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Volkl T50 4-star or 5-star? Or something else?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

I just found this forum and must say that I am very impressed with all the knowledge which is floating around here, and I wish for your input. I've read all the posts on these particular skis, but I do want to make it specific to me, so, here's my history, I apologize for the long-windedness.

I'm 37, 5'8" (173cm), 140lbs (63kg)and consider myself a strong intermediate with lots of guts, because I follow my much-better-at-skiing-buddies down whatever slopes they go...sometimes I just go a lot slower. But I do it for the purpose of photographing all their "crazy" stunts. And sometimes I have to go first.

But when I ski for myself I split my time between 50% groomers (usually end of the day when legs are getting tired) and 50% bumps and trees, so I'm looking for a ski which does everything well (yeah, right). I don't feel the need for x-treme speed and just love short turns, bumps, and pushing through the trees. I ski a 170cm or below, and am considering the T50 in a 168cm. I guess what I'm asking is, which of these two skis would work better for me?

Another ski which looks interesting is the Crossmax9, either w/or w/out the Pilot system.

I'm also considering the Rossi Viper S Twin Deck, but I'm afraid it will not do to well in the deeper snow in the trees.

I demo'd the Vertigo Motion (170cm) last week and found it too sluggish in the short turns and a bit difficult in the bumps.

The Volant Gravity68 (170cm)is nice but lacks "snap."

Do you have any other suggestions?

I appreciate whatever input you can give me, Thanks, Pete
post #2 of 25
Pete,

try that Vertigo Motion again. Like most upper-level Volkls, it's got a peculiarly small sweet spot. Once you find that sweet spot, you'll be able to whip out turns of all shapes & sizes. The Vertigo Motion is a fun ski with a VERY round turn shape, thanks to the Motion feature. It's much easier to ski and more forgiving than its sibling, the Vertigo G3. When I returned to skiing after a 10 year hiatus, I tried the Vertigo G30 (1999-2000 season version of G3) and couldn't make a single short turn to save my life. Then I tried the G3 and Motion in the 2001-2002 season and found both to be very easy to ski in all conditions, because I'd learned how to find the sweet spot.

The T50 5-Star is going to be even more demanding than the Vertigo Motion, so if you can't turn the Vertigo Motion you probably will find yourself spanked by the turn finish "pop" in the T50.

...just my cheap-arse thoughts, feel free to disregard
post #3 of 25
OK, your parameters are: Strong intermediate, no need for extreme speed, 50% bumps & trees ... To me, an emphasis on bumps indicates a ski with less stiffness, less width, while trees often have crud/pow that require a ski with more width. Depending on whether you emphasize bumps over trees, sounds like you might enjoy a carver more than a midfat.

First, the Volkl midfat issue: I like high speed, chutes, & only take 2 bump runs a day. I have a pair of Vertigo Motions at 184cm that I love for my skiing, but would concur that they are not the best for bumps. However, they are great for me to make all turn types on groomed, and if you can't swing short turns on them, then they may have been too long or you may need to improve technique. (I also own a pair of Volkl G30s at 188 cm, and concur that those are not well suited for short turns.)

Second, a gearhead buddy of mine, who is about your size and likes short turns more than I, just demoed a pair of Crossmax 9s at Sugar Bowl & LOVED them. Also, I like the Look bindings, so you may want to demo those w/the integral plate/binding system.
post #4 of 25
Correction: Sorry - My buddy demoed the Dynastar Skicross 9s, not the Salomons. You should try the Dynstars as well.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input, Gents.

Gonzostrike, your suggestion about giving the Vertigo Motion another try is a good one. I've been trying a different ski every time I'm on the slopes and am probably rushing things a bit.

Dino, the Skicross 9 is on my short list of skis to try out.

I guess I may have to get two pairs of skis because I'm having a difficult time deciding if I'd rather carve on groomers or concentrate on off-piste. Come to think of it, I didn't have any difficulty turning the Vertigo on the groomers, it was in the bumps where they gave me a hard time.

Again, thanks for the help. Pete
post #6 of 25
Pete, you're welcome.

The Volkl skis you talked about have stiffer tails generally, and have flex patterns that emphasize a strong rebound when the tail is loaded. Those things combined make them tough in the bumps for many skiers.

There are a few other skis you might want to demo. I really like my K2 Axis X, lots of power and kick for me at my size (5'10" 160 lbs), and still are great in the bumps.

The Rossi Bandit X and XX sure are worth trying. There's also the old standard by which most current mid-fats are measured, a terrific ski especially for an improving upper-intermediate... the Salomon X-Scream Series and/or X-Scream 9. Both are forgiving yet perform quite well when you load them up with good input.

