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K2 Recon or Volkl AC3 or Volkl AC4

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I need help with deciding on a new pair of ski's.

6'3", 188 lbs.
Level III, 65% piste, 10% off piste, 10% tree's, 15% moguls, 0% jumps (2-6" inches off the ground in my case).
Mostly blacks, long blues, and the occassional double black.
Don't mind speed as long as I'm in control.
Current ski: K2 Mod 7/8, 181cm
I ski 2 weeks every year primarily in Tahoe. Fav spot is Kirkwood.
I would call my skiing style passive-aggressive (take some risks but primarily conservative)

My K2's have been good to me but I almost feel like I have outgrown them and that I have to work them a little harder to perform the way I want. I'm ready for a ski that will take me to the next level the way the K2 mods have propelled my skills and confidence.

I live in Atlanta so it's hard for me to demo ski's anytime I want and I depend on your thoughts, reviews, and the ski rags. I got my K2 mod's through research w/o demoing and feel pretty confident again this time around.

Aside from demoing each ski, I have come to the following choices and value your input.
Volkl AC3, AC4 or K2 Recon - thoughts?

Also, I am thinking about dropping down to the 177 Volkl's or possibly 174 on the K2's. My K2 181's are fine but with the difference in dimensions, do you think I should drop down a bit? fyi...
K2 Mod 7/8 - 111/70/101
AC4 - 125/82/110
AC3 - 118/76/104
K2 Apache Recon - 119/78/105

On a side note, the local ski shop guy told me that this is the last year the K2 and Volkl will be made in their respective countries and that they will be manufactured in China beginning next year where many ski's are now made. He showed me where the ski's must have a "Made in China" sticker on the ski.

And finally, I tried on a pair of Superfeet arch supports while trying on boots the other day. They seemed to make a big difference although I was just standing.

Thanks again to all those who provide input and your expertise.
post #2 of 11
I could have sworn that K2 started the China thing at least two seasons back?
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by chiltonj View Post
On a side note, the local ski shop guy told me that this is the last year the K2 and Volkl will be made in their respective countries and that they will be manufactured in China beginning next year where many ski's are now made. He showed me where the ski's must have a "Made in China" sticker on the ski.

Not sure about Volkl but K2 has been manufacturing skis in China for a while.
post #4 of 11
Personally, I own a pair of AC4s. I'm 5'10" and 170 lbs, level 8-9 ability and I ski the 170cm length. I'm a pretty aggressive skiier and I love the AC4s. I think based on what you said in your post...b/c you aren't really aggressive I think you should probably stay away from the AC4s b/c you may not be able to handle them. These skis have to be skiied hard b/c the harder you ski them...the more they give back. When you ski groomers with the AC4s...you go fast and I mean rippin' it. Plus the fact that you do ski a fair amount of bumps and these skiis are just okay in the bumps is another reason that you should try the AC3s. Lengthwise...I think 177 is good.
post #5 of 11
You can't get much more different in feel than K2 and Volkl. If you've been skiing K2 and liking them, why not the Recons?

PS - People need to get over this made in China thing. Volkl has been making its tennis racquets there for quite a while, and they're known for their build quality. K2 skis are as solid as ever, whether made there or here. Conversely, a lot of German manufacturers have been having serious problems with quality control. Some of that is because "made in Germany" can mean partly made in Spain or Slovenia or Hungary and finished in Germany, some is because the former East Germany was never known for its quality control, and some is native indifference; a Mercedes Benz honcho said a while back that German workers just don't indentify anymore with the "craftsmanship" ideal. Your dealer is just trying to push his wares.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

THe China deal

I didn't really take too much stock in his comment about being made in China. In fact, I told him that the German shop won't care about quality now if they know the goods will be made in China next year.
post #7 of 11
Go for the AC3s. I love mine! They are a more forgiving all mountain ski than the AC4. I demoed both & had to be on the AC4 hard all the time. Not real pratical when you get into slow crowed areas.
post #8 of 11
If you like the K2's, then stick with a similiar ski, like the Recon, Dynastar Legend 8000, Rossi B2 ect.

Have you skied the Volkl stuff? If so, then you will either like it better or worse than the K2's, as they are not similiar skis. If you haven't skied anything else, then I recommend demoing the Elan 666, Head Monster iM82 or iM77, Nordica Top Fuel/Nitrous, Salomon X-Wing Fury, Dynastar Legend 8000 ect. in addition to the Volkl's to see what you prefer. These are all great skis, and what you like or don't like will likely come down to skill level, aggressiveness, and personal preference. My favorties are the Nordica Nitrous, Elan 666, Head Monster iM77, and Volkl AC3.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great comments. This is the best site I have found for honest reviews from people who actually have used the equipment. Dawg, you got it going on....great info. Based on everyone's input, I am leaning heavily on the AC3's. The AC4's may be too much for me and the Recon's may not have enough omph in them. One thing that worries me is short turns and bumps on the AC3's. If anyone cares, here is a review on my 7/8's and it's spot on (almost makes me just want to hold on to them...keep in mind, this was from 2001 such a long, long time ago. I think the AC3's will help me feel more confident and make me better but I won't know how much until I try them. But, the best thing I will do is try these out in a few weeks when I get to Tahoe......if I can't find a great price online beforehand. Too bad it appears that Tahoe is suffering from a lack of snow this season.

Product Year:
This is a great all-mountain ski - and I mean all-mountain. It carves up all but the hardest snow (ice really) making skiing groomed runs a blast, and makes short to medium radius turns well up to moderately high speeds. They do well in the bumps and absorb an incredible amount of force making the ruts that seemed too deep last year feasible this year (the skis are very forgiving but you need to stay in the middle of them in the moguls). They are an excellent powder ski (I skiied a wide variety of powder from cascade concrete to white smoke and they made it feel like cheating...a no-brainer). To my surprise and great delight, their strongest suit I felt was in the crud (my personal favorite) and spring snow - it felt like skiing fluffy pow-pow! The skis make cool arcing-craving type turns as they float well balanced in the powder to crud making for very consistent, confident and predictable turns.
Value (scored mine new in the wrapper) on E-Bay. Dampening. Floatation. Carving ability. Great in a wide variety of snow conditions. No brainer in powder and a great tool in the crud. Fairly quick edge to edge. Very forgiving and predictable but theres alot of ski there. All ski levels could find something of use with this ski. What a fun ride!
Starts to become unstable at mach schnell speeds, but this ski isn't really intended to do that. It's strengths far outweigh any weaknesses the ski may possess.
Similar Products Used:
Rossi Bandit XX, Salomom x-scream, K2 Mod-X.
post #10 of 11
There is a world of difference between the AC3 & Ac4's. I am old, 68, and love my AC4's. But you must try the various lengths. I demo ed 184 and thought I had telephone poles on. the 175 or 176 was almost as bad. The 170's are absolutely the best skis I have ever skied on. Stable as rocks and carve the ice. I enjoy bumps and althought some reports say that the AC4's are hookers in the bumps I love them. I ski about 35 or 40 days each year and weigh 180 lbs. I am agressive but not foolish. Hope you spend a day on the AC4's and enjoy them as much as I do.
post #11 of 11

AC3 or AC4

I owned the 05/06 AC4 170 and 177. 60yrs,5'11,200, advanced midwest skier,no bumper(bad knees).
170 length, great ski.
177 length, great ski,smoother.
I guess they just fit my style, but I thought they were one of the easiest skis to handle I've been on.

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