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Volkl Gamma 320s

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bought these today after looking and looking...but now I'm wondering if I picked the right ski. Anyone use these and have info on them? I feel like I'm buying blind, since I haven't had a chance to demo anything.

I'm an intermediate skiier, 5'7" and 148 lbs. I'm in the Northeast, so I mostly end up skiing on crud and ice with the occasional wonderful burst of powder. I tend to spend my day on intermediate cruisers but I'm hoping to advance this year. I want a ski that'll 'grow' with my ability.

Thoughts very much appreciated!
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

And a PS

I should mention that the Volkls I picked up are 156cm. I was previously skiing on skinny K2s (I'm embarrassed to say they're from 1988 or so!) and rear entry Nordica boots. My new boots (which I'm VERY happy with) are Nordica Beasts. I'm not worried about the boot--which is good, since that was really the equip. I was more concerned with finding--but I do wonder if I got the right skis for my ability level/height/desire to move up to be a stronger skiier.
post #3 of 8
Hi, my wife has the same pair of skis (156cm); she is 5'5 and 120 lbs. These skis are great for beginner/intermediate skier, my wife just started skiing 2 years ago and she really likes them. They are very easy to turn and as long you are going to ski them on grooms like hard pack or ice they will be fine. 156cm sounds a little bit short for you, I’d recommend getting a pair in 161-165 cm range.

If you want a pair that would allow you to ski everywhere on the mountain then you need to get something wider, maybe Gamma EXS which are good all mountain skis. If you are trying to advance from intermediate level to advance then Gamma Supersport would be a better choice because there are stiffer and more aggressive than 320.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 


Thanks! I was relying on the Volkl guide, which described them as intermediate/advanced, but now that I'm looking more at forums (I just discovered this place today...WOW! what a find!) I'm realizing that maybe they're more beginner/intermediate.

Wonder if the store will take them back and let me trade up, since I haven't skiied on them yet and bought them today...
post #5 of 8
It's good choice, but I would trade it for 163cm.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 


The store took back the Gamma 320s. What's funny is that while I was at the register getting the refund, I could hear a salesperson (not the one I had) showing another woman the same ski and describing it as an 'advanced beginner' or for someone just moving onto blue runs. That's not me!

Tomorrow I've arranged to demo some skis...we'll see what I can find! I'll definitely try the Gamma supersports, and maybe some K2s.

Thanks again for the help.
post #7 of 8

156 might be good

shopping the exact ski (Volkl Gamma)for my wife right now, she is a slow open parallel skier with good technique but likes the views too. She is currently on a 170 Rossignol sts.....my tech is actually suggesting she would like the 149 more than the 156.....based on that I don't think you should go longer....but maybe you should demo diff sizes before you drill em....remember I doubt my wife has ever skied over 25 MPH....
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, back from Mt. Sunapee. Because it was school vacation week in Massachusetts (and for at least a portion of NH schools), and I hear it was vacation week for CT as well, the demo center was pretty low on skis. However, I did get to try several skis, so I thought I'd report for everyone who was helpful!

Note: the slope was windy (wind blowing uphill at about 20 mph, depending on where you were and what reports you believe.) Surface was hard packed powder--even at the trail edges, I found very, very little of the soft stuff. It was like skiing on cordouroy that had been spilled on, then dried out. Some people are great on that stuff, but it took me a while to get used to it, so my first few runs were rather conservative.

First--I took out the Volkl Gamma Supersports in 161 cm. I don't know if it was me getting used to the conditions, or the skis, but I kept catching the inside, back edge on one ski. Because of this, I kept slowing down and skiing more conservatively--which I think made me catch that edge even more, but I was too afraid of going fast and catching it and having a real wipeout. I did about 7 runs on them because I couldn't figure out the edge issue. The skis definitely perform better at higher speeds, but that edge really threw me off, so I'm not sure of my opinion on these. I'd have to try another pair on different conditions, I think.

Second, I picked up a pair of Atomic B7 Balanze in 148 cm. Too short for me, I think, but that's what was available. These were very easy to control and I could carve fairly well on them (esp. after I'd been so hesitant on the Volkls with that edge issue), but overall, I found them a bit of a boring ski.

Third were my fave pair of the day, Elan Fusion S8's in 160 cm. These just sang. Lots of control, not too stiff (but not too sproingy, either) and I was able to get good speed and really cruise along or take a nice, lazy run without feeling like they wanted to run away with me. I liked the length, the control, the entire feel of these.

Finally, I was tempted to try out the Volkls again to see if the edge issue was just a morning confidence thing, but the demo guy had just gotten in a pair of Fischer Vi30s in 155cm, and talked me into trying those. I'd rate these just below the Elans. They were fun and easy to control, but not as exciting as the Elans. Can't explain why--but then again, I was getting tired, as I used these for the last two hours of the day.

I'm going to try to demo one more time before I buy--maybe re-try the Volkls or get another pair of Volkls, maybe the 420s or the 724 just to check them out. But I really liked those Elans...
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