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07 AC4 and sizing opinons

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, this is my first post, but I've read many opinions on this forum over the last few weeks. I want everyone to chime in, but I look forward to speaking with Max Capacity since he's my size and is an East Coast skier.

My history: 5'11, 187 lbs, 48 years old. I'm an agressive slolom type skier that likes speed on steepes and groomers,and I love bumps. I ski all types of terrain and make all types of turns, sometimes at very high speeds.
I ski the east and west, but I ski mainly back east.

Some of the trails that I've skied that you may know would be Kanagroo Hop, Gengis Kahn when it's moguled, Siberia Bowl, and Dragon's teeth at Vail,Outer Limits and Wildfire at Killington, and Clairs and wayout at Hunter Mountain. I will often ski with my young teen children, so with them it's
low to moderate speeds on blues and easy black diamonds.

I had a very bad knee injury 3 years ago, and had 5 torn tendons/ligaments repaired in my left knee. I now ski with a brace.
Add to that a low back spinal fusion early this year, and I'm looking
for some shorter more forgiving skiis that can handle my ski style.
Believe it or not, my main pair of east coast skiis are still 200 CM Volkl
P9's that I could never bring myself to part with untill now !

I rented shorter shaped skiis last time I went to Vail, and they convinced me to depart with my P9's. I tried some type of K2 axis and loved it,
but I doubt that it would have worked well on hard eastern conditions.
I also tried the pocket rocket and hated it ! Too fat and not nearly fast enough from edge to edge for me, but I give it high marks for blowing through heavy crud and exploding mashed potato moguls.

With this all in mind, I am leaning towards the 07 Volkl AC4 Ti's, in either
170 or 177 sizes. I am also considering the Supersport Allstar,in both the 06 and the new 07 Ti models. I would like the extra edgehold on hardpack and ice, but I fear the lack of versitility, and I don't want to have to muscle the ski or ski at high speeds all of the time.

Most importantly is the size issue. It seems as though most east coast guys go with 170's although I fear that it's too short to handle high speeds. I don't want to loose the quick, short turns and mogul performance though.

There's really no where to demo skiis anywhere near me ( the nearest
mountains are 2.5 hours away in the PA poconos and you can't rent high performance) so any info that you all can give will be very helpful to me. If you can think of any other skiis that will fit my style and needs, I'm all ears... ( and surgical hardware ;-)

Opinions Please !

Thanks.
post #2 of 25
I wouldn't worry about the stability of the AC4 in a 170cm. I'm about your size & age and this is the size that fit me best. It is unlikely you would ever feel any loss of stability short of race-tuck speeds.

Michael
post #3 of 25
The AC4 would be a great ski for you, and you'd only need the 178 if you wanted primarily GS-style turns and/or more float for powder days. Of course, I'll also mention the Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner, since three of us (Noodler, Faisasy, and I) found them comparable. I went with the 170 Afterburner.
post #4 of 25
Interesting that you favor either the AC-4 or the All Star and not what seems to me to be the natural answer for you which is the AC-3. The AC-4 would only be more "versatile" on rare occasions. The AC-3 splits the difference between the two in width and has all the edge grip of either of the others.

SJ
post #5 of 25
Interesting, SJ. On the day we demoed them, both Faisasy and I thought the AC-3 was uninspired and felt a bit like the Allstar... a bit blocky. The AC4 really came to life, though, and felt really nice in all kinds of conditions. Interesting that your experience is different... admittedly, you're a better skier than either of us!
post #6 of 25
Steve:

Thanks, but I don't think I'm a better skier than either of youse guys. In fact, I'm very sure that the opposite is the case.

Some Volkls do indeed feel "blocky" because they don't bend well under the foot. I am not a huge fan of some of the IPT skis for that reason. However, the AC-3 does not feel any worse than the others in that respect and the shape seems more appropriate for an eastern guy.

SJ
post #7 of 25
He mixed it up a bit with the Vail comments, so that's why I thought the AC4 would still work. It's a great ski, holds very well, and the width doesn't diminish it's power. It is a bit slower from edge-to-edge (as you'd expect), but is a great all-around ski IMO.
post #8 of 25
I'm 5'10" (almost) and 170 lbs., 27 years old...aggressive, expert skiier (ski all terrain, 80% off-piste ,mostly out West) and decided to go with the 170 mm AC4s. The guys at the ski shop (and people on here) highly recommended I don't go with the 177. I haven't had a chance to ski them but most of the people I asked on this forum seemed to think this was a perfect length for me. I don't think you can wrong with this size. Based on the fact that you go out west to ski every now and then and how you LOVE bumps, I wouldn't go with the 177 b/c you might have issues with either the terrain or getting hooky in the bumps with the longer length. You are better off getting a shorter ski IMO.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
>It is unlikely you would ever feel any loss of stability short of race-tuck speeds.

