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Need Replacement for Volkl 6* - update

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Friends, thanks for all your kind responses to my earlier post. I took it, and tried two recommended skiis over the weekend. I just got back from a three day excursion to Killington where I skied the Fischer RX9 one day and the Head XRC1100 (no chip) the next. Both in 170cm. On the strength of all your suggestions, I had hoped to try the RX8, but the local dearler, Peak Performance does not even sell it, preferring the RX9 at virtually the same price point. Well, I hit the slopes with great expectations. If you have read my earler post, you know that I have been looking for something to replace my '04 Volkl 6*, which I admire, but find (in 175cm) to be exhausting by the day's end. The size and temperament of the ski made working it a chore. Since I wrote my initial post, I have read further, and discovered that Volkl may have actually made it a bit softer this year. Even so, there is a fellow (former racer) who posted today and describes this "softer" 6* as the stiffest ski he has ever been on. So the question I hoped to answer was whether the issue was me and my technique, or a ski that was either incompatible for my style, or just too damn long. After taking one run on the RX9's I got my answer. What a blast! I could do anything on these skiis. Quick turns, medium radius and long carved arcs. They are a real giddyup go ski. They egg you on, but not punish you for pushing it even when you do not get it quite right. They are quite a different animal from my Volkls. First, there seemed to be so much energy in the ski. They beg to be turned. And unlike my 6*, I had no problem at all flattening them out. They hooked up instantly, and held. I had never really experienced this on the 6*, except when I would fully weight the outside ski. They gave me the confidence to really leverage the carve with weight on both feet. In many ways, I felt more confident on these skiis than I have on the 6*, perhaps because I did not have to fight them. And that made the entire experience not only more exhilerating, but far less exhausting. They skiis felt so much shorter than the 6* despite the 5cm differential. They conditions at Killington on that day were packed powder and hard. The Rx9's held tenaciously but made the transition to the deeper coverage absolutely seamlessly. In that way, the Fischer was even a more confident performer for me. They felt even more dampened than the 6*. And like Ghost who commented on the RX8's in my first post, the 9's seemed quite willing to dog it when doing the family thing. Bottom line is that these boards were an absolute delight to ski. They were dynamic, solid and just wanted to frolic. The second day I spent on the Head XRC 1100, again in the 170cm. After skiing the Fischers, I also had high hopes for the Heads (whose skiis I last owned I in 1968 -320E's if memory serves). But I was disappointed. It was not that they were deficient in any respect. Indeed, they were a very comfortable, stable and willing platform. They went everywhere and behaved well. But that was the problem. After frolicing with the Fischers, the Heads were uninspired, and, consequently, uninspiring. They reminded me of a comfortable pair of sneakers, demanding and expecting nothing. While skiing the Fischers was almost intuitive, it was very difficult to figure out how to motivate the Heads. Frankly, I could not get them to engage the snow, something the Fischers were itching to do. The Heads seemd more to be on top of the snow than in it. Almost disengaged. That being said, I could live very easliy with the Heads. They are well-mannered, capable and even tempered. You want to carve (sort of), fine. You want to push your tails, that's fine too. But that is not the kind of ski I am looking for. At the risk of stretching this absurdly, I would describe the Fischers as a coach or mentor who pushes you you do it right, and lets you. While the Heads are more like your mother who says that whatever you do is just fine. But ultmately, that is not where I see my skiing. There is no progress there. And it showed. Even my wife who is new to the sport noticed the difference in my skiing, and described my time on the Fischers as more elegant. So on the third day, I went back to my 175 6*. The experience I have had on these skiis was brought into much clearer focus, after having been on the Head and Fischers. I immediately experienced the sense that I was skiing on something that so much longer than the 5cm differential. Overall, the 6* just required so much more concentration and effort. With the Fischers, we went for a romp. On the Volkls we went on a mission. All business and unforgiving. But I do admire this ski. And if I were skiing it in a 161 or 168, it probably would be a completely different experience. But perhaps not, I chatted with the guy at the shop when I returned the Fischers and shared my observations on the Volkls. He described these skiis as a one trick pony. Now that I have skied the competition, I see what he means.
I am sorry that the RX8's were not available. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has skied both the 8 and 9 and can offer a comparison. It should be pretty obvious that I am quite smitten with the Fischers in 170cm. Can I go shorter? Should I go shorter? Frankly, on the top of my to-do list is mogul work. The temperament of the Volkls has kept me out of the bumps. I would not mind sacrificing a bit of stablility for turny, if that is what you get by going shorter. Again, I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has skied the RX9 (or 8) in different lengths. And thanks for all your collective advise. At 48, I figure that I am about half way through my skiing experience - my ski mentor and uncle turns 81 this June is still hits the Loaf (Maine) every chance he gets. Its nice to know that the knees still work after four score years. Again, thanks.
post #2 of 12
Five star? try it you'll like it teeny bit softer not much just enough! I work w/ a fischer rep I have to try 'em.
post #3 of 12
A little back ground on me; 37years old, 215lbs, 6', skied for 15years, lower level 8 ability. Current skis Volkl P20 RS Supers (205cm) (I know, I know, but two kids=no money for new skis until 2006/2006 season)

I'll second giving the 5*'s a try! I've skied the SS, 6* and 5* ( (all at 168cm)I put about 4hrs. on each ski) and prefer the 5*. I like both the SS and 6* in certain conditions (ie, very high speed, medium to long turns) but I feel the 5* is a much more user friendly, versitle ski.

