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Dumb Question on Volkl Skis....

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
i think the ski companies are giving us too many choices!! i'm thinking about getting some new skis to replace my 4 year old bandit xx...and looking at volkl (and maybe atomic metron).

i see the volkl line includes both the supersport line and the unlimited line. quotes from the volkl website:

supersport: The Supersport Series is the choice for the high performance all-mountain skier.

unlimited: the all-conditions skis of the Unlimited Series offer the freedom to explore the powder, the groomed or anywhere in between. The ultimate one-ski quiver lies within.

and they both have multiple skis in each line. i don't really get the difference. i want one ski and consider myself a low-expert level skier who skis out west exclusively (tahoe and the rockies) in whatever conditions present themselves. should i be focusing on the ac4 or 6 star or allstar--i'm confused, let's not even bring atomic or others into the picture!!

thanks..
post #2 of 28
I look at it as if they have a hard snow line (star series) and an all moutain line (unlimited).

If you ski out west and are hot for Volkls only, the choice is between the AC3 and the AC4 with the AC3 being the do-it-all ski and the AC4 favoring softer conditions.
post #3 of 28
Ummm, expert and this confused? OK, I'll bite: In my brief time here, I notice that veteran Bears appreciate realistic self-rep (don't come across like something you're not) and some effort not to ask questions best answered elsewhere, or in old threads. Being human, we all violate somebody's rules sometime though. Suggest doing a thread search here, or go to a ski magazine review site like Skiing.com, or join Realskiers.com. Which is an amazing site for all things skiing.

Anyway, Unlimiteds are for all mountain, Supersports are versatile carvers, neither feel or ski ANYTHING like your XX's. Intentional wish to change? Otherwise, think about other brands that will feel more like your current skis (say, the B-2 or Scrambler Hots). Then demo and compare. Then tell us your thoughts. Over and out.
post #4 of 28
It's simpler than it seems.

Supersports are primarily for people that like to carve the groomed.

Unlimiteds are for people that like to do lots of different turns in lots of different snow conditions.

If you are exclusively a western skier, I'd lean toward either the AC3 or AC4. Go for the AC3 if you prefer the most versatility. Go for the AC4 if you prefer the highest performance when the snow is at it's best...i.e. soft.

Hope this helps.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
i prefaced my comments as 'dumb' and i guess they were. i've read a bunch on this site about various skis (there seems to be a lot on the metrons which is something else i'd consider) but while i'm a good skier i haven't kept up with equipment changes since i bought my xx's..over the past 3-4 years it seems they've made some significant changes so i'm thinking of changing skis...hence the dumb question.

i'm not married to anything...curious what else i should consider--metron 11, etc...i wouldn't mind a ski that skis differently than i have now..in fact that's part of why i'm considering new skis in the first place.

thanks again for the input.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
i prefaced my comments as 'dumb' and i guess they were. i've read a bunch on this site about various skis (there seems to be a lot on the metrons which is something else i'd consider) but while i'm a good skier i haven't kept up with equipment changes since i bought my xx's..over the past 3-4 years it seems they've made some significant changes so i'm thinking of changing skis...hence the dumb question.

i'm not married to anything...curious what else i should consider--metron 11, etc...i wouldn't mind a ski that skis differently than i have now..in fact that's part of why i'm considering new skis in the first place.

thanks again for the input.
Cohenfive, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people. Wait, that's not right. How does that saying go?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond
Ummm, expert and this confused? OK, I'll bite: In my brief time here, I notice that veteran Bears appreciate realistic self-rep (don't come across like something you're not) and some effort not to ask questions best answered elsewhere, or in old threads. Being human, we all violate somebody's rules sometime though. Suggest doing a thread search here, or go to a ski magazine review site like Skiing.com, or join Realskiers.com. Which is an amazing site for all things skiing.
Beyond, I have to disagree with what I am inferring is your implication regarding your post. You seem to think that Cohen is not, as he described, a low expert due to the fact that he asked the tech question. I played pro tennis and volleyball. I used to be a gear head, but now I know nothing about tennis racquets. Nothing about their head wieght, ratio, stiffness, etc. That doesn't mean that I'm not an expert tennis player. I just play with what I like.....and what they give me for free I'd be hard pressed to tell you exactly how high a vball net is, or how long the court is. But that doesn't mean that I'm not an expret vball player. There are those that can tell you all you need to know about such things, and some of them really suck.

