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Volant Power Karve

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there anyone out there in ski world using the old Volant Power Karve? I have heard it's a smooth performer in powder and crud, with the caveat that those who prefer a ski with "pop" should look elsewhere. I'm shopping for a lightly used pair and would appreciate any feedback. Peter Keelty's site describes the Power Karve as one of the ten most important skis ever made, but how does it compare to the new stuff?
post #2 of 15
I think that's a pretty fair description of the PowerKarve. Last fall on e-bay, I got a used pair with demo bindings for $100 (I think they're from 1997-98), and they became my preferred spring rockers. Love 'em!
post #3 of 15

I have had two pairs of the original PowerKarves, a 97/98 season model, and a 99/00 model. They are a great all mountain ski which excells in powder, crud, groomed corduroy, and all kinds of ugly snow conditions, although they could use a bit more edge grip on really hard snow. They provide a lot of floatation in powder, and they just blow through the chopped up crud and nasty wind blown stuff as if it were groomed. They may be overly damped for some tastes, although I personally did not find them so. I agree with Peter's opinion that they are one of the top 10 most important ski designs - they were one of the pioneering designs which started a whole new category of mid-fat all mountain boards which now comprise a big portion of the ski market.

I've never skied the 01/02 model PK, but I did demo some 02/03 Volant Gravity's last spring, which seemed similar to the PK's. They are more lively, but I really didn't feel that made much difference in the way I skied them. What I did feel is that they probably should be skied about 10 to 15 cm shorter than the original PK's. In the spring mush and crud, where I skied the demos, I think the original design still stacks up well against the new one, although I expect that the new design to be better on hard snow.

If you're interested, I'm selling my 99/00 model 183 cm PK's with bindings. For details see my ad in the classified section of the forum titled "FS: Volant PowerKarves & Machette G".

post #4 of 15
I am still skiing on my Ti Powercarves, which I love. I was thinking of replacng them with the Gravity 71's this season, but don't have the spare cash right now. They are fantastic skis for conditions here in the west and the NW.
post #5 of 15
Geoff, I bought a pair of 183cm 2000/2001 powerkarve's at the beginning of last season. btw, i'm 6'1, 170lbs, and ski aggressively. like everyone else, i had heard nothing but praise for these boards. i consider myself an exception to the typical perceived volant skier, as i'm 23 and ski and live in whistler -- most people my age and ability would have gone for a more aggressive ski, be it fatter, stiffer or less shaped. after skiing these boards for a full season, though, and also having the opportunity to demo a ton of other skis, i have to say that the they were a great all-mountain board. their only deficiency, i felt, was at speed, where they'd get very squirrelly (admittedly, i might have skied them too short, which might have been the problem). but otherwise they could handle anything i threw at them: long corduroy cruisers, hard pack, bumps, tight chutes, steeps, deeps...of course, being an all-mountain ski, they won't be the masters of any of these conditions, when compared to a dedicated fat ski, race ski, etc., but they come close in most areas. however, i'll say, too that there is one other ski that i'd pick above the powerkarve: the atomic R11.20. IMHO it's probably the best all-around ski sold today...but they're pricey. but if you're pretty sure you like the powerkarve's and are looking for a similar ski that's more stable at speed, but perhaps a tad less nimble in the bumps, i'd check out the atomics.
post #6 of 15
I've skied PK's since the day they came out, until 2 years ago when I switched to T3 Epics. Still love the PK's if I skied more out wst, it would be my ski of choice, most of my skiing is in the east and the Epics are a tad quicker edge to edge. I sill have about 10 pair of PK's out with family and friends all still swear by them.

To sum it up...
Eastern Skier=Epic
Western Skier=PowerKarve
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow! With feedback like this how could a guy not get excited about the Power Karve? I'm a 6ft, 170lb (except after Thankgiving and Christmas) advanced intermediate (advanced age-wise, not ability-wise). At the moment my favourite carver for the groomed is the Head X-60 (180cm) so I think I should go with a 175cm (or is it 173?) in the Power Karve. I skied the Volkl G3 in 177cm last season and that felt like a good length for me, except that the G3 wants to work harder than I do. I also tried the Pocket Rocket (175cm) and liked the way it handled the spring slop but sticker shock has kept me from joining the ranks of the "Blue Noodle" brigade. Sounds like the Power Karve could be my ticket to get "off piste" and into steeper and deeper territory this season.
post #8 of 15
Geoff, you may want to try the 2001-2 gravity powers and who knows, you might get a good price. I got em and tried them out in spring conditions in Whistler and they were great. I'm not a great skier (lower intermediate) and wanted something to cut through mounds of heavy junk which one often encounters on crowded pistes after a lot of snow. The skis were stable, skied lighter and quicker than my old epics and were super forgiving and easy to ski. If those skis could read my mind they would have to be special! Personally, I'm afraid to try the new Volants. They sound like the old forgiveness is gone. skidoc
post #9 of 15