What, no down hill racing ? And you call that versatile ? ;-)
Thanks for the reply !

wounded warrior
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
The AC4 would be a great ski for you, and you'd only need the 178 if you wanted primarily GS-style turns and/or more float for powder days. Of course, I'll also mention the Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner, since three of us (Noodler, Faisasy, and I) found them comparable. I went with the 170 Afterburner.
Thanks. I do GS turns the least often, so I'm not too concerned about that. As far as the powder goes, If I'm out West and the conditions warrent it, I'll just rent a larger ski to take full advantage of it.... it's
money well spent !

I've heard great things about the Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner. Seems like a great choice also. I'm still looking into it.

I see that you are an instructor at Cooper. ( great mountain btw...)
The fact that you ski a 170 speaks volumes to me.

Thanks for the info.

wounded warrior
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Interesting that you favor either the AC-4 or the All Star and not what seems to me to be the natural answer for you which is the AC-3. The AC-4 would only be more "versatile" on rare occasions. The AC-3 splits the difference between the two in width and has all the edge grip of either of the others.

SJ
Hello SJ, thanks for the comments. I didn't give the AC3 much thought because a buddy of mine that I've skied with often works for a ski shop,
and he advised me towards the AC4 (his first choice) or the Supersport allstar. He only suggested that I look into the allstar because I just couldn't believe that the AC4 could turn quick enough or really hold
on east coast hardpack. (although he assured me that it could).
I suppose that there wasn't enough difference in the 3 and 4 to
make the 3 a consideration.

wounded warrior
post #12 of 25
I'm confused. I have and have skied the '06 version of the Allstar in 160 cm, and love it. I now own a pair of the AC4 in 170 cm, because that's what was recommended for that ski I'm told that the Allstar and the AC4 are different skis, and the Allstar is made to be skied shorter than the AC4 - they serve different purposes.

I'm 5'8", about 160 pounds and hope to be less (well I can hope). Average skier, use the Allstars for most eastern situations. The AC4 was purchased for heavier snow where it would be more of a crud buster than the Allstar.

I'm concerned that maybe I should not ski on the AC4 in 170 cm but trade them for the AC4 in 160. Then the AC4 could be my all around ski and I'd get the Mantra for fatter conditions (so to speak).

Your ideas are welcome, fire away.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
He mixed it up a bit with the Vail comments, so that's why I thought the AC4 would still work. It's a great ski, holds very well, and the width doesn't diminish it's power. It is a bit slower from edge-to-edge (as you'd expect), but is a great all-around ski IMO.
And remember, just because I'm east coast doesn't mean that we never have soft snow..... It gets soft when it rains ! ( then it stops raining, gets colder, and freezes. Let's hear it for boiler plate and death cookies !)

During springtime, you'll go from heavy, wet mashed potatoes to frozen crud and ice during the course of a day. So the AC4 concept has it's advantages for the East Coast too. I can always ride my P9's if it's frozen and I need extra edgehold, But those old,big P9's are a nightmare in the heavy soft stuff !

I haven't made up my mind on the AC4's yet, so keep those opinions (both for and against) coming.

A big thanks to you all, you've been great.

wounded warrior
post #14 of 25
Skiing in the rain always guaranteed nicely set-up snow. I've done it a few times myself during my East Coast years...

Yep, the AC4 will work in all those conditions, and hold pretty well, too. You may find a few of the recent reviews of interest:

Faisasy's AC4, Afterburner, and M11:B5 review.

Noodler's AC4, AC3, and others review.

My multi-ski review, including the AC4, AC3, and Afterburner.

My Afterburner "upon further review"
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Skiing in the rain always guaranteed nicely set-up snow. I've done it a few times myself during my East Coast years...

Yep, the AC4 will work in all those conditions, and hold pretty well, too. You may find a few of the recent reviews of interest:

Faisasy's AC4, Afterburner, and M11:B5 review.

Noodler's AC4, AC3, and others review.

My multi-ski review, including the AC4, AC3, and Afterburner.

My Afterburner "upon further review"

Thanks Steve, I'll go read those threads. I'm going skiing tomorrow,so right now I'm trying desperatly to find somewhere that I can demo or rent some of these skiis. The only thing I can find so far are Solomen X-wings. I'll probably go to Blue Mountain in PA. If anyone knows of a shop in the area, or a Pocono Mountain that is doing demos,please advise !

