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More Gear Reccommendations (AC4's?)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Howdy everyone. Been lurking a while, first post. Great forums here, and seems like a very knowledgable group of people here, so I figured this would be the best place to ask regarding gear recommendations =)

I'm 26, grew up skiing in new mexico and stopped when I was about 13. Started skiing again 2 seasons ago in Ohio (yes, ohio. also PA and west NY). Had a couple trips out west during these past 2 seasons (Whistler, PC/DV/Canyons, ABasin). I've recently moved back to new mexico and plan to spend a good deal of time on the snow this season, both in NM and CO as well as a trip to Jackson and possible UT again.

When I got my current pair of ski's, I really knew nothing about modern equipment, and went with the recommendations of the sales guy at the sporting good store in ohio where I purchased - I got the impression he wasn't extremely knowledgable and ski's were not his specialty.

I'm currently on a pair of 163 Head C160's. They've been good to me on the hardpack out east and groomers out west, and seem nice and carvey which I like, though this could be attributed solely to the fact that they're shaped - first and only pair of shaped ski's I've been on.

Unfortunately, when I encountered real snow on my trip to UT last year, I had a very difficult time in the 2ft of pow that was dumping daily. They sunk like a rock and I kept going "over the handlebars" so to speak. So, having moved back west, I'm looking for a new pair of wider ski's that might serve me a bit better in the conditions out here.

I'm 5'8", about 150lbs. I'd rate myself a level 7 skier, maybe 7/8 (still working on moguls, but able to ski paralell, linked turns and carve as long as i'm not in deep pow). I do enjoy carving groomers but really love trees and steeper terrain (The upper bowls on Whistler were probably my favorites so far)

I am definatley looking to progress my abilities this season and plain to seek some instruction. I'm hoping to find a ski I can grow into.

Aside from my current pair of Head's, this new pair will be my only ski's for the next season or two, so I'm looking for something versatile with a wider waste and a decent sidecut that will ski decently is powder, crud, and on the groomers.

I've been eyeing the Volkl AC4, mostly from the info I've read here and a few other reviews.

Would this ski fit my needs? Can anyone suggest other options?

Also, I know the best answer is to demo demo demo, but I'm not sure when or if I'll have a chance this season to demo the AC4's or anything else. Hence, I turn to you knowledable folks =) Of course if I have the opportunity to demo, I most certainly will.

The other question I have, regardless of ski, is what length I should be looking at in an all mountain ski. As I said, I'm currently on 163's. I do like mogules and trees, so I want to be maneuverable, but I fell like the 163's are a bit too short. I know the AC4's come in 163/170/177, and I'm thinking about the 170's - does this seem appropriate?

Thanks so much in advance for any suggestions or info!

Kindest regards,


PS - Any other NM Skiers around here?
post #2 of 12
My two cents is that you would actually be better off buying the AC3 instead of the AC4. It's a more forgiving and more versatile ski than the AC4. The AC3 is still fairly stiff and burly, but not nearly as much as the AC4. If you actually lived in CO or UT you could make a case for needing the wider width of the AC4 (or another ski), but you need to decide what % of your skiing will actually end up being in conditions with over 12" of powder. If you're still really learning how to make dynamic high edge angle turns then do yourself a favor and stay with a ski that has less than an 80mm waist.

There are quite a few other skis that could suit your needs, but since you were already on the Volkl track I thought I'd keep it simple for you.
post #3 of 12
Or demo the Nordica HotRod Nitrous or Modified!!
post #4 of 12
Not the Top Fuel, bong? That'd be close to the AC4, it seems.

Atomic Metron M:11.

Elan Magfire 12, M666.
post #5 of 12
Nitrous is more forgiving with the same sidecut, thus my recommendation to try them. Probably better for a lighter skier, imho.

post #6 of 12
I defer to you, my friend. You were on both...

Two months til I'm on 'em, tho!
post #7 of 12
Ordering my Top Fuels soon!!:
post #8 of 12
I still remember your offer... I'll take you up if I don't get my fill on demo day!
post #9 of 12
You're on!!
post #10 of 12
Top Fuel has my attention. Have been planning on the AC4 flat mount. Re-thinking.
post #11 of 12
Look the 74mm waist in the AC3 is not going to be wide enough for over knee bottom less powder. Can you ski in POW with AC3 or AC2? Sure you can. But that is not what you asked. For something that makes deep powder easy to ski go with 80+mm waist. That is what they are designed for.

With your weight the AC4 in 163cm length might work, which has a a tight 14.4 radius turn. Check with a Volkl rep.
post #12 of 12
might want to keep the skis you got for hardpack and go with a pair of mantras instead....I was lucky enuff to live in NM? Mantra would be my main squeeze. Mantra and your heads might make for a pretty decent quiver.

.....I'm told tho you want to get em a bit on the longer side vs the super shapes...I'll let others who have experience on the ski chime in with specifics.....I ski 90% hardpack(yep mostly "frozen or loose granular) here in NE so they don't make sense for me.
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