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Need replacements for Volkl 6's

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Friends, after several years off the slopes, I came back last year. I had to replace the Volkl's that I had bought more than ten years ago. Because I was so happy with them, I researched and bought a pair of Supersport 6's in a 175 length. I brought them out west for a family vacation to Whistler and spent four days with an instructer in their Epic ski program (their level 5), basically unlearning 40 years of Hans Schneider technique. I did ok, but not great. I am a strong and experienced skiier, and felt that I could make the transition with out difficulty. And I certainly understood what the instructer was saying, but had a very diifcult time laying it down. Contrary to what I had heard about shaped skiis in general, I found the Volkls required a great deal of effort to initiate turns. Frankly, they were exhilarating on those long fast runs, but enormously tiring overall, especially with close quarter turns. I have had the same experience this year as well. I love the way these skiis track, and when I get it right, I can flatten that outside ski and carve a beautiful turn. But it takes a great deal of energy which takes a lot of the fun out of it by the end of the day. I find that as I tire, I end up turning less which leaves me skiing faster than I care to. I am afraid that I probably bit off more than I can chew for my first pair of shaped skiis. My Whistler instructor suggested that they might be too stiff for my height and weight (5'9 175lbs), or simply not right for my skiing style. He was right. So I am looking for a replacement. I'd like a ski that is easier to initiate and flatten, and would respond to more subtle weight changes and ankle movements, but one that has the tenacious grip and solid tracking of the 6's. What would you all suggest for models and sizes? I am headed to Killington this weekend and plan to do the demo thing. Thanks for all your replies.
post #2 of 27
This year's 6*s have the Piston bindings, so may be worth a try for you. Also, drop down to the 168cm size. That will help more than you think. Try the 5*s, too, if you like the Volkl feel.

In addition, you might try the Fischer RX6 and RX8 and the Elan S10 and S12.
post #3 of 27
The 6 star is a great ski but not one I would term an all day affair and it not a ski to relax on or it will bite you as i think you have noticed. The Fischer RX8 will give the grip + a little more forgiveness. It truly is a great ski!Based on H&W think a 165 RX8 would do. I switched from the 6 * to the Head XRC 1100 chip which has all the redeeming qualities of the 6* and then some. Great grip, can relax without being punished, and will perform well in a variety of conditions here in the East. I would try the 170 . Hard to find a demo but definitely worth it! Good luck
post #4 of 27
175cm in a 6* is A LOT of lumber for someone only 5'9" and 175 lbs. I am 6' and 190lbs and I am comfortable on 168cm. If I drop another 15 lbs, I might think 161 cm is better.
post #5 of 27
The Volkl's can be a somewhat demanding ski if your tecnique is less than perfect, especially if you are skiing them too long. Just demoed the Head XRC 1100 Chip out West, and it is a great ski. Hard to find, though. The only places that I've been able to find it to demo in the East was the Stowe demo center on the mountain, and at Mt. Snow at the shop at the base in the back of the Grand Summit Hotel. If you are going to Killington, the Basin Ski Shop on the access road has the XRC 1100 without the Chip set up for demo.
Good luck.
post #6 of 27
The 6***** is a top of the line, high octane, mid- size turn, carving machine. You may want to demo the 5*****, the Atomic M11, the Fischer RX8 and the Dynastar Legend 4800. On the other hand, if you are skiing out west, you want to go wider and demo the 724 Pro, Legend 8000 and Atomic M11
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. Seems that he RX8 is on most peoples dance card. The '04 model can be had for well under $300 (plus binding). Do you think that this ski in a 160 would be stiff and stable enough for my size (175 lbs and 5'9). I can not imagine what these would be like, coming from the Teutonic 6*.
post #8 of 27

where are you finding the RX8 for under 3 bills (sans binding of course) in Maine? I'm headed to the 'loaf next week and looking for a pair.
post #9 of 27
deliberate1, you could definitely ski the 160! I'm 185 and 6' and a higher-level skier than you have described yourself. I'm on the 165.
post #10 of 27
Get out of the carving ski mind set. Get on a ski like the Volkl EXP in 163cm. demo that for the weekend along with a lesson and improve your skills.

You may even want to try the ski below the EXP until your get the hang of new skis. I'm glad you can admit that you bit off more then you could chew.

A lot of us buy to much ski.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Max C, your "getting out the carving ski mindset" comment has piqued my interest. Isn't that what its all about? And if the Volkl EXP is not a carving ski, what is it? Regards.
post #12 of 27
It's a all mountain ski. It will carve and do anything you want. The big difference is the carving ski is not the best tool of choice for the whole mountain. The EXP or that type of ski is easy to turn, forgiving, easy to carve, good in the bumps, trees, fresh snow, heavy spring slop. The caving ski is good on the groomed runs, can be to stiff for bumps, get caught in heavy snow. I have been on a 70cm waist ski since about 1997. I can carve railroad tracks as well as any carving ski and have all the versatility that I need. Most of the regulars here know my love for this All Mountain ski. My X-racer son like my AX3' s in the bumps so much we swap skis when he skis with me.

