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06-7 Volkl AC4 Reviews (170,177) - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Eric S and Max Capacity,

You're both right. I got to demo 170cm AC4s and found them to be quite different than my 177s, being noticeably quicker and more nimble, but then exchanged them for a pair of Contact11s 172cm and they were even a more dramatic difference. Lightning fast and so sweet in the bumps. They were a total hoot! The last run of the day was back on my 177 AC4s and they were like strapping on "base seeking missiles".

Ordered a pair of C11s and couldn't be happier with the start to my new Quiver!!! (Now looking for the perfect fattie!)

Thanks
post #32 of 45

Demoed the 06-07 177cm yesterday...

Newbie weighing in.

Male 5'7" 200lbs mainly eastern skier, getting back out west for the first time in a while after being absent from skiing for a few years while kids got old enough to get involved.

As the screen-name suggests I have been big Volkl fan and normally ski the old orange demon P30RC (tipped) in 188 and the P50 Platinum in 188 on groomers. While these basically GS skis are awsome on corduroy and eastern ice, they leave a lot to be desired out west and in less than perfectly smooth groomed snow. I want to do more powder, mogul, and "off-piste" skiing so I'm demoing.

Two days ago we got some powder at Solitude and I tried the Mantras in 170 and loved them, but wanted to try the AC4 as well. I demnoed the 177s at Snowbird and Alta yesterday in a variety of snow conditions. While I liked the ski a lot, 177 was too much ski for me. These are BIG and BEEFY skis and while they worked great in tracked powder bowls at Alta, I had a hard time throwing them around with precision in the narrow steep afternoon ruts at Snowbird. I'm thinking that the 170s will do everything that the 177s did well, push through crud and chop, float on (day old) powder reasonably well, and edge hold where the boarders have scraped of all the snow. I don't doubt that there'll be some loss in groomer stability, but I don't expect that the AC4s will ever come anwhere near the P50, let alone the P30.

In the end I'm actually thinking that I'll buy both the Mantra and the AC4 in 170cm. The mantra will be for powder days, the AC4 the staple versitile ski, and the GS skis for big high-speed turns on groomers.
post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 
Just a quick comment, Allvolkl: The Mantra in 170 seems really short for you. I have the 177, weight 165, and it's very quick, not all that stable at speed. Agree about the 170 AC4.
post #34 of 45
> I'm thinking about the 170's. I don't doubt that there'll be some loss in groomer stability.

I ski the east coast on AC4 170's ( I'm 5'11, 185 ) and there is NO lack of
stability in any condition or at any speed. I've skied them at speed on
icey trails that were covered with frozen death cookies, and I just sliced right through them without a care. I have the piston, which helps under these conditions.

Funny thing is, I love them so much on groomed hardpack and the frozen stuff, that I have a hard time believing that they can really be good in the soft stuff ! The deepest I've had them was knee high. I put my weight _slightly_ back and they floated great, but I'm GUESSING that they probably don't float as well in really deep stuff.

WW
post #35 of 45

Moguls

Quote:
Originally Posted by spdskr View Post
I love them in the bumps, but then again I can only compare them to the 188cm Vertigo G30s that I have used for the past 5 years. The AC4 is definitely more forgiving and quicker turning in the moguls and trees.
Quick question, for all that own or ski an AC4:
How do you ski your moguls? Do you quickly get through it, almost float on top of it or do you guys carve on your mogul?
I'm trying to decide between buying twin tips (Trouble series/Scratch) versus AC4. I currently ski on pair of Top Fuel and I really have to work them in bumps (they are REALLY stiff).
My previous preference was 60% groomed and 40% bump/pow. Lately I tried to pick up my mogul game and the TF just don't work as well.
Appreciate your input...
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Just a quick comment, Allvolkl: The Mantra in 170 seems really short for you. I have the 177, weight 165, and it's very quick, not all that stable at speed. Agree about the 170 AC4.
That's what I thought when I rented them, but I trusted the guys at The Lift House and the 170 worked well. At first I thought they were a little squirrely, but quickly discovered that I was just skiing them wrong. Hard to describe really, but I was jumping all over them and trying to work them like I do the GS skis. When I relaxed and started riding them, they tuned right in and were perfect. By the end of the day I felt free to drop right into stuff I NEVER would have on the P-30/50 and explore with total confidence in the ski and more confidence in myself. That being said I wouldn't put these on for anything but powder, and I only skied in 1' deep so I don't know how they'd do deeper than that really. If we get some more snow between now and Tuesday, I'll try the Mantra 177. I also don't plan on getting any heavier or even being this heavy next season!
post #37 of 45
i'm an AC4 owner and, though I love the skis dearly, I don't think they perform well in bumps. Its not at all my favorite terrain, but they seem sluggish and 'hooky' in mogul fields. So for me its slower, more deliberate carving and little or no 'floating'. As always, YMMV (particularly if u kill it in the bumps).

