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I need some advice on buying my first pair of shaped skis! Thanks!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I need some help with getting some new skis (I have old K2 that are slightly parabolic). I do 95% of my skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows on Mt. Hood in Oregon and I ski it all there - groomed, moguls, cascade powder (e.g. Heather Canyon, etc.) and lots of crud. I search out powder when I can find it. I am probably a level 7 skier; I am a 33 year old male skiing since 1983 and I weigh 185 pounds and am 5' 10" tall. (Trying to get my weight down to 170 pounds....).

I demoed at Meadows on a "groomed ice" day (aka it was above freezing the day before with no precip, so the corduroy was hard) a pair of 168 Volkl S5 and a pair of 177 Volkl AC4. I didn't get the chance to ski any powder as it was all tracked out and very, very heavy crud.

The S5s turned on a dime and felt great; the AC4s feel like they skied me, but I did 20 runs on the S5 prior to doing 10 runs on the AC4s, so I might have been tired. I had to put a lot more effort into getting the AC4s to turn.

Here's where I could use some help:

1) I am on a budget and have been looking to buy a gently used pair of Volkl 5 star 168 cm. Would they compare to the S5 I demo'd? Are they less stiff, more stiff, etc? The S5 didn't feel stiff to me at all, which I liked.

2) How do the S5 handle powder? (this is heavy "Cascade 32 degrees and snowing" powder, not the mythical champagne of Utah...)

3) Could the need for effort for turning the AC4s be due to the length of the ski? I didn't take them on the bumps and was afraid to take them into Heather canyon (Pluto bowl was groomed and turning into moguls) as I was tired and didn't want a nasty spill at the end of the day.

4) Is there a "predecessor" ski for the AC4s? I'd like to buy something used and they're too new right now to find many used pairs. Basically as Five Star is to S5, is there a ski to the AC4?

5) What would the 163 AC4s be like for a skier with my physical stats? I'm more interested in getting around for quick turns and being able to ski moguls and powder with the same ski than going super-fast on hardpacked groomed.

Thanks for any and all help! This the first time I've bought a nice pair of skis and I'm trying to get as much info as I can before shelling out the $$$$.
post #2 of 18
Sorry to tell you this but neither of those skis are parabolics, they are Volkls.
post #3 of 18
You should be looking at more of a midfat...My personal choice out here is the Rossi B3 as a one ski quiver. My stats are very similiar to yours, except I weigh 200, and I ski the B3 in a 176.

Another ski to check out is the Dynastar Legend 8800, or if you're really a Volkl fan check out the Mantra.

If you wear a size 330mm boot sole, I wouldn't mind letting you try out my B3's.
post #4 of 18
I went through the same thing this year. I too ski at Meadows and Bachelor for the most part. I wanted a crud-busting mid-fat that could do it all, sacrificing a bit of nimbleness and hard bump capability for unshakable stability in Cascade crud. For reference, I'm 32, 6'3", 205, solid 7+ I guess, aggressive and like everything on the mountain.

I referenced Dawgcatchings excellent reviews...

Mid-fats and crudbusters
Head Monster 77, 82, 88
Another Mid-fat review
Carving / All-mountain

There are other great reviews as well in the Gear Review Forum.

I demoed several skis and ended up with a pair of Head iM82s @ 183. I also really liked the Elan Magfire 12 and Dynastar Legend 8000. For me, the Mag12 was more energetic but still smooth and a little less forgiving than the Monster, while the Dynastar was just a fun ski that would do whatever you wanted, slow or fast, short or big radius turns, but a bit lower speed limit in the crud.
post #5 of 18
The S5 is more ski than the last couple of years worth of 5*. However, if you liked the S5, I think you will like the 5* as well. Both of these skis are good enough in soft/broken snow (within their category) however, the catgory in general is not particularly good in those conditions.

It sounds as if you really 'want' an AC-4 but found that it was too much ski for you. Good for you, you found out something about what you really 'need'. It's a good decision to stay away from it. Don't get one in a small size just to get that ski.

You have gotten some good mid-fat suggestions. I'd be looking that direction. The B3, Legend 8K, are both great choices. I'd also add the Fischer AMC 79.

SJ
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the info so far. I appreciate the advice to check out the Rossignol Bandit B3. I plan to demo it and the Bandit B2 as I am right down the middle for time in cut-up powder and time on the groomers.

I enjoy skiing the bumps and I think that I'm finding that the dilema I'm facing is that a nice crud ski isn't the best for the bumps.

I found that the Volkl AC4 at 177 cm was too much ski for me and was way more work than enjoyment (again, I'm 5' 10", 185 pounds). If I were to shoot way down to an AC4 at 163 cm, what happens? I could get the ski around more easily because the turning radius is a lot shorter, but would there be enough surface area to support me in the powder? The deepest powder I almost ever see on Mt. Hood is 18 inches or so.

