EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › ex-racer (10 yrs ago) looking for advice.. should i go with the volkl 6 star?
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ex-racer (10 yrs ago) looking for advice.. should i go with the volkl 6 star?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I used to race and ski at a very high level but I haven't been able to ski since I was 14. I'm not a moguls guy and I always enjoyed speed (and big air where I could find it) more than anything else. I did enjoy a detour through the trees once in a while so I don't want a ski that's completely inept at shorter turns or in powder. My favorite pair of skis when I was racing was a pair of Volkl race skis but I forget the exact model...

Anyway, I want a ski that's stable at high speeds because I intend to go fast, but not one that's too limited in it's functionality... I'm not racing anymore and won't be buying 3 pairs of skis. I will be skiing 2-3 times per week though.

Btw I'm 6' 140lbs. Not exactly a heavyweight... I've been reading up on equipment and apparently skis have gotten a lot shorter, what length would you guys recommend in the 6* for me based on my height and weight? Should I consider the volkl superspeed? I have absolutely no concept of what these new shaped skis feel like.

And right now I have absolutely no equipment. I'm ordering everything online to save money except for the boots, so it's a bit hard for me to demo anything or I would.
post #2 of 26
Where are you going to be doing most of your skiing? Are you interested in a forgiving ski, or something that will perform, but will require muscle to do so?
post #3 of 26
I personally would'nt go with a volkl these days unless your racing. If your looking for more of an all mountain ski where you'll be spending most of your time on the groomers but yet still taking that trip to the powder, a great ski would be the Nordica Hot Rod Eliminator XBS in probably a 170. But if your looking for something more in the High Performance category i would suggest the Nordica Speedmachine 14.1 XBS ALU. Nordica is on top of there game this year and everything they have to offer is incredible. Both ski's come with a Marker binding almost "designed" for the ski. I hope this helps you out!!!!
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
whoops. I'm in the northeast.. Quebec to be exact. And I expect to use some muscle, I mean what's the point otherwise? I was always an aggressive skier and I liked sticking my edges and not sliding out. Then again, I don't want to be completely wiped out after a couple of runs because I'm having to use all the strength in my legs to make a turn... I guess that once in a while I'll really be digging in my edges but not on every run. I do like to tuck though... a lot. Stability is very important for me. And one last thing I should mention is that I'm not nearly as active as I used to be, but I don't really want to be limited by my ski either...
post #5 of 26
Im' not familiar with the junior race programs. What races did you compete in? How do the courses compare to SL GS SG and DH courses?

Will you be mostly on groomed runs? On icy terrain and hardpack out east, or in soft snow out west?

I haven't been on a 6*, but I understand it's great for cuting up the groomed. It wouldn't be my choice for off-piste or powder, too stiff and skinny compared to better tools for the job.
post #6 of 26
Yeah, get the 6*s and some weights and a weight bench.
Those skis will work better for you if you put on 30 or 40 lbs.
Also look at Allstars, RX8, Atomic SX11, SL11, Solomon Equipe, Rossi Oversize, and Fischer WC (SC and RC) skis.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Honestly I don't have the discipline to put on 30 lbs. A friend and I were supposed to go to the gym downtown but we just never get around to it cause it's not particularly fun. And I don't have the discipline for the mass-gaining diet either.

So assuming my weight stays the same, would the 6*s still be a good choice? Should I be lookinga the 168s?

Oh and I raced while I was living in ontario but we actually rented a condo in ellicottville so I was in an american "league" or whatever you want to call it... I forget the specifics because it was too long ago. I did all types of races, but mainly SL and GS, as very few mountains in the northeast (we used to compete all over ny, maine, vermont, and nh) seemed interested or able to set SG and DH courses. I loved SG and DH though.
post #8 of 26
All you need a weight bench in your house and 20 minutes every other day, and a few delicious chocolate shakes after workouts.

I think the 6*s would work great for you at speed on groomed terrain. I also think you should wait until you've researched opinion from people who have actually skied a 6*.

I have skied an RX8 and can reccommend it for you at any sane speed. A solomon Equipe 10 SC is also a pile of fun if you keep the speed under say 40. An SX11 is great fun at speed, but won't be as quick as the Equipe or RX8 in thight stuff. I loved the 9S Oversize from Rossi for short turns, but it was too easily overpowered for my taste, and the 9X didn't do as well as the 9S at the short stuff. The Vi Oversize seems to be a step in the right direction from the 9S Oversize, but I haven't been on it either. My best guess is that it would probably be the best choice for you, but ANY of the skis above would make you happy.