That said, this is not why I bought them. If I was looking for something that offered excellent bumps performance, an AC4 would be pretty low on my demo list. For me, there's just too much sidecut to truly enjoy that type of terrain. But on hard pack, ice, crud, and most other conditions, they truly shine.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwamptoRocky View Post
Quick question, for all that own or ski an AC4:
How do you ski your moguls? Do you quickly get through it, almost float on top of it or do you guys carve on your mogul?
I'm trying to decide between buying twin tips (Trouble series/Scratch) versus AC4. I currently ski on pair of Top Fuel and I really have to work them in bumps (they are REALLY stiff).
My previous preference was 60% groomed and 40% bump/pow. Lately I tried to pick up my mogul game and the TF just don't work as well.
Appreciate your input...
I'm with Blue Ox, the AC4 should not be purchased as a primary mogul ski.
You can ski it in moguls and have fun, but is it optimal ? No way !

the AC4 is very beefy,stiff and has an aggressive side cut, which makes it demanding in the bumps. The way I like to describe it is this... They will reward your precision, but they will punish your mistakes. In big soft bumps, they are a joy. The soft snow will give you the fudge factor that the ski lacks. In big, steep, icy, rutted bumps they are more work than they are fun.

As for my technique, I'm no pro, but here goes.... I ski all of the styles that you mentioned, depending on the terrain. My primary style is to unweight at the top of the mogul and turn. My second is to just absorb them with little turning. I do this only when I want to pick up speed or seek a new line. Lastly, I never really skied the troughs UNTIL I got the AC4's. They are so agile that I find myself using that technique on more occasions. Just don't let them get away from you or catch an unexpected edge ! Like Dr. Evil, they will not tolerate failure.

Other than that, they are pure exhilaration.

Good Luck,
WW
post #39 of 45
My version of the AC4's and bumps. Yes, do not try and do the zipper line. That's not what this ski was made for. If your a strong 18y/o go ahead. But most of us are not.

The ski is fine in big natural bumps, had a great time last Friday at Killington in the bumps and trees with mine. I tend to ski the anti-bump line. Stay out of the trough's unless they are nicely spaced. I tend to turn on the tops, sides or fronts. The skis also work well in nicely spaced trees. I have no problem making short radius turns at slow speeds, but I have spent a lot of time learning how to own a short radius turn. I still go back to my AX3's if I plan to do mostly bumps. This Friday I may bring my AX3's, AC4's and 1080 Guns to see which I like better in Killingtons bumps.

I will agree the Dynastar Contact 11 is a great ski. I demoed it last Saturday and forgot to add it to my Okemo Demo Day post. I skied next years 08 but it was still easy in the bumps. I believe the ski was heavy though.
post #40 of 45
> The ski is fine in big natural bumps, had a great time last Friday at Killington in the bumps and trees with mine.

I trust you were enjoying Ovation and Old Superstar ? The AC4 is a hoot
on those two "Au Natural" trails. Wildfire and Bear Claw have been good too. I did Outer limits a few times. The left side had nicely shaped medium bumps, the ski was fine. The right side had the big steep rutted bumps.
I skied them too, but it was way more work than it was fun !

