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K2 Omni 5.5 vs. Apache X vs. Fischer RX6 or ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So here's my dilemma. I recently resumed skiing after a 10 year hiatus to have children and have enough disposable income to ski again (common theme here). I rented skis this past year (Fischer AMC73 158cm). I am 5'7" 155lbs and would describe myself as a recreational skier who wants to be better (have skied for about 15 years and was a high intermediate when I stopped). This past year I took some lessons and really started to enjoy shaped skis although I am nowhere near the 'pure carve' all of my instructors kept talking about.

I have an opportunity to purchase skis at very good prices through a friend and want to take advantage of this. I have exhaustively read through everything I can find and have asked everyone who will still listen in an attemt to get a sense of what might work for me. I need to add that I generally ski on groomed slopes in the East but hope to make at least one trip West a year as funds/time/stamina permit. While at Taos this past season (great ski instruction BTW) I demoed Volkl AC3s and Volkl 5stars (can't remember exact lengths 160ish) and enjoyed the AC3s but felt that the 5 stars were skiing me. The AC3s are probably not the best ski for me to improve on, particularly on the virgin ice and hardpack of PA and the 5 stars are not ready for me yet.

I am considering K2 Omni 5.5s, Apache X or Fischer RX6 but am open to suggestions. In reality I will spend a good portion of my day skiing with my kids but when they are in lessons want the ability to continue learning and becoming a better skier. I am looking for a ski that I will be able to enjoy and feel good about now but will give me some room to grow and develop skills. I anticipate this being a purchase that will carry me 2-3 seasons. Comments on length will be helpful too. I used to ski some bumps and trees but that is secondary right now.

Thanks in advance,

post #2 of 5
I would consider the RX6 in a 160cm. It will provide a slightly higher level of performance on hard snow than the AMC 73, without being too demanding (like the 5 Star).

If you are skiing out-west and want to try a wider ski for truly deep snow, just rent or demo on-site.


post #3 of 5
The Omni 5.5 was designed for everything you described. The ski has always been rated well for fast improving intermediates all the way up to high level advanced skiers and will allow you to grow with the ski over several seasons and not quickly overpower it. Plus, it is a bargain for the performance you get. The ski is a true 50/50 ski though I suspect most people who ski it spend 90% or more of their time on the groomed. The ski has evolved from the 5500 which has near legendary status.

I would say the Fischer RX6 is in a different catagory than the Omni and Apache skis. It is more of a carve specific or race inspired ski. (The Vokl 5 Stars are also more of a carve specific/race inspired ski.) It will be great on the groomers and may be a better performer on ice than the K2s but they will be more versatile yet still offer excellent carve performance on all but the hardest snow.

The Fischer skis that most closely match the K2s you are looking at are AMC 70 and AMC 73 and the Vokl AC series could also be included in this group.

One way to think of the skis you have described is to consider the manufactures' philosophies. The Fischer and Vokls are designed more around race skis and will offer excellent groomed snow performance and be a little more lively off-piste. They have a bias towards the groomed. The K2s are designed more around an all-mountain philosophy and will be very smooth, damp, and versatile in nearly all conditions. They have a bias towards the ungroomed. In your pusuit of improving, if you are going to stick primarily to making railroad tracks on the groomed with an occasional trip off-piste, strongly consider the Fischer or Vokls. If you are going to ski groomers but begin venturing more and more off-piste in the bumps and trees, strongly consider the K2s.

I think the Apache X's are a step or two above what you are looking for at this point. Consider skis in the mid 160's.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the thorough response, it definitely helps me sort things out better. I am definitely looking to spend considerably more time on groomed slopes and think that I will steer away from the K2s for now. What would be your reccomendations in terms of the Volkl (or any other) line for my ability and learning needs. I am concerned about having a ski that will be somewhat forgiving but will allow me to improve . Thanks again for your excellent feedback.

post #5 of 5
Well, going back and re-reading what you initially wrote and what you have added, I keep looking at the Omni 5.5.

You said you did not like the Volkl 5 Star. That is an advanced carving ski that probably did not like to skid or felt grabby and may not have initiated a turn as easily as you would have liked. The RX 6 is going to be in that same catagory but may be a little more forgiving. The RX 4 is the same dimensions as the RX 6 but is even more forgiving and is geared more towards improving intermediates who are learning to carve and stick to the groomers.

The Volkl AC3 that you liked but felt was a little past your ability level is in a group and ability level with the K2 Apache X and Fischer AMC 73. The skis are primarily 50/50 skis with a bias towards the off-piste. I give the off-piste verstility advantage to the K2 because I personally like damp boards while on the ungroomed and in the bumps and feel that the Volkl and Fischers are a bit more lively despite their miniscule increased width that in theory would give them an off-piste advantage. It really comes down to personal preference and style here.

The Omni 5.5 is in a group with the Volkl AC2 and the Fischer AMC 70. Most people who are on these skis will primarily use them on the groomed even though they are quite capable of handling their own off-piste while allowing you to improve in most conditions and terrain on the mountain. Again, the Volkl and Fischer skis will feel slightly more lively than the K2 to most people due to K2's MOD Technology but as far as forgiveness and hard snow capabilities go, they are probably very similar. All of these skis will allow you to hone your carving skills and be forgiving enough to skid (unlike the 5 Star).

Since you seem to be saying that you are not going to be venturing off-piste much, even though you did not like the 5 Star, take a look at some carve specific skis that will alow you to improve in that area. The Fischer RX 4 and Volkl Unlimited S2 are designed for this. K2 does not really have a line that is specifically "marketed" in this catagory but the Omni series is more than capable of allowing you to learn to carve the groomers and grow beyond. Is one ski going to outperform another on ice? Maybe, but remember all of these skis are soft and forgiving so they are not going to bite and hold like those 5 Stars. The only way to find out for sure is to demo.

Hope that helps, I know it's confusing as Hell. Sometimes I think the manufactures want to keep it that way. Good luck and demo if you can.
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