I never joined a race team but did my best to impersonate the DH racers on some pretty stiff 208s back in the days when I only weighed 140lbs. They sucked in the moguls though. The 6*s won't feel too sweet under 25 mph though. But, hey, you can use slow speeds for one-footed skiing: .
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ya, 208s would suck on moguls heh.

And I'd need a lot more than a few shakes ;p I'm what you call a hard-gainer. My metabolism makes it very difficult to gain anything. I used to use the gym at my hs on a regular basis and I never really gained any weight. It's possible to, but it's a bit harder for us.

I know a guy that's a bit shorter than me that used to weigh 125 as an adult and he's now 180 of solid muscle, but then he's been lifting weights and sticking to a very regimented diet that involves eating 5 protein-heavy meals a day for the past 4 years. Every time he stops the diet he starts to lose the weight so it's a constant battle for him to maintain his 180 because his body wants to be lighter. It's just not worth the effort for me. And it's not just the working-out either, but the time required to prepare all those meals, etc. I work a lot and have classes on top of that and when I have free time i prefer to be doing something relaxing or fun. Fun = skiing or rock climbing, not lifting weights and eating 5 times a day heh.
post #10 of 26
post #11 of 26
You don't need no shakes or anything, especially if you're raced at a high level The 6-star sure is a demanding ski, but 168 is very manageable for someone who knows how to use it: you need to pilot it, but it's far from being touchy of all of your mistakes, unless they are very blatant technical ones. The RX8 is also nice, but I prefer the RX9: a lot of people find the 8 more versatile because of the samller radius, but since the 9 is still pretty soft (compared to race skis) it can be bent to accomodate for pretty tight turns and won't have problems with bigger arcs.
post #12 of 26
That'd be nice in the pow.
post #13 of 26
Originally Posted by jeffr
That'd be nice in the pow.
My SGs were stiff enough in Powder, thanks.

If you feel like gambling fifty bucks, (some bears have posted about trouble getting skis from here) I think I may have found your old skis....
post #14 of 26
Friend, I was in your boots a couple years ago. I was getting back into skiing after a lull of about ten years. I had always skied Volkl's in long lengths (205) and loved them. So when I went looking for new boards I naturally began with Volkl. I read lots on the 6* which was getting rave reviews. It was at the top of the heap. I was a bit squeemish about these new fangled "short" skiis, so I bought a pair of used 6* in 175. My first few times on easy groomers with them was not bad. They were rock solid and fast. After skiing them a couple of times here in Maine, I took my family out to Whistler and enrolled in their four day instruction program. I figured that It would be a great way to make the transition to this new carving ski. Well, I could do nothing right and I struggled for four days with bloody shins and quad cramps. Granted, our instructer was a wildman and we skied aggressively all day. I could not figure out whether I was just not getting it or if I was on the wrong boards. All in all, a very unpleasant experience, and quite the opposite of the "miracle" ride I was expecting. Last year, I did a bit more reading. Seems that I was not the only one who may be mismatched to the 6*. Guys that weighed 50-75lbs more than I do had similar issues. Knowing that I just was not progressing with theses skiis, and was frankly exhausted and discouraged by the end of a ski day, I started reading and saw several favorable reviews of the Fischer RX 8's and 9's. While at Killington, I tried a pair of 9's in 170. I finally got the experience that I had been waiting for. Unlike the Volkl's which were just marginally longer, I could flatten the Fischers underfoot (pardon the untechnical language). I could get them to hook up in a way that I was never able to with the Volkl's. Obviously, the Volkl was just too much ski. It was either beyond my skill level, or was just too damn long, or both. I am now looking for a pair of RX8's or 9's and will put the Volkl's up on Ebay. So my advise to you, if I may:
1. Get over the long/short thing. If you end up on any ski that is too long you will be unhappy. If you end up on a 6* that is too long, you will be miserable.
2. The 6* is not the the ski to get if you are new to carving. This is a different world. The 6* will only teach you you that you have too much to learn and that you may be in the wrong classroom. Again, in a shorter length, perhaps the experience would be different, but....
3. You are 140lbs. I am 160 and skied the 6* in the 175 - the same size some 250lbers found too stiff. I am repeating myself. Get over the short thing.
I have not tried many skiis. It is a delicate balance. Some people spend all their ski money just trying to find the perfect pair. Others rely on reviews and reports to make up their mind for them (my bad). You are in the same tenuous position I was two years ago. You were a great skier ten years ago. You still consider yourself a great skier and so you want the greatest ski. You bought the best Volkl then and want the best Volkl now. Problem is that this is a different world and these skiis are different tools. Many of those who write rave reviews of the hottest gear do not have to unlearn years of the "other" technique and the 6* is not their first pair of carving skiis. In my humble opinion, the 6* is not a transition ski. It presumes that you are already there. My suggestion, get these skiis after you have become competent with the "new" technique. You say you can not demo. If you are near a ski school, go talk with an instructer who deals with students making the transition, and see what they recommend - and then take lessons, right off.
Skiing is like everything else in life - all you need is the right tool for the job. Best of luck.
post #15 of 26
Go short!! The 161cm 6 star or Allstar should be perfect for you. You will find that there is no speed limit on those skis and you will have the versitility that you need.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
deliberate, thanks for the detailed response. do you really think i should take lessons? is it really so different that i won't be able to figure things out on my own? i mean i was a racer after all, not one of those dweebs with my knees stuck together doing parrallel turns all the way down the hill, so I'm used to a wide stance, flexing my skis, and digging in my edges... It's partly an ego thing I guess :P I always used to scoff at the ski schools and people taking lessons cause i was often a better skier than the instructors (with the exception of the ones that were ex-racers themselves). If you really think I should, I'll swallow my pride and take a lesson though...

