EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Conflicting Recomendation Karma vs. AC2
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Conflicting Recomendation Karma vs. AC2

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After many years of 1-2 times a year my kids are finally at the age where we can get back into active skiing. I am looking to retire my skis from college (1988 K2 KVCComp 195). In can ski diamonds with some difficulty, however the majority of my skiing will be with the kids (11,6) on the intermediate slopes. I love playing with bumps and will be looking to make these easier slopes fun. At the same time I want to be able to take some aggressive runs when the kids are not around. 95% Eastern Skiing (Windham, Whiteface, Killington, Okemo). I am 41, 5'8" 155lbs and a strong runner. One shop recommended the AC2, another thought I would have more fun with the Karmas. The concept of the Karma sounded fun, but it is such a departure from what I am used to. I just upgraded to the Technica Vento 10s. Any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 11
Interesting question! You will have a ton of fun with the Karmas (I have a pair), however some people feel twin tips are not the best for skiing with kids because the upturned tails are just one more obstacle to get tangled up in. I don't ski with kids these days, but I can say that the tails are hooked by other people in the lift line a lot more often than my other skis, to the point where it gets annoying sometimes. I almost blew out my knees at the end of last season when a boarder pinned my tails down while I was entering the lift line.

Whichever ski, stay short if you plan to spend a lot of time with the kids, just to get more maneuverability and make it easier on yourself if you spend a lot of time in a snowplow (I spent a lot of time skiing with kids on my old 205s in college and maintaining a snow plow damn near killed me). Here the Karmas have pluses and minuses. The twin tips will make them easier to ski, especially switch (reverse) which may be a good thing. But they ski short because less ski/edge is in contact with the snow, and you may need longer Karmas to get the stability/edge you want for your own skiing. A shorter AC2 (or other conventional ski) may be a better compromise.

I guess I just talked myself out of the Karmas if I were in your situation, but maybe someone with kids (or a kids instructor) can comment better.
post #3 of 11
I don't believe the Karma is the right ski for you. You're coming off traditional sticks and looking to move into improving your skills with modern shaped ski technique. You need a ski that will be a bit forgiving, with a sidecut that will reward good driver input and not punish you for the bad stuff.

The AC2 probaly isn't a bad choice, but I don't know a ton about it. If you like Volkl you should also look into the lower models of the Supersport line. The most important advice you'll get is to go take lessons and learn how to use these new tools. There is a huge difference between skiing the old "pencil" skis and the modern shaped skis.
post #4 of 11
Of the two choices, you'd probably be better off with the AC2. However, I think there are better choices for what you want. The AC4 would be a great all around ski. Just about any mid-fat ski would be great for what you want. K2 Recon, Rossi B2, Dynastar Legend 8000, Fischer AMC79, Head Monster 82, Atomic Sweet Daddy, Salomon X-Wing Fury. Damp or lively take your pick and go rip it up with the kids.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

What length

What length AC2 and Karma for me?
5'8" ok just under that
155 lbs
Just switching from 195 straight ski circa 1988 k2
recreational average diamond ability
post #6 of 11
[Tongue in cheek] You are being led down the wrong path, forget these wimpy short skis that these gurlee men are skiing. Man up and get on a real ski. I am talking the 2x4 with edges, the fibergass wrapped I-beam, the ski that it took two people to flex...the infamous K2 VO Slamon/EIS in the real man size of a 204. The EIS was the steriod pumping trailer trash living big brother of the EIS. It not only took the KVC's luch money but its dignity too. If there was a ski that had a big block 454 Chevy motor, this was it.

THIS is the ski you want! ARRR ARRRR ARRRRRRR!!!!! [/Tongue in cheek]
post #7 of 11
I don't think the AC2 would be enough ski for you. I would consider the Fischer AMC 73 or RX6, Volkl AC3 or 4 Star,
post #8 of 11
I think a paid subscription to Peter Keelty's Techsupportforskiers.com is money very well spent for anyone in the market for new skis.

Here's his test report on the AC2..."Nice, comfortable, non-demanding, reasonably high-performance on-and-slightly-off-piste ski. A good choice for improving skiers; the ski is forgiving and yet has enough top end to allow for growth. "A confidence builder," wrote one skier. Fast and aggressive skiers, see the Allstar."

For the Karma, "Although a well-liked deep snow ski from Volkl according to many test skiers, actually a park and pipe twin."

For length for you, 156 if you're an easy going skier and 163 if you work the skis hard, for the AC2, and the AC2 might not be enough ski for you. For the Karma, 161. These are not too short. I'm a single-black-diamond skier (sometimes double), 205#, 6', and I'm on a high performance 170--it's just right.

Why hang your hat on Volkl? They're good, but so are many other brands. I'd look at Head and Fischer first. Peter's site will have most ski models from all the brands reviewed, including women's models reviewed by women.

Keep in mind the three rules for picking the right skis for you. Demo, demo, demo. The AC2 and Karma are very different types of skis. Even within the same types, one brand and model will put the biggest smile on your face, and no one knows which that will be until you demo.

post #9 of 11
I would not get the Karmas for east coast skiing. I just skiied primo EC conditions here on a West Coast mountain on my new Karmas (170s) and while they were a ton of fun, held a good edge, and were nice and short-turn snappy for a wide board, they SUCKED in frozen bumps.
I think a narrower ski underfoot that is designed more for bumps or all around would be a better ski for the conditions you will ski. While I thought they were fun on the hard pack groomed, they were not outstanding (I expect them to be, though, in the deeper stuff, they feel quite nimble) I think there are probably better skis for your niche.
I agree, demo if you can. From the reviews the AC2 sounds like it coul;d be a good all around for you, or the AC3 if you want something a little more burly.
post #10 of 11
Belay that. Can't seem to get in to edit/delete. As I hit post a realized I made a huge error!

Shoot, I dunno what I was thinking. I guess I am just giddy after trying my new MANTRAS (not Karmas) so everything I said is true if you were considering Mantras not Karmas. Karmas could very well be a good ski for you, I don't know. Sorry for the confusion.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I think I am going to go the demo route. I have the new boots which were my main concern so it will be fun to try a few new types of skis. Time to read more reviews, shortlist a few and find some mountains that demo them.
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