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Atomic vs Rossignol vs Volkl

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone could help me out. I am 5'11''/165lbs, an intermediate skier and mostly ski black (comfortable) and blue (VERY comfortable) groomers. I would consider myself a strong/intermediate skier and ski about 1-3 times a year in Canada - both in the east and west. In the past, i have always rented (salomon skis) and I am now looking to purchase my first set of skies. I have narrowed down my search to the following:

1. Volkl Unlimited AC3
2. Volkl Unlimited AC2
3. Rossignol Zenith Z5
4. Atomic M 10

I intend to ski more frequently and want to start skiing a little more off piste. I'd be grateful if anyone could give me some feedback/input on what would be the best fit for me.

thx.
post #2 of 26
mod96: Welcome to EpicSki!

You'll find that most folks here will provide similar advice this request: demo! It's impossible to know what ski will work best for you. Your skills, ski style, strength, usual terrain, etc. will affect the choice.

All the skis listed above are excellent! You won't go wrong with any, but one will likely feel better than the others.

Most folks here can, and will, give you personal opinions of what skis they like and why. This input is useful, as it indicates trends and highlights intriguing new designs.

At the end of the day, however, you've gotta get on the boards. It's the only way to know what best suits your biomechanics and local terrain.

Good luck!
post #3 of 26
You mention that you usually rent skis. Just about everyone here will recommend that the first piece of equipment you should buy is boots if you don't have them already. Get them from a good bootfitter so that when you need work done, it'll be done correctly. If you have boots already and really only skiing 1-3 times per year I don't know if it makes sense to buy skis. Financially, you'd probably have to keep the skis for ~10 years to pay the equivalent to what it would cost you to rent or demo everytime you ski. Plus the relative inconvenience of having to travel with your skis. If you do demo every time you ski you get to ski on the newest technology every time and can pick the specific ski you need for the specific conditions of the day. Just a thought.
post #4 of 26

...

Agreed... Mod96, ya' have to get outside MORE! :
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. My wife insists on getting me these skiis (what a gal!) so, although I tend to agree that it may not be that practical, I do need to make a decision. Since I won't be able to test them before buying, I was hoping someone might have a good recommendation regarding which of these skiis best suits someone of my description.
I already have boots (atomic carbons), so I am all set on that front...
post #6 of 26
mod96:

IMO, if you have to make a decision, cut the Volkl AC2 out of the picture since it is a lower level ski that you can probably out grow (especially if you indeed try to get out more).

I'm not particularly certain about what Rossignol did to their Zenith line this year (I know they are all fatter with more extreme sidecuts), but the Z9 is another ski you could possibly consider. I personally skied the Z5 last year (which was more of a carving ski), and was not overall too impressed with its feel.

From everything I've heard (and my experience demoing an Atomic M11), the M10 may indeed be your best bet of the skis you listed. The Volkl AC3 would also work, but may be slightly more demanding initially to get comfortable on...

-Craig
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
mod96:

IMO, if you have to make a decision, cut the Volkl AC2 out of the picture since it is a lower level ski that you can probably out grow (especially if you indeed try to get out more).
Actually the AC-2 is exactly what he is looking for. Did you even read his thread and his skiing ability?

The AC-2 is wide enough and is a very versitile all mountain ski for an intermediate thru advanced skier, plus the magazine gave it rave reviews. good luck.
post #8 of 26
Agreed about the AC2. If there were a ski to cut from that list it would be the M10. Not a friendly ski to those without very solid modern technique.

Re: the Z5, are we talking about the original from last season or the vastly different model for this season? The new model gets my thumbs up, the old model was very blah.
post #9 of 26
I read what he described. I guess I focused more on the fact that he said he comfortably skied black trails and may have underestimated where the AC2 is in Volkl's line up (I haven't heard tons about most of the newest stuff other than the top level skis)... Perhaps a Atomic M9 would be another option?

-Craig
post #10 of 26
M:9 is another option... The AC3 is a lot of ski... Seems like the M:9/AC2 or M:10/AC3 depending on whether you are really an "intermediate" level skill or higher. If you are going to ski in excess of 12 days this season, I'd go "up" the lines. If not, I'd stay about where you are. Unless, that is, you'll take lessons for a number of those days.

Reason? I think that it takes somewhere around 10 days to get into the "mind like water" world of skiing. If you're skiing 1-3 days per year, you never quite get there and will have a difficult time really moving your skill level forward.

Unless you visualize a lot. But, that's another thread!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
I read what he described. I guess I focused more on the fact that he said he comfortably skied black trails and may have underestimated where the AC2 is in Volkl's line up (I haven't heard tons about most of the newest stuff other than the top level skis)... Perhaps a Atomic M9 would be another option?

-Craig
<minor rant>
Well, most "experts" never ski on anything like those.