Anyway, I'm gonna pass on the 6* for now and look at the allstar and the RX8 or RX9. You have the 9, do you think i'd be better in a 165 or 170? If I go Volkl then I think I'll go with a shorter 5 star as a transition ski.. either 168 or 161. I want to read up more on the Fischers though because I never really liked them when i was racing.
post #17 of 26
Some more food for thought:
You don't need any longer than 160 for the EAST, and If you go longer in a High-speed model like the 6* you will not enjoy the ski when you are going slow. A Fischer RX8 is enjoyable at all speeds.
I took my Fischer WC SCs out to the bunny hill today. I believe I weigh 165 lbs (my bathroom scale reads 155, but it lies). My Fischer WC SCs are 165s. I spent a few runs seeing how slow I could ski them and still feel them working properly with a modern two-footed carving technique. My GPS consistantly said 50 kph (31 mph). Below that speed I could only generate tight enough carves to feel the Gs by using one ski at a time. Granted this was my first time skiing this year so it could be the pilot. The Fischer RX8 that I had tried previously worked well at all speeds. I also recall taking a 160 SX11 out for a ride and it felt stable at what I thought was 45 mph. Considering my recent trials with GPS (thought I was going 25 30 mph was actually going 40). The SX11 in a 160 would probably be good for at least 50 mph. You don't need any longer than 160 to be stable at speed in a top level ski.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
I wish i could remember how fast i clocked on DH so that I'd have a point of reference.. I know the pros can hit the 90s on a dh run, but it's hard to remember what 30mph feels like when the last time I skied was 10 years ago. I have no clue what my average speed was but it was faster than everyone else on the mountain except for my fellow racers. Are you saying you think a 160 RX8 would be stable tucking from top to bottom on a black? It's just such a far cry from the 200s I used when I was 14 for downhill lol. I always needed to be going really fast to not get bored. I've been reading reviews and I AM leaning towards the RX8. It seems like it will make a great transition ski and then maybe I can switch to something else next year after I'm back in to it and have demoed the Volkls in varying lengths.

And that GPS thing sounds like a pretty neat toy... How are you measuring speed though? I assume you're just measuring the drop in altitude, timing yourself, and doing the math based on the incline? Or can you punch all the variables in to the gps thingy?
post #19 of 26
My GPS is a Garmin 76CS. There is a barometer in it to do vertical, but the speed is taken from position readings that are obtained by comparing time signals from a minimum of three satellites. By comparing how long it took the time signal to reach the device, the device calculates its distance from each satellite and then triangulates its own position. Velocity is just change in position divided by time taken to change. It stores "tracks" and vertical profiles of your runs. I don't have time to figure out everything I can do with it. Others have downloaded their tracks onto 3-D maps, and have detailed point by point records of where on the run they were going what speed.

Do a google search "GPS site:forums.epicski.com

None of the modern skis are really good at going perfectly straight; you have to keep them turning even if only slightly. Nothing beats a DH racing ski (or an old long pair of Kästle SGs ) for going straight down a long steep black. However, for doing almost anything else, a pair of shaped skis is better.

