Hope you guys don't mind me jumping in here but I skied the AC4s today at Crystal Mt. in Washington state and thought you might like to hear my thoughts.
I'm 5'8", 170 lbs and a solid 8, maybe 9 skier. I've always liked skiing bumps and at mach speeds on hardpack and groomers and am at least competent to ski even the steepest trails. Haven't skied much in the last 6 years or so and this year it's time to get new skis and take my skiing up a notch, including tackling steep pow and off-piste routes, the kind of things I avoided with my ancient 195cm Dynastar Extremes as they have no float at all and just don't turn in deep snow or soft crud.
Conditions today were some of the best you'll ever see in the Washington Cascades. Lots of new snow in the last week with temperatures not getting much above 25 during the day means real powder, not "Cascade Concrete." Since it's Sunday most of the runs and deeper snow got all tracked up yesterday but I did manage to find a variety of conditions including some small virgin powder stashes.
Since I'm an aggressive skier who likes steep and am looking for something that floats reasonably well in powder and crud, I demo'd the 184 length. These skis absolutely rock on groomers, in the bumps, and in tracked up crud. I don't know why someone would say they're too stiff, you need a little energy and rebound to make bump skiing fun (my opinion, of course) and these skis have just the right amount. I did not find the 184s to be too long, in fact they felt just right in most everything and my first few runs I flew through the bumps, easily making tight turn after tight turn. They arc in a tight radius if you pressure the tips a little and will do effortless GS turns just by laying them up on their sides. The edge hold on hardpack was great and acceptable on the few icy patches I came across. They'd probably be better on ice and really hard snow in a shorter length of course. I found them super responsive yet forgiving, very easy to turn and quick edge to edge with a decent amount of snap.
The only things I didn't like about them was they got a little squirrelly at high speeds on the hard pack if I tried to ski them flat. On edge they were super stable. I also found a couple small stashes of some of that nice, fresh powder we got last week and while they're a quantum improvement in float over my old skis, they didn't have quite enough for easy skiing in deep, light snow. I still had to keep my weight uncomfortably far back to keep the tips up which made turning more difficult than I'd hoped for. I do wonder how they'd perform in the heavy, wet powder that is more typical of this area, they might float very nicely in that.
If I wasn't trying to find a ski that will work really well in powder, these would be my all mountain choice. I also demo'd the Rossi B3 and K2 Apache Outlaw today and while those skis were better in deep powder and soft crud, they couldn't hold a candle to the AC4s anywhere else.