Do you ski the whole Mt. or just stick to the groomers?

I'm off to Okemo tonight for 10 day's so this may be your last shot at me for a while.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Max, whole mountain for me (except off piste). But my experience with the 6* has kept me away from areas of the mountain that I found particularly difficult to manage with these boards. So I am looking for something more versatile. Have you skied the Head 75, or current incarnation, or the Salomon Hot or Racer,or the RX8 that everyone gushes over? Have fun at Okemo. I am off to Killington as well.
post #14 of 27
I found the EXP/AX3 to be a more accommodating ski for my more traditional style of skiing prior to a complete revamping of it over the past two seasons. That said, I'm not convinced that it's any better (or worse!) an all-mountain ski than some of these others. It has a different bias, but having skied the RX8 and the AX3 in similar conditions, I'm not sure I see the lack the RX8 has in areas where the AX3 shines. I have, however, seen a bit more out of the AX3 on harder snow and all-out carving.

As always, however, YMMV.
post #15 of 27
I've read some pretty interesting stuff in regards to a 70mm waisted all mountain ski as compared to a more carving biased ski. A typical 70mm all mountain ski, because of it's design, wants to come up on edge more slowly, and return to flat much more quickly, will be more forgiving, and will be more tolerent of a more traditional steering based tecnique. This supposedly accounts for their vast popularity with the average weekend skiers. They will get you through some lousy conditions without spanking you for tecnical errors, and are just plain easier to ski for most people. Whereas a carving ski wants to be up on edge all the time, and are usually narrower in the waist (although a lot of the "cross" skis are approaching waists in the 68mm. range), and are less tolerent of skidding and steering, especially off piste, which to most people makes it seem like they have a mind of their own in difficult conditions.
Personally, I don't care very much for the 70mm all mountain skis. They fit into the jack of all trades variety, but are not exceptional in any one area. They don't carve very well and are not as much fun on the groomed, and are not wide enough to be of much use in any really substainial snow. Ideally I would have a narrow waisted carving ski for the groomers and a fatter ski in the 80mm range for the deeper days. If I could only have one pair, it would probably be a pair such as the Head XRC 1100 Chips, (116-68-100). These have practically the same surface area as the 70mm all mountain boards, are much more stable, can carve like crazy, and give up very little off piste. Just a better all around everyday ski.
post #16 of 27
Mac, I agree. I'll likely go a little fatter with my next ski, but my current quiver is a carver (66mm) and a fatter (76mm).
post #17 of 27
Very similar to my to main skis- 65mm and 75mm. Was also thinking of going wider the next time, although the 75's are a great comprimise when you can only bring one pair.
post #18 of 27
Agreed. Bummer having a couple of skis to choose from...
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mac how do the Head Im 75i's compare to the 1100. They are 74mm vs 68? If I am not mistaken, my 6* are 67mm. Close statistically to the Head, but different character
I assume? And what size would you suggest I demo -I am 175 and 5'9 (on a good day). Thanks.
post #20 of 27
Check out the Head XRC 1100 sidewall version. XRC 1200 for next year. It has better edge hold and stability, but is far more versatile
post #21 of 27
Spilla, which ski are you comparing the 1100 SW to?
post #22 of 27
I would say that it's hard to compare the 75 Chip with the 1100 Chip because they are made for different things. The 75 feels a little heavier and not as quick edge to edge as the 1100, which is to be expected. The 75 will give you more float, while still being effective on groomed runs. Thats what makes the 75 so versatile. It has enough width to help you in ungroomed situations but with enough sidecut to keep it from being a dog on the groomed. On a recent trip to Park City, skied the 75's in a foot of fresh the first day, which was pretty well tracked up by noon. This is the conditions in which this ski shines. It kind of bridges the gap between a fat ski and a carving ski. Skied the next two days at Deer Valley on mostly groomed conditions. By the end of the second day I was starting to wish for more of a carving ski for those conditions. The next day I rented a pair of XRC 1100 Chips and headed for the Canyons. These skis really put a smile on my face. Stable at any speed that I dared go, quicker and lighter than I expected, exceptable in bumps, damp without being dull, really seemed to soak up vibrations without sacrificing livelness. Hard to tell how much float you loose compared to the 75, you would have to ski them back to back on a powder day to honestly judge that. Most of the powder that was left from the previous storm was pretty well set up by the day I tried the 1100, so not a fair comparison.
If I had to choose between the two as my only ski, I would go with the 1100 Chip just because it's performance on the groomed would be worth the extra work on a powder day, at least to me.
I believe the dimensions of the 5 and 6 Stars is very similar to the XRC 1100's. The Volkl Superspeed, which I liked very much, is a tiny bit wider, about 2mm throughout, than the 6 Stars. However, as much as I liked the Superspeed, I found the 1100 Chip to be less demanding and more versatile as an all mountain ski, at least for a run of the mill skier of my ability.
I would think that you be in the range of a 170 in either ski for someone your weight. At 200 lbs, I ski the 177 which feels just right for me. If you can, try both the 163 and 170 to be sure.
Hope this helps.
post #23 of 27
Also, after re-reading your original post, keep one thing in mind when you're shopping for new skis. There is great value and performance available without buying top of the line gear. All the stuff we've been discussing here is all at the top of these companies performance range that they sell to the public. This high end stuff is intended for skiers that have few tecnical flaws and that seldom make mistakes. As much as I liked that Volkl Superspeed, I had to be honest enough with myself to admit this ski was going to be more ski than I could handle in bumps or trees. I need a ski that's going to help me where I need help the most. I wouldn't consider the iM 75 if you're not going to be skiing off piste. If the 6 Star is more ski than what you need, than I'd probably stay away from the 1100 Chip, too. It's intended for the same audience as the 6 Star. If you're going to Killington, stop at the Basin and try the XRC 1100 without the Chip. Peak Performance next door to the Basin carries Fischer. Both of them carry K2. Try the Fischer RX8, then as a comparison, try the RX6. You may very well find that you like the 6 more than the 8. K2 makes some very forgiving high performance skis. Atomic makes a ski that was called the C9, I'm not sure what it's called now, but I know they still make it, and it was one of their most popular skies, and for good reason. You've got to keep in mind that when you're surfing these forums and hearing the names of these skis being thrown around that most of the guys doing the talking are guys that have been skiing consistently for a good long time. Better off to judge for yourself, and try as many skis as you can. You'll know when you've found the right ones. Let us know how you make out.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mac, I do appreciate your sage advise. Humility is a quality that the 6* have taught me. I can ski them, and ski them well - for a while. Honestly, I bought them sight unseen because I was so smitten by the pair of 203 Volkls I bought more than ten years ago. And the 6*'s were, I imagined, their current equivalent. Problem is that I am not, at this point, their equivalent. Imagine our mutual surprise when I strapped them on for the first time, glued those feet together, planted that pole and pushed those tails from side to side. Next, imagine our mutual disappointment. Granted, a week of lessons at Whistler cured me of many Alberg traits. And I certainly neither embarass myself or the skiis when we are laying down nice medium radius turns on a groomed trail. Frankly, I get more than a few stares (good ones this time). But the reality is that I am one pound for each centimeter of what is a very stiff ski. And as the day progresses, I seem to get lighter, and the ski heavier. So what I really want is a ski as capable as the 6* that I can ski for the whole day and in a variety of conditions. I had no idea how specialized skiis had become. Makes sense though. Everything else in the world is. Perhaps if I had bought the 6* in a 168 or shorter we would not be having this conversation. Anyway, no more mail order brides for me. I am going to try the Fischer that you and ssh suggest and the Heads. I haven't owned a pair of those since I got a pair of 320E's when Nixon was in the White House. Will let you know what happens. And my thanks to all of you for your advise.
post #25 of 27