Blizzard makes a ski at a $299 pricepoint that I would gladly ski on any day of the week. I'm not that good, but I'm a kinda large guy that appreciates a good ski.

Atomic's new Izor $399 ski/binding combo totally kicks ass. I see tons of people complaining about ski prices, but no one talking about great deals like that. Points out just how vain/sheeplike a lot of people are, IMHO.

A lot of really good skis get glossed over by the manufacturer/biased press/fanboy combo. Lots of "oh, well anyone with any skill should only be on the Super X-Fire" type replies float around in these gear threads.
</rant>

If I get some time over Christmas Break, I'm going to do a bunch of writeups on such setups. There are a TON of threads each season that ask for info on reasonably priced midlevel products, and TONS of replies to these threads about how people should "step up" to the "better" ski. Its BS, and its not what the poster is often looking for.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman

If I get some time over Christmas Break, I'm going to do a bunch of writeups on such setups. There are a TON of threads each season that ask for info on reasonably priced midlevel products, and TONS of replies to these threads about how people should "step up" to the "better" ski. Its BS, and its not what the poster is often looking for.
In this case though, the original poster listed 4 specific skis and asked for opinions on them...

-Craig
post #13 of 26
I fall in mod96's category, but I also go off piste a bit. I was considering the M10 and the AC3, but felt they would be too much ski. I live in the east, but usually ski in the west, but can never seem to get more than 10 to 15 days a year in .

I am going with the AC2's to replace my old CyberX's and am looking forward to strapping them on after Thanksgiving.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
In this case though, the original poster listed 4 specific skis and asked for opinions on them...

-Craig
Yes, and you suggested:
-that some were too "intermediate"...to the self described intermediate.
-that he go buy some Ski-Fire-Cross-Cool top of the line model.

Have you actually skied an AC2?

I think the M:9 is a good extra suggestion, BTW.

Also I think the Z5 is a good option if its this years model, not last year's geezin' geezer sidecut model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by migibs
I am going with the AC2's to replace my old CyberX's and am looking forward to strapping them on after Thanksgiving.
Cool, let us know how you like them. I can't wait to get out after Thanksgiving either.
post #15 of 26
You're skiing mostly blacks and want to go off-piste and want to ski more frequently?!
Your choice should be clear.

Get AC4s. 177cm.
post #16 of 26
Gotta agree with Skiingman. When I'm on the slopes, seems 1/2 the people are on skis that make no sense for their ability. Mostly intermediates under 25 who are skidding advanced/expert rental skis way fast down blue groomers - probably a safer idea than taking them onto black - and nowhere near a ski class. Attitude probably like mine at 17 - "If it's an expert ski, it'll force me to be expert. And anyway, you gotta make a statement. Lessons are for the weak." Must have believed strongly in negative reinforcement. Probably still be stuck at level 6 if a badly managed edge change hadn't ripped a knee up. Eight months of rehab helps you rethink your skills set.

So best advice you can give someone who can only ski a few days a year is to have fun with a versatile intermediate ski and take a lesson EACH day he/she skis. More fun to ski in a group anyway. If he's stuck with his list (don't get why), go with the Rossi; it'll be the most forgiving. Otherwise skis like the AC-2 or 4*, S10 or Magfire 8, Fischer RX6, several of the middle range Heads would be appropriate and allow upward mobility. We do no favors by urging folks onto boards that'll punish way more than reward.
post #17 of 26
If you had to pick one of the four, based on the reviews at Realskiers.com, Peter seems to favor the AC3 and the Metron 10. Both have a wide performance and ability spectrum. Thats if you are limited to the four choices that you mentioned. If you are not, then there are probably better choices out there. The Atomic Izor 9.7, Elan Magfire 10, and several of the new Nordicas are all on my list of ones to demo.
post #18 of 26
Good advice from Beyond. It's the same old question. Do I buy something that is a little over my head that I can grow into and won't soon outgrow, or do I buy something that is immediately comfortable but run the risk of getting bored with down the road? It's a tuff question. Guess a lot depends on how much you plan on skiing. Usually the best values are in the mid range stuff, aka the "All Mountain Cruiser" category in Ski Magazine. Upper level performance without beating you up too much.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Yes, and you suggested:
-that some were too "intermediate"...to the self described intermediate.
-that he go buy some Ski-Fire-Cross-Cool top of the line model.

Have you actually skied an AC2?

I think the M:9 is a good extra suggestion, BTW.

Also I think the Z5 is a good option if its this years model, not last year's geezin' geezer sidecut model.
I was pretty upfront about it though . My point was just that if he wanted to get out a lot and really work on his technique, he could end up wanting more than an AC2 ultimately. I guess I was just looking too long term .

For the record, I haven't skied them though, and had primarily heard stuff about the AC3 and AC4.