My brother is a highly expert skier. He was an instructor and examiner for years. He knows NOTHING about skis now days.

At any rate, I don't thing we can make any judgements about one's skiing ability based on a tech question. Now, if he asked if more pressure should go on the inside ski or outside ski during a turn........
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
i
i'm not married to anything...curious what else i should consider--metron 11, etc...i wouldn't mind a ski that skis differently than i have now..in fact that's part of why i'm considering new skis in the first place.

thanks again for the input.
Yep, stars are for groomed.
Give us some more info (read the FAQ), and we might be able to reccommend some other skis for you.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Yep, stars are for groomed.
Give us some more info (read the FAQ), and we might be able to reccommend some other skis for you.
ok, i'm 5'9", 180 lbs, in my 40's and ski tahoe and the rockies...i can get down just about anything but won't necessarily look pretty...and i have no death wish. i ski for the love of the sport, and especially enjoy skiing with my kids (and occaisonally my wife). if left to my own choice i'd be on blacks all day with my favorite skiing being in the trees (like the closet in steamboat). i'm relatively bad on bumps but continue to try and improve there. my bandit xx's are 177 and although i've been advised that's about the right length if i could go a little shorter i'd prefer it. i'm not a speed burner, if given an open run i'll be making turns even if i could bomb straight down the fall line.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Yep, stars are for groomed.
Give us some more info (read the FAQ), and we might be able to reccommend some other skis for you.
Well, I have the Superspeeds, 6 stars, and 724 exps, and I ski pretty exclusively in the bumps, off piste, and BC. The shop guys said I was crazy when I went demo'ing these things, but I LOVE them. Never would have even thought about Volkl until my ski rack incident, and I had to do 4 days of demo'ing. Try them all and see what you like.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
ok, i'm 5'9", 180 lbs, in my 40's and ski tahoe and the rockies...i can get down just about anything but won't necessarily look pretty...and i have no death wish. i ski for the love of the sport, and especially enjoy skiing with my kids (and occaisonally my wife). if left to my own choice i'd be on blacks all day with my favorite skiing being in the trees (like the closet in steamboat). i'm relatively bad on bumps but continue to try and improve there. my bandit xx's are 177 and although i've been advised that's about the right length if i could go a little shorter i'd prefer it. i'm not a speed burner, if given an open run i'll be making turns even if i could bomb straight down the fall line.
If you ski Tahoe, you will be hard-pressed to justify the 6-star, it is much more of an East-coast, hard groomed runs ski. Most good midfats will do very well on groomed and will make skiing ungroomed runs much more fun. In other words I'd much rather use midfats on the groomed than a carver off-piste.

If you like your B2's I'd caution you from getting a Volkl: Volkls skis nothing like the B2, or most other French skis. My pick for Tahoe was Dynastar Legend 8000. It is lively, quick, has great edge hold, and very, very versatile. You would feel well on either 178 if you like long turns and or 172 (I think it is the next size down) if you like long turns. I demoed Volkl skis many times- always wanted to get a pair, but every time I had a feeling that the ski wants to make its own turn, and not the turn I want it to make.
post #11 of 28
I don't know, I had demoed the B2 and ended up buying the AC3. I did not feel that they were all that dissimilar but I do think that the AC3 feels like more ski. It is extremely versatile whereas the 6stars and 5stars (which I demoed) really do seem to want to ski one way. I'm bigger than you and bought the 177 but I think that I could have (maybe should have) bought the 170. I don't think that you could be disappointed with the AC3 but YMMV. Good Luck.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltack18
I don't know, I had demoed the B2 and ended up buying the AC3. I did not feel that they were all that dissimilar but I do think that the AC3 feels like more ski. It is extremely versatile whereas the 6stars and 5stars (which I demoed) really do seem to want to ski one way. I'm bigger than you and bought the 177 but I think that I could have (maybe should have) bought the 170. I don't think that you could be disappointed with the AC3 but YMMV. Good Luck.
any view on ac3 versus ac4? am i not a strong enough skier for the 4??
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
any view on ac3 versus ac4? am i not a strong enough skier for the 4??
By your description of your ability, you are definitely a stong enough skier to ski either of these skis. Don't let that concern steer you to one over the other.
post #14 of 28
Your questions aren't dumb IMO. It can get quite confusing.

