expert looking for a quicker turning ski could ski these as well.

Dynastar Legend 4800 - little brother to the 8000 except no metal and narrower. Quicker turning but you could see the similarity to the 8000.

Volkl Unlimited AC3 - could be an expert ski or strong int or advanced. Smooth, stable, skied everything well. Nothing but smiles!

Volkl Unllimited AC4 - surprising how well this skis for such a wide ski. Skied it in the packed powder and it was really fun and easy to turn despite the size. Thought is was a little easier to ski than its’ predecessor, the AX4. Nothing but smiles!

Atomic SX11m - my past favorite for Midwest/east “powder. Race type construction but so easy to ski. Super edge hold and stability even in a 170cm length. Nothing but smiles!

Atomic B5 SX - little wider than the SX11 and little less of a racing ski construction but you could hardly tell that while skiing. Favors a little longer turn but so easy to ski and super stable with great edge hold. Might have to get a pair. Nothing but smiles!

Volkl Allstar - 6 star replacement. Little wider and skis great. Thought that the edge hold was not as tenacious as the old 6 star but otherwise nothing but smiles! More versatile than the 6star.

Nordica Speedmachine 16 - read my comments above for Nordica. This is more hard snow specific than the Hot Rods. Nothing but smiles!



Wonder if my budget could tolerate 4 or 5 of these? Dream on. I have some hard decisions to make next year.



Do not want to comment negatively on other skis but will respond to emails about these or other skis not mentioned. Did not ski any Fischers, Head, Elan, or Blizzards as our shop does not carry them.
post #2 of 22
Did you ski any K2's? What didn't you like?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor
Did you ski any K2's? What didn't you like?
Skied the Apache Crossfire and Recon. Both skied well but nothing spectacular. If you like skis that are smooth and not too lively K2s fit the bill. We sell a lot of them to our customers who like them. I come from a racing background and like a different feel.

As I posted earlier I liked Atomic SX11 or B5 SX, Volkl Allstar and Nordica Speedmachine for carving skis and Nordica Hot Rod skis, Volkl Unlimited AC3, and Dynastar Legend 8000s better. Rossi B1 and B2 skied well also.
post #4 of 22
Just out of interest, how similar is the GS:11 to the SX:B5 this year?


I've got a pair of the original SX:11's that are getting a bit battered . . . . . for the moment a pair of twin-tips is more important to me, but it's just possible that if one of the new Atomics is mind-blowing enough I'll junk the twin-tip idea and buy a new pair of ripping skis :
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgp
Just out of interest, how similar is the GS:11 to the SX:B5 this year?


I've got a pair of the original SX:11's that are getting a bit battered . . . . . for the moment a pair of twin-tips is more important to me, but it's just possible that if one of the new Atomics is mind-blowing enough I'll junk the twin-tip idea and buy a new pair of ripping skis :
SX11Ms are the same as last year....they added magnesium rods, made it a little lighter and more lively. Fantastic ski for hard snow. The B5SX is unchanged from last year. Very similar but a little wider and favors longer raidus turns. ACcording to Atomic the SX11 is more race ski construction but both skis were great and it will be a hard choice for me next year. I own a pair of SX11s but might pick up a pair of B5SX for next year.

The GS11 is a race ski and I personally loved it. If I had a need for a GS race ski this would be the one. However, you can get almost the performance from the SX11 with a deeper sidecut.....more versatile and fun for a non or occasional recreational racer.
post #6 of 22
As great as the Metrons ski, I don't think they can compare with the edge hold and bite you achieve with the thinner waisted carving skis. I've been skiing my friend's SL11 the past two weekends on pretty slick conditions and these skis definitely outperform the Metrons in these conditions. So as versatile as the Metrons are ,if you ski on hard pack and ice most of the time, you maybe happier on skis like the SX11 and SL 11 B 5 etc.

I just don't think despite the sophistication of the design you can make a 78 waisted ski have the edge hold of a 63 waited ski on hardpack. I still love the Metrons and they ski pretty well on hardpack but for ice there are better choices.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
As great as the Metrons ski, I don't think they can compare with the edge hold and bite you achieve with the thinner waisted carving skis. I've been skiing my friend's SL11 the past two weekends on pretty slick conditions and these skis definitely outperform the Metrons in these conditions. So as versatile as the Metrons are ,if you ski on hard pack and ice most of the time, you maybe happier on skis like the SX11 and SL 11 B 5 etc.

I just don't think despite the sophistication of the design you can make a 78 waisted ski have the edge hold of a 63 waited ski on hardpack. I still love the Metrons and they ski pretty well on hardpack but for ice there are better choices.
I would tend to agree. However, the new Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel and Nitrous skis were tenacious on Michigan ice. The Top Fuel has a waist of 78mm and the Nitrous, 74mm. I was impressed and they held better than any wide ski I tried.

