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AC3 / Legend 4800 / Legend 8000 - Level 7

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am a 150 lb./68kg, 5’10”/178cm, 59 year old, level 7, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, 3 to 9 day per year skier who likes to try doing it all, but particularly likes to turn - turn - turn down the fall line in light crud and mild moguls and of course fresh snow; powder has been so rare an occurrence it barely counts in my 27 years of skiing.

I demo’d the Volkl AC3 @ 170cm at Steamboat Springs, CO. Having demo’d Dynastar Legend 4800 @ 172cm ( and others) there the previous year, reading, and a conversation with a heavier, more adept gentleman in the locker room beneath the store I was Demoing from, who gave the 4800 (his @ 172) rave reviews for anywhere on the mountain; I purchased the 4800 Sunday with the Rossignol Scratch binding.

Slight difference in the snow texture; Sunday afternoon being warmer, more nearly mashed potatoes, up-top to bottom, compared to the snow-cone and slightly broken up crusty on the mid and lower mountain Saturday with mildly heavy fluff up-top.

The AC3 is heavier, added to by the demo Marker piston binding; more of a power ski and exhibited a bit of mild shovel adhere / release chatter when turning, most evident in the snow-cone / crusty snow. Nice, very good ski, feeling just slightly stiffer than the 4800; 2mm wider in the shovel, -waist and tail being the same. The Volkl is wood core, the Dynastar wood with metal laminates. It is much lighter, and thinner.

The Dynastar did not exhibit any chatter, was so smooth in the shovel and lacked for nothing in the tail. The Volkl seemed to work me, whereas I pretty much worked the Dynastar to my pleasure, and actually felt more nearly stable on it. Both will do a variety of turn shapes but are better suited to medium or longer turns. Both Lively but not spring-board snappy. I feel I have made the correct choice with the 4800, for a ski to ride into my advancing years. It is plenty of ski, no slouch, tenacious. Hard to elicit exacting recall from the previous years demo feel, but I believe the 4800 demo of 2005 was softer, almost seeming to over-steer beneath me in the shovel; -different tree?, or different previous skis ridden, first time experience on such a silky ski, or different me then to now.? PRE, a now defunct ski manufacturer, used to label a Flex Index on their skis, to differentiate their selectively sorted boards; golf shafts are done this way also.

One can demo forever; interesting and fun. I’ve tried 15 skis over the past three years.

Skiing magazine rates the AC3 as 57% Power / 43% Finesse,
Speed-3.4, Off-Piste 3.0, Corduroy 3.6

the 4800 as 46% Power / 54% Finesse,
Speed 3.4, Off-Piste 3.6, Corduroy 3.5.

Both worthy. I am in agreement with their assessment of Power versus Finesse.

Do to reading, I had sucked myself into ‘having’ to give the Legend 8000 a try, which prior to, I had considered too much ski for my ability. It is!, unless possibly I were to go shorter than the 172cm, which my experience says is not where I wish to be for a one ski quiver. I can snap off rapid fire turns with a 165 or so ski, but unless I am rolling at mega speed I won’t float well, which pretty much eliminates trees and undulating meadows; and I’ve found them to be just a bit meanderie in off-edge occasions. K2 Crossfire’s & Recon’s would be the exception at 167cm, but they probably ski long due to their flattened shovel. I got along with the Recon last year, though it felt slightly more than I felt necessary for the majority of the snow I’ve skied...Crossfire would better serve.

When I say “too much ski for me” If a ski requires more energy to generate a flexed dynamic ‘set’ in a turn, than I have mass times velocity squared input, I have found the ski will tend to put me in the ‘back-seat’ (hard to stay centered or forward on), and or exhibit the afore mentioned low frequency shovel chatter. It will show up the most in, harder to get a bite snow conditions.

When you have been skiing too much ski for most of your years it is hard to ‘know what is’ and ‘come down to’, what is most appropriate. I, without realizing it was their most powerful ski, demo’d a Fisher RX8 at 180 cm, a couple of years ago at A-Basin. I had zero difficulty with it; GREAT ski, no adverse qualities noted in its conversation with me. I did realize I had more ski than me, and thought I’d be better served on a 170 cm. In reading from this extremely good forum, I’ve noted that moderator ‘ssh’ skis a RX8 @ 170 as his favorite, and he is -quite obviously- a more adept, higher level, harder charger than I. Yet I won’t consider a 165. So I’ve sought less abrupt, lower energy skis that still speak with authority on the slope. I see the ‘magazines’ take a few side comments now and then, but they at the least give a good ball-parking of equipment.

Manufacturing quality seems to have eroded since last I noticed. Never before have I observed machining marks being evident in the edges of skis. Noticed on the Dynastar 4800 when I waxed them.

It has been my pleasure to deal with Steamboat Sportstalker, and Christy’s as well. Fine people with a good, no pressure, customer friendly attitude; and Sportstalker is very handy in relation the Tram for demoing..
post #2 of 8
Noah - I'm 5'8"/150#, probably level 7, though I was a stronger skier before I moved to Florida. I demoed the 4800 vs. the AC3 and had a similar experience. I also tried the 8000, which is a great ski; the 4800 was just more "fun" for me. Just got back from a week in Vail, and have no regrets about my purchase of the 4800. This ski will handle virtually all conditions a resort skier will encounter. It is not a back-country and not a racing ski, but does well with everything from groomed snow to crud to powder that is not "bottomless". I thought it did just fine in the bumps too.
post #3 of 8
Legend 4800...it lives in the shadow of the 8000 (which is a wonderful ski). I loved that ski in every condition, most surprisingly powder (74 waist on, I think, the 2005 model). It's most astonishing trait might be it's dampness; just an incredibly smooth ride.
post #4 of 8
I first tried 4800's at Steamboat that my buddy rented. I already liked Dynastar's enough that my main ski was a Skicross 10, but the 4800 at Steamboat with a foot of fresh made for a wonderful day. I paid for my buddies lunch so he'd stay in longer, and I could get another couple of runs in - what a fun ski.

My day ski is an 8k, with a MR as my deeper snow ski, but I've always thought that the 4800 never got enough credit in the shadow of the 8K.
post #5 of 8
Not to hijack this post, but those of you who have the 8k... I just purchased a pair in 172 which I have not tried yet. I'm just under 6' 1'', 160lbs, level 6/7 and just want a one quiver ski that can take me all over the mountain and that I can improve with. Not a super aggressive or super fast skier, but like to push myself occasionally. Because of my size, I'm wondering if I should of went with the 178. I'm worried that the ski is going to feel too short or limit me in some way. Any advice? I'm coming from a much skinnier '99 head c140 at 170cm, and am not very knowledgeable on gear.
post #6 of 8
Noah: If you only ski 3-9 days a year, why don't you just have fun demoing various brand-new, top-of-the-line skis you're interested in for $40 a day instead of spending $500-$900 for your own that will be sitting unused and will be obsolete in a few years?
post #7 of 8
I think a 172cm 8k is the perfect length for a "Not super aggressive or super fast" 160lb "improving" level 6/7. It will take you anywhere you are able to go. You may miss the narrow c140 on the first few hardpack days but after you adjust to the extra width you'll find the 8k is a very good do it all ski, particularly in the 172cm length. Do not worry that it will limit you, it won't.
post #8 of 8
steve, thanks, thats what I was looking for, an answer if I would be limited or not by that ski.
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