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Alpine Shop Sugarbush Ski Tests

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks to the class act Alpine Shop of South Burlington, Vermont, oboe and madskier (among several others) got free lift tickets, free ski demos, and - yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch. Skis tested all were for the 2007-2008 model year.

Here's my report:

oboe: 5'8", 155 pounds after lunch, 65 yo and your basic perpetual "advancing but never advanced" skier.

Conditions: At Sugarbush Mt. Ellen, there was lots of snow, and by the time I dragged my a$$ to the hill, it was classic cut up, from ankle deep to shin deep. No groomed. Conditions for the first two runs were similar, but they started changing and somewhat confused the testing. I didn't see much pretty skiing, except for maybe three excellent skiers (one of whom skied with me). I found this very challenging, as did almost all others I saw on the hill.

First run: Nordica Nitrous 170 cm. Hey, the conditions were challenging to a guy not accustomed to skiing them and who's been home sick for a week. I honestly can't say much about these skis, but since they were the longest I skied today, they also had me working the hardest. I don't thing it's the Nitrous - I think it was the length, and my becoming familiar with the technique for this kind of condition.

Second run: Elan Magfire 14 Wave 168 cm. Although longer than I'd asked for, these seemed to make the work easier. I'd love to try them in a 160 cm length.

Third run: My own Elan Mag 10 160 cm. These were much, much easier to ski in these conditions - and in large part, I think it's because they were shorter than the Nitrous and the Magfire 14 Wave. These also have worked well for me on the more traditional eastern hard, hard, hardpack a few weeks ago as well as in the fresh, moist ungroomed at Mad River Glen.

Fourth run: Volkl AC40 161 cm. These were my favorites - probably the easiest run of the day (I still managed to perspire). These were 82 mm under foot. The Volkl rep said they were the same as this year's red AC4, but Scott Rieley, owner of the Alpine Shop, tells me that they're somewhat softer and engage sooner and at slower speeds than the red AC4. Problem: The temps had dropped significantly, the wind was moving the snow around, and Scott (who skied with me for this run) said that the snow had firmed up some. Still, these interest me. I'd love to try them on hard snow and again in soft snow. Scott predicts they won't be as good on hard snow as my Mag 10's . . . but I'm interested enought to want to find out.

Last run (man, I was cooked): My own Mag 10's again. The temps had continued to drop and the wind picked up serious speed. While the Mag 10's seemed to handle this well, I still have that itch I need to scratch - yep, the Volkl AC40 in 161 cm.

Now we'll see what madskier says about his tests, which included Volkl Gotoma.
post #2 of 3
Oboe, thanks for the reviews. I am eager to read what madskier has to say.

I own the nitrous in a 170, as you know I like a ski a bit on the long side. I usually start the day on my volkl race tigers and switch to the nitrous when the conditions turn to crud and unpredictable. I am surprised you didn't like it in the conditions you described. However, I'm not surprised you liked the Volkl AC40. That ski never ceases to amaze me when I see the reviews, though it's been a year or more since I have been on the AC4.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
'chick, bear in mind: (a) I didn't say I didn't like the skis - I didn't like the length. (b) You are younger, more skilled and more athletic, so it's no surpise to me that you like "longish" skis. I find for myself no discernable advantage in the 170 cm length versus the 160 cm length, and the shorter skis are more maneuverable. I've sold off my 170 cm skis and if I find happiness on skis, theyprobably will be shorter than 170 cm.

I've skied the red AC4 in 160 cm and 170 cm, and I like the AC40 of the coming season more fun. I didn't ski it in 170. The 160 work well in these conditions, so why go longer?
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