I'm thinking of demoing the Rossi Bandit B2 at 166 cm and the Volkl AC4 at 163 cm. I enjoy going fast on the groomed hardpack, but I'm not a speedfreak. Any thoughts or suggestions from the crowd out there on my demo choices?

Thanks for all of the help so far. I REALLY appreciate it!
post #7 of 18
find something soft-med flexing, ~175-180cm length, ~85-90mm waist and not too much shape (less shape is better for bumps, corn and thicker pow). The old K2 Axis Ak Launcher would be ideal...look for a used pair. For new skis Fischer Kehua (only comes in a 177), Elan 777 (176cm probably) and Dynastar Legen 8800 (178) stand out. Maybe even a 174 K2 Public Enemy or 177 Volkl Karma.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stockguy1883 View Post
I enjoy skiing the bumps and I think that I'm finding that the dilema I'm facing is that a nice crud ski isn't the best for the bumps.

I found that the Volkl AC4 at 177 cm was too much ski for me and was way more work than enjoyment (again, I'm 5' 10", 185 pounds). If I were to shoot way down to an AC4 at 163 cm, what happens?
As SierraJim put it
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Don't get one in a small size just to get that ski.
The AC4 is a nice ski, but it's not a bump ski. To me it's a carver in a mid-fat body. It's a bit more nervous at speed in the crud than a ski with less sidecut, and as you found out quite beefy. Don't get hung up on the AC4. There are a lot of great skis out there.

You should look at some of the more forgiving mid-fats if bumps are a priority for you. Bump and crud abilities are definitiely opposite ends of the "all-mountain" spectrum. In addition to the Bandit, I you might try the Legend 8000, Salomon X-Wing Fury, K2 Recon and maybe the Nordica Afterburner. Some of those have more sidecut than others... it depends on what you're looking for. More sidecut isn't so hot for high speed crud unless you want to be on edge all the time. You can probably find some used Legend 8000s. The only thing they've changed since spring of '04 is the cosmetics.

The K2, Nordica, Rossi, and Solly can be demoed at US Outdoor Stoor just off Burnside, downtown PDX. You can buy the Legend 8ks in PDX from the Mountain Shop or Ski Chalet. Ski Chalet may have them to demo. If not, I know Dawgcatching has them available in Sunriver if you want to make a trip to Bachelor.
post #9 of 18
How about the Modified in a 170 (Nordica). It would be a step down from the AC 4 and it's a great ski.

I think the S5 would be a great choice for you. Step up and pay for the S5 and skip the 5 star. The S5 is a really nice ski, easy to ski for the level of performance. Keep it short and it will do fine in the bumps.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I ended up buying a 170cm Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous in late March and they worked out GREAT for Mt. Hood Meadows. I can carve with them on the groomers and they are super-beefy and are excellent crud-busters on that heavy Mt. Hood three-day old chunky powder.

Thanks for all of the tips from the Epic ski community. I posted "I like Volkls, but can't afford them. What should I buy" on one forum and someone suggested the Nitrous and it's some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

Time to head up to Timberline to feed my fix with some summer snow on Palmer!
post #11 of 18

Rossi Axiom?

Looking at your original post, I am almost certain that most people would prefer S5 over AC4 in icy groomer. I am wiling to bet that you’d have preferred AC4 over S5 if conditions were powder and/or crud.

Anyway, the Nordica Nitrous is a good choice if you have only one set of skis.
Although I thought they were light and quick but definitely not “super-beefy”.

In addition to Nitrous, I think you should also have a set of powder skis. I have 163 Rossi Axiom with marker bindings in excellent condition for $100. I’ve too many pow-boards and I never use them anymore.
I live in PDX so no shipping fee.

Let me know

G
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
How about the Modified in a 170 (Nordica). It would be a step down from the AC 4 and it's a great ski.

I think the S5 would be a great choice for you. Step up and pay for the S5 and skip the 5 star. The S5 is a really nice ski, easy to ski for the level of performance. Keep it short and it will do fine in the bumps.
Two great options here, although the Modified has the metal in it and is stiffer than the Nitrous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stockguy1883 View Post
I ended up buying a 170cm Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous in late March and they worked out GREAT for Mt. Hood Meadows. I can carve with them on the groomers and they are super-beefy and are excellent crud-busters on that heavy Mt. Hood three-day old chunky powder.


Time to head up to Timberline to feed my fix with some summer snow on Palmer!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boar2m View Post

Anyway, the Nordica Nitrous is a good choice if you have only one set of skis.
Although I thought they were light and quick but definitely not “super-beefy”.

In addition to Nitrous, I think you should also have a set of powder skis. I have 163 Rossi Axiom with marker bindings in excellent condition for $100. I’ve too many pow-boards and I never use them anymore.
I live in PDX so no shipping fee.