The Unlimited and Supersport lines ski quite different. Each definitely has their place. The Unlimited series have great all-around capabilities as many have mentioned. They also carve very well for this type of ski. The Supersport line are killer carvers on groomers but just okay in rough or soft conditions.

I own both the AC4 and Allstar. As much a love my Allstars on the harder groomed snow, the AC4 is probably the best all-around ski I have ridden. It will truly do everything quite well. Nothing I have skied will carve like AC4 on hardpack, ski crud and pow (nearly as good as a lot of fat boards) and has a lively fun feel doing it all.

You gotta demo plain and simple. All the choices help you dial in what you are looking for. I was told the AC4 would be redundant because I owned the Allstar. Not the case at all. They are apples and oranges that share a little bit of the same feel. Nothing wrong with that IMO. I tried a lot skis that were not redundant to others and they lack the carving feel I wanted on the groomers.

YMMV and good luck!

<M
post #15 of 28
I agree with Moods. I am a level 7 and have 5* and AC4. The AC4s are an incredible all round ski and they do carve very well on hard pack. That said the 5* is an different and a thrilling ski on hard pack. It has speed and quickness in a groomed fall line that the AC4 just doesn't have. I ski mostly in New Mexico with a yearly trip to New England to ski with family and old friends. I'm glad I have both. If I had to choose only one I would choose the AC4 for Western skiing and 5* if I only skied in the East.
My advice is that you should demo AC3 and 4s among other brands for the type of skiing you do.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
ok, i'm 5'9", 180 lbs, in my 40's and ski tahoe and the rockies...i can get down just about anything but won't necessarily look pretty...and i have no death wish. i ski for the love of the sport, and especially enjoy skiing with my kids (and occaisonally my wife). if left to my own choice i'd be on blacks all day with my favorite skiing being in the trees (like the closet in steamboat). i'm relatively bad on bumps but continue to try and improve there. my bandit xx's are 177 and although i've been advised that's about the right length if i could go a little shorter i'd prefer it. i'm not a speed burner, if given an open run i'll be making turns even if i could bomb straight down the fall line.
FYI, you and I are about the same in regards to how we ski, and I consider myself advanced not an expert by any stretch. I think others were getting to this in their responses.

With that in mind, either ski could work for you. I am looking at al Allstar or 5 Star for myself next year, but I ski mostly on the east coast, with few trips to the deep stuff out west.

Just my two cents...............................
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ullr
FYI, you and I are about the same in regards to how we ski, and I consider myself advanced not an expert by any stretch. I think others were getting to this in their responses.

With that in mind, either ski could work for you. I am looking at al Allstar or 5 Star for myself next year, but I ski mostly on the east coast, with few trips to the deep stuff out west.

Just my two cents...............................
i said 'low expert'....

i was in our local ski shop tonight and a guy walked up to me and asked if he could 'put me into some new skis today'...i thought i was buying a car for a second!! anyway, i told him i was interested in ac4's which they had quite a few pair of. he said he could make me a great deal so i asked how much off list. he said 30-40%....i said how about 50% and he passed. i told him that's about where they are trading this time of year. oh well, i came pretty close to ticking my wife off!!! if i can get them with the motion at pcos for $600 i'd probably pull the trigger....
post #18 of 28

Give him a break.

I think Cohenfive asked a ligitimate question. Please do not berate him because he does not know the subtle differences between every ski in every manufacturers line up for every season.

I have been skiing for about ten years now and have noticed a trend in the last couple of years with the advent of the mid-fat or all-mountain ski. Very few manufactures want to have a ski that is to be percieved as too specific or limiting.