Does anyone have feedback about the Z5s or Z9s from Rossignol this year? What are the cores made out of? I'm interested to demo one of them, the only "one-ski quiver" ski I've been on is a Metron 11 in 172 in 12 to 18 inches of wet spring snow. It was a fun ski, but I found it to be a little floppy, kind of tiring, and very very carvy (and this is from someone who loves his RX8s, hehe).

-Craig
post #20 of 26

Ac3

I am 5'9" and 175 lbs. I would have described my ability at the beginning of last season exacly as mod96. Good on balcks, ripping the blues, but would like to try some off piste. I bought the Volkl 724 AX3 in 170. They were the ideal ski for moi. A very capable ski with enough forgiveness for my intermediate staus. By the end of the season I was sking my last hour each day in the bumps, not graceful in there yet, but havin lots of fun and comfortable.

If you are in decent physical shape, go for the AC3
post #21 of 26

Ski Choices

Hi

A popular off pise ski I have tried is a K2 Public Enemy Twin Tip
I also have tried the Volkl AC4 and while it is slightly more advanced
than the Public Enemy it is surprisingly easy to turn for its width
(177cm) I would buy the AC4 if your aim was to improve speed wise

Good Luck
post #22 of 26
Just won my AC2's on ebay last night . $469 with shipping. $100 less than my local shop.
post #23 of 26
I demo'd the 2006 Rossignol Z5 Zenith Oversize TPI in 162 and 170cms in Australia. Conditions were lightly packed snow. In Australia we get the new models before you guys in the Northern Hemisphere. We get the gear first you get the best snow.

I found them the best I have ever used. Held an edge like I was on rails extremely quick edge to edge, excellent for short, medium and long turns. they were also very stable. Comparing the two lengths I found the 162 had a wow factor I did not experience with the 170. I also tried Rossi B2 (ho hum) Scratch(use only for scratching yourself), Head Monster 88s, 77s, found both OK but they weigh too much.

I was looking for an allround ski that could handle powder as my old Kneissl Ergo can't. I dont want to take 2 pairs overseas. Couldnt try Z5 in powder as we hardly ever get it here, will have to wait for my trip North. All the reports say they are tops in anything. Anyway I bought them and I am happy.


Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
I was pretty upfront about it though . My point was just that if he wanted to get out a lot and really work on his technique, he could end up wanting more than an AC2 ultimately. I guess I was just looking too long term .

For the record, I haven't skied them though, and had primarily heard stuff about the AC3 and AC4.

Does anyone have feedback about the Z5s or Z9s from Rossignol this year? What are the cores made out of? I'm interested to demo one of them, the only "one-ski quiver" ski I've been on is a Metron 11 in 172 in 12 to 18 inches of wet spring snow. It was a fun ski, but I found it to be a little floppy, kind of tiring, and very very carvy (and this is from someone who loves his RX8s, hehe).

-Craig
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by migibs
Just won my AC2's on ebay last night . $469 with shipping. $100 less than my local shop.
Sweet. Let us know how they ride when you get them out in the white stuff.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Downunder
I demo'd the 2006 Rossignol Z5 Zenith Oversize TPI in 162 and 170cms in Australia. Conditions were lightly packed snow. In Australia we get the new models before you guys in the Northern Hemisphere. We get the gear first you get the best snow.

I found them the best I have ever used. Held an edge like I was on rails extremely quick edge to edge, excellent for short, medium and long turns. they were also very stable. Comparing the two lengths I found the 162 had a wow factor I did not experience with the 170. I also tried Rossi B2 (ho hum) Scratch(use only for scratching yourself), Head Monster 88s, 77s, found both OK but they weigh too much.

I was looking for an allround ski that could handle powder as my old Kneissl Ergo can't. I dont want to take 2 pairs overseas. Couldnt try Z5 in powder as we hardly ever get it here, will have to wait for my trip North. All the reports say they are tops in anything. Anyway I bought them and I am happy.


Ian
Thanks for the feedback. I'm just curious, what height and weight are you? I'm definitely curious to try either the Z5 or Z9 for this year now...

-Craig
post #26 of 26
Hi Craig


I am 5' 6", weigh 170 lbs. I am an advanced/expert, in the piste and crud, but not yet in powder. I have skied all the resorts in Australia, Val D'Isere, Chamonix, Lake Louise, Sunshine, Whistler/Blackcombe, Niseko Japan 9 great powder but 1.5 meters instead of 5), Serre Chevalier and La Plagne in France, where all my new equipment was ripped of from the Hotel locker.

Every where I go overseas they are having the worst season in 10 - 15 years. I reckon I have a great new money making scheme: The resorts pay me not to come to their place.

Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W
Thanks for the feedback. I'm just curious, what height and weight are you? I'm definitely curious to try either the Z5 or Z9 for this year now...

-Craig
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