Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Dave, I hadn't been following this thread for a while, but SierraJim has the Mach3 in a 170 for $637 complete
. That should be pretty competitive and its good karma to support other Epic supporters. I got a chance to demo the Mach 3 several times this past winter thanks to Jim, and I don't think you will be disappointed. My preference was for the bigger Afterburner, but for shorter radius carving, the Mach 3 was very easy to initiate, versatile and forgiving. Its still a fairly big ski and has lots of stability and is willing to go fast.
Thanks taking time to post more feedback about the Mach 3. That was helpful. I'm still actively working on purchasing a carving ski.
I demoed the Volkl S5 in a 168cm this last weekend and had a lot of fun with it. However, the conditions were "slushy" so it was difficult to completely evaluate the ski. The S5 is quick edge to edge and it is easy to work it into any turn shape. However, given the conditions it was difficult to tell how damp the ski is and I was reluctant to see how fast I could go on it.
Jim and I have traded several PM's this last week on the Mach 3 (I followed up on TrekChick's suggestion above). Jim has very kindly taken time to help me understand the differences between the Mach 3 & S5.
Regarding the price on the Mach 3: I am definitely struggling with paying $637 for a ski I haven't demoed. The price seems more like something one would pay at the start of a ski season - not at the end.
Epic Ski is important to me (been snooping since about 2000/2001 - I feel like I'm one of the gang), so I definitely want to do business with it's supporters where reasonably possible. It's also important to me to support locally owned and operated ski shops as well. Jim's help with my questions has been greatly appreciated, so that will weigh heavily in my final decision. (If you want Jim's time & help, then you have to be willing to give him the business...)
By the way, Jim's price on the Volkl S5 ($497) is both excellent and very competative. Like the Mach 3, the price includes the binding. But everyone's feedback has been that the Mach 3 would be the better choice.