I had to try it, though... Kind of the acid test for evaluating a ski in the bumps. Overall, the AC4 exeeded my expectations as an East Coast ski.

WW
post #41 of 45
What would you recommend for me? I just like to cruise/carve on groomed slopes at relatively high speeds. I am 5'10", 240. I want to stay on Volkl's and don't know where to start. Sounds like you all should know.

Thanks!
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
What would you recommend for me? I just like to cruise/carve on groomed slopes at relatively high speeds. I am 5'10", 240. I want to stay on Volkl's and don't know where to start. Sounds like you all should know.

Thanks!
Get yourself a pair of P50 Platinums in the right length I would guess 188 at the shortest. They still can be found super cheap either NOS (new old stock) or nearly new and I think you'd be hard pressed to come up with a better high speed groomer ski (though I have not skied the newer Allstar or Supersport Superspeed). This assumes that you like the Volkl traits.
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
What would you recommend for me? I just like to cruise/carve on groomed slopes at relatively high speeds. I am 5'10", 240. I want to stay on Volkl's and don't know where to start. Sounds like you all should know.

Thanks!
If you're a halfway decent skier and at your weight demo some 175 Allstars...they absolutely rip up the groomed at speed as well being versatile at everything else....just a great Eastern ski. The P50's ??...not in the same league although still a good ski. The Superspeeds are fun and fast but a lot of work and not nearly as good all around as the Allstar. If the Allstar is too much try the 5 star which is a little easier to turn and a little softer.
post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ox View Post
i'm an AC4 owner and, though I love the skis dearly, I don't think they perform well in bumps. Its not at all my favorite terrain, but they seem sluggish and 'hooky' in mogul fields. So for me its slower, more deliberate carving and little or no 'floating'. As always, YMMV (particularly if u kill it in the bumps).

That said, this is not why I bought them. If I was looking for something that offered excellent bumps performance, an AC4 would be pretty low on my demo list.
I have skied a 177 AC4 in bumps, crud, trees and high-speed groomers. I am 5'11", 165 lbs. I use Nordica Dobie 130 boots. I am 18, three times over!

I agree with Blue Ox - it's not an ideal bump ski. I didn't find it "hooky", but I did find it sluggish. It requires a firm pressure on the shovel for short turns, but, whether it was me or the ski, there always seemed to be an instant of hesitation.

In deep, soft crud in the trees, the same firm shovel pressure was counterproductive, since I managed to thoroughly bury the stiff tip. The ski can be made to work from the center in soft snow, but the turns will tend to be a little longer.

The AC4 was an awesome ski on the groom and at speed. It could be worked into short, round turns without the sluggishness I felt in the bumps (??? - probably bump ineptitude on the part of the pilot), it hooked up powerfully and firmly on hard snow, and it could be tipped up on edge and bent into a fast pure carve as much as I wanted. It was cruise missile stable. It skied well from the center on firm snow.

They sliced and diced skied-up crud less than 6"-8" deep. They want a little power, but they won't get knocked around if you give them what they need.

Don't get behind these skis. They'll want to straighten out and go!
post #45 of 45
After waiting to try these mega-hyped skis all season, i finally got my chance to ski the 177 AC4's over 2 days in varying conditions at both Panorama and Kicking Horse. FYI i'm 27, 6'1'' and 180 lbs. Conditions varied from knee-deep powder, to hardpack/groomed flats, to bumps and springtime slush.

To re-hash what has already been said: the skis are simply unstoppable in light powder, crud, hardpack, and groomed cruisers. But as others have pointed out, they are not bump skis: they are typical Volkls: very stiff, supremely stable at speed, destroyers of crud, and require aggressive, flawless form to be as such.

Truthfully i was missing my way-softer 178cm Dynastar 8000's in the bumps, but therein lies the tradeoff. Skiing the AC4's helped me realize that my skiing style has changed in the past few years - from being mega aggressive on my old 188 G4's to enjoying a more relaxed style with the softer Dynastars. That said, if you have an aggressive style, dislike bumps, and want to rule the rest of the mountain, then the AC4 is your ski.
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