Have fun!
post #7 of 25
IMHO....most of the skis you have tried have been too long.
I am 5'10"-190#'s-ski pro......the T50 that worked best for me was the 161(also have skied the 175 & 168)........I have also used the Vert Motion...once again in a shorter length....So, I would suggest a demo in a shorter ski....you will be amazed at the difference....I have also skied the Vokl Carver Motion....in a 163.....this ski is a lot of fun....everywhere....I have found this years Volkls to be an awesome offering....The K2 Axis X is a fun ski as well.....just try them in a lenght that is one level under what you are used to....Most of them...you will not over power.....the higher end skis deliver big time.....have fun.... [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #8 of 25
I have a pair of g-3 (184) with a freeflex binding that compares to the motion , use for all with more bias to groomers. Rode the t-50 four star in a 168 and was impressed with it in the bumps ,unlike most upper end Volkls this ski could turn at slow speeds.It was very versital, more so than the 5 star I tried last year.
post #9 of 25
How's the 5 Star at speed? Has anyone tried to top these out?
post #10 of 25
If you stay on it....fine....I would not call it a race ski....but fast enough.....if you get lazy....look out : ....once you find the sweet spot it is a nice ski.....
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, finally made it back...what a work week!

I hadn't thought much about trying the skis even shorter, just as Shencycle and Dino suggested. I figured 165cm-170cm would be just about right since in the past I was mostly on 180cm. I guess it can't hurt to try them, it's just that old habits die slowly.

I just can't believe what a difficult time I am having finding the skis I'm interested in (here in CO) so now I'm using the net and my cell phone (using up those 700 anytime minutes) to contact as many rental places I can and run down my list for them. I've had some limited success, especially with the 5*, but that'll probably be a bit too much ski for me at this moment. I'll reserve that one for when I come back as Alberto Tomba in my next lifetime.

Again, thanks to all for the help and suggestions. Pete
post #12 of 25
Demoed both 5* and 4* last year and ordered the 4* to sell since it could handle speed. The results so far are great only two pair left in the upper 170. the 168 's are gone and every one loves them , very quick.I took them out a couple weeks ago and popped over a lip thinking it was all groomed and low and behold it was all bumps I went zipper line and afterwards , I thought back and thought gee , was that a groomer?Best volkl in the bumps much better than the Ultra.Unlike most volkls the 4* can turn with ease at lower speeds. As far as speed on the groomed , they were fine , they are not the p-50 , but for all around they do great.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey Donda,

Thanks for the extra input.

I've been so busy helping out with a wedding these last two weeks (not mine, although I was the best man) and now it's finally done. But I haven't skied in over TWO weeks!!!! And, to top it off, I shook so many hands on Saturday I think I caught a cold. I plan on going next weekend tho, because my team is not playing this weekend. :
post #14 of 25
I tried both the 5* and the 4* and liked the 4* better. But, this was after skiing hard all day on my G4's at Killington early in the season. Woke up and couldn't walk to well. Wanted a softer ski. Tried the Crossmax 10 Pilot and thought it was too bland. Tired the 5* and thought it was too stiff for me that day. Tried the 4* (both 5* and 4* were 168's and I'm 5'10" 220 lbs) and loved it. Chunky man made snow was cut through on edge without to much trouble. I ripped up the groomers at speed and played in soft bumbs much more than I normally do.

If I could buy another pair of skis right now the 4*'s would be it. But, now that my legs are strong I'm going to try the 5* again this week in Whistler and see what I think. If I can find a pair to demo out there. Can't seem to find any Volkl retailers.

Cheers,

Sean
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey SeanyMac,

let me know what you come up with on the 5*. Even tho I'm pretty much leaning more toward the 4* anyway. Here in Colo. I've found only two 5*'s to try out and no 4*'s at all. I really don't want to buy something I haven't demo'd but from what I've heard so far, the 4* sounds like it would be a good ski to pull off nice snappy short turns on the groomers, still play a bit in the bumps, and even float through reasonably deep stuff in the trees.