Both the 6* and SS are a very stiff ski and require a good bit of pressure to bend them, even more so than my favorite ski this year (B5 Metrons 162cm).

I haven't had the pleasure of demo'ing the RX9 yet, wife broke her leg making a run while I was in the demo shack getting them fitted.

Give the B5's a try or the 5*'s

Demo, Demo, Demo, its lots of fun
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sedlowd, if you want to see how stiff the 6* can be, drop 40 lbs, lose 4" in height and add 7cm to the ski length in last year's model. Then you'd be me! I will give the 5* a go. Like you, I have been a Volkl man for a while. But I would encourage you to give the Fischers a go as well . They really are a blast. Do you really ski a 162cm? I guess I still suffer from straight ski length cognitive dissonance. At 13 yo, I skied a 210cm Hart Javelin. I mean, that was when you sized a ski by lifting your arm overhead. The ski tip that reached your wrist was your ski. Now, I am looking at skiis that barely meet me eye to eye. Real sorry to hear about your wife. I wish her a speedy recovery.
post #5 of 12
deliberate1, yea I ski the B5 in 162 and love it. Believe me, I was a little worried the first time I rode up the lift with them, but they have incredible edge hold and stability at that length. The people I have talked to either love them or hate them, two of the 4 guys that run the demo shop where I ski won't even touch them, but the other two think they're the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I'll be giving the RX9 a ride this Monday, can't wait. Thanks for the kind words about the wife, she got lazy demo'ing some Burnin Luvs and they bit her. She'll be resting in bed for the next five weeks, shattered the top of her tibia into 4 pieces!!!

I hear you about the straight ski syndrom my first skis were 220cm Atomic GS skis.

post #6 of 12
deliberate1, I'll second sedlowd, try the five star in a 168. This is my 2nd season on 6's and I love them. However I weigh 225lbs. Your lighter weight combined with longer ski has to be working against you. I teach all but entry level lessons on these and have found this ski to do everything really well. Go slow,go fast, steep, bumps,ice,all in Michigan and powder in Utah last spring. A bad tune can ruin the ski. Look up skidoc here on the forum and arrange to get him to tune for you. He's not far from you, i just don't remember exactly where. I believe you'll be happy on 5's, give them a try before making a decision.
post #7 of 12
deliberate1, given how much you liked the RX9, I think you have to try to get on an RX8. You could drop to 165 in either ski--the reps I've talked to suggest skiing them in the same length (I'm skiing the RX8 at 165 and I'm 185lbs, 6'). The big difference between the RX8 and RX9 is turn radius. The RX8 is more of a slalom feel, but with the same "life" you felt in the RX9. As a result, I think it handles bumps better.

I would also suggest trying the Atomic M:11 in 162 (I think that the b5 would likely be too beefy for you unless you drop to 152). You may also want to try the M:9, given the rave reviews from others here (I have not been on them).

BTW, as nice as the Volkls are, I think that the Fischers, Atomics, Elans, and Nordicas all are better all-around skis this year.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
ssh, as always, thanks for your suggestion. I have come to the same conclusion and am on the prowl for a pair of RX8's in 165cm. Anyone know of good late season deals (I do have an email into dawg). Thanks.
post #9 of 12
I would bet some of those PNW shops will have them. Did you look up shops on the Fischer web site?
post #10 of 12

try an atomic

try the atomic metron b5 or one of their slalom or gs skis which are excellent. Also next year head is coming out with a carver called the superhsape which is supposed to be outstanding!!
post #11 of 12
Sounds like you would like the 5* much better than the 6*. My question would be why you went with the 6* in the first place?
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by ssh
I would bet some of those PNW shops will have them. Did you look up shops on the Fischer web site?
I agree. You might send a private e-mail to "dawgcatching" who posts on this site. He works in a ski shop at Sunriver, Oregon. He fixed me up with my RX-9's. You might also check out the Washington, Oregon and Montana Fischer dealers on the Fischer website. I've seen some RX-9's in shops in these states recently.
As a quick aside, winter has finally arrived in the PNW over the last several weeks so you may not want to wait too long.
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