The original PK's came in 5 cm increments with the longest being 193 and the shortest 173. They're a pretty easy going ski, so you could probably go anywhere from 173 to 183 and feel comfortable. A good compromise would be 178. I know someone who is a big (I'm guessing about 200#) and aggressive skier who is now has last year's 173's which he says he likes better than his previous year's 183's. Either way it's a great ski. The only reason mine are for sale is that I sprung for some new Atomic 11.20's which I am told ski a lot like the PK's.

post #10 of 15
Ive been riding a pair of 2000 model 178cm PowerKarve's from new. Ive tried a lot of other skis just for fun during this time. None come close to being as fun, forgiving and versatile as the PowerKarves. I did find a ski that is better in powder though. Guess what ...its the Volant Chubb! The perfect quiver! Im a 170lb 5' 10" advanced/expert that skis double black, big western terrain all season. Buy em and forget about looking for anything else. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #11 of 15
Have skied the 98 PK's last 6 years. The year it came out, was rated one of top skis in all ski mags particularly as one quiver boards. Following year began all the "ski is too damp" opinions which seemed to have a ulterior agenda. Noticed Volant kept re-engineering that ski. Dislike the way many ski makers have always been quick to de-engineer proven good designs. Ski one of the snowiest steep gnarliest western resorts. Skied over two decades and am much lighter than you. Probably a better ski for those under 150. Also have the 98 Chubbs which are better for lighter deeper fluff but otherwise I prefer to bounce on the PK's. Note if not abused by heavier skiers with big forces these earlier all steel skis can keep their flex far longer than skis made from other materials. -dave
post #12 of 15
I skied on a pair of ti-PK's for about a year. A 98 vintage, I believe.

They were damp, but with dampness comes advantages of stability and forgiveness. They were great in chopped up crud and spring skiing conditions. Their soft shovel makes for great "old man" style of mogul skiing. Overall, I thought they were rather versatile, and great ski for someone who is an intermediate up to an advanced skier who doesn't push very hard. The down side of PK's, to my recollection, was that it was damp. Dampness comes with it an absence of excitement. Sorta like driving a lumbering minivan instead of a BMW M3. PK's got me where I wanted to go, but I can get sleepy driving it. Super aggressive skiers will tire of it soon because it doesn't respond with much rebound. I could out ski the PK's easily.
post #13 of 15
Geoff, Have you ever seen a post creat such a host of replies this fast? I am 6'2", 175 and have skied the first generation for years now. It is as described above: an incredible all moountain ski. I have Maker SC bindings on mine and ski them in the stiff mode most of the time. Set this way my 193's are very stable and fast, and cut through junk like it isn't there.

Up until this year I would say this is the ski I would have if I only have one. However, I just bought a pair of 2002 T3 Powers used and they are several notches better. They are livlier and quicker without giving up much stability or any ability in the junk and powder. If I had the Marker's on them, they would probably jump up a notch in stability in the stiff mode, but are okay as is and I like to go really, really fast on the groomed.

By the way, the smoothness of the Volants makes them very easy on the legs: I don't get as tired. Check out the 2002 ski magazine at your library and then start searching for a pair of T3 powers. Lew Black
post #14 of 15
Reserection of a thread. Funny. my main ski is (for now) a G66. I mounted up my wifes old 173 PowerKarves. I enjoy these much more than the 193 PK's I skied when they first came out. I use these for crud and deep snow where I use the G66's for hardpack. When I replace the G66's and these (they are kinda tired) I will go back to a 70-74mm base for one all mountain ski in a 175.
post #15 of 15
I resurected this thread due to my disappointment with demoing some XScream XtraHots. I said they were stiff, overpriced marketing gimmicks. I got pounded by the other posters for poo pooing their "babies". I just wanted everyone to know how I feel about the best ski I have ever skied... the Volant PowerKarve. Im eager to try the new Chubb some day soon just for fun.

On another topic I have the yellow and blue Raichle Flexon Comp slalom boots (year? 1997?). I was wondering if you have a web site for Flexon lovers? Im looking for a spare pair for parts.
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