I don't think you would find a pair of SX11s in 160 lacking in the stability department at any speed you would likely be able to reach on an eastern hill. The SX11 is pretty much a carving only tool, and takes a lot of work to make it do short turns. .

The RX8 on the other hand, is sweet at all speeds and easy to make short turns with, and if you must ski at smaller hills, that's what you will want to do more often. Although you might be able to reach the speed limit on an RX8 (I didn't, but I was skiing with friends), I think it would go fast enough that if you have the skills, you would still be able to push it a bit past it's limits to get your "fix" and feel you made the right trade off.

Just so you know, I was skiing 208cm SG skis, and at 165 lbs in the skin, I bought a 165 cm Fischer WC SC for Eastern hills, and am quite happy with my decision, even though it means I have to ski over 30mph to really enjoy the ski. 48 mph feels like a walk in the park on this ski. Maybe 70 mph will feel faster than on the Kästle, but then again, maybe that's a good thing.

Edit: CirqueRider has just pointed out some limitations on the maximum speed indicated on a GPS. and have to say that I now doubt the validity of the 48mph figure, due to the way the GPS treats a loss of signal. I do believe based on continuous track logs that 40 mph was obtained, and think the ski would easily handle 50.
post #20 of 26

As others have suggested, the 6* is not the ski for you. The Fischers are a very good suggestion.
  • They are softer than the AS but still have very good edge grip.
  • They have a damp ride and for me feel smoother than the AS although not as lively.
The RX 8 has a shape similar to a modern slalom race ski, and although it is pretty good in big turns, it still has a deep sidecut feel.

The RX 9 has a shape closer to a modern GS ski but is a bit wider underfoot. The 9 definitely has a "Geeee Essssy" feel and would get the nod from me. I'd suggest a 165 for you.

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok first off, I really appreciate all the help.

Based on availability and price, I'm considering a 160 RX9 (the 165 not available at that price), or a 161 5 star. Again, i'm 140lbs... would a 160 RX9 be good for me? Or is it too short? For the 5 star, based on everything i've read it seems the 161 would be the perfect length for me. Another ski i could get at a really good price would be the Fischer RC4 SL in a 166. Opinions? I'm kinda leaning towards the RX9 based on comments so far....
post #22 of 26
The 160 RX9 seems short, but at your weight, it could work (at 175-180, I skied the RX8 in 165, and Fischer suggests skiing the RX8 and RX9 in the same length). I think the SL would be too much for you to ski all day, given what you've said about conditioning. I'd be concerned that the 5* wouldn't be enough ski for you, if you're really planning to push it.

BTW, I would second the suggestion of some coaching for you. It probably won't take a lot, but it'd give you a quick boost into what the new boards can do.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok cool, I think i'm gonna pull the trigger on the RX9s. Now all I need are boots, poles, and a ski suit lol... And I think I'll take your advice on the coaching. Might aswell start doing it properly from the beginning.
post #24 of 26
jrs, find a good bootfitter. One that will talk about "alignment" and "balancing". It's more than about how the boot fits your foot, now. Check the list here, and ask for folks near where you live and ski. Those boots will make all the difference!
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ya I already checked the list and will be going to see him as soon as I'm done exams and my skis arrive. Boots are one thing I'm not getting online.

I remember back in my racing days I had to get special insoles to adjust for the fact that without them my right ski was always on itsinside edge. The insoles helped flatten it out.
post #26 of 26
Originally Posted by jrs
I remember back in my racing days I had to get special insoles to adjust for the fact that without them my right ski was always on itsinside edge. The insoles helped flatten it out.
jrs, many boots these days have a cant adjustment in them that allows the boot sole to be flat when you're in your natural skiing stance. I have Nordica K7.1s (a few years old) and other than some minor fit issues, I really like them. I'm a "knock-kneed" skier, that is my knees come together, canting my lower legs inward and putting the skis on the inside edges when going straight and the cant adjustment in these boots has allowed me to compensate for that.

Also, just to throw a monkey-wrench in the ski selection works - if you like Volkls but don't want to deal with the 6-star, try the AC4s. I'm shorter and heavier than you (5'8" - 170lbs), so maybe this isn't a good comparison, but I skied them earlier this year and loved them. Great at carving, fast edge-to-edge, stable at high speeds, enough width to be serviceable in powder, and pretty forgiving while still being a very lively ski. If I wasn't looking for just that little bit better performance in deeper snow I'd be buying the AC4s.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › ex-racer (10 yrs ago) looking for advice.. should i go with the volkl 6 star?