Thanks,
post #16 of 25
If you have to go with a Salomon, try the Fury if you can. It was a lot more ski than the Tornado IMO.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
If you have to go with a Salomon, try the Fury if you can. It was a lot more ski than the Tornado IMO.
I _might_ be able to get a Fury.... Will it ski anything like the AC4, or is it a completly different type ski ? I'm not familier with it.

Thanks.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wounded warrior View Post
I _might_ be able to get a Fury.... Will it ski anything like the AC4, or is it a completly different type ski ? I'm not familier with it.

Thanks.
I'm not familiar with it either, but I have owned various Soly skis in the past and they are nothing at all like a Volkl. I've never been on a ski as full on as the AC4, you lay em over on the rail and their taking you. I've thrown every condition from knee deep pow to ugly chop, hard and soft moguls and rock hard groomers at em and they do it all.

To answer your original question I'm roughly the same build as you I weigh about 195 and I'm 43. I ski on the 177.

If you read Volkl's recommendations on size, they tell you if your a beginner pick a size that reaches your chin, if you're intermediate pick one that reaches your nose and if you're advance/expert choose a size that reache your forehead.
...this is just a guidline of coarse, when it comes down to it it's personal preference.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wounded warrior View Post
I _might_ be able to get a Fury.... Will it ski anything like the AC4, or is it a completly different type ski ? I'm not familier with it.

Thanks.
It actually has some similarities, and caters to the same skier type. It is a bit lighter and livelier, but still a solid ski (and unlike other Sollies I've tried over the years). It's not an AC4, but nothing other than a Nordica Afterburner comes especially close, IMO.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

I pulled the trigger, And the winner is ........

The AC4 in 170cm.

After really studying all of the generous help and opinions that I was offered, as well as digging up side cut stastitstics for skis that I've skied and liked (for comparison) I went down to my local ski shop to question my buddies that work there one last time before deciding on what to do.

I ruled out the Supersport Allstar. I think that if I only skied the East Coast, (or stuck to groomers) this would have been my choice. I'm told that you really need to stay on top of it though, it's very demanding.Being that I still ski 200cm Volkl P9's when skiing back East, I wasn't very worried about that. I just couldn't see this ski as a good choice for the mixed terraine that I enjoy.

Next was my toughest choice. Since the AC4 and the Afterburner seem so similar, the question was whether to go with the softer flexing,narrower AC3, or the AC4/Afterburner. This proved to be a very hard choice, because the AC3 is closer in dimension to other shaped skis that I like.

I have to hand it to SJ. The more I considered the AC3, the more it seemed like a fine choice.Only a demo could settle this once and for all, but as hard as I looked,there was nowhere for me to do one, even if I drove four hours away.

Armed with only my past experience and lots of great advise from all of you, I opted for the AC4. I wanted the extra stiffness for edgehold, and it seemed natural that the wider ski would get the extra float in the soft stuff (both East and West) that I was after. I chose the AC4 over the afterburner primarily because I've always skied Volkl,and I've always loved their product. Again, If I could have demo'd both, who knows....

BTW, I didn't ski today because the closest mountain to me (2.5 hours away) had only 11 trails open, was crowded as heck, and it was 55 degrees ! I also found out the the Volkl Warehouse in New Hampshire (that supplies east coast ski shops) was sold out of AC 3's and 4's, and my local retailer was down to one pair of AC4 170's. Seemed prudent to make the purchase today. I'll ski them next week and I'll post a review.

A very big thank you to all of you for all of your help.

Happy Trails,
Wounded Warrior
post #21 of 25
WW, you'll love them! They are a great ski, and IMO one of the best of an excellent line that Volkl has. I'll look forward to your review!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
WW, you'll love them! They are a great ski, and IMO one of the best of an excellent line that Volkl has. I'll look forward to your review!
I can't wait to be able to give one ! I can't ski until next Friday, so I suppose that I won't be able to sleep until next Friday either.... (Like a big kid at Christmas ;-)

Wounded Warrior
post #23 of 25
WW. you made the best choice. Iv'e been on mine 22 days this season in the East where conditions have been less than stellar but the performance has been outstanding. The side cut is greater than the AC3 & I think they have a softer flex. That's my opinion, having been on both.
post #24 of 25
get the 177s
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrski00 View Post
>WW. you made the best choice. Iv'e been on mine 22 days this season in the East where conditions have been less than stellar but the performance has been outstanding.
22 days, Wow! Are you in Vermont, or do you just ski the same two trails that are open elsewhere over and over.... ;-)

I'm stoked to use these boards. I'm sking next Friday, even it it means bringing my surfboard.. ( I wonder if I can surf on the AC4's ...now THAT would be versatile !)

Cheers,
Wounded Warrior
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