Ideally, you should have a hard snow ski of some kind and a western soft snow ski. Currently, I have a pair of SX11ms (66mm) and they are supurb. The B5SXs (68mm) are just as good and favor a longer radius turn. The Volkl Allstars (70mm) were also good as well as the Nordica Speedmachine 16 (67mm). Hard to beat geometry.
post #8 of 22
Bsimeral,


Did you get a chance to test the Elan Fusion Pro SX?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhskier
Bsimeral,


Did you get a chance to test the Elan Fusion Pro SX?
No. Our shop does not carry Elans, Fishcers (except nordic) or Blizzards so I did not try any of them.
post #10 of 22
Is the Volkl AC4 the same ski as the AX4? If not, what are the differences. I have always been a real fan of the G40, G4, AX4.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyons
Is the Volkl AC4 the same ski as the AX4? If not, what are the differences. I have always been a real fan of the G40, G4, AX4.
The Unlimited AC4 is the new AX4. Not sure of the structural differences but it skis great and I liked it as much as the AX4. Skied it in a 184cm length for a few runs on packed powder on a moderately steep run. It handled hard pack, groomed well for such a wide ski and had no trouble making fall line turns on it. Waist on it is 84mm....can't remember what the AX4 dimensions are.

If you want more specifics I can check when in the shop Saturday. Send me an email and I will respond Sat or Sun.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyons
Is the Volkl AC4 the same ski as the AX4? If not, what are the differences. I have always been a real fan of the G40, G4, AX4.
It's similar to the G4/AX4, but not the same. Though the waist widths are similar, the AC4 has more overall sidecut.
post #13 of 22
BS - just out of curiousity is your shop "KK" ? Any chance you tried the Metron M:10 ? Curious about that ski for an intermediate to advanced intermediate. I was looking at the M:9, but thinking of bumping up to the M:10. Bacially I just run the blue cruisers out west.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by naperguy
BS - just out of curiousity is your shop "KK" ? Any chance you tried the Metron M:10 ? Curious about that ski for an intermediate to advanced intermediate. I was looking at the M:9, but thinking of bumping up to the M:10. Bacially I just run the blue cruisers out west.
I sked the 9's and had a blast on them. If you are doing just cruisers, they might be fine, if you have the extra bucks, get the 10's.
post #15 of 22
can u comment more on the new B2?
post #16 of 22
Thanks BS for your input on the private message. And also thanks Phil. I guess I was leaning towards the Metron's strickly on price. The place I am looking has the M:10's for an awsome price. I know $ shouldn't be the only factor, it's just really an awsome ski for the money.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider
can u comment more on the new B2?
Did not ski it but some of my sidekicks did and liked it. Do not know what changes were made to it. Personally, the b2 has never been one of my favorites but that is purely subjective. Lots of skiers like the B2.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by naperguy
Thanks BS for your input on the private message. And also thanks Phil. I guess I was leaning towards the Metron's strickly on price. The place I am looking has the M:10's for an awsome price. I know $ shouldn't be the only factor, it's just really an awsome ski for the money.
Go for it if the price is that good.
post #19 of 22
I've skied all the Metrons except the M-ex. All except the M9 are for advanced skiers. The stiff tail will bother anyone who doesn't have the technique to stay out over the tips. AS you progress up the #'s the tail and ski gets stiffer and the ski requires more work. My personal favorites were the M10 and B5. Both can rip the mountain with great stability at speed.
post #20 of 22
I am planning to order the AC4 and not sure between 170cm and 177cm. Here is my preference for other Volkls:
6-star: 168cm
Superspeed: 168cm
724 Pro: 170cm
G4: 168cm seemed short but 178cm seemed long for me.

I am 44 yr old, level 8 (lower level expert), 170 lbs, 5'11", live in Reno.

I am afraid I would lose float in heavy snow with shorter length but would have tough time in trees and bumps with longer length - I am experienced in bumps with fat skis. The shop says 177 but I am usually happier with one length short of recommendation.

Do you know the range of sizes. I usually choose the middle lenght volkl.
thanks.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCskier
Do you know the range of sizes. I usually choose the middle lenght volkl.
thanks.
163, 170, 177, 184.

If you're comfortable on the Pro in a 170, I'd say stay with the 170.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCskier
I am planning to order the AC4 and not sure between 170cm and 177cm. Here is my preference for other Volkls:
6-star: 168cm
Superspeed: 168cm
724 Pro: 170cm
G4: 168cm seemed short but 178cm seemed long for me.

I am 44 yr old, level 8 (lower level expert), 170 lbs, 5'11", live in Reno.

I am afraid I would lose float in heavy snow with shorter length but would have tough time in trees and bumps with longer length - I am experienced in bumps with fat skis. The shop says 177 but I am usually happier with one length short of recommendation.

Do you know the range of sizes. I usually choose the middle lenght volkl.
thanks.
I would recommend the 177. Skied the 184 but I am bigger (6'1", 195 and an expert) and that was the right size for me. Don't know the max length but I have the literature at the shop if you need to know.
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