Let me know

G
Again, the Nitrous is a good ski, will perform well and yet be forgiving enough to not throw you on your butt.
The Rossi's area also a good option, but Rossi's have a feel all their own and I don't suggest buying without demoing.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stockguy1883 View Post
I ended up buying a 170cm Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous in late March and they worked out GREAT for Mt. Hood Meadows. I can carve with them on the groomers and they are super-beefy and are excellent crud-busters on that heavy Mt. Hood three-day old chunky powder.

Thanks for all of the tips from the Epic ski community. I posted "I like Volkls, but can't afford them. What should I buy" on one forum and someone suggested the Nitrous and it's some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

Time to head up to Timberline to feed my fix with some summer snow on Palmer!
That's a great choice! I think you nailed it. Let us know more after you get some more runs in. Congrats
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
The Rossi's area also a good option, but Rossi's have a feel all their own and I don't suggest buying without demoing.
The Rossi is no longer for sale.
A long-time epic bear wants to buy it without domoing - what a sucka!

Trek chick is a wise lady but there is always an exception to the rules.
When offered classic skis (e.g., explosive, axiom, etc.) in minty shape for the price of a family dinner, go grab ‘em!

Btw - what a beautiful day today here in PNW!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
find something soft-med flexing, ~175-180cm length, ~85-90mm waist and not too much shape (less shape is better for bumps, corn and thicker pow). The old K2 Axis Ak Launcher would be ideal...look for a used pair. For new skis Fischer Kehua (only comes in a 177), Elan 777 (176cm probably) and Dynastar Legen 8800 (178) stand out. Maybe even a 174 K2 Public Enemy or 177 Volkl Karma.
ummm I agree with you but noone else does. Everyone else is recommending skis that are too stiff and skinny. A ski softer than a Ac4 with less shape will be better.

Also add the Volk Ac3 to that above list as its less sidecut and softer than the Ac4.

Elan's new 888 will be a good choice too.

Some other things to consider. wood cores last longer than foam avoid foam like plague. Sidewall skis take rock hits way better than a cap ski.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boar2m View Post
The Rossi is no longer for sale.
A long-time epic bear wants to buy it without domoing - what a sucka!

Trek chick is a wise lady but there is always an exception to the rules.
When offered classic skis (e.g., explosive, axiom, etc.) in minty shape for the price of a family dinner, go grab ‘em!

Btw - what a beautiful day today here in PNW!
Yup!
Ya got me!
Glad you found a buyer
(I wasn't trying to get him to stay away from yours, Honest I wasn't)
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
ummm I agree with you but noone else does. Everyone else is recommending skis that are too stiff and skinny. A ski softer than a Ac4 with less shape will be better.

Also add the Volk Ac3 to that above list as its less sidecut and softer than the Ac4.


Elan's new 888 will be a good choice too.

Some other things to consider. wood cores last longer than foam avoid foam like plague. Sidewall skis take rock hits way better than a cap ski.
I thought the 07 AC3 is stiffer and less forgiving than the AC4. I could be thinking of a different ski, but that is what I remember.:

The Elan 888 is a Phenomenal choice!

The OP got the Nitrous which is soft enough and has the properties he's looking for at this time. Its also a good ski choice to keep in the quiver when he gets the 888 or something fatter in the future(we know he will after he catches the contagious Quiver Bug)
I loved the Nitrous last year and am happy to say its still in the house, just in my husbands quiver instead of mine now.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stockguy1883 View Post
Time to head up to Timberline to feed my fix with some summer snow on Palmer!
Nice choice with the ski. I was up demoing skis at Crystal Mt (Washington) last December, and at the end of the day, I went up to the Nordica tent and said to the rep "I just want to ski a groomer really fast. What do you have?" The rep just smiled and put me on a pair of Hot Rod Jet Fuel's, and oh my gosh, what a ride. Fast, very stable with practically no chatter, and incredible edge grip.

2 or 3 weeks ago I bought a pair of Speedmachine Mach 3's from SierraJim.

By the way, I ran into a member of this forum up at Timberline last Memorial Day. I saw a guy going up the chairlift with a pair of Mach 3's, and I rode up 2 chairs after him. I tried to find him after I got off the chair to talk with him about his skis, but he was already a very long ways down the hill. I ended up riding up the chair with him later that day, and it turns out it's Quickfoot, who posted recently in the "nordi mach 3 carbon vs. dynastar contact 11" thread.

stockguy1883, I might run into you at Timberline this spring/summer. I'll be skiing my Mach 3's up on Palmer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Its also a good ski choice to keep in the quiver when he gets the 888 or something fatter in the future(we know he will after he catches the contagious Quiver Bug)
That's what happened to me. Got my Elan 662's (116-76-102) about 4 or 5 years ago, but then wanted something wider so I got the iM 88's, and just added the Mach 3's. I really like my 88's for skiing the really heavy crud we have here in the PNW.
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