Manufactures will lead a perspective buyer in a direction; powder, trees, carving, bumps... but there will invariably be a caveat that the ski can "go anywhere", is "at home on the rest of the mountain", is "extremely versitile" and so on. This may be true in the instance that an expert skier "can" take the ski almost anywhere.

What happens is that the average skier buys a carving ski and finds that they do not have the skills to take is off piste and thinks the ski sucks. On the other hand, the average person buys a 88mm waisted fat ski because the manufacture says it wil "carve" and wonder why it sucks on ice. I have found that there are a few "all mountian skis". However, an "all mountain skier" is much more versitile.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

it's ok, i can take it!!

i know a lot about gear in the other sports i partake in (mtn biking, golf, tennis) but i just haven't kept up in skiing since i bought the bandits from one of the bears....now i'm trying to figure it all out and i'm doing the reading but was still confused. i still think they are making too many kinds of skis!

so i think i have the volkl stuff figured out--ac4/ac3 for me....how about the metron 11?? i guess i'm a glutton for punishment, curious if anyone can compare the ac's with the metron's...those seem to be the two all-mtn soft snow skis of choice..

thanks again, and feel free to keep beating me up and giving me good advice!!
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cohenfive
i know a lot about gear in the other sports i partake in (mtn biking, golf, tennis) but i just haven't kept up in skiing since i bought the bandits from one of the bears....now i'm trying to figure it all out and i'm doing the reading but was still confused. i still think they are making too many kinds of skis!

so i think i have the volkl stuff figured out--ac4/ac3 for me....how about the metron 11?? i guess i'm a glutton for punishment, curious if anyone can compare the ac's with the metron's...those seem to be the two all-mtn soft snow skis of choice..

thanks again, and feel free to keep beating me up and giving me good advice!!
I've skied both an M11 172 and own the AC4 177. The M11 is a great ski. Very easy turn initiation, great edge hold on anything but ice (they are still quite adequate), above average soft snow and crud performance. Only negative for me was weight on the chair lift. Those suckers weigh a ton. The AC4 in a 177 doesn't have quite the ease of turn initiation but it has more of a lively pop... You can force them to be quick. This could be positive or negative depending on what you are looking for. The AC has better soft snow performance, equal hard snow performance. It is much lighter than the M11's I tried. Both are great skis and you couldn't go wrong with either IMO.

BTW I like the AC4 better than the AC3 in every way. If sized correctly with the AC4, I don't think you give up anything to the AC3. The 4 actually feels more alive to me. Gofigr? Definitely try both/all mentioned. Even after purchasing multiple Volkls and being very happy for many years, I could easily see myself on Atomics in the future. I really liked what I felt and I imagine the B5 would plain rip for me.

Of course YMMV.

Good luck!

<M
post #21 of 28
Docjoque and Cohenfive: Apologies if I misjudged. I wasn't commenting on question (agree no sincere question is dumb), but on grade inflation. My logic goes like this:

1) True experts (10 on 1-10 scale) are hard to come by; constitute maybe 5-8% of all skiers on the slopes. Most skiers are in fact intermediates, most self-labeled experts are actually 8's or 9's - advanced. Think steep bell curve. Same for any sport, maybe any profession, too.
2) Being expert takes maintenance. Whatever Docjoque thinks about his ski or volleyball skills, if you were a competitor a decade or two ago, and don't compete or study your videos now, you're probably high advanced. Eg, you may know exactly how to get down that chute or through those gates perfectly, but your body isn't entirely cooperating. That's basic sports biology. To stay an expert, I assume that you'll need to ski say 20-25 days a year, minimum, and at that amount, you sure as sh*t better ski HARD all day. No cruising with buds. Most real experts on these threads probably ski well over 50 days a year, I'd guess, and work on their skills constantly. Notice the number of instructors here who are always getting ready for another certification exam? And who help each other with advice? That's an expert's mind-set.
2) Most true experts are former/current competitors, and are probably still connected to the industry, as in owning/working in a store, lodge, ski patrol, or instruction. They will certainly keep track of basic information about well-known skis, if only through gossip and customer questions.
3) Maybe 1/4 of all true experts are not connected to the industry in any way - we're now down to about 1.25 to 2% of all skiers - but still manage to stay expert through lots of focused skiing and tips from friends they ski with. Now what percentage of THESE folks will also be out of touch with basic information freely available from Volkl's site or the Volkl Ski Guru email, or from any Volkl dealer, or from a ski friend, on a model differentiation that's been around three years and discussed endlessly all over the web? Hmmm.
4) So on pure statistical logic, and some guestimations, I assumed that Cohenfive was not in fact anywhere near expert, and I gently chided him for it. Again, sorry if I offended anyone, and the question was reasonable. But there is a LOT of grade inflation out there, and it cheapens the guys who really bust their humps to be/stay experts. (And, no, I'm not one of them, at least in skiing.)
post #22 of 28
Amen to that....expert is not a term to be used loosely, but we should let him be the judge of his own ability and give him the benefit of the doubt. None of us have ever seen him ski. Anyways, if you are going to demo anything from the supersport line dont hesitate to try a 4 star. It is better to ski something at or slightly below your level than get on a pair that is too much ski for you as you will never improve. I liked the 5 stars and 4 stars a lot but went for the 4 stars as they were quite stable at speed, and slightly less stiff than the 5 star which benefited me as I am a light individual(125 lbs). Also they were substantially less expensive. Just a thought....dont put blinders on and only demo the "expert" skis.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
hehehehe...i guess you got me...by the above logic i'm not in the top 2-5% of skiers. so that puts me in the advanced category. i wish this was all written down somewhere!!

in any case, i do appreciate the advice and the banter back and forth...i don't take it personally. i'm going to check out ac4 and probably ac3. i've seen the ac4 with motion at pcos setup for as low as $600 new from a real dealer. i think that's pretty good....the ac3 is a tad cheaper.

i was thinking i was done for the season but there's so much snow in tahoe (and the weather's so cra**y down here in the bay area) that the mtn bike just can't get out of the garage right now. maybe one more day at sugarbowl.....
post #24 of 28
Ok, I'll chime back in now and hijack this thread to ask someone to explain to me the difference between the 5 Star and the Allstar. 38 years old, 6 foot 215lbs, been skiing since I was 7. Can carve at high speeds on groomers, do small soft bumps. East Coast all blacks, West, steeper blues, mild blacks.

Thanks,
post #25 of 28
Both are high perforamance carvers for good skiers. The 5* is a little softer amd more forgiving that the Allstar. I'm a level 7 and have 5*s that I love skiing on fast groomers. By your discription you'd proably be happy with either. If you are shopping try to demo both.
post #26 of 28
Don't go with the supersport model, with with the unlimited line, the Supersport is not truly an all mountain ski
post #27 of 28
Slightly older models, but here's my take:

6* (replaced by the Allstar), a beefy raceable front-side carving ski for high speeds only. NOT fun in bumps or pow, but powers through crud and slices on ice.

5*, softer and more manageable at slower speeds than the 6*. Happier in bumps, but still not for pow or heavy gunk.

Vertigo (replaced by the Unlimited series), a fun all-over-the-mountain ski. Loves pow and crud, but can get bounced around in really heavy gunk, and not great on ice. Easy to ski at all but lip-flapping, eye-watering speeds.

Most importanly though.....Don't just buy skis off the rack without trying them first. DEMO, DEMO, DEMO!!!! You may love or hate the Volkls. Each manufacturer's skis have a very distinct "feel". Some are race-oriented, some are fun and playful, some are damp and solid, and others are soft and easy. By trying them first, you're assuring that you are buying "the right" ski for YOU (your technique, ability level, speed zone, and personality). Maximize your $$$ by buying something you know you LOVE because you tried it first. Demo'ing will also let you try different sizes.
post #28 of 28
Thanks. Yea, I am on a pair of G3's right now. Tried out the Allstar and liked it, but didn't take it in the bumps (see post above, this is not where I spend most of my time anyway). Didn't get a chance to try a 5 star, but I am not a super-performance kind of guy anyway (also, see post above). When I get into bumps I do need as much help as I can get. Looking for a primary east coast ski. When I go out west, if I want to go in the deep stuff, I'll just rent or demo out there.
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