east coast availability

I demo'd the 1100 chip at, of all places, Wachusett, Mass. on Friday.

Originally Posted by Mac
The Volkl's can be a somewhat demanding ski if your tecnique is less than perfect, especially if you are skiing them too long. Just demoed the Head XRC 1100 Chip out West, and it is a great ski. Hard to find, though. The only places that I've been able to find it to demo in the East was the Stowe demo center on the mountain, and at Mt. Snow at the shop at the base in the back of the Grand Summit Hotel. If you are going to Killington, the Basin Ski Shop on the access road has the XRC 1100 without the Chip set up for demo.
Good luck.
post #26 of 27
Lots of good advice. More than likely a shorter length would be helpful - thats a lot of ski that you're on now. Although I talk a better game than I ski - the 6*, RX8, the Metrons all have a lot of side cut and are really geared toward the newer cross under technique they really like to be on edge as much as possible, real carving machines- you might want to demo a ski thats a little straighter, less sidecut, a ski to allow you to transition to the more current technique - when you're in your comfort zone you can try the stuff your instructor gave you but when you need it its nice to be able to fall back on what your comfortable with. I haven't skied it but if you like the Fischers perhaps the RX9 in a 160 or so -it seems to have a bit less sidecut than the 8's - you might try a more traditional all mountain ski instead of a carver.
post #27 of 27
I'm about your size and weight and spent a day with a pair of 170 cm Fischer RX8s. They did everything well. I like to ski fast, and they did that well. I was also skiing with my daughter and a friend who ski much slower than I usually do. They skied slowly well too.

I'm not sure about your technique; on the one hand you may be using "modern" technique, but reading you last post it seems that you might be trying to push your 6*s around. That sounds like a pretty tiring way to ski them; they (the 6*s) won't respond well to that. Modern skis respond readilly to being tipped. Very little effort is required to tip them, and then they provide the effort to turn you. You can even cheat a little and bank with you legs extended taking the weight on your long bones with almost no effort at all.

You also seem to be saying that the 6*s sweet spot is faster than you want to ski. If that's the case, try around a 160 cm RX8, it should be long enough for the speeds you want.
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