Have fun next week. Pete
post #16 of 25
I just demoed the Volkl T50 4 star from Performance Sports in Lionshead @ Vail 1/30/03! I just loved them and am going to have a hard time skiing my old skis! Now if I can just find them in the east!
post #17 of 25
Give the Fischer Sceneo 400 a try (the 500 is probably too demanding, it really feels like an unusually verstaile SL race ski). Peter Keelty said the Sceneo 400 was the ski of the year in it's class, better than the Volkl 5-star, Rossi RPM's and Nordica Beasts. Plus, the price will be more reasonable, I think normal shop price on those skis is only $495. They come with an integrated carve plate, so you won't need a lifted binding.
post #18 of 25
Peter Keelty this and Peter Keelty that. Can someone please tell me who this guy is and what makes him THE authority on skis?? I don't mean to come off as a jerk, but what makes his opinion of skis the be all and end all? Frankly, I see everyone putting their trust all in this ONE guy. Why doesn't he have a bunch of testers, rather than just forcing his opinions on the entire skiing community?? If he does indeed have other testers, than I take back everything I said, but Im just trying to wake everyone up from their mindless acceptance of everything this "god" says. Its like a new form of "skiing idolatry"! Thats all I got
post #19 of 25
Say dawgcatcher, are you seeing the red or green S400's with the booster plate in your area? I thought those were Canada-only; all that I see here are the blue/grey with no booster. I had a blast on them for the short time I had them out, might be my new ski but I'm kind of interested in the booster version.
post #20 of 25
dawgcatching
On Peter Keelty's website-www.techsupportforskiers.com, there is no mention of the Fischer Sceneo 400 being the "ski of the year in its class," or any comparison with any other skis whatsoever (except its big brother the Sceneo 500)

As far as I know, the website only provides reviews of skis and does not rate them against each other or award "Gold Medals" or "Stars" or such like.

Perhaps your info is from another source...Please clarify... :
post #21 of 25
Keelty does have a bunch of testers he relies on for information, so his reviews are more of a consensus opinion with his input. I've found his reviews very accurate for the skis I've tried.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by droldman:
dawgcatching
On Peter Keelty's website-www.techsupportforskiers.com, there is no mention of the Fischer Sceneo 400 being the "ski of the year in its class," or any comparison with any other skis whatsoever (except its big brother the Sceneo 500)
Actually - he did rate the S400 as the "All Mountain Slalom" ski of the year. Check the 'Skis of the Year' column to see for yourself.

Also, he uses concensus input from a group of dedicated skiers to come up with his rankings.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by CafeDelMar81:
Peter Keelty this and Peter Keelty that. Can someone please tell me who this guy is and what makes him THE authority on skis?? I don't mean to come off as a jerk, but what makes his opinion of skis the be all and end all? Frankly, I see everyone putting their trust all in this ONE guy. Why doesn't he have a bunch of testers, rather than just forcing his opinions on the entire skiing community?? If he does indeed have other testers, than I take back everything I said, but Im just trying to wake everyone up from their mindless acceptance of everything this "god" says. Its like a new form of "skiing idolatry"! Thats all I got
Cafe:

As was said above in the thread, Keelty's reviews are a compilation of reactions from several hundred "testers" during the course of the season. My understanding is that most of the testers are shop employees, instructors, and patrollers at bigger ski areas.

He set up a demo day this past Saturday for the Epic Skiers at the Gathering and those of us who participated filled out a card about each ski we tried. The card asked for info about the skier such as height and weight and then asked the tester to rate the ski in about a dozen categories including carving, skidding, stability, ease of turn initiation, etc. Keelty collects all the review cards from around the country, distills the ratings and comments, and publishes the results on his site. In general, I've found his reviews to be much more accurate (to the way *I* feel a ski performs, anyway) than what I read in the "Gear Review" issues of the three major magazines.

For our demo day, he had skis running the gamut from hypercarver/short slaloms to full-on GS race skis to mid-fats to fats. I thought it was great and found a pair of skis I absolutely loved.

So, nobody is saying you have to take Peter's reviews as gospel, but many people feel they are more objective and all-encompassing than any other source out there. The ski manufacturers don't pay advertising dollars to Keelty, so there's less chance of a little bias slipping into the reviews.

Bob
post #24 of 25
TOOSTEEP

Is the Skis Of The Year Column part of the "Members Only" portion of the tsfs site??? I couldn't find it on the public site.

If so, that would explain why I missed it, as I'm not a member.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Missa,

Thanks for the info on where to find the 4*. I hadn't gotten around to calling the Vail area yet. Glad you had a good experience with that ski. Would you care to elaborate a bit? Pros, Cons? Strengths, Weaknesses? Any observations are appreciated.

For what it's worth. I appreciate P. Keelty's research because I don't have the time or the money to spend on doing all of that, and he gives me a base to work from. And, after all, I am capable of forming my own opinion after I've done my own testing. And sometimes I disagree, but I don't have to be disagreeable.

Again thanks for the input. Peter
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